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NEWS | Sept. 22, 2010

National security major piece to Afghan human rights puzzle

By G.A. Volb , NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan

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The “Islam and Human Rights” symposium Sept. 20 at Camp Eggers Kabul, Afghanistan. Professor Ashraf Rasuli, legal advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, provides insight into the government’s focus on human rights and how the effort relates to Islam. (Photo by G.A. Volb)

CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan (Sept. 22, 2010) — Everything, to include human rights progress, hinges on the ability of the Afghan government to provide security for the nation.

Prof. Ashraf Rasuli, legal advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai,  said it was a crucial piece to the puzzle during the “Islam and Human Rights” symposium held here Sept. 20.

“Most people define human rights as the collection of regulations and laws developed in order to bring justice and civility to a society and protect individual rights,” Rasuli said. “Without security, it’s extremely difficult for a society to progress.”

The professor shared his insight with 40-plus members of the Afghan Ministry of Interior Legal Affairs Department, representatives of the Afghan Civil Order Police or ANCOP, and members of the coalition effort.  Dignitaries attending included: Afghan Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahim Shuja,  chief of legal affairs; and Maj. Gen. Abdul Masoud Ragheb, chief of the inspector general’s office.

Since taking office President Karzai has initiated a government commission to deal with human rights issues at the national level,  working issues through the judiciary system and ANP resources, plus Afghanistan has agreed to international human rights declarations.

“Islam,” emphasized Rasuli, “provides for the welfare of Muslims … essentially regulations governing an Islamic society.

“The government,” he pointed out, “also has a responsibility to determine how to institute and enforce these rights. Currently, we’re focusing on the basics – developing commissions to look into possible abuses and including rights in the constitution.”

The slight of build, grey-haired professor suggested that as security improves and the Afghan government matures, so will its ability to address human rights issues; to include social and political rights.

“Nobody,” he emphasized, “has the power to strip another of their basic human rights – to live freely, to work and to provide for their family.  And we will not accept any law contrary to the religion of Islam.”