Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Respecting Human Rights Likely to Alleviate Public Suffering

Human rights will be practiced in democratic societies, where the individuals tolerate one another irrespective of their racial, sexual or religious backgrounds. In open societies, one will be able to exercise their fundamental rights with less barriers. The freedom of religion and expressions will encounter less obstacles and it will not matter what ideology one acts upon. Since democracy stems from secular perspectives, one’s beliefs and ideologies will be problematic neither in social nor in individual life. 
On the contrary, there will be no room for democracy in closed societies and men’s rights to life, liberty and property will be violated in one way or another. Closed societies are believed to have citizens with closed mind and people lack tolerance. In such a society, one’s freedoms are curtailed on the basis of their caste, creed or color.
Whenever one is not treated on the grounds of being human, serious challenges will emerge and that nation will suffer from violence. For instance, the human rights discourse and democracy have not given the desired result in Afghanistan and our nation is involved in great problems. Religious fundamentalists are believed to be the main reason behind human rights violation. Warring factions, that practice radical ideologies, spill the blood of men and women and trample upon their rights on a large scale. Resorting to war-mongering rhetoric, the ideologue fighters disparage the rights of the public and deem “human rights law” anti-religious. Hence, war and violence are rife across the country.
Bloody wars, which outraged collective conscience and inflicted heavy casualties upon mankind around the globe, galvanized members of the UN families to seek a panacea for the blooding wound of the public and alleviate their pains and sufferings. The founding fathers of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) realized the fact that supporting human rights by religious theory would be counterproductive and end in horrible consequence rather than lessening the challenges. Therefore, they pointed out the natural theory stating, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Based on UDHR, men’s fundamental rights are natural and inalienable and it is not given by state or individual.
To pave the way for exercising human rights and freedoms, the human societies will have to deconsecrate the human rights and analyze them by secular theory rather than religious one. In other words, although religions bestow rights and dignity to mankind, however a religious perspective will not allay the challenges since there are many kinds of narrations among religions and sects. Currently, radically religious interpretations of human rights pose serious threat to human societies. As a result, religious fundamentalists have their own view about human rights and their radicalism resulted in war and violence. The Taliban elements, that sacrifice the life of our nation, paint the nation’s rights with the brush of religion and radical interpretations.
Secondly, since all nations do not practice upon a single religion, a religious view about human rights will create segregation and finally lead to war and fratricide among the human societies. To end carnage and bloodshed, the states should strengthen democracy, which upholds men’s rights and freedoms, and secular view in social affairs, not in private life, is the mainstay of democracy. In democratic societies, your private life and certain beliefs will be none of others’ business. After all, sectarian violence has no room in democratic societies.
With the establishment of Constitution, which is a high step towards democracy, Afghan government has committed to respect the United Nation’s Charter and UDHR and considered equal rights and responsibilities for men and women. Constitutionally, Afghans are equal before the law regardless of their race, sex and color and no one is supposed to be discriminated on the basis of the same background. Moreover, the state is to establish a civil society where human rights are strongly protected.
Despite all the mentioned fact in the country’s Constitution, Afghan nation suffers severely in one way or another. There are many reasons for the national sufferings: First, due to challenges in the government’s apparatus, the law is not enforced properly and the legislative, executive and judiciary powers do not operate in a parallel way and it is a strong blow to democracy. Secondly, traditional views hold strong sway in tribal belts, which pave the way for the violation of human rights, mainly women’s rights. The reports about desert court reveal the fact that tribal elders play a significant role in villages and their parochial mindsets are still put into practice – women are the main victim of their views. Thirdly, a radical view and cultural sensitivities towards human rights law create challenges across the country. In villages, the locals treat women as inferior creature and show strong sensitivity towards their rights. I remember vividly when I was working as a civic educator and conducted awareness seminars about women’s rights in a village in Ghazni province, some locals behaved rudely and did not let their wives to attend the seminars. Additionally, women are more vulnerable in the Taliban-dominated areas and bear the brunt of their radical mentalities. So, to uphold human rights, democratization is the very necessary step.