Jerusalem Summit Rome Slams Gender, Faith Apartheids
The Jerusalem Summit Rome 27-29 January brought together influential Israeli and Italian politicians and experts in the Library of the Italian Senate in Rome.
The Israeli delegation included Knesset members Dr. Arieh Eldad and Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky (Director of the Jerusalem Summit) and Itamar Marcus (Director of the Palestinian Media Watch).
The Summit was hosted by Lucio Malan, Senator and Secretary of the Presidency of Italian Senate.
The Jerusalem Summit is an international conservative think-tank
to develop an effective Bible-value-based strategy to combat terrorism and offset radical Islam. The Jerusalem Summit advocates diplomatic and economic sanctions against countries practicing gender and faith apartheid (depriving women and religious minorities of equal rights).
One of the key issues of the Rome Summit was the continuation of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli hate propaganda and indoctrination of Palestinian children perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Summit documented Nazi-style brain-washing which is continually and relentlessly conducted in Palestinian schools, universities and the media with the use of EU funds and financial assistance rendered to the PA Government by the West.
Another issue expounded at the Rome Summit is the continued persecution of Arab Christian minorities in the Middle East. It was truly electrifying to hear the Moscow-born Israeli, Dr. Radyshevsky, encouraging Italy and all Christian-based European nations to speak up for Christian minorities and demand equal rights reciprocity when negotiating with Muslim states.
Senator Professor Mario Baldassarri, President of the Senate's Finance Commission, stressed that Europe has to put stringent safeguards against the abuse of its financial aid and to develop alternative energy to free itself from the oil dependence and entailed constrictions in pursuing a principled policy towards undemocratic regimes.
Senator Malan announced that he plans to advance legislation curbing these abuses.
Members of the Jerusalem Summit delegation had a brief meeting with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, and a substantial discussion with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
A parallel event to the Summit was a Holocaust Memorial Convivium attended by Rome’s Chief Rabbi. The Jerusalem Summit Rome was co-sponsored by Exploits Ministry, led by Christine Darg; the Italian 700 Club, directed by Peter Darg; "Italy for Christ," led by the Rev. Gaetano Sottile; and the Michael Cherney (Mikhail Chernoy) Foundation.
The Summit also advanced the process of establishing a Caucus of the Christian Allies of Israel in the Italian Parliament – a sister caucus of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus which was established in the Israeli Parliament in 2004 as a lobby for building a direct line of communication, cooperation and coordination between the Knesset and Christian leaders around the world.
AGAINST GENDER AND CREED APARTHEID
A Diplomatic Strategy for the Defence of Judeo-Christian Civilizational Values:
An Outline for Action
A. Defining the Issues
A.1 Oppression of Women - Gender Apartheid
A.2 Religious Persecution - Faith/Creed Apartheid
B. Prescribing the Strategies
B.1 The Conceptual Design
B.2. The Practical Measures
A Diplomatic Strategy for the Defense of Judeo-Christian Civilizational Values:
An Outline for Action
A. Defining the Issues
It is clear to any informed observer of developments in international affairs that the civilizational values of the Judeo-Christian cultures are under savage assault. It is also clear to any informed observer that the major and – without doubt, the most proactively vehement – source of this assault is radical Islam and its aggressive and intolerant expansionism.
However, what is perhaps less obvious, and certainly less
articulated, is the fact the half of the human race – regardless of religious affiliation – has a vested and vital interest in arresting the onset of Islamic radicalism, in containing its influence and in extricating itself from the threat of its oppressive grasp. This imperiled segment of humanity comprises – all the women of the world.
A1. Oppression of Women - Gender Apartheid
If we do not oppose and defeat Islamic Gender Apartheid, democracy and freedom cannot flourish in the Arab and Islamic world… If we do not join forces with Muslim dissident and feminist groups; and, above all, if we do not have one universal standard of human rights for all – then we will fail our own Judeo-Christian ideals.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Testimony on Gender Apartheid in Iran and the Muslim World before US Senate, December 2005
Under any regime of Islamic fundamentalism, the prospects for womenfolk are likely to be dismal indeed - as is borne out by bitter experience across most of the Moslem world where "gender apartheid" of varying degrees of severity is practiced in many walks of every day life. Various forms of harsh gender persecution and/discrimination are part of social norms and even formal legislation (Also see Appendix I).
