Daniel Pearl Foundation Applauds Obama Administration's Decision to Boycott United Nations Conference on Racism

Mar 03, 2009, 15:28 ET from Daniel Pearl Foundation

LOS ANGELES, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Daniel Pearl Foundation today announced its whole-hearted support for the Obama administration's decision to boycott the World Conference Against Racism (April 20-25) in Geneva.

U.S. State Department officials say the United States will not participate in the conference unless a draft version of the meeting's final report is drastically changed. These officials noted that the draft of the final document for the conference in its current form would limit freedoms of expression under the guise of defaming religion and would unfairly single out Israel for condemnation.

"As victims of racism and as activists committed, through education and communication, to address the root causes of the hatred that took our son's life, we applaud the Obama administration for refusing to participate in a process that hijacks a conference, supposedly, on ways to end racism, which in reality promotes racism and condemns its primary victims," said Judea Pearl, the Foundation's president.

Dr. Pearl said he is concerned about provisions in the draft final document that grant privileged protection from criticism toward religion-based ideologies, a protection which is not granted to other identity-defining paradigms.

"Religion has no monopoly on human sensitivity," said Dr. Pearl. "The desecration of American or Israeli flags is no less offensive to people of conscience than the put-down of religious symbols."

Dr. Pearl further appealed to other democratic countries, such as Australia, Spain, Italy, Britain and Poland, to join the U.S., Canada and Israel and boycott this UN sponsored conference promoting racism.

The Daniel Pearl Foundation works domestically and internationally to promote cross-cultural understanding, to counter cultural and religious hatred, to encourage responsible and creative journalism, and to unite people through music. For more information please visit www.danielpearl.org.

SOURCE Daniel Pearl Foundation