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Commentary :: Human Rights
Responses to more religious political influence, also sustainable development.
29 Jun 2014
Responses of human rights members to post which considers religious political parties would have more influence if adopted a secular, ethical human rights base. Also, my response to sustainable development.
Responses to more religious political influence, also sustainable development.

Anthony Ravlich
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.,
Ph: (0064) (09) 940 9658

Below are responses to a recent post on religion and secularism from members of various human rights organizations on linkedin.

I also saw political religious parties with an ethical human rights base as a challenge to what I see as the global hegemony of secular liberal collectivists who seek world domination i.e. one world government. The latter have, in my view, often seen themselves as necessary as they are able to be detached when dealing with religions sometimes in conflict.

Furthermore, as a human rights author, seeker of truth and activist since 1991 I see much of left-wing politics as having been taken over by secular liberal collectivists within the country and at the UN (i.e. political human rights globalization) secular ethical human rights can be adopted by right-wing parties as their ethical base e.g. in New Zealand I consider the Key Government could do this if it could find the courage to do so.

The latter parties can then claim the countries right to self-determination and reject the IMF’s elitist globalization policies and the UN’s political human rights agenda and instead fight, including at the UN, for secular ethical human rights to be reflected in domestic and international human rights law (described in some of my recent articles e.g. ‘Reason lost at UN which crosses line to authoritarianism….’, Indybay, 27 Jan 2014, ).

The post was as follows:

Religious parties more influence if have a secular ethical human rights base.
Secular ethical human rights are universal and consist of the core minimums of all the rights in the UDHR.
Secular ethical human rights can, in my view, be adopted by any political party as its ethical base.
This includes religious parties as ethical human rights, although secular, virtually equate with the Gold Rule believed in by the major religions, see following post on social media sites,

Replies from members of human rights organizations on the above post follow below after some comments I made regarding an online course given by Professor Sachs entitled: “Age of Sustainable Development” provided by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Regarding the “Age of Sustainable Development” I made the following four comments:

anthony ravlich In my view, if we landed a person on Mars there would be far less concern about sustainable development. Our council promotes an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neoliberalism which I consider morphed into a neoliberal absolutism, a fanatical i.e. near absolute, top-down control, on 10 December 2008. With the latter people would be constantly put down rather than lifted up to be the best they can be (the latter while also being social responsible). Whereas ethical human rights, which simply requires all should be ensured at least the core minimum of all the rights in the UDHR, would enable individuals, States and world to reach full potential i.e,. a positive, Great World rather than the extremely negative world we now live in with its mediocre vision i.e. n its not just about reduction in extreme poverty but also freedom. The ethical approach (I now have another book contract), has been virtually banned from the mainstream - I consider it a crime against humanity not to give people this choice. Afterall if neoliberal absolutism is so much better the globally dominant liberal collectivists will have nothing to fear - if that's possible!

anthony ravlich PS. In addition to the above re climate change, ethical development emphasizes 'bottom-up' development which emphasizes small economic and social entrepreneurs and business (and give global youth a chance in life) which I consider would help reduce global warming rather than the present focus on the Corporations. But the IMF's globalization does not seem to be being seriously challenged. This is incredible given that global warming is said to have been increasing since the industrial revolution and because we are constantly being told how serious it is. I challenge Professor Sachs to debate this with me - after all we are talking about the lives of 7 billion people. So far (although there has been some good support) only one academic, an Islamic Assist Professor of Law has been prepared to debate ethical human rights with me and she appears to agree with it. But what does that say about the intellectual freedom we are told exists in the West?

anthony ravlich Further to the above ethical human rights includes a duty to the community (see UDHR). I agree with Helen Clark when she says development and peace should go hand-in-hand. From the beginning of my journey seeking human rights truth I adopted a non-violent approach (although self-defense is necessary). Its a duty that can be adopted even if poor (e.g. Gandhi, Jesus Christ are good role models - and non-violence isn't all that obvious in cultures which emphasize being a warrior over education e.g. NZ Maori) - similarly human rights at that level of creativity can be largely through education. I do not agree with the present emphasis being place on the rule of law, greater police, security ostensibly to achieve peace. I consider the latter is disingenuous rather, in my view, it is to eliminate independence of thought by ensuring compliance with prevailing ideology because it is truth and unsafe ideas which are most feared by the liberal collectivists concerned to hide their hegemony and further their global dominance. But new sometimes radical ideas are necessary to grow human knowledge - as I have said it may be necessary for humanity to live on other planets one day. Fanatical 'top-down' control often stands in the path of progress. Similarly, in my view, with respect to ethical human rights, development and globalization, with humanity not being informed in the mainstream media, the leadership of the international human rights community is standing in the path of human rights development.

