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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

Despite longstanding reform promises, the government of Saudi Arabia has failed to make substantive changes, Human Rights Watch said. In particular, it should improve its arbitrary criminal justice system, abolish the system of male guardianship over women, and throw out discriminatory aspects of its sponsorship system for foreign workers, which leave workers vulnerable to abuses including forced labor…….

In reality however it is freedom of expression and religion that is facing a clear threat from hardliners within the government as well from right wing organisations such as Perkasa. The ‘Allah’ case is just one out of numerous other cases over the last year where we have seen an overzealous regime and their religious apparatus clampdown on various forms of writings, religious beliefs and practices, in violation of their international human rights obligations....

Moses and his people, opperesed by the Pharaoh of Egypt tracked to the Levant, ‘the promised land’; and left behind a legacy of oppression and strife till today. The early Muslim too have done their bit to this process. The Americas have seen the largest migration of Europeans in modern history. From religious strife torn Europe, in boat loads. Followed by the conquistadores and colonisers.....

“Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here”: Muslim Artists Battle Fundamentalism
Karima Bennoune

It was Faizan’s second experience of such an attack that year. Some seven months earlier, in April 2008, the restaurant at Rafi Peer’s main offices was blown up, after their International Mystic Music Sufi Festival. The Peerzadas did not surrender then, either: “The next day we had a performance.” This persistence elicited more threats. “They said, ‘You still haven’t learned your lesson.’ I said, ‘Well, I think lessons have to be learned by you.’ ” Nor did the audience give up. “Did people come? Yeah. The restaurant was filled....

 

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Sharia’s Rise in Nigeria Incited Stoning Sentences

 

Human Rights and Terrorism, the Image of Balance
Dr Fawad Kaiser

When it comes to the fight against terrorism, most democratic governments presume that they cannot be effective against the threat unless they sacrifice some of their democratic substance. Constitutional guarantees are believed to impede the implementation of efficient counterterrorism policies and are restricted in order to protect the security of individuals....

 

Undoubtedly the world where its people are not hostages to perceptions and where faiths and ideologies are not prejudged and the human mind is free of bias and takes voluntary and informed action based on knowledge and truth should be the goal. The free will of humans will be exercised only when this happens....

 

The Prophet replied: “The nations that lived before you were destroyed by God because they punished the common man for their offenses and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their crimes. I swear by Him Who hold my life in His had that even if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, I would have amputated her hand.”….

 

Ahmadis were stopped from offering Friday prayers and police asked them to produce a No Objection Certificate (no such thing exists) for offering prayers. When Ahmadis went to a senior police official for help, he instead instructed Ahmadis not to observe their Friday prayers until he had spoken to the Mullahs, the Muslim fundamentalists. The authorities do not allow Ahmadis to build a place for worship, nor do they allow them to pray at home. This is the freedom to worship – Punjab style....

Human Rights in Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Human Rights in Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

The best thing one can say about human rights is the right of humans to live, no other right is bigger or better than the right to life and this is what the Quran emphatically says twice in just one verse: first constructed negatively and then positively, doubly reminding us all, especially the Muslims, that every human life is precious. The Quran says: “If anyone kills any human being (whether Muslim or non-Muslim)- unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he has killed the whole of humanity. And if anyone saves any human being (whether Muslim or non-Muslim)- it would be as if he has saved the whole of humanity.” (5:32)....

 

Islam and Human Rights: Beyond the Zero-Sum Game
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Profound political and theological differences have divided Muslims from the beginning in the Arabia of the seventh century, leading to civil wars over issues of political power within a few decades of the Prophet's death. What came to be known as Shari'a gradually evolved during the first three centuries of Islam through human interpretations of the Qur'an and Sunna of the Prophet….

 

Beyond the Zero-Sum Game: A significant range of views about human rights in Islamic societies
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

...the realistic prospects of such constant mediation will depend on the credibility and moral authority of the human rights itself, as reflected in the practice of all states, especially the major powers. If the human rights project is to collapse, I believe, that would be as much the result of the failure of Western major powers to uphold these rights in their own domestic practice and international relations behaviour...

The document shows that the authorities have ordered the release of such hardened criminals on the condition that they will join the subversive activities in Syria. The practice also constitutes gross violation of Geneva Convention of wartime rights of civilians and prisoners. This could even pave the way for the prosecution of the Saudi government at the International Criminal Court in The Hague....

 

Notes on Various Aspects of the Question of Compatibility between Islam and Human Rights

-Abu Hanifa and his followers advanced the cause of universal human rights – universally and unconditionally granted to all by birth, on a permanent and equal basis, by virtue of being a human - which cannot be taken away by any authority. Abu Hanifa established an unbreakable relationship between the concept of âdamiyyah (personhood, humanity) and the concept of ‘ismah (inviolability). Based on this relationship, he argued that being a child of Adam or a human, whether Muslim or not, serves as the legal ground for possessing basic rights....

