Wednesday, 18 February 2009

When "Human Rights" means Inhuman Wrongs

There has been a worrying trend ever since the UN Human Rights watchdogs, in their various incarnations, got infected, subverted, and zombified by national groups most guilty of Human Rights abuses.

Now throughout the world, both governmental and non-governmental "Human Rights" groups have sprung up, dedicated to making sure that their existing privileges are preserved, and existing human rights for others are withdrawn.

As in Burundi:
The new criminal code was drafted over a period of nearly two years, with the assistance of Burundian and international legal experts, after elections in 2005 restored a democratic system in Burundi and required the revision of legal texts.

However, in October 2008, at the end of the discussion on the bill, the Human Rights and Justice Commission in the National Assembly inserted a provision criminalising "anyone who engages in sexual relations with a person of the same sex."

The provision would be the first law criminalising gays and lesbians in the country's history.

The bill was approved by the National Assembly on November 22nd with little debate.
So much for "Human Rights and Justice". Also so much for the the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Burundi is a signatory. Fortunately, the Senate rejected this "Human Rights" bill.

As for Pakistan:
University student protested in Peshawar, while a local non-governmental organization called the "International Human Rights Commission" demanded the immediate implementation of sharia in Swat.
Thereby removing many of human rights granted to women and non-muslims there. The version of sharia they advocate re-introduces slavery too. There, in a campaign that involved the assault of women shopping alone, the destruction or forced closure of girls schools, and the forced abandonment of a polio vaccination program, the fanatics have won. Girls schools will re-open, but whether anything other than wrote repetition of the Arabic syllables that are in the Koran will be allowed to be taught is open to question.

Human Rights should mean Human Rights for all Humans. But when groups in power see others as sub-human, the concept fails. Slavery, the treatment of women as property, and the legalised persecution of other minorities inevitably follow.


Bad hair days said...

Sorry, I know you am a christian, but its unimportant which of the three flavors - the followers of the god of the desert here did all harm and no good. Always preaching water while drinking blood.
Shai Hulud has become Shaitan.

Zoe Brain said...

I'm not worthy to be called a Christian, as I lack faith. I do try to follow most Christian principles though - 1 Corinthians 13 and Isaiah 56:4-5 in particular.

Most people who call themselves christian don't. But some do, some who comment on this blog, and who are worthy of the name.

Please don't confuse them with the Pharisaic individuals who didn't get the point. Those who, as you point out, actually worship something else entirely if they but knew it.

Anonymous said...

(Zoe knows who I am, but I'm going to go by Norm dePlume for this occasion).

Badhair, that's an extremely broad brush you're using--about the same as saying "all transsexuals are perverts", just to take one example.
I grant you that there are people who claim God's approval for their own agenda--this is directly against the Commandment that says "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain", or in more modern terms, "Don't sign My name to your law". If there's a religion where that hasn't happened, I've yet to hear about it. But to say that the followers of God do all harm and no good ...

Well, in the past year or so, I and my wife have taken care of a dying homeless man in his last few weeks, arranged his burial and administered his estate when his family wouldn't; we've supported an unemployed single mother for about six months, giving roughly $8000 towards her bills and rent; we're providing transportation for another single mom; we take care of a neighbor who's an amputee, missing both feet; we are being a substitute family for a Russian girl who has no one else in this country; we're providing meals and reading aloud for a man who has Lou Gehrug's disease; we've cleared out a 90 year old lady's house (liteally shovelling out the roaches), repaired, repainted and made it liveable again; we've provided shoes for half a dozen Dominican kids; we've arranged for a donation of roofing material to finish an orphanage in eastern India, near the Burmese border; plus minor stuff such as babysitting here, delivering half a cord of firewood there, paying the power bill for the broke young couple across the street, and so forth.
Sometimes we get a "thank you", sometimes we don't. And we're hardly in the running for sainthood; I know lots of people who do more than we do. But I am one of the People of the Book, and that Book says things like "The whole duty of man is to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God", and "bless those who persecute you, pray for those who abuse you" and "this is true and undefiled religion, that you take care of the widows and orphans". So yes, criticize when it's due; but please give us a little credit where it's due also.

Zoe Brain said...

As I said, some Christians who comment on this blog are worthy of the name.

But they don't like to boast of doing what they consider their duty, nothing special, so usually don't say anything about it. And on the rare occasions they do, they prefer to remain anonymous. "Let not the Right hand know what the Left is doing."

I know for a fact that this person has given real, genuine and concrete help to others. I've witnessed it.

Battybattybats said...

*censored* *censored* *censored*y *censored* *censored*ers!

The deceitful lying *censored*s!

Excuse me a moment while I calm down enough to keep typing....

Thank goodness for Tai Chi.

Those wretched *bleeeeeeep*'s

"Human Rights should mean Human Rights for all Humans. But when groups in power see others as sub-human, the concept fails. Slavery, the treatment of women as property, and the legalised persecution of other minorities inevitably follow."

I don't think the concept fails... but the implementation of the concept is a certain failure.

Just because someone utterly messes up the payload to fuel numbers and a rocket totally fails to make orbit doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the concept of orbital rocketry... just that they 'r doin it wrong'.

As for theological arguments there are people of many faiths who do good charity work and I personally know Athiests and Secular Humanists who do fantasting work for others, from pure altruism and also quietly without fanfare or recognition. And there are those of faith and of none that cause substantial suffering too. So unless we can show that one or the other has a greater preponderance of charitible or harmful people as a consequence of the particular faith or lack thereof (causation not correlation) then we can't judge any faith or such by their adherants because all have both kinds of people.

Besides, whose responsible for this fake-HRJC in Burundi? Are they a religious group.... hm on following the link to the article i find: "Human Rights Watch claim that a number of Senators told them they were personally opposed to the provision, but were wavering under pressure from certain political figures and religious groups."

Ah well.. I see that it is at least partly religious groups involved in this. I know little about Burundi, anyone know what religious groups are involved in this?

There are conflicts within christendom and bhuddism and other religions about homosexuality and sex and gender diversity et al. The Anglican Church being one example. So we shouldn't be too simplistic in our considering the way various faiths and denominations view any issue.

This Taliban victory in Pakistan is ghastly. Utterly ghastly!

Bad hair days said...

@Norm dePlume

You use a brush of the same sice when you think the difference of how ready people to help other people are is based on their denomination. In fact I would think less of you if you only try to be a helping person because of your faith, wich would bring it down to a deal (the good that you do now will be rewarded in heaven).

Anonymous said...

Badhair, you're shifting the ground of the argument. You said that "the followers of the god of the desert here did all harm and no good." That's not correct.

Whether other religions also do good is irrelevant; I never claimed they don't, and you didn't slander them.

Bad hair days said...

Norm dePlume.

Its no matter that you do a lot of good. Fred Phelbs does a lot of good too. Not that I think you are compareable to this heatpreacher. Its just that your church has a long history of doing the same, and you am part of it.