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2009-05-04
Organisation of Islamic Conference Consider Independent Human Rights Commission
The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), which is made up of 57 Muslim nations, met in April to discuss establishing an independent human rights commission. The OIC Secretary-General stated, "Human rights and man's dignity are an integral part of Islam and core components of Islamic culture and heritage." The OIC already has its own Declaration of Human Rights (1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam), which expresses the central place of sharia law in the Islamic perspective on human rights, specifically in Articles 24 and 25 which state "all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah" and "the Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration." Sharia contradicts a number of elements of human rights laid down in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and thus the Cairo Declaration is all but meaningless as a guarant ee of "human rights" in the sense understood by the modern Western world.

MEDIA MIRROR: OIC human rights commission on its way
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) held its first meeting to discuss the establishment of an independent and permanent human rights commission on April 12


JEDDAH : The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) held its first meeting to discuss the establishment of an independent and permanent human rights commission on Sunday.

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu presided over the meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts for the Establishment of an OIC Independent Human Rights Commission at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah. A document prepared by the OIC, detailing the initial stages of the project, was discussed.

The OIC has already carried out extensive studies and made contact with relevant international bodies, such as the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, and the OIC Group at the UN Geneva office. The document contained a broad overview of the components of the planned commission, a description of the nature of its work, appellation, principles, objectives, functions, members, experts, recommendations and quorum.

Speaking to Arab News, Ihsanoglu said the prospective establishment of an OIC Permanent Independent Commission on Human Rights is “a most positive development.” He added that the mandate for the establishment of the commission — as provided by the OIC 10-Year Program of Action that was adopted by the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah in 2005 — was accorded a statutory status in the new OIC Charter, unanimously approved and entered into force in March 2008.

Ihsanoglu expressed hope that a body of independent experts would constitute an important pillar for ongoing reforms at the OIC with a view to transforming the organization into a body that would effectively cope with existing and emerging challenges faced by the Muslim world.

On a question drawing attention to some negative comments on the establishment of the commission that recently appeared in some sections of the Western media, Ihsanoglu emphasized that similar commissions were already in place as part of other international organizations, including the AU. Ihsanoglu said the establishment of the Commission must be appreciated as a positive development that reflected the collective will of OIC member states.

Source: Arab News - NDHF Net

OIC mulls creating own human rights commission
By EDD K. USMAN

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is planning to create its own permanent human rights commission, which Muslim leaders in the Philippines have welcomed.
According to OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanuglo, creating “an independent and permanent human rights commission” is anchored on the pan-Islamic body’s dual framework of implementing Article 15 of the new OIC Charter, which was unanimously approved and enacted in March 2008, and the OIC Ten-year Program of Action (TYPOA) that was adopted by the 3rd Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah in December 2005.

Ihsanuglo chaired the OIC’s Intergovermental Group of Experts’ first meeting with the human rights body as the agenda at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last April 12.

In a statement sent to the Manila Bulletin yesterday, the OIC said, “The Secretary General underscored in a speech he delivered at the opening session of the meeting that human rights and man’s dignity are an integral part of Islam and core components of Islamic culture and heritage.”

Muslim leaders that include Ishak Mastura, deputy executive director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Zainudin Malang, peace process analyst and human rights advocate; Pendatun Disimban, president of the Assalam Bangsamoro People’s Association (ABPA); and Jolly Lais, lead convenor of the Peoples Solidarity Action for Peace (PSAP), welcomed and lauded the OIC for its plan on the human rights body.
Malang said this will be significant on the situation of the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao.

“We welcome the setting up of an independent and permanent human rights commission by the OIC, (which could also) look into the situation in the Bangsamoro homeland. For a long time, the human rights impact of the Mindanao conflict has been given little attention by the international community,” said Malang.

“Human rights violations are both the cause and consequence of the conflict. The conflict cannot be resolved without addressing this issue. Perhaps, once the OIC human rights commission is organized, this issue that is high in the list of concerns of the Bangsamoro will finally be highlighted,” he said.
“OIC countries are not exactly beacons of human rights. But if it is OIC itself and not any particular country or countries, then that is indeed a significant development for the Moros because they can have a forum to go for human rights (issues),” said Mastura.

