Transcript: Martin Gilbert | Feb 24, 2007

[Theme music plays]

The opening sequence rolls. The logo of “Big Ideas” featuring a lit lamp bulb appears against an animated green slate.
Then, Andrew Moodie appears in the studio. The walls are decorated with screens featuring lit lamp bulbs, and two signs read “Big Ideas.”
Andrew is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a gray shirt under a brown coat.

Andrew says HELLO, I'M
ANDREW MOODIE AND THIS IS
BIG IDEAS.
GROWING UP IN THE SUBURBS OF
OTTAWA IN THE 70's WAS FOR ME A
FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE.
I RETURN TO IT FROM TIME TO TIME
'CAUSE I'M AWARE OF HOW MUCH OF
WHAT I THINK AND THE WAY I SEE
THINGS HAS BEEN SHAPED BY
TRUDEAU'S CANADA, WHICH WAS IN
THE PROCESS OF BEING CREATED BY
THEN.
THOSE WERE THE HOPEFUL DAYS A
BILINGUAL MULTI-CULTURAL CANADA
WAS THE DREAM OF ALL, AND WELL,
AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT.
BUT THEN I ALSO REMEMBER THAT
WHEN IT WAS DECLARED THAT OUR
SCHOOL WAS GONNA BE CONVERTED
INTO A FRENCH-ONLY INSTITUTION
SOME OF MY FRIENDS COLLECTED
TOGETHER, OUTRAGED, AND READY TO
BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF ANY FRENCH
KID THEY SAW.
THE POTENTIAL FOR INTOLERANCE IS
WITHIN US ALL, AND IT'S REARED
ITS UGLY HEAD IN SO MANY PLACES
AND IN SO MANY WAYS.
BUT, IS THE WORLD BECOMING MORE
INTOLERANT OR LESS INTOLERANT?
TO ADDRESS THAT QUESTION WE HAVE
SIR MARTIN GILBERT ON THE
PROGRAM TODAY.
HE'S A WELL-KNOWN BRITISH
HISTORIAN AND A PRODIGIOUS
AUTHOR.
ON HIS WEBSITE YOU'LL FIND A
LIST OF ALL OF THE 78 BOOKS
WHICH HE HAS WRITTEN UP UNTIL
NOW.
THAT'S RIGHT, YOU HEARD
CORRECTLY, 78, 29 OF WHICH ARE
ABOUT WINSTON CHURCHILL AND
THAT'S BECAUSE HE IS BEST KNOWN
AS WINSTON CHURCHILL'S OFFICIAL
BIOGRAPHER.
EARLIER THIS YEAR HE GAVE A
LECTURE AT CARLTON UNIVERSITY
ABOUT INTOLERANCE IN THE
20th CENTURY.

A clip plays.

In a packed auditorium, a man in his fifties stands on a low stage behind a transparent podium.
A banner hanging on the wall in the background reads “uOttawa.”

The man says PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING
THE INAUGURAL LECTURER IN THE
DAVID MAKOW LECTURE SERIES,
SIR MARTIN GILBERT.

[Applause]

Martin Gilbert rises from the audience and walks onto the stage, where he shakes hands with the man who just introduced him.
Martin is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He’s wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

Martin says MY TOPIC, THE
20th CENTURY, THE CENTURY OF
INTOLERANCE WITH A QUESTION MARK
IS A NEW ONE FOR ME.
SO I HOPE YOU WILL BEAR WITH ME
IN WHAT WILL, IN FACT, BE A
MUTUAL JOURNEY OF HISTORICAL
EXPLORATION.
FROM THE 20th CENTURY'S FIRST
YEAR AND UNTIL ITS LAST A MERE
SEVEN YEARS AGO, INTOLERANCE WAS
RAMPANT IN EVERY DECADE AND ON
EVERY CONTINENT, YET IN EACH
DECADE THERE WERE INDIVIDUALS
AND NATIONS WHO CHALLENGED
INTOLERANCE.
IN THE 1950's WINSTON CHURCHILL
WAS ASKED WHY THE 20th CENTURY
WAS CALLED THE CENTURY OF THE
COMMON MAN.
HE REPLIED “IT IS CALLED THE
CENTURY OF THE COMMON MAN
BECAUSE IN IT THE COMMON MAN HAS
SUFFERED MOST.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Martin Gilbert. ‘The Twentieth Century: The Century of Intolerance? Tabaret Hall, Ottawa. January 18, 2007."