Perhaps the one most blatant instances is that of Saudi Arabia where women, whether Saudi or foreign, suffer discrimination and human rights violations as a matter of routine -- not only because of the gender bias in social mores and traditions, but because such apartheid-like discriminatory practices are prescribed by law. Strict segregation of the sexes, an integral part of Saudi Arabian society, has adverse and unfair effects on women, who are denied equal educational opportunities, are forbidden to drive, and may work only in certain vocations.
Human Rights Watch reports that apart from Saudi Arabia, women in Morocco, Jordan, and Kuwait, face government-sponsored discrimination that renders them unequal before the law – including discriminatory family codes that take away women’s legal authority and place it in the hands of male family members – and restricts women’s participation in public life. Indeed, women’s empowerment and employment in the Arab world are among the lowest in the world and as is their participation in their countries’ political and economic life (The Economist, July 4, 2002).
A2. Religious Persecution – Faith Apartheid
In many Moslem countries, conversion to Christianity is a punishable offence that carries heavy penalties – including lengthy imprisonment and even death.
Human Rights Watch
Islamic intolerance is not confined to the gender issue and across the Moslem and Arab world, religious repression is the rule rather than the exception. This phenomenon, which can be aptly called "Faith Apartheid" or "Creed Apartheid", is certainly not limited to antagonism towards Israel, the Jews and Judaism (as reflected by the vitriolic and ubiquitous anti-Jewish invective – see Appendix II), but is far-more wide-ranging and extensive. In fact it is directed toward virtually all other forms of non-Moslem faiths – from the prohibition of churches in Saudi Arabia to the destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. However, perhaps the fiercest onslaught of Islam is against Christianity – particularly in Africa (see Appendix II).
In many Moslem countries, conversion to Christianity is a punishable offence that carries heavy penalties – including lengthy imprisonment and even death. The unfortunate fate of Copts in Egypt and their persecution is a matter of documented record. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal for Christians to gather together to practice their faith. Churches are totally forbidden and nothing relating to the Christian faith may be displayed, including personal items such as a necklace with a cross or a Bible. In Sudan, the horrendous plight of Christians (of whom close to half a million have been butchered by official and unofficial Moslem militias) and other non-Arab ethnicities are regularly reported in the world media … and equally regularly ignored.
But even in outside the geographic confines of Moslem countries, the adherents of Islam persist with an arrogant and discordant asymmetry in their attitude to religion. Thus when Muslim communities emigrate to liberal countries with open societies, they invariably demand, very vocally and assertively, that their customs be respected and that they be allowed to practice these customs openly - in accordance with the commitment to pluralistic tolerance in these societies. However, when Westerners visit the Islamic countries, they are expected to show their respect for the prevailing customs by adhering rigidly to them and by refraining from any public display of their own religion or customs.
B. Prescribing the Strategies
B.1 The Conceptual Design
These topics of gender apartheid and religious intolerance/persecution (creed/faith apartheid) , which arguably embody the two most objectionable aspects of Islamic radicalism today, can, and should, become the target for assertive action by those who feel that their entire system of values and world view are being gravely imperiled by the spread of Islamic extremism.
For a concerted drive to abolish gender apartheid and religious repression on the one hand, and to enhance the status of Moslem women and install religious pluralism/tolerance in the Moslem world, on the other, would do much to underpin Judeo-Christian values and undermine the cause of Islamist radicalism across the international stage. Indeed, an endeavor of this kind, if successful, could be a major force for promoting positive and moderating change in the very fabric of Islamist regimes.\
In implementing such a drive, the major thrust of effort should be focused on persuading governments to adopt the type legislation which reflect the spirit of the Jackson/Vanik amendment in the conduct of their foreign policy . It was this amendment, which made benefits contingent on domestic reform and liberalization, that eventually succeeded in applying pressure on the USSR to allow Jewish emigration and induced greater tolerance in the Soviet's regime attitude to other minority groups.
Similarly, groups that hold Bible-based Judeo-Christian values dear, should marshal their resources to influence both incumbent politicians and government officials on the one hand, and civil society elites and o pinion makers, on the other, for the incorporation of similar, morally sound principles in their country's foreign policy.
