Petition Against Hudson Institute

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October 6, 2021

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By Junaid S Ahmad

The UN Secretary General His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres in his September 2020 document titled United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech said:

“Fighting hate, discrimination, racism and inequality is at the core of United Nations principles and the Organization’s work…Hate speech, including online, has become one of the most frequent methods for spreading divisive and discriminatory messages and ideologies…It responds to the worrying growth of xenophobia, racism and intolerance, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred, around the world”.

One of the prominent think tanks of Washington, D.C. is the Hudson Institute (HI), which is engaged exactly in what is described above. Earlier last month, a petition was launched reprimanding the hate activity of the Hudson Institute. Thousands of petitioners signed and now some media outlets are taking notice.

It is noteworthy that in the past HI has acknowledged its misconduct in other areas of research and policy pressure activities. In 2016, the New York Times accused HI of wrongful and unethical lobbying for an 11 billion dollar nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deal in which a naval officer was allegedly paid by Huntington Ingall Industries and HI platform was used without informing the House Armed Services Committee. Similarly, HI was involved in a campaign against organic farming because it receives large donations from anti-organic farming companies such as Monsanto. These activities of HI are relatively less alarming on the global level because, as bad as they may be, they do not justify imminent war and aggression, as does its current obsession with fanning the flames of Islamophobia which has directly misled many governments to the detriment of the global Muslim community. The spread of hate scholarship in the name of free speech continues to poison bilateral, multilateral and global relations. The Muslim world has perhaps the largest geographical and demographic spread across the globe. Wrongfully vilifying almost two billion people around the world who are present in every global enclave is a recipe for disaster.

In 2008 HI’s Paul Marshall criticized the OIC’s joint effort with the UNHRC against those who blaspheme against the Islamic sacred sources and spread Islamophobia in the name of suppression of dissent. In 2011, HI’s Nina Shea wrote the same, arguing that if the US or the world community desists in engaging in Islamophobia, it will delegitimize the freedom of expression. In 2014, Nina Shea and Mark Durie of HI reiterated that talking of Islamophobia will criminalize dissent. Given the American behavior in world politics, it should be the global Muslim community that should be worried about dissent and not those who drop bombs on innocent people and convince their republics with quack scholarship on Islam and Muslims.

It is our contention that HI’s systematic propaganda is harmful for Muslim populations around the world because it is based on hatred and ill will for Muslims and their beliefs.

It is about time that Hudson Institute is reprimanded for spreading unfounded negativity and strife on a global level.

Prof. Junaid S. Ahmad teaches Religion and World Politics and is the Director of the Center for Islam and Decoloniality, Islamabad, Pakistan.

30 September 2021

Source: countercurrents.org

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