The book on “Women’s Rights in the Arab Region: Myths and Realities” reviews the outcome of the panel deliberations that were made during a side-event organized by the Geneva Centre in the framework of the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council, with the support of the UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office. The side-event held at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) on 22 March 2016, entitled “The Advancement of the Status of Women in the Arab World”, sought to offer an alternative narrative about women in the Arab region, and to correct the widespread misperception and stereotyping of Arab women. The book also reviews selected areas of women’s rights in the Arab region together with information on the progress achieved through the implementation of national, regional and international women’s rights mechanisms.
The publication, entitled “Muslims in Europe: The Road to Social Harmony – Proceedings of the UN Geneva side event held on 19 September 2016 and lessons learned” is the fruit of a panel discussion organized at UNOG by the Geneva Centre on the occasion of the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council. In an innovative approach, the discussion of the book suggests, among others, that there is a need to promote through joint action and to ensure through the exercise of collective responsibility, a reversal of the distortion and manipulation of all religions. This means resorting to awareness promotion via the media and public discourse. Required action includes rolling back socio-economic marginalization through an inclusive and participatory process and a consensual approach.
In view of the increasing tension affecting the Islamic community in Western Europe, the Geneva Centre commissioned Dr. Zidane Meriboute, author of “La fracture Islamique: demain le Soufisme?” (“Islam’s Fateful Path”), to write a study entitled “Muslims in Europe: The road to social harmony.” This publication, which was revised and improved by the Centre, examines the philosophical roots of xenophobia and its growth in historical perspective. A relative lack of concern over the predicament of minorities has mutated in the case of Muslims into active racism of a new kind: “religious racism”. The book highlights the importance of promoting empathy and acceptance of diversity in order to reach social harmony, and deplores the current growing trend in Islamophobia, discrimination and segregation, and xenophobic populism affecting Muslim communities in Europe
The publication “De-radicalisation or the Roll-Back of Extremist Violence: Proceedings of the panel meeting” is an outcome of a panel discussion held at UNOG on 23 June 2016. This publication takes stock of the ideas of the panellists in relation to improving the understanding of the evolving phenomenon of violent extremism and reviews best practice as well as alternative policy options to roll it back. The meeting offered a successful alternative platform to reach out to people of all creeds and beliefs as well as to people with none, with the ultimate objective of eradicating racism based on the Islamic religion.
The study “Islamophobia and the Implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18: Reaching Out” is an outcome of a panel discussion that was held at UNOG on 29 April 2016. The meeting was organized by the Geneva Centre with the support of the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland.
The panel deliberations were intended to assess the progress made in the implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and explores ways to delineate the boundaries between the freedom of expression and opinion, on the one hand, and the freedom of religion and belief, on the other.