Concluding statement for the 4th Meeting of the IUMS Board of Trustees
Concluding statement for the 4th Meeting of the IUMS Board of Trustees
All praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His messenger Muhammad, sent as a mercy to the worlds, and on all his family and companions;
The IUMS Executive Office held its fourth meeting in Doha on 1st of Safar 1434 H, dated 14th of December 2012 to set the agenda for the 4th Meeting of the IUMS Board of Trustees in its third session in Doha on 2-3 Safar 1434 H, dated 15-16 December 2012;
Thirty seven members participated in the meeting where they discussed numerous managerial and structural issues and ways to resolve a number of problems for the Muslim world. The attendees started their meeting with a Quran recitation followed by a word by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, IUMS President, thanking the attendees for taking the trouble of traveling, and thanking the Qatar government and people, especially the Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani for his stances and support of the revolutions and the IUMS.
Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi also reviewed the history of the establishment of the union, how it was a dream for scholars, how not one Arab or Muslim country would register the union, leading them to register the union in Ireland, and how the problem was currently solved by the generous consent of the Qatari Prince. Al-Qaradawi resumed saying that he lays the responsibility on the shoulders of Muslim scholars to fulfill their duty toward the Muslim nation and towards the people to lead them forward after Allah has blessed them with this union. He also urged the scholars to utilize the Arab Spring revolutions to guide the nations and lead them as scholars must always be at the forefront of nations.
The valued sheikh praised the Arab revolutions and pointed out that the union was among the most prominent supporters of these uprisings, concluding with a prayer for these revolutions to be victorious and that Allah may complete the victory for the Syrian revolution which the sheikh asserted would happen with the will of Allah.
Attendees then proceeded with the agenda and discussions over two days that were finalized with a number of decisions and recommendations summarized in the following statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting:
Concerning the Palestinian Issue:
The union blesses the huge, strategic victory achieved by the resistance in the dignified Gaza which was a source of pride for all Arabs and Muslims all over the world. The union also hails the role of the Egyptian government in particular represented in the brave visit by its Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation during the bombing as well as the role played by President Mohamed Morsi in reaching an honorable ceasefire and its numerous underlying gains like the opening of the crossings and lifting the siege in addition to the president’s assertion that Gaza is not alone today and that Israel should know that the world has changed after the Arab spring. Moreover, the union values the historic visit to the Gaza Strip made by Qatari Prince Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani shortly prior to the war and his support to the reconstruction projects in Gaza.
The union also blesses the steps taken by Tunisia, Turkey, some Arab foreign ministers and the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation who visited the strip during and after the war.
The union also backs the positive – though smaller than the required – step of the international community’s recognition of Palestine as a UN non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly.
Taking into consideration these two major events, the victory of the resistance in Gaza and the recognition of the Palestinian state as a non-member observer at the UN, the union demands the brothers in Hamas and Fatah and other factions to make use of this paved ground to avidly return to reconciliation efforts and unite the Palestinian front - harmed along the last years by division and fragmentation – based on the core Palestinian values (including the right of return and resistance until the liberation of Palestine and its capital Jerusalem).
At the same time, the union urges the leaders of Muslim countries to take a strong stand against the settlement building movement on the Palestinian territories especially in Jerusalem, the first of the two kiblahs and the third holy mosque, and lays the religious and historical responsibility over this matter on these leaders’ shoulders. Meanwhile, the union calls on the scholars of the nation to continue their religious role in enlightening the local and international public concerning the dangers that this judaization policy in Jerusalem poses for the historic unity of the Palestinian territories which is religiously impermissible to give up one inch of it.
Concerning the countries of the Arab Spring:
These countries continue to experience a rough transitional period albeit almost two years have passed since the success of the revolutions. Counter-revolutionary powers continue to employ their utmost capabilities gained throughout their period of grasp over these states and continue to use foreign support from some entities with the aim of bringing down the revolutions and causing them to fail.
The Egyptian Case:
The union has followed with deep concern the conditions of the Egyptian revolution of two-way polarization and friction that tarnished the bright image of the Egyptian revolution that united all the constituents of the Egyptian people and removed an oppressive regime that suffocated all Egyptians.
