The following resolution was approved by the General Assembly of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) 2016.
The crisis in the Middle East represents a grave challenge to all of humanity. The IHEU condemns the use of religion to justify the violation of human rights and legitimise violence, terrorism and war.
The IHEU General Assembly notes that Daesh (or the self-designated “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”, ISIS) has emerged in a region of long standing religious conflicts. The Baath-regime in Syria has paved the way for an armed insurgency and the emergence of various militant and fanatical Islamist groups. The sectarian policies of the Iraqi government have created conditions for the re-emergence of al-Qaida affiliated groups in that country. The combined situations in Iraq and Syria have made it possible for Daesh to seek to establish a caliphate in the region. Within this, a totalitarian regime based on extreme interpretations of Islamic law, has been established. This has dire consequences for all the peoples in the area but with particular severe consequences for religious minorities.
The IHEU General Assembly in Valetta, Malta 2016:
- Condemns the use of religion to justify the violation of human rights and legitimise violence, terrorism and war
- Deplores the atrocious violence, murder, kidnappings, rapes and displacement carried out by Daesh and other similar groups
- Emphasises the need to combat all extreme interpretations of religion wherever they emerge
- Rejects the notion that any one terrorist group can legitimize their political actions through religion.
The IHEU General Assembly:
- Entreats UN member states and national governments to increase their efforts to search for a peaceful solution to the current Middle East crisis
- Urges national governments to take action against extremist hate propaganda intended to increase recruitment to Daesh
- Demands that the above mentioned policies be implemented without stigmatising any group or individual because of their/his/her belonging to or affiliation with a particular religion and/or culture
- Encourages all IHEU Member Organisations to address their national governments in order to promote the policies of this resolution