OSCE Warsaw: Early Recommendations
The following was first published at Gates of Vienna:
As reported here over the past few days, the International Civil Liberties Alliance and allied groups (including Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, the Center for Security Policy, the Stresemann Foundation, Women for Freedom, ACT! for America, and ACT! for Canada) descended on Warsaw last week to speak out at the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting on topics related to Shariah and Islamization.
“But why the OSCE?” you might ask. “Why bother with a little talk-fest like that? It’s of no importance in the larger scheme of things.”
And in a way, you’d be right. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has no formal power over the “participating states” (as its members are called). Its recommendations are not binding.
However, like the UN, it’s a place where fashionable trans-national political and social programs are hatched, discussed, and disseminated. It is a reputable venue where non-governmental organizations can publish papers and materials, which thereby gain a sheen of respectability and substance. They may be cited later in other bodies and within the participating states as effectively having the imprimatur of the OSCE.
A relevant example is the “Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: Addressing Islamophobia through Education”, which was mentioned here earlier and figured prominently in the ICLA paper “The Problematic Definition of ‘Islamophobia’” [pdf]. The “Guidelines” booklet was published jointly [pdf] by OSCE/ODIHR, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO in 2011. Without even a working definition of “Islamophobia” — its authors admitted at this year’s side events that they have none — the booklet is being used a training document for educators within the OSCE region, helping teachers and day care workers combat Islamophobia among their young charges.
So the OSCE matters; it has an effect, even though it flies mostly under the radar.
It has another important advantage: any NGOs that are registered as non-profit organizations in one or more of the participating states may register and speak at OSCE conferences. Unlike the UN, the OSCE is open to ordinary people who belong to non-profit organizations. If they want to become a part of the proceedings, they may simply register at the OSCE website and pay their way to Warsaw or Vienna. There is no charge to participate in the conference itself.
This offers an opportunity for Counterjihad-minded citizens to make their own contribution, however small, in resistance to the tide of Islamization that is flowing over Europe and North America. If enough like-minded people take part, their influence can make a difference.