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West’s double standard on Muslim issues blasted

4/26/2007 2:4:10
Source ::: The Peninsula
From left: Scott Bates, Dr Haris Siljadzic, Baroness Symons (moderator), Kristi Westphalen, from Finland's Foreign Ministry and Lord Howe at the panel discussion here yesterday.

doha • The double standard of the West in dealing with Muslim and Arab issues was decried by a former prime minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the global forum on democracy, development and free trade which ended here yesterday.

Speaking at the last panel discussion titled 'The Arabs, the West and Democracy', Dr Haris Silajdzic said that the mass massacre his country witnessed was now officially acknowledged as genocide by the International Court of Justice.

"Our stand has been vindicated since we have always maintained that it was genocide, but the international community didn't listen to us," he said.

About two months ago, the International Court of Justice officially acknowledged that it was genocide and Muslims were largely targeted, but the United Nations and the US remain silent on the issue.

The court has held the Republic of Serbia responsible for the genocide. Its security agencies (the army and the police) targeted Muslims en masse, Silajdzic said.

The US was responsible for protecting the area, he said. The UN has ignored the ruling. It is a defeat for globalisation since ensuring social justice globally is its motto. The credibility of the international community is at stake. "This is double standard."

Speaking in Arabic, the Bosnian leader stressed that democracy basically meant respecting other's viewpoint and his freedom and dignity. Democracy is a call for equality and social justice. When this respect and rights are denied, radicalism takes roots.

Taking part in the discussion, Lord Howe of Aberavon, former British foreign secretary, talked of India and said that while a member of the Sikh minority was the country's premier, a Muslim was the president.

"This is the achievement of democracy," he said, hinting that Arab countries should try and emulate this example. He said South Asia has a huge Muslim population and countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh even had women prime ministers.

He reminded the member states of Arab League that it is important to separate religion from the state if the principles of democracy and equality and justice are to be implemented.

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His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar,inaugurated the activities of the "the Doha 7th Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade " in the Ritz Carlton Hotel - Doha, today 23 April ,which will continue from 23 - 25 April 2007

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