Global Human Rights Violations and the U.S. Human Rights Report: A Critical Analysis

The United States recently published its annual report on global human rights, highlighting numerous instances of violations across various countries. This report, mandated by U.S. legislation, aims to bring to light human rights abuses and, in certain cases, impose sanctions on violators depending on the severity and nature of the infractions. However, the impartiality of the report has come under scrutiny, with accusations that the U.S. leverages human rights issues to further its geopolitical interests, selectively targeting political rivals while overlooking the transgressions of its allies. This analysis delves into the intricacies of the report, examining its claims, omissions, and the broader implications for global human rights advocacy.

U.S. Human Rights Report: An Overview

The U.S. human rights report serves as a comprehensive review of the state of human rights globally. It identifies a range of violations, including but not limited to, restrictions on free speech, unlawful detentions, torture, extrajudicial killings, and discrimination against minorities. Countries cited in the latest report include China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, all of which have contentious relationships with the U.S. The report asserts that these nations engage in systematic human rights abuses, warranting international attention and, where appropriate, sanctions.

Political Rivals and Allegations of Bias

Critics argue that the U.S. human rights report is selectively punitive, disproportionately targeting countries that are political adversaries. For instance, China is frequently condemned for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, suppression of dissent in Hong Kong, and restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly. Russia is similarly criticized for its treatment of political opponents, media censorship, and actions in Ukraine. While these issues are genuine and deserve international condemnation, the selective focus raises concerns about the underlying motives.

Overlooking Allies’ Violations

A glaring omission in the report is the lack of equivalent scrutiny on the human rights records of U.S. allies. India, for example, has faced widespread criticism for its actions in Kashmir, including prolonged curfews, communication blackouts, and reports of torture and extrajudicial killings. The treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in India, particularly Muslims, has also drawn international concern, yet the U.S. response has been markedly muted.

Similarly, Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank have been widely condemned. Reports from various human rights organizations, including the United Nations, have documented severe human rights abuses, including indiscriminate bombings, restrictions on movement, and systemic discrimination against Palestinians. Despite this, U.S. criticism of Israel remains minimal, reflecting the strong political and military alliance between the two countries.

Case Studies: Human Rights Violations by Allies

India and Kashmir

The abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, which granted special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, led to widespread unrest. The subsequent lockdown and communications blackout affected millions.

Reports by organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch highlight arbitrary detentions, excessive use of force, and suppression of free speech and assembly.

Discriminatory policies and rising communal violence against minorities, particularly Muslims, have also been reported, raising concerns about religious freedom and equality.

Israel and Gaza

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has resulted in significant human rights violations, with numerous reports of civilian casualties during military operations in Gaza.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented instances of what they describe as war crimes, including the targeting of civilian infrastructure and the use of disproportionate force.

The blockade of Gaza, restrictions on movement, and discriminatory policies against Palestinians are also critical issues that remain largely unaddressed by U.S. policy.

Implications and Recommendations

The selective approach of the U.S. human rights report undermines its credibility and the broader cause of human rights advocacy. By appearing to use human rights as a geopolitical tool, the U.S. risks diminishing the universal and impartial nature of human rights standards. To address this, several measures can be recommended:

Consistent Application of Standards

The U.S. should apply the same human rights standards to all countries, irrespective of political alliances. This includes holding allies accountable for their actions and imposing sanctions where warranted.

Enhanced Multilateralism

Greater engagement with international bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Council can help ensure a more balanced and comprehensive approach to addressing human rights violations globally.

Transparency and Accountability

Increased transparency in how countries are selected for scrutiny and the criteria used for imposing sanctions can help build trust in the impartiality of the U.S. human rights report.

Support for Civil Society

Providing support to local human rights organizations and activists in all countries, including allies, can help promote human rights from within and foster long-term change.

