SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Those are limits set by God: those who obey God and His Apostle will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (forever) and that will be the Supreme achievement. [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:13]
An Outlook on Family Rights
The rights of wives and husbands are completely described in the Glorious Quran. When studying them one can recognize these mutual rights as being one of the miracles of the pure culture of Islam. No other school of thought has so thoroughly attended to the rights of wives and their husbands until now, and none can do so from now until the end of time. These rights include obligatory and recommended rights. Disrespecting the obligatory rights without the other person's consent is the cause of divine punishment, and not honoring the recommended rights will lessen the sweetness of life. A major portion of these mutual rights are described in Vasa'il al-Shiaa, volumes 20-22, printed by Al-i-Bayt Press. As much as is required, I shall quote traditions from this volume, and instruct my dear readers to carefully read over those volumes.
Firstly, to bless the discussion I shall mention a few Quranic verses related to the matter and then I shall quote the traditions.
I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by God. Whoever, forsaking God, takes Satan for a friend, has of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest. [Holy Quran Nisaa 4:119]
And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable: [Holy Quran: Baqara: 2:228]
And yet they had already covenanted with God not to turn their backs, and a covenant with God must (surely) be answered for. [Holy Quran: Ahzab 33:15]
Isaq, the son of Ammac, said that he had asked Imam Sadiq what right does a woman have whose fulfillment by her husband implies that he is a good doer. The Imam replied that he should feed her properly and provide her with clothing. And when she does something out of ignorance, he should forgive her. Then the Imam said my father had a bothersome wife but he would always forgive her. The sixth Imam quoted the Prophet (Pbuh) as saying: Gabriel recommended on behalf of wives so much so that I thought divorcing her is not permissible unless she commits adultery. He also said good mercy be upon the man who performs all the affairs for himself and his wife well, since God the Almighty has granted to men the control of women, and established the husband as her guardian. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: One who ignores his wife's rights is deprived of God’s Mercy. He also said: The best of you is one who is the best for his family and I am a model for you in this regard. He also said: A man's wife is his slave and the person most loved by God the Almighty is the one who treats his slaves kindly. The rights of the wife:
1- Providing the means for living.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said one must provide the foodstuffs and clothing of his wife in the best manner. Imam Sajjad said: Going to the market and buying one Durham of meat which my wife desires is better than freeing a slave. The sixth Imam said: The most fortunate man is the one who manages the affairs of his wife and children.
2- Sexual intercourse.
The eight Imam was asked about a man who had a young wife whom he had not slept with for nearly a year due to a disaster that had come upon him. He had no intentions to bother his wife but the disaster caused him to do so. Was he sinning? The Imam answered: Of course. After four months passed, he was sinning. Abuzar asked the Prophet: Is a man's love-making to his wife divinely rewarded even though it brings pleasure? The Prophet (Pbuh) answered: Yes, of course. Is it not forbidden to satisfy your sexual desires unlawfully? Abuzar answered yes. Then the Prophet (Pbuh) said: Certainly its lawful form is divinely rewarded. It is considered desirable in divine teachings for a man to sleep with his wife for love-making once every four nights.
3-Improving the Living Conditions
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: When a man goes to shop for his wife, he is similar to one who takes charity to the house of the needy. When he gets home, he should first give what he has bought to his daughters. This is so because one who makes his daughter happy is similar to one who frees a slave from Ismael's generation. And one who makes his son happy by giving him something is similar to one who cries for fear of God given that God shall take such a person into Heaven filled with blessings.
Imam Musa said: Men's wives are their slaves. When God gives blessings to anyone he should use it to improve the living conditions of his slave or else that blessing might be taken away from him. The Prophet (Pbuh) has admonished against a man being full while his wife is hungry. The sixth Imam said: A man should try to do the following things even if it is against his own desires.
(1) Treating the family well
(2) Trying to improve his living conditions without being wasteful
(3) Being concerned about protecting the family's honor.
The fourth Imam said: God is more pleased with the one who brings about more improvement in his family's living conditions. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Whatever a Muslim man buys for his wife has a reward similar to that of charity.
(4) Respecting the wife
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Anyone who gets married should respect his wife. He also said: Anyone who hits his wife more than three times (at once), will be disgraced by God in the Hereafter. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Can you expect to hug your wife at night, having beaten her in the day time? He also said: In fact a woman is a doll; Anyone who marries one should not commit sin with it. He also said: I wonder about a man who beats his wife, while he himself deserves to be beaten more. Do not beat your wives with a stick since there is retaliation for this act. The Commander of the Faithful said: The women you are responsible for are a trust for you. Don't be strict with them and leave them up in the air. Haola asked the Prophet: What rights does a women have over a man? The Prophet (Pbuh) replied: Gabriel made so many recommendations on behalf of women that I thought a man cannot say the slightest thing to her. Gabriel said: O' Muhammad, be afraid of God in regards to women. They bear the sufferings and hardships of life. Women have rights over you since they have placed their bodies in your control for pleasure, they carry your children within their bodies until the time for delivery and they experience dangerous pains. Be kind to them. Keep them satisfied so they'll get along well with you. Don't say your wives are ugly or you don't like them. Don't be greedy about what you have given as the nuptial gift or take any of it back by force.
