Universal Rights versus Sharia? Reflections on the Moral and Legal Dimensions of Human Rights Law and Sharia

in Religion & Human Rights
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Abstract

This article develops a critique of the monopoly of liberal ideology in the field of human rights by considering how law, morality and politics are related to each other. The author argues that the constructive potential of international human rights law does not lie in its being understood and practiced as a positive law. On the contrary, to focus on human rights law as positive law is to conceal the political nature of human rights and to prevent effective development of its moral and political potential. Further, the author considers the case of Sharia law and argues that Sharia, for it to be implemented concretely in the social, political, and legal spheres, must be understood as a moral and religious ‘way’. These interpretations of human rights law and Sharia are used as the basis for a critique of the idea that human rights law and Sharia contradict each other.

Universal Rights versus Sharia? Reflections on the Moral and Legal Dimensions of Human Rights Law and Sharia

in Religion & Human Rights

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References

5

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’imIslam and the Secular State. Negotiating the Future of Sharia (Cambridge: Harvard University Press2008) p. 13.

7

Seyyed Hossein NasrIdeals and Realities of Islam (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society2001) pp. 89 92.

8

Tariq RamadanRadical Reform. Islamic Ethics and Liberation (Oxford: Oxford University Press2009).

9

Michael IgnatieffHuman Rights as Politics and Idolatry (Princeton: Princeton University Press2001).

13

Michal J. PerryTowards a Theory of Human Rights. Religion Law Courts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2007) p. 7.

19

Regeringens skrivelse 2005/06:95 April 2010. www.humanrights.gov.se accessed 1 July 2012.

25

Nasrsupra note 7 p. 88.

32

Ghulam SarwarIslam. Beliefs and Teachings (London: The Muslim Educational Trust2006) p. 153.

33

Mohammad Hashim KamaliShariah Law. An Introduction (Oxford: One World2008) p. 5.

36

An-Na’imsupra note 5.

39

Khaddurisupra note 24 p. 8.

40

Ramadansupra note 8 pp. 85–100.

42

Mashood A. BaderinInternational Human Rights and Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press2003) p. 33.

45

Maliksupra note 37.

47

Ramadansupra note 8 pp. 207–232.

53

Baderinsupra note 42 p. 45.

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