Rights and wrongs

When I saw this submitted news item — Islamic world urged to stand against Western-style human rights — I was going to leave the following as a comment, but then I thought I should share my thoughts with a wider audience.

“Secretary of the Human Rights Headquarters of Iran’s Judiciary” is speaking against “Western-style human rights”…? My first reaction is “Aghaye Larijani, beh too rootoon”, but then I would have had to delete my own comment for making a personal attack and using profanity! :o)))

But seriously, cheghad eenaa roo daaran? This piece of news is so absurd on so many levels. Mohammad Javad Larijani and his superiors could care less about any kind of human rights. Their job is to protect the Islamic Republic at all cost.

Yes, the west has lost plenty of moral ground in conducting and condoning torture following 9/11. The horrendous mistreatment of detainees in Abu Gharaib and Guantanamo will not be forgotten for a very long time. GW Bush and Dick Cheney should stand trial for crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan — or at the very least be removed from office for numerous lies and constitutional violations.

But for the Islamic Republic, and especially its judiciary, to be criticizing the West and claiming some sort of moral superiority is indeed hilarious.

I mean do I have to list what crimes this judiciary and this regime as a whole have been committing in the name of god? The list is so comprehensive, the crimes have been going on for so long and our fear of oppression is so deep that many of us have simply chosen to close our eyes and focus on our own lives. We feel powerless to do anything that would bring about change. We are only focused on simple survival.

There’s one important thing I hope everyone will think about, especially those in the 16 to 26 age range (the rest are too immature or old and stubborn):

A crime is a crime is a crime whether it is committed by the west or the east, whether by the IRI or Israel or Hamas or the U.S. or Switzerland — or even your own brother or sister.

You must be completely fair and condemn human rights violations regardless of your nationality, race, religion or political views. You can be anti-war and still point out every crime committed in Iran. On the other hand, you cannot be pro-war and pro human rights either.

Instead, we must protect life, reject war and violence, defend fundamental rights and demand basic freedoms in any situation and under any government.

I just want this point lodged in your head even if you disagree with me. In time it will impact your decisions in a positive way whether you like it or not. That’s what I hope at least :o)

Our first priority is not to blindly defend our own or our favorite government, political belief, faith, race or leader. Politicians, religious leaders, ALL individuals without exception are fallible and their actions must be judged against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If you take a person’s life or liberty, if you commit torture or oppress women and minorities, you are doing wrong and must be held accountable no matter who you are — prophets, saints, imams, presidents, priests and ayatollahs included.

Many will always defend the likes of Khomeini and Rajavi and Pahlavi and Imam Hossein and Sharon and Bush and and Saddam and Ataturk and Bin Laden and Hitler and Lenin and Mao and … for nationalistic, ideological or pathological reasons.

But if you don’t hold leaders (and everybody else) accountable without prejudice, then society as a whole will suffer: human rights will erode, freedoms will be curtailed, wars will be waged, innocents will be blown to pieces or hanged, critics will be jailed, suspects will be tortured, women will become second-class citizens, ethnic and religious minorities will be ignored and mistreated, yes-men and hypocrites and charlatans will flourish, not to mention the damage that will be inflicted on education, health, the economy and…

Remember: No person, no religion, no ideology, no government deserves our complete loyalty and support. Always question the status quo and be a believer and defender of fundamental and universal rights. If your leader or government observes these principles, very well. Support them. If not, you owe it to yourself and society at large to take a stand.

Am I wrong?

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