(5) Grooming oneself and keeping clean
Just as men like to see their wives looking pretty, clean, wearing nice clothes and using good scent, women have the same desires for their husbands: cleanliness, grooming, taking baths, brushing teeth, washing one's hair, combing one's hair, cutting one's nails, using scent, wearing proper clothing and the rest of the allowed grooming. These acts will please the woman and increase her chastity. She will not go after other men and think about getting another husband. Hassan ibn Jahm said: The 8th Imam dyed his hair and I asked him why. He said that a man's grooming himself increases the chastity of his wife. Women abandon chastity because they never saw their husbands grooming themselves. Then the 8th Imam asked if I would like to see my wife in a disheveled state. Hazrat Reza quoted on the authority of his grandfather that the women of the Israelites turned away from chastity for no reason at all, except that their husbands didn't groom themselves. Then the Hazrat said: Women expect the same things of men that men expect of them. Some men are really unfair and don't groom themselves. They don't go to the barbers often and they smoke cigarettes. Therefore their teeth and mouth are dirty and bad-smelling. They don't wear the appropriate clothing and don't care about their looks. Yet they expect their wives to submit themselves to them. These men are oppressors who deserve to be blamed and punished.
(6) Speaking Decently and Courteously
Swearing, or using a vulgar language will force the person we are facing to react no matter who they are. When you complain too much your wife will be upset, and this will ruin your mutual life. The Commander of the Faithful has ordered men: Be patient with your wife under all circumstances and treat her with kindness.
(7) Be content with your share of control over life
Some men give up all their God-given free will and totally submit themselves to the will of their wives. Some women take full control of their husband's will and try to run their lives in any way they wish. This sort of life usually turns into a Satanic life with a lot of sin, waste and unlawful desires. The house and the family deviate from the main and divine principles when life is void of spirituality. Today, a large percentage of families suffer from this devastating catastrophe. Instead of life being dependent on the man's decision, it depends on the woman's. Instead of the man being the husband of the wife, the wife is her husband's master. God forbid that the man disobeys the woman's wants even if it is unlawful and ungodly. A fight will be started by the woman which will not end until the man surrenders or divorces her. Regarding such men who have lost control over their wives, Imam Ali said: Any man who gives his control over to his wife is damned. He also said: The man who totally submits to his wife shall be thrown into the Fire of Hell by God with his face down. They asked him why and he replied: Because the wife requests see-through clothing and he accepts it.
Regarding this issue, Imam Ali conducted a public sermon when a man complained against his wife: O' people! Never obey your wife. Do not give her any property. Do not grant the control of your life to her. If such people are left free to do as they wish, they will ruin everybody's life and disobey their husband's orders. We have discovered that these people are not pious when in need; quickly submit to lust; think about collecting gold and silver until very old and are selfish and haughty when they are weak. If some of what they want is not provided to them, they ignore all your kindness and favors and will always remember your bad actions. They will accuse without any hesitation and will never stop their rebellion and are constantly trotting on Satan's path. [Vasa'il, v.20, p.180, Al-i-Bayt Press]
The Rights of the Husband
A major factor in strengthening the ties of mutual life is dependent upon the woman respecting her husband's rights. The wife should only consider God and the Hereafter and not let anyone else interfere in regards to her husband's rights. Others may be mistaken or have bad intentions and it may even be that the cause of such interference in the life of the newly-wed couple is pure jealously. Women should remember that they are easily influenced by others. They should consider this element of their nature, and pay close attention to the possibility of others being wrong. They should remember God and their situation in the Hereafter and respect the man's humane, divine and religious rights.
The man likes the woman to be his woman. She should maintain her sex role as a woman, as this is her nature by creation. She should limit her beauty, appeal, seduction, and coquettishness to her husband. She should neither follow others nor should she accept the interference of distant or close relatives, neighbors or guests. Anyway, she should be the wife of her husband, and live based on his lawful desires. She should run the affairs of the home according to her husband's will, and be a good mother to her children. Some women forget that they are feminine. They become rough, harsh, bitter and man-like. This shall make man's life really bitter, and make him sorry about getting married. They may even get fed up with life. Some of the rights of the husband include: The woman should submit herself to her husband's sexual desires whenever he needs her. The woman should obey her husband in all moral and religious affairs. The woman should seek her husband's permission to leave the house, except for the required pilgrimage to Mecca.
Imam Baqir said: A woman came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and asked him what rights does the husband have over the wife? He said: She must obey the husband, and not be rebellious. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman who performs her five required daily prayers, fasts for the month of Ramadan, performs the pilgrimage to Mecca, obeys her husband, recognizes the rights of Imam Ali, being that he must be obeyed, shall enter Heaven from anyone of the eight gates which she desires to. Pay close attention to this very important tradition from the noble Prophet of Islam: Any good woman who worships God, performs the obligatory religious acts, and obeys her husband will enter Heaven. Any woman who says her prayers, does not leave the house unnecessarily, and obeys her husband shall be forgiven all her past and future sins by God. The Prophet (Pbuh) told a woman named Haola: By the God who entrusted me with Prophethood, a husband has rights over his wife. She should submit to his sexual desires. She should not disobey his orders, and not oppose or quarrel with him. In a very important and strong statement the Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman has not fulfilled God's rights as long as she has not fulfilled her husband's rights. You should not conclude from the above traditions that the key to a woman's prosperity is solely obeying her husband. But she should also have faith, worship God, do her religious duties, and avoid doing what is forbidden. This means that she may prosper in this world and the Hereafter only if she gathers all these realties within herself.
