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Thread: The Future of Islam

  1. #41
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    1) You stated: "These type of interpretations did not arise in a vacuum---they arose in response to the circumstances that Muslims found themselves in. Wahabism (and other Purist movements) arose in Modernity as a response against colonialism."

    I don't think that's an entirely accurate representation. I think the Quran and life and teachings of Muhammad provide fertile ground for dangerous fundamentalism to grow. Moreover, the fact that Islam sees itself as a theocracy has enormous ramifications for the behavior of Muslims. Islam is not merely a religion but also a political ideology - in the eyes of Muslims - the only true legitimate form of government is Allah's government. As a result all other governments are not only inferior but actually at war with Allah and the Muslims. Therefore, Muslims typically divide the world into two spheres, Dar al-Islam - the "house of Islam" (governed by Sharia Law) and the Dar al-Harb, the "house of war" (non-Sharia Law governments which are fundamentally, therefore, at war with Allah). Islam’s ideology imposes on Muslims the duty to fight for Allah's community through expansion and conquest. Muhammad's life was a perfect example of this, and though defensive in large part, Islam will not settle for mere peaceful containment. Islam continually has it's eyes set upon bringing the Dar al-Harb under submission to Allah's law. Only by continual jihad can the manifest destiny of Islam to bring the world into submission to Allah be fulfilled. Islamic fundamentalism has always existed, and it is growing in strength in our modern world. This will ultimately lead to a clash of civilizations and worldviews - which is what we are witnessing now, piecemeal.

    2) You stated: "I personally prefer diversity and have been amazed at the diversity of interpretations and practices within Christianity---Such diversity can be empowering because it can be understood as "freedom of conscience"

    Yes, but within all the diversity in Christendom there exists no virulent strains or interpretations that are used to motivate and justify atrocities. Christian's commit all sorts of violence, of course, but there are no groups formed around an interpretation of the Bible that call for violent behavior. In fact, I cannot think of any religion, in the modern world, that derives motivation from their holy book to commit all sorts of atrocities - except Islam. This is a unique phenomena within the Islamic world and there is a growing sentiment of fundamentalism, see for example: https://www.wzb.eu/en/press-release/...-widely-spread This fundamentalism, I think, is only superficially different from Islamic sects such as ISIS. The basic mentality, worldview, and goals are virtually identical. They have the minds for war and global domination. The time is not yet ripe for the actions to follow. The clash of civilizations and civil wars are on the horizon as long as Islamic fundamentalists grows in devotion and numbers: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled." (Surah 9:29).

    3) Thanks for your other points and the link to the video. Despite our differences we, of course, have our common humanity.
    Last edited by Scrawly; 06-17-2016 at 11:33 PM.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    The quote is from the comment by Scrawly but the response is for general...
    I was going to let the comment go---but it is too amusing so I decided to respond.....

    "...manifestations of entrenched fundamentalism include acts of terrorism, dangerous bigotry, and machinations of the global domination of the world governed by Sharia Law carried out through covert Jihad via mass immigration to non-Islam land - all of which are absolutely Islamic in nature"

    If we take terrorism, dangerous bigotry, global domination, mass immigration as "Islamic"---then those European colonists who came to the Americas and Australia and terrorized the natives, because of dangerously bigoted views that they claimed entitled them to world domination so that they immigrated in mass to colonize those non-European countries ....were in fact "closet Muslims" motivated by the Quran???!!

    Perhaps a critical look at Western philosophy, history, morality.....etc might be advisable?
    Right, but the actions and behaviors of the colonists were not motivated by the teachings of Christ or his Apostle's, but rather were motivated by the corrupt human nature that Christ came to forgive and the Apostle's taught to mortify. What we have with Islamic fundamentalism is the same scenario in relation to human nature, but an added dimension of dangerous religiosity motivated and inspired by the Quran. This is a unique phenomena in the world of religions. This uniqueness, unfortunately, is taken to be an indicator of truth and faithfulness - a pure and uncorrupted religion from the unchanging, eternal Allah.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    1) You stated: "These type of interpretations did not arise in a vacuum---they arose in response to the circumstances that Muslims found themselves in. Wahabism (and other Purist movements) arose in Modernity as a response against colonialism."

