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   Conferences / The twentieth General Conference : PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNAL SECURITY IN' ISLAM

In The Name of 'ALLÂH

In The Name of 'ALLÂH

The Beneficent, The Merciful


       Proceeding from the role of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Al-Azhar                 Al-Sharif and its historical responsibility towards 'Islâm and Muslims, the Egyptian Ministry of 'Al-'Awqâf called for convening in Cairo the 20th General Conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs entitled:



8 – 11 Rabîe 'Al-'Awwal, 1429 H.

March 16 – 19, 2008

Under the auspices of His Excellency President Muhammad Husnî MUBÂRAK, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the Honorary Presidency of His Eminence the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Sayyid TANTAWÎ.

       Prof. Dr. Mahmud Hamdî ZAQZÛQ, Minister of 'Al-'Awqâf and Head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, chaired the Conference.

       Representatives of the following Muslim Countries and International Islamic Organizations participated:

First: Arab Countries

1- Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan    

2- United Arab Emirates

3- Kingdom of Bahrain       

4- Tunisia

5- Algeria   

6- Djibouti

7- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia           

8- Sudûn

9- Sultanate of Oman          

10- 'Irâq

11- Palestine           

12- Qatar

13- Comoros

14- Kuwait

15- Lebanon           

16- Libya

17- Egypt   

18- Yemen

Second: African Countries

1- Ethiopia  

2- Eritrea

3- Chad      

4-  South Africa

5- Rwanda

6- Zimbabwe

7- Senegal  

8- Sierra Leone

9- Guinea Conakry

10- Cameron

11- Congo Brazzaville         

12- Kenya

Third: Asian Countries

1-  Azerbaijan         

2-  Indonesia

3-  Uzbekistan        

4-  Iran

5-  Brunei Sultanate            

6-  Bangladesh

7-  Tajikistan          

8-  East Timor

9-  Sri Lanka          

10- Singapore

11- China   

12-Kyrgyz Republic

13- Maldives          

14- Malaysia

15- Nepal   

16- India

17- Japan   

Fourth: European Countries

1-  Albania 

2-  Denmark

3-  Germany           

4-  Ireland

5-  Italy      

6-  Belgium

7-  Bosnia & Herzegovina   

8-  Turkey

9-  Montenegro      

10- Romania

11- Slovenia           

12- Switzerland

13- Serbia  

14- Vatican

15- France 

16- Finland

17- Croatia 

18- Hungary

19- Macedonia       

20- Norway

21- Greece 

Fifth: the Americas

1- Argentine           

2- Ecuador

3- United States of America            

4- Canada

5- Mexico  



Seventh: International Organizations and Associations

1-        World Islamic Council for the Da'wah and Relief.

2-        League of Arab States.

3-        Islamic Organisation for Education, Sciences and Culture (ISESCO).

4-        World Islamic Charity Organisation in Kuwait

5-        World Center for Moderation in Kuwait

6-        World Islamic Society for Da'wah  in Libya

7-        League of Islamic Universities.

The Conference was inaugurated by the speech of Egypt’s President H.E. Muhammad Husnî MUBÂRAK, delivered on his behalf by H.E. Dr. Ahmad NATHÎF, the Prime Minister.


Addressing the inaugural session were His Eminence the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Sayyid TANTÂWÎ, Sheikh Al-Azhar, His Eminence Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark, SHENOUDA III and Prof. Dr. Mahmûd Hamdî ZAQZUK, Minister of 'Al-'Awqâf and Head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Conference.  Speaking on behalf of participating delegations was Prof. Hammod 'Abdul Hamîd Al Hattar, Minister of          'Al 'Awqâf and Guidance in Yemen.

The Conference decided to consider the speech of Egypt’s President H.E. President Muhammad Husnî MUBÂRAK, as an official document of the Conference in view of the guidelines contained therein.

The proceedings of the Conference morning and evening sessions, lasted for (four) days, during which (95) researches in Arabic, English and French were presented and discussed by the distinguished participants.