2- Sexual submission:
It is obligatory for the wife to sexually submit herself to her husband at times when there is no religious excuse. It is even recommended that she declares her readiness to him. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman should use the best perfume, wear her prettiest clothes, and groom herself in the best possible form. She should appear in front of her husband every morning and night displaying her beauties. The husband has even more rights than this. If a woman carries out the instructions of the Prophet (Pbuh) exactly, she can keep her husband for herself, and keep him away from looking at or chasing other women, even in a lawful manner. This is exactly the situation which causes conflicts. The wife wants to wear her best clothes, perfume, and make-up for going out to wedding parties or visit her friends and relatives, but appears in front of her husband as she is. Even after she returns from the party, she does not give her husband the slightest chance to see her. This hurts the husband's feelings and weakens their relationship and may prepare the grounds for other problems. Many young and middle-aged men have come to me to complain about their wives' indifference and lack of interest in sexual submission and not making themselves up for them. They have expressed their interest in temporary marriage or divorce and re-marriage and have asked me to solve their problem. My only recommendation to women at this stage is to wholeheartedly follow the instructions of the Immaculate Imams and the Noble Prophet. This way their husband will not become lustful outside the house and they will not have any marital problems. Or else your life will be ruined and you will be responsible for it in the Hereafter. In regards to man's attraction to his wife and her submission to him the Prophet (Pbuh) said: Do not elongate your prayers to avoid submitting to your husband.
3- Going out of the House:
Unfortunately, many women who have quit being a woman, and consider themselves to be men do not obey their husbands in regards to seeking permission to go out of the house. If it was deemed proper for women to freely go out of the house, then God would not have made it conditional upon the husband's permission. Some women left the house without their husband's permission. They caused sedition and corruption. They let out their hair and showed their face. They disturbed the pure atmosphere of the society. They acted sexy and coquettish in the streets. They even sometimes forced the men not to object in an attempt to protect their honor, so that these women could act as they pleased. They imitated the Western culture, that of the Jews and the Christians. They made such catastrophes for Islam and the Muslims that can never be compensated for. The Prophet (Pbuh) has ordered a woman not to leave the house without her husband's consent. And if she does so without his permission, all the heavenly angels and each jinn or man who passes by her will damn her until she returns home. Imam Sadiq said: One of the men from the Helpers (Ansar) went on a trip and ordered his wife not to leave the house until he returned home. Her father got ill while her husband was away. She sent a messenger to the Prophet (Pbuh) asking him if she could visit her father. The Prophet (Pbuh) replied that she should obey her husband and stay at home. Her father got worse and she sent another message but received the same reply. Her father passed away and she sent another messenger to go and pray for her father, but she received the same reply. They buried her father but the woman stayed at home. The Prophet (Pbuh) sent a messenger to her and he said that God forgave you and your father for obeying your husband. The Commander of the Faithful has instructed men as follows: Protect your women from the eyes of strange men, since this will better guard their chastity. The bad influences of bringing untrustworthy men to your house is the same as letting them go out to be seen in public. Make an effort so that they know no one but you.
4- Don't bother your husband, and don't be vulgar and ill-tempered:
The Prophet (Pbuh) has made an amazing speech regarding this issue. He delivered this lecture for women. O' women, pay charity in God's way, even though it be your ornaments, even a date, since many of you swear and are ungrateful to your husband and will be the fuel for the Fire of Hell. A woman said are we not mothers. Don't we carry the babies in our wombs for many months. Don't we breastfeed them. Aren't these girls the heads of some households, and these sisters sympathetic to their brothers? The Prophet (Pbuh) said yes. You get pregnant. You deliver children. You breastfeed them. You are kind. If women did not bother their husbands and got along with them, then no praying woman would burn in the Fire of Hell.
The sixth Imam said: These people's prayers are not accepted: A maid's prayers who runs away are not accepted until she returns to her owners huose; a woman whose husband is dissatisfied with her from night until the morning; and a leader who leads the people, but the people do not want him. Ali, the son of Jafar asked his brother Imam Musa Kazim: What is the status of a woman's prayers and conditions who angers her husband with her bad temper and vulgarity? He answered she is sinful until her husband is pleased with her. The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: I swear by God who appointed me to Prophethood through my honesty and trustworthiness that when a men gets angry with his wife, God too will be angry with her. The Prophet (Pbuh) has asked women not to expect of their husbands more than they can provide for them and not to degrade their status before anyone whether it be a relative or a stranger. The sixth Imam said: A woman who bothers her husband, and makes him sorrowful is damned. A woman who obeys her husband under any circumstances and respects him and does not bother him is prosperous.
5- Working at home:
The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: God shall prepare various delicious meals in Heaven for women who prepare delicious meals for their husbands. He will tell them to eat and drink as a reward for their efforts in this world. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: God shall look favorably at any woman who changes the decorations in the house to make the house look better. Whoever is favorably looked at by God will be saved from punishment. Imam Baqir said: Zahra (Pbuh) took care of the work inside the house such as preparing the dough and cooking the bread, and the Commander of the Faithful took care of the work outside the house such as shopping and collecting wood.
