A deadly crackdown in Syria. A Libyan army at war with its own people. Suicide bombers in Iraq killing policemen and worshipers. A brazen Taliban assault on Kandahar.
For all the world’s focus on Israel’s “crimes,” the biggest threat to Muslims is — other Muslims. You need not hold Israel blameless in its conflict with the Palestinians to recognize the amazing restraint shown by Israel’s military and security forces. Nor must you take sides in the Arab Uprising to regret the massive loss of life in countries struggling under brutal regimes and insurgencies.
Of course, getting the international community to focus on the real villains seems harder each day. Despite its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy forces, which left some 400 dead, Syria seems to be on the fast track to becoming the newest member of the UN Human Rights Council, joining the United States and 45 other countries. Syria is virtually guaranteed a seat, having been selected as one of four candidates for the Asian bloc. The vote is scheduled for May 20 at the UN General Assembly in New York.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has so far declined to comment on Syria’s candidacy, calling it a matter for the “states” to decide. And Syria’s candidacy could be quashed by a majority vote in the General Assembly. A U.S. State Department spokesman called Syria’s bid “inappropriate and hypocritical.”
Syria, meanwhile, has formally pledged “its commitment to respect and to support the inalienable nature of all human rights,” adding it “would contribute to accomplish the objectives of the Council, and would support the national and international efforts for promotion and protection of human rights for all, without distinction and selectivity or politicization.”
Apparently, what happens in Homs stays in Homs.
As David Harris of the American Jewish Committee writes this week, the world will be watching closely how the United Nations reacts to Syria’s bid.
“It will reveal a great deal about how the Council works, how regional blocs — in this case, Asia — either embrace or reject murderers in their midst, and how individual countries act,” writes Harris.