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Human Rights and Guilt by Association: Said Nursi's Renewal Approach


Violating human rights, committing crimes, and mass killing due to guilt by association is as old as human beings. Most of the  genocides in human history are committed because of guilt by association. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one of the most important steps regarding human rights, however, there is no article which explicitly bans committing crime and killing due to guilt by association. Although guilt by association is considered unlawful in modern day legal systems, it exists in all cultures, among adherents of religions and nations including Muslim countries. Despite the strong objection occurring within the Qur’an, violating human rights due to guilt by association, it has been common, in both the past and present, across the Muslim world. Disregarding such important moral principles has caused great injustice and barbarous acts in the world.  

   In this paper, I will analyse the word haqq, in its sense of meaning “right” in the sacred texts of Islam, focusing on its relation to guilt by association. Secondly, I will examine how the Qur’anic verse “No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another“[1]bans guilt by association in the exegetical works. This is shown to take on particular significance within Said Nursi’s (1877-1960) renewal approach. Finally, this paper argues that guilt by association is causing great injustice, tyranny, and crime. This study proposes that it must be added to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and banned by the UN.


[1] Qur’an, 6:164, 35:18, 53:38


Guilt by association, Human Rights, UH Human Rights Charter, Islam, Said Nursi



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