B.2. The Practical Measures
Practical measures aimed at the implementation of the specified strategy should focus on two interrelated levels:
- In the Realm of Public Diplomacy by means of Civil Society Activism
- In the Realm of Official Diplomacy, Parliamentary Legislation & Government Policy
There is a clear symbiotic relationship between these two areas. On the one hand, incumbent politicians can encourage civil society organizations to engage in activities designed to create a public climate amenable to introduction of the desired changes in policies. On the other hand, independent initiatives by civil society activists can utilize various channels of action are open to concerned individual and groups to bring pressures to bear on decision-makers of these changes. Such efforts should be directed both towards the political system on the one hand, and towards influential elements within the civil society such as the media and educational institutions, on the other.
A "to do" list within the sphere of civil society activism would include the following:
- Canvassing of politicians and policy makers (including face to face meetings) to explain to them the iniquities of gender apartheid and religious persecution that prevail today in the Islamic world.
- Organizing of demonstrations and other protest actions decrying the injustices of discrimination on the basis gender or faith
- Initiation of mass letter campaigns to both to politicians and major media organizations (printed and electronic) calling public attention to the injustices perpetrated against women and adherents of Judeo-Christian beliefs.
- Establishment of contacts with major media personalities and the conveying to them of factually accurate material on the grim realities in the Islamic world.- in particular with regard to the repression of women and non-Moslem believers
- Dissemination of truthful accounts and reliable data on religious and gender persecution in across the Moslem world via internet, e-mail mailing lists or and other available communication vehicles.
- Setting up of pro-active monitoring facilities to document and disseminate information on gender and religious discrimination, repression and persecution
- Monitoring of academic organizations and researchinstitutes that tend to understate, conceal, disguise or distort the cruel realities which women and non-Moslems are exposed to
- Engaging educators, heads of teachers' organization, school principals etc. to inform and educate on the true fate of the victims of gender and religious persecution in the Islamic world.
Within the sphere of official diplomacy, parliamentary legislation and government policy a three prong approach should be adopted consisting of:
- "Carrot and Stick" Legislation modeled on, but expanded beyond, the Jackson/Vanik amendment, which in spite of a rather inauspicious start, was a major factor in securing the emancipation of Soviet Jewry and subsequently other oppressed religious minorities including evangelical Christians and Catholics. In essence, this type of legislation would condition various benefits accorded foreign nations on the abolition of (or at least progress in abolishing) gender and creed apartheid. Such benefits may relate to trading status, access to know-how and technology, foreign aid etc.
- Allocation of resources for overt and covert funding of :
- Activities of organizations for advancement of Muslim women, which operate both inside and outside the Islamic world
- Defence of activists and organizations against physical assault from proponents of male dominance which may not be long in coming. This could include instruction and training of women rights activists by special forces and covert advisors to enable them to fend of attacks by radical adversaries as indeed was/is the case in Afghanistan, Iran and other countries across the Muslim world. Such assistance may also include equipping them with the means (ordnance) to conduct such defence.
- The establishment of channels for the propagation of information and ideas supportive of advancement of Muslim women. This could include a modern day version of the kind of activity embodied in the broadcasting of Radio Free Europe which was directed at the Soviet Bloc. In a similar fashion, "Free Lady" media channels should be directed at the Muslim world extolling the merits of enhancing the status of women and underscoring the detriment involved in their oppression,
- Instituting domestic sanctions and punitive measures against representatives of regimes that implement or tolerate repressive measures against women and religious minorities. Displeasure at such regimes' policies may be expressed in curtailing diplomatic privileges of embassy staff , boycotting dignitaries from "offender-states" and functions organized by them etc.
In implementing these measures, the underlying rationale that should be driven home is that there is no reason why discrimination and persecution on the basis of gender and faith should be considered any less heinous or be met with any less vigour than discrimination and persecution on the basis of race and ethnic origin
Moreover, it should be emphasized that the advocated policy proposals should be adopted not only because of the overwhelming moral merit they embody but also because of the long term practical benefits that they are likely to provide.
