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Islam has potential to push better human rights norms: OIC Chief

Monday February 20, 2012 10:13:03 PM, IINA

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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", he added.


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.









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