Conservative US Christian organizations have joined forces with the most unlikely of allies Ð fundamentalist Islamic governments. These alliances have been forged to halt the expansion of political protections and rights for gays, women and children at United Nations conferences. In addition, the Bush administration has backed these unions with the appointment of anti abortion activists to key positions on US delegations to UN conferences on global economic and social policy. “We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends,” said Austin Ruse, founder and president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Mokhatar Lamani, a Moroccan diplomat who represents the 53-nation Organization of Islamic Conferences at the United Nations, told the Washington Post that he was first approached by US Christian nongovernmental organizations at a special session of the UN General Assembly on AIDS in June 2001.
These coalitions have placed the Bush administration in the position of siding with some of its most reviled adversaries Ð including Iraq and Iran Ð while aligning against its closest European allies, which broadly support expanding sexual and political rights. “This alliance shows the depths of perversity of the [US] position,” said Adrienne Germaine, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition. “On the one hand we’re presumably blaming these countries for unspeakable acts of terrorism, and at the same time we are allying ourselves with them in the oppression of women.”
LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.