Looking in the mirror: How international humanitarian law reflects major world religions

  • May 20, 2021
  • Bo Kruk

“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” – Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

Many people refer to modern international law as being “the phoenix that rose from the ashes of World War II.” In fact, in the landmark case Nevsun Resources Ltd v Araya, this metaphor is the first sentence in the judgement of the majority.1 There is little doubt that the events and aftermath of World War II pushed a modernization of international law writ large, such as laying the foundation for the tangible implementation of international criminal law.2 However, when those developments are placed in a historical context, it becomes clear that a fair amount of the “new” law was in fact a codification of existing beliefs and principles, particularly when it comes to international humanitarian law (IHL).

Much has already been written about specific issues in IHL, as well as the role religion plays in specific areas within international law. Little has been written about the influence of religion3 in international law that takes a comprehensive approach: specifically, in relation to international humanitarian law. By looking back through history, this article seeks to provide a holistic review of the influence (implicitly or explicitly) of the major world religions on the inception and development of IHL. Numerous religious traditions existed well before contemporary IHL. This article will show that the distinct points of similarity between the major world religions and international humanitarian law illustrate not only the positive side of humanity, but also reaffirm the existence of a “global community.”

A Brief Overview of International Humanitarian Law4

IHL, also known as the law of armed conflict to some, governs armed conflicts in an attempt to limit their effects. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of war. This is achieved primarily through a body of international conventions alongside customary international law.5 IHL was born in the mid 19th century and originated with the work of Swiss banker Henry Dunant. Un Souvenir de Solferino, published in 1862, recounted his firsthand experience of the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in 1859. His book emphasized the need for an international convention that would create societies in every European state to care for the wounded in battle. Dunant’s work was a keystone in the first Geneva Convention and his work led to the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.6

Generally, there are two distinct categories of law that arise when discussing the broad law of armed conflict: jus ad bellum and jus in bello. The former is the law surrounding use of force which is now governed by the UN Security Council [read: not IHL], while the latter is the law relating to mitigating the impact and consequences of armed conflicts.7 Broadly speaking, there are two bodies of conventions that make up the foundation of jus in bello. The Law of the Hague (or Hague Conventions) and the Law of Geneva (or Geneva Conventions) alongside customary international law form the legal framework surrounding IHL. The Geneva Conventions mirror the will of Dunant and focus on treating those who are not or no longer participating in hostilities.8 In contrast, the Hague Conventions focus on the means and method of hostilities themselves.9 Although each convention covers a distinct area of IHL, they can generally be summarized into five categories: (1) the protection of the sick and injured on land; (2) the protection of the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked at sea; (3) the protection of prisoners of war; (4) the protections of civilians; as well as (5) the regulation of how war is fought.10

Existing research on religion’s influence on IHL has looked to the common elements within religious traditions to highlight the role that religion can play in supporting IHL.11 That is, a religious tradition can bolster IHL when considering the conception of humanity, the role of (international) rules, compliance with those rules, and the power of symbolism as is demonstrated in certain regions of the world.12 This article seeks to discuss the influence and contributions of the major religious traditions of the world to IHL: specifically, the historic relationship of Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism to what many consider the result of the horrors of the Second World, the inception of international humanitarian law.13


In 2015, Buddhists made up approximately 7% of the world’s population. According to the most recent population statistics, half of the world’s Buddhists lived in China in 2010—making up 18% of the population. The other 50% lived primarily in East and South Asia; those same statistics found that only 1.4% of the world’s Buddhists lived outside of Asia.15

As a tradition, Buddhism lacks the major commonality of the religious traditions that this article discusses: it is not monotheistic, Abrahamic, nor polytheistic. Buddhism does not follow the philosophy of a God having created humanity, but it recognizes the existence of supernatural beings — gods and spirits.16 As the name of this tradition suggests, it was founded by the Buddha (an honorific title meaning “awakened one”), whose personal name was Siddhattha Gotama. The Buddha lived circa 5th century BCE.17 Buddhism’s underlying philosophy focuses on ending suffering and rebirth to achieve nirvana. The ultimate goal of this tradition is for a practitioner to fulfill their human potential for goodness and happiness, and to achieve the final and highest good that is nirvana.18 While Buddhist philosophy is a complex area outside the scope of this article, it is the ethics that surround Buddhism which most demonstrate the Buddhist conception of principles of IHL.

