Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who accuses the West of monopolising power in world bodies, proposed on Tuesday setting up an international Islamic court to try war criminals and other human rights violators.
The president gave few details about his proposal, made at a meeting of judiciary chiefs from Islamic countries. But he repeated his assertions that bodies like the UN Security Council were being manipulated by the West.
“Today it is necessary to create an international Islamic court for pursuing and following international criminals, those who violates the rights of nations, war criminals and governments …” Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech.
This is part of his campaign to delegitimize the Security Council (and by extension any nuclear sanctions that may flow from it) as a blunt instrument wielded by western powers for their own interests. Until now he’s chosen to do that in anti-western terms, not Islamic ones, so as to include the widest possible array of allies. Hence the interest in the “non-aligned movement” in 2006 and his speech at the UN this year declaring the end of the World War II era that gave the Security Council its five permanent members. Why go the Islamic route now? Probably because he’s a little worried about how worried his Sunni neighbors are about him and wants to make a show of being a good Muslim to make it harder for them to side with the U.S.
Among the charges the court would apparently be empowered to consider: “Bringing bitterness into people’s lives.” Exit question: What are the odds, do you suppose, that they’d be hearing any cases against the Janjaweed?