For many years the ICRC in Pakistan has been engaging with Islamic faith-based humanitarian organizations and think-tanks on the topic of neutral humanitarian action. In 2014, the ICRC, in collaboration with the International Islamic University Islamabad, organized an international conference on this very subject. The ICRC has also been working closely with Pakistan’s preeminent think-tank, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Islamabad, about humanitarian principles and neutral humanitarian action.

In November 2021, the ICRC and IPS jointly organized a two-day national conference on “Islam and Neutral Humanitarian Action”. In response to the call for papers, a good number of Islamic scholars and humanitarian professionals prepared research on the topic. The papers presented at the conference generated very constructive debate, resulting in the first joint publication by the ICRC and IPS. This collaborative book “Islam and Neutral Humanitarian Action” has been compiled by Dr. Ziaullah Rahmani, ICRC Regional Advisor for Islamic Law, and Syed Nadeem Farhat, Senior Researcher at IPS.

The first part of the book elaborates on the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s humanitarian principles as well as the ICRC’s dialogue with Islamic circles and Islamic perspectives on humanitarian principles and neutral humanitarian action. The remainder of the book discusses such related issues as the practical dimensions of humanitarian action, the role of religious networks, and the challenges of humanitarian activities in Pakistan.

There was a general air of agreement among the scholars that the seven humanitarian principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are in line with the principles of Islam, and that Islam recommends neutrality in humanitarian or relief activities. The life of the Prophet Muhammad, his companions and their teachings demonstrate that they did not discriminate on the basis of creed or colour when providing relief.

Please find the book here.