The starting point of Buddhist ethics is Dharma. Similar to the use of this term in Sikhism and Hinduism, in Buddhism, Dharma is viewed as the universal moral law. It is the foundational principle of order and regularity.19 When one lives following Dharma, its requirements lead to happiness, fulfillment, and salvation.20 In addition to Dharma, there are five sets of precepts in Buddhism: (1) the Five Precepts; (2) the Eight Precepts; (3) the Ten Precepts; (4) the Ten Good Paths of Action; and (5) the Monastic Disciplinary Code.21 The most important of these groups that relate to IHL is the Five Precepts. The Five Precepts clearly demonstrate why Buddhism is referred to by some as an inherently humanitarian religion.22 These precepts forbid killing, stealing, sexual immorality, lying, and taking intoxicants.23

When the prohibition on killing is considered in light of the Buddhist principle of non-violence, unlike the other religious traditions discussed in this article, there is no concept surrounding the use of force. War is violence; all wars and violence are rejected by Buddhist teachings.24 While there are no direct similarities to contemporary international humanitarian law, this principle of rejecting violence is found in the UN Charter at paragraph four of article two.25


According to the most recent statistics, Catholics make up 17.73% of the world’s population.26 While various branches of Catholicism exist, the modernization of this monotheistic Christian tradition is viewed by many as having only begun in the 20th century.27 The Second Vatican Council, more commonly referred to as Vatican II, marked the start of the evolution of Catholicism for the modern era.28 Given the western roots of IHL and the Christian orientation of the Western world, Catholic legal scholarship has had a more general influence on international law as a whole rather than a specific focus on IHL.29

Catholic scholarship on international law arose in the 16th century with the “discovery” [read: colonization] of the Americas. In general, there were two fundamental questions these scholars sought to answer: what where the rights of the “discoverer” and what could said “discoverer” impose on the populations of the new territories they had uncovered.30 While Francisco de Vitoria framed his answers to those questions around the dignity of the person instead of linking them to the monarchy, as was customary at the time, it is the writings of Suárez on the law of war that show the role that Catholicism played in the development of IHL.31

Suárez viewed war as a charity. It is the force of war that brings the erring back into the fold. Specifically, war helps those who cannot or will not help themselves. Moreover, Suárez distinguished between just and unjust wars.32 He believed that a legitimate war must follow three conditions: (1) it must be “waged by a lawful power;” (2) it must be for a just cause and on just grounds; and (3) a uniform mode of procedure must be observed from the beginning and after victory.33 More importantly, according to Suárez, if a war was unjust, restitution for all damages needed to be made.34 Once a war had been resolved and a victor declared, the non-combatants should be exempt from damages inflicted by the victor, as the slaying of innocent persons is intrinsically wicked.35

Although each scholar took a different perspective, they both concluded that there was a need for a single and universal norm to govern the relations of individuals within a State, and of States amongst themselves alongside a global community made up of individuals and States.36 While the 16th century conceptions of war differ wildly from the 21st century, we can see that these Catholic scholars were already articulating ideas that are present in modern day international humanitarian law: namely, protections of non-combatants — those not participating in hostilities — and the need to outline the means and methods of war before hostilities occurred.


