The groups declared by the regime as the “enemy” become the early targets of the regime’s repressive policies, but after these “hostile groups” are intimidated, the regime, like a ravenous vulture, turns its attention to other groups as well. Given humanity’s experiences with the authoritarian and totalitarian regimes of the 20th century -- communism, fascism and single-party regimes -- we can conclude that a “single standard” should be used to counter undemocratic pressures. This idea sports a strong attachment to ethical rules as the basis of its legitimacy.
According to this single standard approach, those who protest the jailing of a dissident intellectual for expressing his/her views should also protest the imprisonment of intellectuals or activists who promote views or policies different from their own. Intellectual honesty requires this, but we also have to act like this so that legal decisions and rulings take shape in this way. Unfortunately, the world does not observe the single standard principle. And Europe disdains it. So far, Europe has tended to lend categorical support to liberals, leftist intellectuals or members of the women’s movement in the Muslim world. Yet, Europeans did not voice any objection while numerous intellectuals and politicians from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were kept in prison for many years. Likewise, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) hasn’t issued a single decision in favor of any person who has been victimized because of his/her Islamic sensitivities. Rather, it endorsed the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) and the continuation of the headscarf ban.
Views and ideas deserve to be expressed just because they exist and not because of their content, references that lend legitimacy or goals. Accordingly, every group should defend the right of the holders of this view or idea to express it freely, and people should exhibit determination and act in coordination to ensure this right is not violated. There should be an ethical, universal single standard agreed upon by everyone. Views or ideas advocating or promoting insults, murder or terror are naturally left out. Indeed, no one has the right to denigrate, humiliate or disparage the personal, familial or professional reputation of other people, or resort to violence or terror to impose his/her views or ideas on others. A person who encourages another person to commit murder may be sentenced to a lesser prison term under the law, but s/he is ethically deemed to have committed an equally serious crime. Indeed, in a case of contract killing, the people who mastermind the murder are sentenced to greater prison terms than the hitman.
It is hard to say that countries or different political and philosophical groups have performed satisfactorily in terms of observing and promoting a single standard for handling or fighting human rights violations and pressures. The founding charter of the United Nations and other international agreements are largely formulated upon Western culture and premises, and imposed upon the rest of the world. However, any effort to create a basis for agreement by making use of as many cultures as possible will ensure that an awareness of rights and laws is more quickly internalized and, therefore, becomes more functional around the globe. In this way, it will be easier to formulate a readily acceptable notion of human rights and international conventions. Additionally, ethical rules that everyone can accept will be created. This method will play an important role in fighting the “ideology guardians” that do not grant any rights or freedoms to other people, as well as the tyrannical rulers who rest on repressive regimes. Certainly, there should be a single standard that will be formulated openly through negotiations on a global scale.