Human Rights According to Imam Khomeini (s)

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Human Rights According to Imam Khomeini (s)

Imam Khomeini: "Freedom of expression, free elections, freedom of the press, radio and television, and freedom to propagate, these are basic human rights."

"We are in an era the criminals are praised and endorsed instead of being punished and reprimanded. We are in an era in which the so-called human rights organizations are the guardians of the oppressive interests of the super criminals and defenders of their tyranny and of their dependents." (Sahifeh, vol. 17, p. 461)

Various schools of thoughts in contemporary history claim to be supporters of humankind's success and prosperity. We come to know about several schools with certain worldviews and inclinations, and they claim to have presented systems in consistence with human beings' needs.

Each of these schools covers some significant aspects of life and can contribute to intellectual growth and human's development.

These schools claim to satisfy economic, cultural and political needs of a society according to their own worldviews and visions.

The schools of thoughts can be distinguished through their visions about several issues such as sociology, creation and nature, and the mode they present or organize their basic internal laws and regulations.

Islam is placed as the most prominent among these schools of thoughts since it is founded on divine and human origins. It has also covered the theoretic and practical aspects of human life.

Islam's worldviews and visions are based on descriptions of the existing realities of the universe and it has presented plans and designs for the existence of all beings from the creator to the lowest of all.

Ultimately, Islam has organized it its legal, economic and political systems on the foundations of divine principals and values. It is clear that each of the principal or legal obligation in Islam is not only associated to the legal framework, but also relies on the Islamic system of thoughts and its worldviews.

Therefore, precise analysis of its internal hypothesis and suppositions is not possible unless we could track logical links between divine teachings and the Islamic fundamentals.

For an instance, in contemporary age, the Islamic teachings have been exemplified in the personality of the contemporary influential revivalist, Imam Khomeini. All perspectives of the Islamic system have been manifested in his personality and he can be considered as a role model for the Islamic and ethical values.

We can pursue very complicated concepts such as nation, democracy, political parties and international organizations in Imam's thoughts and works.

Imam Khomeini's approach to these concepts has not been narrow or one-sided, but his visions about human rights and other notions are conclusive and present broader worldviews.

For example, Imam (s) sheds lights on human rights by taking into account an all-inclusive legal system, values variety of perspectives. He also issues his precise judgments and underlines shortcomings, weak points, existing contradictions and controversies surrounding legality or illegality of respective theories about these concepts.

Imam (s) believes that the international system of human rights is not founded on a divine and firm worldview. (Sahifeh, vol. 4, pp. 382-383)  He also calls into question the qualifications of those who have constituted these laws and regulations. He went on to say that, those people responsible for such legislations were ignorant about the sources of divine revelation, unaware of the universe, mankind and societies, and finally they were not immune of self interests and selfishness.

The great Imam (s) maintains that those who are subject to faults and forgetful about the divine knowledge and epistemology cannot be qualified for compilation of human rights and laws. (Sahifeh, vol. 7, p. 332, vol. 8, p. 294)

According to him, the concept of human rights earns validity as a sovereign and independent system to some extent if it is based on the following fundamentals:

1) If human rights system is based on deep human intellect and epistemological foundations, then the human intellect can be able to distinguish between some merits and demerits.

2) Imam (s) also validates those parts of the existing human rights charter, which are inconsistence with the teachings of the holy prophets and divine revelations and religions particularly the Islam.

As a result, Imam (s) notes that articles of the existing human rights declaration could be beneficial if they are inconsistence with the divine teachings. He adds   there should be assurances in place that could guarantee the good beliefs and traditions of nations are being respected.

According to Imam, the designers and signatories of the human rights declaration are obliged to be respecting its all contents and articles. Imam (s) emphasizes that the founders and signatories to this declaration have failed to observe its conditions and that has resulted in outcry of the oppressed nations. The uproar and protests by the oppressed in this regard has revealed the real face of so-called supporters of human rights.

Imam once said: "If the West claims to support human rights, it should support the people of Iran which means they should withdraw their official recognition of the Shah's government. They should not accept the government of one who every now and then resorts to slaughtering people for the sake of his own survival." (Sahifeh, vol. 3, p. 491)

Imam in several of his sayings has referred to human rights declarations and addressed the bullies and so-called supporters of human rights as following: "And this nation, or indeed any other nation, has the right to determine its own destiny. This is a human right; a right which is stipulated in the Declaration of Human Rights. Any person, any nation, must determine his or its own destiny; it must not be determined by others. And so too our nation has now risen up to demand that it determine its own destiny." (Sahifeh, vol. 3, p. 503)

Some elsewhere Imam (s) says as following: "Freedom of expression, free elections, freedom of the press, radio and television, and freedom to propagate, these are basic human rights. Does America not know that we have neither the freedom to propagate nor a free press?" (Sahifeh, vol. 4, p. 380)

Imam (s) believes that the so-called supporters of human right groups use the rights as a slogan and toll to plunder the wealth of oppressed nations, and to watch the interests of super powers. These so-called supporters are also after an accession to their personal greed and groupings' interests.  Ultimately, they intend to maintain their dominance over the oppressed and are busy in sucking the blood of such nations. ( Sahifeh, vol. 3, p. 546, vol. 6, p. 407, vol. 5, p. 291)

Imam Khomeini has had a positive approach to the human rights and supported its compilation in a mode that it could be used in expanding mankind's  horizons  about facilitate its understanding toward creator and the divine revelations.

Imam (s) maintains that the legislators of human rights should have deep knowledge of various legislative systems, religious and divine creeds, the links between origins of universe and the life hereafter, and the real origins of the creation and universe. He insists that the faithful and truthful followers of divine teachings should run and execute the human rights institutions.

Imam (s) goes on to say: "A state can claim that it protects human rights when its government is based on divine religious tenets and … As long as that most fundamental detail, which is belief in God, is missing, as long as there is no fear of Him nor of a reckoning on the Day of Judgment, then confusion and disorder will reign among man and mankind will be dragged toward corruption and ruin." (Sahifeh, vol. 4, p. 382)