Red Crescent Society

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Name of the International Red Cross in Muslim countries.

A humanitarian organization that maintains neutrality, the International Red Cross was established in 1864 at the behest of Jean-Henri Dunant, a Swiss citizen who had organized emergency medical aid for French and Austrian victims at the Battle of Solferino in 1859. In 1876, Ottoman officials requested that a red crescent, instead of a red cross, be used to mark their ambulances. The symbol, later accepted by other Muslim nations, was formally accepted by the society in 1929.

The Red Crescent Society is part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. National societies have traditionally concentrated on natural disasters, while the International Committee of the Red Cross has concentrated on situations of conflict and warfare. Red Crescent societies have made an important contribution to the international organization, developing policies that are inclusive of non-Western traditions.


Benthall, Jonathan. "The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Islamic Societies, with Special Reference to Jordan." British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 24, no. 2 (1997): 157177.

Haug, Hans. Humanity for All: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Berne: P. Haupt, 1993.

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