According to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Centre, Hindus made up 15.1% of the world’s population in 2015.37 Most commonly associated with South Asia and India, as 82% of India identifies as Hindu,38 Hindu communities today span the world.39 This polytheistic tradition has been traced to the earliest civilizations found in the Indus Valley on the south Asian subcontinent that flourished around 2500 BCE. In fact, the first series of sacred texts, the Veda, can be traced to around 1500 BCE.40 Considering the long-established history of Hinduism, this tradition has evolved alongside history to become what scholars refer to as a “truly pluralistic” tradition. Max Weber warns against qualifying Hinduism as a uniformed religion such as those in the West.41

Given this pluralistic nature, scholars frequently refer to five common elements across this tradition: doctrine, practice, society, story, and devotion.42 In short, these facets of Hinduism facilitate comprehension of a complex tradition rich in history. In terms of international humanitarian law, understanding the idea of dharma is key. In fact, many refer to Hinduism as sanatana dharma (eternal law) or hindu dharma (Hindu moral and religious law).43 This qualification permeates the similarities between principles of Hinduism and IHL.

As it exists in other traditions, Hinduism asserts that war should be avoided when settling disputes, as it involves killing fellow humans—although there would possibly be situations where war is better than tolerating evil.44 Analogous to the writings of Suárez, sacred Hindu texts differentiate between righteous war (Dharma Yuddha) and unrighteous war (Adharma Yuddha).45 More importantly, the Munsmriti, (the code of law of Manu) enunciates specific conduct that a sovereign must follow which mirrors today’s IHL. For example, the Munsmriti advised that the king must not strike with “weapons concealed (in wood), nor with (such as are) barbed, poisoned, or the points of which are blazing with fire,”46 much like the restrictions outlined in the Law of the Hague.

Similarly, this code focuses on the distinction of combatants:

“persons walking on the road, not participating in the conflict, or mere travellers, or those who are engaged in eating and drinking or pursuing their special avocations or activities or diplomatic errands and of course the Brahmins [highest social group, the priests and religious, in Hindu society], unless they are engaged in war, were not to be killed.”47

While comparable limitations can be found in the Hague Convention (II) on the Laws and Customs of War on Land from 1899 (such as a prohibition on using poisoned arms), the institution of this prohibition over a millennia before, further illustrates how existing religious traditions had a role to play in the codification of current international humanitarian law.


The most recent set of available statistics state there are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, 24.1% of the world’s population.48 This monotheistic tradition shares similarities with both Catholicism, Christianity writ large, and Judaism, as they are all Abrahamic faiths.49 That is, the sacred texts of these three traditions all include Abraham as a central figure.50 How these religions differ is in their veneration of God, beliefs stemming from their sacred texts, and other practices specific to their tradition.

In Islam, there are five central beliefs, so important that they are called the Pillars of Faith: Divine Unity, Prophecy, Revelation, Angelic Agency, and the existence of an Afterlife.51 In addition to these five pillars, one of the foundational elements of Islam is the importance of the Qur’an, the Muslim sacred text which is viewed as God’s final revelation, built upon existing sacred texts from the Hebrews and Christians.52 While the Qur’an provides clear rules that form the basis for Shari’a Law (i.e. Islamic law), these rules represent the core rules upon which one conducts oneself in life, even though they were written long before the advent of modern technology.53 Therefore, in order to contextualize the Qur’an for present times, Muslim jurists turn to the example of the Prophet Muhammed and how he lived his life. Applying existing rules, or the example of the Prophet, to current situations requires not only reasoning by analogy (a common element of most legal traditions) but looking to the consensus of the community as well.54 This approach allows Shari’a Law to modernize the sacred teachings and maintain a relevant body of law.

Unlike the western based system that views international law as its own body of law, Islamic public international law is an integral part of the Islamic legal tradition.55 Moreover, the structure of Shari’a Law includes materials such as treaties made between Muslims as well as publicly issued orders by Caliphs to commanders in the field. These are analogous categories to the sources of contemporary international law that are found in article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice.56 As it has been seen with the other traditions discussed in this article, the starting point for discussing the relationship between religion and IHL is the conception of war—which delves more into a discussion surrounding jus ad bellum or use of force.