As my comments elicited no response, I added,

anthony ravlich '..and then there was silence' (Shakespeare).

[See increase police, security etc. in countries, Helen Clark, Head of United Nations Development Program, speech to the annual UNDP meeting on the Rule of Law on 2 July, 2013, ].

The following are the responses to the post which considers religious parties would have more influence if they had a secular ethical human rights base.

Members of ‘Amnesty International – human rights at work’ responded as follows:

Craig Coulson, Poet-in-Residence at Peddler Café, Master of Theological Studies (2007), Australia. He states:

“Anthony, what is the moral basis of secular ethics? On what do you hang the development of a secular ethical human right? A religious adherent will use the teaching of God or the founder as the basic building block, but what is the building block of secular ethical development? I am just wondering”.

James Dunn AM, Retired former diplomat, UN human rights official, Australia. He states:
“We might consider this matter against the fact that religious organisations have had a strong input into the drafting of the main international human rights conventions. In other words they have been participants in a process which goes back to the Middle Ages”.

anthony ravlich Craig, to my knowledge I am the founder – my recent article might help explain this better including the spiritual dimension, see ‘Profound Arrogance at UN’, . However, ethical human rights is firmly based on the UDHR – in my view, I have just interpreted the declaration properly (the UDHR and the Cold War coincided and the declaration was politicized from the start). Ethical human rights simply says all people should be ensured, at the very least, the core minimum of all the rights in the UDHR.
It seems many spiritual leaders arrived at the Golden Rule which is believed in by the major religions ((Harry Hiker is author of ‘Ethics and the Golden Rule’, Routledge Press, 2013, see his Golden Rule Chronology, ).
I consider ethical human rights, although secular, virtually equates with the Golden Rule.
My previous book (see below) outlined ethical human rights, development and globalization (to replace neoliberalism which, in my view, has now morphed into neoliberal absolutism).
I hope to explain this in more detail in the book I am presently writing (I have a contract with same publisher). My previous book was ‘Freedom from our social prisons: the rise of economic, social and cultural rights (Lexington Books, 2008), which was recommended on the UN website for about two years. Writing a book I can't answer all points raised but you asked a question.

The following were responses on the United Nations Development Program site:

Belal Ahmad Faizi , Chief Executive Belz Energy Co, Belz Enterprise, Pakistan. He states:
“Secular ethical human rights is always challenged by religious parties. If we look at history we can see Europe is in the dark when religious persons are ruling and in 15th century when they are released from the ruling religious person or parties they become DEVELOPED countries.
Same is the history of Indian subcontinent, After Gupta Dynasty India rise but suddenly goes down due to India ruled by Brahman the religious group and they are ruled by Muslims for about 900 years
In all Muslim world we are facing so-called religious uprising but they all are very short sighted and have no scientific education but talking on all matter and problems.
On the other hand in whole world religious EXPLOITATION is very EASY they can not deliver any thing but they can only EXPLOIT all”.

Karen Hellemaa Independent International Affairs Professional, Spain. She states:

“Belal. You have no idea how happy your comment made me. It is so very true that fanaticism goes too often hand in hand with religions and as you mention, history
has proved over centuries that this is not conducive to DEVELOPMENT”.

Zack (Zuhair) Hasan, PE, LEED AP , Consultant Mechanical/Energy Engineer, LEED AP, Design Manager, and project coordinator, Greater Atlanta Area. He states:

“It is proven as we speak that the so-called religious parties twist, manipulate and alter the religious teachings themselves not to mention the ethical standards that govern humans, for their own agenda. I have my personal take on the so-called religious parties. I do not believe that they part of religion to start with. I never read about Jesus, Moses or Muhammad to divide the nations into parties, nor they claimed any party. Hence the existence of religious parties is not based on religion and consequently it has certain interests and agendas which conflict with ethical standards.
And as Belal indicated, secularism has and will always be in conflict with religions”.

Belal Ahmad Faizi , Chief Executive Belz Energy Co, Belz Enterprise, Pakistan. He states:

“Thanks to all for comments. Please note In case of Islam How religious parties are blackmailing in the name of Islam
JIHAD is true and fact in Islam but never allows to kill any person but now look what we are facing in the name of Islam. Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram all are blackmailers. They are earning money by KILLING in Mosque, Bazar, Hotels every where. They can do explosion anywhere to kill man, ladies even children and limit is they are killing in Hospitals. Boko Haran Kidnapped over 200 GIRLS and demanding for ransom. What the Islam say they dont know.
Recent centuries are very bad for Muslims who are ruled by SO CALLED MULLA and others but they are 100% against the Islam”.