Meanwhile, Disimban of the militant ABPA group, thanked the OIC – the world’s second largest body after the United Nations, for its initiative.
“We thank and welcome the move of the OIC to set up its human rights body as this would institutionalize its services to the growing number of victims of human rights violations, especially among the discriminated Bangsamoros in the Philippines,” Disimban said.

Source: Manila Bulletin

OIC Rights Body Revives Filipino Muslim Hopes

"For a long time, the human rights impact of the Mindanao conflict has been given little attention by the international community," said Malang.

CAIRO — Plans by the world's largest Muslim group to create its own rights commission is raising hopes among Filipino Muslims to end the conflict in violence-torn South.
"We welcome the setting up of an independent and permanent human rights commission by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, (which could also) look into the situation in the Bangsamoro homeland," human rights advocate Zainudin Malang told the Manila Bulletin on Saturday, April 18.

The OIC has unveiled plans to establish a permanent human rights commission.

"Human rights and man's dignity are an integral part of Islam and core components of Islamic culture and heritage," OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanuglo has said in a statement.

The commission aims to expose rights violations across the world and help disadvantaged or traumatized people get their rights.

"For a long time, the human rights impact of the Mindanao conflict has been given little attention by the international community," said Malang.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's biggest Muslim group, has been struggling to reclaim Mindanao, tipped to be the richest in natural resources among the three islands of the country, for some three decades now.

More than 120,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in the late 1960s.

More than 75,000 civilians have also been displaced in the Muslim provinces of Basilan, Midsayap and Sulu.

Mineral-rich Mindanao, Islam's birthplace in the Philippines, is home to more than 5 million Muslims.

Muslims make up nearly 8 percent of the total populace in Catholic Philippines, which Islam reached in the 13th century about 200 years before Christianity.

Hope

Filipino Muslim leaders hope that the new OIC rights body would help bring an end to the decades-long conflict in the south.

"Human rights violations are both the cause and consequence of the conflict," Malang said.

"The conflict cannot be resolved without addressing this issue.

"Perhaps, once the OIC human rights commission is organized, this issue that is high in the list of concerns of the Bangsamoro will finally be highlighted."

Ishak Mastura, deputy executive director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), echoes the same view.

"OIC countries are not exactly beacons of human rights. But if it is OIC itself and not any particular country or countries, then that is indeed a significant development for the Moros because they can have a forum to go for human rights (issues)."

Pendatun Disimban, president of the Assalam Bangsamoro People's Association (ABPA), said the move would enhance the OIC position worldwide.

"This (move) would institutionalize OIC services to the growing number of victims of human rights violations."

Source: IslamOnline.net

OIC to set up independent permanent human rights commission

by Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – The 57-country Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is setting up an “independent permanent human rights commission,” the OIC Newsletter reported.

The pan-Islamic body held its first meeting on the proposed human rights commission on April 12, with OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu presiding.

The meeting, held at the headquarters of the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was attended by the Intergovernmental Group of Experts.

The announcement was welcomed by Moro leaders in Mindanao.

“Certainly good news,” said Randolph Parcasio, a member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) panel in the Tripartite Review of the 1996 peace pact. “Please note there is no CHR (Commission on Human Rights) office in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).

“That’s a good step but it depends on the competence of their staff and people. OIC people are not exactly beacons of human rights but if it is OIC itself and not any particular country or countries, then that is indeed a significant development for the Moros because they can have a forum to go to for human rights,” said lawyer Ishak Mastura, ARMM deputy chief of staff.

“We welcome the setting up of a permanent Human Rights office by the OIC to look into the situation in the Bangsamoro. For a long time, the human rights impact of the Mindanao conflict has been given little attention by the international community. Human rights violations are both a cause and consequence of the conflict. The conflict cannot be resolved without addressing this issue. Perhaps once the OIC Human Rights office is organized, this issue that is high on the list of concerns of the Bangsamoro will finally be highlighted,” said lawyer Zainuddin Malang, executive director of the Bangsamoro Center for Law and Policy.

