believe that the injustice inflicted on us is not an excuse for us to
resort to the same kind of practice. But we reject all attempts to
crush our rights by the major powers, and call on our nation to
acquire the force to defend right and justice.
Asked in his weekly seminar the following
question: How does Islam view human rights, and how can we
read the on-going violations?
Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:
Those who are aware
of the general principles of the international declaration of
human rights have undoubtedly noticed the close association
between these principles and the Islamic principles. Those who
contributed in creating this document have made it clear that it
is based on the heavenly religions, and especially Islam, being
the major reserve in the field of respecting human rights.
Islam has asserted
the freedom of man on the basis of: "Do not be a slave of
others while God had made your free", and "When did
you enslave people while they were born free".
In addition to
freedom, Islam has emphasized the right of learning and of
living a free and decent life. It also respected the rights of
women and rejected slavery. Moreover, Islam does not approve any
torture or any illegal imprisonment, and calls for giving
individuals and groups the chance to express their opinions
without any pressure or suppression.
But humanity in
this stage does not suffer from the lack of laws or concepts
that assert and preserve human rights. The problem lies in the
authorities that are supposed to guard these rights, whether at
the level of states or at the international level. The powers
that dominate this world, especially the US, have confiscated
human rights in the name of protecting them. They sought to
enslave the nations in the name of rejecting discrimination and
they are about to confiscate what is left of the Arab and Muslim
human rights under the pretense of fighting anti-Semitism.
Islam has been
aware right from the very beginning that the concept of human
rights cannot be reduced to a set of regulations and concepts
that are presented as a model for values on the international
level. It has extended human rights to contain national rights
too, because it realized that values need a system to protect
them and a force to defend them. It also emphasized that
religion came to serve man and not the other way round, and gave
the various nations the chance to know one another and
communicate to reserve these values and promote them.
We have always
emphasized the need to respect the contemporary international
norms regarding human rights, but we, as Muslims, have included
the rights of peoples especially that of self-determination and
the treaties and charters that preserve their rights and ensure
them a prosperous future. But we have always warned that most of
these rights have been violated in the developing world in
general and in particular in Palestine where the Palestinians
have been denied all their rights.
The states that
claim to protect human rights in the world are practicing the
most brutal crimes to suppress these rights.
This is what
America has done in Iraq and Afghanistan, and this is what it is
doing in Palestine when it supports the Israeli aggressions
against all Palestinian rights.
America has ignored
all Israeli violations of the Palestinian human rights, and all
the crimes Saddam Hussein committed against his people as well
as against the peoples of Kuwait and Iran.
American position has remained constant despite the change of
the administrations, either by backing the barbaric violations,
committed by Israel and other arrogant powers, since these
violations are similar in nature to those practiced by America
itself, or by paving the way for the US to become directly
involved in the region and put its hand on the oil resources in
Iraq and the entire region.
When America flies
the banner of human rights, it does not include those of the
downtrodden, especially the Arabs and Muslims. It only cares
about the rights of Americans and what it claims to be Israeli
rights. Thus, America is the biggest obstacle that hinders the
application of human rights as expressed by the UN declaration.
based on our Islamic belief in human rights, we call on Muslims
and Arabs to respect the rights of Westerners and others. We
believe that the injustice inflicted on us is not an excuse for
us to resort to the same kind of practice.
On the other hand,
we reject all attempts to crush our rights by the major powers,
and call on our nation to acquire the force to defend right and
justice to protect its people and respect the rights of others,
since in the world we live in there is no other way to protect