The question of human rights is an international issue that concerns all human beings irrespective of their religion or ideology. The principle that governs human rights is the purport of Surah Al-Mumtahina Verse 8 which says:
لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
“Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly, surely Allah loves the doers of justice.”
According to this verse, no individual or nation is superior to others and no individual or nation has the right to dominate others. The nation that does not transgress is entitled to the grace of Divine Justice and Muslims are obliged to deal with them justly.
Justice is a Divine tradition that is carried out by Allah in this world as well as in the hereafter and is thus beyond the reach of ordinary people. Allah implements Justice especially in the hereafter by dealing with everything in accordance with what it deserves. Since every nation, theist or atheist, has its own sacred symbols that are respected by all of them, one must not insult or disrespect them. This is because this action, in addition to being an act of psychological infringement, faces legal problems. That is the reason why the Holy Quran has prevented Muslims from such practices when it says in Surah An-am Verse 108:
وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
“And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits they should abuse Allah out of ignorance. Thus have we made fair seeming to every people their deeds, then to their Lord shall be their return, so He will inform them of what they did.”
It was forbidden to insult or abuse idols worshipped by polytheists, lest the polytheists should insult or abuse Allah (the One worshiped by believers) out of ignorance. The reason their abusing Allah is an act of ignorance is that they believe in Allah, but nevertheless worship idols thinking that they are close to Allah and thus they intercede for them with Allah. This is no doubt an unfair justification. The verse sighted above contains a general rule based on which one does not have the right to insult non-believers’ sacred symbols lest they should follow suit and begin insulting things held sacred by believers.
Struggles against evil and preventing falsehood need to be done in a good manner. If forbidding wrong is done in a bad manner, it must be stopped and it must be looked at as evil. Similarly, the invitation to truth and goodness must be carried out in a way that is consistent with its purpose. This is because a good purpose never justifies a bad means. If enjoining the truth is done through a bad means, it must be stopped. This is because there is no actual relation between the destination and the way that leads to it. A straight path never leads to a wrong destination and a deviated path never ends in the right direction. Abusing the sacred symbols of other nations, though they are wrong, is an incorrect practice which is forbidden by Allah.
1. A universal religion has a universal program;
2. The most important comprehensive religious duty is to abide by law and follow international etiquette;
3. From among public etiquette, the best is to protect human dignity and to refrain from insulting things held sacred by other groups;
4. To curse or abuse the companions of the Holy Prophet (sawa), to insult things held sacred by Shia or Sunni and to insult or desecrate the beliefs of any of them is forbidden. To sow discord among Muslims is a major sin that must be avoided by all especially those who go for Hajj or Umra;
5. To learn that it is necessary to unite, it is forbidden to engage in seditious differences and to refrain from insulting the sacred among other nations must be among the achievements of your Hajj journey so that we should see nothing in the world of Islam except harmony and unity. This is because if we do not follow this advice we will be weakened from within and the enemies will be encouraged to destroy religious centers.
Allah says in Surah Hajj Verse 40:
الَّذِينَ اُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِم بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلآَّ أَن يَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ وَلَوْلاَ دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيراً وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَويٌ عَزِيزٌ
“And had there not been Allah’s repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s name is remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Powerful and Mighty.”