It’s become quite a sad occurrence to increasingly find that certain individuals, groups, organisations and community figures are continuing (and I’m discovering more) to promote a blatant double standard when it comes to our human rights and freedoms and the basic concepts of respect, equality and non-discrimination.
Time and time again, here in the UK and worldwide, I’m discovering how certain organisations and “leaders” are expressing, promoting or failing to address divisive, degrading language, beliefs and practices. And time and time again, I’m discovering more and more people to quite literally steer well clear of!
Let’s be clear. We all have rights, needs and wishes and we also all have responsibilities and duties to our fellow human beings. For example: we are all endowed with the right to practice our religion freely but we are also responsible for protecting the religious freedom of others, to not impede on the freedom of other groups and to not advocate hatred against other religious or non-religious communities.
I’ve spoken about this before in a previous blog entitled Human Rights: It’s all for one or none for all, but I’m becoming increasingly shocked at the double standards out there. What are these you might ask? Well take a look below at the sad reality. I have not stated names but these are all real examples/issues.
They campaign against religious discrimination as (presumably Sunni) Muslims but hate Shia and Ahmadi Muslims.
They advocate for peace and interfaith tolerance or the rights of their own community yet they exclude and/or demonise members of LGBT community through the use of derogatory language and exclusive practices and/or through constitutional history.
They preach the importance of anti-sectarianism within Islam but whilst (often vehemently) referring to themselves as Sunni they (almost always) refuse to accept Ahmadi Muslims as Muslims and preach an intolerant, divisive, hate-fuelled narrative.
They claim to stand for the need for peace and non-violence – in particular by engaging faith communities and strengthening faith relations – but have (un-denounced) anti-Semitic history.
Violence and extremism
They are concerned about injustices in the name of anti-terror legislation but do not (actively) tackle extremism within their own communities.
They promote a supposedly feminist narrative in opposition of the idea that Islam “oppresses women” but do so with often little or no involvement of women and whilst holding and/or failing to speak out against outdated misogynist beliefs and practices.
Selective outrage / human rights
They campaign for the rights of Palestinians yet fail to condemn and/or do not advocate against human rights abuses throughout the Middle East committed by “Arabs/Muslims” and/nor comment on violence committed by Hamas. They also use anti-Semitic language and demonise large segments of the Jewish community .
So, where do we go from here?
Without naming people and organisation this may all appear rather “abstract” but I am sure that if you think carefully and look, you’ll find plenty of examples of these double standards.
I can think of numerous organisations, people and bodies here in the UK and elsewhere operating under the guise of promoting peace, anti-Islamophobia etc. but who are directly/indirectly promoting/upholding some of these double standards. I’m not saying we all have to focus on the same areas of work but ignoring issues, failing to address inequality, preaching hatred and using derogatory language is not acceptable.
When will enough be enough? When will the ignorant, divisive and even hate-fuelled narrative stop? Stand up and speak out – for everyone. We are all human. We are all entitled to the same rights, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, faith, ethnicity and nationality. And we all all responsible for upholding the rights of each and every one of us and speaking out against hatred, discrimination and violence.
Salam, shalom, peace ♡
2 Replies to “Respect, equality and non-discrimination: Aren’t these core universal human rights for each and every one of us?”
I know I’ve been awful at leaving comments lately, but I loved this post so much!
This is such an important thing to bring up, and I think this issue is present in some way at almost all different levels of activism (the thing that specifically comes to mind is white, privileged, section of feminism that wants to be the saviour of Muslim women without even listening to what they are trying to say for themselves).
I think within the Muslim community a large part of the issue is that we generally like to speak in broad stereotypes, i.e. all Israelis are evil or all Shia/Sufi/whatever are deviant, instead of just looking at the person standing in front of us, their words, their actions, and most importantly, their humanity.
In shaa Allah there is always more nuance to be had in the discussion, and I think that sentence that you began with, that all of us have the rights to our own beliefs, wants, etc. but we all also have responsibilities towards our fellow humans, is so true.
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Thanks for commenting 🙂 yep with rights come responsibilities. A 2 wat street 🙂 always nice to see you’ve enjoyed a post 🙂
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