Martin continues STARTING WITH THE ASSASSINATION
OF KING UMBERTO OF ITALY IN
1900, AND OF AN AMERICAN
PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKINLEY A
YEAR LATER...
BOTH BY ANARCHISTS.
ASSASSINATION MARKED THE 20th
CENTURY WITHOUT RESPITE.
SO OFTEN THE INDIVIDUALS WHO
WERE AS ASSASSINATED WERE THOSE
WHO SAW TOLERATION, AMELIORATION
AND COMPROMISE FOR THE COMMON
MAN AND WOMAN AND CHILD.
JEAN JAURES KILLED IN PARIS IN
1914 FOR OPPOSING THE OPIUM WAR.
MAHATMA GANDHI IN NEW DELHI IN
1948 FOR SEEKING HINDU-MUSLIM
RECONCILIATION.
KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN IN
JERUSALEM IN 1951 FOR SEEKING
RECONCILIATION WITH ISRAEL.
MARTIN LUTHER KING IN MEMPHIS,
TENNESSEE IN 1965 FOR SEEKING A
NON-VIOLENCE RESOLUTION FOR
BLACK INEQUALITIES.
ANWAR AL-SADAT IN CAIRO IN 1981
FOR HAVING BROUGHT PEACE WITH
EGYPT'S ADVERSARY.
RAJIV GANDHI IN SOUTH INDIA IN
1981 FOR SEEKING AN END TO TAMIL
EXTREMISM.
YITZHAK RABIN IN TEL AVIV IN
1995 FOR DARING TO BRING
PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS
TOGETHER.
SEVEN MEN AND THERE HAVE BEEN SO
MANY MORE AND WOMEN TOO KILLED
BY THOSE WHO WANTED TO...
END THE SEARCH FOR PEACE AND
RECONCILIATION.
TERRORIST ACTS IN THE 20th
CENTURY WENT FAR BEYOND
INDIVIDUAL ASSASSINATION.
BOTH CANADA AND BRITAIN HAD BEEN
THE VICTIMS OF THIS.
ON THE 23rd OF JUNE, 1985 BOMBS
PLANTED ON AIR INDIA FLIGHT 182
BY SIKH EXTREMISTS LED TO THE
DEATHS OF 329 PEOPLE, INCLUDING
82 CHILDREN.
280 OF THOSE KILLED WERE
CANADIAN CIVILIANS, CANADIAN
CITIZENS, MAKING IT THE LARGEST
MASS MURDER IN YOUR HISTORY.
THREE YEARS LATER ON THE 21st OF
DECEMBER, 1988, 270 PEOPLE WERE
KILLED WHEN PAN AM FLIGHT 103
EN ROUTE FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK
WAS BLOWN OUT OF THE SKY BY
ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS.
AMONG THOSE KILLED WAS MY FORMER
PUPIL AND CLOSE FRIEND, MARK
TAGER.
ONE OF THE GREATEST INTOLERANCES
OF ALL IS WAR.
NOT THE DEFENCE OF NATIONAL
INTERESTS, AN ESSENTIAL PART OF
THE BALANCE OF POWER AND THE
SURVIVAL OF NATIONS.
NOR THE TENACITY OF THE FIGHTING
MEN AND WOMEN IN ARMIES AND IN
PARTISAN GROUPS WITHOUT WHOSE
PATRIOTISM AND NATIONAL
INDEPENDENCE WOULD BE DESTROYED.
BUT THE SUBJECTION OF THE
FIGHTING MEN TO THE HARSHEST
CONDITIONS OF WAR MAKING.
THE BRITISH SIEGFRIED SASSOON
SUMMED THIS UP IN HIS POEM BASED
DETAILS WRITTEN IN 1916 NOT LONG
AFTER HIS BROTHER HAMO WAS
KILLED IN ACTION.
“IF I WERE FIERCE, AND BOLD, AND
SHORT OF BREATH, I'D LIVE WITH
SCARLET MAJORS AT THE BASE, AND
SPEED GLUM HEROES UP THE LINE TO
DEATH, YOU'D SEE ME WITH MY
PUFFY PETULANT FACE GULPING AND
GUZZLING IN THE BEST HOTEL
READING THE ROLE OF HONOUR.
“POOR YOUNG CHAP,” I'D SAY.
“I USED TO KNOW HIS FATHER
RATHER WELL.”
YEARS WE'VE LOST HEAVILY IN THIS
LAST SCRAP.
AND WHEN THE WAR IS DONE AND
YOUTHS STONE DEAD, I'LL TOPPLE
SAFELY HOME AND DIE IN BED.”
WITH REGARD TO WAR MAKING
CANADIANS MAY HAVE ANOTHER
QUOTATION READILY IN MIND.
RECENTLY MY WIFE AND I WENT TO
THE NEWFOUNDLAND MEMORIAL PARK
ON THE SOMME BATTLEFIELD, AND
ONE CAN READ THERE THE
INSCRIPTION OPENED IRONICALLY BY
FIELD MARSHAL HAIG HIMSELF IN
THE SUMMER OF 1925, WHICH STATES
OF THE BATTLE OF THE FIRST TO
JA-RAI IN 1916 WHEN OF 810
NEWFOUNDLANDERS IN ACTION 310
WERE KILLED.
I QUOTE, “STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL
MISCALCULATIONS LED TO A
TERRIBLE SLAUGHTER.
AS FOR SOLDIERS OF CHRISTIAN
EUROPE AND THE DOMINIONS, AND IN
DUE COURSE, THE UNITED STATES,
FOUGHT IN THE TRENCHES OF THE
FIRST WORLD WAR WHERE ALMOST A
MILLION BRITISH AND DOMINION
TROOPS WERE KILLED FIGHTING
AGAINST EACH OTHER AND AGAINST
THE MUSLIM TURKS.
THE ULTIMATE WEAPON'S
INTOLERANCE, INCLUDING FLAME
THROWERS, EXPLODING DUMB-DUMB
BULLETS, AND POISON GAS WERE
USED BY ALL THE WARRING ARMIES
OF THE MOST CIVILIZED NATIONS OF
THE WORLD.
IN 1924, AS GAS SHOWS AND BOMBS
CONTINUE TO BE USED AS WEAPONS
OF IMPERIAL CONTROL, THOMAS
HARDY COMMENTED BITTERLY, “AFTER
TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF MASS WE'VE
COME AS FAR AS POISON GAS.
AS THE 20th CENTURY CAME TO AN
END, NAPALM, LANDMINES AND
CLUSTER BOMBS ADDED TO THAT
TYRANNY.
AT THE END OF HIS LIFE, WINSTON
CHURCHILL'S ASKED HOW HE SUMMED
UP THE WORLD THROUGH WHICH HE
HAD LIVED.
HIS VERDICT WAS A POSITIVE ONE,
GIVEN THE GREAT ADVANCES IN
MEDICINE AND HEALING SCIENCES.
WITH ONE EXCEPTION.
“I REGRET,” HE SAID, “THAT
MANKIND EVER LEARNED TO FLY.
THE LIBYAN AMBASSADOR, WHO I
BELIEVE IS WITH US HERE TONIGHT,
WILL BE ONE OF THOSE WHO WILL
AGREE.
IN 1912 BOMBS WERE DROPPED FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY ON
CIVILIANS BY ITALIAN BOMBERS
CONQUERING LIBYA.
OTHERS WHO MAY WELL SHARE
CHURCHILL'S SENSE OF ANGUISH AT
THE WAY IN WHICH AIR POWER'S
BEEN USED TO KILL CIVILIANS IN
ENORMOUS NUMBERS ARE THE BASKS
OF GUERNICA; THE CHINESE OF
NANKANG; THE POLES IN WARSAW;
THE DUTCH OF ROTTERDAM; THE
SERBS OF BELGRADE IN BOTH 1941
AND 1999; THE GERMANS OF
HAMBURG, BERLIN AND DRESDEN; THE
JAPANESE OF TOKYO, HIROSHIMA AND
NAGASAKI; THE VIETNAMESE OF
HANOI; THE KURDS OF HALABJA
EVERYONE HERE THIS EVENING WILL
BE ABLE TO ADD TO THAT LIST.
THERE'S ANOTHER GREAT
INTOLERANCE THAT WAS ABLE TO
FLOURISH BEHIND THE FOG AND
CONFUSION OF WAR.
THE INTOLERANCE OF MILITARY RULE
TOWARDS CIVILIANS WHO'S POWERS
WERE SO DIMINISHED BECAUSE OF
MILITARY RULE WHOSE RIGHTS AND
WHOSE VOICES AND WHOSE LIVES
WERE AT THE MERCY OF ARMED
FORCES AND THEIR COMMANDERS.
THE FATE OF THE ARMENIANS IN THE
OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN THE FIRST
WORLD WAR WAS AN EXTREME EXAMPLE
OF THIS, AS WAS THE FATE OF THE
JEWS IN SOUTH RUSSIA CALLED UP
AS VICTIMS BY EXTREMIST
ANTI-SEMITES IN THE BOLSHEVIK
ANTI-BOLSHEVIK CIVIL WAR THAT
RAGED THERE IN 1919 AND 1920.
ANOTHER PERSISTENT STANDARD
BEARER OF INTOLERANCE IN THE
20th CENTURY WAS ECONOMIC
INEQUALITY AND EXPLOITATION,
CAPITALIST EXCESS AND THE
TYRANNY OF UNREGULATED MONOPOLY
CAPITALISM.
WITH REGARD TO OIL MONOPOLIES IN
THE UNITED STATES THIS WAS FIRST
EXPOSED IN A PIONEERING BOOK
“WEALTH VERSUS COMMONWEALTH” BY
HENRY DEMAREST LLOYD.
LLOYD'S BOOK LED WINSTON
CHURCHILL TO WRITE ON HIS 25th
BIRTHDAY IN 1899 FROM A PRISONER
OF WAR CAMP IN SOUTH AFRICA.
“CAPITALISM IN THE FORM OF
TRUSTS HAS REACHED A PITCH OF
POWER WHICH THE OLD ECONOMIST
NEVER CONTEMPLATED AND WHICH
EXCITES MY MOST LIVELY TERROR.
MERCHANTS PRINCES ARE ALL VERY
WELL, BUT IF I HAVE ANYTHING TO
SAY TO IT, THEIR KINGDOM SHALL
NOT BE OF THIS WORLD.
UP TO A CERTAIN POINT
COMBINATION HAS BROUGHT US
NOTHING BUT GOOD, BUT WE SEEM TO
HAVE REACHED A PERIOD WHERE IT
THREATENS NOTHING BUT EVIL.”
WITHIN TEN YEARS OF WRITING
THESE WORDS CHURCHILL HIMSELF
WAS TO ENACT PIONEERING SOCIAL
LEGISLATION AGAINST THE
INTOLERANCE OF ECONOMIC
HARDSHIP, USING THE
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM TO FORCE
EMPLOYERS TO INTRODUCE BETTER
CONDITIONS OF WORK AND ENFORCE
CLEAN AIR AND MEAL BREAKS,
IMPROVE SANITARY CONDITIONS,
SHORTER HOURS AND BETTER WAGES.
PARLIAMENTS INDEED HAD A MAJOR
PART TO PLAY IN THE 20th
CENTURY IN CHALLENGING ECONOMIC
INTOLERANCE.
ONE OF THE WORST VIOLATIONS OF
HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE START OF THE
20th CENTURY TOOK PLACE IN THE
CONGO FREE STATE IN AFRICA WHERE
IN SEARCH OF RUBBER AND IVORY,
THE ENSLAVEMENT AND MUTILATION
OF THE NATIVE POPULATION WAS
WIDESPREAD.
CONGO FREE STATE WAS THE
PERSONAL PROPERTY OF KING
LEOPOLD II OF THE BELGIANS, BUT
IN 1908, IN A DECISIVE BLOW
AGAINST INTOLERANCE, THE BELGIAN
PARLIAMENT FORCED LEOPOLD TO
SEED HIS DOMAIN TO THE BELGIUM
STATE.
ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION WAS AND
REMAINS A FEARFUL FORCE OF
INTOLERANCE IN THE WORLD, WITHIN
MANY SOCIETIES AND THROUGH