    I don't think that's an entirely accurate representation. I think the Quran and life and teachings of Muhammad provide fertile ground for dangerous fundamentalism to grow. Moreover, the fact that Islam sees itself as a theocracy has enormous ramifications for the behavior of Muslims. Islam is not merely a religion but also a political ideology - in the eyes of Muslims - the only true legitimate form of government is Allah's government. As a result all other governments are not only inferior but actually at war with Allah and the Muslims. Therefore, Muslims typically divide the world into two spheres, Dar al-Islam - the "house of Islam" (governed by Sharia Law) and the Dar al-Harb, the "house of war" (non-Sharia Law governments which are fundamentally, therefore, at war with Allah). Islam’s ideology imposes on Muslims the duty to fight for Allah's community through expansion and conquest. Muhammad's life was a perfect example of this, and though defensive in large part, Islam will not settle for mere peaceful containment. Islam continually has it's eyes set upon bringing the Dar al-Harb under submission to Allah's law. Only by continual jihad can the manifest destiny of Islam to bring the world into submission to Allah be fulfilled. Islamic fundamentalism has always existed, and it is growing in strength in our modern world. This will ultimately lead to a clash of civilizations and worldviews - which is what we are witnessing now, piecemeal.

    2) You stated: "I personally prefer diversity and have been amazed at the diversity of interpretations and practices within Christianity---Such diversity can be empowering because it can be understood as "freedom of conscience"

    Yes, but within all the diversity in Christendom there exists no virulent strains or interpretations that are used to motivate and justify atrocities. Christian's commit all sorts of violence, of course, but there are no groups formed around an interpretation of the Bible that call for violent behavior. In fact, I cannot think of any religion, in the modern world, that derives motivation from their holy book to commit all sorts of atrocities - except Islam. This is a unique phenomena within the Islamic world and there is a growing sentiment of fundamentalism, see for example: https://www.wzb.eu/en/press-release/...-widely-spread This fundamentalism, I think, is only superficially different from Islamic sects such as ISIS. The basic mentality, worldview, and goals are virtually identical. They have the minds for war and global domination. The time is not yet ripe for the actions to follow. The clash of civilizations and civil wars are on the horizon as long as Islamic fundamentalists grows in devotion and numbers: "Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled." (Surah 9:29).

    3) Thanks for your other points and the link to the video. Despite our differences we, of course, have our common humanity.
    Islam/Theocracy---inaccurate. Islam DOES NOT have a church structure. (as in...a formal hierarchy of priests) It has Ulama--which is a bunch of scholars who give opinions (fatwa) and if it hits your fancy you follow the opinion, or else ignore it. However, the Ulama have a Shura (consultation) which makes some opinions normative across "Islam". So, for example, there are some selection of Tafsir (exegesis) that are normative and others that fall outside the norm. If this "system" is a theocracy---then it is a democratic theocracy....IMO, a Caliph (Leader) was not part of the Ulama (scholars)---Further, Islam does not have the concept of "the Divine right of Kings"---since all human beings, regardless of status (king or pauper) are EQUAL. ---so technically the political system would not really be a "theocracy". Nevertheless---if the people (citizenry) decided they wanted to be led by scholars (Ulama) then they could choose to do so. Islamic philosophy does not have stipulations on the form/system of government---only that it adheres to ethical/moral principles. Principles of equality, justice, compassion, mercy---etc. Therefore, in terms of political philosophy, Islam does advocate for ethical politics.

    Political ideology---Muslims have a right to experiment with various political solutions in order to create just societies and social structures. The Enlightenment was also an experiment within the western heritage to create just societies. Non-western people are not obligated to follow the western model. They have the SAME right, as the West, to develop their own models of governance.

    Allah's government---there is no concept of the "Divine right of Kings"---this is a Pagan/Christian concept....

    Inferiority---If all humanity is inherently equal---then no one/group is superior or inferior. This value is what facilitated international trade in the Islamic era. Muslim merchants were trading with the native Australians without decimating their culture/heritage/customs the way Europeans did. Within the "Islamic" territories, a variety of Christianities that had been labelled in the West as heresy, survived even into Modernity.

