UN Human Rights Council, Geneva,
Agenda Item 9, General Debate, 26 September, 2016,
On behalf of: Asian-Eurasian Human
Oral Statement by Sultan Shahin,
Founding Editor, New Age Islam
While the world’s attention is focused on
violent extremism practised by a section of Muslims, gross violations of human
rights are taking place in various Muslim societies in the name of religion.
In a South East Asian country, the Arabic
name of God is monopolised by Muslims. Non-Muslims using the traditional term
Allah for God are punished.
In a South Asian Muslim country thousands
of Hindu and Christian girls, many under the age of 18, are abducted, forcibly
converted to Islam, and then “married” to their abductors.
In a Middle Eastern country, courts allow
marriages of as small as 9-year-old girls and force them to consummate their
“marriage” and live with their husbands.
In my own country, India, Muslim husbands
can utter the word talaq, meaning divorce, thrice in a row, and legally throw
their wives out of their homes in less than a minute.
While these are gross violations of human
rights, they also amount to denigrating the religion of Islam.
Many criminal acts including terrorism are being practised as if they
have been ordained by Islamic scriptures. (Photo credit: Reuters)
All these and many other similar social
evils and criminal acts including terrorism are practiced as if they have been
ordained by Islamic scriptures.
This calls for deep introspection in the
Muslim community. We Muslims should not allow our religion to be hijacked in
Mr. President, I would like to make a request, through you, to the
representatives of Muslim countries in the Council.
Dear Sirs, Madams, Please start a serious dialogue with theologians in your countries
and ask them to open the gates of Ijtihad, the creative re-thinking. This was
not only permitted, but ordained by God, in Islam’s primary scripture, the holy
Quran, as no other Prophet was to come after Mohmmad (saw).
We Muslims must revisit our theology in the
light of the needs of the 21st century. We are not living in the 7th century
and can neither fight those early battles nor organise our societies in that
and Religious Intolerance in Islamic Societies Is a Result of Deliberate
Misinterpretation of Islamic Scriptures, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC
Critics of Moderate Islam
Need To Reflect Why So Many Millions of Us Are Leaving Islam for Christianity
or Simply Calling Ourselves Ex-Muslim
Fully Protects Human Rights of Religious Minorities: Sultan Shahin tells UNHRC
and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC
Letter to Maulana Firangimahali: Why Do Moderate Ulema Stay Silent When
Terrorists Claim - 'Islam Has Never Been A Religion Of Peace, Not Even For A
Have Failed So Far and Should Not Be Allowed To Affect Global Multiculturalism,
Sultan Shahin Tells Parallel Meeting at UNHRC in Geneva
Note: The above speech in UNHRC has also
been published by India Today's online newspaper Daily O and is available on:
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