First Muslim Human Rights Commission to Launch End December

Source: Credit: Eva Bartlett/IPS: By Carey L. Biron: WASHINGTON, Dec 13 2012 (IPS) – Gathering for the first time here in Washington, representatives of the newly established human rights commission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stated Thursday that they plan to start their substantive work by the end of the month.

The commission’s priority areas will include women’s and children’s issues, political and minority rights, as well as the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“In recent months we have outlined a series of priority issues, and we now plan to start our work to highlight those issues in working groups later this month in Jeddah,” the commission’s chair, Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, told journalists in Washington on Thursday.

“In particular, this commission is expected to work on removing misperceptions over the issue of perceived incompatibility between Islam and universal principles of human rights.”

On this latter point, she and others involved with the new body are emphasising that the commission’s mandate is to deal with civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in the context of universal application – that the commission will not be attempting to apply any hybrid understanding of human rights as filtered through Islam. They also reiterate that the OIC itself is a political, not a religious, body.

Founded in 1969 and representing 56 countries and the Palestinian Authority, the OIC is the second-largest intergovernmental organisation in existence, after the United Nations. The idea of creating an OIC-wide body on human rights first officially surfaced in 2005, when the member states agreed to a new 10-year plan that included the commission’s formation.

The commission’s priority areas will include women’s and children’s issues, political and minority rights, as well as the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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1 reply

  1. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will do well safeguarding the basic human rights of the Muslim minorities. This is where they will be tried the most.

    To achieve these goals OIC will need to stick to the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights from 1949 and more recent Amman Message and not try to reinvent the wheel to rationalize atrocities against minorities.

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