    Prophets life---There is much to learn about Pluralism and co-existence from the life of the Prophet. He made peace treaties so as to avoid war, He even tried to negotiate peace with the Meccans---the Treaty of Hudaibiya. When he was invited to Medina---he initiated a mentorship program (Ansar) so that the Muslims and the people of Medina could learn about each other and get to know one another---IMO, it was a brilliant strategy to avoid the "clash of civilization"....

    Dar-al-Islam---if anyone is interested will inform more about it.....

    Surah 9:29---Have already commented on this previously but if interested will do so again----though there are plenty of Muslim scholars who have videos on the topic on the net......

    Virulent Christianity---I would suggest you look at your history again....
    Colombus and the Taino massacre...etc....
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Hi...s_History.html
    or present day...
    the Christian fundamentalist group "Britian First" and its Christian terrorist that killed a British MP
    and in case that is not violent enough for you...
    Then there are the Christian terrorists in CAR (Central African Rebublic---beheading and massacring)
    or the homophobic Christian terrorists (Lords resistance army)...etc
    here is more
    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/07/6_mo...nores_partner/

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Right, but the actions and behaviors of the colonists were not motivated by the teachings of Christ or his Apostle's, but rather were motivated by the corrupt human nature that Christ came to forgive and the Apostle's taught to mortify. What we have with Islamic fundamentalism is the same scenario in relation to human nature, but an added dimension of dangerous religiosity motivated and inspired by the Quran. This is a unique phenomena in the world of religions. This uniqueness, unfortunately, is taken to be an indicator of truth and faithfulness - a pure and uncorrupted religion from the unchanging, eternal Allah.
    I agree that the Teachings of Jesus Christ (pbuh) align with compassion and mercy...but these have not always been properly understood by Christians---some Christians do distort these teachings....
    for example see the Valladolid debate---among other things---it debated the idea of how "human" were non-Christians....(in order to justify colonialism)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valladolid_debate...

    Islam is uniquely evil---I have heard this many times and the sentence does not make sense to me...The idea that Christianity is uniquely evil may have found favor with enlightenment thinkers....Thomas Paine had some harsh things to say....But as a Muslim, such a sentiment seems to imply lack of free-will....because good or bad is done by human beings---"Islam" is a paradigm (world-view) not a person who can go about doing good/bad. A Muslim is a person/human being and Muslims can do good/bad because they have a choice. Therefore what this sentence might actually mean is that Muslims (as believers of Islam) are uniquely evil...and this simply cannot be unless Muslims are non-human/aliens (or the "devil")---because if Muslims are human beings---then they are not particularly "unique"...they are equally human as any other....
    ...on the other hand if Muslims are non-human beings such as the "devil"---then sure---they could be "uniquely" evil...?.....and I have also heard the phrase Islam is from the devil. I suppose such a sentiment may also mean Muslims are devils.....in any case, from a Muslim perspective such a sentiment is polytheism (shirk) because it accords to the devil---powers, and only God is most powerful. In the Islamic context, Devil/Satan has no powers....which is why at judgement day the excuse "the devil made me do it" won't fly with God....
    For those who happen to harbor any secret fear that Muslims are devils---might I suggest a remedy? It is Ramadan and some mosques have open iftar (Free dinner!) perhaps "breaking bread" with others may cure one of such fantasies?......

  5. #45
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    @ Robrecht---Islamophobia and extreme Wahabism are co-related---both promoting the same type of "Islam" which they both claim is the "real" Islam. However, Islam (the religion) is not the cause in the rise of either phenomenon, it is a search for strong identity-constructs in a globalized world. Both groups offer a cause and strong identity-constructs that create a sense of unity and purpose...This type of extremism can be seen elsewhere in the world too. Both of these phenomenon are also heavily financed.