GLOBALIZATION CAN MOVE
EFFORTLESSLY FROM ONE SOCIETY
TO ANOTHER.
HOW GOVERNMENTS DECIDE TO SPEND
THEIR NATION'S WEALTH IN THE
SAME WAY THAT THEY CHOOSE TO
EXPEND THEIR NATION'S MANHOOD ON
THE BATTLEFIELD IS OFTEN
SHOCKING.
IN THE LAST DECADE OF THE 20th
CENTURY THE WORLD'S LARGEST
DEMOCRACY, AND A TRUE DEMOCRACY,
INDIA, PUT MASSIVE MONITORY
RESOURCES INTO MAKING AND
TESTING AN ATOMIC BOMB, AND THIS
SURE IS SUCCESSFUL, AS WELL AS
HER NEIGHBOUR PAKISTAN.
YET INDIA WAS THE SAME COUNTRY
IN WHICH IN THE YEAR THAT HAS
JUST ENDED ALMOST HALF A MILLION
YOUNG CHILDREN - THE PRECISE
INDIAN GOVERNMENT FIGURE IS
485,000 - DIE EACH YEAR BECAUSE
THEY DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN
WATER.
WHEN MY WIFE AND I WERE IN INDIA
LAST MONTH A UNITE NATIONS
DEVELOPMENT REPORT ANNOUNCED
THAT INDIA LOST MORE LIVES
BECAUSE OF LACK OF CLEAN WATER
EACH YEAR THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD, YET ITS MILITARY
SPENDING IS 12 TIMES MORE ON...
ATOMIC BOMBS AND WEAPONRY THAN
ON WATER AND SANITATION.
YET THE UNITED NATIONS REPORT
ALSO NOTES THAT 51, ALBEIT LESS
POPULOUS COUNTRIES, 51 COUNTRIES
ALL MEMBERS OF THE UNITED
NATIONS, ARE IN A WORSE PLIGHT
THAN
INDIA WITH REGARD TO THE
AVAILABILITY OF CLEAN WATER.
WILL THIS ECONOMIC INTOLERANCE
END IN OUR 21st CENTURY?
OR WILL THE PIONEERING EFFORTS
OF MEN LIKE MOHAMMAD YUNUS
BEGIN TO BEAR FRUITS?
HIS STORY IS REMARKABLE.
A BANGLADESHI MUSLIM, GRAMEEN
BANK, WITH ITS MICRO CREDIT,
WHICH IS NOW BEING EMULATED
WORLDWIDE, INCLUDING IN THE
MIDDLE EAST, BEGAN OPERATION IN
BANGLADESH IN 1976.
30 YEARS LATER THIS YEAR
MUHAMMAD YUNUS AND GRAMEEN BANK
WERE AWARDED THE NOBEL PRIZE.
TEN YEARS AGO HE DECLARED “ONE
DAY OUR GRANDCHILDREN WILL GO TO
MUSEUMS TO SEE WHAT POVERTY IS
LIKE.”
THE FIRST OF THE TWO GREAT
INTOLERANT POLITICAL SYSTEMS,
COMMUNISM, BEGAN IN 1917.
BEGAN TO DOMINATE AND TORMENT
MILLIONS OF MEN NOT ONLY IN
RUSSIA FOR THREE QUARTERS OF THE
CENTURY.
FROM THE MOMENT LENNON
SUPPRESSED THE DEMOCRATICALLY
ELECTED CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY AND
IMPOSED A RED TERROR ON ALL
FORMS OF DESCENT, INTOLERANCE
TRIUMPHED FROM THE BALTIC SEA TO
THE BLACK SEA, AND FROM THE
PRIPET MARSHES TO THE PACIFIC
OCEAN.
IN 1920 IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE
FIRST WORLD WAR AND THE
BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION, AND THE
TERRIFYING CIVIL WAR RAGING IN
RUSSIA...
AN EFFORT WAS MADE TO CREATE AN
INTERNATIONAL FORCE FOR
TOLERANCE, AN INTERNATIONAL BODY
THAT WOULD ENSURE FAIR PLAY IN
EVERY NATION.
ON THE 10th OF JANUARY, 1920 THE
LEAGUE OF NATIONS HELD ITS FIRST
MEETING IN LONDON.
INITIALLY ITS CHARTER WAS SIGNED
BY 44 STATES; TODAY'S UNITED
NATIONS HAS 192.
BUT DESPITE THE AMERICAN
PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON'S
EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH AND PROMOTE
THE LEAGUE WITH UNITED STATES
PARTICIPATION, AND UNITED STATES
WAS ONE OF THE MAIN VICTORS OF
THAT WAR.
DESPITE HIS EFFORTS, WHICH HE
WAS AWARDED THE NOBEL PEACE
PRIZE, THE UNITED STATES SENATE
REFUSED TO RATIFY THE CHARTER OR
TO JOIN THE LEAGUE.
AS A RESULT, POTENTIALLY
EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL
INSTRUMENT BEGAN LIFE WITH
CLIPPED WINGS.
YET FOR THE 20 END WAR YEARS THE
LEAGUE OF NATIONS WAS A BEACON
OF HOPE IN AN INTOLERANT WORLD.
ITS HEALTH COMMITTEE FOUGHT WITH
CONSIDERABLE SUCCESS TO TACKLE
LEPROSY, MALARIA, AND YELLOW
FEVER.
THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR
ORGANIZATION WORKED TO REDUCE
WORKING HOURS AND CHILD LABOUR,
AND TO INCREASE THE RIGHTS OF
WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE.
ITS COMMISSION FOR REFUGEES OVERSAW
THE REPATRIATION AND WHERE
NECESSARY, RESETTLEMENT OF MORE
THAN 400,000 WAR REFUGEES AND
FIRST WORLD WAR PRISONERS OF WAR.
IT ESTABLISHED THE NANSEN
PASSPORT TO ENABLE STATELESS
PEOPLE, TENS OF MILLIONS OF
STATELESS PEOPLE TO TRAVEL
ACROSS NATIONAL BORDERS.
ITS SLAVERY COMMISSION SECURED
THE EMANCIPATION OF 200,000
SLAVES IN SIERRA LEONE ALONE.
ITS MINORITY TREATIES WERE
DESIGNED TO GIVE ALL CITIZENS
EQUAL RIGHTS OF RELIGION AND
PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL LIFE.
THE ULTIMATE TOLERATION IN
COUNTRIES WHOSE MINORITIES HAD
HITHERTO BEEN DENIED SUCH
RIGHTS.
UNFORTUNATELY IN THE 20 YEARS IN
WHICH THE LEAGUE WAS ACTIVE
THESE MINORITY TREATIES WERE
MORE HONOURED THAN THE BREACH
AND IN THE OBSERVANCE.
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS' MOST
AMBITIOUS PROJECT WAS THE 1928
KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT.
THIS BOLD INSTRUMENT OUTLAWED
WAR FOR ALL TIME BETWEEN
SOVEREIGN STATES.
SIGNED ON THE 27tH OF AUGUST
1928, KNOWN AS THE PACT OF
PARIS, IT PROVIDED, I QUOTE,
“FOR THE RENUNCIATION OF WAR AS
AN INSTRUMENT OF NATIONAL
POLICY.”
62 NATIONS, ALMOST ALL THE
NATIONS OF THE WORLD OF THAT
TIME, INCLUDING CANADA, BRITAIN
AND THE UNITED STATES, SIGNED
THE PACT RENOUNCING WAR.
AMONG THE OTHER SIGNATURES WERE
GERMANY, ITALY, AND JAPAN, EACH
OF WHOM WAS TO MAKE WAR WITHIN A DECADE.
RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM, THE INTOLERANCE OF
ONE RELIGIOUS GROUP FOR ANOTHER,
WAS A FEATURE OF EVERY DECADE OF
THE 20th CENTURY.
IN 1921 IN BRITISH INDIA, THE
MILLION-STRONG MAPALAD PEOPLE IN
WHAT IS NOW KERALA, WHO REGARDED
ALL NON-MUSLIMS AS INFIDELS,
ROSE IN REVOLT, DESTROYED HINDU
TEMPLES, AND BUTCHERED THOUSANDS
OF HINDUS.
THOSE WHO REFUSED TO CONVERT
WERE BEHEADED.
THIS UPSURGE OF INTOLERANCE TOOK
PLACE 82 YEARS AGO.
IRONICALLY THREE YEARS AGO, AND
THIS OUR 21st CENTURY, MAPALAD
MUSLIM INSURGENTS AGAIN RAISED
THEIR BAN OF INTOLERANCE,
SLAUGHTERING HINDUS WHO ARE
NEAR A HINDU TEMPLE IN KERALA.
IRONICALLY, THE MUSLIMS IN
KERALA HAVE NO ARAB BLOOD.
THEY ARE THEMSELVES DESCENDENTS
OF HINDUS FORCIBLY CONVERTED TO
ISLAM AT THE TIME OF TIPRA
SULTAN'S CONQUEST OF MALABAR AT
THE END OF THE 18th CENTURY.
THE MOB REVOLT AND THE
TERRIFYING SIGHT OF MASS
EXECUTION OF HINDUS BY MUSLIMS
WAS ONE OF THE FACTORS WHICH LED
WINSTON CHURCHILL NINE MONTHS
LATER TO REFLECT IN 1921 ON THE
COURSE THAT THE 20th CENTURY WAS
TAKING.
THESE ARE HIS WORDS:
“WHAT A TERRIBLE DISAPPOINTMENT
THE 20tH CENTURY HAS BEEN.
HOW TERRIBLE AND HOW MELANCHOLY
IS THE LONG SERIES OF DISASTROUS
EVENTS WHICH HAVE DARKENED ITS
FIRST 20 YEARS.
WE HAVE SEEN IN EVERY COUNTRY A
DISILLUSION, A WEAKENING OF
THOSE BONDS THAT CHALLENGED
THOSE PRINCIPLES, A DECAY OF
FAITH AND ABRIDGEMENT OF HOPE ON
WHICH THE STRUCTURE AND ULTIMATE
EXISTENCE OF CIVILIZED SOCIETY
DEPENDS.
WE HAVE SEEN IN EVERY PART OF
THE GLOBE ONE GREAT COUNTRY
AFTER ANOTHER, WHICH HAD ERECTED
AN ORDERLY, PEACEFUL, PROSPEROUS
STRUCTURE OF CIVILIZED SOCIETY
RELAPSING IN HIDEOUS SUCCESSION
INTO BANKRUPTCY, BARBARISM OR
ANARCHY.”
AND CHURCHILL WENT ON TO ASK IN
HIS SPEECH “CAN YOU DOUBT, MY
FAITHFUL FRIENDS, AS YOU SURVEY
THIS SOMBRE PANORAMA THAT
MANKIND IS PASSING THROUGH A
PERIOD MARKED NOT ONLY BY AN
ENORMOUS DESTRUCTION AND
ABRIDGEMENT OF THE HUMAN
SPECIES AND REDUCTION OF ITS
MEANS OF EXISTENCE, BUT ALSO,
THAT THE DESTRUCTIVE TENDENCIES
HAVE NOT YET RUN THEIR COURSE,
AND ONLY INTENSE CONCERTED AND
PROLONGED EFFORTS AMONG ALL
NATIONS CAN AVERT FURTHER, AND
PERHAPS EVEN GREATER
CALAMITIES?”
MY SISTER WHO IS A PHILOSOPHER
ASKED ME WHEN I WAS PREPARING
THIS LECTURE IF IT WAS POSSIBLE
TO BE INTOLERANT OF INTOLERANCE.
AND THIS IS NOT ONLY A
PHILOSOPHIC QUESTION, BUT ONE
THAT BEDEVILS OUR WESTERN
SOCIETIES TODAY.
THE MOST DRAMATIC AND LASTING
EXAMPLE TOOK PLACE ON THE THIRD
OF MARCH, 1924 WHEN IN A MOVE TO
WEAKEN THE FORCES OF
FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAM IN THE
TURKISH REPUBLIC, MUSTAFA KEMAL,
MUSTAFA ATATURK ENDED THE SHARIA
SYSTEM OF ISLAMIC LAW, CLOSED
