IUCG HOLDS PUBLIC LECTURE
The Islamic University College, Ghana (IUCG) organized a public lecture on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at the institutions Conference Hall. The theme for the event was “Human Rights in Contemporary Times: Islamic and Secular Perspectives”.
The first lecture, delivered by Mr. Anas Sandow, an IUCG alumnus and a Masters Degree holder in international relations from the University of Ghana, focused on the secular perspective of Human Rights in Contemporary Times. In his submissions, Mr Sandow asserted that the entire concept of Human Rights rests entirely on two fundamental but controversial assumptions which are; (The claim that there exists a Rationally Identifiable Moral Order, which is applicable to all human beings irrespective of place or time. Secondly, the legitimacy of the so called moral order precedes contingent social and historical conditions). He further explained that the bases of the aforementioned philosophical assumptions led to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by 58 member states of the United Nations (UN) under the guidance of the United States (US). He alleged that the UDHR today, is recognized in International Human Rights Law but strongly contested by the non-secular world in its origin, legality and universality because the draft in the view of member states of the non-secular world, failed to take account the cultural and religious contexts of non-Western countries.
“We are witnessing the brazen violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedom because of, one, The manipulation of the Doctrine for political, strategic, economic and military gains and two, The Duplicity of Western Powers”, Mr. Sandow firmly declared. He supported these claims with several examples, some of which include the Iraq-Iran war and Sadam Hussein’s invasion of Iran, the ICC’s sentencing of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and so on.
The second lecture, however, focused on the Islamic Perspective of Human Rights in Contemporary times and was delivered by Mr. Abdul Hussein Ishaq, a lecturer of the Religious Studies Department of the IUCG. He started his speech by stating that, Human Rights in Islam are to be understood as the rights that have been granted by Allah and not by any legislative assembly or by a king. He explained that rights granted by human beings can equally be withdrawn by them.
His main focus was on the distinct characteristics on which Human Rights were built upon. These characteristics include; Universality, Fundamental/Natural, Socially Recognized and Duty/Obligations. He proclaimed that Human Rights in Islam are integral part of the overall Islamic order and it is obligatory on all Muslim governments to implement these rights within their framework. “The last sermon of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is considered as the charter of Human Rights”, Mr. Ishaq iterated, “these rights include, the right to life, right to own property, right to education, right to protection against torture etc”, he added, “therefore when we speak of human rights in Islam, we really mean that these rights have been granted by God” he concluded.
The lecture was attended by students of the IUCG, stuff and the general public.
By: MUMUNI AL-HADAR