I recommend taking a moment to read through this exchange between a coalition of women's rights groups and the Human Rights Campaign Team led by Kenneth Roth. The reader-submitted responses are also worthwhile.
In the following post, I attempt to raise further questions relating to governance, religion, and human rights.
Will strict Islamist regimes, if they are unsupported by manipulative Western power brokers (unlike the overthrown Autocrats), increasingly be held accountable to human rights equality by citizens who often chose conservative candidates for economic or social service reasons? How should global human rights organizations (many of these signers are not geographically based in the West) respect the results of democratic elections which install hard-line religious governments inclined towards strict control of women and repression of homosexuality? Most importantly, we should differentiate between different instances of political Islam, and also pay attention to how international political parties are shaped by their local state cultures (take, for instance, the Muslim Brotherhood's decision not to outlaw prostitution in Tunisia and the higher safety of homosexuals in Tunis).
In the context of a cultural vacuum, I am inclined to believe in political isolationism: let foreign populations solve their own problems while standing in economic and cultural solidarity with governments and political groups that defend the human rights that I wish were universal. However, it is trite but necessary to acknowledge that we live in a globalized world. What happens when one's countrymen are actively working against the rights of foreign peoples? Doesn't that affect the call to action of politically minded people who should be dedicating their time to human rights equality in the context of their own culture? Similarly, how is religious fundamentalism in the US and the various Islamic states mutually enforcing and how can dissidents on both sides effectively work together to reverse the trends of armament, xenophobia, and, ultimately, violence? Does the contemporary history of violence against the peoples of the Middle East prevent the just establishment of that humanistic cooperation? How can we convince Americans to abandon neo-liberalism and transition towards a paradigm of global Commonwealth?
Further Questions: Isn't the concept of "universalist human rights" necessarily an imposition of cultural hegemony? What specifically about the context of Enlightenment Christian Europe fueled the the French and American revolutions to a creation of the modernist secular state? What prevented successful secular revolutions in the Middle East during the 18th century stagnation of the Ottoman Empire? Were there Arabic and Turkish translations of Enlightenment thinkers floating around North Africa, the Saudi peninsula, and the Levant?
What were the reasons, other than Nasser's untimely death, the waning of the USSR's influence, and the interference of the United States, for the failure of the trending-secular pan-arab nationalism to take hold in the Middle East? Has foreign aid been used as a soft power tool to stave off the condtions required for radical political transformation and could we ethically let an affirmation of that connection effect our level of aid to countries that rely on foreign money for basic health services and subsistence?