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The Conceptual Foundations of Human Rights: A Comparative Perspective

The Conceptual Foundations of Human Rights: A Comparative Perspective Shaheen Sardar ~ l i * Is the notion of human rights a purely 'Western' concept (assuming that there is a single homogeneous 'Western' tradition)? Or do non-Western religious and cultural traditions have equivalent concepts, lending strength to the belief in the universality of human rights? Is there a human rights discourse in Islam? What are the parameters of such a discourse? What are the normative source/s of this discourse, and are they static or dynamic? If there is a rights discourse, what is the degree of compatibility or otherwise between the rights discourse within the Islamic tradition and one from an international legal perspective? What are the political connotations of the term human rights within the Islamic context? Why are some Muslim governments so averse to engaging in a dialogue on the subject? Is there a correlation between representative government and human rights and is there a connection between dictatorial regimes and this denial of existence of a human rights discourse in Islam? The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the issues and questions posed above. It will be argued that there exists a human rights discourse within a pluralistic Islamic tradition with a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Public Law Kluwer Law International

The Conceptual Foundations of Human Rights: A Comparative Perspective

Ali
European Public Law , Volume 3 (2) – Jun 1, 1997

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Kluwer Law International
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Copyright © Kluwer Law International
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1354-3725
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Abstract

Shaheen Sardar ~ l i * Is the notion of human rights a purely 'Western' concept (assuming that there is a single homogeneous 'Western' tradition)? Or do non-Western religious and cultural traditions have equivalent concepts, lending strength to the belief in the universality of human rights? Is there a human rights discourse in Islam? What are the parameters of such a discourse? What are the normative source/s of this discourse, and are they static or dynamic? If there is a rights discourse, what is the degree of compatibility or otherwise between the rights discourse within the Islamic tradition and one from an international legal perspective? What are the political connotations of the term human rights within the Islamic context? Why are some Muslim governments so averse to engaging in a dialogue on the subject? Is there a correlation between representative government and human rights and is there a connection between dictatorial regimes and this denial of existence of a human rights discourse in Islam? The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the issues and questions posed above. It will be argued that there exists a human rights discourse within a pluralistic Islamic tradition with a

Journal

European Public LawKluwer Law International

Published: Jun 1, 1997

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