6- Respect your husband and treat him well:
The seventh Imam said: A woman's Jihad is to take good care of her husband. A woman Jihad is being grateful to her husband; being kind with him; bearing with him when he is poor; seeing him off when he leaves, and welcoming him when he comes home; totally submitting to her husband at allowed times; putting on good clothes and make up for him; properly running the affairs of the house; avoiding wastefulness and not asking him for more than he can buy. Such acts which are defined by the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Imams as a wife's duty towards her husband are her Jihad (Holy War) Imam Baqir said: Nothing can intercede on behalf of a woman in God's presence than her husband's consent. The sixth Imam said: Some people went to see the Prophet (Pbuh) and said we saw some folks who prostrated in front of their leaders. Will you let us do so in front of you? The Prophet (Pbuh) said: No, but if I were to issue such an order, I would order women to prostrate in front of their husbands. The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: God will make any woman who obeys her husband, and is patient with him under all circumstances a companion of the wife of the Prophet Jacob (Pbuh) in the Hereafter. God will grant any woman a reward for bearing the bitter words of her husband. For each word, He will count one day of fasting of a fighter in the way of God as her reward. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A husband's right over his wife is that she should turn up the light of his house, cook the food; welcome him at the door when he comes home; prepare water and a towel for him to wash his hands and face; and submit herself to him sexually whenever she does not have a religious excuse. The Commander of the Faithful stood by the dead body of his wife Fatimah upon her death and said:
O' God. I am pleased with your Prophet's daughter. O' God, please be her companion, and alleviate her fears.
7- Do not make yourselves up except for your husband :
The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: Do not let anyone other than your husband see your ornaments and jewelry. Do not put on any perfume in the absence of your husband. Do not show off your attractive scarf and wrists. If you do so, you will ruin our religion and make God angry. The Prophet (Pbuh) admonished women against wearing attractive clothes outside the house. He also forbade wearing jewelry that might make noticeable noise. A very important tradition exists from the Prophet, and must be seriously considered by the Muslims. Any man, whose wife puts on make-up and leaves the house to go out and be seen in public with his consent, is a cuckold, and it is not a sin to call him so. For each step that she takes, a house full of fire will be prepared for him. Limit them in this respect, since these limitations are a cause of happiness and pleasure for you and family.
8- Do not use your husbands property without his consent:
The sixth Imam said: A wife is not free to let a slave free, give charity or bet without her husband's consent, however, the payment of the obligatory alms tax, visiting her relatives and doing good deeds do not need his permission. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman should not donate any of her husband's property without his consent. Should she do so, she will be sinful and the reward of her act will belong to the man. I shall once again say that the material presented here regarding the rights of husbands and wives mostly comes from volumes twenty-one through volume twenty-two of the noble book "Vasa'il" printed by Al-i-Bayt Press, and several traditions have been cited from volume 103 of Bihar al-Anwar. Those who wish to study this subject further should refer to these valuable books.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – North Korea has condemned a U.N. resolution approving a formal investigation into its suspected human rights violations.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Friday that it will completely ignore the resolution adopted Thursday by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The resolution calls for the creation of a team of independent experts to investigate for one year what U.N. officials suspect as widespread and systematic violations of human rights in North Korea.
Top U.N. human rights official Navi Pillay has said the U.N. has evidence indicating up to 200,000 people are held in North Korean political prison camps rife with torture, rape and slave labor.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The monarch will sign the 16-point charter on Monday at an event to mark Commonwealth Day.
The Mail on Sunday said the document declares: "We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination."
Backed by 54 nations, it also covers democracy, rule of law, international security and freedom of expression.
Prime Minister David Cameron has in the past pressed Commonwealth leaders on the issue of gay rights.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "At a Commonwealth event on Monday, the Queen will sign a charter agreed upon by the 54 members of the Commonwealth.
"The Queen, as in all matters, is apolitical but is signing the document in her capacity as head of the Commonwealth."
Sources close to the royal household said the Queen would not give her personal endorsement to the charter because of her apolitical status.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Human Rights Watch has accused Canada's federal police of intimidating and even sexually assaulting aboriginal women and girls in the province of British Columbia.
In a scathing report, which was released on Wednesday, the rights organization documented numerous accounts of women and girls in the province’s indigenous communities finding themselves in a constant state of fear.
"The threat of domestic and random violence on one side, and mistreatment by RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers on the other, leaves indigenous women in a constant state of insecurity," AFP quoted Meghan Rhoad, co-author of the 89-page report on the issue, as saying at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.
The report also documented a number of disturbing allegations of rape and sexual assault at the hands of police.
"In five of the 10 towns Human Rights Watch visited in the north, we heard allegations of rape or sexual assault by police officers," the report stated.
The report was the outcome of an investigation into the "Highway of Tears" -- the name used to describe an infamous 800-kilometer stretch of highway in central British Columbia where 18 women have disappeared over the past several decades.
Two researchers, one from Canada and one from the US, spent five weeks last summer in the province’s north, interviewing 42 women and eight girls in 10 communities along the highway that connects the cities of Prince George and Prince Rupert in the westernmost province.
The researchers noted that all of the victims in the report were frightened about possible retaliation within their communities or by police, and insisted on having their identities protected.
