Imam Khomeini believed that all human beings have dignity

Imam Khomeini believed that all human beings have dignity

The late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (RA), believed that all human beings have dignity and their freedom should be respected.

Speaking to IQNA in 2016, Hojat-ol-Islam Hassan Pouya, research deputy of the Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, had said that this belief was fully manifested in different aspects of Imam Khomeini’s life.

He noted that Imam Khomeini was always asked by Iranian and foreign journalists whether Islam as a system of governance brings limitations and whether an Islamic government restricts freedom of women and religious minorities.

"Imam would always give definite answers to these questions,” he said.

"In Imam’s view, freedom is one of the first rights granted to humanity. This is a basic right and human beings are free in their opinions and actions in their country.”

Pouya said Imam Khomeini in an interview with a Dutch newspaper highlighted the status of women and their rights in Islam and said that women have the right to determine their fate as men do.

"Imam noted that there are some differences between man and woman, but this has not to do with their human dignity and worth,” he said.

He underlined that in Imam’s view, religious minorities, like others, enjoy rights and full respect.

According to Imam Khomeini, "Islam, more than any other faith or ideology has given freedom to religious minorities,” Pouya stated.

Another aspect of freedom that Imam respected a lot was freedom of the press.

"The press is free to publish all the realities and events, Imam said.”

Asked about the difference between Islamic and Western views of human rights, Hojat-ol-Islam Pouya said there have been differing views in this regard among Muslim scholars.

"Some have said one should ignore Western human rights while others say whatever the (Universal) Declaration of Human Rights is correct and should be acted upon. In my opinion, what has been written in the declaration, including the equality of man and woman, and respect for freedom, human dignity, and religious minorities, is mostly compatible with what Islam says.

"Imam Khomeini in one of his speeches said that we agree with human rights provided that it is not exploited by governments.”

Hojat-ol-Islam Pouya went on to say that according to Imam, Western countries have misused the issue of human rights and shown a biased approach to the issue. 

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