The crisis last month with the execution of Sheikh Nimr al Nimr by Saudi authorities and subsequent protests leading to the burning of Saudi Embassy in Tehran, although seems to have apparently subsided, it is still simmering and has the potential to explode at any time to the great detriment of the unity of the Ummah.

The unresolved Syrian crisis which has pitted Muslims against Muslims, largely in the name of Islam has drained the human, financial and intellectual resources of the Ummah and has resulted in the suffering of Syrians on an unprecedented scale.

It seems that we have lost the sense of justice and rather than looking at the big picture of safeguarding the interests of the Ummah, we are suffering from tunnel vision with each group showing loyalty to its own narrow group, based on friendships, national interest, ethnicity, school of though or sect.

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The abuse of power by those in authority over the powerless sections of the society leads to disputes, rebellions and violence. This is very much prevalent in the Muslim world today on a global scale as well as in community organisations locally.

For a peaceful living and harmony between people, it is important to practice justice, safeguard human rights and give people the freedom of choice.

While justice may be practiced through the court systems dealing with crimes, political practice of Justice and a fair go for all sections of the society must also be implemented.

All religions including Islam have emphasized the practice of human rights that need to be understood and not just lectured on but implemented in daily living.

Human rights of all people need to be upheld within nation states as well as in the local community. There is a need for all individuals in the society in general and school students in particular to study Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations. It should be understood and practiced by individuals and the society as a whole.

Every nation, society and group should be questioned if they are following the various articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and if not why not.

Islam itself gives humans the freedom of choice. The ultimate freedom being to accept or reject the existence of God or to accept or reject Islam. There is no compulsion in religion.

Integrating this freedom of choice further, no one can force any one’s ideas on others. Whether it is religious belief, school of thought or a sectarian practice, people should have the freedom to choose and using force or perpetrating violence on others for these differences violates their human rights.

If there are atrocities being committed on others, who are not from your religious, ethnic or sectarian background, it is your duty to raise your voice. Call spade a spade.

So if you are a Muslim and injustice is being carried out on non-Muslims, be brave and condemn it. If you are a Sunni and injustice is being carried out on a Shia, raise your voice and vice versa.

This is the only way that we say good bye to our loyalties to our own groups and be impartial in practicing justice and safeguarding the rights of our fellow humans without any prejudice.