THE TANDEM PROJECT
UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,
FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF
Separation of Religion or Belief & State
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW
Call to Jihad
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For: United Nations, Governments, Religions or Beliefs, Academia, NGOs, Media, Civil Society
Review: A Call to Jihad, Answered in
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. UPR Introduction and News:
After each UN Member State’s Universal Periodic Review they have four years before their next UPR cycle to implement the National Reports on human rights obligations and responsibilities; recommendations by UN Member States, NGOs, civil society and other stakeholders.
THE TANDEM PROJECT FOLLOW-UP
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process is an opportunity for UN Member States, NGOs and civil society to support genuine and inclusive dialogue, protection and promotion of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
The Somalia Universal Periodic Review will be held in the eleventh UPR Session in September 2011. The Tandem Project Follow-up is preparation for the Somalia Universal Periodic Review in advance of the Somali appearance before the UN Human Rights Council in 2011.
CALL TO JIHAD
The New York Times: A Call to Jihad – Answered in
For a group of students
who often met at the school, on the
But last year, in a study
room on the first floor of Carlson, the men turned their energies to a
different enterprise. “Why are we sitting around in
In November Mr. Hassan
and two other students dropped out of college and left for
Mr. Hassan’s interest in the Islamist movement dovetailed with his own religious transformation, friends said. In the fall of 2007 he began downloading sermons onto his iPod and soon was attending the Abubakar mosque…He began talking of joining the movement as early as February 2008, around the same time that a friend from the mosque –Mr. Maruf, the former gang member-left for Somalia.
While Somali nationalism
had initially driven the men, a friend said, their cause eventually took on a
religious cast. They became convinced that
Months have passed since
the older members of his group completed their training in
The students are among
more than 20 young Americans who are the focus of what may be the most
significant domestic terrorism investigation since Sept. 11. One of the men,
Shirwa Ahmed, blew himself up in
The country they had
fled, on the eastern tip of
Proof came in the cash
sent by a first wave of refugees who had arrived in the
When they ended their
shifts as cab drivers or janitors, many Somalis retreated from American life.
They had transformed a blighted stretch near the
If American citizens are joining the Shabaab, the potential threat domestically is serious…I think they could be commissioned to come back. Or they could do it on their own because they are philosophically aligned with the Shabaab or Al Qaeda.
For many older Somalis in
He had been shot in the head, a stranger on the phone told Mr. Hassan’s mother. Some of the boy’s relatives suspect that he was killed to prevent him from cooperating with the American investigation.
WEBSITES, CONFERENCES, REPORTS
Disclaimer: Information on governments and non-governmental organizations is from websites for public distribution unless copyrighted. Recommendations are the opinions of The Tandem Project and not endorsed by governments and non-governmental organizations.
Genuine dialogue on human rights and freedom of religion or belief calls for respectful discourse, discussion of taboos and clarity by persons of diverse beliefs. Inclusive dialogue includes people of theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. These are United Nations categories in General Comment 22 on Article 18, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4).
General Comment 22 on Article 18 clarifies the intersection of human rights and freedom of religion or belief as a guide for peaceful cooperation, respectful competition and resolution of conflicts. This UN document must be read as a prerequisite to understanding The Tandem Project recommendations to governments and non-governmental organizations. Click to open:
General Comment 22 on Article 18 is of primary importance to an understanding of the need for international-national-local integrated approaches to human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief.
Google is the best source
for a quick Internet review of Call to Jihad in
UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights
Somalia News archives,
reports by Independent Expert on
Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center; www.abuubakar.org,
Islamic Center is an institution dedicated to the betterment of Muslims and
society at large. AAIC draws its strength and guidance from the Holy Qur’an and
the authentic Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Mohammed. Efforts to establish
Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center (AAIC) was initiated in 1998 to help meet
the needs of the Muslim community in the Twin Cities. The Center now serves the
largest Muslim Community in
The Minneapolis Abubakar
As-Saddique Islamic Center has been accused of encouraging the recruitment of
young men to go to
The Minnesota Council of
Churches is a community of communions who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior. As a statewide ecumenical agency formed in 1948, it has brought
together mainline Protestant denominations in
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; http://www.hhh.umn.edu/index.php
The Hubert H. Humphrey
Institute of Public Affairs was founded in early 1977 to recognize and honor
Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey, a legislator and statesman
recognized internationally for his contributions to improving the well-being of
humanity. The Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Policy Areas
appropriate to this issue is: Global Policy, Politics and Governance, Public
and Non-profit Leadership. The Institute is located on the
The ELCA has nearly
10,500 congregations in 65 synods with nearly 5 million members across the U.S.
