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

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 arguments in this book are 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 human rights abuses are outcomes of complex systems by design and/or by default. Therefore, it proposes that a rigorous systems-thinking approach will contribute to addressing the challenge of human rights.

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.

About the Author

Ahmed E. Souaiaia is a member of the faculty with joint appointment in International Studies, Religious Studies, History, and at the 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 has received a number of other awards including the Presidential Faculty Fellowship, Dean’s Scholar Award, and the Provost’s Global Forum Award.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Universalizing the Study of the Universal Human Rights through Systems Thinking

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 Conclusions: Human Rights, Civil Society, and the State

Bibliographic Information

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

Author(s): Ahmed E. Souaiaia

Publisher: Lexington Books

Length: 204 pages

ISBN:‎ 9780367776176

Pub. Date: January 9, 2023


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