The UN Fails to Criticize the Taliban
On August 24, the special session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held a special session on Afghanistan and remarkably failed to condemn the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan), document its abuses, or create a commission for further inquiry. It adopted a resolution on the situation in Afghanistan without a vote — and without provisions for an independent mechanism to monitor Taliban actions for which many member states and humanitarian groups had been calling.
Just one day after Reuters reported that the Taliban stopped an Afghan UN staff member as he tried to reach Kabul airport on Sunday. They searched his vehicle and found his UN identification. Then they beat him.
The UN draft, in fact, reportedly written by Pakistan, did not even mention the Taliban by name — incidentally, Pakistan is particularly significant here, since Pakistan and the Taliban share a history of collaboration — notwithstanding UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet stating that her office has received “harrowing and credible reports” of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Taliban controlled areas (bolded for emphasis), which include:
- executions of civilians, ex-government officials, and members of the Afghan security forces without trial
- restricting women’s movements
- preventing girls from going to school
- recruiting child soldiers
- repressing peaceful protest and dissent
Bachelet, as with the UNHRC, failed to mention that according to a recent report from Amnesty International, Taliban fighters had massacred nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province last month. Hazras are the third-largest ethnic minority in Afghanistan; most are Shi’ites, making them a minority in predominantly Sunni Afghanistan.
Sunni jihadists, like the Taliban and ISIS, have long persecuted the Shi’ite minority. They consider them heretics for their divergent views on the true succession of Muslim leaders following the death of Prophet Muhammad.
It should be known that the UNHCR’s 47-member countries include some of the world’s most brutal and dictatorial regimes with egregious records of apartheid or police brutality — Burkina Faso (which initiated the session), Bangladesh, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Qatar.
In June the UNHRC began a new session at which competing statements on the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang region, underlining what critics see as glaring double standards on the part of Islamic countries.
Over the past three years, sessions of both the UNHRC in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York have witnessed dozens of countries signing up to joint statements of support for Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang, as well as those against Christians, specifically the “underground” Catholic Church.
Echoing Chinese Communist Party talking points, the statements reject documented reports on mass-scale violations of the rights of Uyghur and other minority Muslims — crimes which the U.S. government has determined amount to genocide.
Of special notice is that of the 46 countries that put their names in support for China on Xinjiang at the UNHRC a year ago, 22 were members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The OIC is the world’s second-largest international nongovernmental institution, is a powerful voting bloc in the UN. It has a membership of 57 countries, called “member states”, that are spread over four continents including the Palestinian Authority. As with the international terrorist organization the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) — the MB has yet to be classified by the UN and the United States as a terrorist organization despite overwhelming evidence that it is — the OIC upholds the doctrines and goals of global Islamic supremacy based on the Quranic teachings and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. usually first to criticize policies around the world that it views as harming Muslims, especially minority Muslims.
When a meeting of OIC foreign ministers in 2019 issued a 26-page statement dealing with conditions faced by Muslim minorities around the world, a single paragraph devoted to China commended it for “providing care to its Muslim citizens.”
The fact that the UN has been reticent to accuse the Taliban for their atrocities should be of no surprise since the UNHRC has failed to even acknowledge crimes committed in the name of Islam, such as:
- forced marriages of prepubescent and teenage girls to adult men
- having boys as sex slaves
- the exploitation of women as property
- the ongoing slavery in the Islamic world, including that of children
- the death penalty for Muslims who convert to another religion
While Bachelet urged the council in her opening statement to “take bold and vigorous action” by establishing a dedicated mechanism to closely monitor the evolving human rights situation in Afghanistan, how can they do so if they fail to mention the Taliban by name?
Keep in mind that the UN supports domestic terrorists groups, like Antifa — on June 19, 2020, the UN Geneva’s official Twitter account posted: “U.N. human rights experts express profound concern over a recent statement by the U.S. Attorney-General [William Barr] describing Antifa and other anti-fascist activists as domestic terrorists, saying it undermines the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the country.”
In any case, human rights activists were stunned and horrified by the outcome of the latest UNHRC session. Amnesty International called it “shameful” and dismissed the resolution produced by the session as “weak.”
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.