Unlike Mogherini, Guterres put the Palestinian issue in context of the much larger problems in the region. To be sure he did spend a bit of time on it and toed the official UN line that settlements are the major obstacle to peace and that Palestinian Arab "humiliation" is a major crime. But he also mentioned Arab incitement and terrorism against Israel to an Arab audience, something that Ban Ki Moon wouldn't have done.
It is far from perfect but it is much better than we've seen from the UN in a long time.
One section of his speech was a little jarring.
My experience as High Commissioner for Refugees showed me the true nature of Islam, as Arab countries extended remarkable hospitality to wave upon wave of people fleeing violence and persecution.The verse he cites comes right after this one:
Refugee protection is deeply rooted in the traditions of the Arabian peninsula -- refugee protection defined not only for Muslims but for all.
As the Holy Koran tells us in the Surah Al-Tawbah: “And if anyone of the disbelievers seeks your protection then grant him protection so that he may hear the word of God, and then escort him to where he will be secure”.
What a remarkable example of tolerance, compassion and modernity.
There is nothing in present-day international refugee law that was not reflected in the Holy Koran or the Hadith of the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him.
When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.Is this the "tolerance, compassion and modernity" that Guterres is referring to? Does international law now allow for the beheadings of unbelievers?
Although some disagree, I read this chapter as saying that the Muslims must treat those seeking asylum with respect only as long as they either become Muslim or bow to Muslim supremacy as dhimmis. I do not believe that they would be escorted peacefully to security if they reject Islam.
This doesn't sound very tolerant. But I'm not a human rights expert like so many who fall over themselves to say how wonderful Islam is.
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