Datu Michael O. Mastura, a senior member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace negotiating panel said the OIC has Human rights in its agenda. “The Commission is to implement. But there’s a separate Convention on Human Rights in Islam. Let’s see where it’s heading at country levels. Some OIC countries are not even signatories to United NationsHuman Rights Convention, to HR Convention in Islam,” said Datu Michael O. Mastura, a senior member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace negotiating panel.

Lawyer Raissa Jajurie of Saligan-Mindanaw and the Bangsamoro Lawyers’ Network, said she wants to “see the framework and powers of that Commission first. I am not sure what Human Rights instruments will be used as reference.”

According to the OIC newsletter, the April 12 meeting considered a document prepared by the OIC General Secretariat that lays out an initial vision for the projected commission.

“The General Secretariat has conducted extensive studies and contacts with relevant international bodies in connection with the endeavor. Contacts included in particular the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR), and the OIC Group at the UN Geneva Office. The document examined by the participants in the meeting contains a broad overview of the components of the planned commission, a description of the nature of its work, its appellation, its principles, its objectives and functions, its members and experts, its recommendations and the quorum, besides other aspects bearing on the activities and responsibilities to be entrusted with the commission,” the OIC Newsletter said.

The Newsletter quoted Ihsanoglu as saying at the opening session that “human rights and man's dignity are an integral part of Islam and core components of Islamic culture and heritage.”

“He pointed out that international interest in the issue of human rights has spawned exponentially over the past two decades, adding that the complexity of the fields of human rights inevitably call for the need to refine the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights, which the OIC adopted in 1990, in keeping with the current global human rights discourse. Such an approach, Ihsanoglu emphasized, would open up new horizons and avenues for human rights in the Muslim world.”

Ihsanoglu was also reported as saying that setting up an OIC Human Rights Commission ”would pave the way to broaden intellectual and political reforms across the OIC Member States and deeper cooperation that would contribute to a larger promotion of the values of tolerance and fundamental freedoms, good governance, the rule of law, accountability, openness, dialogue with other religions and civilizations, the rejection of extremism and fanaticism, and the strengthening of the sense of pride in the Islamic identity.“

Source: (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews

OIC gears up to establish human rights commission

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) held a conference yesterday at its headquarters in Jeddah with the ultimate purpose of establishing an independent OIC human rights commission. Yesterday's OIC meeting, presided over by OIC Secretary-General Eklemeddin İhsanoğlu, was devoted to discussing a document prepared by the OIC General Secretariat that lays out an initial vision for the planned commission, according to a press release sent to Today's Zaman by the organization. The general secretariat has conducted extensive studies and made contacts with relevant international bodies in connection with the endeavor, the statement noted. Among the contacts are the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), the Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR) and the OIC Group at the UN Geneva office.

Participants in yesterday's meeting discussed a broad overview of the components of the planned commission, a description of the nature of its work, its appellation, its principles, its objectives and functions, its members and experts and its recommendations, as well as other aspects bearing on the activities and responsibilities to be entrusted to the commission.

İhsanoğlu underscored in a speech he delivered at the meeting that human rights and man's dignity are an integral part of Islam and are core components of Islamic culture and heritage. He pointed out that international interest in the issue of human rights has grown exponentially over the past two decades, adding that the complexity of the fields of human rights inevitably call for the need to refine the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in keeping with the current global human rights discourse. Such an approach, İhsanoğlu emphasized, would open up new horizons and avenues for human rights in the Muslim world. He also indicated that establishing an OIC human rights commission would pave the way to broad intellectual and political reform across the OIC member states and deeper cooperation that would contribute to a larger promotion of the values of tolerance and fundamental freedoms, good governance, the rule of law, accountability, openness, dialogue with other religions and civilizations, the rejection of extremism and fanaticism, and the strengthening of the sense of pride in the Islamic identity.

Source: Today’s Zaman, Istanbul
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