DOWN ALL SHARIA LAW OFFICES IN
TURKEY AND ABOLISHED BOTH THE
VEILING OF WOMEN AND THE
SUBORDINATION OF WOMEN IN THE
SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.
ATATURK STRUCK IN WHAT MANY
HISTORIANS HAVE SEEN AS AN
INTOLERANT MANNER, AT WHAT HE
SAW AS THE INTOLERANT FACE OF
ISLAM.
80 YEARS LATER AND THIS OUR 21st
CENTURY, BRITAIN FACES THE
QUESTION OF WHETHER ONE CAN BE
INTOLERANT TOWARDS INTOLERANCE
WITH REGARD, FOR EXAMPLE, THE
PREACHING OF IMAM'S IN OUR
MOSQUES AND WITH REGARD TO THE
HIJAB.
CANADA ALSO FACES THIS QUESTION
WITH REGARD TO SHARIA LAW.
LAST YEAR ON THE FOURTH
ANNIVERSARY OF 9-11 ONTARIO
PREMIERE DALTON McGUINTY
ANNOUNCED THAT OTTAWA, ONTARIO
WOULD REJECT THE USE OF SHARIA
LAW AND WOULD MOVE TO PROHIBIT
ALL RELIGIOUS-BASED TRIBUNALS TO
SETTLE FAMILY DISPUTES SUCH AS
DIVORCE.
McGUINTY WAS ACTING IN THE BEST
ATATURK TRADITION.
CANADA LEARNING FROM TURKEY.
IT WAS ALSO ATATURK WHO PROVIDED
A TOLERANT BLOODLESS BLUEPRINT
FOR THE MASS TRANSFER OF
POPULATIONS, SOMETHING THAT HAD
HITHERTO ONLY BEEN DONE WITH
TREMENDOUS DESTRUCTION.
THE TRANSFER OF TURKS FROM THE
GREEK ISLANDS AND OF GREEKS FROM
MANITOBA AND TURKEY ENDED A
CONFLICT THAT HAD ESCALATED INTO
FIRST FIGHTING AND COULD EASILY
HAD BEEN RENEWED.
BECAUSE RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
TAKES PLACE WITHIN COUNTRIES, IT
HAS SELDOM BECOME A PART UNTIL
OUR VERY RECENT TIME OF
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.
IN INDIA IN THE 1930's AT
CORN-PONE ELSEWHERE HINDU-MUSLIM
VIOLENCE LED TO THE DEATHS OF
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE OF
BOTH FAITHS.
THIS DESTRUCTIVE COURSE WAS
CHALLENGED BY MAHATMA GANDHI,
BUT REACHED SUCH A TERRIFYING
CRESCENDO IN 1946 THAT IN
CALCUTTA THAT YEAR TEN THOUSAND
MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE
KILLED IN A SINGLE DAY OF
HINDU-MUSLIM VIOLENCE.
THE BRITISH GOVERNOR OF BENGAL
DESCRIBED HOW THE STREETS, I
QUOTE, “WERE LITTERED WITH
CORPSES.
I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT PARTS OF
THE CITY WERE AS BAD AS ANYTHING
I SAW WHEN I WAS FIGHTING ON THE
SOMME IN 1916.
NAZISM WAS THE MOST SERIOUS
DISTRESSING AND DESTRUCTIVE
EXAMPLE OF RACIAL INTOLERANCE IN
THE 20th CENTURY.
BUT REPEATEDLY IN THIS CENTURY
RACIAL INTOLERANCE HAD FED
POLITICAL AND MILITARY
AMBITIONS.
IN 1904 A BRITISH COLONEL,
COLONEL YOUNGHUSBAND, OPENED
FIRE AND KILLED MORE THAN 500
UNARMED TIBETANS WHO WERE
BLOCKING HIS ROAD ON THE WAY TO
THE TIBETAN CAPITAL LHASA.
IN 1919 ANOTHER BRITISH OFFICER,
GENERAL DYER OPENED FIRE ON A
CROWD OF UNARMED INDIAN
PROTESTORS, KILLING MORE THAN
FOUR HUNDRED.
COULD EITHER ACTION HAVE TAKEN
PLACE IF THE TIBETANS OR INDIANS
HAD BEEN WHITE EUROPEANS?
A SIMILAR QUESTION HAS OFTEN
BEEN ASKED WITH REGARD TO THE
DROPPING OF THE TWO ATOMIC BOMBS
ON JAPAN IN 1945.
IN 1835, A MERE 18 DAYS AFTER
THE GERMAN NUREMBERG LAWS SIGNED
PERSONALLY BY HITLER MADE JEWS
SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS.
THIS INTOLERANT RACIAL ELEMENT
WAS SEEN AGAIN WITH REGARD TO
WHITE EUROPE'S ATTITUDE TO BLACK
AFRICA.
WHEN ON THE THIRD OF OCTOBER,
1934 MUSSOLINI'S ITALY INVADED
INDEPENDENT ABYSSINIA.
ALTHOUGH THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
CONDEMNED THE ATTACK AND IMPOSED
ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON ITALY,
THOSE SANCTIONS EXCLUDED THE ONE
WAR MATERIAL ITALY NEEDED MOST
FOR ITS CONQUEST - OIL.
NOR DID BRITAIN AND FRANCE TAKE
ANY SERIOUS ACTION SUCH AS
BLOCKING ITALIAN ACCESS TO THE
RED SEA BY CLOSING THE SUEZ
CANAL TO ITALIAN WARSHIPS.
EVEN THE USE OF POISON GAS BY
THE ITALIANS AND THE MASSACRE OF
ABYSSINIAN CIVILIANS FAILED TO
CHANGE THE LEAGUE'S PASSIVITY.
EVEN HAS THE FINAL BATTLES WERE
TAKING PLACE IN ABYSSINIA A
GROSS SERIES OF ACTS OF
INTOLERANCE TOOK PLACE IN CHINA.
IN THE SIX WEEKS AFTER THE
CHINESE CITY OF NANKANG FORCED
THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY ON
THE 13th OF DECEMBER, 1937.
FOLLOWING THE HIGHEST CIVILIAN
DEATHS THUS FAR IN HISTORY FROM
AREA BOMBARDMENT.
MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE
KILLED AS BOMBS DROPPED IN A
CROWDED MARKET AND RESIDENTIAL
AREA.
JAPANESE SOLDIERS CARRIED OUT
MASS RAPE, LOOTING AND ARSON OF
PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIANS,
A DEATH TOLL BELIEVED TO HAVE
REACHED AT LEAST A HUNDRED
THOUSAND.
THE INTOLERANCE THAT COMES WITH
WAR AND CIVIL WAR MARRED THE
20th CENTURY AND CAME TO ITS
CLIMAX DURING THE SECOND WORLD
WAR.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR WAS A
MAELSTROM OF DESTRUCTION FOR
MANY PEOPLES.
FOR SIX MILLION JEWS, FOR AT
LEAST THREE AND A QUARTER
MILLION SOVIET SOLDIERS MURDERED
AFTER THEY HAD BEEN CAPTURED BY
THE GERMANS...
FOR THREE MILLION POLISH
CHRISTIANS, FOR MANY MILLIONS OF
CHINESE CIVILIANS, FOR A MILLION
GREEK CIVILIANS AND A MILLION
SERB CIVILIANS, AND FOR
UNCOUNTED MILLIONS OF SLAVE
LABOURERS.
THESE MILLIONS WERE THE VICTIMS
NOT OF THE LIFE AND DEATH
STRUGGLE OF NATIONAL SURVIVAL,
OF ARMIES, NAVIES, AND AIR
FORCES, BUT OF THE UTTER
CONTEMPT FOR CIVILIAN AND HUMAN
LIFE ON AN UNPRECEDENTED SCALE.
EVEN AS THE SECOND WORLD WAR
RAGED, MAKING DECIMATION, THE
ROMAN POLICY OF KILLING ONE IN
TEN, AN ARCHAIC CONCEPT, WINSTON
CHURCHILL APPLIED HIS MIND TO
WHAT FORM OF SOCIETY AND
GOVERNMENT THAT POST WORLD WAR,
POST WORLD WAR OUGHT TO HAVE.
ASKED IN THE SUMMER OF 1944 TO
SUGGEST THE BASIS OF A
CONSTITUTION FOR POST FASCIST
ITALY HE SET OUT A SERIES OF
QUESTIONS, POSITIVE ANSWERS TO
WHICH HE BELIEVED WOULD SECURE A
TOLERANT SOCIETY.
THESE QUESTIONS ARE AS VALID
TODAY AS THEY WERE IN 1944.
IS THERE THE RIGHT FOR FREE
EXPRESSION OF OPINION AND OFF
OPPOSITION AND CRITICISM OF THE
GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY?
HAVE THE PEOPLE A RIGHT TO TURN
OUT A GOVERNMENT OF WHICH THEY
DISAPPROVE?
AND ARE CONSTITUTIONAL MEANS
PROVIDED BY WHICH THEY CAN MAKE
THEIR WILL APPARENT?
ARE THERE COURTS OF JUSTICE FREE
FROM VIOLENCE BY THE EXECUTIVE,
AND FREE FROM THE THREATS OF MOB
VIOLENCE, AND FREE FROM ALL
ASSOCIATION WITH PARTICULAR
POLITICAL PARTIES?
WILL THESE COURTS OF JUSTICE
ADMINISTERS OPEN AND
WELL-ESTABLISHED LAWS WHICH ARE
ASSOCIATED IN THE HUMAN MIND
WITH THE BROAD PRINCIPLES OF
DECENCY AND JUSTICE?
WILL THERE BE FAIR PLAY FOR POOR
AS WELL AS FOR RICH, FOR PRIVATE
PERSONS AS WELL AS FOR
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS?
WILL THE RIGHTS OF THE
INDIVIDUAL SUBJECT TO HIS DUTIES
TO THE STATE BE MAINTAINED AND
ASSERTED AND EXHORTED?
IN 1945 THE VICTORIOUS POWERS OF
THE SECOND WORLD WAR SET UP THE
UNITED NATIONS, A WORLD
ORGANIZATION SUCCESSOR TO THE
LEAGUE OF NATIONS INTENDED TO
END THE PERILS OF INTOLERANCE IN
A DIVIDED, AND IN MANY AREAS,
DEVASTATED WORLD.
ON THE 9th OF DECEMBER, 1945,
EVEN WHILE IN INDIA THE
HINDU-MUSLIM COMMUNAL KILLINGS
WERE CONTINUING.
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
PASSED A RESOLUTION THAT OUGHT
TO HAVE BEEN THE CRUCIAL FACTOR
IN ENDING INTOLERANCE IN ITS
MOST EXTREME FORMS AND IN
TURNING THE CENTURY BACK, WHEN
IT HAD NOT YET REACHED ITS
HALFWAY MARK, TURNING ITS BACK
ON BARBARITY AND MASS MURDER.
THIS WAS THE INTERNATIONAL
CONVENTION ON GENOCIDE.
THE BRAINCHILD OF A POLISH
JEWISH JURIST, RAFAEL LEMKIN,
AND OUT WHO WON ALL MEMBERS OF
THE UNITED NATIONS CONFIRMED, I
QUOTE THAT “GENOCIDE, WHETHER
COMMITTED IN TIME OF PEACE OR
WAR IS A CRIME UNDER
INTERNATIONAL LAW WHICH THEY
UNDERTAKE TO PREVENT AND TO
PUNISH.”
AND FIVE ACTS WERE MADE
PUNISHABLE UNDER THE GENOCIDE
CONVENTION.
GENOCIDE ITSELF, CONSPIRACY TO
COMMIT GENOCIDE, DIRECT AND
PUBLIC INSIGHT TO COMMIT
GENOCIDE, ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT
GENOCIDE, AND COMPLICITY IN GENOCIDE.
THE FAILURE
OF THE UNITED NATIONS, OF OUR
