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Constance Arminjon


In a comparative perspective, this article analyses the doctrinal debates that arose in Sunni and Shi’ite Islam after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. During a couple of decades this text hardly brought about any response in Islam. From the 1980s onwards, an increasing number of prominent thinkers started confronting their legal tradition to that from which human rights derive. While comparing both legal systems, they contribute to major and contrasting developments in contemporary Islamic legal thought.

Nobuyoshi Fujinami


Kemalpaşazade Sait (1848-1921) is widely acknowledged as one of the first Ottomans to have published textbooks on both international and domestic law, but few studies inquire into the characteristics of his thought in the context of modern legal studies. In his discussion of international law, Sait neglects Islam and fails adequately to examine the question of semi-sovereignty, a vital concern of Ottoman diplomacy at the time. In the field of domestic law, Sait concentrates on praising Reşit Pasha and the Tanzimat reforms he orchestrated, by identifying Islam with the modern Western ideal of law. Throughout his texts, Sait has little to say about the (secular) state’s sovereignty and its exercises. Sait’s approach to Islam and sovereignty, arguably two of the most fundamental issues in Ottoman law, apparently failed to keep pace with the development of legal studies after the Young Turk Revolution.

Meir Hatina


This article focuses on a comparative discussion of Arab secular and Islamic perceptions of power in the interwar period (1919-39), analyzing the writings of two key figures, namely Sāmī Šawkat, who was a vocal protagonist of Arab unity in Iraq, and Ḥasan al-Bannā, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. A comparative perspective reveals marked similarities between the two authors. Both advocated commitment to the nation and opposition to imperialism, and both positioned education as the focal point of their approach, fostering a glorious legacy and the exaltation of sacrifice.