In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


INTRODUCTION:  The issue of human rights is the most sacred “cow” of Western societies. It is superbly revered in diplomatic channels and is given top most consideration to give political recognition to an entity, while especially dealing with the underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. European countries and the USA are its greatest champions. They use it as a criterion to judge the political atmosphere of a country as to whether it is free, democratic or being governed by despotic rulers who least care for human rights. Restricted availability of human rights in Turkey is the main bone of contention towards the consideration of her membership to European Common Market. It is lingering for about a decade and may continue to be so for another decade before it is accepted to the European Union.  They are microscopically watching her progress in that field. The application of UN membership of South Africa was kept in abeyance till the apartheism was not abolished altogether from its body politics. The Commonwealth Organization has rightfully withdrew its recognition of Pakistan when General Perveez “occupied” it under a coup in 1999 and it is still not willing to accord it membership to Pakistan as democracy and human rights are not fully restored in the country and Musharraf does not give up his military uniform.


These are the “teeth” of the “white” elephant that are only for show. His real teeth are generally not visible. They are inside the “mouth” for use while eating. They use the outward trunk [apparent teeth] for their political maneuvering at national and international levels. They are used discriminately for the protection of their respective national interests where every thing is justified and tolerable even the massacre of human rights if the rulers serve their national interests. In this respect, the role of the United States of America is most miserable both at home and abroad.


HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION VISA VIS THE USA:  The Constitution of the USA guarantees most of the human rights to its citizens that resonate only in the Charter of human rights that were administered in the Islamic State established in Medina by Rasulullah (S) and religiously continued to be effective during the time of the first Four Caliphs - Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali [RA]. In other words the constitutional guarantees of the USA, to a great extent, are the replica of the Covenant of Medina, declaration of human rights by Rasulullah (S) at Arafat during his (S) last Hajj in 632 AD and the sum total directives that were given to Muslim advancing generals to observe during and after war in lands that were ceased for promulgating justice, peace and human rights preservation that were denied both by the Persian and the Roman Empires of the time. Equally, these constitutional guarantees are well protected and preserved by the Independent Judiciary of the USA. It made the USA a safe heaven for the oppressed, the politically tortured individuals, persecuted minorities on religious grounds and the suffering have-nots around the world. In sequence, this suffering humanity at large rushed to take asylum during the last two centuries in the virgin lands of the new world that is called the USA. The credit goes to our forefathers who tried their best to make the USA as a “heaven on earth” but the vested interests and the Neo-Cons conservatives have now turned it virtually into a “hell”.


With the growth of foreign relation in the aftermath of First and Second Great Wars, America started to adopt double standard towards the promotion of human rights. While “maintaining” the requisite standard at home, its relation with newly-acquired independent states of Asia, Africa and Latin America became that of “convenience” and “opportunist” in nature. Its priorities were changed. Preservation and protection of human rights became its second or no priority at all. It started supporting the dictators, undemocratic and coup-oriented military regimes, especially of Muslim world. From Jakarta to Casablanca, hegemoniously USA supported every regime that was ready to tow down its policies, was eager to serve its interest, promote its liberal values and preferred to be the “yes-man” of America. These tyrant regimes were massacring human rights at every place but the USA kept “mum” or “murmured” only in a very low tone. The suffering humanity every where have no choice but to blame America for this gross neglect, generating only “hate” for Uncle Sam. Thus, America became the main instrument in augmenting the human rights violations in the sub-human living condition of the underdeveloped world.


AFTER EFFECTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: At home, the American people are very conscious of their human rights and its judicial system zealously protects it with few lapses here and there, especially in cases of A-A community and other Asian minorities. Arbitrary killing by police is found rampant. Treatment in jails with prisoners is very often inhuman. Religious intolerance was visible at various places. Harassment or discrimination on account of color or race is common at work places, leading to litigation in courts for getting redress. Color barriers are still visible at many places, especially in predominantly habited “white” pockets of the country.  However the situation became worst in the aftermath of the tragedy of September 11.


It is still uncertain who did it. No judicial enquiry ever conducted to ascertain this most important aspect of the tragedy and perhaps the vested interests “occupying” Whitehouse and Pentagon will never let it do lest their “own men” may be caught in the process. As a result, the Muslim-American community is pin-pointedly “accused” for this mishap. They are encountering the same treatment as happened to Japanese-Americans in World War II. Though Muslims are not in a concentration camp but for them the entire country has become a kind of “jail”. Hate-campaign “incidents” against Muslims is now a daily affair. The Patriot Act was hurriedly passed by our Republican dominated Congress in late 2001. Its “sword” is now hanging not only on the heads of Muslims but every American citizen feels the burnt of it. The privacy of all is in danger. Any individual can be put behind the bar or detained for indefinite period on some fake, false and undeclared “whimsical” grounds without any judicial inquiry or obtaining any judicial remand from the court. Mr. Ashcroft is acting like the Pharaoh of his time and the “arrogance” of President Bush is augmenting it. Thus, the entire country has been transformed into a
”police state” as that of Saudi Arabia  of King Fahad.


Hundreds of innocent people are suffering for years together in the concentration of Guantanamo, Cuba and many hundreds more in Jail in this country without any judicial inquiry and police remand, a gross violation both of our constitutional rights and the legal system of the country. Thanks to our Supreme Court that has recently in its historic decision nullified the entire process of intimidation, detention without trial and wrongful confinement being perpetuated by President Bush and his attorney general, Mr. Ashcroft. Military enquiry of Guantanamo detainees has confirmed that no charges can be framed against most of the 550 prisoners at that camp. Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T Bennett has recently commented that “Muslims have some legitimate concern with regard to Patriot Act.” Presidential candidate Senator Kerry has pin-pointedly said that, if he is elected, he will overhaul this [draconian] Act. President Bush, in fact, has hijacked the entire process of human rights and brought the country to some barbaric age. Restoration of human rights at home and its championing abroad should be the top most priority of the Presidents and the Governments of the USA. If not, the country will loose its most important attraction for oppressed to come over here to mitigate the grievance of human rights abuses rampant in undemocratic regimes around the world.          


We all have the legitimate right to nurture the hope that the forthcoming elections on November 2 may change the fate of the nation that is still “fresh and young” to play its historical role in building new hopes for the suffering humanity and may become a leading voice to restore the human rights that have been usurped by the opportunist leadership and dictators around the world through the tacit “approval” of the USA. Let us hope for the best but  prepare for the worst.



Shamim A Siddiqi

October 20, 2004