Human Rights

Rather than Triple Talaq being a “Human Rights issue”, “Human Rights” itself needs to be debated

Recently the Supreme Court of India argued that the Triple Talaq has to be treated as a human rights issue. While I am no supporter of Triple Talaq and regard it un-Islamic, the intervention by Supreme Court or the Government in this regard will not solve the problem. On the other hand it would complicate matters. Even if it is legally banned, those following their own fiqhs would not start thinking that a woman divorced by this methods would become Halal. Those who do not stick to the fiqhs have the option available to them even now, the option of taking fatwas from the Muftis belonging to Fiqhs like Ahl-e Hadith and Fiqh-e Jafari that consider Triple Talaq as invalid. But what I want to highlight here is that the issue of “human rights” which had been and is being presented as one of the shining starts of the New World Order has only proved to be a black hole.

The modern concept of human rights originated from the West. Superficially, it looks a very attractive slogan. But the ulterior motives are not as attractive. West feared that the kind of economic fundamentalism it had decided to aggressively (including a new legal system banning capital punishment) pursue had same very serious adverse effects. It would engender barbarism in society in the form of steep rise in all forms of crimes including mur­der, rape, robbery and bribe. It would also enhance societal tensions as well as psychiatric illnesses. If these really happened, it would give a bad name to their ideology. To counter this, the economic fundamentalists sought to impart a new meaning to ‘human rights’ so that the darker face of their civilization could not come to the fore; and they could use the brighter side to attack the systems that were unwilling to accept the West’s economic hegemony. The result of such re-orientation has been that the human rights situation in a country is not assessed on the basis of crimes in that area but on how the accused in various crimes are being treated by the governmental institutions and agencies. Apparently, the human rights organisations argue that they safeguard the people against excesses. But in reality, they only serve the criminals and saboteurs of social peace. What happens to the victims of a crime and their relatives does not bother them; their function is only to follow the trial of the accused. The economic fundamentalists have vested interests in the paralysed legal system because the criminals and crimes form an indispensable part of their operations. The criminals are supported in more than one way. If they or their crimes have any political dimensions the champions of human rights are quick to label their trial as 'political vendetta'. While it is true that the governments tend to be less kind towards their opponents and often use the stick of law to punish them, it is equally true that all political forces have some nexus with the criminals who are used to creating ugly situa­tions for the ruling party or coalition. This side of the coin is however intentionally ignored. The human rights organisa­tions never publish reports on the crime-situation in different countries and never pressurise the governments to drastically reduce them so that the common people can pass their lives with­out fears. Such reports would unveil their own faces and fingers will be at against Western ideologies. Instead they highlight the data related to death sentences and the deaths caused by the agencies or certain elements.

“Women’s Rights” is yet another extremely favourite subject with the Amnesties and the Human Rights Watchers. And it is needless to repeat that the major aim behind all the raucous is to assist the merchants of sex and barons of consumer industry. Why is it that “purdah” annoys them but prostitution does not? Why has the Amnesty, the self-proclaimed champion of human rights, never bothered to tell the world that there cannot be a bigger crime against womanhood than its sordid commercialisa­tion and a civilization cannot claim to be a true human civilization if it creates a social environment, in which women have to sell, by choice or by force, their bodies? It takes extraordinary pains to highlight the cases of rapes in police custody or in prisons but its eyes do not bleed at the thousands of rapes the innocent women have to suffer daily all over the world. If it begins to describe the strategies of the commercial exploitation of women nothing else would be required to prove its credentials. But the truth is that the Amnesty is damnesty, which is only a mouthpiece of the economic fundamentalists; its aim is limited to glorify Western­ism and degrade every other system .One of the issues

 “Human Rights” in the modern world have virtually been reduced to the rights of the murderers and rapists against being executed, the rights of gays against being targeted for their highly dangerous habits and the rights of women for aborting their children in order to make things easy for the male-dominated socio-economic system. Even violence has been categorised to suit their own plans so that the powerful appear to be peace-loving and those who refuse to toe them appear to be dangerous. They will condemn “terrorism” and will ignore war; and if their own people indulge in “terrorism” they will call it “war of liberation” from the rulers. They have no concern for the lives lost in crimes and suicides within their own countries, the lives lost in wars against other countries and the rebellions masterminded by them. They are also not concerned about the tens of millions of lives lost annually due to social vices like alcohol, smoking and unhealthy and immoral sexual practices. They will talk for days about beheadings but will not talk of bombs that kill thousands of times the beheadings kill. Bombs become dangerous for them only if they are used by their enemies.

It is now high time the concept of Human rights was re-examined. Human rights are nothing if they do not guarantee the security of the common people, including men, women and children, old, young and yet-to-be born. Islam has a larger plan, which aims at Human Security, “human rights” being only one of the means to achieve that aims. To ensure human security, emphasis on prohibitions is equally essential. Human Security demands that lives of all human beings must be safeguarded against all kinds of external threats. None -- individual, society, corporate sector or government, can be allowed to offer the choice of death to the people; freedom of choice must be limited to choice among the good. A choice between life and death cannot simply be given to the people. A child cannot be left on a highway hoping that it will take all the necessary precautions to save it from being crushed by fast moving vehicles. People are like children who more often than not are guided by baser instincts that suck them into all forms of life-threatening and peace-threatening habits. Addiction has hardly any regard or fondness for knowledge and sanity. Who knows better, about the effects of alcohol, smoking and sexual perversions, than do doctors? Still they often succumb to the temptations. A smoker, a drinker, a drug addict and a promiscuous person understand that they face huge risks on account of their habits; but such is the effect of these on baser instincts that they find it hard to be governed by their knowledge.

The propaganda against Triple Talaq in India is also directly or indirectly supported by the organisations having liberal inclinations. They want Muslim women to feel that Islam does not provide adequate cover to them. They want to use it as a ploy to turn them into rebels. Once they have their doubts about religion, they will become easy preys to the market-sponsored feminism, which is nothing but a part of the larger plan that sees humans not as human beings but as commercial beings.

The Ulama of course are not helping the cause. Instead of taking advantage of the position of so many fuqaha who opposed Triple Talaq, they have made it an issue of ego. What to speak of declaring Triple Talaq as invalid, they have not even spread mass awareness about the true Quranic method of divorce. Today, hardly a few know about a method of divorce other than pronouncing the word Talaq three times. Even where speeches are made on the issue, they often tend to tell about the various methods of Talaq rather than sticking only to the best one, which involves pronouncement of Talaq for a period od Iddah, which is at least three months, and revoking or finalising Talq through liberation at the time of the completion of the period.

The Supreme Court would better debate the concept and dimension of “Human Rights” and ask why the market forces are using it for their own ends. It must ask why highly undignified and unhealthy practices like prostitution and abortions are being allowed in the name of “Freedom of Choice”. It must seek answers to whether the current position of “Human Rights” organisations helps or endangers the cause of the security of the larger people, especially women, children and weaker sections of society.

Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at

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