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Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights Hardcover – November 5, 2009

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ISBN-13: 978-0195388428 ISBN-10: 0195388429 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights is a reverent, insightful, and truly critical work by Abdulaziz Sachedina, who is the leading Islamic theorist writing in English today. This book is must reading for Muslims who want to be full participants in western moral and political discourse, for Jews and Christians who want voices from the third great monotheistic religion of revelation to become part of their dialogical interaction, and even for secular people who want to engage religious voices in moral and political discourse that is truly inclusive." --David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

"A searching investigation questioning the dilemmas facing Muslim thinkers with respect to human rights and a critique of the Western configuration of human rights as universal. Sachedina explores the possibility of an inclusive doctrine of human rights and he does so with passion and sensitivity. This book deepens our appreciation of human rights and also opens new frontiers of inquiry." --Ebrahim Moosa, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Duke University

"Sacedina's book is an excellent and stimulating contribution to the scholarship on the relationship between Islam and human rights and on developing and Islamic human rights system."--Niaz A. Shah, School of Law, University of Hull

"In the current cultural climate with all of its noise and ignorant posturing about Islam and Muslims, Sachedina's voice is invaluable. This work sets forth and begins to make good on an important and timely agenda within Islamic thought; hopefully future work will develop the agenda further."--The Journal of Religion

About the Author

Abdulaziz Sachedina is Professor and Endowed IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195388429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195388428
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,445,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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After World War II, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human rights, marking the beginning of a human rights revolution. This prompted an ongoing debate between religious and nonreligious authorities regarding the universality of such a doctrine in a multicultural world. Scholars and theologians alike have engaged in dialogue regarding the compatibility between Islam and human rights, and most have agreed that the two cannot coexist. In Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights, University of Virginia Professor of Religious Studies Abdulaziz Sachedina expresses his opposing beliefs. Sachedina compellingly argues that Islam and universal human rights are inherently compatible; he believes there must be a correspondence between Islamic theology and secular views of human rights to prevent the abuse or mistreatment of any human being.

Sachedina divides his book into six chapters which offer his critical assessment of the Declaration as well as his evaluation of Islamic theological sources and their ability to support universal human rights principles. He begins with an investigation into today’s competing notions of religious and secular with regards to human rights, highlighting a current lack of true discourse between the two. Sachedina continues with a chapter regarding the ethics of Islamic legal methodology and how they inherently support human rights. His next chapter deals with natural law and fitra, the Islamic notion of primordial disposition; he employs both concepts to support his argument. Sachedina follows with his chapter regarding women’s rights, arguing with scriptural analysis that Islam can universally improve the state of women.
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Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights
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