Muslim States and the Protection of Fundamental Rights
Asma Uddin

The explicit assertion of the freedom to “change” one’s religion in Article 18 of the UDHR has been especially controversial. While the inclusion of Article 18 did not prevent Syria, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan from voting for the UDHR, the Saudi Arabian delegation objected to it and therefore abstained. Similarly, the reservations of some majority-Muslim states...

“The uncertainties of freedom are no reason to revert to the enforced predictability of authoritarian rule,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The path ahead may be treacherous, but the alternative is to consign entire countries to a grim future of oppression.”...

 

Unable to witness horrific abuses, intelligence officer flees to hometown to teach Islam to children instead. Anti-government protesters were frequently arrested and tortured there before they were tucked into narrow and dark dungeons, he said. "They stepped on his beard," he said. "They humiliated him and continued to insult him and his religion....

 

Islam, many Islamists claim, professes freedoms and human rights for its citizens but ironically it is the Islamic countries that have been lagging behind in providing its citizens the basic freedoms and liberties. According to a recent survey, titled Freedom of the World 2013, published by the Freedom House, an NGO based in America, the Islamic countries have disappointed those who boast of the human principles of Islam based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Though the report also shows that there has been a decline in the overall freedom in the world due to the political, religious and social crises, it prominently comes out in the report that the Muslim majority countries or Islamic countries have fared badly in terms of political and civil liberties to their citizens. ...

When Pakistan was formed, Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a secular country like India but the ambitious and narrow-minded mullahs of the country gradually turned it into a Islamic country saying that Pakistan will be an Islamic republic. … It’s time Muslims and the rulers of Islamic countries shun violent approach to religion and the problems of their collective life in the broader context of multicultural necessities of the modern world.

Cruelty and Injustice in the Arab World
Irfan Husain

SRI LANKANS aren’t as prone to street protests as their other South Asian cousins. But when Rizana Nafeek, a young Sri Lankan Muslim girl, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago, anti-Saudi demonstrations broke out in Colombo as well as in other cities. This case drew worldwide condemnation because of the sheer injustice that led to Rizana’s execution....

Reflections On Rizana’s Public Beheading In Saudi Arabia After Friday Prayers And Spectators Allowed To Enjoy Thoroughly
Rizana Nafeek
It seems to be a widespread notion that however tragic and horrifying Rizana Nafeek’s fate might be, we cannot in the last resort object to the Saudis having their own laws and applying them in the manner they think fit. That view seems sound on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states. But it carries a large assumption. It is that the Saudi manner of applying its laws will be consistent with internationally accepted standards. No one has any business to assume anything of the sort considering Saudi Arabia’s horrendous record in human rights.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights must publicly denounce this monstrous abuse of a person and the unlawful death inflicted on an innocent fellow human by the custodians of a sordid system. High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay should speak out boldly against this abomination for her to have any credibility among fair-minded people around the world, and if she wishes to demonstrate that her Commission has a conscience.

“Perhaps a good place to start would be to lift the ban on the book co-authored by Dr Hassan Saeed – the current Special Advisor to President Waheed – which argues that there is no apostasy in Islam. This is a position that is upheld by a growing number of reputable scholars in the Islamic world and elsewhere.”

 

Alkarama, a Swiss Non Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Geneva and whose work centers on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Arab World, received the petition on 23 July 2012. Arbitrary or illegal detention is a serious matter of concern regarding the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. The ongoing events in al-Hayer Prison near Riyadh in Saudi Arabia highlight this dramatic situation. Families of detainees and human rights activists claim that a serious crackdown has been occurring against prisoners in al-Hayer for almost two months.

 

Torture in Egypt:  No Right Is Lost If It Is Chased
Khaled Fahmy

At the time Atta’s case not only enraged public opinion because of its heinous and horrific nature, but also because it happened nine months after a revolution that was founded on a fundamental pillar protesting the systematic violations of the constitution, law, international charters, human morals and principles that the Egyptian police had often practiced throughout Mubarak’s long rule....

 

The shrine is a Sufi centre with a madrasa that has been mentioned in the media in connection with a high number of alleged forced conversions of members from the Hindu community in the area, the most notable of which is the Rinkle Kumari case. The administrators of the madrasa, including the local MNA Mian Abdul Haq also known as “Mian Mitho” maintain that the conversions are not forced, but a result of the individual’s own choice…

 

From Temple to Shrine

 

Victor’s Justice Bedevils the New Libya
Vijay Prashad

Two NATO air strikes had already killed about 103 members of Qadhafi’s convoy. Cell phone images and photographs, as well as interviews with survivors, showed the investigators that the dead were killed in custody. Human Rights Watch’s investigation is clear that war crimes had been committed at Sirte. The Misrata chief prosecutor balked at an inquiry, saying that it would be too “dangerous” to “carry out an investigation in Sirte at the time,” a situation that seems unchanged....

 
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