02/05/2018, 20.01
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Imam Drouiche slams rape jihad, a crime against humanity (III)

by Hocine Drouiche

Islamic law that justifies slavery and rape against women and children should be amended. Muslims must overcome silence and immobility, and denounce genocide, in order to achieve coexistence.

Nimes (AsiaNews) – We publish here the final part of the analysis by Hocine Drouiche, imam of a Nîmes mosque and vice-president of the Conference of Imams of France. In the first and second part, he highlighted the violence perpetrated by Daesh against Christians and Yazidis, women and children, in Syria and in Iraq, noting how they are endorsed and justified by Islamic works disseminated by cultural centres and even universities. In this last part, he suggests some steps to reform Islamic law. In it, he denounces genocide and crimes against humanity and calls for ways to rethink Islam so that it can coexist with the rest of the world.

In order to deal with this delicate situation and contribute to a better understanding of all these aspects of Islam, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is increasingly organising discussions, engaging in negotiations and meetings with Muslim scholars, often Sufis, in Muslim States torn by armed conflicts.

Such meetings in times of armed conflicts complete the conferences organised in times of peace, and are intended to highlight the common points between international humanitarian law and Sharia, thus promoting respect for the first by the followers of the second. NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and the Geneva Appeal have also adopted the same approach so as to be able to, on the one hand, inform and educate armed groups engaged in conflicts in Muslim states, and, on the other, teach them - if possible – to respect for these teachings and obligations.

It is necessary to ratify the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to facilitate the implementation of universal criminal jurisdiction. Thanks to all these efforts, we may be able to measure how much objectives and developments are achieved and realised.  The main goal is to get all parties involved to implement them, creating an environment that can truly lead to the respect for and application of international humanitarian law.

All the considerable efforts made by Muslim states since they became involved in elaborating international humanitarian law – through active participation in the diplomatic conferences of 1949 and 1977 – run the risk of being undermined by Jihadi terrorist groups like Daesh (Islamic State), which do not respect and do not value positive law and continue to traffic in and rape women, as well as sell African prisoners as slaves. And all this in the name of an Islamic Law that remains full of ambiguities and contradictions despite all the efforts to amend it.

Mass rape and other serious abuses by the Islamic State against Yazidi civilians, especially women, constitute crimes against humanity. These crimes are very serious. They include rape, sexual enslavement, slavery, illegal detentions, religious persecution, and other inhumane acts that intentionally cause serious suffering as part of generalised or systematic attacks against civilian populations. This is what Jihadi groups have done against Yazidis, Iraqi and Syrian Christians, and other local minorities.

Islamist terrorism and sexual enslavement will disappear only when all the texts that teach Muslim youth, imams and the majority of Muslims around the world these barbaric and inhuman brutality are burnt.

As long as such teachings are not challenged, universities and religious centres will continue to directly and indirectly produce terrorist groups, which thrive under different names, like Daesh, al Qaeda, Aqpa, Aqmi, Boko Haram, Shabab, al-Nusra Front, Ansar Dine, Ansar al-Sharia, etc.

If Muslims want to be respected around the world, then it is necessary to teach our children that human beings are all equal in law regardless of their religion and that violence and sexual slavery are crimes against humanity. Until the situation changes, Eastern Christians, Yazidis and other minorities will continue to live in fear of persecution and slavery. These crimes are committed by a barbaric Islamist minority that will always be encouraged by the unacceptable silence and shocking immobility of most Islamic institutions and the majority of Muslim communities.

In the absence of a profound internal reform of Islam, the dawn of newfound freedom and restored security will be slow to rise. In the meantime, religious minorities will continue to pay the price for any delay.

The Islamic State’s military defeat in Iraq and Syria has not stopped “radicalised mosques” and Shia circles from promoting “narratives of hatred”, especially against Christians. Are we moving towards a new path that will continue Daesh’s work?

The silence and immobility of the Muslim majority towards genocide against their Christian and Yazidi countrymen and countrywomen, in both Muslim countries as well as in the West, remain a real obstacle that prevents the normalisation of relations between Muslims and local minorities and the non-Muslim world as a whole.

Such normalisation must be based on human brotherhood, citizenship, and the rule of law that upholds neutrality and the principles of secularism, and guarantees religious freedom to all citizens without restrictions, and respect for the right of every citizen to his or her own religious beliefs, as well as their right to change creed and worship as they please, as well as the right not to practice or worship at all.

This kind of indispensable, concerted, open and tolerant normalisation will not go against any religion, but will prevent them from propagating their influence within the political, public and administrative spheres, whilst keeping spiritual and philosophical ideas within the exclusive domain of individual conscience and freedom of opinion.

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