Islam and Human Rights

Advancing a U.S.-Muslim Dialogue

Islam and Human Rights

In the last few years, issues related to human rights have acquired great importance in shaping the character of U.S.-Muslim relations. Many Muslims doubt the seriousness of the U.S. commitment to the cause of human rights and democracy in the Muslim world, believing that the United States applies human rights' standards selectively to suit its strategic and economic interests. Irrespective of the validity of these charges, they are part of the context of the U.S.-Muslim dialogue on human rights that this volume seeks to advance.

Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights

Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights

In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the International Declaration of Human Rights, a document designed to hold both individuals and nations accountable for their treatment of fellow human beings, regardless of religious or cultural affiliations. Since then, the compatibility of Islam and human rights has emerged as a particularly thorny issue of international concern, and has been addressed by Muslim rulers, conservatives, and extremists, as well as Western analysts and policymakers; all have commonly agreed that Islamic theology and human rights cannot coexist. Abdulaziz Sachedina rejects this informal consensus, arguing instead for the essential compatibility of Islam and human rights. He offers a balanced and incisive critique of Western experts who have ignored or underplayed the importance of religion to the development of human rights, contending that any theory of universal rights necessarily emerges out of particular cultural contexts. At the same time, he re-examines the juridical and theological traditions that form the basis of conservative Muslim objections to human rights, arguing that Islam, like any culture, is open to development and change. Finally, and most importantly, Sachedina articulates a fresh position that argues for a correspondence between Islam and secular notions of human rights.

Islam and Human Rights

A Human Rights Education Training Manual for Islamic Organisations in Nigeria

Islam and Human Rights


Islam and Human Rights

Tradition and Politics

Islam and Human Rights

Islam and Human Rights is a probing examination of how the Islamic tradition has been exploited for political ends by regimes and institutions seeking to legitimize policies inimical to human rights. Ann Elizabeth Mayer critically appraises Islamic human rights schemes that dilute the human rights afforded by international law, comparing them with the complex Islamic legal heritage and international human rights law. Challenging stereotypes about a supposedly monolithic Islam inherently incompatible with human rights, Mayer dissects the political motives behind the selective deployment of elements of the Islamic tradition by conservative forces seeking to delegitimize demands for democracy and human rights. The fifth edition provides an updated consideration of government policies on Islam and human rights activism and how they are affecting developments in several Middle Eastern countries, and features a new chapter on the resistance of human rights for sexual minorities by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) project to co-opt international human rights law to criminalize “defamation of Islam” occurring in the West. The new edition also analyzes the other most recent and important issues of the region, including: The burgeoning pressures in the Middle East for human rights leading up to the Arab Spring; The ambitious campaign of the (OIC) to influence the UN human rights system by forging alliances with non-Muslim states hostile to human rights; The concerted efforts by this cross-cultural alliance to subvert international human rights law under pretenses of supporting human rights; The intensifying controversies over issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Middle East; The Danish Cartoons controversy and the OIC project to co-opt international human rights law to criminalize “defamation of Islam” occurring in the West.

Islam and Human Rights

Selected Essays of Abdullahi An-Na'im

Islam and Human Rights

The relationship between Islam and human rights forms an important aspect of contemporary international human rights debates. Current international events have made the topic more relevant than ever in international law discourse. Professor Abdullahi An-Na'im is undoubtedly one of the leading international scholars on this subject. He has written extensively on the subject and his works are widely referenced in the literature. His contributions on the subject are however scattered in different academic journals and book chapters. This anthology is designed to bring together his academic contributions on the subject under one cover, for easy access for students and researchers in Islamic law and human rights.

Human Rights and Islam

An Introduction to Key Debates between Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Human Rights and Islam

Is there a basis for human rights in Islam? Beginning with an exploration of what rights are and how the human rights discourse developed, Abdullah Saeed explores the resources that exist within Islamic tradition. He looks at those that are compatible with international human rights law and can be garnered to promote and protect human rights in Muslim-majority states. A number of rights are given specific focus, including the rights of women and children, freedom of expression and religion, as well as jihad and the laws of war. Human Rights and Islam emphasises the need for Muslims to rethink problematic areas of Islamic thought that are difficult to reconcile with contemporary conceptions of human rights.

Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

The relationship between Islamic law and international human rights law has been the subject of considerable, and heated, debate in recent years. The usual starting point has been to test one system by the standards of the other, asking is Islamic law 'compatible' with international human rights standards, or vice versa. This approach quickly ends in acrimony and accusations of misunderstanding. By overlaying one set of norms on another we overlook the deeply contextual nature of how legal rules operate in a society, and meaningful comparison and discussion is impossible. In this volume, leading experts in Islamic law and international human rights law attempt to deepen the understanding of human rights and Islam, paving the way for a more meaningful debate. Focusing on central areas of controversy, such as freedom of speech and religion, gender equality, and minority rights, the authors examine the contextual nature of how Islamic law and international human rights law are legitimately formed, interpreted, and applied within a community. They examine how these fundamental interests are recognized and protected within the law, and what restrictions are placed on the freedoms associated with them. By examining how each system recognizes and limits fundamental freedoms, this volume clears the ground for exploring the relationship between Islamic law and international human rights law on a sounder footing. In doing so it offers a challenging and distinctive contribution to the literature on the subject, and will be an invaluable reference for students, academics, and policy-makers engaged in the legal and religious debates surrounding Islam and the West.