More than a millennium before the Law of Geneva was codified, Islam already included many of the protections that are found in the Geneva Conventions.57 For example, women, children and non-combatants were recognized as a separate category of persons entitled to assorted degrees of immunity; there were elaborate requirements involving prisoners of war.58 In a time when executing prisoners of war was commonplace, the Islamic tradition focused on treating their prisoners humanely. Some have reported that prisoners were fed before soldiers and released when food was no longer available. Most notably, representatives of the enemy were allowed to visit prisoners of war in order to count them: a millennium-long foreshadowing of some of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross codified in Article 9 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.59


There is no doubt that this monotheistic tradition carries with it a long and complex history much like the other religions discussed in this article.60 According to statistics from the Pew Research Centre, Jews made up 0.2% of the world’s population in 2015.61 However, while the term Judaism has been traced to 100 BCE, the history of this monotheistic tradition is even older, as the Religion of Israel has been traced back to the 20th century BCE.62

While most would refer to the legal theory attached to Judaism as Jewish Law, it is in fact a mislabeling as it encompasses both the seven Noahide laws that God previously gave to all humanity as well as Sinaitic law, the law God revealed to Moses included in both the Written and the Oral law.63 The appropriate term is halachah. Halachah not only governs the way an individual and society go forward by acting as a compass, but also develops and evolves over time as a living law.64

Halachah draws its source from many more complex areas than either traditional western legal systems or even public international law. In total, there are five sources of halachah: (1) revelation, the foundation of halachah. It is the law that was revealed to Moses by God which is comprised of both the Written Law (the Written Torah, the Jewish sacred text) as well as the Oral Law (the Oral Torah). The subsequent sources of halachah build on what was revealed by God and empowers the Jewish tradition to apply the law in the context of the era; (2) rabbinic and communal legislation, which seeks to fill gaps in the law when the written and oral law are unable to respond to a particular situation; (3) customs, an anonymous rule that was established by a constant practice (much like what is seen in international law). However, rabbinic decisions take precedence over any customs that were established; (4), Sevarah, a logical idea that has no basis in text but has an obligatory force under the Talmud; and lastly (5) ma’aseh, the example, an allegorical event from which a law or principle can be deduced.65

Unfortunately little has been written about halachah in detail which restricts the ability to provide a complete picture of such a complex tradition. However, the complex history of the Jewish tradition inherently places the legal tradition within a system of legal pluralism. Since halachah follows the Jewish people, it is inherently transnational. This raises the question about the place of the legal tradition in relation to the laws of the state, which I leave to other researchers.66

Much like the other Abrahamic traditions discussed, when addressing international humanitarian law, we must first consider the place of war. Specifically, Deuteronomy 20, part of the Written Law, focuses on war—comparable to jus in bello according to some scholars.67 While that biblical legislation distinguishes between war mandated by God against Canaanites and “other wars,” there are a number of restrictions that have components that mirror obligations under the Geneva Conventions, such as verses 19 and 20, stating that food trees may not be cut down in prosecution of the siege.68

Given the status of the Written Law, it was through rabbinic interpretation that the Jewish view of war expanded into three categories: obligatory war, optional war, and pre-emptive war (although the validity of this final category was known to be debatable).69 These categories mirror writings of Suárez and other traditions that differentiated between just and unjust wars. Most notably, there were already records surrounding stories about the need for compassion in the face of war: an underlying philosophy in IHL. In the first century, Philo of Alexandria remarked that women were spared from conflict.70 While the rationale behind sparing women from conflict was far from today’s equivalent of differentiating between combatants and non-combatants, it is still a notable distinction long before the codification of modern international humanitarian law.


