Hello everyone. I hope you all had a great summer. I just wanted to let you guys know that there is a very interesting conference about political situation of Iran where current situation and possible resolutions will be discussed. This is a free conference. I learned about it from CUNY BA web page, I will post the link bellow, but I believe if you are interested you will be more than welcome to attend the conference.

Here is a link to the conference page: http://cunyba.gc.cuny.edu/blog/cuny-ba-conference-on-the-political-future-of-iran/

P.S. it has been great to attend this human rights course and I think it would be great if we kept the blog active by adding news and helpful information about human rights violations all over the world.

When-if ever- are legal bans on Muslim headscarves ever justified? To be completely honest I am very torn on this question. I consider myself a liberal, I believe every individual deserves the right to do with their life what they please. I am for gay rights and freedom of religion. Muslim women wearing headscarves is them expressing their right to freedom of religion. On the other hand, I was 11 and in sixth grade at the time of 9/11. I know it destroyed thousands of lives not to count the millions of Americans that felt unsafe afterwards.

After 9/11 the government through our privacy out the window. I guess i can understand why, however how far is too far? I see why some governments would want to ban Muslim women from wearing headscarves. Felix Qui stated, “The state may not get into the business of telling people what they may or may not wear, for whatever reason, however stupid, but the state may and should get into the business of making laws to enforce due security, such as requiring that people be identifiable in certain public places, though not necessarily all.” This becomes somewhat of an oxymoron. You basically can wear what you want as long as its within certain limits. However, being able to identify an individual is extremely important when considering national security.

“In France, civil servants, including teachers, are prohibited by law from displaying religious symbols, and students may not attend public schools if they display any kind of “ostentatious” religious symbol, including the headscarf, the Sikh turban, and the Jewish headcovering (kippah). Authorities have said that this ban would also apply to ‘large’ Christian crosses but the ban has not been applied to ‘normal’ sized crucifixes worn around the neck.” As in France we the United States also has a separation of Church and State. I used to have to say the pledge of Allegiance every morning in school and all of a sudden it was prohibited. The ban of headscarves is a more direct more controversial ban.

I don’t believe the banning Muslim women from wearing headscarves will ever be justifiable. We need to come up with a better approach or a compromise. I’ve seen headscarves that only cover a women’s hair and I’ve see scarves that cover the entire face but the eyes. Maybe their could be a middle ground for everyone to meet. But I don’t believe that violating women’s freedom of religion and to express themselves is the right way to approach the terrorist concern.

In our society many laws has been passed to provide security for people so that certain policies/laws created does not violate human rights. European countries have faced different controversies when it comes to the situation of banning the use of headscarves. Countries like Germany are banning the use of headscarf for Muslim women in public. Based on the article “Germany: Headscarf Bans Violate Rights” Muslim women are being forced to reinforce their beliefs and remove their headscarf in order to work as a teacher for the government. So we are left with the question, when are legal bans on Muslim headscarves ever justified?

 There are many different possible answers to this question. Some countries believed by enforcing laws to ban the use of headscarves are helping Muslim women increase their position in society. They are convinced that a woman who wears the headscarf is showing society they are inferior to men. In the article presented by the Human Rights Watch “You Dress According to Their Rules” two young women were harassed for not covering their hair and dressed “inappropriately”. “This report describes violence and threats against women in Chechnya to intimate them into adhering to a compulsory Islamic dress code”, stated the Human Rights Watch. However, some argued that doing so are harming Muslim women more than it is helping them. “German: Headscarf Bans Violate Rights” women are forced to quit their jobs because of the ban of headscarf for school teachers. They refuse to go against their beliefs and were left with no choice but to quit.

 Although banning the use of headscarf is violating the rights of Muslim women I can see why the government would enforce such law. I don’t agree with violating people rights but after the bombing on 9/11 the government would enforce any law that guarantees citizens safety. I agree with Felix Qui, “The state may not get into the business of telling people what they may or may not wear, for whatever reason, however stupid, but the state may and should get into the business of making laws to enforce due security, such as requiring that people be identifiable in certain public places, though not necessarily all.”

