Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2012-07-31
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Islam and Human Rightsis 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 minoritiesby the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Muslim states. 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.

Author Biography

Ann Elizabeth Mayer is associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD in Middle Eastern History from the University of Michigan, a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a Certificate in Islamic and Comparative Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Assimilating Human Rights in the Middle Eastp. 1
Background: Legal Hybridity in the Middle Eastp. 1
Misperceptions About Applying International Human Rights Law as Serving Imperialismp. 4
Cultural Relativismp. 8
Muslims Challenge Cultural Relativismp. 13
Actual Human Rights Concerns in the Middle Eastp. 17
The Emergence of International Human Rights Lawp. 19
Muslims' Responses to and Involvement in the UN Human Rights Systemp. 20
Summaryp. 26
Human Rights in International and Middle Eastern Systems: Sources and Contextsp. 27
International Human Rights: Backgroundp. 27
Islamic Human Rights: Sourcesp. 28
The Impact of Islamization on Constitutions and Justicep. 33
The Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan and Its Aftermathp. 40
Saudi Arabia Confronts Pressures for Reforms and Liberalizationp. 41
Summaryp. 42
Islamic Tradition and Muslim Reactions to Human Rightsp. 43
The Premodern Islamic Heritagep. 43
Muslim Reactions to Western Constitutionalismp. 47
The Persistence of Traditional Priorities and Valuesp. 48
Consequences of Insecure Philosophical Foundationsp. 55
Islamic Human Rights and Cultural Nationalismp. 57
Ambivalent Attitudes on Human Rightsp. 64
Summaryp. 65
Islamic Restrictions on Human Rightsp. 67
Permissible Qualifications of Rights in International Lawp. 67
Islamic Formulas Limiting Rightsp. 69
Restrictions in the Iranian Constitutionp. 71
Restrictions in the UIDHRp. 76
Restrictions in Other Islamic Human Rights Schemesp. 79
Islam and Human Rights in the New Constitutions of Afghanistan and Iraqp. 81
Summaryp. 84
Discrimination Against Women and Non-Muslimsp. 85
Equality in the Islamic Legal Traditionp. 85
Equality in Islamic Human Rights Schemesp. 86
Equal Protection in US and International Lawp. 89
Equal Protection in Islamic Human Rights Schemesp. 90
Equality in the New Afghan and Iraqi Constitutionsp. 96
Summaryp. 96
Restrictions on the Rights of Womenp. 99
Backgroundp. 99
Islamic Law and Women's Rightsp. 99
Muslim Countries' Reactions to the Women's Conventionp. 103
Tabandeh's Ideasp. 104
Mawdudi's Ideasp. 105
The UIDHRp. 107
Islamization in Iran and the Iranian Constitutionp. 114
The al-Azhar Draft Constitutionp. 119
The Cairo Declaration and the Saudi Basic Lawp. 121
Women's Rights in Pakistanp. 124
The New Afghan and Iraqi Constitutionsp. 126
The Influence of Sex Stereotypingp. 128
Summaryp. 131
Islamic Human Rights Schemes and Religious Minoritiesp. 133
The Historical Background of Current Issues Facing Religious Minoritiesp. 133
International Standards Prohibiting Religious Discriminationp. 136
Shari'a Law and the Rights of Non-Muslimsp. 137
Tabandeh's Ideasp. 139
The UIDHRp. 140
The Iranian Constitutionp. 142
Mawdudi and Pakistan's Ahmadi Minorityp. 145
The Cairo Declaration, the Saudi Basic Law, and the al-Azhar Draft Constitutionp. 147
US Policies on Religious Minorities and Developments in Afghanistan and Iraqp. 148
Summaryp. 150
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Muslim States Resist Human Rights for Sexual Minoritiesp. 151
Backgroundp. 151
Sexual Minorities in the Middle Eastp. 153
Contested Islamic Authorityp. 158
Tensions with the West over the Treatment of Sexual Minoritiesp. 160
Muslim State's Objections to New UN Initiativesp. 161
Summaryp. 166
Freedom of Religion in Islamic Human Rights Schemesp. 169
Controversies Regarding the Shari'a Rule on Apostasyp. 169
Muslim Countries Confront Freedom of Religionp. 170
The Contemporary Significance of Apostasyp. 171
Tabandeh's Ideasp. 176
The UIDHRp. 177
The al-Azhar Draft Constitutionp. 179
The Iranian Constitutionp. 180
Sudan Under Islamizationp. 182
Mawdudi and Pakistani Law Affecting Religious Freedomp. 183
The Cairo Declaration and the Saudi Basic Lawp. 185
The Afghan and Iraqi Constitutionsp. 185
US Interventions in the Domain of Religious Freedomp. 186
Expanding the Reach of Laws Criminalizing Insults to Islam: From the Rushdie Affair to the Danish Cartoons Controversyp. 187
Summaryp. 201
An Assessment of Islamic Human Rights Schemesp. 203
Excerpts from the Iranian Constitutionp. 209
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islamp. 221
2009 Resolution on Combating Defamation of Religionsp. 229
Glossaryp. 235
Bibliographyp. 239
Notesp. 247
Indexp. 285
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