The discussions focused on the following main themes:

First Theme: Principle of Faith.

1.                                 The role of faith in achieving social peace.

2.                                 Faith, reason, and behaviour

3.                                 Values and their roles in communal security.

4.                                 Religious, sectarian, and national plurality.

Second Theme:  Social Justice

1.                                 Definition of justice (distributional, compensatory and social).

2.                                 Endowments and their role in communal security.

3.                                 Zakâh (obligatory dues): types and role in achieving communal security.

4.                                 Social solidarity.

Third Theme: Social Rights.

1.                                             Right to work.

2.                                             Right to health.

3.                                             Right to education.

4.                                             Right to housing.

5.                                             Right to appropriate living.

Fourth Theme: The role of organisations in achieving communal security.

1.                                             Mosque and family.

2.                                             School and university.

3.                                             Media and culture.

4.                                             NGOs

Furthermore, seminars were held for three days in the sidelines of the  Conference, in which a number of Ambassadors accredited to Cairo from  different Western countries participated along with eminent 'Ulamas and Muslim and non-Muslim scholars from Egypt and abroad.  The Seminars addressed the following issues:

First day (Sunday 16/3/2008)        (Dialogue among religions and cooperation                   among cultures)

Second day (Monday 17/3/2008)  (Ways and means for confidence building between Islam and the West.)

Third day (Tuesday 18/3/2008)     (Cooperation mechanisms and obstacles between Islam and the West)

The Conference formed a committee to draft the recommendations headed by Dr. Jaafer 'Abdel Salam and two representatives from participating delegations to formulate the draft recommendations drawn of the researches presented as well as from discussions and interventions by high officials, 'Ulamas and scholars from the delegations of participating countries.

The Committee arrived at the following draft recommendations:

1-        Religion is the source of security and safety. True piety is the path leading to the realization of community-based security. 'Allâh’s control is the best discipline straightening out human behavior. Therefore, the Conference appeals to all community institutions to resuscitate the influence of religion on the souls of individuals and groups through enlightened religious awareness.

2-        The end of Islamic religion is to bring forth the happiness of mankind in life and in afterlife leading to disseminate community-oriented security and peace. Thus the Conference recommends that religion runs parallel exclusively with its respective purposes and not in favor of personal whims or earthly gains.

3-        Divine messages involve common values and principles certain to evoke the spirit of security, peace, justice, equality and respect for the other. The Conference therefore calls for effectuating the role of such common values and their on-the-ground infusion in Islamic societies.

4-        Difference between humans is a divine line of conduct decreeing the eventual purport of acquaintance, interaction of cultures and exchange of experiences to the best interest of humanity at large. Therefore the Conference calls for giving effect to all forms of cooperation, and reciprocal interest for mankind including action to incur good and benefit to all. Difference should not be taken as a medium for conflict or a means of assault, in affirmation of His Saying: “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another.” (Al – Hujurat: 13).

5-        The foundation of community security any time and in any place is the synonym of the achievement of distribution-related, social and compensatory justice. The Conference recommends the necessity of attending to the realization of justice in this sense in different parts of the Islamic world. This demands:

A-                                 Proper distribution of available wealth among individuals within the community.

B-                                 Achievement of equality in terms of transactions.

C-                                 Proper exploitation of natural human resources alongside exchange of experiences to give way to the optimal use of these resources.


6-        Islam established an array of systems to help achieve justice in all its images as well as communal security including Wâqf (endowment), Zakât (almsgiving) and Al Hesba (Sharî'ah-based control). It is regrettable to note that such systems are debilitated and accordingly severely impaired in many Islamic societies. The Conference appeals to leaders and peoples of Islamic countries to do their best in utilizing all means to revive these systems and widely conjure their application among the people while enacting appropriate legislation to recover their role in the life of Muslims.

7-        Community security can be achieved in Islamic societies by adopting a system for social interdependence, side by side with az-Zakât, that allows for the allocation of a portion of the money of the rich in favor of the poor. The Conference calls on officials in the Islamic world to draw up a legislation that encourages efforts exerted by the benevolent persons, institutions, banks and companies in the form of public interest projects.   

 Islamic countries bask in unlimited human and natural wealth; however they do have a food problem. Thus the Conference recommends the necessity of stepping up effective agricultural cooperation among countries with financial surplus, as well as countries with technical know-how and manpower capacity in order to exploit vast areas of arable lands for cultivation in Arab and Islamic countries together with benefiting from modern and advanced means of production.

8-        The Conference appeals to the Islamic world to essentially invest in capital surplus within Islamic countries and diversify facets of investment to resolve pressing problems in Islamic societies.

9-        Education constitutes one of the foundational rudiments in shaping the identity of communities. If sound and built around formidable bases, it can largely contribute to the stability and security of the society. Thus the Conference appeals to Islamic countries to exert great effort in adequately educating Muslims to become a robust nucleus in the community-building process.

10-    Community security in any country necessarily requires an advanced educational system that meets the needs and falls in line with labor market requirements and related changes. Thus the Conference requests Islamic countries to encourage intra-cooperation to put in place a new educational system ensuring the realization of these objects and connecting the nation with the now prevailing scientific and technological progress in the world and that is not separable from the resourceful heritage of the nation and its sources of culture.

11-    The Conference appeals to those responsible for the educational process in various countries of the Islamic world to devise proper syllabuses to help prepare the outstanding student and to graduate the distinguished professor in addition to exploring and tending talents and providing the suitable climate for their enhancement to help Islamic communities forward along the path of renaissance and progress.

Educational curricula must be derived from built-in self and according to the course of development of educational programs and systems and not in response to dictations from outside. The Conference also calls upon the Muslim Countries to eradicate illiteracy which still exists in some countries.

12-    Islam hammered out a set of social human rights ensuring security and stability, primarily: the right to education and labor and the right to a minimum level of subsistence to spare need. Islam had preceded in this connection the Universal Declaration on Human Rights issued by the United Nations. Thus the Conference appeals to officials in Islamic countries to give effect to these rights, and believes their fulfillment is closely linked with cooperation among Islamic countries.

Consequently, the Conference calls on countries of the Islamic world to take necessary measures for the realization of the following:

A)                   Ensure labor rights for Muslims and adopt relevant measures to this effect.

B)                    Alert to the risk of seeking foreign employment in Islamic countries at the educational, religious, economic and religious levels.

C)                   Call on densely-populated Islamic countries to rehabilitate citizens compatibly with requirements of work conditions inside and outside the Islamic countries.

D)                   Call on Islamic countries to provide for the right of individuals to live in an adequately-healthy environment and to ensure preventive and therapeutic health per patient, besides the necessity of demonstrating cooperation in the production of medicine to reduce its import and counteract the phenomenon of its price hikes.

    The Conference calls upon the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to expedite the establishment of a satellite channel so that it may broadcast its transmission to all parts of the world in different languages in order to identify Islam, explain its essence, rectify the falsehoods attributed to it and eliminate the confusion caused by the chaotic “fatwas” propagated in satellite channels.

14-       The Conference condemns the media which ridicule all beliefs, religions and their symbols particularly those that publish caricatures deriding the Messenger of Islam under the pretext of freedom of expression.  The Conference lands Egypt and Islamic countries for exerting their efforts so that the United Nations may issue a resolution on the necessity to respect religions and their sanctities, and to incriminate any abuse or insult directed against them under the pretext of freedom of expression.

15-       The necessity to elaborate a unified information policy for the Islamic world aimed at identifying Islam, propagating and highlighting its tolerance in all languages to the world at large.

16-       The Conference appeals to Muslims worldwide to revive the mission of the mosque in society so that it   may become a haven for  Muslims with regards their religious affairs, in particular :-

-                                    To ensure the educational and cultural role of mosques and to choose Imams and  Du’as according to established criteria so that the best elements are selected to perform this important task.

-                                    To ascertain the social role of the mosque in terms of extending care to the poor and the sick, settling family problems, providing social care and fastening relations among Muslims.

-                                    To secure mosques from any encroachment or manipulation beyond worship and the interests of society.

17-       To refrain from utilizing the places of worship for purposes beyond their actual mission.  To ensure that the spirit of hatred among members of society is not incited in these institutions and not to use this as a means for conflict, dissension or sectarian disputes to that  it may not deviate from its mission in accordance with the words of the Almighty :

And the places of worships are only for Allah, so pray not unto anyone along with Allah.” (The Jinn: 18)


18-       The Conference stresses the role of the family in maintaining societal security in that it is the basic care of Islamic society.  Consequently, it should be protected from the storms currently raging against it.  The Conference exhorts the leaders and peoples of the Islamic world to assist Muslim youth in forming virtuous families based on the teachings of religion and sound values.

19-       The Conference rejects all substitutes for the Islamic family system adopted by non-Muslim organizations such as homosexual marriage, sexual freedom… etc… a matter that threatens society with disintegration and collapse.

20-       The necessity to stimulate civil society associations and institutions to contribute in resolving the problems of poverty and unemployment at all levels and in all fields while providing appropriate means and funds required for assuming this   role.

General Recommendations

1-        The Conference expresses its strong concern for the ongoing destruction works and changes perpetrated by Israel in Al Aqsa mosque. This will lead to changing its characteristics and to Israel's domination of its lower part. The Conference emphasizes that this is a violation of international legitimacy and requests all international organizations in particular, the Security Council, UN General Assembly and UNESCO to confront these crimes and their immediate cessation.

2-          Due to the harsh suffering endured by the Palestinian people for 60 years caused by the Zionist occupation of their territories, the Conference demands the free world and international organizations to end this unjust occupation; and to grant the Palestinian people the right of self-determination; the establishment of their independent state in their homeland with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital; to terminate the unjust economic blockage imposed by the world upon it in addition to the material blockage resulting from Israel's practices by building the separation wall.

3-        The Conference exhorts all Palestinian factions to renounce dissension, to stop their conflict, to settle pending problems among them in a civilized manner in order to salvage the blood of the Palestinian people, to unify their ranks and to save their strength in order to confront the Zionist aggression in their territory.

4-        The Conference calls upon the international community to support the Iraqi people in terminating the unjust occupation of their land, rejecting discord and hostilities between Iraqi sects so that Iraq may be saved in order to achieve its aspirations for unity and progress.

5-        The Conference exhorts the Lebanese people all factions to continue to build their constitutional institutions without foreign intervention, and to safeguard their unity and territorial integrity.

6-        The Conference confirms the right of all countries to possess nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and calls for the prohibition of producing nuclear weapons in any part of the world. The Conference exhorts the United Nations and IAEA to realize what Egypt and the Arabs and Islamic world had called for, namely to establish the Middle East region as a nuclear weapons free zone.

Recommendations Of the Seminars Held on the Sidelines of the Conference

1-        Conduct and encouragement of dialogue of religions at the level of civil society institutions as well as local, regional, and international organizations concerned. Further enhancement of cooperation in the area of dialogue of religions and culture at the popular level.

2-        Essential coordination and cooperation among dialogue institutions in the world.

3-        Innovation of mechanisms to help implement recommendations of Islamic conferences and dialogue committees.

4-        Given the manipulation of some international media for purposes of agitation, action must be taken to bring this to a stop. We therefore recommend that institutions interested in dialogue need to hold joint round tables comprising media experts in the West and the Islamic world who are known for their neutrality, confidence and credibility worldwide, with a view to searching for vehicles of conciliation between freedom of expression and opinion and the right of others to respect their values and religious symbols.

5-        The necessity of respecting religious identities, cultural specificities, common human values, religious sanctities and symbols of all parties on an equal footing.

6-        Respect minorities’ rights and avoid politicization of dialogue and use of factionalism and religious minorities to serve political purposes.  

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