Monday, March 23, 2009

Can the Geneva Conventions become our Hilful Fudul?

The talk, as Contest 2 is released tomorrow, has been of 'Shared Values'. I am going to desist from engaging in some polemic but will ask the one question, can the Office for Security and Counter-terrorism release the names of the stakeholders whom it consulted with in order to ensure that its strategy is fit for purpose?

I've been thinking about the episode of the Hilful Fudul from the Prophetic Seerah. This was the time prior to Prophethood in which the Prophet had agreed to be a part of an agreement with various tribes and leaders which was a pact against lawlessness and for the upholding of justice especially for the weak and oppressed. The Prophet said during his Prophethood that if the Hilful Fudul were to occur again then he would have taken part in it again. This statement is used by some scholars as evidence for Muslim enagagement in beneficial pacts with non-Muslims.

Can the Geneva Conventions - which were put together in order to regulate war-time behaviour - become the Hilful Fudul of our time? Can Muslim states, organisations and individuals sign up to the principles of the Geneva Convention because they protect the weak and the oppressed? And thereafter, can we call for the upholding of the Geneva Conventions? And if so, would this make the world a safer and securer place for all of us? I don't know, these questions are asked here for the scholars to consider.