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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

The Saudi monarchy’s fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam opposes the preservation of many ancient religious sites, which it considers to be a form of idolatry. Like ISIS, Saudi Arabia has destroyed millennium-old heritage sites and artifacts; unlike ISIS, the close U.S. ally has replaced these sites with lavish Hilton hotels and gender-segregated shopping malls.

 

We also affirm that every human person has the right and duty to seek truth and to follow his or her conscience, and, in a similar vein, assert that seeking truth is something inherent to human dignity. It is important to firmly stress that change of one’s religion resulting from following of one’s conscience is also an integral part of the exercise of the right to religious freedom.

Some such thinkers are led to conclude that there is a Creator, Sustainer and Master of it all and called it God the same as religious god, thus confusing the issue.  Previous Messengers and Muhammad among them; as a curious and intensely sensitive person and inclined to contemplate on such matters, must have experienced the same and concluded that there is “No god…” other than the one Universal Master whom he called in his Arabic language  …Rabb” ....

 

Then, how are people like me still able to speak our minds? All these criminal cases probably unconsciously lead to some degree of self-censorship, but we still defy authoritarianism since we accept the consequences of punishment from the pressures being placed on us....

 

Is it just Ahwazi political prisoners who must be executed for using their pens, the only weapons they raised in the struggle for the rights of the Ahwazi people? Why is it a crime in the Iranian state to write about the lack of basic rights to a decent existence for the Ahwazi people who live below the poverty line, while their land is teeming with natural resources...

The Iranian regime uses religion as cover for its shameful crimes. Back in the 1980s, Ayatullah Mesbah Yazdiwas, allegedly issued death Fatwas against anyone who disagreed with his evil theological ideology.....

 

It is as if should the country reintroduce the death penalty, rapists would be sentenced to death and such sentences would be carried out. Come on, be serious! In this country, people still remember the executions of the 1980 military era. How many of these people demanding the reinstitution of the death penalty remember the name of 17-year-old Erdal Eren who was hanged by a ruthless regime to establish a balance of executed leftists and rightists?....

 

The objectives of the Charter of Medina provide a suitable framework for national constitutions in countries with Muslim majorities, and the United Nations Charter and related documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are in harmony with the Charter of Medina, including consideration for public order......

"In an outlandish lie, Iran maligns and offends all Saudis by saying that my nation, home of the two holy mosques, brainwashes people to spread extremism," the Saudi foreign minister declared on the same pages of the US newspaper. "We are not the country designated a state sponsor of terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation under international sanctions for supporting terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation whose officials are on terrorism lists; Iran is....

 

The fact that the Court of Appeal decided that only the Syariah court should have sole jurisdiction to hear and determine the validity of the conversion seems to suggest that the civil court also subscribes to the same view. The civil court apparently does not care that the effect of the judgment is as good as closing the door of justice on the non-Muslim litigant. In other words, the court seems to play down the principles of natural justice.

Interviews with 20 relatives, in Iraqi Kurdistan, in Istanbul, in five German towns and by phone in Syria, tell a story of a family chewed up by one party to the Syrian conflict after another: the Syrian government, the Islamic State, neighboring countries, the West.

 

Saudi Arabia has supported Wahhabi madrasas in poor countries in Africa and Asia, exporting extremism and intolerance. Saudi Arabia also exports instability with its brutal war in Yemen, intended to check what it sees as Iranian influence. Saudi airstrikes have killed thousands, and the blockading of ports has been even more devastating. Some Yemeni children are starving, and 80 percent of Yemenis now need assistance.

Forget Benghazi, What About Libya?

By DAVID TAFURI

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By Daoud Kuttab

Iran’s corruption and human rights overlooked

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By Helena Malikyar

Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau

 

Saudi Arabia has already executed over 100 people this year mostly by beheading, more than ISIS during the same period, and is reaching new heights of justice depravity with a recently released judgement to behead and then crucify the 21-year-old son of a prominent regime critic, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was convicted at the age of 17 for participating in an ‘illegal’ anti-government demonstration and a range of other offencesincluding “explaining how to give first aid to protestors” and “inviting others to join him at the protest” in the wake of the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprising.

