2000 News Story

Imam of Makkah speaks out on human rights

During Friday prayer today, Imam of the Holy Mosque in Makkah Sheikh Salih Bin Abdullah Bin Humeid spoke out on Islam and human rights, saying the best guarantee for preservation of human rights is implementation of Islamic Shariah [Law]. Equating adherence to Islam with openness to human civilization, he declared that human rights grow normally in society, and no wise man can stand against them. Such rights, he said, are governed by certain restrictions, because freedom does not mean irresponsibility, freedom of speech does not mean vilification of others, freedom of thought does not mean infidelity, and freedom of movement does not mean the right of occupation.

While calling for the preservation of human rights, Sheikh Humeid said that the differences that exist among nations as regard to religion and belief should be taken into account. He criticized those who fail to understand the concept of human rights in Islam, and deplored defamation of Islam and its principles. He described the distinguished ideological and cultural construction of Islamic society as having formulated the Muslim character over the centuries, guided by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet). Muslims, he said, believe Islam to be the first religion to recognize human rights, and that preservation of these human rights lies in implementation of Islamic Shariah. He went on to say that although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of fifty years ago has many positive aspects, it has not been fairly implemented and has not prevented injustice and aggression for many nations. There are Muslims, he said, who feel that this declaration should be revised to take into account the differences in religions and cultures. Many people, he declared, have been deprived of the justice, freedom and fraternity that were advocated by the Prophets, recalling the injustices that have befallen Muslims, such as their massacre in the Balkans and the Caucasus, and their suffering in occupied Palestine, southern Lebanon, Kashmir, Burma, the Philippines and other parts of the world. He specifically condemned trade in women and children, and in drugs, and all forms of crime; saying these constitute an insult to mankind, as do the phenomena of abortion, adultery, sodomy and lesbianism.
Sheikh Humeid made particular reference to the fact that the issue of human rights often becomes a justification for intervention in the domestic affairs of the others, and a tool for practicing political terrorism. He declared that Saudi Arabia will unwaveringly adhere to the principles of Islam because neither dignity nor honor can be attained without strict adherence to Islamic teachings, saying: "We would like to make it clear that our creed is not a debatable matter and we will not accept compromise on our belief. We believe in Allah as our god, Islam as our religion, and Muhammad, peace be upon him, as our Prophet."