The idea of human rights has an extensive history, but only in the past century has the global community pursued to galvanize a regime to promote and protect them. In particular, since the United Nations (UN) was founded in 1945, world leaders have collaborated to codify human rights in a universally recognized regime of treaties, institutions, and norms. Among the Muslim-majority nations, most recently, in June 2011, the Organisation of Islāmic Cooperation (OIC) established the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission, with the aim to “advance human rights” and “support the Member States’ efforts to merge civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.” These recent developments call for Islāmic Non-Governmental Organizations (NGIs) to articulate the Islāmic views on human rights to offer alternate views to the global human rights movement.
The first item on their agenda must be to gain due respect for the Islāmic point-of-view from the preponderance of secular governments represented in the United Nations.
The Articles of Faith of the Muslims have all been based on the Revelations (a.s.) to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). With the exception of most secularists’ willingness to profess a “belief in God” (although not One God as such), another five of the Islāmic articles of faith do not find any consistent agreement from the secular West. The majority of secularists will not agree to the belief in His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Divine Preordainment and Divine Decree (Qadhaa’ and Qadr) and the inevitability of the Day of Judgement.
Since Muslims derive their concepts of human rights from the validity of these beliefs, the secularists can and do freely dispute them as a basis for their formulation of the rights due to all human beings.
In this case, a number of so-called “human rights” are lately being claimed as prerequisites for membership in the community of nations which form the UN. The underlying meta-belief of these secularists is that the mind of man is enough in itself to express and defend “human rights” without reference to religion, or more especially, religious revelation.
Statistically speaking, the majority of wealth may be in the hands of the secular world, however, the majority of human cultures on the planet earth are derived from and clearly based upon a few major religions. The OIC must endorse and defend those “human rights” derived from the beliefs of this human majority of religious cultural groups, as long as they do not contradict with the Islāmic principles.
Malaysia’s newly formed Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA) proposes among its major goals, in defending the position of Islam, to carry out this more equitable and just foundation for human rights declarations. The peaceful coexistence of secular-based and revelation-based human values absolutely requires that reductionist disrespect from either side be avoided.
In other words, CENTHRA will hope to end the secular insistence that religious revelation and belief are most often products of medical imbalance, such as schizophrenia or epilepsy. Only then might the western-educated populace be ready to consider Islāmic and other revealed human rights systems in an equitable and fair way.
CENTHRA therefore will strive to support or even take part in the cutting edge of scientific research validating the processes of religious revelation and belief in such a way as to require a fair hearing from those who previously subscribed only to “the human mind” as the basis of human rights formulations — a human mind medically screened to be clear of manifestations or symptoms of imbalance such as the schizophrenia or epileptiform models mentioned above.
Such is the need for research in the human rights domain, and especially, on the issue of the treatability of gender distortions and definitions of human sexual and family life. The original UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 used social terms which in the days of its formulation had conventional connotations that are now being attacked and re-shaped for various purposes by the minority “freedom of gender choice” groups, now popularised as the LGBTIQ movement.
There are still opportunities for both theological and medical scholars to offer credible or even workable alternatives in treating gender malfunction, or, in other words, gross departures from what Muslims refer to as “fitrah”, or the God-given human nature. It is CENTHRA’s goal, under the aegis of the OIC sponsorship, to begin to move initiatives which include, both medical and theological researches and methodologies that may restore the entire human race to its legitimate and completely natural existence on the face of Allah’s great earth.