NATIONS, TO ACT ON THIS
CONVENTION CONSTITUTED IN MY
VIEW THE GREATEST FAILURE OF THE
UNITED NATIONS IN THE REMAINING
52 YEARS OF THE 20th CENTURY, AS
WELL AS IN THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS
OF THE 21st CENTURY.
IRONICALLY, BUT PURPOSEFULLY, ON
THE DAY AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE
GENOCIDE CONVENTION THE UNITED
NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTED
AND PROCLAIMED ANOTHER
EXTRAORDINARY DOCUMENT, LIKEWISE
INTENDED TO BE A POWERFUL
INSTRUMENT TO END INTOLERANCE.
THIS WAS THE UNIVERSAL
DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
WHICH ALL MEMBER COUNTRIES WERE
INSTRUCTED, I QUOTE, “TO CAUSE
IT TO BE DISSEMINATED,
DISPLAYED, READ AND EXPOUNDED
PRINCIPALLY IN SCHOOLS AND OTHER
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS WITHOUT
DISTINCTION BASED ON POLITICAL
STATUS OF COUNTRIES OR
TERRITORIES.”
THE PRINCIPLE DRAFTSMAN OF THE
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
DECLARATION WAS A CANADIAN, JOHN
PETERS HUMPHREY, BORN IN NEW
BRUNSWICK AND EDUCATED AT McGILL.
IN 1963 HUMPHREY PRESSED THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF A UNITED
NATIONS COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN
RIGHTS.
IT WAS TO TAKE 30 YEARS BEFORE
THIS ORGANIZATION WAS SET UP ON
THE 20th OF DECEMBER, 1933,
HEADED, AS YOU KNOW, SINCE 2004
BY LOUISE ARBOUR.
ALL 30 ARTICLES OF THE UNIVERSAL
DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS WERE
PRINTED IN A SMALL PAMPHLET IN
THE FORM OF A PASSPORT WHICH CAN
BE ISSUED TO EVERY CITIZEN ON
EARTH.
COURTESY OF THE CANADIAN UNITED
NATIONS ASSASSINATION I HAVE TWO
OF THESE PASSPORTS HERE TODAY.
IN 1985 I ENSURE THAT COPIES OF
THESE MADE OUT BY NAME TO EACH
INDIVIDUAL WERE SENT FROM THE
UNITED NATIONS BUILDING IN
GENEVA WITH UNITED NATIONS
POSTAGE STAMPS AND ADVICES
RECEIPTS CARDS TO ALL THOSE IN
THE SOVIET UNION WHO WERE
IMPRISONED FOR POLITICAL OR
RELIGIOUS REASONS.
THESE 30 ARTICLES PROMULGATED
ALMOST 60 YEARS AGO STILL STAND
JUST AS THE UNITED NATIONS, FOR
ALL ITS IMPERFECTIONS AND
FAILURES STILL STANDS AS THE
BEDROCK UPON WHICH A TOLERANT
WORLD CAN AND MUST BE ERECTED.
AS A BRITISH SCHOOLBOY IN 1948
WE HAD TO LEARN THESE ARTICLES
BY HEART.
THEY SEEMED TO HERALD A NEW
WORLD IN WHICH INTOLERANCE WOULD
VANISH.
HERE ARE A FEW OF THE ARTICLES.
EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO ALL THE
RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS SET OUT IN
THIS DECLARATION WITHOUT
DISTINCTION OF ANY KIND SUCH AS
RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE,
RELIGION, POLITICAL OR ART OF
OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL
ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER
STATUS.
NO ONE SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO
TORTURE OR TO CRUEL INHUMAN OR
DEGRADING TREATMENT OR
PUNISHMENT.
ALL ARE EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW AND
ENTITLED WITHOUT ANY
DISCRIMINATION TO THE EQUAL
PROTECTION OF THE LAW.
NO ONE SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO
ARBITRARY ARREST, DETENTION OR
EXILE.
NO ONE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO
ARBITRARY INTERFERENCE WITH HIS
PRIVACY, FAMILY, HOME OR
CORRESPONDENCE.
EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO THE
PROTECTION OF THE LAW AGAINST
ALL INTERFERENCE AND ATTACKS.
AND THE FINAL ARTICLE, THE WILL
OF THE PEOPLE SHALL BE THE BASIS
OF THE AUTHORITY OF ALL
GOVERNMENT.
THIS WILL SHALL BE EXPRESSED IN
PERIODIC AND GENERAL ELECTIONS
WHICH SHALL BE BY UNIVERSAL AND
EQUAL SUFFRAGE AND HELD BY
SECRET VOTE.
ONE OF THE...
MOST NEGLECTED OF THE ARTICLES
OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF
HUMAN RIGHTS IN 1948 IS THAT
WHICH REFERS TO EDUCATION, AND
I'D LIKE TO READ IT IN FULL,
BECAUSE THIS DOCUMENT WAS SIGNED
BY ALL, BY YOUR COUNTRY, BY MY
COUNTRY, BY ALL THE COUNTRIES OF
THE UNITED NATIONS IN THOSE
DAYS.
EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO
EDUCATION.
EDUCATION SHALL BE DIRECTED TO
THE FULL DEVELOPMENT OF THE
HUMAN PERSONALITY AND TO THE
STRENGTHENING OF RESPECT FOR
HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL
FREEDOMS.
IT SHALL PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING,
TOLERANCE, AND FRIENDSHIP AMONG
ALL NATIONS, RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS
GROUPS, AND SHALL FURTHER THE
ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS
FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF PEACE.
HOW MUCH INTOLERANCE WOULD BE
ENDED IF THESE ARTICLES OF THE
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN
RIGHTS WERE TODAY UNIVERSALLY
ADHERED TO?
ESSENTIALLY INTOLERANCE WOULD BE
ENDED.
INDEED WITH THIS REMARKABLE
DOCUMENT PROMULGATED BY THE NEW
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION, WE
SHOULD HAVE ENTERED A NEW ERA IN
WHICH ALMOST NO ONE HERE IN THE
AUDIENCE WOULD RECALL THE BAD
OLD DAYS.
BUT INTOLERANCE WAS TOO DEEPLY
EMBEDDED IN TOO MANY SYSTEMS AND
TOO MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD TO
BE ENDED BY DECREE HOWEVER
MAGISTERIAL.
IN THE SOVIET UNION THE WORLD'S
LARGEST LANDMASS COVERING ONE
THIRD OF THE SURFACE OF THE
GLOBE, STALIN MAINTAINED AND
STRENGTHENED HIS SYSTEM BASED ON
BARBED WIRE AND FORCED LABOUR IN
THE GULAG IN WHICH MILLIONS OF
SOVIET CITIZENS WERE TOILING.
ALSO IN 1948, THE YEAR OF THE
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN
RIGHTS, SOUTH AFRICA, A MEMBER
STATE OF THE UNITED NATIONS
INSTITUTED THE APARTHEID SYSTEM.
AS WITH THE NAZI PARTY'S
ANTI-JEWISH LEGISLATION,
APARTHEID WAS IMPOSED BY
LEGISLATION, THUS THE MORALITY
ACT OF 1950 MADE IT A CRIMINAL
OFFENCE FOR A WHITE PERSON TO
HAVE ANY SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH A
PERSON OF A DIFFERENT RACE.
AND IN 1985 I WAS LECTURING IN
JOHANNESBURG TO A UNIVERSITY
AUDIENCE LIKE THIS, WHEN THE
POLICE CAME IN, POLITELY ASKED
ME TO STOP AND SEARCH FOR
SOMEBODY IN THE AUDIENCE, A
JEWISH GIRL WHO WAS HAVING
SEXUAL RELATIONS, LIVING WITH,
WANTED, OF COURSE, TO MARRY A
BLACK SOUTH AFRICAN.
NOT ONLY LEGISLATION, BUT POLICE
ACTION CHARACTERIZE THE APART
IDEAS IN SOUTH AFRICA.
ON THE 21st OF MARCH, 1960 IN
THE BLACK AFRICAN TOWNSHIP OF
SHOPVILLE, ALL THESE TOWNSHIPS
BEING STRICTLY SEGREGATED, 69
BLACK PROTESTORS WERE KILLED,
EIGHT PERCENT OF THEM SHOT IN
THE BACK BECAUSE THEY WERE
FLEEING THE SCENE, THEMSELVES
UNARMED.
ON THE 25th OF JUNE, 1950, EVEN
AS COMMUNISM WAS BEING IMPOSED
ON CHINA, WAR BROKE OUT WHEN
COMMUNIST NORTH KOREA ATTACKED
SOUTH KOREA.
THIS BROUGHT THE UNITED NATIONS
TO THE BATTLEFIELD AS A FORCE
FOR GLOBAL PEACE AND SECURITY AT
CONSIDERABLE COST IN SOLDIERS'
LIVES, BUT THE ULTIMATE
PROTECTION OF SOUTH KOREA AS A
SOVEREIGN STATE.
AGAIN, AS A SCHOOLBOY, FOLLOWING
THE COURSE OF THE WAR FROM DAY
TO DAY, BRITISH TROOPS AS WELL
AS CANADIAN TROOPS WERE AMONG
THOSE IN ACTION, SOME 865
BRITISH SOLDIERS DIED AND MORE
THAN 500 CANADIANS.
I REMEMBER VIVIDLY, THE NEWS
WERE FILMS OF SOUTH KOREAN
REFUGEES FLEEING FROM THE
ADVANCING NORTH KOREAN FORCES.
WE ARE ALL TOO FAMILIAR IN THE
20th CENTURY WHERE PHOTOGRAPH
AND FILM OF THE DISPOSSESSED ON
THE MOVE WITH THEIR PICTORIAL
BUNDLES, HAVE AGAIN AND AGAIN
BEEN ON THE CINEMA AND
TELEVISION SCREENS.
INDEED THEY HAVE BECOME ONE OF
THE ICONIC SCENES OF THE 20th
CENTURY IN WHICH BLACK AND
WHITE, ASIAN AND EUROPEAN,
CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, JEWS, RICH
AND POOR, OLD AND YOUNG ARE
PUSHED OUT OF ONE LAND AND SET
ADRIFT INTO WHAT CHURCHILL ONCE
CALLED “THIS WORLD OF SIN AND
WOE.”
OF THE TIME WHEN THE KOREAN WAR
SAW A MASS UPSURGE OR REFUGEES
FLEEING FROM THE FLUCTUATING WAR
ZONES REFUGEES WERE ALREADY
CROWDING REFUGEE CAMPS IN A
DOZEN WAR AND CIVIL WAR TORN
COUNTRIES.
TENS OF MILLIONS OF REFUGEES
HAVE BEEN CREATED DURING THE THE
PARTITION OF INDIA IN 1947.
MILLIONS MORE WOULD BE CREATED
BY FUTURE CONFLICTS INCLUDING
THE VIETNAM WAR.
ON THE 14th OF DECEMBER, 1950,
WHILE THE KOREAN WAR WAS STILL
BEING FOUGHT, THE UNITED NATIONS
SET UP AN OFFICE OF A HIGH
COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES.
THE U.N.H.C.R. IS ESTIMATED TO
HAVE HELPED MORE THAN 60 MILLION
PEOPLE, SINCE THEN REBUILD THEIR
LIVES.
BUT IT IS AN UPHILL STRUGGLE.
TODAY IN 2007 THERE ARE MORE
THAN 20 MILLION REFUGEES ON THE
U.N.H.C.R. BOOKS, A MILLION MORE
THAN LAST YEAR.
AND THERE ARE REFUGEES,
INCREDIBLE TO RELATE, IN 116 OF
THE 192 COUNTRIES NOW IN THE
UNITED NATIONS.
INTOLERANCE WAS NOT, HOWEVER,
THE EXCLUSIVE PRESERVE OF
COMMUNISM OR APARTHEID OR
RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM.
ON THE 2nd OF JULY, 1964 IN
WASHINGTON D.C. PRESIDENT LYNDON
JOHNSON SIGNED INTO LAW A LONG
AWAITED AND DESPERATELY NEEDED
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.
IT HAD TAKEN 64 YEARS OF THE
20th CENTURY TO OUTLAW
DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE,
COLOUR, RELIGION, SEX, OR
NATIONAL ORIGIN IN THE UNITED
STATES.
ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED TO PROTECT
THE RIGHTS OF BLACK PEOPLE, THE
ACT HAD BEEN AMENDED DURING ITS
PASSAGE BY A VERY VIGILANT
CONGRESS TO PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS
OF EVERYONE, EXPLICITLY
INCLUDING WOMEN.
THE SCOPE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS
ACT WAS ENHANCED IN THE UNITED
STATES THE FOLLOWING YEAR BY THE
NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS ACT,
WHICH OUTLAWED THE REQUIREMENTS
THAT WOULD-BE VOTERS HAD TO TAKE
LITERACY TESTS OR PAY A POLL TAX
TO QUALIFY TO VOTE.
THE NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS ACT
WAS PASSED INTO LAW BY LYNDON
JOHNSON ON THE 6th OF AUGUST,
1965.
AND ON THE 27th OF JULY LAST
YEAR, PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNED A
25-YEAR EXTENSION OF IT.
NINE MONTHS AFTER THE UNITED
STATES FINALLY MOVED AWAY FROM
THE INTOLERANCE OF ELECTORAL
DISCRIMINATION, CHINA INSTITUTED
A BLACK DAY IN THE HISTORY AND
ANNALS OF 20th CENTURY
INTOLERANCE.
ON THE 16th OF MAY, 1966
CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG LAUNCHED
THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION.
DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS THE
RED GUARDS SUPPRESSED ALL
CRITICS OF REGIME AND SEIZED
CONTROL TO THE STATE APPARATUS.
IN THE CHAOS AND VIOLENCE THAT
LASTED FOR TEN YEARS, MILLIONS
OF CHINESE WERE PERSECUTED AND
AS MANY AS HALF A MILLION PEOPLE
PERISHED.
THE CHINESE STORY, AS SO MANY OF
THE OTHER STORIES I'VE
MENTIONED, LEAVES ME TO MAKE A
GENERAL COMMENT.
ONE ELEMENT OF THE INTOLERANCE
OF THE 20th CENTURY BETWEEN 1900
AND 1999 WAS THAT MORE PEOPLE
WERE KILLED WITHIN THEIR OWN
COUNTRIES IN PERSECUTION AND
CIVIL WAR THAN BY THE ARMIES OF
OTHER COUNTRIES.
ON THE 1st OF AUGUST, 1975 THREE
QUARTERS OF THE WAY THROUGH THE
20th CENTURY, AN ACT INTENDED TO
END MANY ASPECTS OF
INTERNATIONAL INTOLERANCE WAS
SIGNED IN THE FINNISH CAPITAL
HELSINKI.
IN ALL 35 COUNTRIES SIGNED,
INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES,
CANADA AND THE SOVIET UNION, AND
ALL THE COUNTRIES OF EUROPE
INCLUDING TURKEY, THIS WAS THE
FINAL ACT OF THE CONFERENCE ON
SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN
EUROPE, ALSO KNOWN AS THE
HELSINKI FINAL ACT, THE HELSINKI
ACCORDS AND THE HELSINKI
DECLARATION.
PART SEVEN OF ITS DECLARATION OF
PRINCIPLES GUIDED RELATIONS
BETWEEN PARTICIPATING STATES IS
HEADED RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
INCLUDING THE FREEDOM OF
THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE, RELIGION,
AND BELIEF.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS PORTION OF THE
HELSINKI ACCORDS PROVIDED THE
BASIS FOR THE WORK OF THE MOSCOW
HELSINKI MONITOR GROUP, AN
INDEPENDENT NON-GOVERNMENT
ORGANIZATION CREATED TO MONITOR
ACCORDANCE AND COMPLIANCE WITH
THE ACCORDS.
IN 1983 DURING A VISIT TO THE
SOVIET UNION I WAS STRUCK BY THE
FAITH THAT DISSIDENTS HAD IN THE
HELSINKI MONITORS WHO WERE UNDER
CONSIDERABLE PRESSURE AT THAT
TIME TO KEEP SILENT.
WHEN THE HUMAN RIGHTS PROVISIONS
OF THE HELSINKI ACCORDS, WHICH
APPLIED TO ALL SIGNATURES, WERE
OPERATED THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS
FALLING WAVE IN TOLERANCE IN
MANY COUNTRIES.
THE FOCUS OF THE ATTENTION OF
THE APPLICATION OF THE ACCORDS
WENT FROM THE SOVIET UNION TO
ITS WARSAW-PACKED ALLIES
INCLUDING BULGARIA,
CZECHOSLOVAKIA, EAST GERMANY,
HUNGARY, POLAND AND ROMANIA.
THE HELSINKI ACCORDS UPHOLDING
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WERE
INTENDED AS A BEACON OF
TOLERANCE IN INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS.
BUT THREE MONTHS AND TEN DAYS
AFTER THEY WERE SIGNED ON THE
10th OF NOVEMBER, 1975 THE
UNITED NATIONS INTENSIFIED
INTERNATIONAL INTOLERANCE.
WHEN A MAJORITY OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
DETERMINED TO ISOLATE ISRAEL BY
PASSING A RESOLUTION EQUATING
ZIONISM WITH RACISM, WHO OVER 72
STATES VOTING FOR THIS HARSH
ATTACK ON A STATE WHICH THE
UNITED NATIONS ITSELF HAD
CREATED BY A VOTE OF THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY.
THEY WERE ALL THE ARAB AND
MUSLIM STATES, THE SOVIET UNION
AND ALL THE COMMUNIST STATES,
AND ALMOST ALL THE STATES IN
AFRICA.
OF THE 35 STATES WHO OPPOSED
THE ZIONISM WAS RACISM
RESOLUTION CANADA WAS ONE, JUST
AS SHE'D BEEN A SIGNATORY OF THE
HELSINKI FINAL ACT.
IT WAS TO TAKE 16 YEARS BEFORE
THE ZIONISM IS RACISM RESOLUTION
WAS REVERSED, BUT ITS CORROSIVE
INFLUENCE REMAINS WITH US TODAY.
ONE OF THE MOST INTOLERANT
ASPECTS OF THE FIRST DECADE OF
THE 21st CENTURY HAVE BEEN THE
DELEGITIMIZING OF ZIONISM, AND
WITH IT THE ATTEMPT TO
DELEGITIMIZE THE STATE OF
ISRAEL.
I MENTIONED THAT BY FAR THE
LARGEST NUMBER OF THOSE MURDERED
IN THE 20th CENTURY WERE
MURDERED IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES.
AN EXAMPLE OF THAT, A TERRIFYING
EXAMPLE OF THAT, TOOK PLACE
BETWEEN 1976 AND 1979 IN
CAMBODIA WHERE PRIME MINISTER
POL POT SUPERVISED AN AGGRESSIVE
POLICY OF SO-CALLED RELOCATING
PEOPLE TO THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH
A RESULT OF WHICH AS MANY AS
THREE MILLION CAMBODIANS WERE
KILLED.
TWO OTHER GRIM EXAMPLES OF
NATIONAL INTOLERANCE WERE AMONG
THOSE THAT MARRED THE 1970's.
ON THE 4th OF AUGUST, 1972, A
DATE WHICH EVERY BRITAIN HAS
INSCRIBED ON HIS HEART, IDI
AMIN, THE UGANDAN DICTATOR
ANNOUNCED THAT ALL 50,000 ASIANS
IN UGANDA, MOSTLY OF INDIAN
GUJARATI ORIGIN MUST LEAVE
WITHIN 90 DAYS.
THEIRS WAS A CRUEL ENFORCED
EXODUS WHICH HAD THE RESULT AS
HITLER'S PERSECUTIONS DID IN THE
1930's OF GREATLY STRENGTHENING
AND ENHANCING THE SOCIETIES TO
WHICH THE REFUGEES WENT.
WITHIN FIVE YEARS IDI AMIN HAD
KILLED AT LEAST 80,000 OF HIS
OWN PEOPLE, BLACK UGANDANS,
SOME PUT THE FIGURE MUCH HIGHER.
AMONG THEM ARCHBISHOP LAUD
KILLED ON THE 17th OF FEBRUARY,
1977, WHO HAD DARED TO PROTEST
AMIN ABOUT THE ARBITRARY
KILLINGS AND DISAPPEARANCES.
DISAPPEARANCES, ALMOST ALL OF
THEM, IN FACT, KILLINGS, ALSO
BEGAN IN 1977 IN ARGENTINA WHEN
DURING SEVEN YEARS OF MILITARY
RULE AT LEAST 9,000 ARGENTINEANS
WERE KILLED, AND AGAIN, MANY
GIVE A MUCH HIGHER FIGURE.
THE 1980's WERE NO LESS TOLERANT
THAN THE 1970's.
IN MARCH 1988 THE KURDS OF
HALABJA WERE SUBJECTED TO A
MURDEROUS ATTACK BY POISON GAS.
ONE ASPECT OF INTOLERANCE OF THE
INTOLERANCE OF THE 20th CENTURY
CAN BE SEEN IN THE LIST OF THOSE
STATES OR MEMBERS OF THE UNITED
NATIONS WHO PROVIDED THE
CHEMICALS AND TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW
THAT MADE THE HALABJA POISON GAS
