Human Rights in Islamic Societies : Muslims and the Western Conception of Rights book cover
1st Edition

Human Rights in Islamic Societies
Muslims and the Western Conception of Rights

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 10, 2021
ISBN 9780367433499
May 10, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
214 Pages

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Book Description

This book compares Islamic and Western ideas of human rights in order to ascertain which human rights, if any, can be considered universal. This is a profound topic with a rich history that is highly relevant within global politics and society today.

The argument in this book is formed by bringing William Talbott’s Which Rights Should Be Universal? (2005) and Abdulaziz Sachedina’s Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights (2014) into conversation. By bridging the gap between cultural relativists and moral universalists, this book seeks to offer a new model for the understanding of human rights. It contends that it is a universal tendency toward cruelty that produces universal counter-cruelty. Thus, a dynamic equilibrium is created that can be made to endure for as long as the power differential does. It goes on to state that the persistent impulse to inflict cruel acts is checked only by the commitment of citizens to check the powerful--the State--with civil society.

Engaging with Islamic and Western, historical and contemporary and relativist and universalist thought, this book is a fresh take on a perennially important issue. As such, it will be a first-rate resource for any scholars working in Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Middle East Studies, Ethics, Sociology and Law and Religion.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

Part I Human Rights as a Discourse

2 What We Now Know: Human Rights and Post-Enlightenment Thought

3 Islamic Reaction to Western Enlightenment

Part II Human Rights in History

4 European Enlightenment, Racism, and Human Rights

5 Islam, Supremacy, Sectarianism, and Human Rights

Part III Globalism, History, and Human Rights Today

6 The Case of the 2011 Wars in SWANA

7 Actual and Instrumentalized Human Rights

8 Conclusion Human Rights, Civil Society, and the State



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Ahmed E. Souaiaia is a member of the faculty with joint appointment in International Studies, Religious Studies, History, and College of Law at the University of Iowa, USA. He is the author of several books including Anatomy of Dissent in Islamic Societies: Ibadism, Rebellion and Legitimacy (2013) and Contesting Justice: Women, Islam, Law, and Society (2008). He has published articles in refereed journals and essays in national and international media outlets. He received a number of other awards including the Presidential Faculty Fellowship, Dean’s Scholar Award, and the Provost’s Global Forum Award.