“(This report) was about the level of fear that I and my colleague witnessed in the north at levels that we found comparable in conflict situations in post-war Iraq,” Rhoad added.
“It’s about the lack of meaningful accountability for police neglect or police mistreatment which creates an environment of impunity for violence against ingenious woman and girls,” he stated.
The report called on the federal government to launch a national inquiry into the murders and disappearances of indigenous, and called for an independent civilian investigation into the reports of police misconduct.
The RCMP said it took the allegations "very seriously" but that “it is impossible to deal with such public and serious complaints when we have no method to determine who the victims of the accused are."
Indigenous communities in Canada, also known as the First Nations, say they are frustrated with Ottawa’s failure to address the social and economic grievances facing many of Canada’s 1.2 million aborigines.
Many of Canada’s natives live in poor conditions with unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing, addiction, and high suicide rates.
In a report released on December 19, 2012, Amnesty International called on Canada to address human rights abuses in the country, particularly with respect to the rights of indigenous peoples.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Israel has boycotted a review by the U.N.’s human rights council, the first time any country has done so reported the BBC on Wednesday.
The council decided last year to investigate Jewish settlements in the West Bank, this prompted Israel to announce it would no longer cooperate with the body.
Israel has long complained of unfair criticism from the human rights authority.
Representative did not make an appearance at Tuesday’s meeting of the council in Geneva, an appropriate response is being decided.
“After a series of votes and statements and incidents we have decided to suspend our working relations with that body,” said Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor to the Financial Times on Tuesday.
“I can confirm that there is no change in that policy.”
U.N. spokesman Rolando Gomez told the Associated Press that the unprecedented no-show has put the council in “new territory,” as ttendance of the Universal Periodic Review is mandatory.
Haiti failed to appear before the council in 2010, however they blamed the devastating earthquake rather than a political disagreement. Besides this all countries - even Syria and North Korea - have attended.
Even Israel's steadfast ally, the United States, urged the country to take part.
The response was made clear in a joint statement by eight Israeli human rights groups: “It is legitimate for Israel to express criticism of the work of the council and its recommendations, but Israel should do so through engagement with the Universal Periodic Review, as it has done in previous sessions.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. has suggested the outcome of Israel’s recent election may lead to peace with the Palestinians.
Right-wing and centre-left blocs won a roughly equal share of seats in Israel's Knesset (parliament) in last week’s vote . Negotiations to set up a ruling coalition are currently underway.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Canada’s prime minister has announced that he will have a meeting with the country’s native leaders next week as aboriginal protesters pledged to keep up their effots until Ottawa respects the rights of the native people.
Stephen Harper made the announcement on Friday during a speech inside the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant located in Ontario where a group of protesters, as part of the Canada-wide ‘Idle No More’ movement, temporarily blocked a road near the plant to voice their outrage.
“Promises have been broken - so stay here so we as First Nations, aboriginal people, Indians, status, non-status are here to stand up for our constitutional right to have a say in the use of our lands and territories,” said Earl Lambert, one of the key figures at Friday’s protest.
The protests have been staged across the North American country after Chief of Attawapiskat First Nations in Northern Ontario, Theresa Spence went on hunger strike on December 11, 2012, demanding a meeting with Harper.
Spence, whose hunger strike has continued for more than three weeks, said in a statement that she would continue her protest action until the January 11 meeting.
“A meeting is just a meeting,” said one of the aboriginal activists, adding, “I would recommend that people continue the actions up until the point that promises made in that meeting are fulfilled.”
Meanwhile Harper’s office has said treaty relationships, aboriginal rights, and economic development are the focus of the next Friday meeting, which is set to be coordinated by the Assembly of First Nations.
On Thursday, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said that the natives across the country have been voicing “concern and frustration with a broken system that does not address long-standing disparities between First Nations and the rest of Canada, and address priorities in ways that will provide for long-term solutions and sustainability.”
Atleo further pointed to the rising anger among the natives after Ottawa made some changes to environmental and other laws last month.
The natives argue that the changes will adversely affect their fishing and hunting rights as well as other issues concerning their rights.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Amnesty International has called on Canada to address human rights abuses in the country, particularly with respect to the rights of indigenous peoples.
In a report released on Wednesday, the London-based human rights group said that three mandatory United Nations reviews conducted in 2012 all found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.
“By every measure, be it respect for treaty and land rights, levels of poverty, average life spans, violence against women and girls, dramatically disproportionate levels of arrest and incarceration or access to government services such as housing, health care, education, water and child protection, indigenous peoples across Canada continue to face a grave human rights crisis,” it stated.
Independent UN committees responsible for supervising treaties dealing with racial discrimination, torture and the rights of children rated Canada’s record in February, May and September and said the government failed to meet its rights commitments.
Wednesday’s report also noted that Canada needs to improve its rights records in other fronts, including women’s rights, corporate accountability and trade policy, the rights of refugees and migrants, Canadians subject to human rights violations abroad, and engagement with the multilateral human rights system.
The report called on Ottawa to draw a new human rights agenda that includes all levels of government, beginning with “a process of law reform . . . to establish a formal mechanism for transparent, effective and accountable implementation of Canada’s international human rights obligations.”
In October, prolific Iranian author and Middle East expert, Dr. Ismail Salami highlighted the country’s age-old record of subjecting aboriginal women and children to horrendous abuse.
