Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obama courts 'West-haters'

Plans to attend conference 'seeking Islamic interests'

March 31, 2009
By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – Concern has been mounting over President Obama's scheduled participation in the U.N.'s Alliance of Civilizations summit in Turkey next month, with some critics painting the organization as anti-Western and advocating Iranian interests.

"The Alliance might more appropriately be called a U.N.-approved Slush Fund for Advancing Iranian and Other Islamic Interests," wrote Claudia Rosett, a Forbes contributor and journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

A separate report by the Heritage Foundation labeled the Alliance forum "well-intentioned" but with little prospect for success due to "bias and objectionable proposals to freedom of expression." The report was titled "Why President Obama should not attend the Alliance of Civilizations forum."

Obama is reportedly due at the Alliance April 7. The organization was formed in 2005 as an offshoot of the Dialogue of Civilizations, an earlier U.N. project founded by former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, who is still a member of the Alliance.

Other Alliance member states or participating organizations include China; the Organization of the Islamic Conference; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; the Arab League; Turkey; and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization. Not on the list is Israel.

In 2006, the Alliance released a 63-page official report largely laying blame on the West for negative perceptions of Muslims and Islam. The report only mentioned Islamic terrorism once – in its recommendations section where it suggested the Western media should not use the term terrorism.

The Western media should refrain from using certain terms in reporting on Muslims and Islam, the report recommended, "including the use of terms such as 'Islamic terrorism' and 'Islamic fascism' – [which] have contributed to an alarming increase in Islamophobia which further exacerbates Muslim fears of the West."
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