Islam and human rights: tradition and politics

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Westview Press, 1999 - History - 260 pages
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Do Islam and Islamic law constitute real obstacles to human rights? In this revised and updated edition, the author offers critical assessments of recent Islamic human rights schemes that dilute or eliminate the human rights protections afforded by international law and compares these both with the Islamic legal heritage and with international human rights law. Contesting stereotypes about a supposedly monolithic Islam inherently incompatible with human rights, Mayer dissects the political motives behind the selective use of elements of the Islamic tradition by conservative groups opposed to democracy and human rights. The third edition considers recent developments in human rights law and policy. For example, in Egypt, the notorious Abu Zaid case—where a scholar was declared an apostate and divorced against his will—marked a dramatic setback for human rights in the name of upholding Islamic law. However, some regimes are rethinking their previous attacks on the international human rights system—Iran being an example of a country that has recently been moving in the direction of combating the view that its Islamic ideology necessarily leads to human rights violations. In addition, the debates on whether Islam stands in the way of human rights continue in the UN, provoked in part by recent ”Islamic” reservations to human rights conventions. This edition considers these recent events and many others. Also new to the third edition: the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam and many excerpts from the Iranian constitution.

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User Review  - leeli -

This is a superb book on a controversial topic. Once read, it will change your opinion of the Islamic perspective of human rights forever. It's critical reading for everyone. ... Read full review


Sources and Contexts
Islamic Tradition and Muslim Reactions to Human Rights
Islamic Restrictions on Human Rights

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