Indeed, it would appear that these proposals constitute a strategic initiative with little "down side" risk. On the one hand, should they prove successful and the status of women is indeed enhanced and the greater religious tolerance is indeed introduced into Moslem world, there can be little doubt that the result would be a dramatic and positive transformation of Islamic society. If, on the other hand, they are met with vigorous opposition by those dedicated to the preservation of male/Muslim dominance, they are likely to generate tremendous internal turmoil in such societies which would be compelled to divert significant resources to contend with the initiative this reducing the energies available to assail other external objectives.
In either case there can also be little doubt these would be developments of tremendous benefit not only to those who hold the Judeo-Christian values dear -- but to the entire international community as a whole.
The following appendices present additional information that could contribute toward the design and promotion of a framework for the formulation of the proposed legislative and/or policy initiatives.
Eradication of "Gender Apartheid" and Enhancement of Status of Women
Passing an expanded Jackson/Vanik- type amendment focusing on:
The Enhancement/Advancement of the Status of Women – as Major Force for Promoting Change in Islamist Regimes.
1. One of the major cleavage lines in fundamentalist Islamist society is that of gender with harsh discriminatory practices in place in most countries where such radical theocratic values prevail.
2. Focusing on the issue of what is in effect gender apartheid would permit the mounting of a sustainable offensive strategy against repressive Islamist regimes. Such an ideological offensive would conform entirely to the moral tenets of liberal democracy – and thus be relatively immune to criticism from the usually obstructive politically-correct left.
3. Moreover such an offensive would on, the one hand, effectively target one of the most sensitive foundations of fundamentalist fanaticism and, on the other generate pressure for a positive, moderating transformation in Islamic society.
4. It would be difficult to imagine any other measure which would cut the ground more effectively from under the pillars of extremist Islamist society than a radical upgrading of the status of women in such societies. Indeed, experience shows that advancement of women produces effects that run strongly against the factors which nourish fundamentalist extremism.
5. For example, improvement of the status of women is usually accompanied by lower birthrates (hence smaller families), higher income levels, and better standards of education. This is a phenomenon acknowledged by many in the Muslim world itself. For example such sources commonly cite the low status of women in Arab countries as one of the major causes of the underdeveloped and backward state of this part of the globe.
6. There can in fact be little doubt that an Islamic world, in which the status of women approached that of women in the West, would constitute an entirely different and a certainly less implacably hostile adversary than it does at present.
7. It would therefore be a definite interest of the liberal democracies of the world to prepare for a long-term, comprehensive and vigorous campaign, designed to foment demands for women's liberation in Muslim societies, to promote pressure for upgrading their status and for acquiring civil rights currently denied them.
8. Such an initiative would provide considerable PR and diplomatic advantages:
(a) It would facilitate a diplomatic offense against repressive extremist regimes- underscoring that if half their population is kept in state of unproductive suppression, lack of economic progress in their countries is inevitable.
(b) Since women are clearly the group likely to be most drastically and adversely affected by the propagation of Islamist values, focusing on the issue of the plight of women under such values, will contribute to raising public awareness of the inherent special menace such doctrine entails for half of humanity.
(c) As this issue transcends conventional political divisions, it has potential for harnessing considerable public support regardless of party affiliation. It is thus likely to provide a rare opportunity where both religious conservative and secular liberal forces can combine efforts and cooperate in promoting an issue which, for differing reasons, coincides with their opposing world views.
9. Due to the explosive sensitivity of the gender issue in Islamist countries, even if the proposed measures do not succeed in bringing about a tangible positive transformation, it will at least throw these repressive regimes off balance and onto the defensive, forcing them to divert significant resources to deal with the consequences of the initiative.
Salman Masalha, The Arab Man is the Problem, The [Arab] Woman is the Solution, October 28, 2004
Original Arabic: http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWriter/2004/9/11931.htm
The destructive forces of honour killing in the Middle East, The Age – January 16, 2004,
The Correlation Between the Status of Women & Weak Democratization, May 16, 2003,
Arab Human Development Report 2002, United Nations Development Programme, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.