When compared to the other religious traditions, Sikhism, a monotheistic tradition, is relatively new, as it originated in the 16th century in Punjab.71 It largely developed in the 16th and 17th centuries with the teachings of the ten Gurus as a third tradition apart from Islam and Hinduism.72 However, the history of south-east Asia has meant that the Sikh community has faced countless socio-political issues.73

The foundational belief in this tradition is oneness of God. That is, Sikh scriptures discuss that all people emanate from one divine source. This is underscored by the use of multiple terms for God derived from other traditions: Allah, Qadir, Karim, and Paar Brahma.74 Moreover, Sikh beliefs illustrate the universality of humanity. Hukam, the Divine Order, is God’s guiding hand behind the universe and life. Sikhism holds that humans are unique in God’s creation; life itself is a divine gift. This means that birth and death follow hukam.75 Related to hukam is dharmsal. This was originally an adjective used by Guru Nanak (first of the ten Gurus) to describe Earth—it is a place to practise righteousness. Instead of taking a passive role in society, a practising Sikh is meant to be active in their community.76 In the 21st century, the Sikh community has been known to exemplify these values of service and aid when people have been in need, as we have seen in the face of terror attacks in Europe and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.77

When it comes to IHL, much like the previously discussed religious traditions, there are distinct similarities that derive from the conception of war in Sikhism.78 This conception begins with the principle that violence is only justified when it is a last resort or for defence. In fact, no Guru attacked first and while Guru Gobind Singh (last of the ten Gurus) did participate in multiple conflicts, he maintained a strict adherence to Sikh beliefs by not fighting in a conflict that sought to usurp land, property, or destroy places of worship.79 Those limitations are reflected in the Law of Geneva and illustrate how international humanitarian law was far from a phoenix rising from the ashes of the aftermath of the Second World War.

The Power of Religion

Each of the religious traditions discussed shares similarities with International Humanitarian Law and they have all been in existence for far longer than the early traces of IHL in the mid 19th century. Catholic scholarship began the discussion of the concept of IHL in the West, and Henry Dunant was the voice that gave birth to what would later develop into International Humanitarian Law. Much like Dunant in Solferino, Bhai Ghanaiya chose to provide relief to the dying and wounded indiscriminately during the Battle of Anandpur Sahib. When confronted with the soldiers’ complaint about the duality of his service by Guru Gobind Singh, Bhai Ghanaiya explained that his Lord “taught him servitude without distinction; to treat people with love and malevolence; acting impartial to their religion, caste, creed, colour, and gender. He was practising the lessons he was taught by Guru Teg Bahadur.”80 In response, he received a medicinal balm from Guru Gobind Singh to apply to the wounded. Such an act, almost two centuries before the existence of contemporary IHL, illustrates that the principles of international humanitarian law have long existed.

Further, although the restrictions for each religion greatly differ from what is acceptable under contemporary international humanitarian law, Hinduism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam all recognized the need for looking beyond, rather than simply eliminating the enemy. Be it progressive rules regarding prisoners of war over a millennia before the enactment of Article 9 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, allowing impartial humanitarian aid for the relief and protection of prisoners of war, or a distinction between combatants and non-combatants, religion has always had a role to play in hostilities. Similarly, the Buddhist principle of non-violence is seen mirrored in the UN Charter.

While some might refer to present day international law as being the phoenix rising from the ashes of the post-WWII era, they are forgetting our history, one rich with examples of humanitarian thinking. Many of the concepts, or similar principles, that can be found in the Law of the Hague or the Law of Geneva can also be found in the major religious traditions of the world. When looking in a shard of a broken mirror, only a part of the whole is reflected. But when we take those broken shards, pasting each distinct piece of the mirror together, reality becomes clear: contemporary international humanitarian law was not novel, but a distinct evolution that codified many of the religious traditions and theories that had already existed long before the middle of the 20th century.

Bo Kruk graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Programme de common law en français in 2020 and is a member of the CBA’s International Law section. While he fell in love with several areas of law at law school, he is most passionate about how the law can be used to promote access to justice for equity seeking groups. He greatly appreciates the support and suggestions of Ewa Gosal who approached him to look at this complex topic.


1 Nevsun Resources Ltd v Araya, 2020 SCC 5 at para 1.

2 See, for example, the writings of Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz, “Archive.”

3 For a discussion surrounding comparative law and religion see James Q Whitman, “Comparative Law and Religion” in Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmermann, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, 2nd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019) 733.

