Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Human Rights’ Discourse


Human Rights’ Discourse

Men’s rights and freedoms are violated on a large scale around the globe and there are many barriers hampering them to exercise their rights to life, liberty and estate. The war and violence, which have outraged the collective conscience of mankind, stem from humiliating human rights and dignity. Despite being born free and with inherent and inalienable rights, people’s freedoms are curtailed and their blood is spilt in one way or another.
In worldly life, we have developed to a great extent; however, a deep vacuum is felt in the spirit of modern men. Being alienated from humanity and spiritual values, the modern men are deep in the quagmire of lust and luxury. We seek to satiate our carnal desires and quench our physical thirst, but hardly nurture our human souls. After all, modern men sacrifice others’ rights and liberty to comfort themselves. Martin Luther King Jr. aptly said in his Nobel Lecture on December 11, 1964 as, “In spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”
There are many reasons behind violation of human rights. First, religious intolerance and ideological differences played a highly destructive role in human societies and triggered bloody wars throughout the history. People suffered painfully on the basis of their religious backgrounds. Despite all the sacrifices made in this regard, ideological differences still take their toll on people’s life and liberty. Religious radicals still shed streams of blood under the sacred term of religion. They intend to impose their warped minds on individuals at the barrel of gun. In a nutshell, lack of religious tolerance and persisting in dogmatic ideology yet threaten human rights around the world. For instance, the Taliban and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who blackmail the entire world, were established out of sectarianism and inflexible ideology.
Similarly, racial discrimination and ethnocentrism are the second reason behind violence and bloodshed which restrict individuals’ rights. Elementally, when an ethnic group deems itself superior than another, it will also claim further rights – this will lead to tension and may spark political unrest within a society. Claiming racial superiority is tantamount to humiliating the natural dignity of other mankind. The history shows that whenever a group was held in contempt, it showed a strong reaction against the violators of their rights and dignity.
Sexual superiority in the past and present has inflicted heavy pain and sufferings on women. Violence and honor-killings are committed against women in different parts of the world. Rather than being treated as mother or sister, women fall the victim of gang violence, rape and mental and physical tortures. Patriarchal systems put a limitation on their social, political and cultural activities and treat them as an inferior creature, aside perhaps from some parts of the world.  
To consider Afghanistan, the Taliban and ISIL’s loyalists kill men, women and children on the grounds of their caste, creed, color and sex. Deeming themselves, racially, sexually and ideologically superior, they trample upon the rights of men and women without a sense of guilt. It is an indisputable fact that the protracted war in Afghanistan root in the aforementioned factors.
Democracy will not bear sweet fruit unless the international families respect the rights and dignity of one another and deem mankind a creature born free with a set of natural and inviolable rights and treat one another with the spirit of brotherhood. Men need to fill their spiritual vacuum with humanity and moral standards and listen to the call of their conscience. In addition, the world has to practice upon the golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” which is the basis of international instruments. Mankind will be able to alleviate the individuals’ pains and sufferings through practicing upon international laws.
Moreover, if Afghans do not exercise religious tolerance and equality on the basis of law, the nascent democracy will not lead them to their utopian world. We will have to act upon our Constitution, which is based on religious tenets, international instruments and ethical code. It has recognized the “natural” and “inviolable” rights of men and women and their equality before the law. Therefore, no one is supposed to be discriminated on the basis of their accidental backgrounds. To put it in plain language, men and women are entitled with inherent rights and dignity – that their Creator bestowed upon them – on the basis of being human.
It is believed that despite many international instruments being approved to protect the rights and dignity of mankind, the outrageous acts and violent practices against men and women in different parts of the world put a stain on collective conscience. Although the law is immaculate, the international sanction is not effective enough. Hence, the international community needs to put pressure on the countries to prosecute the violators of human rights and make the Taliban to respect the rights and freedoms of citizens in the ongoing talks.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and freelance writer based in Kabul. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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