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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

The majority of African-American Muslims, while still honouring the great achievements of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, have embraced the universal teaching of Islam that accepts all races as natural creations of Allah. Collectively the very presence of African-American Muslims — individuals who very often change their family names and observe different holidays, among other changes —serves as a catalyst for moving civil rights in America forward....

 
International Collaboration to End Violence
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

International Collaboration to End Violence
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Burmese scholar and activist, Dr Maung Zarni has been indefatigable in his efforts to raise awareness of the Burmese government's genocidal assault on the Rohingya Muslim population in Burma. He has also not shied away from drawing attention to democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's complicity in this genocidal assault....

 

Pakistan is already one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, but the blasphemy issue has made it even more dangerous for them. Blasphemy is a sensitive topic in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where around 97 percent of its 180 million inhabitants are Muslim. Rights advocates have long been demanding a reform of the controversial blasphemy laws, which were introduced by the Islamic military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s. ....

Bangladesh: Dissenting Voices Trapped Between Fear and Repression

The Bangladeshi government has not only failed to protect dissenting voices or hold accountable the armed groups that threaten them, it has also stifled freedom of expression through a slew of repressive tactics and new laws…

 

Meeting an Organ Trafficker Who Preys On Syrian Refugees
Alex Forsyth

He used to work as a security guard in a pub but then he met a group which trades in organs. His job is to find people desperate enough to give up parts of their body for money, and the influx of refugees from Syria to Lebanon has created many opportunities. "I do exploit people," ....

 

Yemen’s Worsening Humanitarian Crisis

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by Western nations, which sides with the president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, is finalising plans to invade and take the port. An attack is imminent, say UN observers. A successful raid could push rebel forces—a combination of Shia revivalists, Houthis and soldiers loyal to the former president....

 

Is Free Speech Good for Muslims?
Mustafa Akyol

This is not to say that Muslims who ask for freedom in the West must be held accountable for the lack of freedom in “Islamic” states. But it does mean that Muslim opinion leaders — imams, scholars, intellectuals — should give serious thought to a key question: Is liberalism a good or bad thing for Muslims? Should they embrace freedom or not?...

As Erdogan Turns the Screw, We Must Stand Up For Human Rights in Turkey
Timothy Garton Ash

If this newspaper were published in Turkey the rest of this column might be entirely blank, except for an author photograph at the top and the words, printed in large type, “124 days deprived of freedom”. That’s what the country’s most important surviving oppositional newspaper, Cumhuriyet, regularly prints for its imprisoned columnists – with the tally of days in jail ticking up and up. One leading columnist, Kadri Gürsel, recently sent a moving letter that begins: “I salute you all with love from B block, ward number 25 of Silivri prison number 9.”...

 

Human Rights in Pakistan Face Serious Threats
I. A. Rehman

More heart-wrenching was the story of two brothers who were acquitted of the murder charge levelled against them in 2002, after they had been hanged in October 2015...

 

Exiled PoK Leader Shaukat Kashmiri Condemns Serious Violations of Human Rights in Pakistan in a Memo to UNHRC
Exiled POK Leader Shaukat Kashmiri

We call upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to note that many voices of opposition raised against the Pakistani Government’s deliberate policy to keep the people of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan subjugated have been silenced permanently.  The brutal killing of Sardar Arif Shahid, Chairman of the All Parties National Alliance and a very prominent Kashmiri political leader, in Rawalpindi on May 13, 2013 by the Pakistani intelligence services is a clear reflection of the reprehensible policy adopted by the Government agencies to remove sane voices of peaceful resistance....

 

I'm in an Egyptian Prison – Being Stripped and Beaten Is Normal
Ibrahim Halawa

Each time you are transferred to a new prison, there is something called “the party”. They show you who’s boss. In most cases it’s beatings, but in one, we were stripped, told to lie down facing the ground with our arms behind our back, and they started to jump on our backs, from one prisoner to the next. It’s normal to be cursed, stripped naked, beaten with a bar, or put in solitary confinement or the “tank” (a pitch-black 3.5m x 5.5m cell). They might also torture another prisoner in front of you. Of course you never forget. Ever....

