Jakarata: In reference to Islamophobia, the
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin
Ihsanoglu on February 20 said that
there is a motivated campaign at portraying Islam as inherently
incompatible with international human rights norms and standards.
“I am of a firm belief that the case is exactly the opposite,”
Ihsanoglu stressed while opening the First Session of the Independent Permanent
Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Islam in fact has the normative
potential to add to the modern values and standards and push for
better implementation, both at the social and political levels",
Ihsanoglu said that the effort and positive energy put in the
process of establishing the Commission by both the General
Secretariat and Member States is commendable. It aptly reflects
the ongoing process of ‘moderation and modernization’ at the
Organization. It symbolizes resolute Joint Islamic Action that
forms the defining characteristic of the new OIC.
“We took action
in a swift and time-bound fashion and framework,” he added.
Furthermore, establishment of the Commission is a major focus of
international attention, according to the Secretary General. It
also reflects the Member States’ priority interest in and
commitment to Human Rights.
“Its true potential lies in making a sterling contribution to the
credibility of OIC,” pointed out Ihsanoglu.
“Its work must represent a confluence of universal rights and
freedoms and Islamic values. It must catalyze coherent and strong
intra OIC system aimed at facilitating the full enjoyment of all
Human Rights in the Member States,” said the Secretary General.
Addressing the Commission members, Ihsanoglu said that for the
first time in its history, OIC has created a permanent body of
experts as one of its principle organs. The innovation lies in the
views expressed on the basis of the members’ personal capacity and
not as government representatives.
He pointed out to the Commission members that the IPHRC Statute
has entrusted the Commission with broad mandates. The advisory
capacity lends the Commission with the necessary space for
positive interpretation of the mandates.
“The advantage of your
expertise is indeed vital and must not be squandered. It needs to
be utilized to review and update OIC instruments, including the
Cairo Declaration and the Covenant on the Rights of the Child in
Islam,” he affirmed.