Speech on the International Human Rights Day

Below is my acceptance speech for the award given to me on International Human Rights Day 2010 by the by American Islamic Congress, New England Interfaith Council.

Respectfully, I would like to accept the award given to me by American Islamic Congress, New England Interfaith Council for my human rights activities and congratulate everyone on the occasion of international human rights day. Surviving two world wars, in 1948 human race decided to plan for a war free, discrimination free and violence free world. Each of the 30 articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is influenced by the love of mankind for mankind and human dignity, free of gender, religion, conscience, ethnicity, opinion, and economic conditions. Now that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 62 years old and we are celebrating its anniversary, this human’s identity defined by what is prescribed in the Declaration is the accomplishment of a war torn and deprived man of the 20th century. In other words, it is a novel idea and many countries’ lack of regard for it must not disappoint us. Brutality and violence has a long history in the world and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights challenges this ever present history. Naturally, it will be able to direct the world towards its peace loving nature eventually. World is a culminations of ever existing race, economic, ethnic, belief based, and geographic animosity that has left its mark of hatred that cannot be easily wiped off with the 30 articles promising a world free of hatred and revenge. However, the reliance and belief of the oppressed in their citing of these articles and seeking justice in their protection is a ray of hope that should not be ignored. It is the roadmap that humanity will eventually use to find its way.

Most of the people that have gathered here belong to a region in the world the news of which is more troublesome each day. Bomb explosions, suicide attacks, Palestinians ever homelessness, Israelies lack of security, crisis of civil and citizenship rights in Iran that has expanded significantly since the June 12 2009 election, pressuring many people, poverty in countries who have unlimited wealth of oil yet refuse to distribute it evenly and many other examples of oppression are abundant in our region of birth. We all bear the burden of our sorrow for realization of dreams in this region and live with the hope that we shall once again find our dreams in our homelands and accord it with the 30 article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration gives human the right to strive for achieving just order, human rights and peace in his homeland, wherever that may be. On the other hand, it gives human the right to disobey the order even while surrounded by the occupation that violates his human rights. And if, the order does not provide him with opportunities to grow and develop, he can strive for changing the order using peaceful means.

Us, people of the middle east have two options, one is to accept the status quo and the other to place the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in front of the rulers and hijackers of our lands. Naturally we have chosen the second option, with all the headaches and troubles it brings. Therefore, at times we have to be far from the country we love while, using all the communication means necessary to direct the attention of the violators who exiled us, day and night to the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Middle East cannot be saved from oppression, poverty, insecurity and political, religious and sectarian fundamentalism other than by the power of its people fueled by the positive energy of the Declaration of Human Rights. It is the love of this ideal that provides the strength for the human rights activists to remain firmly on their paths. Human rights order cannot be achieved through violence. I am fortunate to announce here that the defense attorneys in Iran have become determined to go strive forward for the realization of this order and through reading of human rights documents have made the torturers and oppressors shake in their boots. These fighting female attorneys are bravely fighting in the trenches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I wish for better days for the old human race, the race that has fought many wars, through which it realized that it can do more with peace.

Mehrangiz Kar

10 December 2010