Chapter

Rethinking the Universality of Human Rights: A Comparative Historical Proposal for the Idea of ‘Common Ground’ with Other Moral Traditions

Nehal Bhuta

in Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641444
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741104 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641444.003.0008
Rethinking the Universality of Human Rights: A Comparative Historical Proposal for the Idea of ‘Common Ground’ with Other Moral Traditions

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This chapter addresses the question of common ground between Islamic legal thought and practice, and the law and practice of international human rights. It suggests that a fruitful approach to the question of common ground is to start not from comparative axiological lists of values and norms, but to engage in comparative histories of the present configurations of norms and values. Rather than take one set of principles as the universal norms (purportedly transcending culture and political power) to which other values must be assimilated or acculturated, this chapter relativizes both sets of values by trying to grasp their meaning and social significance within specific historical formations of politics, place, and power. The discussion then turns to freedom of religion in the European Court of Human Rights.

Keywords: Islamic law; international human rights law; common ground; freedom of religion

Chapter.  11065 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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