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Speech by IRCS president at International Conference on Islam and IHL

I thank God and I’m so pleased for being here before great religious scholars, expertise and General Directors and staff of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the field of Islam and International Humanitarian Law. Holding such a great conference is a pleasure because in the first phase, we will be benefited from views and opinions of religious scholars and clerics and in the second phase, by combination of such religious opinions and approaches with academics theories of scholars in the field of IHL, we are going to explain and deepen the notions, principles and existed values in the best way.

Dear Scholars, Distinguished Clerics and Colleagues,  

Today, our world is replete with different crises and hazards that more than past lead to suffering and annoyance of human Conscience. Daily events in our region and all brutalities which have been occurred and going to be continued in the battlefield and hostilities, represents the human challenges, philanthropy, spreading the terror and violence and planting the seed of revenge and vengeance among human beings. The continuity and insistence on stability of this situation can inflict serious impacts on human dignity and common human and religious values.

The ancient region of Middle-East, which upon a time was considered as the source of civilization and appearance of the prominent theological religions, todays involved with war, terrorism and bloody armed conflicts which are unprecedented during the history and such situation suffers every human being. The current situation in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, not only compliance with any religion, it rather leads to a sense of shame for Islam community with every belief and religion. Afore mentioned developments caused to forget and ignore the old wound of human community, namely the displacement of millions of Palestinians.

The main important point, which renews and makes these stories sad is the endless and continuance of events, which the existence of at least one of them could not be bearable for the world. Nowadays, attack on hospitals, medical and health centers, ambulances, relief workers, nurses and other medical personnel is daily news in media. The fear is that this situation is considered as normal process. The message of this is not only to warn and prevent of normalizing such news, rather it seeks to show that such brutal violent actions is not compatible to any logic and religion and cannot be justified any way and it is to be condemned and the perpetrators have to be brought before justice.

The important and considerable point regarding the above mentioned developments and events is that the ruthlessly, brutal and inhumane acts which has been done by now, all of them have been done by misusing Islam and under its name. The result of such citation is to show the image of Islam as a violent and rough image throughout the world in different ways; but, conversely, Islam always is represented as the religion of peace, logic and also a religion which protects human rights and even animals and plants during armed conflicts.

As Imam Ali says: « لبس الاسلام لبس الفرو مقلوبا , it means:  the distance between the fact and spirit of Islam and the thing that exist, is a paradoxical distance; In the way that Islam which is considered and recognized as a religion of peace, friendship and protecting the rights of all creatures, has been shown as the symbol of militant, inhumane and Medieval religion and it is the greatest cruelty to Islam that unfortunately is done by ignorant people.

Therefore, in this field, the mission of the Islamic world would be heavier than before and they have to condemn such obscene and heinous actions. In addition to condemnation and more important than it, it is necessary that they have to take all their bests and appropriate measures in order to explain and illustrate the substantial and genuine Islamic jurisprudence in field of war and conduct of hostilities. Valuable teaching of Islam besides the international humanitarian law can play an important role for preventing the violation of war victims as well.

Holding this international conference in Qom, in fact is prominent point in this particular period of time, which can be taken into account as a serious step toward the current situation and also can be a suitable action in line with transmitting and conducting the message of peace, friendship and Islamic kindness in the world and Islamic world. Deal with special and related issues in the field of IHL, reflecting the approaches toward related issues with usage the credible sources and texts in order to prove the truthfulness of Islamic opinions and jurisprudence concerning the human kind and humanity has a significant importance. This will be met and realized through dialogue, Islamic scholar endeavors and their serious efforts in this regard.

Definitely, richness and abundance of Islamic sources concerning the important and contemporary issues of IHL is so great that we can claim that Islam is one of the main IHL sources. Existence of Quran verses; deeds and religious jurisprudence in the field of human being, dignifying the different aspects of human rights during armed conflicts confirm such expansion.

Undoubtedly, explaining and theorizing the influence modality of religious approaches on promotion and strengthening the rules and principles of IHL in practice can prove the mentioned claim that naturally, its realization is a mission that the religious scholars would take it into practice, and for this reason, our conference is considered as a good and appropriate measure and mean for its evolution.

As the president of the Iranian Red Crescent Society and National Committee of Humanitarian Law, I thank and appreciate all taken measures and efforts for holding the conference, in particular the staff of the Comparative Center for Islam and IHL and their honorable academic members specially the secretary of the conference and also I would like to thank the supports of the International committee of Red Cross in this regard.

With valuable and active presence and participation of all scholars and cleric persons through exchanging opinions, ideas and experiences on different pillars of the Conference, I hope we could see the explanation and promotion of the related Islamic notions and principles in the field of IHL in the best way, so that the message of peace, friendship, kindness, respect and protecting the human dignity of Islam is transmitted to all over the world once again and hope, by these means, we could emphasize more on the master scout of Islam in protection of altruism and humanism.

With many thanks for your attention.      


Dr. Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee