Este post do Miguel Morgado recordou-me um artigo publicado recentemente pela Heritage Foundation:
“Why President Obama Should Not Attend the Alliance of Civilizations Forum” de Brett D. Schaefer
The AoC is an attempt by the U.N. to quell perceived tensions between Muslim and Western nations by promoting dialogue. Although well-intentioned, the effort has little prospect for success due to bias and objectionable proposals to freedom of expression. The base document for the Alliance of Civilizations focused on the supposed failings of Western countries while largely ignoring the faults of Muslim nations. It also endorsed the idea of constraining freedom of media, speech, and expression in order to combat “Islamophobia.” This is an agenda similar to the effort by Muslim countries to prohibit “defamation of religion” that the U.S. has opposed in other U.N. forums.(…)
There is remarkably little information on exactly what the AoC has accomplished aside from holding meetings and establishing Alliance-approved databases of experts and organizations who can discuss youth, education, media, and migration issues.
There is major cause for concern considering the AoC’s ongoing support of constraints on freedom of expression and speech. As U.N. High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Jorge Sampaio announced at a 2008 press conference in Iran, “There is a balance to be found between freedom of expression and respect for religion and for religious feelings and principles.” These types of platitudes are unworthy of a true effort to promote frank dialogue. Freedom of expression means little if it is subject to the sensitivities and feelings of those who may be offended by personal statements on, or media coverage of, religious matters. After all, non-controversial statements and views are rarely subject to censorship. Discussions stilted and constrained by censorship are unlikely to “promote understanding and reconciliation among cultures globally and, in particular, between Muslim and Western societies.”(…)
President Obama is right to recognize that not all Muslims are extremists, and he is right to express his hopes that Western nations and moderate Muslims can work together to confront Islamic extremism, which threatens them both. Such sentiments are logical and echo those of President George W. Bush, who also sought to reach out to moderate Muslims and work with them to combat extremism.
Such objectives are not likely to be advanced by the AoC. A dialogue subject to censorship, regardless of intent, is unlikely to be productive or fruitful. Instead, President Obama should express, unequivocally, his commitment to freedom of speech and expression—even if it leads to statements deemed unacceptable by the AoC. Rather than attend the AoC forum in Turkey, the President should dedicate his time to soliciting Turkey’s cooperation on serious foreign policy objectives, such as halting Iran’s nuclear program.
(via Paulo Gorjão)