Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council, delivered by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, in debate on report of the UN special rapporteur on racism and discrimination, June 28, 2016.
Mr. Rapporteur, Thank you for your report on xenophobia, which mentions genocide, in paragraphs 29 and 38; the Middle East in paragraphs 57 to 61; and Islamophobia in paragraphs 33, 34, 51, 56, and 63.
Now last week, experts of this council found that the Islamic State is committing genocide, against the Yazidis. Mr. Rapporteur, given that genocide is the ultimate manifestation of racism, is there a reason why the genocide of Yazidis—the only ongoing genocide recognized by this council—was not mentioned anywhere in your report?
I call your attention to the elaborate ideology behind the killings practiced by ISIS. This was brought to light last August in a major New York Times investigative report entitled “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape; Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool.”
The newspaper interviewed 21 women and girls who escaped the Islamic State, and examined its official communications. It found that the systematic rape of women and girls from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and radical theology of the Islamic State, one year after the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution.
The article shows how an Islamic State fighter, in the moments before he raped a 12-year-old girl, took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. He insisted that because the girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran, in his view, not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it.
Mr. Raporteur, would you consider examining how this genocidal theology developed, and where it came from? Are there UN member states who bear at least partial responsibility, through their funding of fundamentalist religious and educational institutions?
Mr. Rapporteur, over the past 15 years, as we’ve been discussing racism and discrimination under the Durban Declaration, why was this global scourge, killing innocents from Iraq to Nigeria, Orlando to Paris, never part of the official narrative?
Why, on the contrary, were the few human rights activists, journalists, and intellectuals, who tried to sound the alarm, accused of racism and Islamophobia?
Do you believe we at the UN help create a global culture that made this discussion taboo? Did the Durban process fail Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims now facing genocide?
I thank you.