Dr. Abdulfatah Abnauf: racism is a major crime and attack against the Creator, natural order and divine legislation
26 November، 2023

At the kind invitation of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), His Eminence Dr. Abdel Fattah Mahmoud Abnauf, Director of the Planning and International Cooperation Department at the Academy, delivered a speech at the International Conference on: “Elimination of Racial Discrimination from an Islamic and Human Rights Perspective”, on Sunday, 12 Jumada Al-Awwal 1445 AH corresponding to 26 November 2023 AD in Jeddah.

His Eminence began his speech at the first session entitled (Islamic and Institutional Normative Frameworks for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) by saying: “First of all, I record my thanks and appreciation to the Independent Permanent Commission for Human Rights for organizing this session at this stage that our Islamic Ummah is going through.” He then spoke about three pillars of Islamic normative and institutional frameworks to eliminate racial discrimination, saying: “The first pillar: on some Islamic principles and guidelines in eliminating racial discrimination, the second pillar: institutional aspects by focusing on the efforts made by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy in this context through its seminars, scientific conferences and decisions issued by it, and the third pillar: proposals on some treatments and solutions to eliminate racial discrimination.” Referring to the definition of racial discrimination, he said: “Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”.

He then spoke about racism as one of the social diseases that Islam fought, saying: “Islam considered racism a major crime and a blatant attack on the Creator of the universe, and the divine and legislation He made. And that Islam from the very beginning of the mission of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) closed all doors leading to racial discrimination, by preserving rights and making many religious slogans a reason for achieving unity in society. Praying close to each other and in straight rows, pilgrimage in one uniform, fasting at the same time, and other acts of worship in order to preserve the cohesion of society from disintegration and from the shield of hatred among human beings. He also fought racism, fanaticism, violence and extremism and legislated universal teachings and sound legislation that, if we apply it well to our reality, can help in eliminating slavery, domination and racial discrimination.”

His Eminence then spoke about the first pillar, referring to the principles that address racism, saying: “First: the principle of equality: It means that everyone is equal in rights and duties without discrimination because of sect, class, clan, or lineage, and everyone enjoys rights without discrimination. Islam has recognized the principle of equality for all people, regardless of their differences, and the Qur’anic and Hadith evidence is abundant, including: ﴿O people, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created the spouse from that soul, and created from them many men and women, and fear God by whom you wonder and the wombs, that God was upon you vigilant ﴾, and his saying, peace and blessings be upon him: (All people are equal, there is no difference for an Arab on a non-Arab, or for a non-Arab on an Arab, or for a red on a black, or for a black on a red except by piety).

Equality exists in rights and duties, rulings, worship and beliefs, but disparity and restriction for the administration of justice for both sexes, and for what each one improves and suits his instinct and creation, and people are differentiated according to their deeds: (and for all degrees of what they have done). However, it must be emphasized that what gives these rights strength is that they are not the status of human beings, but are decided by the wise lawgiver , the Creator of mankind, and shown by the honourable Sunnah of the Prophet, and that they are inclusive of all humanity.”

His Eminence then referred to practical examples written by Islam in the integration between Muslims from different countries, saying: “Islam set the most wonderful examples of religious coexistence in the early days of Islam, including the Medina document, which is considered the most eloquent evidence of religious diversity more than one thousand and four hundred years ago, and it establishes civil society for coexistence in all its spectrums and components, as Islam applied this without differentiation of origins or genealogy and brought together Bilal Al-Habashi, Salman Al-Farsi, and Suhaib Al-Rumi with other companions, which is evidence of the fusion of nationalities – ethnicities – clans and colours under one banner – and one religion and one law.

He then referred to the second principle of treating racism, saying: “Second: The principle of justice: The individual has the right to defend himself whenever he is wronged: (God does not like to speak out badly except for those who have been wronged and God is All-Knowing). He also has the right to resort to an independent legitimate authority that can protect and do justice to him and defend him from the injustice he has suffered, as well as several rights, including: That he is protected by original innocence unless the conviction is proven before a fair court, and that there is no criminalization except by a legal text, and that one is not accused of the crime of another person. Justice requires that a person be held accountable for his actions and behaviours, that accountability does not extend to his family or relatives, and other rights such as the right to protection from torture, from abuse of power, the right to protect and not violate his honour and reputation, and the right to asylum.

He then spoke about the third principle to treat racism, saying: “Third: the principle of human dignity: respect for human dignity regardless of religion, sex, colour or race, respect for the feelings of others who have different religions and not ridicule and mock their beliefs. “We have honoured the children of Adam.”

His Eminence then referred to the fourth principle of treating racism, he said: “Fourth: fanaticism: It is the fanaticism of a person in his belief, and in what he sees of words or deeds and his claim of perfection for himself according to his whim, and racism blamed in our Islamic law: (There is no one among us who called for racism), including boasting and boasting of fathers and genealogy, peace and blessings be upon him: (Let it, it is stink).

Tribal fanaticism differs from the love of the tribe and the honour of belonging to it, and fanaticism has many types: intellectual, religious, sectarian, political, class, racial and other types. It is worth mentioning here that one of the most important objectives of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy is to renounce sectarian fanaticism and exaggeration in religion and to accuse sects and their followers of infidelity by spreading the spirit of moderation, and tolerance among the followers of different Islamic sects and groups.”

He then went on to talk about the second pillar, the institutional effort through the International Islamic Fiqh Academy in the treatment of racism, he said: “The Academy has dealt with some aspects related to the subject, whether directly or indirectly, through its scientific conferences, and I refer here to some resolutions and recommendations on the subject, and that it can be referred to in detail through the Academy’s website, including its resolution on human rights and international violence in the 14th session 2003. Resolution No. 151 at the 16th session of 2005 on the welfare of Muslim minorities, resolution No. 154 at the 17th session on the position of Islam on extremism, and terrorism, and resolution No. 163 at the 18th session on the establishment of the right to citizenship that includes non-Muslims in accordance with the legal controls in the exchange of rights with duties, the necessity of taking the initiative to get rid of the negatives experienced by Muslims in order to overcome the challenges they face, such as: Sectarian fanaticism, intellectual and behavioural extremism, unilinear approach to knowledge and others, and its resolution No. 229 at the 23rd session: on cooperation between human beings, and its resolution No. 233 at the 24th session on calling on the United Nations and Member States to enact legislation and conclude international treaties criminalizing racism, exclusion, fanaticism and racial discrimination and to include them in the legislation of Member States.

His Eminence concluded his speech with the third pillar of proposals to treat racism, saying: “Calling on educational and scientific institutions in Member States to highlight the tolerance of Islam in its bright image, which calls for the values of tolerance, love, communication with others and cooperation for good, by intensifying educational programmes and focusing on the younger generations in introducing tolerant Islamic principles, correcting many misconceptions about understanding legal texts by holding scientific courses and workshops, activating the role of scientists from preachers and specialists in the various houses of science, activating the role of the media of all kinds in introducing and enlightening the seriousness of racial discrimination, calling for racism, adopting its ideas and addressing this by all possible means, enacting legislation and laws that criminalize racial discrimination and adopt its ideas, applying deterrent laws, To eradicate racism and enslavement, and to call on countries and societies to benefit from successful experiences in ways to confront extremism, terrorism and intolerance of all kinds.”

The session was attended by a group of representatives of the Commission’s member states, observer states, national institutions and organizations concerned with human rights.


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