    Someone said that ideas have to be fought with ideas.... and so bad ideas have to be changed with good ideas. Though this is happening, it is a much slower process. In some places, Christianity was considered a "bad idea" and was replaced by Enlightenment/Secularism...etc
    This was a choice that the people of the West made---but it is not necessary that non-Westerners make the same choice with regards to their heritage and history. China, India, are examples of civilizations with a long history and a sophisticated heritage---they can look back at their own past and sort out their best practices that they can bring to their future. Rather than the world being a homogeneous lump of uniformity---it would be great to have diversity so that we can grow in compassion and mercy towards each other. Likewise, Islamic civilization may not have as long a history, but we do/did have a sophisticated heritage---one that absorbed the wisdom of Egypt, China, India, Persia, Greeks, and made it is own. ...
    Trying to blame Islamophobia for violent forms of Islam is irresponsible.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    Trying to blame Islamophobia for violent forms of Islam is irresponsible.
    There is a misunderstanding---perhaps I was unclear. My initial comment was in the context of the problems facing minorities in some Muslim majority countries and tackling this situation becomes difficult/slower because of Islamophobia on the one hand and Wahabism on the other.

    Radicalization (of activists) occurred because secular dictators brutally repressed activism/activists calling for self-determination---the process is similar to how the Irish became radicalized. These radicalized rhetorics and views found a practicing ground in Afghanistan when the U.S. (with the help of Saudi and Pakistan) decided to train and arm these radicals to fight Russia.....Saudi financing also helped spread Wahabism, and when this type of Islam mixed with arms and war---created fierce freedom fighters---this ofcourse pleased the U.S. (and Pakistan...who also had their own strategic agenda) which insisted on arming such freedom fighters instead of the other type---eventually resulting in Al-Qaeda....

    However, while Islamophobia is not the cause of Al-Qaeda or ISIS...the hate it promotes can be one of many factors of alienation, anger and disconnect among mentally unstable Muslims that cause them take up violence. Likewise, the rhetoric and ideas generated by paid/financed Islamophobes can be one of many factors that cause some people to take up violence against their own fellow citizens who are presumed to be "Muslim"---such as the massacre at the Sikh temple, burning of mosques...etc....It is important to keep in mind that Islamophobia did not arise in a vacuum---rather circumstances and environment created an opportunity for this type of idea to take hold.
    Nevertheless---insofar as this type of prejudice effects state policies---it can create an environment that facilitates oppression and injustices---such as the use of entrapment practices by law enforcement/FBI, Search and seizures without warrant, arrests without cause---or at worst assassination by drone.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    There is a misunderstanding---perhaps I was unclear. My initial comment was in the context of the problems facing minorities in some Muslim majority countries and tackling this situation becomes difficult/slower because of Islamophobia on the one hand and Wahabism on the other.

    Radicalization (of activists) occurred because secular dictators brutally repressed activism/activists calling for self-determination---the process is similar to how the Irish became radicalized. These radicalized rhetorics and views found a practicing ground in Afghanistan when the U.S. (with the help of Saudi and Pakistan) decided to train and arm these radicals to fight Russia.....Saudi financing also helped spread Wahabism, and when this type of Islam mixed with arms and war---created fierce freedom fighters---this ofcourse pleased the U.S. (and Pakistan...who also had their own strategic agenda) which insisted on arming such freedom fighters instead of the other type---eventually resulting in Al-Qaeda....

    However, while Islamophobia is not the cause of Al-Qaeda or ISIS...the hate it promotes can be one of many factors of alienation, anger and disconnect among mentally unstable Muslims that cause them take up violence. Likewise, the rhetoric and ideas generated by paid/financed Islamophobes can be one of many factors that cause some people to take up violence against their own fellow citizens who are presumed to be "Muslim"---such as the massacre at the Sikh temple, burning of mosques...etc....It is important to keep in mind that Islamophobia did not arise in a vacuum---rather circumstances and environment created an opportunity for this type of idea to take hold.
    Nevertheless---insofar as this type of prejudice effects state policies---it can create an environment that facilitates oppression and injustices---such as the use of entrapment practices by law enforcement/FBI, Search and seizures without warrant, arrests without cause---or at worst assassination by drone.
    All these long round robin posts fail to justify your assertion that Islam and Sharia is compatible with international law, or international law can be based on the Qur'an or Sharia. Can Islamic teachings guarantee the separation of religion and state, and the independent secular rights of homosexuals, atheists and Baha'is? Please be specific where Islamic teachings and Sharia can guarantee this.

