The inclusion of the humanitarian dimension (respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief) in the East-West dialogue was a major victory for the West and paved the way for the demise of the Communist bloc.
The BPE reminded the OSCE that during the Cold War there was never any doubt to what the term “human rights” referred, namely the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed and ratified by almost all member countries of the United Nations.
Saudi Arabia, however, refused to sign the Universal Declaration, arguing that it violated Islamic Sharia law. In 1981, the Iranian representative to the United Nations said the Universal Declaration represented “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” which could not be implemented by Muslims without violating Sharia law.
Originally published at the Gatestone Institute under the title “Muslim Lobbyist Represents U.S. at European Human Rights Conference.”