23 February 2023 (Zamboanga City)—International humanitarian law, also known as the rules of war, aims to protect people from the devastating effects of armed conflict. A 76-page book that was originally written in Arabic and introduces readers to the convergences between IHL and Islamic Shariah is now available in Tausug.

Pana’ta: Sara Parmanusiyaan Liyubangsa Ha Islam (“Introduction to International Humanitarian Law in Islam”) was launched in Zamboanga City on 22 February by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Mindanao State University-Sulu (MSU-Sulu), which partnered together to produce the book’s translation into Tausug, a major language spoken in the Sulu archipelago and Zamboanga.

“By translating this important Arabic reference work into Tausug, we hope that there will be greater discourse surrounding IHL and Islamic law among Tausug speakers,” says Boris Michel, the ICRC’s Head of Delegation in the Philippines. “We aim to empower and inform Filipinos about how they can be protected during times of conflict.”

Pana’ta offers guidance on important topics, such as ways to attend to victims of armed conflict according to Islamic Shariah, the lessons learned from historical battles, and the proper treatment of prisoners of war. It was translated from the original Arabic text, Muqadima fi ‘l-qanun ad-duwali al-insani fi ‘l-Islam, which was written by Dr. Zaid bin Abdul Karim Al-Zaid of Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia.

Partner schools in the Zamboanga peninsula and Sulu will receive free hard copies of the book.  It is also available for free download on the ICRC’s Religion and Humanitarian Principles website.

The ICRC in the Philippines has already released local translations of two other Arabic reference works to promote awareness about IHL and its convergences with Islamic law. In 2021, the institution supported the translation of an Arabic book into Maguindanaon and the translation of another publication into Meranao. The organization will launch a Yakan translation of one more book later this year.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance, regardless of their political affiliation.


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