Religious leaders support battle against human trafficking

By Hani Hazaimeh

AMMAN – Religious leaders are going to join the battle against human trafficking by highlighting the negative impact of this crime on society during their sermons.

Interfaith specialists and clerics participating in a workshop on human trafficking yesterday pointed out that both Islam and Christianity emphasise the importance of respecting human rights and dignity.

Father Nabil Haddad, president of the Jordan Interfaith Coexistence Research Centre, told The Jordan Times that all religions underscore respect for human dignity and no one has the right to exploit or take advantage of others to make a profit at the expense of human rights.

“The Holy Bible clearly states the importance of preserving human rights and dignity as stipulated in Luke 4:18,” he added quoting the text: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

Trafficking in persons is a crime that requires all segments of the society to work together, noted Haddad, who spoke at the workshop yesterday.

“At the centre we have been working on raising this issue in several activities. Over the next few months we will be holding two programmes in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins University targeting imams and religious figures as well as women, to educate them on the best means to spread public awareness on this crime,” he added.

In his address at the event, Abdul Nasser Abu Basal, president of the World Islamic Sciences and Education University, noted that the penalty for human trafficking, when it becomes organised and comprehensive, is the same as the punishment for robbery.

Citing a verse in Surat Al Maida of the Holy Koran and a Hadith by the Prophet Mohammad, he said this penalty also applies to those who force women, children and the elderly to donate organs in exchange for money.

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