As I promised when Barack Obama (D) was elected President of the United States, I will oppose him when he is wrong and support him when he is right. Today, Obama did something 100 percent right: he announced that the United States will not participate in the United Nations’ Durban II conference. Formally known as the ‘Durban Review Conference’ or ‘2009 U.N. World Conference Against Racism (WCAR)’, this meeting is not as innocuous or positive as its names might lead you to believe.
The governments of Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden have joined Obama in this boycott, citing fundamental flaws in the preparatory process. The conference, ostensibly intended to produce a document and policies to be applied world-wide to oppose racism, has instead turned into a thinly-veiled anti-Semitic attack on Jews and Israel and, if that wasn’t enough, it proposes worldwide legislation to outlaw criticism of Islam (of course, criticism of Christianity and Judaism is still just fine). Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, perhaps the world’s leading anti-Semite, has been selected to be the conference’s keynote speaker. Ludicrous.
I applaud President Obama and the leaders of the other countries boycotting this farce, and condemn the United Nations—an organization supposedly intended to foster peace and liberty in the world—for allowing one of its own component organizations to tacitly support racism (so long as it’s against Jews) and undermine the fundamental human rights to free speech and religion. After all, free speech means freedom to offend. As a Christian I can take criticism of my faith and will ‘defend to the death’ the right of anti-Christians to express their opinions, however much I disagree with them, so long as I have equal right to speak in opposition. I expect Muslims to behave in an equally civil manner toward criticism of their faith.