While the U.S. human rights report highlights critical issues and brings necessary attention to violations around the world, its credibility is compromised by perceived biases and selective scrutiny. To uphold the integrity of human rights advocacy, it is imperative that the U.S. applies consistent standards to all nations, supports multilateral efforts, and ensures transparency and accountability in its actions. By doing so, the U.S. can more effectively champion the cause of human rights and contribute to a more just and equitable global order.

Human Rights Violations in the United States: A Critical Analysis Based on the Chinese Report

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China has released a detailed 25-page report on human rights violations in the United States in 2023. This document reveals significant discrepancies between the U.S.’s proclaimed commitment to human rights and its actual practices domestically and internationally. While the U.S. presents itself as a global champion of human rights, the Chinese report underscores the political motives behind America’s use of human rights as a tool for global dominance. Here are the key highlights and facts on the ground from the Chinese report:

Manipulation of Human Rights as a Diplomatic Tool

Since the late 1970s, the U.S. has emphasized human rights and universal values, often using them as a pretext for diplomatic maneuvers. U.S. administrations have taken the moral high ground, promoting concepts like human rights diplomacy, humanitarianism, and humanitarian intervention, especially after the Cold War. This moral stance has allowed Washington to position itself as a global protector of human rights, justifying interventions worldwide.

The Chinese report exposes this approach by highlighting the U.S.’s reaction to recent pro-Palestinian protests on U.S. campuses. These protests, which called for an end to Israeli atrocities against Palestine, were met with significant pushback, showcasing the U.S.’s selective application of human rights principles. The report argues that the U.S.’s double standards and contradictory humanitarianism, shaped by a powerful elite, are a significant global concern.

Civil Rights Violations and Political Dysfunction

The report outlines the U.S. government’s failures in handling political disputes, internal dysfunction, and safeguarding civil and political rights. The rivalry between the two main political factions has led to a stalemate, showcasing a distinct aspect of American democracy. The 2023 Kentucky gubernatorial elections, where candidates spent a staggering $91 million on campaign advertisements, exemplify the significant role of money in U.S. elections.

Gun violence remains a pressing issue, with nearly 43,000 people dying from gun violence in 2023, averaging 117 deaths per day. Despite these tragic figures, meaningful gun control measures remain elusive, highlighting the government’s failure to address one of the nation’s most urgent crises. Police brutality is also significant, with at least 1,247 deaths attributed to police violence in 2023, the highest number since 2013. This lack of accountability perpetuates violence and mistrust between the police and the communities they are meant to protect.

Discrimination and Racial Injustice

The U.S. is described as a ‘carceral state,’ with only 5 percent of the global population but 25 percent of the world’s prison population. This reflects systemic issues within the criminal justice system, where mass incarceration is the norm. Racism is deeply entrenched in American society, particularly within the police force and the criminal justice system. United Nations experts have highlighted systemic racism against African Americans. This racism extends to healthcare, where African American women face a maternal mortality rate nearly three times that of white women.

Asian Americans also face significant discrimination, with nearly 60 percent reporting racial bias, exacerbated by policies like the China Initiative targeting Chinese scientists. The proliferation of racist ideologies across sectors, including social media, music, and gaming, makes the U.S. a major exporter of extreme racism globally.

Economic Inequality

Economic inequality in the U.S. is a significant concern, with an increasing number of “working poor” struggling to make ends meet. The report underscores long-standing disparities in income distribution, resulting in the most severe wealth gap since the Great Depression of 1929. Despite 11.5 million low-income working families, the federal minimum wage has remained stagnant since 2009, reducing its purchasing power. This economic strain forces many families to sacrifice basic necessities such as food, rent, and energy, leading to over 650,000 people experiencing homelessness, the highest number in 16 years.

Gender Abuse and Children’s Rights Violations

The U.S. faces criticism for its systematic disregard of women’s and children’s rights, notably lacking constitutional provisions for gender equality. The U.S. remains the only UN member state yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women or the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2023, the Senate rejected a constitutional amendment for gender equality. Pregnancy discrimination leads to around 54,000 women losing their jobs annually, and more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age lack access to maternity care.