    Still waiting . . .

    My contention is that the Baha'i Faith can be the basis for international law.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 06-22-2016 at 08:32 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

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  8. #48
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    "Baha'i Faith can be the basis for international law"---that is great.

    Religious paradigms provide a better framework for ethics so I think if we are looking for ethical laws/jurisprudence---we need faith based paradigms that govern all aspects of life,... ethical economics, ethical laws, ethical governance...

    If we think of a future with legal pluralism---then Bahai can have their own basis for international law, Muslims can have their own systems as well as other faith communities can have ethical systems that reflect their deeply held ethico-moral positions---areas of contestations can be settled by international arbitration bodies. Therefore, a mono system is not imposed on the whole world---which would be oppression---but in pluralistic systems everyones right to conscience is respected equally.

    Europe was already grappling with concepts and problems of legal pluralism because of the formation of the EU. But now, with globalization and the post nation-state (transnational) framework, they are thinking of legal pluralism in global terms. Several factors have made the concept of nation-state superfluous....Net-economies which have no trade boundaries, hybrid legal systems, religious, ethnic groups and institutions as global players...failed states....etc...(Scholars such as Neil Walker and Peer Zumbansen are thinking about these issues in a European context---In the Islamic areas, Muslim scholars are working on the intersection of economics and law in areas such as Global Islamic finance, Global Halal markets and productions...etc as well as post nation-state structure of law---perhaps loosely modeled on the EU type system....The Ottoman Empire also practiced legal pluralism, so it is possible to look at what worked and did not work from the past....)

    Separation of religion and law---In the Islamic context, since religion =law---this separation was already in effect in classical sharia. It is in modern times, because of the concept of nation-state, that law and state have merged. It would be much better if law and state were separated again.
    Rights---Again, Islam does not have the unbalanced concept of rights alone---but balances rights with responsibilities--and in this context, all groups within a society have rights and responsibilities. These rights and responsibilities can be negotiated so that equality/dignity and justice are preserved.

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    (a shallow) Comparison of paradigms--

    (Secular) Modern paradigm is a "win-lose" model--This is a zero-sum paradigm which is predicated on the idea that macro relations are based on anarchy and the powerful survive. The selfish needs are the driving factor.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neorea...nal_relations)

    There is another way to think---and some religious philosophies offer a different (more balanced) perspective of human potential...?....
    ...the win-win model---which recognizes the human desire (motivation factor) for altruism as well as self-interest and balances both aspects for the best outcome of human potential...In such a paradigm, survival of macro relationships (large groups) does not depend on power---but on co-operation. -------In this context the Quran has some interesting advice to offer:---

    Quran Surah 5:48
    Yusuf Ali: To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;

    If macro relations are based on the rule of laws (plural) in which a co-operative paradigm fosters a competition for best practices---this could benefit the Earth, humanity as a whole, as well as the individual soul....its a win-win at all levels....

  10. #50
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    "Baha'i Faith can be the basis for international law"---that is great.

    Religious paradigms provide a better framework for ethics so I think if we are looking for ethical laws/jurisprudence---we need faith based paradigms that govern all aspects of life,... ethical economics, ethical laws, ethical governance...

    If we think of a future with legal pluralism---then Bahai can have their own basis for international law, Muslims can have their own systems as well as other faith communities can have ethical systems that reflect their deeply held ethico-moral positions---areas of contestations can be settled by international arbitration bodies. Therefore, a mono system is not imposed on the whole world---which would be oppression---but in pluralistic systems everyone's right to conscience is respected equally.
    Yes each can have their own, but you have failed demonstrate how the Islamic view can be a modern model for international law.


