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by Dr. Richard Swier
Charles Clément Boniface Ozdemir’s, a.k.a. Father Samuel, International Civil Liberties Alliance speech July 9 2012 in Belgium.
The International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) is a human rights organization that aims to uphold democracy, freedom and individual liberties.
The Alliance does so through endorsing, coordinating and promoting education and campaigns conducted by its members, in the spirit of classical liberalism. ICLA and its members will educate the general public about the significance of the inalienable rights of individuals, and how these are subtly underlined or openly challenged by political and religious forces.
In particular, ICLA and its members shall campaign for one or more of these issues:
(1) Freedom of Expression
Calling for the protection of the citizens’ rights to free expression, the repeal of legislation that prevents its effective exercise, and adoption of legislation similar to the “First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America”, into national or international law:
[Law Making Body] shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
(2) Democracy & the Rule of Law
Promoting democracy and the Rule of Law by ensuring that all citizens are treated equally under the
law, and opposing adoption of any legal system that compete with Constitutional law, with particular focus on any such system that violates fundamental human rights. This includes, but is not limited to, systems that discriminate against women, discriminate according to ethnicity or religion, and in particular any initiative that deprives the citizens of their rights to choose for themselves the laws that govern their lands.
(3) Freedom of Worship
Protecting the right of any person to reform or abandon his religion without hindrance, fear, or censure, as well as calling for national and international law to be amended to provide relevant protection for such persons. In particular, ICLA will campaign against the practices of intimidating or punishing reformers and apostates, and for the right of any person to challenge religious authorities on these subjects. Finally, ICLA will support and encourage liberal reformers seeking to bring traditional creeds up to modern standards for civil liberties.
(4) Equal rights for women
Promoting equal rights for men and women alike through challenging discrimination against women based on religious dogma, or other discriminatory or damaging practices traditionally considered ‘religious’. It is the firm belief of ICLA that equal rights for women are a cornerstone of a modern society, and that ensuring these rights is vital for a balanced future development of our societies.
(5) Equality Before the Law
Demanding individual equality before the law, in theory as well as in practice. Countering violations of this principle in the theory of legal or religious texts, as well as in their practical execution.
(6) Individual Liberty
Supporting the rights of the individual and opposing measures that undermine the norms of individual liberty. It is a fundamental concept that liberty belongs to individuals, not groups, and consequently that granting special privileges to or revoking them from a group is at odds with this principle. In particular, no rights must be withheld from a citizen due to his religion, either in law or in the application thereof.
(7) Countering politics disguised as religion
Challenging the use of religious ideology or status to gain political power or to conduct subversive activities; for example by requesting that the status of any individuals or organizations doing so shall be reclassified from “religious” to “political”, and subsequently treated as such by the authorities.
(8) The Right to Oppose Sharia
Countering any attempts by Islamic leaders or organizations to implement Sharia, covertly or openly. Campaigning for the protection of individuals and organizations working to prevent the implementation of Sharia in our societies. This includes ensuring that law enforcement and courts deal fairly and robustly with threats and intimidation against citizens doing so, for such citizens are working in line with the European Court of Human Rights verdict of February 13th 2003:
… the Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention. It considered that Sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it.
(9) Interfaith Dialogue
Encouraging individuals and organizations to engage in useful and respectful interfaith dialogue, and exposing any fraud attempted in such dialogues. This includes requesting of relevant parties that they be clear and explicit in their communications, and that sincere efforts be undertaken to uphold any agreements reached. Promoting the abolition of detrimental religious dogma, for instance by having Islamic organizations sign on to A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding by Sam Solomon.
(10) International Cooperation for Protection of Liberty
Supporting grassroots groups, individuals, and other organizations committed to protecting individual liberty locally, nationally and globally. Lobbying governments and international organizations to develop legislation and codes of conduct to prevent stealth or open undermining of these liberties, as well as the human rights violations that would inevitably follow from the destruction of our civil liberties.
by Dr. Richard Swier