Discriminatory Visa Regime

U.S. immigration policies are marked by exclusion and discrimination, continuing a legacy from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the recent “Muslim Ban” of 2017. Immigration has become a tool for partisan gain, with policies reduced to political theatrics that ignore the rights and welfare of immigrants. This results in widespread arrests, human trafficking, and exploitation of immigrants, highlighting the hypocrisy and polarization in U.S. politics.

International Meddling and Military Interventions

Internationally, the U.S. faces accusations of pursuing hegemony, engaging in power politics, and exploiting its military strength. The ongoing supply of weapons, including cluster munitions, worsens regional conflicts and leads to numerous civilian casualties and humanitarian crises. Extensive operations involving “proxy forces” destabilize societies in other countries, while the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay prison symbolizes the U.S.’s defiance of international human rights standards.

Use of Human Rights for Geopolitical Motives

The U.S.’s disregard for human rights is starkly evident in its apathy towards the deaths and injuries of over 110,000 civilians in Gaza, alongside its repeated vetoing of four UN Security Council resolutions urging an immediate ceasefire. This highlights the U.S.’s selective application of human rights principles based on geopolitical interests.

Toward a Balanced Approach

China’s report serves as a critical examination of the U.S.’s human rights practices and exposes the inconsistencies in its global human rights advocacy. It calls for a more balanced and fair approach to human rights globally, urging nations to look beyond the surface of U.S. policies and consider the broader implications of its actions. This promotes a more inclusive dialogue on human rights, one that respects the sovereignty of nations and recognizes diverse paths to achieving human dignity and justice.

By revealing these contradictions, the Chinese report invites the international community to scrutinize the true motivations behind the U.S.’s human rights discourse and to adopt a more balanced and impartial approach to human rights advocacy. This is essential for fostering a genuinely equitable and just global order.

Islam and Human Rights

Although Muslims are oppressed, backward and politically divided, and have no much say in the global affairs, but, they are one fourth of the entire world population, possessing huge natural resources, especially rich in energy. Islam is one of the major religion of divine and historically has been played vital role in the developments of modern science and technology, just a few centuries ago. It possess a glorious past, and possess the capacity to revolutionize the entire world if united once again.

Islam is the first religion on the earth advocating for human rights. Holy prophet has practically demonstrated in his life. His last sermon is the message of human rights and true spirit of Islam. It is mandatory for every Muslim to implement it in his/ her real life practically.

Trust this is the most important message of the Holy Prophet (May peace be upon him)  and the solution to today’s challenges. We must adhere to it and practice in our daily routine life.

The last sermon of the Prophet-peace be upon him- is known as khutba hajjatul wida’. It is mentioned in almost all books of Hadith. Following Ahadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari refer to the sermon and quote part of it. (See Al-Bukhari, Hadith 1623, 1626, 6361) Sahih of Imam Muslim also refers to this sermon in Hadith number 98. Imam al-Tirmidhi has mentioned this sermon in Hadith nos. 1628, 2046, 2085. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal has given us the longest and perhaps the most complete version of this sermon in his Masnud, Hadith no. 19774.

The khutba hajjatul wida of the Prophet-peace be upon him- was long and it contained much guidance and instructions on many issues. The Prophet-peace be upon him- gave this sermon in front of a large gathering of people during Hajj.

Whosoever heard whatever part of the sermon reported it and later some scholars put it together. It is a great khutbah and we should all pay attention to its message and guidance. Following are the basic points mentioned in this khutbah:

O People

Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefor listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People

Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest); therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.

Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to Abbas Ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib (the Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived.

Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People

It is true that you have certain rights in regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives, only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat you women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People

Listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat.

Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim, which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefor, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”

May Allah guide us to be a perfect Muslim. Ameen.

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