Countries like Islam can have their women wear or do what they believe are “right”, but Germany does not have to agree with them. In “Questions and Answers on Restrictions on Religious Dress and Symbols in Europe” shows me the reason such law was enforced is due to the amount of problems countries has faced with Muslim veils. Even though I feel bad for the ones that lost their jobs over this issue, I feel that Germany did the right thing to protect their people in the country. In another word, those that disagree with the laws and rules in Germany can easily relocate to a different country where the wearing of headscarf is allowed.

One of the most fearful and tragedy actions in history has become one of the most controversial topics. United Nations attempted many times to halt human sufferings which lead to the creation of the Genocide Convention of 1948. Unfortunately this convention was over powered by the idea of state sovereignty. Thus lead to the mass killing that occurred in Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Bosnia.  As a result the new policy that granted United Nation the “Responsibility to Protect” helped justified that the bombing of Libya was a justifiable humanitarian intervention.

Jayshree Bajoriav stated in “The Dilemma of Humanitarian Intervention”, “the issue must be reframed not as an argument about the ‘right to intervene’ but about the ‘responsibility to protect.” The creation of R2P provided clear guidelines for UN and as a result took actions in Libya before the number of victims increased under Gaddafi’s power. According to Gareth Evans, to determine the bombing of Libya was a justifiable humanitarian intervention the six principles have to be reached, the “just cause” threshold, four precautionary principles, and the requirement of “right authority”. As for the “just cause” threshold, it showed that military intervention was needed due to the thousands of people that were killed for not agreeing with Gaddafi’s ruling. The states were unable to take action as the ones that did were killed. As for the first precautionary principle “right intensions” the UN had no agenda but to stop human suffering. “The European Union, United Nation, and United States have imposed an arms embargo and other sanctions on Libya.” The second precautionary principle “last resort” showed that actions were taken before the military became involved. The third precautionary principle “proportional means” were met because it when the United Nation took action Gaddafi’s forces were halt resulted in minimum killing. If the UN did not get involved sooner worst case scenario could happen. The last precautionary principle “reasonable prospect” which was also met because the chances of succeeding with the military involved were high. Lastly the “rights authority” was also met for that any actions that were made was approved by the UN.

Based on Gareth Evans criteria of R2P United Nation had every right to protect the people in Libya. “History should not repeat itself”, what happened to Bosnia or Rwanda should not happen to Libya or anyone. The bombing of Libya were proved to be a justifiable humanitarian intervention because it has met all the six criteria.

This  is about Jospeh Kony leader of the Lra wanted since 2002 by the ICC for abduction,rape and responsible for adults and around 30 thousand kids as slaves and laborworkers. all this just to maintain his power ignoring promises and pleads of people who want to stop his work.Because of this many have wanted his arrest dead or alive.

kony 2012 video is an example and one of the first to bring the word out about the situation. Their main cause to stop kony  demanding the government  to start doing something by meeting with people that can change the game and by uniting and having as much people aware of this issue in order so that they can all unite together and demand the US government to take action.  In part I can disagree yet agree about this many but in different ways. I can agree with this video for the cause that they are trying to do but disagree with the way they are doing it. It is a good idea that this issue should be brought to the attention of the public since the United States government, the government that in mnay cases have interfere in many other countries, is unwilling to help 30 thousands kids and their families held as animals in Northern Uganda from genocide, torture and poor conditions that these people are going through because  of their “financial interest and national security”. As the narrator says “where you live should not determine how and when you live”.

