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CSUSB faculty comment on U.N. and human rights, and the anti-Islamic law protests

NOTE: Faculty, if you are interviewed and quoted by news media, or if your work has been cited, and you have an online link to the article or video, please let us know. Contact us at news@csusb.edu.

In an opinion column in The Hill, Alemayehu G. Mariam, professor of political science, makes a case for the United States to drop out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, writing that it has become a “haven for dictators.”

He cited an opinion piece by Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in which “Haley singled out various countries notorious for human rights violations serving on the HRC, but glaringly omitted one of the most egregious violators of human rights in Africa that is serving a second term on the council: Ethiopia is the poster child for the types of complaints and criticisms made by Haley against the HRC.”

Mariam wrote: “U.S. proposals to reform the HRC by denying membership to the worst human rights abusers; even-handed criticism of all violators; use of competitive voting instead of assignment by regional blocs; and increased accountability are steps in the right direction, but will ultimately prove futile as they have with the discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

“Continued U.S. membership in the HRC merely legitimizes HRC’s global human rights grandstanding and window-dressing in promoting and defending human rights. HRC is broken beyond repair.”

The article was published June 9, 2017, and can be read at “US should drop out of UN Human Rights Council.”

The “March Against Sharia” protests on June 10 prompted news reporters to contact Brian Levin (criminal justice, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism). The rallies were organized by the group, ACT for America, which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. One of these rallies was held near the site of the Dec. 2, 2015, terror attack in San Bernardino, and police were forced to separate rally attendees and counter protesters, The Orange County Register reported.

Levin could be seen roaming among both the protesters and counter-protesters Saturday.

“There’s some people who really seem dyed-in-the-wool bigots, indeed,” Levin said. “ACT for America has said that any Muslim that follows the Quran is basically incompatible with the United States, and that seems to me very discriminatory against someone’s faith.”

The article was published June 10, 2017, and also appeared in other Southern California News Group newspapers. It can be read at “San Bernardino anti-Islamic law rally and counter-protests trigger violence.”

Later that same day, Ian Master, host of National Public Radio’s “Background Briefing,” interviewed Levin for his perspective from being at the protest, as well as to add context to the day’s events. Levin discussed why a non-existent threat such as Sharia Law is inspiring right wing hate groups to emerge from the fringes.

The interview was posted online June 11, 2017, and may be heard at “What is behind the hate marches across America?”

On June 12, 2017, the KPCC program “Take Two” talked to Levin to further discuss this past weekend’s “March Against Sharia” protests. That interview can be found online at “Anti-Sharia rallies stoke conflict in San Bernardino.”

And The Huffington Post published remarks by Levin that were shared on June 10 at the protest. They can be read in their entirety at “Our message against anti-Muslim hate on San Bernardino’s hallowed ground.”


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