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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

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....

 

The Reality of Riyadh
Malini Nair

The numbers say that 2. 5 million Malayalees migrate to the Gulf that of them most do menial jobs and live in dehumanising conditions, that thousands disappear into the desert countries as slave labour never to be found again and that Qatar itself has reported 120 Kerala workers "missing" this year. But Najeeb Muhammad refused to be reduced to a trafficking statistic because he didn't let the indignities corrode his faith or his goodness....

 

Pakistan has been on the road to democracy since its independence. As in all countries worldwide, this road has been difficult and met with many obstacles. Pakistan has endured several periods of military dictatorship throughout its history, which resulted at times in massive violations of human rights. The perceptions of different groups in the society of not being treated on an equal footing with others created frustrations and demands which were often responded to through violent means and further inequalities....

 

Legalised Voluntary Euthanasia: Nothing in the Quran to deny such an equitable, just and compassionate moral procedure undertaken by the State
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

For the Muslim community there is nothing one can find in the Quran to deny such an equitable, just and compassionate moral procedure undertaken by the State within its legal duties فَرِيْضَۃَمِنَاللہ  on behalf of all, as a gift of service عَدلْ بِل الْحسَانْ.

There are various other practical factors involved in such issues such as Health facilities, family finances and State resources etcetera; which are beyond the scope here……But since, Life is sacrosanct it must be kept with dignity for the living and that must be the sole criterion --for it to be taken away except for truth الَا بِلْحَقِ17-33

Strength, determination and vision are the ingredients to make the impossible, possible. Usually transgenders in a society scrapes a living together through dancing, singing and begging on the mean streets of metropolitans. People tolerate them due to beliefs that they can give blessings towards a happy and successful life and equally the threat that they may curse those who treat them badly....

 

The high suicide rate, especially among blue-collar workers, in West Asia must push the government to explore labour-friendly solutions. Among other factors, working conditions tend to be harsh especially if you are a construction worker. Some unscrupulous employers (and not all) delay or don’t pay wages on time, physically abuse workers, retain passports to restrict labour mobility....

Islam Fully Protects Human Rights of Religious Minorities: Sultan Shahin tells UNHRC at Geneva
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

... In several Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, for instance, no religious minority can even build their places of worship. And this when not only international conventions to which they are signatories, but even the religion they claim as their own, Islam, fully stands for minority rights. More than any other country Pakistan seems to be suffering from an epidemic of minority bashing. It is time the UN Human Rights Council reminded these countries to respect their own signatures on the UN conventions, if they cannot follow their own religion.

This is not only giving these Muslim-majority countries, but our religion, Islam itself a bad image, leading to fear of Islam in the minds of many non-Muslims around the world. I would like to bring to the notice of representatives from the world community that our religion, Islam, stands fully for protecting the rights of the practitioners of all religions.  Indeed, the Holy Quran, while giving Muslims permission for the first time to defend themselves with arms, 13 years after the advent of Islam, asked them to do so in order to protect religious freedom per se, religious freedom of Jews, Christians, Hindus and Muslims,  not just the religious freedom of Muslims.

The Quran said in Chapter 22, verse 40: “And had it not been that Allah checks one set of people with another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which His praise is abundantly celebrated would have been utterly destroyed. Clearly this makes it imperative as a religious duty on the part of Muslims to protect by whatever means available to them the rights of religious groups to build and worship God in their churches, synagogues, monasteries, temples, mosques. In Saudi Arabia, Taliban-controlled areas in Pakistan and Boko Haram controlled zones in Nigeria, for instance, it is impossible for religious or sectarian minorities to even build their places of worship, not to speak of practising their religions freely. The verse from Quran quoted above, makes it imperative on Muslims, in my view, to struggle to the best of their ability and resources, to change this situation. At the very least we  should try and convince the authorities in these areas who claim to be Muslim to follow the Quran in letter and spirit and stop adding to the Islamophobia already prevailing in the world....

Why This long Delay in Education for All
Yaqoob Khan Bangash is assistant professor of history at Forman Christian College

In 1948, Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights made education a ‘right’ for all, and bound its signatories to make primary education free and compulsory for all member states of the United Nations. Article 25A reads: “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.” Why this long delay? …

 

UN Human Rights Council and Issue of Human Rights Abuses in State of Jammu and Kashmir and Balochistan
Dr Shabir Choudhry, Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs, London

People of Jammu and Kashmir need to understand that the Kashmir dispute has lost its importance in the UN, because of non implementation of the UNCIP Resolutions, and Pakistani governments were the main hurdle in that. Mehran Baloch, while talking on this subject said his people were being killed; and they have no option but to fight for their independence. He said to save life, dignity and honour of his people; he will even welcome help from swine. …

Pakistan has Signed but does not Follow UN Protocol on Religious Freedom: Jamil Maqsood tells UNHRC
Sardar Jamil Maqsood

Pakistan has signed convention of civil and political rights and protocol on religious freedom and freedom of thoughts, but the practice of the State and even the laws that have been promulgated there are completely contradictory to the letter and spirit of these conventions. For instance, the 1973 constitution of Pakistan declares “Ahmadis” as non-Muslims in clause 295C. This article is specifically directed against the Ahmadi sect.  No wonder Ahmadis are under attack since that article has been incorporated in the book of law. Anyone accused under this law is not given right to a fair trial.  Same is the fate of Shia minorities in that country. They are constantly under attack by extremists of the majority Sunni sects. ....

