On the anniversary of the “Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity Day”, adopted by the 38th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in 2011, the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) reminded the Member States that respect for human rights is an indispensable condition for peace, security, political stability and socio economic and cultural development. It called upon all Member States to evaluate the contemporary human rights challenges confronted by the Muslim societies and accordingly recalibrate their strategies to deal with them in a comprehensive manner. It reaffirmed that the Islamic ideals of peace, freedom, justice and equality of mankind remain everlasting guiding principles to reinforce OIC’s abiding commitment to existing human rights laws and internationally agreed covenants.
IPHRC took the opportunity to convey its grave concern over the rise of religion based hatred that leads to violence, discrimination and denial of basic human rights. Events over the past two decades including recent examples of incitement to hatred and discrimination based on religion such as devastating and despicable killing of Muslims and non-Muslims by Daesh (ISIS) and Boko Haram etc., appalling treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, desecration of holy scriptures and sites in different parts of the world, printing of senseless caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), have all resulted in promoting a culture of discrimination and violence that has also led to loss of innocent lives and wider sense of alienation, isolation, rejection, polarization and exclusion among affected communities. IPHRC reiterated its strong rejection of radicalism, intolerance and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever they exist. It further stressed the need to consolidate regional and international efforts to address and put an end to these phenomena. It believed that it is the collective duty of the international community to consolidate universal values of humanity, to combat intolerance, discrimination and hatred and promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue for better understanding and peaceful co-existence; while observing respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
IPHRC, in line with its identified priority areas, shall continue to focus on Human Rights of women and children, Minorities, right of development as well as human rights education. Later this year, it will also hold an international workshop in Indonesia, focus of which would be to create awareness and stress the need for human rights education for different segments of society such as policy makers, judiciary, executive, security forces, media as well as its formal inclusion in education curricula including from primary levels. IPHRC believes that such a process would lead to developing values, attitudes and behaviors that are a must to uphold, protect and defend the rights of individuals and communities without discrimination.
IPHRC also resolved to work towards creating a yardstick on Islamic human rights against which Member States could measure their relevant policies and progress with a view to harmonizing their national laws with the universally agreed covenants and human rights laws. In the same spirit, IPHRC urged the Member States to accord political will and resources to realization of Islamic human rights based and driven statues, that are in line with their international human rights obligations.
The Commission also called upon International Community to continue to work together towards building the internationally agreed human rights standards without politicization, double standards, partiality and discrimination. It stressed the importance of treating all human rights for all on an equal footing in particular the right to development, non discrimination of which continues to impact on the right of hundreds of millions in the developing world. At the same time the Commission cautioned against moves by certain quarters to promote non-universal and divisive concepts as human rights, which would not only be counterproductive for the promotion of international human rights regime but would also undermine the existing unity that is essential to upholding and ensuring the implementation of present universally agreed human rights regime.
In conclusion the IPHRC reiterated that Islam places strong emphasis on the rights of individuals (Huqooq-al-Ibad) and accordingly affirmed that ensuring the inherent dignity and rights of every individual must be the raison d'être of all our actions and that these rights are to be protected and promoted everywhere and every day of the year.