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Human Rights in Islam- Ayatollah Khamenei

Human Rights in Islam- Ayatollah Khamenei

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Published by: ali1ali123 on Sep 27, 2010
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Human Rights in Islam
In the Name of the Most High
Human Rights in Islam
 Ayatollah Khamenei 
Delivered on the occasion of the 5th Islamic Thought ConferenceJanuary 29-31, 1997 Published in the book "Human Rights inIslam"The issue of human rights is one of the most fundamentalhuman issues and also one of the most sensitive andcontroversial ones. During the recent decades, this problem wasmore political than being either ethical or legal. Although theinfluence of political motives, rivalries, and considerations havemade difficult the correct formulation of this problem , but thisshould not prevent thinkers and genuine humanists fromprobing into this problem and ultimately reaching a conclusion.In the West, though the issue of human rights was raised by thethinkers of the post-Renaissance period, it is only since the lasttwo hundred years or so that it became an issue of prominenceamong the political and social issues of Western society and anissue of fundamental significance. Perhaps, when we examinethe causes of many social changes and political upheavals, wewill find the marks of its presence and its principal ideals. Duringthe last decades this emphasis reached its climax in the West.With the formation of the UN after the Second World War andthe subsequent drafting of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights, a concrete model came into existence as a result of thisemphasis that can serve as a criterion and basis of our judgmentand analysis of the ideals voiced in this regard during the lasttwo hundred years and especially in the last few decades.
We Muslims, of course, know very well that the Western worldand the Western civilization have paid attention to this matter inthe recent centuries. But Islam has dealt with it from variousaspects many centuries ago. The idea of human rights as afundamental principle can be seen to underlie all Islamicteachings. And this does not need any elaboration for a Muslimaudience. The verses of the Quran and the traditions handeddown from the Prophet (SA) and the Imams of his Household(AS), each one of them emphasizes the fundamental rights of man, something which has started to attract attention in recentyears - this is considered an obvious fact among Muslims, andthere is no need for the scholars to be reminded about this fact.However, I would like to say, that today it is a big responsibilityon the shoulders of the Islamic community to make this realityknown to the world, and not to allow those essential teachingsof Islam to be lost in the storm of political clamor andpropaganda.There were some questions which can be raised in this regard,and to answer them is my principal aim today. Of course, in thecourse of the conference you scholars would carry on useful andprofound discussions on various aspects of human rights, whichwill itself serve as a source of information for the Muslim worldand enlighten them about the viewpoints of Islam in this regard. 
(1- The UN: Impotent and Ineffectual)
The first question is whether the efforts made during thedecades since the Second World War in the name of humanrights have been successful or not. The addresses, theassemblies and the sessions held in the United Nations, and theclaims made regarding human rights: have they succeeded inbringing man closer to his genuine rights, or to at least themajor portion of deprived humanity? The answer to this questionis not so difficult, for an observation of the present conditions isenough to prove that these attempts have not been successful
until now. A glance at the conditions of the underdevelopedsocieties of the world, who form the major part of the humanpopulation, is sufficient to reveal the fact that not only the majorpart of humanity could not achieve their true rights during thelast fifty years, but the methods of encroaching upon the rightsof the deprived nations have become more sophisticated andcomplex and more difficult to remedy. We cannot accept theclaims made by those who claim to be champions of humanrights, while the bitter realities of the African and Asian nationsand the millions of hungry human beings are before our eyes,and while we observe constant violation of the rights of manynations.Those who have been outspoken in advocating human rightsduring the last forty years, have themselves grabbed the mostfundamental of human rights from the people of the Third Worldcountries. It is with their support that certain governments andregimes that deny people their most basic rights have managedto survive. None of the dictators of today's world and also thedespots of the last fifty years in Asia, Africa and Latin Americacould have established and preserved their dictatorships on theirown without reliance upon big powers. It is exactly these bigpowers who have coined most of the slogans concerning humanrights. It is they who have brought into being the UNO, andeven today the UN is at their service.The economic poverty, hunger and loss of life in severalcountries of the world are of course the result of intervention,repression, usurpation on the part of the big powers. Who hascaused Africa, the continent of vast resources to undergo thepresent afflictions? Who has kept the people of Bangladesh andIndia for years and years under exploitation, and, despite theirnatural resources and great potentialities, has brought them tothe point that today we hear people die of hunger in thosecountries? Who has plundered the wealth and resources of theThird World countries, and has brought about hunger, poverty

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