Human Rights situation in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Administrated Kashmir, Presentation by Dr Shabir Choudhry
Dr Shabir Choudhry, Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs, London

Pervez Hoodbhoy, Professor of Qaaid e Azam University Islamabad, in his article, ‘Is Rohrabacher wrong on Balochistan, wrote: 'Pakistan has also long criticised India — and justly so — for its human rights abuses. But more people are dying in Balochistan today than in Kashmir. For all their brutality against stone-throwing Kashmiri boys, the Indians have not yet used helicopter gunships and fighter jets against Kashmiris. Pakistan, on the other hand, uses airpower as a matter of course in Balochistan and Fata. …

Gilgit Baltistan and Human Rights Violation
Chairman, Balawaristan National Front

These ID Cards issued by government of Pakistan do not give us rights but death. This is Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the then Prime Minister of Pakistan who introduced sectarian violence in 1971 to divide the people on Shia Sunni line, when the people had broken Gilgit Jail to free their political leaders. If USA, Israel or India is involved, what some agency stooges say, then why the government of Pakistan and agencies do not present any proof, so the foreign killers are caught. … 

 

IHEU reminds Human Rights Council of Churches’ Failure to Protect Children
Former President, International Humanist and Ethical Union

Following a lengthy discussion and debate on the rights of the child at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today (9 March 2012), IHEU main representative Roy Brown raised two issues that had gone unmentioned during the several hours of debate: the problems faced by African children accused of witchcraft by evangelical Christian preachers, and the failure of the Holy See to honour its obligations to the world’s children under the Convention of the Rights of the Child. …

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NEW COMMENTS

  • The confusion about the concept of shahadah is just one of many that have left non-Muslims....
    ( By GRD )
  • Naseer sb, you again misunderstood what I wrote. I said poetry and something written in poetic style are two different things. One may not be ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Arshad sb, I agree with what you say about the Quran. It has its own charm, style, diction and power to awe, amaze and convince. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Different folks show their intolerance in different ways. People can have good inter-community relations in spite of these petty scruples. Making ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb can neither explain his flip-flops nor has the honesty to admit that he has revised his earlier categorical opinion that all the Mushrikin ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb says :"Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb, poetry is the art of use of language for conveying one's thought in an effective style. Quran is not vain poetry but it ...
    ( By arshad )
  • What have you read on Islam. Islam is 5% good, 35% bad and rest neutral. So let us not pick and choose 5% and ignore ...
    ( By Raman )
  • The rubbish that emanates from Naseer sab's pen is mind boggling.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Both the courts and the NIA are guilty of violating Hadiya's fundamental۔۔۔۔
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • no amount of rage is going to help your hollow claims. muslims are forbiddeen from eating offerings offered to another deity. they cannot....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: ""A close scrutiny of the opening ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • allah hates poets and poetry. what else is new? allah hates most of the things he thoughtlessly creates - kufr, shirk and so...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Arshad sb, The Quran says that it is those who stray in evil who follow the poets. The Prophet was neither instructed in poetry nor ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb's understanding of the Quran is extremely weak. There is no reversal of the meaning of verse 2:221 which is meant for all good/clean ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Simplistic half truths in Hats Offs hate war against Muslims!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The perennial enemy of Islam should know that the same question was not asked of other communities.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Will Shahin sb and Yunus sb answer the questions please? Yunus sb cannot explain his flip-flops and will not answer and is therefore in hiding. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • that there was not a single answer from the oh-so tolerant extremists on this site proves once and for all that islam and muslims are ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • just goes to prove how egalitarian and accommodating the polytheists are and how exclusive and discriminatory....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Both Hindus and Muslims indulge in honor killings. The RSS has raised it to a war of hate and lies with their "Love Jihad" scam!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Instead of using our sense of goodness and righteousness to get the best meaning out of....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The fact is my above remarks expressly relate to the polytheists among the Prophet’immediate s audience only, who did not believe in this (Qur’an’s) ultimate ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • thanks for the update mr another arshad!'
    ( By hats off! )
  • Had Ayyothiya,Madura ,Kasi etc Mosques been handed over to Hindus, lot of cruel incidents that tarnishes the images/prestiges of Muslims would not have been ....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • I am unable to comprehend why Shahin sb cannot show the courtesy of doing a proper cut/paste job to present my complete argument. I can ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, The following is what Yunus sb has said before running away saying that he will not agree with me even if I said a ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Hats off really hats off to your understanding. 'arshad' does not literally mean "I am late Sharif Arshad". It is....
    ( By arshad )
  • Gulam Mohyuddin did you not get any yes, this how your Muslim are. Includes Sultan Shahin, the propoganda of new age Islam....
    ( By Aayina )
  • The discussion of Kafir is just 1400 year old. It keep on changing the meaning depending on where and how Muslims are in political power.
    ( By Aayina )
  • casuistry when mistaken for logic has hilarious consequences. what with anonymous well known scholars, kill....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Qur'an is indeed great. it enables dead men to write and post comments on the reader's response to their articles....
    ( By hats off! )
  • This mushrikin/kafir discussion has gone to ridiculous lengths and seems to be never-ending. For a modernist....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • That's why your eagerness to be included surprised me.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "For those Muslims who choose to embrace modernity, the AIMPLB is an anachronism....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Saheb, you have said: "While Allah does not consider all of them as kafir but simply as people without....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Urdu is not good. Many errors of imla, faulty construction of sentences...
    ( By Shahid )
  • Naseer SB, I am by nature a poet so I see poetry in Quran. You are a scientist....
    ( By arshad )
  • hats off, you jumped off to make a silly comment. Read the comment again. I said "no human being can...
    ( By arshad )
  • if a murtad doest not covet even jannat, what can s/he covet from mere mortals.'
    ( By hats off! )