International Awards

Made to Raif Badawi...

States must cease using religion as an excuse to infringe Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted following the Second World War in 1948, is one of humanity's finest achievements. Reading through it, it is near-impossible for any sane and sensible human being to disagree with it.

A number of governments throughout the world have their own reasons for blatantly disregarding it. Others pay lip service to it, then ignore it when it suits their political aspirations.

The biggest group of states who largely choose to ignore the UDHR are those ruled by religious theocracy. Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia have stated that the UDHR is incompatible with the teachings of Islam - and that THEIR code of Human Rights, based on Islam, is the one to follow. This Islamic Code of Human Rights is based on centuries old morality. In fact, if we look at centuries-old moral teachings from other religions there is not a lot of difference - 'an eye for an eye' springs to mind, as does witch burning, the Spanish Inquisition and a multitude of other horrors in the name of religion.

We have to question as to why some countries have evolved sufficiently to drop such horrors from their legislations, and why some have not.

As a secular humanist I find it incredulous that any modern country can base it's legislation on religious teachings. There must be a reason. In my opinion, religion is being used by certain states as a political weapon to keep the status-quo, in order to keep those in power at the head of the table.

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