A two-day international conference on challenges and perspectives of humanitarian action in the light of sharia and international humanitarian law opened today in Islamabad. The conference, co-organized by the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Pakistan, is being attended by a large number of participants from the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

“This initiative is part of the continuing efforts of the ICRC and IIUI to examine the compatibility of humanitarian law with the rules of Islamic law for armed conflict and with Islam in general,” said Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Pakistan. “It is important to work together with Islamic institutions to preserve the life and dignity of victims of armed violence, ensure the safety of medical personnel and enable humanitarian action in the contemporary polarized world.”

In 2004, the ICRC and the IIUI organized a first international conference to promote understanding and knowledge of the rules of Islamic law for armed conflict and to highlight the compatibility of international humanitarian law with Islam. The 2004 conference paved the way for similar events throughout the Middle East, Asia and Europe.