PanelCommemorating Human Rights Day 2011

Committee Room 4A, House of Lords

Chaired by Lord King of West Bromwich and Margaret Ali (Director UPF – UK), the first speaker was Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham who was speaking on the topic of Universal Human Rights for Humanity. After thanking Dr Song and those involved in UPF and WFWP for organising the conference, Lord Ahmed went on to talk passionately about issues of human rights in countries across the globe, clarifying that our rights are given to us by ‘God Almighty’, and that December 10th is a day to remember that we are very fortunate that we do have rights. The second speaker, Keith Best, gave us his insight into torture, posing the question, Why Do We Still Tolerate Torture? Mr Best, having had much experience as CEO of Torture Care, gave a short history of torture practices, and opposed any justification to torture, calling it ‘morally repugnant’. He expressed his optimism that torture practices across the globe can finally be eradicated. Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid JP (Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK) was the third speaker of the session, speaking on the topic of Islam and Human Rights emphasising the perspective of Islam on human rights with support from the Qu’ran, and the power of education as a tool that not only promotes human rights but also combats issues such as poverty. The final speaker of the session, Prof. Unni Wikan (University of Oslo), began by telling of the moving story of Fadima, a 26 year old women killed by her father in 2002, in what is known as ‘Honour Based Violence’. Prof. Wikan described it as a practice that cuts across religions and societies, with a solution in locating the signs that could lead to violence before that violence occurs.


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