OIC Press Release
|27 March 2000|
Addressing the 56th session of the International Human Rights Commission, Dr. Azeddine Laraki, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), reaffirmed that cooperation between the OIC and the United Nations Organization witnessed a marked increase, over the past few years, an all levels, especially in the field of human rights.
Dr. Laraki stated that his participation in the present session was yet another proof of the ongoing coordination between the two organizations. Part of the fruits of such a coordination, he mentioned, was co-sponsorship of a symposium whose theme was: “Enriching the universality of human rights: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights from an Islamic Perspective.” The symposium was held in Geneva towards the end of 1998. Dr. Laraki dwelt at length on the concept of human rights in Islam, pointing out that a researcher can grasp the meaning of human rights in Islam only if he understands, first, the characteristics through which Islam had distinguished the human race from the rest of all creatures, while dignifying Man as an absolute value, whence the flaw in the studies produced by the majority of orientalists who examined Islam as a religion and a civilization without much neutrality and the supposed scientific objectivity in such undertakings, which left an unsound impression about this religion and distorted its deep-rooted values and culture. Dr. Azeddine Laraki said that this was due to the conflict between the West and Islam for the past centuries, from the Crusades to the European colonization of many an Islamic country in the 19th century and the sequels, or residues, of such a conflict whose effects appeared in all the writings and studies about Islam:
Dr. Laraki showed that the concept of equality in Islam applied to all people, regardless of any considerations of ethnicity, color, race, gender, creed, social or economic status, and that the only difference between people lied in the degree to which he or she feared God, which made the Islamic system that categorically rejects all sects and doctrines glorifying ethnicity and inciting for fanaticism the most noble ever known to mankind throughout its long history.
The OIC secretary-general strongly denounced the continuation of human rights violations which numerous peoples here and there in the four corners of the globe were still subjected to, as best exemplified by the violations of the rights of the peoples of Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq and Chechnya.
To conclude with, Dr. Laraki urged for an end to all human rights breaches, the world over, so as to enable all peoples everywhere to enjoy the same rights including those pertaining to education, health and development, in an adequate moral climate, and to eradicate poverty, misery, famine, illiteracy and other scourges. He pointed out that all this could be achieved through international cooperation resting on mutual will, understanding and respect of the cultural specificities of every people. Dr. Laraki said he firmly believed that the dialogue among civilizations, called for by the OIC which seriously and energetically endeavours to lay down its foundations – noting that the U.N. had decided to celebrate it in the year 2001 – was made to considerably enhance cooperation frameworks at the doorsteps of the third millennium.