Moreover, the union considers the referendum over the Egyptian draft constitution - which all sides agreed to participate in formulating - as an opportunity to achieve unity and agree on the goals of the revolution. On this occasion, IUMS views the following:
1- The IUMS calls on the Egyptian people in all their categories to unite, abandon fragmentation and violence, and be understanding of this tough transitional period to take their country safely to the stage of eventual stability, allow the building of the country’s constitutional institutions, enter into the process of rebuilding Egypt economically and socially and reclaim its adequate regional and international place.
2- The IUMS urges all the constituents of the Egyptian people to participate intensely in the referendum over the draft constitution and reminds all political rivals to accept the Egyptian people’s decision concerning this constitution since, in the absence of constitutional institutions, the people remain the sole source of authority and the sole entity capable of deciding over any disagreement along this transitional period.
The Tunisian Case:
The IUMS has also been following the developments and incidents that reflect obstacles in the transitional period following the glorious revolution in Tunisia where a mixture of realistic and unrealistic expectations appear. The legacy of corruption and tyranny passed down by the former regime has been enormous while the response to the challenge of delivering a change in the conditions of the people in deprived and marginalized areas remains difficult. At the same time, certain entities work within a counter-revolutionary agenda that utilizes and feeds these emotions to cause this transitional period to fail instead of ending with the declaration of a constitution with the organization of presidential and legislative elections meant to form the beginning of the phase of stability and building.
Seeing this situation in the country that sparked the Arab Spring, the IUMS stresses the following:
1- The IUMS condemns the attempts by opposing forces to distract and hinder the path of the revolution in its transitional stage.
2- The IUMS urges the troika government leading the country since the elections to devote more attention to these deprived areas, accelerate development programs in them and intensify the efforts to combat corruption.
3- The IUMS condemns the forms of violence, extremism and burning of state institutions while at the same time considering all forms of peaceful expression of discontent and opposition to authority as acceptable. Meanwhile, all acts of violence, vandalism, and damage to state institutions remain prohibited according to religion. The IUMS also calls all Islamic and national powers to adopt a moderate, collaborative method to propel the country toward the stability that would enhance the path of development especially in deprived and marginalized areas.
The Libyan Case:
The IUMS calls on all sides to value the sanctity of Libyan blood and remain aloof of all forms of individual avenge, leaving that to state institutions that would be formed to see to it that justice is done and retaliation obtained from those who committed crimes against the Libyan people prior to the revolution.
The Yemeni Case:
1- The IUMS calls on the Yemeni people to accelerate the process of reforming the security and military institutions and make serious efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people who have endured increasing poverty and need during and after the revolution.
2- The IUMS urges Arab and Muslim countries, especially the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council to support Yemen financially and economically to help the success of the transitional stage and take the country to elections that imply a state of stability and a legitimate authority.
On the Syrian Case:
1- The IUMS hails the heroic Syrian people and their continuous revolution against the oppressive regime. The Syrian people started their peaceful uprising away from violence and arms, demanding freedom and dignity but were faced with killing, violence and terrorism by the regime. Yet these demands cost Syrians thousands of deaths and injuries, the destruction of hundreds of thousands of homes, and the displacement of millions, forcing them, in the face of such organized violence, to defend their lives, dignity and freedom. And in this regard, the union praises the Free Syrian Army that stands by the Syrian people and advances confidently while combating the forces of the regime that have now been regressing day after day.
2- The IUMS reaffirms its former statements supporting the Syrian National Coalition and calls on the leaders of Arab and Muslim nations as well as free men in the world to stand by the Syrian people in their revolution and recognize this coalition as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
3- The IUMS calls on all charity organizations and businessmen to donate for the tragedy-afflicted Syrian people particularly as cold winter approaches and as thousands of this heroic Syrian nation live in the open, displaced in their own country or as refugees in some neighboring countries.
4- The IUMS calls on all Arab and Muslim countries to exert their utmost effort to arrange a dignified life for Syrian refugees and create the appropriate academic environment for their children so that they will not be deprived from studying this year.
On the Somali Issue:
1- The IUMS values the improvement of the security condition, the expansion of the territories controlled by central government which were out of its control for long years, and backs the new government and newly-elected president of the country.
2- Calls on Arab and Muslim countries, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to devote more attention to the cause of this people, provide the conditions for its passage from the state of war and chaos to the establishment of state, the reunification of the country’s regions under state control, the alleviation of poverty, provision of sufficient medication and food and the achievement of development.
