Beijing Plus Five: 8 things you can do
The United Nations may seem too big a force to be reckoned with. But with the right intentions, persistent efforts and patience, the UN's upcoming agenda can be rejected. It starts with you. Here are some things you can do:
1. Inform yourself
To be able to get any message across, you have to know what you're talking about. You can go to the website for the conference at to read the documents and see the Muslim perspective here.
2. Put UN on your family agenda
At your next family meeting, make sure you put the UN on your agenda. Explain what it is, how it affects Muslims and Muslim women, in particular and what's wrong with it. But just be careful if you have small children there. Conduct the discussion with wisdom. Or perhaps quietly inform your teens about it.
3. Hold an information session about it in your mosque or Islamic center
Tell other Muslims about it at an information session at the local Islamic institution. This way, you can reach not just family, others as well and start a movement of support on a larger level. This should not just be a matter of giving out information about the June conference and then telling them to do something about it. Rather, be specific. Get the addresses of Muslim representatives at the UN and write to them specifically, or if that information is not available, write to the relevant member of the hierarchy, urging them to reject the June conference's preparatory document.
4. Ask the Imam to give a Khutba on it
Get the Imam to give the next Friday sermon on the Beijing conference, with an emphasis on why Muslims should oppose it and what they can do about it. Get your Imam to do it in English, Arabic, Urdu etc. Make sure he properly understands the issues and why this is a danger to Muslims.
5. Make sure to inform and invite the sisters to participate
Because this conference concerns women, the best people to advocate the Islamic position are women who know the Quran and Sunnah and can clearly articulate their views on the latest document. Make sure to get their cooperation and commitment to this cause targeting them specifically.
6. Write to the Muslim UN members
A list of which countries are members of the UN is available at http://www.un.org/Overview/unmember.html, where offices and contacts are listed for some members but not all of them. For those that are not available, consider contacting a diplomatic representative of the country. Countries' diplomatic representation in the U.S. can be found in the CIA World Fact Book 1999.
Don't hesitate to write to Muslim non-member UN states either. They can at least apply pressure and raise a voice against the UN platform in the media.
7. Call Islamic organizations
Inform, educate and encourage local and international Muslim organizations to take up the cause of challenging this latest phase of the UN Charter. Contact national Muslim organizations, your local Majlis Shura, as well as international bodies like the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
8. Make Dua (supplication)
In the end, the results are in the control of Allah. But we have our duty to do what we can while putting our trust and hope in Him. Muslims in the past, once they have united and put their faith in Allah, have made the impossible possible. UN's June conference can be another example of this. Make Dua that Allah grants us success in this endeavor, and keep striving.
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