Justice must be applied globally

Flora Teckie

Flora Teckie

Published Feb 17, 2024


Flora Teckie

The World Day of Social Justice, observed on February 20 is a reminder of the need for the application of justice towards everyone – in our families and our communities, in our country and globally.

Observing social justice requires that every member of the human family – from whatever race, nationality, religion, gender or ethnic group they may be – are treated equally and with dignity.

Creating a just world order requires daily application of justice by individuals, and a “just legislation in accord with the Divine laws which guarantee the happiness of society and protect the rights of all mankind, … laws ensuring the integrity of the members of society and their equality before the law”, state the Baháí Writings.

Justice must be applied globally – not only locally or nationally – if unity of humanity is to become a reality. Current justice systems in many parts of the world, however, not only overlook, but sanction injustices towards those who are not within their boundaries or are not from the same background. For example “ If a man kills another, no matter what the cause may be, he is pronounced a murderer, imprisoned or executed; but the brutal oppressor who has slain one hundred thousand (in a war) is idolized as a hero, conqueror or military genius”.

Some other examples are, racial discrimination, religious intolerance, or gender-based prejudice – prevalent in many parts of the world. Such discriminations and intolerances are grave injustices and are major barriers to unity and peace.

Application of justice entails fair-mindedness in our judgments and treating others with equity. It means application of justice daily, in everything we do and towards all our fellow human beings.

According to the Baháí Writings: “Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality. Its operation must be carried out in all classes, from the highest to the lowest. Justice must be sacred, and the rights of all the people must be considered”.

Global social justice cannot be attained unless complete freedom from prejudice of race, class, gender, creed, or colour is universally practised. Social justice also implies the right of everyone to live in a prejudice-free, just, and peaceful world.

“No light can compare with the light of justice. The establishment of order in the world and the tranquillity of the nations depend upon it,” says Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. He further asserts that in the sight of God, justice is “the best beloved of all things" since it permits each one of us to see with our own eyes rather than the eyes of others, to know through our own knowledge rather than the knowledge of our neighbour or a particular group that we belong to.

Thus, to be just each individual should be able to, and has the moral obligation to, search for truth independently and not to imitate others. Investigating truth individually, to see with our own eyes rather than the eyes of others, to know through our own knowledge rather than the knowledge of our neighbour, will lead to unity because as stated in the Bahá’í Writings: “Truth is one when it is independently investigated, it does not accept division. Therefore the independent investigation of truth will lead to the oneness of the world of humanity”.

Furthermore, to be just means that we should eradicate poverty globally. Poverty is a condition that arises from the injustices in society. In order to create a just and peaceful global society, the extremes of both wealth and poverty must be eliminated”.

Pretoria News