UP IIS launches book on Islam and International Humanitarian Law

“We wrote this book about International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by giving it an Islamic perspective and situating it in the armed conflict in Mindanao. An Islamic perspective is an approach that begins with the Qu’ran–views issues and matters from the tafsir and ta’wil. It is an approach that all Muslims must use whether they are writing something, doing research, solving a problem, deciding an issue, legislating law, or writing or adapting rules.”

These are some inspiring words from the book’s overview by Atty. Mehol K. Sadain during the launching of “Islam and International Humanitarian Law: Observance and Practice in the Philippine Muslim Conflict Experience” on August 31, 2022, at the Virata Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Atty. Sadain, the Head Writer of the book and professorial lecturer of the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS), together with two other faculty members, Assoc. Prof. Macrina A. Morados and Asst. Prof. Darwin J. Absari authored the book intending to provide a better understanding of the conflict situation in the southern Philippines and the extent of the compliance with International Humanitarian Law and Islamic Law principles by the actors in the conflict. The authors also spoke of its significance as a humble contribution to the academe and the Muslim Ummah. 

In his book review, Prof. Julkipli M. Wadi, Dean of IIS, further emphasized its value, saying the book provides practical groundings in understanding conflict society. More importantly, it is an essential contribution to the literature on IHL in the Philippines as it “underscores salient features of IHL that reveal some consistencies with Islamic Law about peace and war and other humanitarian principles and conflict-related and post-conflict issues.” Mr. Aminul Islam, ICRC Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, also expressed in his closing remarks that the book was the first study that looks at IHL and Islamic Law as experienced in actual conflict situations of Muslims in the Philippines. 

The book was an offshoot of the Institute’s partnership with ICRC which began in 2009. Present during the launch were ICRC officials, Mr. Dany Merhy (Head of Prevention), Mr. Aminul Islam, and Mr. Rolando Modina (Political Adviser), two BARMM members, Atty. Jose Lorena and Atty. Nabil Tan, commissioner and spoke person of the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos, Comm. Yusoph Mando and former Comm. Aisha Flores-Malayang, and Philippine Ulama Congress Organization officials, Ustadz Luqman bin Usman Imam and Mahid Mangondaya.

Copies of the book are available at the Institute of Islamic Studies office located at 2/F ISSI building, University of the Philippines, Diliman. Quezon City.

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