The reason why I disagree with this video is that first and foremost the video takes too long to get to the point and give adequate information on what’s really going in Northern Uganda. I felt that there was more spirit and personal information in the video then the facts to know to decide either to help or not. It was similar to a cancer or aids commercial where they are expecting the audience to have sympathy and join their cause by giving money and by products but just through youtube. In the beginning of the video, it starts of about the narrator’s life and his son Gavin and how they met this kid name Joseph in Northern Uganda while at the time he was working as a salve workers for Kony for about 10 to 15 minutes straight, which I do not understand because even at the end of the video I still could not find what was the correlation between the narrator’s son and the issue  in Uganda. Thereafter they are showing videos of people who are in the Kony cause putting posters and flyers all around the world.  Although this video could be very convincing we are just looking at one side of the issue and not the other side which is what others think about kony or if infact there are people who support him just as  people who despise him, which reminded me of Hilter and the holocaust where many depised him such as the american public when they knew the facts and many who admired him such as many people in Germany who arlso followed his ideas. At the same time, I felt that this video was useful just for the fact what they are fighting for. The government  during many moments feel that they should take action when they feel like it and if they feel like they do not want to take action they give an excuse to not take action unless their people know about the issue and demand for action. The only way that they are doing this is by bringing the attention to the people through many communication sources that they know the people will see by making him world  news and give information for everyone to see and making news for people to be aware. I felt that this was also an exaggeration because as the narrator ” we will make Kony world news by redefining the propaganda and Bc all day everyday that dicates who and what we pay attention to.” Which in a way made me feel as we should be brainwashed  in order to help those in Uganda.

This  is about Jospeh Kony leader of the Lra wanted since 2002 by the ICC for abduction,rape and responsible for adults and around 30 thousand kids as slaves and laborworkers. all this just to maintain his power ignoring promises and pleads of people who want to stop his work.Because of this many have wanted his arrest dead or alive.

kony 2012 video is an example and one of the first to bring the word out about the situation. Their main cause to stop kony  demanding the government  to start doing something by meeting with people that can change the game and by uniting and having as much people aware of this issue in order so that they can all unite together and demand the US government to take action.  In part I can disagree yet agree about this many but in different ways. I can agree with this video for the cause that they are trying to do but disagree with the way they are doing it. It is a good idea that this issue should be brought to the attention of the public since the United States government, the government that in mnay cases have interfere in many other countries, is unwilling to help 30 thousands kids and their families held as animals in Northern Uganda from genocide, torture and poor conditions that these people are going through because  of their “financial interest and national security”. As the narrator says “where you live should not determine how and when you live”.

The reason why I disagree with this video is that first and foremost the video takes too long to get to the point and give adequate information on what’s really going in Northern Uganda. I felt that there was more spirit and personal information in the video then the facts to know to decide either to help or not. It was similar to a cancer or aids commercial where they are expecting the audience to have sympathy and join their cause by giving money and by products but just through youtube. In the beginning of the video, it starts of about the narrator’s life and his son Gavin and how they met this kid name Joseph in Northern Uganda while at the time he was working as a salve workers for Kony for about 10 to 15 minutes straight, which I do not understand because even at the end of the video I still could not find what was the correlation between the narrator’s son and the issue  in Uganda. Thereafter they are showing videos of people who are in the Kony cause putting posters and flyers all around the world.  Although this video could be very convincing we are just looking at one side of the issue and not the other side which is what others think about kony or if infact there are people who support him just as  people who despise him, which reminded me of Hilter and the holocaust where many depised him such as the american public when they knew the facts and many who admired him such as many people in Germany who arlso followed his ideas. At the same time, I felt that this video was useful just for the fact what they are fighting for. The government  during many moments feel that they should take action when they feel like it and if they feel like they do not want to take action they give an excuse to not take action unless their people know about the issue and demand for action. The only way that they are doing this is by bringing the attention to the people through many communication sources that they know the people will see by making him world  news and give information for everyone to see and making news for people to be aware. I felt that this was also an exaggeration because as the narrator ” we will make Kony world news by redefining the propaganda and Bc all day everyday that dicates who and what we pay attention to.” Which in a way made me feel as we should be brainwashed  in order to help those in Uganda.

