Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 21st, 2019

Afghans Need to Learn ‘Art of Living Together as Brothers’

The world has figured out the main reason behind war and conflict and the foundation of freedom and justice as it is stated in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” and “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts”.
If the fundamental rights – rights to life, liberty and property – of individuals and nations are respected and protected regardless of their religious, racial, and sexual backgrounds and they are not held in contempt, peace and justice will emerge. On the contrary, discriminating or humiliating an individual or nation on the basis of their caste, color, and creed will lead to violence and conflict.
“To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”, all members of the human family have to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” as the UN Charter puts it.
Violations of fundamental and inherent rights, freedoms, and dignity of people are the main reasons behind the ongoing regional and global conflicts. That is, the bulk of individuals, involved in conflict and militancy, deem themselves superior based on their faith, race, or color of skin. For example, the militant fighters and terrorist networks spill the blood of people on the basis of their faith and consider themselves religiously superior.
Jean Jacques Rousseau said that “man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains”. Although all individuals are born free, their freedoms are curtailed in one way or another, which is also conducive to violence. For example, to view Afghanistan, women’s freedoms are restricted largely in the wake of tribal code of conduct and traditional culture. That is to say, violence against women stems from cultural tradition and misogynistic mindset, which rule mostly the tribal belts. The social, cultural, and political activities of women are restricted and their rights are violated on the basis of their gender. To pave the ground for a peaceful coexistence and violence-free society, freedoms of individuals should be respected. Both men and women have to be able to enjoy their freedoms.
Violating the inherent dignity of mankind will lead to serious violence. In religious communities, people would bargain their life for their honor and dignity. For example, honor killings, which rule many religious communities, are aimed at saving the honor and dignity of a family at the cost of their family members’ lives. Thus, violating the dignity of an individual will result in violence. To support peace and peaceful coexistence, all individuals and members of human family have to respect the inherent dignity of people.
To mitigate regional and global conflict and pave the ground for peaceful coexistence, members of human family and people need to respect the inherent rights and dignity of all individuals and promote the spirit of brotherhood.
It is self-explanatory that lack of religious tolerance and discriminating people on the grounds of their faith and race are the key factor in the ongoing violence and conflict in Afghanistan. Religious radicals and terrorist networks kill people and trample upon their rights, liberties, and dignity for their faith and race.
Meanwhile, cultural traditions compound the ongoing violence. Afghan women bear the brunt of violence as a result of traditional culture and tribal code of conduct, as mentioned before.
To mitigate violence and conflict in Afghanistan, the members of all ethnic groups need to embrace one another with patience.
Moreover, all citizens have to practice upon the law and constitution. According to the Afghan constitution, endorsed following the collapse of the Taliban regime, all men and women are equal in rights and dignity regardless of their racial and sexual differences.
In a traditional community like Afghanistan, the Ulema Council has to spread tolerance and acceptance and reform the radical culture. The clerics have to preach against hatred and intolerance.
Afghans have to learn “the simple art of living together as brothers”, to put in the words of Martin Luther King, and respecting the rights, liberties, and dignity of all individuals so that they could live in a society void of violence and conflict.