Opinion

Letter to the Editor: UN’s World Conference Against Racism contrary to the group’s ideals

The UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) has a name worthy of respect and optimism, as it alludes to the idea of a conference that seeks to generate peace between the different races. But do not let yourself be fooled, the conference seeks to limit our freedom of expression and to promote antagonistic messages towards the state of Israel.

The first problem is that the conference will be run by the so-called Bureau of the Preparatory Committee, chaired by Najat Al-Hajjaji from Libya and the rapporteur will be Resfel Pino Álvarez from Cuba. Cuba and Libya are hardly countries worthy of praise for their humanitarian efforts, according to the U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights report for 2007, Libya has a very poor record in the area of human rights.

The committee also includes countries such as Iran, Pakistan, and Russia, all of which are known for violations of human rights. According to the first draft of the conference, some of the main concerns are “…that a most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia,” and, “[beliefs]that association of terrorism and violence with Islam or any other religion, including through publication of offensive caricatures and making of hate documentaries, would purposely complicate our common endeavors.”

The indirect mentioning of the Muhammed cartoons that were published in a newspaper located in my home country, Denmark, and the documentary Submission, directed by Theo van Gogh (who was shot and almost decapitated as a result of the movie) is an embarrassment and proves that the conference seeks to limit our freedom of expression. It is essential that all countries that value basic human rights such as freedom of expression boycott this conference and send a message to the participating countries. Tell them that we will not submit to the primitive restrictions of countries where journalists are thrown in jail or even executed because they do not agree with the ideas of religion. Religion should not be treated with velvet gloves, but should be questioned at every opportunity and it should, by all means, never compromise ideals that are essential for a democracy.

-Jason Jensen
Freshman

February 11, 2009

Reporters

Hurricane Reader

Letter to the Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Daniela Deu was drawn to both architecture and urbanism, believes architecture can change communitie ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.