On the Iraqi Issue:
The IUMS calls on the Iraqi government to end its tyrannical and exclusivist policies against sections of the Iraqi people, and condemns the executions and broad-scale arrests, storming of houses, forced displacement and other acts that harm the Iraqi people.
On the Bengali Issue:
The IUMS reasserts its demands to the Bangladeshi government to protect the Islamic identity of this Muslim country, release all Islamic leaders and opposition leaders who were unjustly accused of committing war crimes during the time of Bangladeshi independence.
Out of its concern for the stability and development of Muslim countries, the IUMS demands the Bangladeshi government to close the file of the sinister International Crimes Tribunal that only brought poverty and corruption over the country and tarnished its reputation.
On the Afghani and Kashmiri Issue:
The IUMS reaffirms its rejection of the foreign occupation of Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.
The presence of occupation forces in these fellow countries has lead them into tragedies and destruction that threaten their future and pave the way to their fragmentation into small, rival countries. Adding pain to injury, the occupation forces that claim to wage a war on terror have carried out terrorist acts that took the lives of tens of thousands of civilians and fueled the fire of different tribal and racial loyalties.
The IUMS calls on the international community to resolve the Kashmir issue within light of UN resolutions and based on the opinion of the Muslim Kashmiri people particularly since the Kashmir issue has been ground for tension and disagreement between two neighboring nuclear countries, i.e. Pakistan and India.
On the Malian Issue:
The IUMS has followed with concern the events in North Mali and the constant efforts to thrust African, Muslim countries into the furnace of internal war.
Seeing this situation, the IUMS asserts the following:
1- The IUMS calls on all sides to provide the appropriate atmosphere for a necessary dialogue obligated on all sides, to provide peace and security for everyone, and calls on armed groups and the Mali government to respond to the call of wisdom and reason to prevent this sedition.
2- The IUMS calls on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to exert all efforts in its capacity to help Mali out of this crisis and secure peaceful intervention to end the strife before its outbreak.
3- The IUMS calls on all sides to sit to the table of dialogue in order to reach a just solution that satisfies all sides and saves the region from the looming danger of foreign intervention that would not be in the best interest of the nation’s people. Needless to say, examples where intervention took place and the resulting disasters are the best witness to this fact.
On the Sudanese Case:
The IUMS values the efforts of the Sudanese Scholars Council in unifying Muslims under one word and providing counsel for leaders and people. The union has also been made aware of the efforts made by the government to stabilize the Islamic direction of thought and resume the building of the constitutional system based on the Quran and Sunnah.
The IUMS condemns the beleaguering of Sudan through international organizations and condemns the repeated assaults on eastern Sudan and the Yarmouk facility. The union praises the Sudanese stance in supporting the Palestinian issue and calls the Sudanese people to unite in harmony, and abandon tribalism, regionalization and extremism to continue the building of their aspired renaissance.
The union also demands the Sudanese government to exert utmost efforts to reach political settlements that achieve the common good for everyone.
On the Lebanese Case:
The IUMS demands the Lebanese government to put an end to their policy of aloofness and respond to Muslim demands of providing social, health, and educational aid to Syrian refugees in addition to questioning the sides that publicly support criminal gangs in Syria with ammunition, men, and weapons, to keep Lebanon away from strife.
On the Kosovan Case:
The IUMS calls on all Muslim world countries that have not yet recognized Kosovo as a state, to take the step of recognition in order for Kosovo to gain complete membership in the UN.
On the Issue of Muslim Minorities:
Muslim Rohingya Minority in Myanmar (Burma):
The IUMS has been aware of the killings and burning of hundreds of villages afflicted on the people of the Arakan region in Burma. The assaults have also continued in cooperation with the local police forces in addition to the group migration of the Muslim Rohingya minority that is native to the country.
The union is also shocked by the role of the Myanmar (Burma) government in avoiding intervention and even, contributing to this mass extermination through police forces that persistently stand by the Buddhist majority.
Seeing this war of extermination against Muslims in the Arakan region, the IUMS views the following:
1- The IUMS condemns these horrific massacres committed against our fellow Muslims in the Arakan region under the sight of the central government and at times with governmental goad.
2- The IUMS holds the Myanmar government politically, legally and humanly responsible for these criminal acts against a part of its people.
3- The IUMS strongly urges the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as well as Muslim governments to take steps to stand by our oppressed brothers and sisters in Myanmar and praises the visit made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife to Burma and meeting with Muslims there.
On the Indian Case:
The IUMS condemns the continued assaults on Muslims in India under claims of countering terrorism despite the fact that Indian courts have vindicated hundreds of Muslim youth after spending long years in prison despite clear evidence that cases were fabricated against them, and confessions extorted under internationally banned forms of torture.
The IUMS demands the Indian government to stop harassing Muslim youth behind the facade of combating terrorism and to establish temporary courts commissioned with considering the cases of those arrested but not yet vindicated who have served long years in prison. The IUMS also demands the Indian government to compensate the Muslim youth who were proved innocent in addition to a public apology to their families and to Muslims in India.
Union Stance on Contempt of Religions:
The IUMS views contempt and derision of any religion as unacceptable and shameful in Islam, and rejected by common sense and human disposition since the derision of any religion results in feelings of hatred and seditions that fuel wars which humans have grown tired of and which – once stirred – are hard to quench. Moreover, such behavior is not a requirement of the freedom of art and expression but is a requirement of the freedom of insults, harm and defamation that no one must approve of.
Hence, the IUMS calls on all reasonable and wise people in the entire world to set a code of ethics that prevents the slander of sanctities, and harming people’s religious sentiments. The union also calls for a UN resolution – which it will seek to initiate - that prohibits contempt and ridicule of religions and their established sanctities.
On Public Reform:
The IUMS views as part of its prominent mission the correction of intellectual and behavioral swerves in the Muslim world. Based on this view, the union exerts all possible efforts to spread moderate thought, awareness and correct understanding of the Shariah, to be committed to its rulings and definitive laws, to unite Muslims around it, both rulers and ruled, men and women, to remind people of obedience to the word of Allah and His messenger in individual and collective matters, in public and government affairs, to call Muslims to observe all commitments of acts of worship that are the source of happiness and gains, to preach sublime manners that preserve the unity of societies, spread a positive spirit that acts as a model to revive the civilized soul of the Ummah, resists feebleness and inner defeat to motivate the needed change in souls and behaviors as the Quran clarifies "Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change what is within their own souls).” [Quran 13:11].
In the call for comprehensive reconciliation:
The IUMS renews the call to revive the comprehensive reconciliation between all the components of the Muslim nation: between governments and people, scholars and preachers, agencies, organizations, movements, peoples, and races on the basis of guaranteed rights, of enhancing an atmosphere of freedom, broadening the base of participation, commitment to the peaceful approach in word and deed, setting the basis of justice, immediately carrying out the rulings of independent judiciary, asserting the rule of law and independence of the judiciary, ending emergency laws, immediately releasing all those who were wrongly arrested, facilitating the return of displaced citizens, underscoring the role of scholars in the reform of the Muslim nation and the call to Allah, commitment to the core religious and national principles of the Ummah, defending it and enhancing its role, and blocking the road for those lurking the downfall of the Ummah.
The IUMS praises the diligent efforts made in some Arab and Muslim countries to achieve reconciliation among all categories seeking to serve the Islamic idea, particularly those who adopted a method of violence and change-by-force for a number of years who later returned to the truthful word and the path of moderate Islam which the union adopts and calls for. In this context, the union reasserts the necessity of releasing all political prisoners in all the countries of the Muslim world, embracing everyone within practical life, within peaceful activities of religious education as an investment of their energies and utilization of their experience in protecting Muslim youth against falling as victims of the preachers of extremism, violence and takfiri thought (accusing Muslims of apostasy).
Finally, the IUMS declares its intent will to resume its efforts to guide the Ummah, repair its understanding of concepts, and drive it toward the aspired civilizational revival through a number of decisions concerning the organization of scholarly conferences, training courses, the publication of intellectual and cultural journals meant to trace all issues arising on the Islamic scene back to their origin in religion and applying them to the contemporary context according to the approved fundamentals and according to its strategic plan.
In the conclusion, the IUMS seizes the opportunity to express the deepest gratitude and prayers to the Qatari people, Prince, and government, particularly the revered prince for his generous sponsorship, stances, and for the honorable stances of his government in all political and humanitarian fields.
Doha on 3rd Safar 1434 H, 15-16th December 2012
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