Beijing Plus Five: The United Nation's Advance on Islam

Imagine this scenario: a Muslim country letting homosexuals marry, promoting abortions for all in any condition and the destruction of Islamic laws like those pertaining to inheritance and marriage.

‘I just don't think Muslims would tolerate that', a Muslim remarked. But given the silence about a United Nations conference, it seems Muslim countries are ready to let all this happen.

June 5 to June 9, 2000 is when the United Nations General Assembly will hold a special session nicknamed Beijing Plus Five (formally titled, Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century) in New York.

This meeting will review how far countries have progressed in implementing the UN's agenda of secular, feminist gender relations, population control, sexual rights (including gay rights) since 1995. That was when these demands took shape in the Platform for Action, a result of the UN's Fourth World Conference On Women in Beijing, China.

"It is the greatest challenge to the supremacy of Shariah that the Muslim world has ever faced collectively. If we fail to challenge it this time, we may have to pay the price for that lapse over the next decades or centuries." warns an April 26 action alert for the Islamic ezine Albalagh (, about the conference.

While there are definitely legitimate issues and strategies that the meeting is expected to discuss and decide on concerning the situation of women worldwide (i.e. the issue of violence against women, poverty amongst women, sickness and access to adequate health care, etc.), these should not obscure the overall framework and fundamental basis of the document-the promotion of a clearly anti-religious, secularism-based vision of women‚s rights. Women‚s rights not as part of the balance of a just, healthy, society, but as those which include rights to do what is dangerous to women and society as a whole.

Gender equality: How the UN treated Muslim women in 1995

The latest conference claims to uphold the rights of women through the empowerment.

But its agenda is clearly the imposition of a secular, feminist understanding of the position of women and women's rights on the world. The way a number of Muslim women were treated at the UN's 1995 conference made that very clear.

"We found in some workshops people would get up and say things like, ‘what are all these fundamentalist women doing', ‘Why are they running around in scarves', ‘Religion was not on this agenda'," said Khadija Haffajee, an Ottawa, Canada,-based Muslim activist who was part of the Muslim women's NGO (non-governmental organization) at Beijing. The NGO was comprised of 60 women from about 12 different countries.

"We were saying [at the conference] that our faith is very fundamental to who we are. No matter what we're discussing, we are discussing it because we believe in a certain way of life," she explained in an October 1995 interview.

Haffajee found no dialogue on women's rights and issues from different perspectives. The voices of Muslim women speaking from an Islamic perspective were clearly shut out. She said she attended workshops presented by women who were not Muslim on Muslim women's issues. Muslim women in the audience were not given the opportunity to respond to them. "They were talking about us but we were not allowed to present and counterbalance what they were saying," she said.

Gender equality in the June 2000 preparatory document

Almost five years later, this same imposition of a specific view of women's rights and roles is being promulgated, and set to be enshrined in international law.

The streamlined version of the June 2000 conference preparatory document is quite clear in its aims and objectives. When it comes to gender equality, the focus is on emphasizing women's employment outside of the home, with scant importance given to what it terms "traditional" responsibilities, such as motherhood and responsibilities within the home.

The sex-based division of labor is frowned upon in the document, to say the least, and equality, in UN speak, essentially entails getting women out into the labor force, pursuing "non-traditional" career fields, with a few clauses in the preparatory document addressing the issue of child care in this scenario.

Development: Gay rights, anti-Islamic laws and "the condom culture"

"Development" is another theme of the June conference and in the past it has clearly meant the implementation of policies through the UN that are clearly anti-Islamic. The current document and the possible outcome, are no different.

Here's what it had to say about homosexuality (clause 102 h): "Develop, review and implement laws, practices and procedures to prohibit and eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation."

On a practical level, this would happen in the following way according to clause 102 j: "Take action to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; review and repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, since such laws contribute to creating a climate which encourages discrimination and violence against women who are, or are perceived to be, lesbians; and address violence and harassment against them."

Here's what the preparatory document originally had to say about some aspects of the Shariah (Islamic law) without mentioning it in particular: (page 100 132 e. 63 (v)): "Discourage, through the media and other means, customary laws and practices, such as early marriage, polygamy and female genital mutilation, that increase women's and girls' susceptibility to HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases" (bold is our emphasis).

After a few revisions, this has been watered down to "Encourage, through the media and other means, a high awareness of harmful effects of traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women, some of which increase their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and other sexual transmitted infections and intensify efforts to eliminate such practices (same page and reference number).

As well, anyone familiar with the United Nations' agenda for women knows that it must include "reproductive rights" and "reproductive health needs" which is essentially UN speak for abortion and contraception on demand. The focus is on providing generously for these "rights":

"Adopt policies to ensure primary health care and reproductive health services of the widest achievable range of scale, in order, namely, to bridge the gap of unmet needs in contraception and promote safe motherhood."(107 f.).

And finally, all kinds of sex are a right: "Ensure that women of all ages can fully realize their sexuality, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, by inter alia, developing legislation, disseminating information and promoting accessible and affordable services" (108a).

The Problem with Muslim reservations

Traditionally, Muslim governments that did participate in UN conferences like the one in 1995, as well as one on "population development" (really population control) in Cairo, Egypt in 1994 asked for exceptions to many of the above-mentioned anti-Islamic dictates of UN documents.

But the preparatory document for the June conference does away even with this in clause 102d:"Ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, limit the extent of any reservations to it and withdraw all reservations which are incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention or otherwise incompatible with applicable international treaty law."

It even sets a timetable for this: "Repeal all discriminatory legislation by 2005" (102b).

The UN agenda is already in swing despite Muslim "reservations"

Khalid Baig is webmaster for Al Balagh, and a writer for the U.K.-based Impact International magazine. He has sounded the alarm bells before about the UN and its policies. He's doing it again and warns that despite Muslim reservations, the UN agenda is clearly taking root in Muslim countries, right under the noses of people, but they still cannot see it.

According to Baig, the UN's dictates are being carried out in Pakistan, in Jordan and in other Muslim countries while the Muslim masses and in many cases their religious leaders don't know what is going on.

"The idea is to create social upheaval and that it will do," he says of the clauses in the current document. "They have made tremendous progress," he adds, mentioning, in specific, the success of birth control propagandists, who have, for the most part, suppressed Muslim opposition to birth control since the 1950s as one example.

The UN's agenda has been successfully implemented with the help of NGOs, quietly working to undermine Islam in Muslim countries, despite Muslim "reservations" to documents.

Unless Muslims and Muslim governments clearly oppose the June document and its approval, same-sex marriage for instance, and in general, the slow but sure erosion of the Shariah, will not simply be a question of ‘if' in Muslim countries, but more a question of ‘when' it is likely to occur.

"I'm really horrified to think of what will happen," he says.

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