Sunday, October 17, 2004

Zaoui should go

The title of the Herald article says it all:

Zaoui party: high ideals and terror

Zaoui was a leading figure in a party which if it had gained power would have persecuted gays. In the FIS charter they vow to
"fight the depraved and the licentious considered by religion and confirmed by science to be high-risk groups for transmitting venereal diseases such as syphilis, AIDS ... "
Zaoui's party is based on
"respect for Islamic values and good morals inspired by Sharia"
i.e. the subjugation of women.

There has been this very odd tendency for Western liberals to go soft on Islamic extremists. In New Zealand the human rights industry is up in arms trying to ensure Zaoui stays in NZ. Bizarre. I think it unlikely that there would be the same reaction if some American Christian fundamentalist was trying to enter the country illegally.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come come, Mr Sock Thief.

If your hypothetical Christian fundamentalist had claimed refugee status, but was then detained without trial on the basis of secret allegations, rest assured I would be on his side, just as I would defend Tamaki's march though I loathe his politics.

It is the detention without trial on secret charges that excites us, not Mr Zaoui.

17 October 2004 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're missing the whole point of human rights, i.e. they apply to everyone no matter what they believe. This is fundamental to the whole idea of human rights, otherwise all you have is the tyranny of the majority.

Sure I think that Zaoui's beliefs (or at least the FIS's beliefs) are repugnant, but that does not mean that we should not respect BASIC human rights. If you look at the position that Amnesty International is taking, it is not that Zaoui is a good person but rather that he should either be acknowledged as a genuine refugee (as clearly found by the refugee status appeals authority) OR he should be given a chance to defend himself.

It is not, and should not, be about what he thinks, but rather whether he is a genuine refugee, i.e. "a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution. "

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