Canada has admitted to “forcing 150,000 aboriginal children into ghastly residential schools where they were abused sexually, psychologically, and physically,” he wrote in an article published on Press TV website under the title Human rights inferno in Canada.
“The concept of assimilation [into mainstream Canadian society as was the reason for the forced placements] was a big lie and the children eventually left schools with a broken spirit and an amputated soul,” Salami asserted.
He cited the case of “sexual terrorist” Arthur Plint, a dorm supervisor, who was accused of 18 counts of sexual assault on children aged six to 16.
The United Nations has strongly condemned Canada's record on children's rights, and accused Ottawa of systematic discrimination against aborigines and immigrants.
“Canada is the home of serious violations of the human rights of Aboriginal women and girls,” the Iranian expert also wrote, citing rights coalition, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) spokesperson, Sharon McIvor as saying.
More than 600 aboriginal women and young girls are missing in the country amid reports of rape, mutilation, and murder against female aborigines.
Since Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took power in 2006, activists say there has been a significant rise in human rights violations together with an unprecedented crackdown on freedom of speech.- www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Previously, we spoke about the rights which parents have on their children. Taking inspiration from the Holy Qur'an, now we will discuss the rights which children have on their parents. Whenever the Qur'an speaks about a certain matter, right afterwards it speaks about its opposite. For example, whenever it talks about paradise, it also talks about hellfire. Whenever it speaks about the nonbelievers and their traits, it also speaks about the believers and their qualities. In this way, the Qur'an places two sides of an argument before us and leaves it up to us to choose the best one.
Therefore, if we spoke about the rights of parents, then it is only fair to also talk about the rights of children. As always, let us take our cue from the Holy Qur'an. When referring to this miraculous scripture, we might think that there are numerous verses which talk about the rights of parents, but not as many that deal with children's rights. On the contrary, there are verses which warn parents of the dangers that come with having children. Certainly, their intent is not to discourage people from having children. Islam emphasizes having legitimate children. It counts it as one of the greatest blessings which God bestows on His servants.
In any case, when talking about children, the Holy Qur'an says such things as: "O you who believe: do not allow your worldly goods and children to make you neglectful of God's remembrance; those who do this are the losers." (63:9)
It also states, "Know that your wealth and children are a divine test." (8:28)
But when talking about parents and their rights, it places the respect of parents next to monotheism and submission to the one and only God. Perhaps this difference is because parents naturally have a great deal of love for their children, to the point that they are willing to give up their own lives for the safety of their children. While children also love their parents, in most cases they prefer themselves over their parents. This is why it is easy for children to leave their parents, but very heart-breaking for parents to see them go.
Surely, this is the natural system necessary for the continuation of the human race. In other words, the parents must be willing to do anything for their children and love them extremely so that humanity will be safe from extinction. Therefore, the Holy Qur'an cautions parents not to be engulfed with this extreme love of their children. Love of children must not cause parents to abandon God's rights over them and sacrifice social justice. And since children can abandon their parents for self interests, the Qur'an stresses respect for them in all cases and circumstances.
At any rate, we spoke in detail about rights of parents in the previous article. Here we want to mention some rights which children have over their parents. It has been related from Imam Ali (peace be upon said) that he said, "The right of a child over his parents is that they must pick a good name for him, raise him up properly, and teach him the Qur'an." (Nahjul Balagha, short saying 399)
Names play a significant role in the personality of an individual. Therefore, parents must choose good names for their children and must refrain from being like a leaf that blows with the winds when picking a name. If the winds are blowing towards the West, they will pick Western names; if they are blowing towards the East, they will pick Eastern names. A believer must name his children after the righteous men and women of the world. The best names to pick are the names of Allah, such as Abdullah, Abdul Ghafoor and the like. Or the names of the prophets, such as Ibrahim (Abraham), Dawood (David), Sulayman (Solomon), Musa (Moses) and the like; or names of the prophets’ successors, like Sham'oon (Simon), Yushai' (Joshua), Ali, Hasan, Husain, and Mahdi and the like. For girls, we should choose the names of the womenfolk of the prophets, such as Aasiya, Maryam (Mary), Hajar, Khadijah, Zaynab and the like. The best name for a son is Muhammad, and the best name for a girl is Fatima. There are even narrations which say if you name your children with these, make sure you never hit them and that you respect them at all times.
As for raising righteous children, Imam Zainul Abideen (peace be upon him) has said, "As for the rights of your child over you, it is that your child is connected to you, and in the near future, his goodness or badness will be associated to you. You are responsible for his training and guiding him towards God. Supporting and helping him in God's obedience is on your shoulders. Therefore, if he is raised in a good manner, then he will receive good rewards and if not, he will be punished.
"Therefore, it is obligatory upon you to raise and train your child in such a way that he will be an ornament and source of honor for you in this world and a cause for dignity and God's pleasure for you in the hereafter."
It is the duty of parents to raise their children to be righteous servants of God. This training, however, must be both theoretical and practical. Parents must practice righteousness first, then pass it on to their children next. Hypocrisy in parents can destroy a child's faith.
