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Islamic Laws and International Human Rights Law
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Islamic Laws and International Human Rights Law

Price: $113.00
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Published Oct 2012 (OUP)
ISBN: 9780199641444. Hard Cover, 416 pages.

Edited by: Mark S Ellis, Anver M Emon, Benjamin Glahn 

  • Focuses on flashpoints in Islamic law and international human rights law, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion, women's equality, and minority rights 
  • Deepens the understanding of the relationship between Islam and human rights by examining how fundamental freedoms are protected and limited in each system, not just the compatability of particular rules 
  • Provides a challenging, original starting point for studying the subject, representing an excellent teaching resource 

The relationship between Islamic law and international human rights law has been the subject of considerable, and heated, debate in recent years. The usual starting point has been to test one system by the standards of the other, asking is Islamic law 'compatible' with international human rights standards, or vice versa. This approach quickly ends in acrimony and accusations of misunderstanding. By overlaying one set of norms on another we overlook the deeply contextual nature of how legal rules operate in a society, and meaningful comparison and discussion is impossible. In this volume, leading experts in Islamic law and international human rights law attempt to deepen the understanding of human rights and Islam, paving the way for a more meaningful debate. 


Focusing on central areas of controversy, such as freedom of speech and religion, gender equality, and minority rights, the authors examine the contextual nature of how Islamic law and international human rights law are legitimately formed, interpreted, and applied within a community. They examine how these fundamental interests are recognized and protected within the law, and what restrictions are placed on the freedoms associated with them. By examining how each system recognizes and limits fundamental freedoms, this volume clears the ground for exploring the relationship between Islamic law and international human rights law on a sounder footing. In doing so it offers a challenging and distinctive contribution to the literature on the subject, and will be an invaluable reference for students, academics, and policy-makers engaged in the legal and religious debates surrounding Islam and the West. 

Readership: Scholars and students of Islamic law and international human rights law; practitioners in the field of international human rights law and islamic law; anyone engaged in inter-faith dialogue from a political or religious perspective. 


Edward Mortimer: Foreword 

1: Mark Ellis, Anver M. Emon, Benjamin Glahn: Editors' Introduction 

Part I: Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Kathleen Cavanaugh: Narrating Law 

Anver M. Emon: Shari'a and the Modern State 

Hans Corell: Commentary to Anver M. Emon "Shari'a and the Modern State" and Kathleen Cavanaugh "Narrating Law" 

Muhammad Khalid Masud: Clearing Ground: Comment on "Shari'a and the Modern State" 

Justice Adel Omar Sherif: Commentary: Shari'a as Rule of Law 

Part II: Freedom of Speech 

Nehal Bhuta: Rethinking the Universality of Human Rights: A Comparative Historical Proposal for the Idea of "Common Ground" with Other Moral Traditions 

Intisar Rabb: Negotiating Speech in Islamic Law and Politics: Flipped Traditions of Expression 

John B Bellinger III & Murad Hussain: The Great Divide and the Common Ground Between the United States and the Rest of the World

Part III: Freedom of Religion 

Urfan Khaliq: Freedom of Religion and Belief in International Law: A Comparative Analysis 

Abdullah Saeed: Pre-Modern Islamic Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Religion, with Particular Reference to Apostasy and its Punishment

Malik Imtiaz: The Freedom of Religion and Expression: A Rule of Law Perspective 

Sumner B. Twiss: Commentary 

Part IV: Women's Equality 

Ratna Kapur: Unveiling Equality: Disciplining the 'Other' Woman Through Human Rights Discourse 

Ziba Mir-Hosseini: Women in Search of Common Ground Between Islamic and International Human Rights Law 

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: Women and Islamic Law - Commentary 

Lynn Welchman: Islamic and International Law: Searching for Common Ground: Musawah, CEDAW, and Muslim Family Laws in the 21st Century 

Part V: Minority Rights 

Anver M. Emon: Religious Minorities and Islamic Law: Accommodation and the Limits of Tolerance

Errol Mendes: The Dialectic of International Law and the Contested Approaches to Minority Rights 

Justice Richard Goldstone: Religious Minorities and Islamic Law

Javaid Rehman: Islam vs. the Shari'a: Minority Protection within Islamic and International Legal Traditions 

Robin Lovin: Epilogue: Common Ground or Clearing Ground?

About the Authors

Anver M. Emon, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Mark Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association, and Benjamin Glahn, Former Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar 

Anver M. Emon is associate professor of law at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. His research focuses on premodern and modern Islamic legal history and theory; premodern modes of governance and adjudication; and the role of Shari'a both inside and outside the Muslim world. The author of Islamic Natural Law Theories (Oxford University Press, 2010), Professor Emon is the editor in chief of Middle East Law and Governance: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

As Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA) Mark Ellis leads the foremost international organization of bar associations, law firms and individual lawyers in the world. Prior to joining the IBA, he spent ten years as the first Executive Director of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), a project of the American Bar Association (ABA). Providing technical legal assistance to twenty-eight countries in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, and to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, CEELI remains the most extensive international pro bono legal assistance project ever undertaken by the US legal community. He served as Legal Advisor to the Independent International Commission on Kosovo, chaired by Justice Richard J. Goldstone and was appointed by OSCE to advise on the creation of Serbia's War Crimes Tribunal and was actively involved with the Iraqi High Tribunal. 

Benjamin Glahn is the Former Deputy Chief Program Officer and Program Director at the Salzburg Global Seminar. 

Contributors: John B Bellinger III, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, DC, and Adjunct Senior Fellow in International and National Security Law, Council on Foreign Relations; formerly The Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State Nehal Bhuta, Assistant Professor of International Affairs, The New School GPIA, New York Kathleen Cavanaugh, Lecturer of International Law in the Faculty of Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), National University of Ireland, Galway Hans Corell, Former Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, United Nations Mark Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association Anver M. Emon, Associate Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law Benjamin Glahn, Former Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar Justice Richard Goldstone (ret), Constitutional Court of South Africa; Former Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda Murad Hussain, Associate, Arnold and Porter LLP, Washington DC Malik Imtiaz, President, National Human Rights Council, Malaysia Ratna Kapur, Director of the Centre for Feminist Legal Research, Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations; Lecturer, Indian Society for International Law Urfan Khaliq, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff Law School, UK Robin Lovin, Cary Maguire University Professor of Ethics, Southern Methodist University; Fellow, Center of Theological Inquiry Muhammad Khalid Masud, Former Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, Islamabad, Pakistan Errol Mendes, Professor of Law, University of Ottawa Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Research Associate, Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK Edward Mortimer, Senior Vice-President, Salzburg Global Seminar; former Director of Communications, United Nations Secretary-General Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (ret), U.S. Supreme Court Intisar Rabb, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Boston College Law School Javaid Rehman, Professor of Law, Brunel Law School, Brunel University Abdullah Saeed, Director of Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne, Australia Justice Adel Omar Sherif, Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Sumner B. Twiss, Distinguished Professor of Human Rights, Ethics, and Religion, Florida State University Lynn Welchman, Professor of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

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