4 For further reading that explores contemporary issues facing IHL see, for example, Andrew Clapham & Paola Gaeta, eds, The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

5 For a detailed overview see Robert Kolb & Katherine Del Mar, “Treaties for Armed Conflict” in Clapham & Gaeta, supra note 4, 50 as well as Theodor Meron, “Customary Humanitarian Law Today” in Clapham & Gaeta, supra note 4, 37.

6 Anotonio Cassese, “Current Challenges to International Humanitarian Law” in Clapham & Gaeta, supra note 4, 3 at 3-7.

7 Hilaire Mccoubrey, International Humanitarian Law: Modern Developments in the Limitation of Warfare, 2nd ed (New York: Routledge, 2019) at 1-34.

8 When referring to “Geneva Conventions,” it is commonly understood to refer to five distinct conventions. The 1864 Geneva Convention on Wounded in the Field; the 1906 Geneva Convention adding Shipwrecked; the 1929 Geneva Conventions on Wounded and Prisoners of War; the 1949 Geneva Conventions that arose from World War II; as well as the 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

9 Ten conventions make up the “Law of the Hague”: the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration, the 1899 Hague Declaration IV: Asphyxiating Gases; the 1907 Hague Convention III: Opening Hostilities; the 1907 Hague Convention IV: War on Land; the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare; the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol; the 1954 Hague Cultural Property Convention; the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention; the 1997 Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mines Convention; and the 2002 Statute of Rome that established the International Criminal Court.

10 For an introduction to IHL and the law of armed conflict see generally, Mccoubrey, supra note 7.

11 See generally, Carolyn Evans, “The Double-Edged Sword: Religious Influences on International Humanitarian Law” (2005) 6:1 Melb J Int’l L 1.

12 Ibid at 5-31.

13 Each of these traditions is far more complex than what can be explored in this publication. What I propose here is an overview of the role these traditions have on IHL. I leave exhaustive study for further comparative researchers.

14 For a general overview of Buddhism see Damien Keown, Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

15 Kelsey Jo Starr, “5 Facts About Buddhists Around the World” (5 April 2019), online: Pew Research Center.

16 Keown, supra note 14 at 3-4.

17 Ibid at 15-17.

18 Ibid at Chapter 4.

19 Ibid at 97-98.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid at 98.

22 See generally, AT Anyaratne, “Buddhism and International Humanitarian Law” (2003) 15 Sri Lanka J Int’l L 11.

23 Keown, supra note 14 at 98.

24 Anyaratne, supra note 22 at 13.

25 Charter of the United Nations, 26 June 1945, Can TS 1945 No 7.

26 Holy See Press Office, Bulletin, “Other News” (19 October 2019), online: Vatican.va.

27 See, for example, Daniele Menozzi, “Roman Catholicism” in Joel D.S. Rasmussen, Judith Wolfe & Johannes Zachhuber, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century Christian Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

28 For further reading on Vatican II see, for example, Matthew L Lamb & Matthew Levering, eds, The Reception of Vatican II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017) as well as Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Timothy Matovina & Robert A Orsi, eds, Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

29 See generally, James Brown Scott, Catholic Conception of International Law: Francisco de Vitoria, Founder of the Modern Law of Nations, Francisco Suarez, Founder of the Modern Philosophy of law in General & in Particular of the Law of Nations. A Critical Examination & A Justified Appreciation (Clark, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange, 2007) as well as Mark Weston Janis, “Religion and International Law” (17 November 2002), online: ASIL Insights.

30 Brown Scott, supra note 29 at 1-126.

31 Sergio Moratiel Villa, “The Philosophy of International law: Suárez, Grotius and epigones” (1997) 320 Int Rev Red Cross, online: ICRC.

32 For a close reading of Suarez’ views on war see Brown Scott, supra note 29 at 437-479.

33 Ibid at 440.

34 Ibid at 446-447.

35 Ibid at 472-473.

36 Moratiel Villa, supra note 31.

37 “The Changing Global Religious Landscape” (5 April 2017) at 8, online (pdf): Pew Research Centre.