ATTACK POSSIBLE.
THEY WERE SINGAPORE, WHICH
PROVIDED FOUR THOUSAND TONS; THE
NETHERLANDS, FOUR THOUSAND;
EGYPT, TWO AND A HALF THOUSAND;
INDIA, TWO AND A HALF THOUSAND;
AND WEST GERMANY, A THOUSAND.
THE FIRM LOCATED IN SINGAPORE
WAS AFFILIATED TO THE UNITED
ARAB AMORITES.
WE HAVE A FOCUS, WE HAVE HAD IN
THE 20th CENTURY AND HAVE IN THE
21st CENTURY A FOCUS WHICH IS IN
A WAY LIMITED TO A RESTRICTED
NUMBER OF CONFLICTS.
IN 1984 IN THE SOUTHERN REGION
OF THE LANDLOCKED AFRICAN STATE
OF CHAD, ANOTHER MEMBER, OF
COURSE, OF THE UNITED NATIONS,
THE REGIME OF “HASAN HABARAY.”
MASSACRED THOUSANDS OF SO-CALLED
NON-MUSLIMS AND PARTLY CHRISTIAN
SA-RA PEOPLE WHO REMEMBERS THAT
GENOCIDE TODAY.
ECLIPSED AS IT WAS IN THE PUBLIC
MIND BY THE RWANDA GENOCIDE A
DECADE LATER, WHICH ALSO SAW
PITIFUL RESPONSE FROM THE WORLD
COMMUNITY AND HAS BEEN SO
POWERFULLY DOCUMENTED BY ONE OF
ITS EYEWITNESSES, GENERAL ROMEO
DALLAIRE.
IN SEEKING TO CHALLENGE
INTOLERANCE MANY INDIVIDUALS IN
MANY LANDS HAVE DEVOTED
HUNDREDS, AND INDEED THOUSANDS
OF HOURS TO SEEKING TO UPHOLD
HUMAN RIGHTS WHEREVER IN THE
WORLD THEY'RE VIOLATED, AND
WHOMEVER THEY'RE VIOLATED BY.
HERE IN CANADA, I'D LIKE TO PAY
TRIBUTE THIS EVENING TO IRWIN
COTLER WHOSE WORK I FIRST
ENCOUNTERED 35 YEARS AGO WHEN HE
BUILT UP AN EXTRAORDINARY
DEFENCE DOSSIER FOR ANATOLI
SHARANSKY, A SOVIET JEW WHO HAD
JUST BEGUN 12-YEAR PRISON
SENTENCE IN THE SOVIET UNION.
AND EVEN AS WE SIT HERE TONIGHT
IRWIN COTLER IS FIGHTING FOR THE
HUMAN RIGHTS OF A BANGLADESHI
MUSLIM, SALAH UDDIN CHOUDHURY,
WHO SEEKS TO PROMOTE
MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN-JEWISH DIALOGUE
AND FRIENDSHIP WITH ISRAEL.
IN SEEKING FOR A GRAPPLE OF
GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE, THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY OF UNITED NATIONS ON
THE 25th OF NOVEMBER, 1981
TURNED TO THE QUESTION OF
EDUCATION, WHICH AS I'VE TRIED,
I THINK, TO INTIMATE, HAS BEEN A
FEATURE OF THE STRUGGLE FROM THE
BEGINNING.
ON THAT DAY THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY ISSUED A DECLARATION OF
THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF
INTOLERANCE.
AS ALL FIVE OF THE DECLARATION
LINKED EDUCATION WITH TOLERANCE.
THE CHILD SHALL BE PROTECTED
FROM ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
ON THE GROUNDS OF RELIGION OR
BELIEF.
HE SHALL BE BROUGHT UP IN A
SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING,
TOLERANCE, FRIENDSHIP AMONG
PEOPLES, PEACE AND UNIVERSAL
BROTHERHOOD, RESPECT FOR FREEDOM
OF RELIGION AND THE BELIEFS OF
OTHERS, AND IN FULL
CONSCIOUSNESS THAT HIS ENERGIES
AND TALENTS SHALL BE DEVOTED TO
THE SERVICE OF HIS FELLOW MEN.
THAT WAS, I BELIEVE, ONE OF THE
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL THE UNITED
NATIONS RESOLUTIONS.
INTERESTINGLY, WHAT'S FOLLOWED
FOUR YEARS LATER BY OUR OWN
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT, WHICH WAS A
NATIONAL PIONEER IN THIS REGARD,
AND AGAIN, ALL INDIVIDUALS KNEW,
INFORMED YOUR CITIZENS SHOULD
HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY EQUAL OF
OTHER INDIVIDUALS TO MAKE FOR
THEMSELVES THE LIVES THAT THEY
ARE ABLE AND WISH TO HAVE, AND
TO HAVE THEIR NEEDS
ACCOMMODATED, CONSISTENT WITH
THEIR DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS AS
MEMBERS OF SOCIETY, WITHOUT
BEING HINDERED OR PREVENTED FROM
DOING SO BY DISCRIMINATORY
PRACTICES BASED ON RACE,
NATIONAL OR ETHIC ORIGIN,
COLOUR, RELIGION, SEX, SEXUAL
ORIENTATION, MARITAL STATUS,
FAMILY STATUS, DISABILITY, OR
CONVICTION FOR AN OFFENCE WHICH
A PARDON HAS BEEN GRANTED.
THAT WAS YOUR 1985 HUMAN RIGHTS
ACT.
THAT YEAR, AND AGAIN, IN 1986 I
SERVED AS A DELEGATE OF THE
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMISSION IN GENEVA, THE
POTENTIAL FOR CHALLENGING
INTOLERANCE WHEREVER IT RAISED
ITS CRUEL HEAD OR HYDRA HEADS
WAS ENORMOUS.
THE THEMATIC MANDATES OF THE
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
INCLUDED, I QUOTE, “CONTEMPORARY
FORMS OF RACISM, RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA, AND
RELATED INTOLERANCE, HUMAN
RIGHTS AND EXTREME POVERTY,
INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGES AND
LAWYERS.”
AND TRAGICALLY, WHEN YOU THINK
OF WHAT IT MEANS IT INCLUDES THE
RIGHT OF REPRISALS AGAINST
PERSON...
PERSONS REFUSING TO COOPERATE
WITH THE UNITED NATIONS BODIES.
IN OTHER WORDS, THOSE THAT
SUFFERED BECAUSE THEY WERE
COOPERATING.
THE RANGE OF THESE CONCERNS ARE
WIDE AND THE NEED TO ADDRESS
THEM REMAINS URGENT.
AS BOTH “RANDON AND DALFOUR.”
HAVE SHOWN THE GULF BETWEEN
WORDS AND ACTIONS IS SO DEEP AS
TO SEEM UNBRIDGEABLE.
I'D LIKE TO END WITH CANADA.
I CAME HERE FIRST IN 1940 AND...
AS A CHILD REFUGEE MYSELF,
CANADA TOOK ME IN.
AND I'D BEEN HERE MANY TIMES
SINCE, AND I NOW HAVE A CANADIAN
WIFE.
INFLUENCED BY THE EVENTS IN
BOSNIA AND KOSOVO, IN WHICH BOTH
CANADIAN WARPLANES AND CANADIAN
PEACEKEEPERS HAVE PLAYED THEIR
PART, CANADA BEGAN SEEKING IN
THE LAST DECADE OF THE 20th
CENTURY A WAY TO MOVE THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TOWARDS
A NEW CONCEPT OF ACTION BASED ON
THE IMMORALITY OF
STATE-SPONSORED PERSECUTIONS.
THIS WAS THE DOCTRINE OF
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT.
SINCE THE NOW RATHER FORGOTTEN
PEACE OF WESTPHALIA IN 1648,
THERE WAS INTERNATIONAL
CONSENSUS TO RESPECT THE
AUTONOMY AND SOVEREIGNTY OF
STATES, NOT TO INTERFERE IN THE
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS OF ANY STATE.
BEFORE THE WESTPHALIA SYSTEM,
STATES THAT SIMPLY CARESS OTHER
STATES WITHOUT THE NEED FOR
JUSTIFICATION.
SO THE TREATY OF WESTPHALIA WAS
A GREAT ADVANCE IN ITS DAY.
IT MADE NON-INTERFERENCE AN
INTERNATIONAL NORM.
THE CANADIAN RESPONSIBILITY TO
PROTECT MAKES A SIGNIFICANT
ADJUSTMENT TO THE WHOLE CONCEPT
OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY BY
DECLARING THAT FOR STATE
SOVEREIGNTY TO BE RESPECTED IT
MUST DEMONSTRATE RESPONSIBILITY
TOWARDS ITS OWN CITIZENS, AND
AS I SAID EARLIER, FAR MORE
PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN THE 20th
CENTURY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES
THAN BY WAR WITH OTHER
COUNTRIES.
IF A STATE IS UNWILLING OR
UNABLE TO CARRY OUT ITS
RESPONSIBILITY TO PREVENT HUMAN
RIGHTS ABUSES, THAT
RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THE
CANADIAN SYSTEM IS TRANSFERRED
TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
USING PEACEFUL MEANS SUCH AS
DIPLOMATIC PRESSURE, DIALOGUE,
EVEN SANCTIONS, BUT, AND THIS IS
THE STRENGTH OF THE CANADIAN
SYSTEM PROPOSAL, AS A LAST
RESORT, MILITARY INTERVENTION.
IN SEPTEMBER 2005 AFTER FIVE
YEARS OF DEBATE, THE UNITED
NATIONS WORLD SUMMIT HELD IN NEW
YORK WITH MORE THAN 170 HEADS OF
STATE AND GOVERNMENT, THE
LARGEST EVER GATHERING OF WORLD
LEADERS IN HISTORY INCLUDING TWO
OF ITS MOST RECENT MEMBERS -
EAST TIMOR, WHICH HAD COME
THROUGH A HORRIFIC 30 YEARS OF
DESTRUCTION; AND BELIEVE IT OR
NOT, SWITZERLAND, WHICH HAD
FINALLY DECIDED TO ENTER THE
WORLD BODY.
THIS WORLD SUMMIT PRODUCED A
BREAKTHROUGH ENDORSEMENT OF THE
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT,
GIVING THE WORLD COMMUNITY THE
RIGHT TO INTERVENE, I QUOTE,
“WHENEVER NATIONAL AUTHORITIES
MANIFESTLY FAIL TO PROTECT THEIR
POPULATIONS FROM GENOCIDE, WAR
CRIMES, ETHNIC CLEANSING, AND
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY WILL THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY GRASP
THIS CANADIAN OF A WAY FORWARD.”
IN ADDITION TO ALL THE
SAFEGUARDS AND INSTITUTIONS OF
WHICH I'VE SPOKEN THIS EVENING
THAT WERE ACCUMULATED DURING THE
20th CENTURY.
OR WILL THE INTOLERANCES THAT
DOMINATED THE 20th CENTURY
CONTINUE TO CURSE THE ONE UPON
WHICH WE'RE EMBARKED?
UPON ALL OF US HERE, I THINK,
THAT ANSWER DEPENDS.
THANK YOU.