 

Capital Punishment Is Not Israel’s Answer to Terrorism
Nathan Hersh

But capital punishment for Palestinian assailants will not help fight terrorism, nor will it solve any aspect of the conflict. It will not deter future attacks, as the promoters of the legislation had claimed. It is a thoughtless, vengeful reaction to a problem many Israelis increasingly believe is unsolvable. ...

 

Bangladesh: Human Rights Cannot Be Sacrificed In Fight against Militants
Champa Patel

There are immediate steps Bangladesh can, and must, take to improve the situation. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the country now fear they could become the next target for violent groups. These include free thinkers like Niloy Neel, members of Bangladesh's beleaguered LGBTI community, or minority religious groups like the Hindus. ....

 

An Ayatollah’s Daughter Prompts a Debate on Religious Persecution in Iran
Faezeh Hashemi

Some people, even among the clergy, have risen to her defence. “They met in prison, of course they can be friends,” said Fazel Meybodi, a reformist cleric from the Shiite holy city of Qum. Noting that not all Islamic scholars agree that the Bahais are spiritually impure, he added: “These are just two humans meeting. What is the problem?”...

 
Baha’i Seven Mark Eight Years Behind Bars in Iran
Parliament of the World's Religions

Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, who was one of the lawyers for the seven, stated that there was no evidence to sustain any of the charges against them. Nonetheless, each of them was sentenced to twenty years in prison – the longest sentences of any prisoner of conscience in Iran today...

 

He pointed to ... Iran’s majority-Shiite regime, where Sunnis, Christians and Baha’is have been persecuted, imprisoned and even sentenced to death on dubious unrelated charges. And in Pakistan more people are on death row or serving life sentences for blasphemy charges than in any other nation in the world....

With the inmate kneeling at his feet, head facing the floor, the soldier grabbed a sharp weapon and started hacking at the base of his skull, severing the spinal cord from the head. Then he ordered another patient to drag the body to the bathroom. The U.N. report says of Hospital 601, “Many patients have been tortured to death in this facility.” The soldier called himself Azrael, after the archangel of death; other survivors recall him murdering patients in similarly horrifying ways.....

 

Human Rights and the Expatriate
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

The Saudi media over the years had not been overwhelmingly kind to the presence of the expatriates in this land, and had often generalized them as money-hungry carpetbaggers or worse yet criminals, an unfair tag maligning countless generations of expatriates who have unflinchingly submitted their body, sweat and blood towards the building of the country....

 

One Hundred and Sixty under-18s Wait On Death Row in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Denise Hassanzade Ajiri

Iran doesn’t deny it executes juvenile offenders but often disagrees with numbers reported. The authorities also argue they are trying to make changes. In January in a meeting with the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Mahmoud Abbasi, deputy for human rights and international affairs at the justice ministry, said that reforming policies would not work without changing the attitudes “particularly of policy-makers and those directly involved with children”.....

 

POK Is a Land of Muzzled Press, Banned Books, Arbitrary Arrest and Torture of Freedom Fighters, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Exiled Chairman of UKPNP Tells UNHRC At Geneva
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri

“Pakistan's province of Punjab has recently passed the Women's Protection Act despite stiff opposition from conservative clerics, religious and feudal leaders. However, we appreciate it as it gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. Forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls, rape, gang-rape, domestic violence, honour killing (Karo Kari), Vani (exchange of women in settling the disputes), and forced/child marriages are some examples of women's rights violations in Pakistan. There is need to do more and abolish all evil practices and discriminations, violence against women and young girls in Pakistan.” Said Shaukat Kashmiri....

 

Saudi Tyranny Will Fall: Son of Executed Saudi Dissident Al-Nimr Shares His Incredible Story
Ben Norton

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.

 

The Price of Freedom of Expression in Turkey Is Rather Heavy Under the Oppression of the Untouchables
Sevgi Akarcesme

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....

 

Death Sentence Is Tehran's Answer to Ahwazi Calls for Freedom
Rahim Hamid

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.....

 

Reinstituting Death Penalty But For Whom?
Yusuf Kanli

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?....

 
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