*Arabic calligraphy exhibition on 'Human Rights in Islamic Culture' opens in Madrid
The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) opened the ninth edition of the Arabic calligraphy exhibition about "Human Rights in Islamic Culture" in Madrid yesterday.
The exhibition, which is open to all segments of the Spanish society and Arab and Muslim expats residing in European countries, has received great attention as in its previous editions, which were held in Brussels, Geneva, Paris, Berlin, Tunis and Kuwait, along with locally-organised editions within Qatar at Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Katara Cultural Village.
Over the past years, the exhibition has become a powerful window to introduce Islam and promote a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue among religions and civilisations, which Qatar has repeatedly advocated in international forums in order to counter the culture of incitement and violence that contributed to the spread of extremist ideas and organisations as well as hate speech and attempts to associate Islam with terrorism.
The exhibition presented a true image to the Western societies about the status that Islam has given to human rights.
In a speech delivered on the occasion, NHRC Chairman Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri strongly deplored the terrorist attacks in Spain that he said are not condoned by any religion. He expressed NHRC's solidarity in the face of the poisonous and extremist ideas.
Al-Marri noted that the exhibition includes creative paintings of different types of Arabic calligraphy, including verses from the Qur'an and hadiths that are directly related to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights conventions in order to promote the principles of Islam through art, and support the efforts of dialogue among religions, civilisations and cultures.
He said that the committee held the exhibition in several European cities and capitals, adding that the creative paintings received good response and have been welcomed by all attendees and visitors. He noted that the committee is holding the exhibition at a time when Qatar is subjected to an unjust siege that violates all charters and principles of human rights.
"The inhuman siege imposed on Qatar caused several violations of human rights, notably those affecting the right to family reunification, where their ties were cut off and families were dispersed, including women, children, people with disabilities and elders, and mothers and fathers were deprived of staying with their children," al-Marri said.
"The siege and arbitrary measures and decisions have all prevented hundreds of students from completing their studies in flagrant violation of the right to education, as well as the denial of using or disposition of private property, which constitutes a gross violation of the right to private property."
Al-Marri noted that the violations also included the right to movement and residence; the right to health; the right to work; freedom of opinion and expression; and freedom of worship and practice of religious rites. Since the beginning of the crisis, he said, NHRC has received more than 4,000 complaints on these violations and others, while the actual number of victims of the siege violations is much higher.
As for the moral message of the exhibition, al-Marri said Islam was always keen on human rights and called for respecting the dignity and freedoms of humans. "Its mission came to consolidate the principles of justice and equality among all human beings; prevent injustice, tyranny, racism and oppression; and promote peace and coexistence among different religions, sects and races," he said.
"Islam also embraced elegant art and taste, splendid heritage and exceptional architecture, and preserved to this day the human heritage and legacy of previous civilisations in the countries that it entered, thanks to its belief that cultural and civilisational diversity is a benefit to humanity and a legacy that should never be distorted or destroyed," al-Marri added.