Egypt: Round table on international humanitarian law and sharia

02 October 2014

Cairo (ICRC) –Twenty members of the Salafi Call, a clerical group, recently took part in a round table jointly organized by the group and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Alexandria. The aim was to discuss the compatibility of sharia law and international humanitarian law and the protection to which prisoners of war are entitled.

In his opening speech, Mostafa Sobhi, secretary-general of the Salafi Call in Alexandria, underlined the importance of the round table, the first such event organized by the ICRC and the Salafi Call, and declared it a first step towards a common understanding of international humanitarian law. "Our religion urges us to cooperate with whoever is in righteousness and piety," he said.

Marianne Gasser, head of the ICRC delegation in Egypt, emphasized that the ICRC is not a newcomer to the Muslim World. The organization, whose mandate is enshrined in the Geneva Conventions, has worked for 150 years to protect and assist victims of armed violence. "It is essential that we better understand Islamic jurisprudence and that Muslim scholars better comprehend international humanitarian law – the internationally recognized set of rules intended to limit the effects of armed conflict," she said.

The presentations covered a broad range of topics, such as ICRC activities in Egypt and across the region, the activities of the Egyptian Red Crescent Society, and the basic principles of international humanitarian law, as well as the compatibility of sharia law and international humanitarian law and the treatment of prisoners of war.

The ICRC first started working in Egypt in 1914. Its activities in the country focus primarily on promoting the incorporation of international humanitarian law into domestic legislation, military training and academic curricula, not only in Egypt but throughout the Arab world. It works closely with the Egyptian Red Crescent, the Ministry of Health, and several other Egyptian entities.

For further information, please contact:
Muhammad Sultan, ICRC Cairo, tel: (+20) 100 505 33 10