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Saudi Arabia

‘Shariah is sacrosanct’

JEDDAH: The Kingdom has told the United Nations Human Rights Council that it would not accept any recommendations that contravene Islamic law.

Faisal bin Hassan Trad, Saudi ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, made the comments recently at a meeting of the rights body attended by Heiner Bielefeldt, the special rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, according to a report in a local publication.
Trad said Islamic law upholds the rights of all human beings and that Saudi Arabia’s justice system guarantees freedom of religion. He said Islam has stipulated that “there is no compulsion in religion,” according to a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
“Saudi Arabia is the sacred destination for all Muslims around the world. More than 10 million Muslims come to the Kingdom to perform Haj and Umrah, and non-Muslims come to the country for business and trade under fixed-term signed contracts.”
He said the country’s laws ensure that everyone has the freedom and right to worship in their special places and on the premises of their diplomatic missions. The homes and houses of everyone are considered “sacred places that cannot be entered unless authorized by their owners” or under certain legal requirements.
Saudi law stipulates that entry into any private residence can only happen with prior permission from the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution. Everyone living in the Kingdom must obey the country’s laws and respect its customs and traditions, said Trad.
However, he said that the Kingdom was disappointed that Bielefeldt did not adequately address the manner in which some people were insulting the beliefs of others. “We expected the rapporteur to issue recommendations to remind states of their obligation to develop laws that criminalize the behavior of those who violate the rights and beliefs of others.”
He urged Bielefeldt to denounce those people discriminating against Islam and Muslims, which included calling for them to be expelled and banned from certain countries, and practicing their beliefs.

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