Peace prize winner calls for united Muslim front

20th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 October 2005, TUBINGEN, GERMANY - Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on Thursday called for the establishment of a united Muslim front for the respect of human rights, while urging international observers to be patient with Muslim countries.

20 October 2005

TUBINGEN, GERMANY - Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on Thursday called for the establishment of a united Muslim front for the respect of human rights, while urging international observers to be patient with Muslim countries.

Muslims should unite to combat totalitarianism and uphold the values of Islam, the 2003 peace prize winner said during the 5th Global Ethics lecture at Tubingen University in southern Germany.

Ebadi, a Tehran-based human rights lawyer and campaigner, said her proposed front would have neither a name nor a leader.

Instead, it would be located within the consciousness of thinking Muslims, who, by respecting the religion of their forefathers, also showed respect for democracy, she said.

Ebadi pointed to the 1980 Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights as creating a framework for reconciling human rights with the Koran.

"The truth is, that through a correct and dynamic interpretation of Islam, one can be a Muslim and respect human rights at the same time," she said.

Ebadi, 58, charged undemocratic Islamic states of hiding behind religion in order to justify state oppression.

Iran's first female judge, who was dismissed from her post following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, noted that ethics and constitutions needed to evolve to reflect changing realities.

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights should, she suggested, be developed to reflect poverty and environmental destruction in developing countries.

Ebadi, who was particularly praised by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for her work with woman and children, asked the international community to be patient with the pace of change in Muslim countries.

"You can't take women's rights in Sweden and implement them overnight in Saudi Arabia," she said.

The Global Ethics lecture at Tubingen University has previously been given by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, the former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Mary Robinson, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German President Horst Koehler.

DPA

Subject: German news

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