Raising good and pious children benefits every level of society. And before everyone else, it benefits the parents. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) has said, "When a person dies, all his actions are cut off except for three: flowing acts of charity, or a knowledge he has left behind which benefits people, or a righteous child who prays for him." (Nahjul Fasaha, p. 505)
One important aspect in raising good children is to familiarize them with the Qur'an. Parents must teach their children to read the Qur'an. If they are unable to, then they must take them to a teacher who can. They must follow the teachings of the Qur'an in their homes and encourage their children to follow it. The Holy Prophet was walking passed a grave with his companions. He hurried by it, and his companions followed. While returning, he took his time walking past the grave. His companions asked him about his different approaches in regards to that grave. He said, "this grave belongs to a man who was being punished. I did not want to see it, so I walked past it quickly. But this man had left a small son behind who has grown up and learned to read the Qur'an. The son reads the Qur'an, and God has forgiven the father because of the son's learning of the Qur'an. Now he is being showered with blessings, and it is pleasant to see."
Based on Islamic narrations, some of the rights that children have on their parents are as follows:
1. Choosing a suitable potential-mother/father for one's children. A Muslim man must search for a believing and righteous woman to marry as the future mother of his children, and vice versa.
2. Giving them a good name.
3. Providing shelter, clothing, food and other necessities for them.
4. Properly training and upbringing them.
5. Teaching them the Qur'an.
6. Endeavoring to get them married.
7. Teaching them to swim.
8. Teaching them how to ride a horse.
9. Teaching them how to shoot a bow and arrow.
In short, raising them to be the best they can be in all aspects of life, especially to be obedient servants of God.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Making history twice within hours, President Barack Obama on Monday became the first U.S. president to set foot in Cambodia, a country once known for its Khmer Rouge “killing fields.” He left behind flag-waving crowds on the streets of Myanmar, the once internationally shunned nation now showing democratic promise.
Unlike the visit to Myanmar, where Mr. Obama seemed to revel in that nation’s new hope, the White House has made clear that Mr. Obama is only in Cambodia to attend an East Asia Summit and said the visit should not be seen as an endorsement of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the government he has led since the 1980s.
Indeed, Mr. Obama’s arrival in Cambodia lacked the euphoria of his greeting in Yangon, Myanmar, where tens of thousands of people lined city streets to cheer the first American president to visit a country that had long been isolated from the West. “You gave us hope,” Mr. Obama declared in Yangon.
In Phnom Penh, the sun was already setting by the time Air Force One landed. Small clusters of Cambodians gathered in the streets to watch the motorcade pass, but there was none of the outpouring that greeted Mr. Obama in Myanmar.
Speaking to a national audience from the University of Yangon, Mr. Obama offered a “hand of friendship” and a lasting U.S. commitment, yet a warning as well. He said the new civilian government must nurture democracy or watch it, and U.S. support, disappear.
The visit to Myanmar was the centerpiece of a four-day trip to Southeast Asia that began in Bangkok and will end Tuesday in Cambodia, where Mr. Obama will visit with Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asia leaders in addition to attending the East Asia Summit.
Mr. Obama celebrated the history of what he was witnessing in Myanmar — a nation shedding years of military rule, and a relationship between two nations changing fast.
“This remarkable journey has just begun,” he said.
In a notable detour from U.S. policy, the president referred to the nation as Myanmar in his talks with President Thein Sein. That is the name preferred by the former military regime and the new government, rather than Burma, the old name and the one favoured by democracy advocates and the U.S. government.
Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said afterward that Mr. Obama’s use of Myanmar was “a diplomatic courtesy” that doesn’t change the U.S. position that the country is still Burma.
On his first trip abroad since his re-election earlier this month, Mr. Obama’s motorcade sped him to the lakeside home in Yangon of long-time opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He hugged her and lauded her as a personal inspiration. Ms. Suu Kyi spent most of the past 20 years in house detention at her home.
In remarks after their meeting, Suu Kyi echoed Mr. Obama’s tone with an admonition of her own, one that could have been directed at her own ruling party as much as to the United States:
“The most difficult time in any transition is when we think that success is in sight,” she said. “Then we have to be very careful that we’re not lured by the mirage of success.”
Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Obama was moved by the opportunity to visit Suu Kyi at her home — and was pleased to see that she had prominently displayed a stuffed replica of the president’s dog Bo in the house. Mr. Obama gave Suu Kyi the stuffed animal when she visited Washington earlier this year.
Crowds swelled at every intersection, yelling affectionately for Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“You are the legend hero of our world,” one banner read.
Mr. Obama spoke at a university that was once the centre of government opposition, and his message was as much a call for Myanmar to continue in its promising steps as it was a tribute to democracy in general. He held up the United States as an example of its triumph and its imperfections.
Coinciding with the president’s visit, the government of Myanmar announced further human rights steps to review prisoner cases and de-escalate conflicts in ethnic regions of the country.
But Mr. Obama urged even more, calling for a government where, as he put it, “those in power must accept constraints.”
“The flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished,” Mr. Obama said in an address televised to the nation.
Mr. Rhodes said the President was moved by the throngs of people who lined the streets to greet him during the visit. The President made one unscheduled stop at the Shwedagon Pagoda. After seeing the pagoda as Air Force One approached Yangon, then seeing the outpouring of support from the citizens for whom the site means so much, Mr. Obama personally decided to make the unscheduled stop, Mr. Rhodes said.
