Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – In commemorating the 9th anniversary of the ‘Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity Day’, , adopted by the 38th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in 2011, the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) called on all Member States to enhance their joint efforts, in this time of crisis, to uphold their human rights obligations and maintain human dignity in all their policies.
The Commission added that the sanctity of human life and maintenance of human dignity is the basis of all teachings of Islam. Islamic principles of human rights are codified in the Holy Quran, traditions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), and exemplified through the ‘Charter of Medinah’. In his last Hajj Sermon, the Prophet Muhammad categorically declared that: “All of you are from Adam, and Adam was from the ground. The noblest of you in Allah’s sight is the most god-fearing.” Islam also categorically rejects all sorts of discrimination based on caste, creed, or color and grants/upholds the rights of women and other disadvantaged segments of the society.
The Jeddah-based IPHRC stressed that the conceptual foundation of human rights in Islam places a strong emphasis on the inherent dignity of human beings and their equality before the law, which is in harmony with the universal human rights principles. Accordingly, compassion should prevail, and human dignity should remain a top priority in all ongoing efforts to overcome the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic on all aspects of people’s livelihood. While appreciating their efforts to this end, IPHRC urged all OIC Member States to recalibrate their strategies to pursue human rights-based approaches to minimize the socio-economic after-shocks of the pandemic.
Reflecting on the human rights situation in the year 2020 and beyond the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission expressed grave concern over the human rights violations disproportionately affecting the lives of millions of Muslims across the world. From the critical human rights situation faced by the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the continued sufferings of Palestinians and Kashmiris under the worst occupation regimes, ever-increasing instances of Islamophobia; to the rising number of refugees and displaced people around the globe, Muslim populations top the lists of human rights victims. In the wake of these grave human rights challenges, the world needs to revive the shared values of freedom, justice, and equality of humankind and to reinforce its abiding commitment to fulfilling international human rights obligations, the Commission added.
Against the growing incidences of hate speech, xenophobia, racial and religious intolerance, the Commission urged all stakeholders in the international community to reinforce respect for diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, democracy, and the rule of law, which are at the core of human rights and fundamental freedoms. To this end, it urged all States to work together with their political, religious and community leaders to: promote a better understanding of the universal human rights values; collectively deal with the underlying causes of racism and religious intolerance, including their contemporary manifestations, i.e., Islamophobia; uphold the values of multiculturalism, and to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security.
Stressing the importance of preserving the noble values of Islamic human rights, the Commission reiterated OIC’s concerns against attempts to promote non-universal and divisive concepts as Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as human rights, which are counterproductive for the promotion of the international human rights regime and undermine the consensual nature of the existing human rights architecture. It urged the OIC Member States to uphold Islamic human rights principles as a basis to cooperate with the international community with a view to depoliticizing the universally agreed human rights standards and ensure their impartial and non-discriminatory implementation.