The Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), a member of Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, held a public seminar entitled Migrant Workers: Ethical Perspectives on Challenging Questions. The seminar discussed migrant worker issues in Qatar and the region, and occurred on April 22nd in the LAS building at Qatar Foundation.
The event was part of a series of public seminars and lectures organised by CILE, combining both scholars of the Islamic Law/text and ’scholars of the context’, in forums that tackled the critical issues of the day in various fields and professions. These included methodology, bioethics, environment, politics, food, psychology, economics, education, media, arts and gender issues.
The seminar’s participants included Sheikh Dr Ahmed Raissouni, President of the League of Sunni Scholars; Mr Boyko Atanasov, Program Director in the American Center for International Labor Solidarity; and Dr Musab Al-Khair, Professor at the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies at Qatar University. The event was moderated by Dr Jasser Auda, Deputy Director of CILE.
Mr Boyko Atanasov highlighted migrant workers’ living conditions through the legal and societal difficulties they go through, from signing job contracts in their home countries to settling and submitting to their employers’ rules. On the other hand, Dr Ahmed Raissouni focused on the principle of human dignity and its critical importance in Islam. He criticised the mistreatment of migrant workers and the violation of their rights, and he referred to the Prophet’s teachings which required gentle and kind treatment of workers and employees. Echoing these views, Dr Musab Al-Khair called for the implementation of Islamic Ethics with workers, especially in relation to honesty, truthfulness and fulfilling promises.
The seminar was attended by faculty members and students of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, in addition to a number of media and law specialists. The attendees discussed the enhancement of migrant workers’ living conditions and the collaboration of civil society with governmental institutions to ensure the implementation of laws and the issuance of new ones, in order to protect workers from the abuse of their employers.