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Book “Islamic Human Rights and International Law” by Glenn Roberts

The author of this book, Glenn Roberts, argues that the Islamic law is both a quasi-regional customary international law capable of competing with prevailing customary international law.

Traditional Islamic law has long been regarded as academic, local in nature and relevant only as a measure of the inadequacy of women’s rights in the family law regimes of a few Islamic states. In opposition, the author argues that the Sharia is both a quasi-regional customary international law capable of competing with prevailing customary international law, and brings its own international agenda of “Islamic human rights” that compete with and seek to displace “Western human rights.” Rather than acknowledging the rights of Muslims qua Muslims internationally, aggressive proponents of an “American customary-law-of-human-rights school” have responded with a new militant doctrine of “instant customary law” to aid the U.S. in its “war on terror,” targeting the Sharia wherever encountered, and risking a global “war on Islam.”

This paper was written in the autumn of 2003 in the wake of the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. At a time of unbridled optimism about American plans to export Western ideas and culture to traditional societies in the Middle East, it was the opinion of the writer in 2003 that such optimism was unfounded and that the American project would run aground on the shoals of custom, tribalism, and an entrenched framework of traditional legal and political values that differ profoundly from the milieu espoused by Western, and especially American, proponents of rapid societal transformation.

Traditional Islamic law, or the Sharia (al-shari’a), is the chief embodiment of these traditional values among Muslims, known for centuries as simply The Holy Law. In the following monograph, the author argues that the Sharia, though long ignored or scorned by Westerners, has relevance not merely as a medieval survival in the family law regimes of a few Muslim societies, but that its influence has in fact been growing both domestically and internationally, such that it has attained the status of a quasi-regional customary international law.

The international component of the Sharia is not only capable of competing with prevailing customary international commercial law, as demonstrated in the LIAMCO case and the growing International network of Islamic banks, but also brings its own international agenda of Islamic human rights that compete with and seek to displace the prevailing international legal regime of Western human rights.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER1: Al-Sharia: Islamic Law

CHAPTER 2: AL-Siyar: Islamic International Law.

CHAPTER 3: Islamic International Law vs. Western International Law

CHAPTER 4: Islamic Human Rights vs. Western Human Rights

CHAPTER 5: Women’s Issues at the Forefront

CHAPTER 6: Muslims’ Grievances

CHAPTER 7: International Law in Flux

BIBLIOGRAPHY.

GLOSSARY OF ARABIC TERMS.

Glenn L Roberts is an attorney and translator with Pro-Lex Services, specializing in Arabic legal translating. Roberts is a student of the Islamic Sharia in international law and Central Asia.

To  download Two Chapters of the Book in PDF Click here: Islamic Human Rights and International Law

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