    Separation of religion and law---In the Islamic context, since religion=law---this separation was already in effect in classical sharia. It is in modern times, because of the concept of nation-state, that law and state have merged. It would be much better if law and state were separated again.
    Problem here, the Baha'i Faith clearly acknowledges the separation of religion and state, and Islam does not have a consistent model for International Law, because the bottom line is Sharia=law does not take into a consistent diverse issues of dealing with international law.

    Rights---Again, Islam does not have the unbalanced concept of rights alone---but balances rights with responsibilities--and in this context, all groups within a society have rights and responsibilities. These rights and responsibilities can be negotiated so that equality/dignity and justice are preserved.
    It is extremely obvious that Islam does not have a balanced view of rights with responsibilities outside Islam for international law.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baha%27i_perspective_on_international_human_rights



    Baha'i perspective on international human rights

    Divine basis for human rights

    The Bahá’í Writings make clear that human rights are not merely a political or social concept that is contingent on recognition by governments. Rather, the Bahá’í perspective is that human rights exist with or without governments; indeed, they are a divine endowment flowing from the creation of all human beings with the potential to reflect the attributes of God. All human beings have for this reason an equal spiritual dignity.[3] Accordingly, governments have a moral obligation to respect this divine endowment, an obligation that would exist even in the absence of treaties or customary legal norms obligating them to do so. Bahá’u’lláh impressed upon rulers this sacred duty: “For is it not your clear duty to restrain the tyranny of the oppressor, and to deal equitably with your subjects, that your high sense of justice may be fully demonstrated to all mankind? God hath committed into your hands the reins of the government of the people, that ye may rule with justice over them, safeguard the rights of the down-trodden, and punish the wrong-doers.”[4] These are divinely-ordained responsibilities that no government can legitimately shirk.[5] Bahá’u’lláh also teaches that because of this equal spiritual dignity, all human beings are members of a single human family that should be unified. This means that all should treat one another as brothers and sisters, and in turn honor and respect the rights of all other human beings, not only as co-equals, but as spiritual relatives. He declares, “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”[6] Recognition of this fundamental connectedness is a precondition, according to the Bahá’í teachings, for the full realization of human rights. Bahá’u’lláh asserts in this connection: “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.”[7] Human Rights will remain no more than a morally admirable concept so long as they are not anchored in such an appreciation for human unity. That unity provides the impetus, the motivation, the will, to uphold and defend the rights of others. And it implies that human rights are the concern of everyone, not just governments.[8]

    Background

    The earliest use of the terminology of human rights in publications by Bahá’í institutions coincided with the inception of their official relationship with the United Nations. Three of the first four documents submitted to the newly established international organization in 1947 and 1948 were statements on various aspects of human rights intended as contributions to the preparatory work on the UDHR. The first of these was an eight-page statement entitled “A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights”[9] which was presented to the Human Rights Commission[10] in February 1947 on behalf of eight national Bahá’í administrative bodies.[11] The Bahá’í International Community (BIC) explains that concern for human rights can be found throughout the Bahá’í Writings. Bahá’u’lláh, urged the rulers of the earth to “rule with justice ... safeguard the rights of the down-trodden, and punish the wrong-doers.”[12] He taught that “there shall be an equality of rights and prerogatives for all mankind.”[13]

    Shoghi Effendi, the authorized interpreter of Baha’u’llah’s teachings, states that: “[t]he unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which .... the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded. This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of mankind, ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations, and will enact such laws as shall be required to regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust the relationships of all races and peoples.”[14]

    Moreover, in The Promise of World Peace, the Universal House of Justice (the supreme governing institution of the Faith) underscores the importance of the UDHR and its related conventions, asserting that “all such measures, if courageously enforced and expanded, will advance the day when the specter of war will have lost its power to dominate international relations.”[15]

    Bahá’í views on human rights are based on the concept that every person is essentially a spiritual being endowed by the Creator with talents and capacities, and that the purpose of life is to realize that potential for the benefit of society as well as the individual concerned. The equal dignity of all human beings and the need for both solidarity and legal equality among them are clearly posited in many passages of the Bahá’í sacred scriptures.[16] These ideas are encapsulated in the concept of the “oneness of mankind”, which is described as the “pivot round which all the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve”.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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