[Long applause]

The clip ends, and Andrew reappears in the studio with a caption that reads “Andrew Moodie.”

He says GILBERT'S
EXTENSIVE LITANY OF INJUSTICES
THAT HAVE BEEN PERPETRATED IN
THE WORLD...
IS MODERATED
BY THE OCCASIONAL VICTORIES
ALBEIT PARADOXICAL ONES.
HE MENTIONS ATATURK'S
ERADICATION OF SHARIA FROM
TURKEY AS A VICTORY OF
ENLIGHTENMENT VALUES OVER THE
FORCES OF TRADITION AND
“OBSCURITINISM.”
AND YET, TODAY, MANY OF YOU
TOLERANTS AS A STANCE THAT MUST
GO THE EXTRA MILE TO ACCEPT
THOSE FOR WHOM THE IDEA OF
TOLERANCE IF CULTURALLY FOREIGN.
TODAY, TURKEY IS A CULTURALLY
FRAGILE STATE WITH AN ISLAMIST
PARTY IN POWER AND AN ARMY WHICH
DEFENDS THE MODERNIZING LEGACY
OF ATATURK.
THE RECENT ASSASSINATION HRANT
DINK, A PROMINENT TURKISH
ARMENIAN EDITOR IN JANUARY OF
2007 SHOWS JUST HOW UNCLEAR IT
IS WHO REPRESENTS THE FORCES OF
TOLERANCE.
IF YOU
WANNA BE KEPT UP TO DATE ABOUT
UPCOMING LECTURES, PLEASE SEND
US AN e-mail TO bigideas@tvo.org
I'M ANDREW MOODIE AND WE'LL SEE
YOU NEXT TIME.

[Theme music plays]

The end credits roll.

bigideas@tvo.org

416-484-2746

Big Ideas. Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Producers, Lara Hindle, Mike Miner, Gregg Thurlbeck.

Logos: Unifor, Canadian Media Guild.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2007, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Martin Gilbert