Human Rights Vs. Imperialism

As democracy has been an interesting point of debate worldwide and how certain populations may be ready or not ready for it, I decided to write this post to discuss if democracy or human rights maybe correlated with imperialism.

According to the human rights act, in a democratic society an individual should have the right to a fair trial, right to respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association. (Articles 6, 8, 9, 10&11)

Let us take a country like North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria or Saudi Arabia as an example of the worst countries as human rights offenders, if we did force democracy and human rights to be applied in one of those countries would it be considered as imperialism?

For the past decades it has been proven that human beings are equal regardless of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status! So you can find the good and the bad in each and every category of those mentioned above. So, in countries like Saudi Arabia where women are deprived from most of their rights; as well as everyone being deprived from expressing his thoughts or even granted the freedom of religion and faith; if we applied the human rights act there, will it be considered as imperialism?

From the other side those countries do not believe in human rights as they are against their believes, traditions, politics etc… so we will not be making a valid point by asking them to embrace western standards of human rights which is against their religion – imperialism –.

When it comes to homosexuality, according to scientific researches there are homosexuals because of psycho-social related issues or because of a biological issue, but both of them are untreatable – as it is not a disease as it was understood in the past –. Homosexuality does exist in every country, in every city within human beings and animals. So, for homosexuals who were born in any of the countries mentioned above, don’t they have the right to live the life they want as long as they are not harming anyone? does anybody believe that there is a country on earth that doesn’t contain even 1 atheist or 1 gay person? It is the same case just as women rights and by the end of the day the question remains, should that be considered as imperialism?

By today there are 67 countries still maintain the death penalty in both law and practice some of them apply it for murderers only while some others may sentence a human being to death over adultery or changing his religion. 90 countries abided by the human rights act and abolished the death penalty completely while 11 countries retain it, but only for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in time of war). The death penalty was condemned by the human rights act as it cannot be rectified if the accused person was innocent and it did happen a lot that after someone was sentenced to a death penalty it appeared that he/she was innocent! So the conclusion was that no one should take from a human being the right of living even for murderers.

By asking on twitter “What do you think if a country asked Saudi Arabia to embrace human rights in exchange for their economic relations?” and the answers came 50/50. One side defended imperialism by arguing that a country which would force such a thing is good as it refuses to do business with a country that doesn’t respect human rights, while the other side argued that it is the country itself that should choose its standards.

In conclusion it is still a long debate to know the how to and the consequences of applying the human rights act worldwide. I hope everyone reads this participate with his/her believe regarding this issue maybe we can reach something better.


About justanegyptian

Just An Egyptian
This entry was posted in Criticism, English, Human Rights, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Human Rights Vs. Imperialism

  1. Peter Kneiber says:

    Mina,homosexuality till this very moment is still quit debatable,

    The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and National Association of Social Workers stated in 2006:
    “ Currently, there is no scientific consensus about the specific factors that cause an individual to become heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual—including possible biological, psychological, or social effects of the parents’ sexual orientation. However, the available evidence indicates that the vast majority of lesbian and gay adults were raised by heterosexual parents and the vast majority of children raised by lesbian and gay parents eventually grow up to be heterosexual.[2] ”

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:
    “ Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.

    so according to science, its not as how u described it, it is not yet known or proven to have any psychological or genetic relations,

    is it a Crime? Should we accept it socially? this is still very big contravention, should society accept it? Yes and No, still very much debatable, so any discussions regarding this issue , can not be supported by science , proves,. .. so its a matter of a very own opinion . .. anyways, i know i diverted from the whole topic discussion,..
    cheers , nice argument btw

    • quoted from your comment “It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment” i have no clue if it is biological or not but as i described it above by writing “psycho-social related issues or because of a biological issue” which is a fact that is consistent with what you wrote.

      regarding the debate of accepting or not accepting it is a long off point debate where any homo-defender person would argue with you better than me but i just made it clear that they do exist in every society and they do have their right of freedom

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I think what’s missing in your interesting debate is the question whether imposing human rights values actually works. As we saw when the US tried to impose democracy on Iraq, it didn’t exactly work. I believe that change needs to come from within – people deprived on human rights need to gain their rights themselves. This way, the change is real, and not imposed from above.

    The Western model also might not work for all societies. There are concepts of justice and equality in Islam that aren’t exactly the same as the Western ideals. People resist adopting foreign ideas and only if the change is organic and home-grown, it will natural to the society and won’t disappear easily.

