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fundamental rights in islam

IQBAL EBRAHIM

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

For Muslims the Qur’an is an all-embracing guide that lays down the basis of Islamic law, economic and social systems of Islam and also certain basic rights that we should render to our fellow humans. When we talk of human rights in Islam we mean those rights that have been granted by God Almighty; not those granted by any legislative body or ruler.  

In the world of today there are many organisations that fight for and promote the rights of individuals some of those rights are against the laws of the Almighty. For example in some countries people are openly urging and pressuring religious organisations and even churches to accept and conduct same sex marriages, taking it even further they are pushing for the ordination of gay priests; both the Quran and the Bible prohibit such acts yet there are the proponents for such rights of an individual. It is strange that those who shout the loudest for ‘rights’ usually introduce many ‘wrongs’ in the name of those rights?

In todays’ world there are groups that are demanding ‘personal rights and freedoms’ of the individual however let us differentiate ‘freedom’. Their logic is that it is their ‘human right’ to do or say whatever they want to. This is in despite of the fact that even though some of those rights and freedoms being claimed may be or are in direct contravention of the Laws of God; regardless they want to abolish the Laws of God and to replace them with the laws of man. In Islam or in any other religious faith for that matter, the laws of man cannot take precedence over the Laws of God. Here are but a few of those fundamental, individual and communal rights that are embedded in Islam.

Right to life

The most basic and fundamental of human rights is the right to life, the Qur’an says: “Whosoever kills any human being (without any valid reason) unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief on earth, it is though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life it is though as he had saved the lives of all mankind” (Qur’an 5: 32). “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except by way of justice and law” (Qur’an 6: 151). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explained: ‘The greatest sins are to associate partners with Allah and to kill a human being’. In Islam this right to life is for all human beings and not only confined to its adherents.

Justice

This is a right which God Almighty has bestowed on all human beings, believer or non-believer, friend or foe. The Qur’an teaches and promotes universal justice. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an: “We sent our messengers with clear teachings and sent down along with them the Book and the Balance so that society may be established on the basis of justice” (Qur’an 57 : 25). It further says “O Believers stand for the cause of God and as witness to justice and remember that enmity of some people should not lead you to injustice. Be just as it is nearest to God consciousness” (Qur’an 5: 8 ). This makes it obligatory that a believer in God Almighty must uphold justice in all circumstances and not only to his own people but even to his enemies.

Equality

The Qur’an recognises that all human beings are equal irrespective of any distinction of race, colour or sex. The Qur’an says: “O Mankind We have created you from a male and female, and We made you as nations and tribes so that you may be able to recognise each other…… Indeed the most honourable among you before God is the most righteous”. (Qur’an 49 : 13).. Therefore any superiority for man is based on his piety, righteousness, sense of responsibility and character. Even then one who has these noble qualities would not have any privileged rights over others.

Freedom of conscience and religion

The Qur’an asserts that Islam is the path to salvation however it clearly mentions that there is no compulsion in accepting or rejecting the religion of Islam. “There is no compulsion in (submitting to) the religion, truth stands out clear from error” (Qur’an 2 : 256). Every individual has been granted basic freedom to accept a religion of his or her choice.

Therefore no religion should be imposed on a person. Additionally there is personal freedom; No person can be deprived of his or her personal freedom except in pursuit of justice. Therefore there should not be any arbitrary detention without the permission of a duly appointed judge and with proof.

Protection of Honour

Every person must be afforded basic human dignity which should not be violated. If someone attacks the honour of a person the culprit will be punished according to the Islamic Law. The Qur’an says: “Do not let one group of people make fun of another group”…. “Do not defame one another”…………. And do not backbite or speak ill of one another” (Qur’an 49: 11-12).

Another important right granted is the respect for the honour and chastity of women which must be respected and safeguarded in all circumstances and cannot be outraged even in war. A report in South Africa revealed that ‘on average a woman is raped every five minutes’. This violation of women is slowly beginning to rear its ugly head in Botswana. Can we just sit by and allow the honour of our women folk to be abused and violated in this manner? In Islam if a person is found guilty of raping a woman then capital punishment applies.
 
Right of Association

The right to associate with anyone in the matters of virtue and goodness and the right to oppose evil and not cooperate in sinful acts is enshrined in the following verse; “And co-operate with one another on matters of righteousness and God-consciousness and do not co-operate with one another on matters of sin and enmity” (Qur’an 5: 2)

Rights of the Weak

It is not permissible to oppress or take undue advantage of women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the one’s own community or not. A believer has a duty to support and help the less privileged, poor and needy persons of our society:

“and in their (believers) wealth there is an acknowledged portion for the needy and the deprived” (Qur’an 70: 25. Therefore in Islam we have what is called Zakaat (poor due). This is the fourth pillar of Islam and it is obligatory upon every Muslim who possesses enough means, to yearly distribute a certain percentage of their assets to the poor and needy. ‘…..and those who pay Zakaat have the assurance of the Hereafter…..and these are the ones that will prosper’ (Quran 31; 1-5)

This is but a partial list of those rights that have been sanctioned and granted by Almighty Allah; they cannot be suspended, trodden over or tampered with by any individual or legislative body. They have to be respected and promoted in all circumstances as a religious duty.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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