In a late 2014 issue of its English-speaking magazine, ISIS elaborated a justification for reviving slavery in the present day, and as the New York Times details in a lengthystory in the past month, they have systematically put their slave-holding beliefs in practice. In painful detail, the Times documents the horrors of ISIS' practice of sexual slavery including the abuse of girls as young as 11. ISIS attempts to justify its horrific acts in the name of scripture. But to what extent is their reading of scripture reasonable?

 

Literalists, like those behind the Dabiq article, have interpreted these words as meaning “captured in battle”. Its purported female author, Umm Sumayyah, celebrated the revival of Islam’s slave-markets and even proffered the hope that Michelle Obama, the wife of America’s president, might soon be sold there. “I and those with me at home prostrated to Allah in gratitude on the day the first slave-girl entered our home,” she wrote….

 

Relatives of detainees who die in custody say they have been pressured into conducting hurried funerals, often at night, and sometimes coerced into declining an autopsy, even if the corpse bears signs of ill treatment. In other instances, they say, local mullahs are forbidden from offering prayers for the dead......

The trash is piling high in the streets of Sana’a and other Yemeni cities; the dead and the starving pose their own threats to those that are left behind. In the thankless summer days and the nights of bombings, Yemenis cower and take shelter where they can. With the delivery of aid repeatedly stalled by the breakdown of ceasefire agreements, their fate will be a cruel one. Those spared by bombs will be taken by disease; those surviving that will be destroyed by trauma. The Muslim world will face Saudi Arabia in prayer, but never, it seems, in protest.

 

I call upon the Pakistani leaders, intellectuals, and people to work on resolving the problem of their brothers and partners who have been stranded for four decades. I am confident Pakistan will be stronger and better when it embraces all its nationals as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says, "Seek me among the poor and weak. Truly, you are given victory and provided for on account of the poor and weak among you."...

 

The government of Pakistan has a choice. It can act to defend fundamental human rights and consign the death penalty to the dustbin of history. Or it can end this brief season of “human dignity” and condemn Kaneezan Bibi, Khizar Hayat and thousands of others to the darkness of a vindictive death penalty policy with no end in sight.....

 
The Race to Kill In Pakistan
Nida Kirmani
The Race to Kill In Pakistan
Nida Kirmani

Pakistan has executed over 150 people since a seven-year moratorium was lifted on state executions just six months ago. If we continue at this pace, we will quickly surpass China, North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia in the number of executions carried out by the state this year. It is not only the pace of executions that is alarming, it is the fact that many of these cases are marred by corruption, torture and a flagrant disregard for international human rights standards......

 

The government has repeatedly touted its "war on terrorism" — a reference to its battle against Islamic militants carrying out stepped-up attacks and to a crackdown on Islamists following the military's July 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. With the clampdown, many activists have gone into hiding, complicating efforts to determine who has been detained....

 

One of the Arab world’s most pre-eminent human rights institutions is the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, which has worked with institutions across the region, including intergovernmental bodies such as the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute. Its efforts in keeping track of state excesses for more than 20 years have been lauded around the world....

 
A Dragged, Stripped, Blamed Victim in Egypt
Diana Moukalled
A Dragged, Stripped, Blamed Victim in Egypt
Diana Moukalled

In Egypt, it is common to blame women for being attacked, particularly when expressing their right to protest. A few weeks ago, amid the life sentences and executions being issued by the Egyptian judiciary, Nafea was sentenced to life in prison over accusations of sabotage and terrorism. It went largely unnoticed that she turned from victim to defendant, something many others have experienced....

 

Wars are a nasty killing business, the culmination of a failure of diplomacy or resolution of conflicts in a peaceful manner. Like religious fanaticism, where reason and logic stop and aggression gives way to hostility, mankind and nations often take refuge in manoeuvring and manipulating to go one up and control situations by non-peaceful methods....

 
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