Saudi Arabia told the UN Human Rights Council on Friday that its status as an Islamic state should safeguard fundamental rights rather than fuel abuse, as it faced western calls for action to stop violations. This is reported by AFP.
Zeid Al-Hussein, vice president of the country's three-year-old human rights commission, acknowledged there were violations in the country, often as a result of "individual practices" rooted in its tribal history.
But he insisted that Islamic law and practices should complement the legal standards the United Nations upholds.
"I wish to emphasize that -- and I weigh my words very carefully -- religious particularities, as correctly viewed in Islam, supplement rather than detract from international human rights standards," he told the Council.
"I am aware that, in most Islamic countries, individual practices do not always reflect the true essence of Islam and much remains to be done to ensure that human rights are promoted and protected," Hussein said.
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