Dec 18,2018 – JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
The 70th Human Rights Day has come and gone with little fanfare across the globe.
The occasion for the commemoration of the day was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Many countries, perhaps more than one dares to admit, have become downright cynical of the commemoration of that day. Many governments have become increasingly callous towards human rights and freedoms with respect for them remaining abstract and theoretical. The world has grown to be more materialistic and power egocentric over the years.
The first preamble paragraph of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights talks about the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of people and peoples as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace. The second preamble paragraph cautions that the disregard and contempt for human rights would result in barbarous acts. Even more to point, the third preamble paragraph highlights the proposition that the denial of human rights results in rebellions against tyranny and oppression.
A big and lofty slogan to be sure, but not observed as a rule in many nations. No wonder wars occur at a more frequent rate in many parts of the world, including in our region. If one looks deeper into the conflicts in the Middle East, for example, they can be readily traced to the denial of human rights of one kind or another.
The Palestinian conflict, the Syrian civil war and the Iraqi and Yemeni conflicts are all rooted in the denial of human rights in one form or another. No wonder their ultimate solution lies squarely in addressing their human rights dimensions before anything else.
The declaration, therefore, calls on every individual and every organ of government, society or private entity to keep the declaration constantly in mind at all times by all means, including education, to promote respect for the rights and freedoms mentioned in it because “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, as Article 1 declares.
Yet, these solemn obligations go unheeded by the majority of nations. What adds insult to injury is the fact that such countries manage to enjoy immunity from accountability due to one reason or another. Only when immunity from accountability ends will conflicts within states and between them have a chance to end as well.
ISLAM AND HUMAN RIGHTS, by Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan