Human Rights and Islam Liz Martin Maayan Vodovis Zehra Sadaf Matthew Davis John Collins History of Human Rights Nuremburg War Crimes Trials 1945-1946 Prosecuted for crimes against humanity
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Human Rights and Islam
Human Rights and Islam
In the Middle East
Freedom of Expression:
Authors can be charged for writing books that are deemed offensive to Islam.
Offensive language has arisen in cases between Muslims and Christians (articles 160 and 161 in the Penal Code for insulting Islam).
Laws and Politics:
People have been suspected and imprisoned for alleged memberships in banned groups such as the al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group) and al-Gihad (Holy Struggle).
Since 1967 emergency laws in Egypt have given authorities extended powers to arrest and detain suspects without trial for prolonged periods.
Civilian defendants can be sent to court(s) where procedures have been less than fair according to international standards.
Prison and Court Sentencing:
Security forces mistreated and tortured prisoners. Some detainees died in custody due to poor conditions, lack of medical care, and in few cases due to torture.
Some police officers have been charged for the beating and deaths of prisoners. Certain practices of punishment have been banned from prisons.
Egyptian courts have sentenced many people to death. Most death sentences were imposed for ordinary criminal offences.
Freedom of Expression:
There is no independent press. Newspapers and media are entirely funded by the royal family.
There is a list of topics banned from publication. Violations are punished by prison time and fines.
There are several independent licensed Internet service providers, but the government seeks to monitor and restrict Web access in the country.
Capital Punishment has been applied for crimes of murder, rape, armed robbery, drug smuggling, sodomy and sorcery.
Decapitation usually takes place in public squares while blindfolded, shackled, and tranquilized.
Courts still impose corporal punishment, such as amputation for robbery, and floggings for lesser crimes such as “sexual deviance and drunkenness.”
Government actively restricts religious freedom and practices (except Wahhabi interpretation)
Officially, non-Muslims are free to worship privately, in reality this is not always adhered to.
Religious minorities are harassed or arrested for peaceful practice of their faith.
Women in Saudi Society:
Discrimination is still prevalent in regards to family, education, employment and the justice system.
A modesty code of dress is imposed based on religious law.
Still not allowed to drive/maintain a license.
“It is absurd to impose on an individual or a society rights that are alien to its beliefs or principles”
–Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz
Children Accused of committing criminal offenses are routinely tortured by police
Long periods of detention without trials
91% of the 2700 Juvenile in ’98 waited for trials for months
Harsh and overcrowded facilities
Routinely subjected to various forms of torture or ill-treatment
Lack of recreational opportunities
Ms Mai was gang raped, allegedly on the orders of a village council because of a misdemeanor attributed to her younger brother.
Honor killings occur when men kill their female relatives for activities in which the female dishonors the family reputation for perceived misuse of her sexuality
Islamic leaders and scholars condemn the practice and deny that it is based on religious doctrine
They explain that it is a pre-Islamic, tribal custom stemming from society's interest in keeping strict control over familial power structures but many
It has been reported in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom
According to the United Nations Population Fund estimates as many as 5000 females being killed each year
Malaysia & Indonesia
Human Rights Perspectives
The West & Islam
A human rights perspective
The U.S. has taken a hardened approach in dealing with Muslims suspected of international terror.
France is obviously suffering blowback from it’s colonial escapades in the early late 19th century.
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on September 30, 2005. Danish Muslim organizations staged protests in response. As the controversy has grown, some or all of the cartoons have been reprinted in newspapers in more than fifty other countries, leading to violent protests, particularly in the Islamic world.
Critics claim that the cartoons are culturally insulting, Islamophobic, blasphemous, and intended to humiliate a marginalized Danish minority. Supporters of the cartoons claim they illustrate an important issue and their publication exercises the right of free speech. They also claim that there are similar cartoons about other religions, arguing that Islam and its followers have not been targeted in a discriminatory way.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has described the controversy as Denmark's worst international crisis since World War II.
Again we have a clash of civilizations in which one group finds it’s right to religion being harassed, if not abused, by another’s right to free speech.
The cartoon controversy as well as “human rights abuses” against Muslims in France and the United States, should be, “understood against the backdrop of rising Western prejudice and suspicion against Muslims, and an associated sense of persecution among Muslims in many parts of the world.”
France’s problems are complex and result from a French and Arab populace that refuses to assimilate with each other.
Racism and xenophobia abound.
The country must find ways to solve these deep cultural rifts, and simply banning religious headgear will not do it.
The country must decide whether modernity and secularism will reign in public society, or will religion be allowed a place as well.
Denmark’s tribulations are, like France’s, symptoms of a larger cultural problem in the country.
However, as Human Rights Watch points out, we can “reject the disrespectful and prejudiced attitudes reflected in the cartoons, but affirm that, under the right of freedom of expression, governments are not entitled to suppress speech simply because it is offensive or disrespectful of religion.”
The much larger human rights abuse would be to censor the cartoons or anything else that might offend Muslims.