38 T. N. Madan, “Thinking Globally about Hinduism” (2006), in Mark Juergensmeyer, ed, The Oxford Handbook of Global Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) at 15-23.

39 Ibid.

40 Cybelle Shattuck, Hindusim (Taylor and Francis, 2002), chapter 2.

41 Madan, supra note 38 at 16-18.

42 For a general overview of Hinduism see Ann G Gold, “Hinduism” (30 November 2020), online: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

43 Ibid.

44 Manoj kumar Sinha, “Hinduism and international humanitarian law” (2005) 87:858 Int’l Rev Red Cross 285 at 287. While the use of force remains outside the scope of this article, it is notable that most of the religious traditions discussed all had a different perspective on a specific escalation process before engaging in hostilities akin to contemporary jus ad bellum.

45 Ibid at 287-291.

46 Ibid at 291.

47 Ibid at 291.

48 “The Changing Global Religious Landscape” (5 April 2017) at 8, online (pdf): Pew Research Centre.

49 Rabbi March Gellman & Monsignor Thomas Hartman, “Abrahamic faiths all worship the same God” (26 June 2003), online: Chicago Tribune.

50 For a discussion of Abrahamic religions, and those that are often forgotten, see Anna Sapir Abulafia, “The Abrahamic Religions” (23 September 2019), online: British Library.

51 For an overview of the Pillars of Faith see Jamal J Elias, Islam (London, UK: Routledge, 1999) at 59-63.

52 Ibid at 20-24.

53 Ibid at 47-51.

54 Ibid.

55 Karima Bennoune, “As-Saláľ±mu ‘Alaykum? Humanitarian Law in Islamic Jurisprudence” in Mashood A Baderin, ed, International Law and Islamic Law (New York: Routledge, 2016) at 148.

56 Ibid.

57 Ibid at 159-171.

58 Ibid.

59 Ibid at 633.

60 I do not propose to take on a holistic review of Jewish theology and history but provide a brief introduction to accurately frame the discussion surrounding IHL. The detailed comparative analysis is left to further scholars.

61 “The Changing Global Religious Landscape” (5 April 2017) at 8, online (pdf): Pew Research Centre.

62 Israel Abrahams, “Judaism”, online: Project Gutenberg, Chapter 1.; Gerson D Cohen, “Judaism” (26 November 2020), online: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

63 François-Xavier Licari, An Introduction to Jewish Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019) at 6.

64 Ibid at 7.

65 Ibid at Chapter 3.

66 Although it is outside the scope of this article, the Jewish Legal Tradition developed a form of Rabbinical Arbitration as a technical necessity to be able to practice Halachah. See Licari, supra note 63 at 127-142.

67 Norman Solomon, “Judaism and the ethics of war” (2005) 87:858 Intl Rev Red Cross 295 at 295.

68 Ibid at 296.

69 Ibid at 298.

70 Ibid at 299.

71 For a general overview of Sikhism see Christopher Partridge & Tim Dowley, A Brief Introduction to Jainism and Sikhism (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2019) at 88-112. For a more detailed study of Sikhism see, for example, Pashaura Singh & Louis E Fenech, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

72 Partridge & Dowley, supra note 71, at 88-93.

73 See Gurinder Singh Mann, “The Sikh Community” in Mark Juergensmeyer, ed, The Oxford Handbook of Global Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) at 41-48.

74 Partridge & Dowley, supra note 71 at 96.

75 Ibid at 97.

76 Ibid at 98.

77 Nicole Morley, “Sikh temples in Manchester open their doors to victims of the Ariana Grande attack” (23 May 2017), online: Metro; Salmaan Farooqui, “Sikhs expand their community kitchens in response to COVID-19 hardships” (3 January 2021), online: The Globe and Mail.

78 See generally, Sangeeta Taak, Sugandha Sawhney & Madeeha Majid, “Sikhism and the International Humanitarian law” (2018-2019) 18 ISIL YB Int’l Human & Refugee L1.

79 Ibid at 6.

80 Ibid at 15.