“On Banning Headscarves.”

When a question is asked in regards to a possible human rights violation the ideal response is to say yes; say yes to the oppressed and no to the oppressors in this assignment I am asked to debate and conclude “when -if ever legal bans on headscarves and burqas are justified”. The right answer would be to say never, to say that is, it is never okay to impose on another individual’s religious or personal beliefs, yet and still the truth of the matter is that this issue is not black or white there are many shades of grey. By focusing on the current laws as well as the religious implication of these religious head garment I will conclude weather I feel that banning Muslim head garment is socially and or politically justifiable.

On the human right watch website I read numerous articles one of the most interesting is entitled “Germany headscarves ban Violates rights”, the article discussed how many German states have imposed a ban on Muslim women who wear these various headscarves , it prohibits Muslim women from holding various civil servant jobs namely teaching, the justification for this ban is said to be to take these women out of the oppressed state that the headscarves symbolize  and on a social terms to decrease the alienation that wearing headscarves can manifest. no doubt  in light of  the 2003 terror bomb and the ongoing terror threat that has been posed throughout the world. A core leader of this growing European trend to ban these headgear and clothing is France, France has had a history of promoting tolerance and for them the banning of these headscarves is another stone on that pavement. French law requires that no flamboyant religious symbol be seen in public, for France the law is as important as saying so Nazi stickers on t-shirts. For France these headscarves are not as offensive as they are disrespectful to the notion of cultural integration. America also argues that a country has the right, by its societal standards to  depict what individuals can and cannot do, because western values differ from eastern it is justifiable to say that “if you’re in my country you assimilate”, for example if I went to Iraq or another Muslim country I would have to cover up that is a part of cultural blending  and it is disrespectful not to follow another countries custom, simply if you don’t want to wear something don’t go to that country.

On the other side of this argument are the Muslim women, many of these women feel that these laws are oppressive in their own rights; they feel that they don’t subject other religions to laws so why should this be any different. Another argument is that although many governments claim the bans are to free the Muslim women from oppression, why then are the women being punished and not the men who in Muslim religious society require that their women cover up.  These bans are affecting the lives of Muslim women who openly choose to wear these garments. Enforcing these law in essence make celebrating your religion a crime and the core of human rights is that everyone is entitled to religious freedom so long as it does not directly affect others according to the various articles.

Personally I am not strongly passionate about this right but I do believe that if we allow government to dictate a society we will only be moving backwards in regards to human rights with a mirage of progress. I believe that governments should allow businesses and institution to make their own rules; because  although the wearing of  headscarves  represent a religious emblem , western institution reserve the right to deem it as a dress code violation or cultural disregard. We require that a face be seen in order to effectively communicate and wearing the garments take away from that cultural necessity.  It also possess as a treat security threat in that if someone commits a crime with a headscarves authorities might not be able to catch the culprit. Yet a I believe that there should be no law requiring that Muslim women show their faces; instead it should be customary in European countries; because imposing a law criminalizes and degrades Muslim women in a sense oppresses them and aren’t law supposed to help the oppressed.  I believe Burqas and other Muslim facial coverings should be worn so long as the face can be made visible in government and public places, and if the women decides she wants to keep her face covered she reserves the right not to enter a building etc.,  the name of the game is compromise. There are many more sides to this argument and they could all be argued but I believe the core idea here should be that laws that take away from a person religious identity should be banished no one has the right to judge and put implication on another individual except the  individual  themselves, and everyone has an obligation to follow the rules of another individual when u are in their domain; it is this simple “if  I prohibit shoes in my house that is my right you cannot come and say u will wear your shoes in my house because that what you do in your house, you can either take your shoes off or sit outside , and vice versa if I allow shoes  you cannot tell me not to   because you  don’t want me wearing shoes it my house, it about being respectful and fair.