Karen Hellemaa, Independent International Affairs Professional, Spain. She states:
“Surely the United Nations System does not need to enter religious disputes within
what it stands for and the reason it was created right after the Second World War.
Have we forgotten ?”.

Karen Hellemaa, Independent International Affairs Professional, Spain. She states:
“PS. What we certainly do not need at the United Nations is trouble originated by the various fanatic religious sectors that are causing so much destruction, death and misery, with millions having to flee their homes in search of PEACE. Was that not the primary reason for the creation of the United Nations.? You will have to excuse me for forgetting the first name they called the UN”.

Belal Ahmad Faizi, Chief Executive Belz Energy Co, Belz Enterprise, Pakistan. He states:
“After second World War UN work is not forgettable but now they are trapped in FIVE BIG
This is also a bad sector for UN or in precise UN means 5 + whole world = UN organization
In UN countries like Bhutan, Maldive, Bosnia can pass any resolution even if they may be based on fact.
But even it last chance and place to work for Global harmony and peace”.

Karen Hellemaa, Independent International Affairs Professional, Spain. She states:

“Having worked for many years in Islamic countries Have actually read The Koran trying to understand the Jihad and all the other fractions. However, must admit that I did not find anything threatening no matter how I tried. Have it in my bookcase. Maybe it is the political interpretation of these fanatical groups that make their own interpretation ? Or is it I who just don't get it ? There are fanatics in other religions as well - and even in football ! A joke. Sorry fellows.Would like to know more about the Golden Rule Chronology. Gosh, there is so much to learn”.

Steve Schiffman, General Counsel at Cruising Gourmet Educational Media, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada. He states:

“I have my reservations relating to the following articles and their lack of meaningful and/or legal definitions. Am I alone?

Does anyone see "gender equality" issues with Article 25(2)?

or what is meant by Article's 23(1) "protection against unemployment"?

or Aticle 24's "reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay".

In fact, if you work for UNDP on a newly created Independent Contractor status, none of those Articles apply. If you work as a European Aid contractor, again, you are not entitled to any of those "rights".

So how seriously should one really take the list? Most of them were based on the US Bill of Rights (1-10 Amendments of US Constitution). Some of the others just reflect a labor (socialist) bias.

Article 23.
•(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

•(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

Article 24.
•Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
•(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

•(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection”.

Belal Ahmad Faizi, Chief Executive Belz Energy Co, Belz Enterprise. He states:

“Article "gender equality" practically it is baseless as we see what is going on in society.
Article "reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay" it sounds good without any reason.
Law maker thinking is practical approach have 180 degree position. Wishful thinking is excellent but where is application. In sound proof room any thing can happen but in field situation is different. Come to field and look what is going on but who will come and they need to do a realistic study it is matter of ????? and what will be COST of this STUDY”.

Karen Hellemaa, Independent International Affairs Professional, Spain. She states:

“Like you Belal, I have always stressed on the importance of "field work". How can you otherwise know what you are dealing with.? Get up from your comfortable (not always though) desks and travel. I have done it since my early childhood. Went on my first scientific expedition with my father at the age of 6 - the rest of the participants must have hated me! Too inquisitive. In Colombia where upgrading the whole industrial sector was my job, I visited every factory or institution thoroughly and listening to the employees views. That is the only way I know how to deal with their weaknesses and strengths. Where UNIDO could help. Besides, although sometimes hard work I enjoyed those visits very much”.

The following was a response from a member of the ‘Human rights at work’ site.

Rosaline Costa , Executive Director at Hotline Human Rights Trust, Bangladesh. She states:

“Good idea. But some of the religions prohibits some universal ethics and can never be secular such as Islam. Islamic people say, Islam and politics are inseparable. But in Islam there are so many reservations for people of other religion which at times violates the human rights of the people. Despite signing the UNDHR document, my country does have her own law to follow. So there are so many contradictions, conflicts between the State law (which is influenced by the religion) and the UNDHR.
Other than this most of the time our rulers want to satisfy the people of the majority community and sometimes even ignoring the human rights of the other religious minority communities. This is politics where the politicians take advantage of their votes and voters. It does not matter what they can do for the voters. But they need power to control and enjoy from their corrupt system when they are in power”.

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