UN & HUMAN RIGHTS : Quayyum Raja
Quayyum Raja addresses Human Rights Conference in Islamabad

Ten December 1948 is the Day when Universal Declaration of Human Rights was made to prevent conflicts and promote and protect peace without which there is no progress and prosperity. The Big Question today before us is whether today we should celebrate or protest? I think it is a day to protest.

Why? Because those who identified the human rights as a right to life, liberty and dignity for everyone and that everyone is equal before the law, are the ones, who committed worst and most human rights violations ever. For instance, the then American president Roosevelt and the Soviet Prime Minister Lenin launched the campaign to set up the Universal Human Rights Body, but their ideological confrontation replaced the colonial system with proxy wars. The Vietnam war, the creation of Israel, invasion of Jammu Kashmir, Afghanistan, the Middle East and now Ukraine, are but a few examples.

The idea of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was not new. It was first introduced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over 1400 years ago in his farewell sermon, where he said Arabs and non Arabs, men and women are equal but the Muslims failed to universally formalize it even when they were politically, intellectually and academically at the peak. The First World War destroyed the Ottoman Empire and replaced it with the New World Order dominated by the West. The West created new artificial boundaries in the Muslim World, but the Muslim Rulers try to make them permanent borders dividing millions of families. The Second World War resulted in the New World Order with the United Nations dominated by the former Western colonial powers. The United Nations which was supposed to prevent political conflicts and poverty in order to maintain peace, only became super powers’ facilitator.

The failure of the United Nations, unfortunately, caused more conflicts and suffering in the world. More innocent people have died as a result of political conflicts and poverty. According to the UN food agency, over one billion people have died of poverty. The UNICEF reported that a child under 15 in the world dies every 5 seconds due to poor health facilities. The major reason is the lack of equal distribution of wealth and control of natural resources by a powerful few. This happens because of big powers’ thirst for political hegemony.

There are biological and psychological explanations to this tragic reality. Biologically, the human behavior is driven by instinct and intellect. Instinctively, there is no difference between animals and human beings. Intellectually and morally, we are different from animals, but if we don’t have a proper education, we don’t become civilized enough to respect rights of fellow human beings. For instance, the Holy Qur’an states that we all human beings are from the same essence.

The Holy Quran says that (Hujrat, 13) Allah has created us from a male and a female and made us into nations and tribes so that we may know each other. Piety is basis of superiority. We hardly think that one day there will be the last day in the life of everyone of us. We need self-realization and self-actualization through healthy education and introspection. This is a humanistic approach. We must embrace it. This is one way to prevent human rights violation . *Another method is to build a balance of power for deterance. We have so many historical examples where the major powers have either bypassed or used the United Nations to invade the smaller nations or impose the economic sanctions.

Sanctions are continuing on Iran for the past 43 years and now on Afghanistan despite a negotiated withdraw of American troops. India and Israel have committed far worse crimes as occupiers, but no similar action has ever been taken against them for obvious reasons. Some of the Muslim countries created by the end of Second World War have also adopted an imperialistic attitude. The plight of the Kurds in the Middle East, Pushtuns in Pakistan and the KASHMIRIS on both sides of the divide are a prime example.

Today, there is not a single Muslim state in the world which offers political asylum with basic rights nor does it naturalize the refugees. Even their children born in any Muslim country remain foreigners. Thousands of Afghan children born in neighboring Muslim countries are treated as foreigners. The children of foreign national workers born in the Middle East are not given a citizenship either. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had ended the slavery but the Arab kafeels still treat their workers as slaves.

People are not only politically abused, but domestically as well. We fully need to comprehend and implement the concept of “Haqooq Al Ibad (our rights and responsibility over each other).

To sum up, there are so many aspects of human rights violations. The reforms and protection are likely only through proper education and a balance of power. Only through healthy education, can we humanize the societal behavior, while a balance of power deter conflicts and wars by controlling the behavior of aggressors. We need a long-term and short-term policy. In the long run, we have to create civilized generations which treat others as they treat themselves. For the short-term, a regional and global alliance and unity between all affected communities is needed to oppose the neue imperialists for a PEACE With JUSTICE.