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Islamic human rights declarations and their critics : Muslim and non-Muslim objections to the universal validity of the Sharia

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Islam and human rights - do these two subjects exclude each other? Not at the first glance since there are several Islamic human rights declarations like the "Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam" stemming from 1990 and the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" from 1981 which guarantee a number of rights for men, women, Muslims and Non-Muslims. At a second glance, however, there are certain areas of concern when comparing both texts with the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam" adopted and proclaimed by the UN in 1948. The Islamic human rights declarations always prescribe Sharia as the only criterion and leveling board for the acceptance or rejection of human, women's or minorities' rights. Nevertheless, we are presently witnessing a growing awareness and fearless activism of Islamic human rights organisations assisting the many victims in Islamic countries who fall prey to the all too often ongoing power struggle between government, police, security forces and orthodox religious leaders.
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Keywords: Arab Organisation for Human Rights; Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam; Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights; Human rights; Sharia law; Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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