World Celebrates Global Human Rights Crisis

Islamic Human Rights Commission

For Immediate Release
8 December 2000
International Day of Human Rights has little relevance for most of the world’s people, particularly Muslims

This Sunday is the United Nations-designated International Human Rights Day observed annually on 10 December. The day represents the 53rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United Nations General Assembly approved in December of 1948 in New York.

Yet while the world will be celebrating Human Rights Day, the majority of the world population continues to bear the brunt of human rights violations, as is documented by numerous human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

In Palestine, Israel has been committing systematic atrocities against Palestinian civilians, including children, who are protesting against the regime’s illegal military occupation and expansion of settlements. Israel has imposed a system of apartheid over the Palestinian population. Violations of Palestinian human rights are a characteristic feature of Israeli occupation, documented by dozens of reputable human organisations. Yet Israeli apartheid and terrorism receives financial and military support from the United States and Britain.

The crisis in Palestine is representative of ongoing humanitarian catastrophes throughout the world. In the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, for example, Russia has pounded the civilian infrastructure into rubble, levelling entire towns and villages. Muslim Chechen civilians continue to be killed, imprisoned and tortured. However, the international community including Britain has not only refused to penalise Russia for its massive human rights violations, but has even been funding the war through billions of dollars in IMF aid. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has even declared his personal liking for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a pre-eminent war criminal.

In Turkey, up to 45,000 Kurds have been massacred in the southeast by Turkish security forces. An estimated 3,000 villages have been incinerated, and up to 3 million Kurds have been displaced and are now refugees. Turkish Kurds, the majority of whom are Muslim, are denied their basic civil and social rights by the regime. Muslims in Turkey also continue to be harassed, imprisoned, tortured, and assigned death penalties merely for practicing their faith and organising peaceful protests against governmental policies. The Turkish regime is supported in its activities by financial and military aid from the Western powers.

Indeed, it is a well-documented fact confirmed by numerous international organisations that 80 per cent of human rights violations committed by governments worldwide are committed against Muslims. Muslims throughout the world, then, are the primary victims of human rights violations, not their cause.

IHRC calls on the international community to take stock on Human Rights Day of the extent to which human rights violations worldwide continue with impunity against both Muslims and non-Muslims, with abuses against Muslims pre-pondering enormously. It is clear that such violations continue due to the fact that global institutions are currently intrinsically flawed with respect to the task of protecting human rights as the above examples indicate. Not only are global institutions flawed in this respect, they appear to be inherently opposed to human rights, with the Western powers consistently supporting the dictatorial regimes responsible for instituting humanitarian catastrophes throughout the world.

In particular, with regard to Muslims, global institutions are clearly discriminatory and based on the widespread demonisation of Muslims by press and governments. Systematic human rights abuses against Muslims are likely to continue in this way, unless the false stereotypes of Islam and Muslims so widely held are removed. As it is, with the majority of the world population both Muslim and non-Muslim suffering as victims of mass human rights violations, the celebration of International Human Rights Day by the West remains unfortunately hypocritical.

For more information on the above, please contact the IHRC Press Office on (+44) 20 8902 0888, (+44) 958 522 196, e-mail: