Minority Rights In Muslim Lands

Muslim leaders from around the world adopted a declaration defending the rights of religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries. Participants said the Marrakesh Declaration, developed during a conference on Jan. 25-27, was based on the Medina Charter, a constitutional contract between the Prophet Muhammad and the people of Medina. The declaration said the charter, instituted 1,400 years ago, guaranteed the religious liberty of all, regardless of faith. The conference included Muslim leaders from more than 120 countries, representatives of persecuted religious communities—including Chaldean Catholics from Iraq—and government officials. The declaration said “conditions in various parts of the Muslim world have deteriorated dangerously due to the use of violence and armed struggle as a tool for settling conflicts and imposing one’s point of view,” which has enabled criminal groups to issue edicts that “alarmingly distort” Islam’s “fundamental principles and goals. It is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries,” the declaration said.

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