As Mr. Obama arrived in Cambodia, he was dogged by concerns from human rights groups that have cast Mr. Hun Sen as a violent authoritarian and have voiced apprehension that Mr. Obama’s visit will be perceived within Cambodia as validation of the prime minister’s regime. But administration officials say Mr. Obama, when he meets with Mr. Hun Sen on Monday, will raise concerns about the government’s human rights record.
Still, many Cambodians credit Mr. Hun Sen with helping the country emerge from the horrors of the 1970s Khmer Rouge reign, when systematic genocide left 1.7 million dead. Vietnam invaded and ousted that regime in 1979. By 1985, Mr. Hun Sen had become prime minister.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The recent death of Iranian dissident blogger Sattar Beheshti in police custody was a sad event. All human life is precious. “If anyone kills a person unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he kills all humanity,” states the Quran. An investigation by the Tehran prosecutor, the head of Tehran police and the head of Tehran prisons was ordered by Iranian parliament and Beheshti’s interrogators were hauled on the carpet.
At the same time, the US was elected to a second three-year term on the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). President Bush boycotted the HRC for criticizing Israel too much, but Obama joined in 2010 to ‘improve’ it. US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice welcomed Washington’s re-election this week, saying that the HRC “has delivered real results”, citing its criticism of Syria, though she criticized the rights council’s continued “excessive and unbalanced focus on Israel”.
US emphasis on the HRC is on freedom of expression, religion, and the rights of women and gays, and of course criticism of Iran. Beheshti’s case will surely be raised by the US rep in the near future.
The US government-funded Freedom House huffed that seven of the countries on the HRC – Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, UAE, and Venezuela – are “unqualified for membership” on a body that requires members to “uphold the highest standards regarding human rights”, and that the qualifications of Brazil, Kenya, and Sierra Leone were “questionable”.
What about the US ‘qualifications’? During its first term, the US
*continued its illegal occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq (1.5 million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the US invasion in 2003)
*used its veto at the UN to conemn Israeli human rights violations (the 2009 invasion of Gaza killed 1400)
*accelerated its use of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia (3,400 have been killed by drones in Pakistan alone since 2004)
*persecuted Wikileaks’ Julian Assange for his attempts to give substance to the concept of ‘freedom of expression’ in the interests of curbing US war fever.
The ongoing trial of US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers – “heinous and despicable crimes” according to the prosecutor – makes you stop and think: each day, US troops, carry out similar mass executions in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and, in connivance with Israel, in Palestine.
The alleged comment by Stalin to Churchill is chillingly apropos: The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.
Coincidentally, as Rice demanded less criticism of Israel in the HRC, the Israeli army launched another attack on Gaza, with 21 Palestinian deaths so far, including Hamas deputy military chief Ahmed Al-Jaabari.. Earlier attempts to assassinate him include an air raid in 2004 which killed his eldest son, his brother and several of his cousins. (Rest assured, the US HRC rep will do his/her best to keep this off the agenda.)
But though the slaughter and torture in Afghanistan and Gaza continues on a daily basis, with hardly a peep from the media, the force of world opinion has meant that US leaders commanding the likes of Bales, such as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and virtually all Israeli leaders, now have to be more careful about where they go. People around the world who refuse to consider the death of millions as an inconsequential statistic are waiting to enforce citizens’ arrests.
This week, four survivors of US torture filed a complaint against Canada with the United Nations Committee Against Torture for the country’s failure to investigate and prosecute Bush during his visit to British Columbia last year, the first such complaint filed with the UN Committee. As a signatory to the 1984 Convention Against Torture, Canada has an obligation to investigate and prosecute a torture suspect on its soil, argued the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ) and the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights.
Canada’s attorney general refused to consider the CCIJ’s call to conduct a criminal investigation during Bush’s visit last year, and the British Columbia provincial attorney general quickly shut down a private criminal prosecution. Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland last year after he heard of plans for a similar prosecution and the apparent unwillingness of Swiss authorities to stop it.
Citizen diplomacy is coming alive. So far, there is no such campaign to try Obama for continuing the drone operations that kill civilians and non-civilians, men women and children, indiscriminately. However, popular support for Assange convinced Ecuador to give him asylum. As for Israel, its actions are increasing resistance rather than quelling it. Hamas militants in Gaza vowed to continue on the path of resistance, asserting that “the occupation opened the gates of hell.” Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi vowed that such violations of human rights would no longer be tolerated by Egypt, as they were in the past 30 years under US ally ex-President Hosni Mubarak.
The US and Israel have become infamous for their eagerness to torture and/or kill those they don’t like. US and Israel attacks have killed dozens, if not hundreds of Beheshtis daily for decades, and not at home, but as part of their aggressive wars abroad. Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Operation Cast Lead may have been crowded out of western media, but the crimes committed there will not go away.
A US Viet Nam War veteran at a Remembrance Day rally in Toronto this week spoke of “the heaps of corpses generated by modern industrial warfare. Every time I attended such ceremonies in the US, I speak up for the millions of Asians who died in that criminal folly. We slaughtered millions.”
But this is merely the US agenda, just as US distaste for criticism of Israel on the HRC is, in preference for Iran. Just as is the US penchant for torture and killing, borrowed from Israel and which blossomed under Bush.— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Global Research