    I do think that Western governments need to stop supporting dictatorships by providing them with diplomatic and financial backing, but this is purely a moral/strategic issue that concerns the West -it’s not about imposing anything on the global South. Meaning, I don’t support any intervention – positive of negative. In fact, if you think of it, the support the West gives to dictators *is* imperialism, since they maintain leaders over the Arab population that are not popular. Without US (and Saudi) backing, the Bahraini regime would have been gone a long time ago.

    Now, of course in extreme cases when there is a big risk for people’s lives, I think the world should intervene, as it is doing in Libya. There’s a difference between protecting civilians from immediate harm and imposing Western values.

    • This is a very good point of view specially the lesson the US took from the Iraq experience. but the problem here is what about those civilians who are sentenced to death, prison or tortured because of expressing themselves?

      how can we help them? what is the best way of supporting human rights in those countries to help its citizens from abroad?

  3. Walid1974 says:

    Well Mina I think that the problem that western countries are not fair in their democratic measures toward the whole world. And what happen now for those arab uprisings proves the contradictory actions taken by westerns. As you can see that the US doesn’t have a unified action toward those arab dictators in all arab countries like their situation in Libya and their situation toward countries like Yemen or Bahrain . So we can discuss your interesting debate based on a hypothesis that they believe in real freedom and democracy to be imposed on those countries. I think that people should decide their fate themselves. They are not children and western countries should stop intervening in those countries cause each time they do , it ends in a disaster and you can see many examples for that.

  4. Mina Diaa says:

    @MinaNaguib90 من الأخر,,أنا معاك,بس انت مش هاتعرف تفرض القيم دي علي الناس هناك,لإنهم في الغالب بيبقي معمولهم توجيه وغسيل مخ لرفضها,

    @MinaNaguib90 والدول الشمولية أو الفاشية دي بتبقي مسيطرة حتي علي الراي العام والعقل الجمعي للمجتمع,انا شايف انهم لو متربسين و رافضين يطبقوها

    @MinaNaguib90 الحل في إن الناس المتضررة تعمل لجوء,,لإن تغير اي مجتمع والقيم إللي فيه مش هاينفع يجي من براهم,,لازم هما إللي يثورو عشان يبقي

    @MinaNaguib90 عندهم حقوق إنسان,,اما بالنسبة للدول إللي بتعمل انتهاكات,بس معترفة بحقوق الإنسان,فا دي ممكن الضغط يجيب معاها نتيجة :)),شكراً

    • I’m not accepting the idea of “Who doesn’t like it should seek asylum” for the following reasons:
      1- you can’t just ignore the rights’ of human beings and ask someone to leave his country searching for his rights
      2- if a part of a population did seek asylum like (Muslims in China, Christians in Egypt, Atheists in KSA etc…) how will Europe, USA, Canada and Australia be able to support millions of asylum seekers, it will be unfair for a lot of people and it isn’t practical 😦

  5. aindreas says:

    Discrimination is evident for any class and creed of folk. I am privileged to have a great job and live in Ireland. Other folk’s ignorance doesn’t stop because where I live or who I hang out with. Last nite I hung with a pretty amazing crowd, folks at the top of their game, job, intellect and connection wise. Still had that awkward moment when a guy said the most rude homophobic thing, unaware of of his verbal tirade wasn’t funny.
    I’m with Cesare Beccacia, the Einstein Institute and enlightenment on the question of hate and punishment. On a personal level hate against another human being I don’t get. I do know of guys that freak out (in fear) of folk knowing they are gay and for good reason ( being from Saudi and all). Do Saudi values (no offense) over ride human rights? Everyone, incl. the vulnerable in society, wherever they are, have a human rights, universal rights as stated in the Vienna Declaration 1993. It’s not an apple or orange choice. They deserve support, and it’s good that justanegyptian has the balls to blog it 🙂

  6. heba says:

    الكلام اللى بتقوله زى الفل…..بس لما بسئل نفسى ازاى تغير تفكير الناس وتخليهم يتقبلوا ده؟……….وازاى هنعمل قوانيين
    مش بعرف اجاوب….اعتقد ان جزء كبير جدا من المشكله فى تفكير الناس وطريقه التربيه كمان ……
    وفكرة الشذوذ الجنسى ….زى اى حاجة غريبه عننا…….مش عازيين نشوفها او نعرفها
    فكرة الحوار والفهم والتعليم هيا الحل الوحيد
    والحقيقة انا مش عارفه الاسلام بيقول ايه فى الشواذ….؟
    ومش عارفه ليه الحكايه صعبه على الناس……بس بالنسبه ليا معنديش اى مشكله انى اعامله الشخص ده كويس…طول ما هو مش بيأذينى ……بس
    وامبارح انا مفهمتش السؤال اساسا
    استمر استمر يامينا

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