Puerto Rico and the
The State Department
Office of International Religious Freedom has the mission of promoting
religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. Foreign Policy. Headed by
Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, it’s Office Director
and staff monitor religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommend
and implement policies in respective regions or countries, and develop programs
to promote religious freedom. In October 1998, President Clinton signed into
law (PL 106-55) the International Religious Freedom Act, passed unanimously by
both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The law mandates an Annual
Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom. The Tandem Project uses
these Annual Reports as sources of information for Universal Periodic Reviews &
Freedom of Religion or Belief. Here are excerpts from the U.S. State Department
International Religious Freedom Report on
“The country has an area of 246,200 square miles and a population of approximately 8.3 million; however, population figures are difficult to estimate since the last census was completed in the 1970s and the instability of the country makes it impossible to collect this data. Citizens are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims of a Sufi tradition. There also is a very small, extremely low-profile Christian community, and small numbers of followers of other religions. The number of adherents to strains of conservative Islam and the number of Islamic schools supported by religiously conservative sources continued to grow.”
“There was active violent conflict among militia groups, the TFG, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces during the reporting period. Some of the militia groups were aligned with al-Shabaab, which the U.S. Secretary of State designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on February 29, 2008: ” http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90220.htm
THE TANDEM PROJECT PROPOSALS
Proposals for constructive, long-term solutions to conflicts based on religion or belief:
(1) Develop a model local-national-international integrated approach to human rights and freedom of religion or belief, appropriate to the cultures of each country, as follow-up to the Universal Periodic Review. 1. (2) Use International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief as a rule of law for inclusive and genuine dialogue on core values within and among nations, all religions and other beliefs, and for protection against discrimination. (3) Use the standards on freedom of religion or belief in education curricula and places of worship, “teaching children, from the very beginning, that their own religion is one out of many and that it is a personal choice for everyone to adhere to the religion or belief by which he or she feels most inspired, or to adhere to no religion or belief at all.” 2.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, at the Alliance of Civilizations Madrid Forum said; “never in our lifetime has there been a more desperate need for constructive and committed dialogue, among individuals, among communities, among cultures, among and between nations.”
Genuine dialogue on human rights and freedom of religion or belief calls for respectful discourse, discussion of taboos and clarity by persons of diverse beliefs. Inclusive dialogue includes people of theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The warning signs are clear, unless there is genuine dialogue ranging from religious fundamentalism to secular dogmatism; conflicts in the future will probably be even more deadly.
In 1968 the UN deferred work on an International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Religious Intolerance because of its complexity and sensitivity. In forty years violence, suffering and discrimination based on religion or belief has dramatically increased. It is time for a UN Working Group to draft what they deferred in 1968, a comprehensive core international human rights treaty- a United Nations Convention on Freedom of Religion or Belief: United Nations History – Freedom of Religion or Belief
The challenge to religions or beliefs at all levels is awareness, understanding and acceptance of international human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief. Leaders, teachers and followers of all religions or beliefs, with governments, are keys to test the viability of inclusive and genuine dialogue in response to the UN Secretary General’s urgent call for constructive and committed dialogue.
The Tandem Project title, Separation of Religion or Belief and State (SOROBAS), reflects the far-reaching scope of UN General Comment 22 on Article 18, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4). The General Comment on Article 18 is a guide to international human rights law for peaceful cooperation, respectful competition and resolution of conflicts:
Surely one of the best hopes for humankind is to embrace a culture in which religions and other beliefs accept one another, in which wars and violence are not tolerated in the name of an exclusive right to truth, in which children are raised to solve conflicts with mediation, compassion and understanding.
We welcome ideas on how this can be accomplished; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tandem Project is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1986 to build understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity, and to prevent discrimination in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief. The Tandem Project has sponsored multiple conferences, curricula, reference materials and programs on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion - and 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations