ICRC, Al-Azhar University discuss commonalities between international humanitarian law and Islamic Sharia in Cairo Seminar

ICRC, Al-Azhar University discuss commonalities between international humanitarian law and Islamic Sharia in Cairo Seminar

(Cairo - ICRC) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Al-Azhar University, one of the world’s oldest institutions of Islamic teaching, held a seminar on the “Principles of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Commonalities with the principles of Islamic Sharia” on 22-23 May at Al-Azhar University’s campus in Cairo.
News release 25 May 2023 Egypt

The seminar included lectures and discussions around the protection of civilians and the humane treatment of prisoners during armed conflicts from the perspectives of IHL and Islamic Sharia, with the aim of reinforcing universal acceptance of IHL and highlighting the humanitarian values and provisions of protection enshrined in Islamic jurisprudence.

“There are a lot of commonalities between IHL and Islamic Sharia when it comes to taking into consideration the welfare of human beings in all circumstances. Islamic law guarantees victims of armed conflict the right to protection, respect, and dignified humane treatment,” said Professor Mohamed Fekry Khedr, deputy head of Al-Azhar University’s girls branch, during the opening ceremony of the seminar.

Mr. Oualid Bech, deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Egypt, emphasized the universality of IHL’s principles, which oblige protection of all people not taking part in the conflict, as well as limiting the means and methods of warfare. “The rules and laws of war undoubtedly have deeper historical roots. They are derived from elementary human values that transcend legal traditions, civilizations, and cultures,” Mr. Bech said.

The seminar was attended by 100 students and 35 professors and teachers from the faculty of Sharia and Law from several governorates across Egypt.

The seminar was an opportunity for the ICRC and Al-Azhar’s experts and students to exchange knowledge about the common principles between Islamic Sharia and IHL that aim to preserve human dignity in armed conflicts.

The seminar is part of the ICRC Egypt delegation’s ongoing cooperation with Al-Azhar. It is also part of the wider dialogue that the ICRC maintains with Islamic intellectuals and academics around the world to emphasize the common principles and values that apply to all humankind.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence. It is present in more than 90 countries around the world, including Egypt, where it has been working for over 100 years.


For further information, please contact:

Nesma Nowar, ICRC Cairo, tel: 0100 0708515, email: nnowar@icrc.org