Human Rights And Those Who Preach It – OpEd


By Anthony Mathew Jacob

God bless Washington, London, Israel, Paris and their like-minded friends, their sermons introduced us to ‘Human rights’ and their actions taught us how to violate it.

Although it is the most commonly used term in the media today, it remains the most abused concept, all over. Its very preachers are the biggest violators. It’s shameful to see that despite their actions being so widely exposed they neither stop violating human rights nor do they refrain from preaching it. God guide the preachers and their followers.

The dictionary on my study-table defines human rights “as the fundamental rights of every human being irrespective of his race, nationality, religion or social status.”

The concept of human rights has existed since the genesis of life on earth. All prophets, all religions and all scriptures have preached it. Be it Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity or Islam, all have preached love, equality, brotherhood and respect for each others’ rights. But the preachers of those days had a huge difference with most preachers of this day; and that is, they practiced what they preached. When Jesus Christ (pbuh) said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” or “Love those who hate you” he showed it in his actions. Similarly, the Holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) taught the world through his actions when he said, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action.”

Today we have very few leaders in the world who actually practice what they preach. On the other hand, we have many who are known for their eloquent speeches at the UN and other high offices, but once they step outside they forget their own beautiful speeches.

While receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 2009 Obama proudly declared, “We will work towards preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy.” And the same Nobel laureate’s government declared in 2011 at the ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Hague, that it won’t be able to destroy its stockpile of Chemical weapons in the near future and requires at least a decade to do so. In addition, billions are being spent to upgrade the already existing stockpile of nuclear weapons and nuclear plants. According to a Reuters report, the US plans to provide Israel with an extra USD 680 million to strengthen Tel Aviv’s Iron Dome missile system. These are just few examples of Obama’s innumerable efforts in preventing the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. I wish him success in all his future endeavors.

In the same speech, the Nobel laureate and the freedom-loving President of the United States of America said “America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America’s interests nor the world’s are served by the denial of human aspirations.”

Yes Mr. Obama your closest friend in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a democracy that protects the rights of its citizens and your other friends Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, are all democracies who respect the rights of their citizens. The ousted president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak who is undergoing trial for more than 30 years of brutality and for killing thousands of pro-democracy protesters and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen whom you have given asylum and immunity from prosecution were all democratically elected presidents who upheld democracy and human rights. Such noble men and their governments are your close friends, and a country like Iran where 72% of its population participated in the parliamentary elections held on March 2, 2012 is a threat to democracy and human rights.

Another advocate of human rights David Cameroon, the Prime Minister of the UK, declared at the UN in 2011, “You can sign every human rights declaration in the world, but if you stand by and watch people being slaughtered in their own country, when you could act, then what are those signatures really worth?”

Of course the £1m worth rifles and military equipment you sold to the Bahraini regime and your deployment of former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner, John Yates, in Bahrain to supervise the regime forces cracking down on protesters shows your love for human rights and democracy. While the peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain are being slaughtered by their ruler, and the Bahraini activists are on hunger strike to protest this man-slaughter, Her Highness The Queen of Britain while celebrating 60th year of her reign, on April 8, 2012 invited the tyrant ruler of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to a lunch at Windsor Castle and champagne dinner at Buckingham Palace.

The torch bearer of freedom and peace, Nicholas Sarkozy of France till a few months ago was happily shaking hands and posing with Gaddafi and supplying his regime with chemical weaponry, latest warfare technologies and other lethal weapons. one fine day his heart was moved for the people of Libya and he realized that they were suffering under the dictator for the last forty two years, and out of ‘compassion’ for the people of Libya he united under the NATO umbrella and attacked Gaddafi, thereby giving relief to those who were suffering under this tyrant. And for all his noble deeds The Gracious God rewarded him with contracts to rebuild Libya.

Out of all the preachers of human rights, Israel and its leaders surprise me the most. Despite 64 years of unjustified occupation, killing and maiming the Palestinians on a daily basis and an intelligence agency like Mossad that is notoriously famous for carrying out assassinations and sabotage operations on other governments, Israel proudly points fingers at others like Iran, Lebanon, Syria, etc.

I find it funny when Israel says that Iran is a threat to world peace. The very Iran which is a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Convention for the Annihilation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the convention effectively prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxic weapons and is a key element in the international community’s efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The tyrant Israeli regime has never allowed nuclear inspectors to access its nuclear sites and till today has refused to join the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in spite of being the only country in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons.

Despite their own history written with the blood of innocent people all over the world, these so called Super Powers shamelessly point fingers at others. I wish I had a voice loud enough to remind them what Jesus Christ (pbuh) said 2000 years ago, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)

Anthony Mathew Jacob is a graduate of the University of Mumbai, Anthony Mathew Jacob writes on the Middle East and the US issues and generally incorporates Islamic teachings in his articles. Anthony Mathew Jacob is currently studying Islamic Theology at Jamiatul Mustafa International University in Qom.

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