Armed conflicts, developed overtime, have egregiously impacted human lives, largely from sophisticated weaponry and use of human shields anchored by psychedelic and blinded beliefs. Efforts and mechanisms laid down by communal, sometime universal actuations, to disparage and delimit humanitarian crisis are put in motion. The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) served as mechanism to counter armed conflicts is composed of set of rules aimed at halting untoward effects of post-war conflicts, including insurgencies, political anomies, and armed conflicts. It is befitting that the partnership between the UP Institute of Islamic Studies (UP-IIS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is once again come into fruition by organizing an international conference that tackled the relevant collation of Islamic Law and IHL. The event was held at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center on December 10, 2017.
Asst. Prof. Macrina A. Morados, the Dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, reiterated the significant role of the Institute in disseminating the importance of IHL to Muslim communities. While Mr. Boris Kelevic, ICRC Deputy Head of Delegation-Manila, presented an overview of ICRC activities in the Philippines and in Muslim majority countries. After a short film presentation, Mr. Andrew Bartles-Smith, ICRC Regional Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs, discussed the regional perspective of ICRC mandate. To continue the discussion on ICRC mandate, Atty. Monaliza Barro, ICRC Legal Officer, shared existing Philippine laws, e.g. RA 9851, etc., that were specifically enacted to support IHL. Prior to lunch break and afternoon prayer, Dr. Ziaullah Rahmani, Head of ICRC based in Islamabad, Pakistan, delivered a lecture on the roles of IHL and Islamic Law to armed conflict. Immediately after Dr. Rahmani’s lecture, Sheikh Loderson Gustaham, ICRC Global Affairs Consultant, discussed the Marawi crisis.
The afternoon sessions had two panels, one on the specificities of IHL and Islamic Law towards armed conflict which is moderated by Dr. Jamel Cayamodin, and the other is on the role and place of women and children in times of armed conflict, moderated by Dean Morados. The first panel includes Prof. Julkipli Wadi who talked about conventionalizing Islamic law internationally, Dr. Nassef Manabilang Adiong who discussed the ontology of security and siyar (or International Relations), and some additional thoughts of Sheikh Gustaham and Mr. Novrianti Kaharudin on the importance of Islamic Law and IHL. The second panel discusses the problems and conditions of women and children as the most unfortunate and vulnerable victims of armed conflict. The discussion also included suggested solutions to increase the security of women and children. Dr. Carmen Abubakar, Hon. Aisha Malayang-Flores of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, and Dean Morados participated in this panel. Mr. Zehabudin Guro and Mr. Andrew Bartles-Smith concluded the conference by stating continued efforts and engagements between UP-IIS and ICRC.
In the post-conference event, UP-IIS presented a newly designed course on Islamic Law and IHL to ICRC. It was well received, and professional comments and critiques were provided to further enhance the course. The UP-IIS and ICRC will continue their fruitful partnership to serve better the ummah.