Self-doomed to failure, Jul 4th 2002 The Economist,
Amnesty International Report on Saudi Arabia
Religious Tolerance, Pluralism and Freedom of Faith
Passing an expanded Jackson/Vanik- type amendment focusing on:
Propagation of Religious Tolerance and Pluralism
Protection/Empowerment of Christians /Christian Heritage against Persecution/ Eradication in Muslim Countries
- In Africa
- In the Wider Middle East
- In the Palestinian Authority
Elimination of anti-Semitic incitement and the racist hatred propagated by the Palestinian Media
1. Christians and Christianity are under savage assault across the Muslim World. Religious repression is the rule rather than the exception. In many countries, conversion to Christianity is a punishable offence that carries heavy penalties – including lengthy imprisonment and even death.
2. This is particularly true in Africa and the Middle East.
3. In Africa Christianity is emerging as the only spiritual bulwark against Islamist domination of the continent. This is perhaps why it and its adherents have been subjected to such virulent attacks from their Muslim compatriots
In Sudan particularly in the Darfur region, the horrendous plight of Christians and other non-Arab ethnicities are a matter of well documented fact. Relief aid to starvation-hit areas, is reportedly made contingent on conversion to Islam. Across the continent, forced conversions to Islam are said to be conducted via the kidnapping of young Christian boys and girls. In Nigeria, Africa most populous nation, there appears to be a determined attempt by the Moslem North (which makes up about a half of the population) to impose Islam – including Sharia Law - on the entire country. Indeed, some commentators claim that an endeavor is underway to make Africa into the first Islamic continent.
4. In the Wider Middle East : Across the Arab world, Christians also face grim realities. In some places, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, coverts to Christianity may even face death. Significantly, the only country Middle East country where the Christian community is not decreasing is the much-maligned, always-reviled, often-boycotted Israel. Here the Christian community has grown in the last decades, despite emigration and a low birth rate. According to Le Figaro , in the last 30 years, the Christian-Arab population grew to 117,000 in 2004 from 80,000 in 1976 . This is stark contrast to the situation throughout the region – including the Palestinian Authority (see below)
5. In the Palestinian Authority Under the Palestinian regime Christians also have to face discriminatory and intimidatory policies which are denuding the Christian population at an alarming rate and obliterating signs and symbols of Judeo- Christian heritage in the Holy Land. Documented research of persecution of Christians by the Palestinian Authority include Social and Economic Discrimination ; Boycott and Extortion of Christian Businesses ; Violations of Real Property Rights ; Crimes Against Christian Women; Palestinian Authority Incitement Against Christians ; and Failure of the Palestinian Security Forces to Protect Christians; One of the places most affected is the birth place of Christ, Bethlehem. Although for decades they constituted the majority, today Christians currently make up only 30,000 of the district’s 130,000 residents. Numerous accounts point to a purposeful Palestinian effort to undermine – even eradicate - the Christian character of Bethlehem in favor of an overwhelming Muslim dominance. Complaints included cases of the defacing Christian property, appropriating lands of the Greek Orthodox Church in Bethlehem and the building mosques on the formerly Christian land.
6. Anti-Semitic Incitement and the Racist Hatred in the Moslem World
- The media Moslem (including the organs under the direct government control) continuously propagate messages of hate and demonization of Israel and Zionism, and well as of Jews and Judaism.
- In many respects, the diatribe of media in the Moslem world (particularly in Arab countries including the Palestinian Authority) strongly resembles that of the Nazi propaganda machine.
- Needless to say, the conduct of the Arab media serves to deepen the feelings of enmity, widen the rift between Jews and Arabs and perpetuate the violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Similar sentiments are cultivated in Moslem and Arab education systems (including the Palestinian system), where the same Nazi-like, dehumanized portrayal of Israelis and Jews, and the same hateful racist sentiments are conveyed to the youth via the school textbooks and other pedagogic materials.
Christian Life Under Muslim Rule, 2006
Justus Reid Weiner, Human Rights of Christians In Palestinian Society, JCPA, 2005,
Robert S. Wistrich, Islamic Judeophobia: An Existential Threat, 2004,
Serge Trifkovic , Islam's Other Victims: Africa , February, 2003,
David Raab, The Beleaguered Christians of the Palestinian-Controlled Areas, January 2003,
Bethlehem Christians under Palestinian Authority,
Yossef Bodansky, Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument, The Ariel Center for Policy Research, 1999