Human Rights: The Question and the Approach
Written by : Diaa Rashwan
Chairman of the State Information Service.
In recent decades, political and media attention to human rights and related issues has increased at the local, regional and international levels.
Respect for human rights is, in itself, one of the pivotal human values that all divine religions have called for and laid down their ethical and compulsory foundations whose principles have been later interpreted and elaborated by theories of thinkers and philosophers throughout the ages. Also, these principles have been the demand of and the slogan under which many major revolutions have broken out through human history.
Although this keenness on the issue of human rights has positive connotations, however, it has been frequently and deliberately misused for political purposes, especially at the international level.
It has become commonplace to use human rights issues as pretexts for external pressure and interference in the domestic affairs of States and societies. Moreover, some international and local human rights organizations have become mere interfaces and tools working to achieve political objectives through funding, encouraging, inciting and promoting the visions and interests of certain parties.
In addition to the scourge of double standards that features the performance of some organizations, states and governments, they have deviated from the essential implication of the concept of "human rights" as provided in the teachings of religions, the writings of intellectuals and the demands of revolutionaries throughout the ages. Besides, they failed to realize the facts in each case, the peculiarity of cultures and values in each society and the aspirations of the people and their rights to life and human dignity as well as their social, economic and cultural rights.
The increasingly interest in human rights and the growing need to put this concept into its proper intellectual, scientific and practical context requires well-advised academic efforts respecting the fundamentals of research in the social fields and depending on a sound methodology that sheds light upon many theoretical and organizational aspects of human rights. This would lead to put concepts in right place, to follow-up developments on this arena relevant to the domestic and international laws and their various sources, and to follow-up as well the practical and organizational aspects associated with the serious, accurate and objective evaluation of the activities of local, regional and international, governmental or non-governmental, organizations.
For all the aforementioned purposes, this Journal comes into light, hopefully, it would serve as an objective acedemic call, urging experts, intellectuals and specialists to contribute to the most important cause of contemporary man, after leaving the field for non-specialists and incompetent personnel who abandoned the scientific methodologies for long times.
In conclusion, I would like to thank my colleagues in the Foreign Information Sector and the other sectors of the State Information Service who contributed to all the stages of this Journal.