To What Extent Are the Present Human Rights Islamic? (3)
What is the remedy of the failure of the attempts made in the name of human right?
In our view, the answer is return to Islam, and recourse to Divine revelation. This is a prescription equally valid for Muslims as well as for non-Muslims. For this, the Islamic societies do not have to wait for anything. Return to Islam, revival of the Quran and of Islamic mode of thinking in society, recourse to Islamic sources (the Quran and the Sunnah) in legal matters -these are the things and that will enable us to understand the meaning of human rights and help us to identify the those rights and guide us in our struggle to secure them.
For the purpose of securing human rights, it is necessary once and for all to give up giving advice and lecturing, since they are of no use. The Quran says:
“Take by force that which we have given you.” (2:63).
God Almighty has granted these rights to mankind, and they should secure these rights by force. The Islamic nations should resist the unjust demands and dominance of the big powers by relying upon the Islamic ideology.
These are not the words of an idealist who speaks about Islamic issues and Islamic ideals from the corner of a theological seminary. These are the utterances of a revolution which has gone through experiences and has felt the actualities.
Our revolution is an experience that is available for study to all the nations. I do not say that we have solved all our problems. We haven’t. There is no doubt that a great many problems have been created for us on account of the Revolution and on account of its Islamic character. But we have solved the problem of dominance. Today the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic can claim that they have rid themselves of all domination and powers and that they can decide for themselves.
Of course, when a nation tries to do away with all the forms of dependence, it has a long path to tread. And dependence if not accompanied with domination, pushing around, and unjust demands is something natural and tolerable. It is quite obvious that our revolution and the Islamic Republic inherited the legacy of a decadent society, a shattered economy, and a degenerate culture.
What was handed down to the Revolution by the rulers of the past centuries, especially of the last fifty or sixty years, was an Iran beleaguered from all sides. It is not to be expected that the Revolution will be able to lead this dissipated heritage in a short time to the heights of cultural, ethical and economic achievement and scientific and industrial advancement.
We do not make such claims, but, of course, we do anticipate a good future. We believe that it is possible for a nation to reach a high level of material advancement only through independence, self-reliance and by using its manpower and material resources. But what we positively claim today is that the Islamic Republic is not under any political pressure or domination of any power whatsoever.
Political pressures do not influence it to change its course or alter its decisions; it does not change its path or its momentum on account of any consideration for some superpower. It means that we have freed ourselves and our people from the domination of the big powers.
This is an experience, which, we believe, underlines the significance of the most basic and precious of human rights in Islam: the right to live, the right to be free, the right to benefit from justice, the right to welfare, and so on.
These and other such fundamental rights can be secured in an Islamic society. They can be derived from the Islamic sources and Islam has incorporated them in its commands to Muslims and drawn man’s attention towards them, much before Western thinkers gave thought to these rights and values. It is essential to return to Islam.
Muslim thinkers are charged with the responsibility of thoroughly examining and studying the subject of human rights or rather the general structure of the Islamic legal system.
The nations of the world can benefit from the sublime outlook of Islam in this regard in coming closer to securing these rights. The Islamic governments may of course help their peoples in securing their rights, but on condition that they should have no reservations in regard to the big powers. Unfortunately, today we do not see such a state of affairs. Most of the regimes governing Islamic countries are under the influence of the big powers. The majority of them are dominated by the West and under US influence. Therefore, their actions and decisions comply neither with the Islamic principles, nor with the needs of Muslim nations.
You will not find a single country in the world whose people should be waiting eagerly to know as to what the Islamic Conference has to say, so that its resolution promises a sense of obligation or the pleasure of receiving some good news. What is the reason? Why should a gathering of forty-six Islamic states organized on the highest level of heads of states and leaders be so ineffectual and so much devoid of consequence and content?
It is on account of the unfortunate fact that most of these regimes are under the influence of the big powers. As long as this domination of the big powers and their awe and fear remain in their hearts, the affairs of the Muslim nations will be in disarray. If we wish to deliver the Muslim word from its present-day disarray and confusion, the first thing that is to be done is to drive this fear and awe from the hears, as God Almighty has said:
“…So fear not mankind, but fear Me…” (5:44)
They should not be afraid of anyone except God. If this happens, the condition of the Islamic nations will move towards betterment.
Written by Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamene’i