The Declaration of Human Rights His Letter to Malik al-Ashtar
George Jurdaq is a Christian scholar and researcher who became fascinated with the inspirational and educational guidelines of Imam Ali (A.S.) for building the individual as well as societies. Because of his extreme liking and admiration he was motivated for undertaking a thorough research; the fruits of these painstaking efforts was the outcome of a precious and novel book titled: "Imam Ali - the Voice of Justice for Humanity" (al-Imam Ali Soot-al-Adalateh al-Insaneych).
George Jurdaq's innovation consists of comparison of "International Declaration for Human Rights" with the famous historical letter written to Malik al-Ashtar*1 (his governor designate to to Egypt); after carefully reviewing the "International Declarations for Human Rights" item by item, compares them with the words of Imam Ali (A.S.), and then with logical reasoning proves the superiority of basics and principles of human and social rights presented by Imam Ali (A.S.) 1,400 years ago. After analyzing, comparing, and appraising, George Jurdaq explains the four basic differences, and through the undeniable realities lifts the curtain from the false and demagogic faces of world arrogance.
"The matter explained in the earlier paragraph beyond any doubt, would make the readers thoroughly aware about the
human rights as proclaimed by Imam Ali (A.S.), and which were clearly, explicitly without any doubt, and complexities explained by him. By bringing these matters here, our aim was to make our readers acquainted, and thus relieving them for looking into these matters in some other texts. But in order to explain the importance and greatness of Imam Ali's(A.S.) views regarding human rights as well as to introduce his exaltedness about the principles and laws in a complete, explicit, and comprehensive manner; it was found necessary to quote the most important points regarding "International Declarations for Human Rights" so that the readers themselves could appreciate the differences between them.
But if we have to speak some short words in this field, it must be pointed out that in principle it would be very difficult
to find any difference between the school of Imam Ali (A.S.) and the "International Declaration of Human Rights". Of course considering the differences of time, slight differences in the contents and details are inevitable, but overall from the
point of view of base and criteria, there exist no single clause in the "International Declaration for Human Rights" issued by
the United Nations, for which an exact and similar clause does not exist in the charter issued by Imam Ali (A.S.). Apart
from this in the charter and principles issued by Imam Ali (A.S.), one may discover things superior and higher than the matters incorporated into the International Charter of Human Rights."
About the important differences between these two George Jurdaq writes as follows:
"If there exists any genuine difference between these two international laws, in my opinion it consists in their implementation, which could be defined into four items as follows:
1. The first difference is that the International Declaration for Human Rights has been prepared by the joint efforts of thousands of learned intellectuals selected by a majority or representatives of all the governments, while the text and legal principles of Alvite constitution have been the outcome of a single exalted personality named Imam Ali ibn abu Talib(A.S.).
2. The second difference is that Imam Ali (A.S.) has issued his declaration of human right at least ten centuries ahead of
the "International Declaration for Human Rights" issued by the United Nations.
3. The third difference is that the authors of the International Declaration for human Rights or more correctly the collectors of relevant material and principles from various resources, regarding the task accomplished by them, or the task which they wanted to accomplish, filled the whole world by overemphasizing the greatness of their task and exaggerating their self-praise to the extent that human conscience and intellectual taste became disgusted with all that vain boasting.
Because of their egotism and arrogance they exhausted the people and forced them to praise for thousands and more heavy obligations which they have placed upon the shoulders of the people and nations.
While, on the other hand Imam Ali (A.S.) acted with courtesy and humility towards the masses of the people and the Creator of the worlds, and never aspired for superiority and greatness, rather sincerely asked for the pardon from the masses and God Almighty for his negligence and omissions in discharging of his obligations.
4. The fourth most important difference is that most of these governments who played key role in the preparation of this declaration or were the pioneers in its official recognition; are the same who deprive human beings from their rights defined in that charter, dispatch soldiers and armaments to distant corners of the world for the complete annihilation of this charter. On the contrary as far as Imam Ali (A.S.) was concerned, every step he took forward, every place he delivered a sermon, and everywhere he raised his lightning sword, he sheared off the curtains of despotism, annihilated various colors and manifestations of egotism and exploitation, uprooted the evils of tyranny and oppression, leveled the ground so that one could walk comfortably without being encountered with obstacles, and ultimately defending the rights and freedom of human beings left this world is a martyr. While a thousand times or more during his life he had risked his life in the battlefields and almost got martyred for defending his cherished ideals?"
Regarding his research efforts about the all round and Divine like personality of the Amir al-Mu `minin (Commander of the Faithful) Imam Ali (A.S.), George Jurdaq comments:
"Since I am a Christian by faith no one could accuse me of being sentimental or prejudiced in my admiration of Imam Ali(A.S.)."
The book "Imam Ali the Voice of Justice for Humanity" initially consisted of one volume which was presented by George Jurdaq to Ayatullah Brujirdi, which later on after completion had been published into five volumes.