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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

Islam Gave To Mankind an Ideal Code of Human Rights Fourteen Centuries Ago: Other Views - Part I
Denis MacEoin

Islam gave to mankind an ideal code of human rights fourteen centuries ago. These rights aim at conferring honour and dignity on mankind and eliminating exploitation, oppression and injustice. Human rights in Islam are firmly rooted in the belief that God, and God alone, is the Law Giver and the Source of all human rights. Due to their Divine origin, no ruler, government, assembly or authority can curtail or violate in any way the human rights conferred by God, nor can they be surrendered.....

Saudi Arabia, a UNHRC Member, Continues Rights Crackdown
Khalid Ibrahim

In addition to its violations in Yemen, Saudi Arabia continues to target human rights defenders inside the country. In fact, the rights situation in the kingdom, an absolute monarchy, has markedly deteriorated with a renewed crackdown against human rights defenders since the accession of Mohammad bin Salman as Crown Prince in June 2017. The environment for human rights defenders has become increasingly dangerous as authorities systematically target them on a daily basis....

Tuesday Becomes Execution Day in Egypt
Mona Eltahawy

And let’s be honest: When it comes to the death penalty, the United States is hardly in a position to preach. There were 2,832 people on death row there at the end of 2016, according to Amnesty International. Still, too many await death by hanging in Egyptian prisons. What Egyptian can forget the notorious judge who, after a cursory trial of a few sessions lasting just minutes, sentenced more than 680 people to death in April 2014 for the killing of one police officer?...

How—and Why—To End the War in Yemen: A Pointless Conflict Has Caused the Worst Humanitarian Crisis in the World

He may think it is all part of confronting Iran; or he may want to support the liberalising reforms of the Saudi crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman; or he may hope to profit by selling the Saudis “lots of beautiful military equipment”. Whatever the case, he is damaging America’s interests. Precisely because of the importance of Saudi Arabia—the world’s biggest oil exporter and home to Islam’s two holiest places—the West should urge restraint on the impetuous prince and help disentangle him from an unwinnable war....

 

The Case of Disappearing Human Rights in Turkey
Aakar Patel

As an Indian and as a student of history, I was disappointed by what I saw in Turkey. We have close cultural ties with the Turkic people, from before the time when Turks actually came to Turkey about 1,000 years ago. Most of the Islamic rulers of India were actually Turkish. Mahmud Ghazni was of Turkish origin, Babur was a Chagatai Turk and Tipu of Mysore called himself “Sultan” because he also claimed Turkish ancestry. ...

 

Bangladesh Academic Mubashar Hasan Held by Military Intelligence Agency
David Bergman

Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the bodies of 21 of the over 90 people secretly detained in 2016 were subsequently found dead with at least nine other men remaining missing. Most people the Bangladeshi authorities illegally and secretly detain are opposition activists, or alleged militants – however, state law enforcement agencies do also at times pick up people who are perceived by the government as causing it difficulty or embarrassment or otherwise useful to it...

 

Human Rights Watch: Afghan Teenagers Recruited in Iran to Fight in Syria
Nada Homsi

The Human Rights Watch report demonstrates that Afghan fighters younger than 18 have died in Syria, and it sheds new light on the recruitment of Afghan Shiites to fight in Syria, where Iran backs the Syrian government in a multisided war. Iran is home to many Afghans, who have travelled there to work or as refugees fleeing conflict in their country. Human rights groups have long expressed concern that vulnerable Afghan refugees are being pressured by the Iranian authorities to fight in Syria....

 

Saudi Arabia Wasn’t Always This Repressive: Now It’s Unbearable
Jamal Khashoggi

The scene was quite dramatic as masked security men stormed houses with cameras, filming everything and confiscating papers, books and computers. The arrested are accused of being recipients of Qatari money and part of a grand Qatari-backed conspiracy. It anguishes me to speak with other Saudi friends in Istanbul and London who are also in self-exile. There are at least seven of us — are we going to be the core of a Saudi diaspora?...

 

Saudis Tout Humanitarian Record in Yemen amid Washington Backlash
Bryant Harris

“One thing that’s hardest for me to wrap my mind around, and I think least credible, is the idea that Iranian weapons are coming in commercial grain shipments or on container ships,” he said. “That’s just not how it’s going to get done.”....

 

Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups have a demonstrated propensity to use human shields to protect the infrastructure they use to stage attacks. They direct men, women, and children to place themselves on roofs and next to rocket launch sites to deter retaliatory measures. The use of civilians to protect military targets is a flagrant violation of international law and a war crime.....

 

I Was Forced To Watch My Brother's Torture as a Political Prisoner in Iran – This Is My Story
Shabnam Madadzadeh

While in prison, the regime's agents harassed and tortured my brother in front of my eyes. They used to beat him, saying "no one knows about you outside of these walls." The loudmouth agents would add while still beating him: "No one is paying attention to what is happening to you here, and everyone will forget about you because you don't matter. Those words still echo in my brain: "No one knows about you outside of these walls..."..

 

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?”...

 
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