Initially I’d thought to write about Human Rights situation in Middle East and how the West in conniving and complicit with the dictators there just to satisfy the West’s need of petrol and politics. However, after going through the virgin script I decided to divide this article into two parts:
- Religion and Life.
- How the brutes have exploited religion??
What Is Religion ?
According to the general definition, a religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people may derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. While many people believe that religion is essential to life there are others who believe it is an outdated hindrance to society.
Why Do We Need Religion ?
Why do we need religion? To many a thinkers, religion has caused more harm and trouble than it’s worth. Religion once had a role to play as we didn’t know where we are coming from. Whether He was Adam or Shiva or other Origins, the various anticipated derivative of Unseen Supreme Power, had to be told to quench the thirst for knowledge and curiosity. Now, Science has replaced, though NOT to everybody’s satisfaction, this idea of a creator with evolution and the Big Bang. For those who argue religion gives a sense of purpose, atheists argue that giving all you can to the word before you die gives more purpose. For some, religion prevents evil, though it is always debatable what it EVIL. Yet some of the most atrocious wars and crimes have been committed in the name of religion. The strong personal logic in favor of religion is – Whilst you’re not there to comfort me when I’m upset, my faith is.
Religion has the concept of SIN and Science suffers no such ideas. Anything and everything is acceptable to Science if it is Consensual. Science has no problem with incest or homosexuality, Religion doesn’t approve that! Science doesn’t mask itself with morality, Religion can’t exist without morality! Science believes in human rights as Newton’s Laws warn its violation. Religion compromised and allowed different form of slavery and supremacy of few over more in its worst forms through ages and Science created the instruments to command and subjugate the weak races. They both met and agreed somewhere.
And this confluence of worst of Religion and worst of Scientific Brutality is found in the Holy Land of Arabia today.
There was a time when the Muslims believed that Politics and Religion are but one. But it was the perfect situation. A politician was just, honest an embodiment of knowledge and quintessence of all that is good for human beings. That unique situation disappeared soon after the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) departed. Later on, it was a different world, full of palace intrigues and tricks and Religion and Politics were to be kept apart.
However, in the present context, in the modern world, governance and religion need not be incompatible and can be valid partners as long as the rules are laid with the basic concepts of Human Right. The state should treat its citizens with equal rights in all spheres and the societal problems be tackled without prejudice of color, caste, creed and religion. The rulers are expected to remove many of the causes of religious extremism and equal opportunities of Equal Education and Jobs should be available to all the citizens. Religion could be the key way to combat ignorance, stereotypes and misunderstandings.
The government should also do more to guarantee freedom of conscience and religious expression, to develop education about religions, to encourage dialogue with and between religions and to promote the cultural and social expression of religions.
It is true that even in a democracy, as in monarchy, there are still certain tensions between religious expression and political power. There is a religious aspect to many of the problems that contemporary society faces, such as intolerant fundamentalist movements and terrorist acts, racism and xenophobia and ethnic conflicts.
Let the child learn in society that Extremism is not religion itself, but a distortion or perversion of it. None of the great age-old religions preaches violence. Extremism is a human invention that diverts religion from its humanist path to make it an instrument of power. Extremism is also the symptom of a sick society. It compromises public order and should be punished under the rule of law, and as it is an expression of a social malaise, it can only be combated if the authorities tackle society’s real problems.
Religious leaders could and should make a considerable contribution to efforts to combat prejudice, through their role as informal educators and their influence on believers. A just society should guarantee freedom of conscience and religious expression for all citizens. It should denounce any attempt to foment conflict within and between religions for partisan ends; it should ensure freedom and equal rights of education to all citizens regardless of their religious belief, customs and rites relating to clothing, such as wearing or not head scarves and it should ensure fair and equal access to the public media for all religions. A good government should promote regular dialogue between theologians, philosophers and historians, as well as with representatives of other branches of knowledge. It should safeguard cultural traditions and different religious festivals of all religions. And all that I’d emphasized is nothing but the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS of every human being in a CIVILIZED SOCIETY.
Unfortunately, the problems arise when the authorities try to use religion for their own ends, or when religions try to control the authorities.
Upon this globe, today, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can boast itself as bearer of one of the worst human rights records and regular reports of Human Rights Watch (HRW) are on record to substantiate the atrocities.
KSA routinely imprisons and executes dozens of people labelled as “enemies of the kingdom”.
Gerald Staberock, secretary general of the ‘World Organization Against Torture’ (WOAT), has once told to ‘IBTimes UK’: “The problem in Saudi Arabia is that the judicial system is used as a tool against those who want more freedom. In Saudi Arabia there is the so-called ‘religious police’ MUTAWWA, whose role is to find human rights advocates and freedom fighters and punish them. And then there are high courts, which do not function like in Western countries: They are not in charge of guaranteeing protection of rights, but making sure that punishments are carried out. There are also reports stating that many people who are imprisoned, often without being charged, are also tortured as the scope is to humiliate them and make them suffer. Inmates are also tortured because the Saudi Arabian legal system is based on confessions. This is a gross violation of international standards, considering the fact that Saudi Arabia voluntarily subscribed to the UN convention against torture.
Last year, the kingdom had introduced a new law expanding the concept of terrorism which uses a broad definition of “terrorism” to include any act intended to insult the reputation of the state, harm public order or destabilize the security of society – is a threat to freedom of speech and thought in the kingdom.
According to Amnesty International the law allows people in power to crackdown on anyone. The law introduced last April allows authorities to also persecute people who call into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which AL SAUDS, the royals are based. It includes the non-believers or any non-Wahabi Muslims, mostly the Shia minorities who are clandestinely treated as enemies of the state.
Public executions are common in Saudi Arabia. You can’t dare to protest against the regime. Since the inception of this theoretical so-called Islamic state, Protesters have been held without charge and incommunicado for days, weeks and years. The prisoners who survive are reported to severely tortured and otherwise ill-treated. As recently, nearly 20 people connected with protests in the Eastern Province have been killed since 2011 and hundreds have been imprisoned. More than 2,000 people executed between 1985 and 2013; the arrest, imprisonment and harassment of large members of the Shi’a Muslim community and other minority groups; long-standing exploitation and abuse of migrant workers by private and state employers; and continued discrimination against women in law and practice.
A news items seen throughout the world recently reported of the bid Saudi Arabia posted a ‘Job for Eight new Executioners.’ This year alone Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already put 85 people to death in what has been branded by Amnesty International a “macabre spike” from the 87 people it killed in total last year.
That country known of brutality and violations of human rights is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. It is a move that has been described as the “final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC.
The country will move to assume lead control over the HRC after 2016 when the presidency is awarded to a new nation.
By Naim Naqvi