Islam, Shari’ah & Human Rights

In a previous post I indicated a further update on Human Rights – well here it is. This is still in the context of the book Freedom to Believe by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo.

Human Rights

To make the differences between a Western and an Islamic understanding of  ‘human rights’ clearer it was quite revealing in the book to compare the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Appendix 3, p. 129) with the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (Appendix 4, p. 137). My comments are going to be brief but you can follow the links, read both declarations and make up your own mind.

Article 1 of the Islamic Declaration states:

(a) All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah and descent from Adam. All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations. The true religion is the guarantee for enhancing such dignity along the path to human integrity.

(b) All human beings are Allah’s subjects, and the most loved by Him are those who are most beneficial to His subjects, and no one has superiority over another except on the basis of piety and good deeds.

It seems clear to me – if I have understood it correctly – that every person on the planet is born a Muslim. I can’t quote it but I have heard this before. I’m not sure how else to take it – ‘All human beings are Allah’s subjects’. This must therefore mean that everyone that is not a Muslim is an Apostate. And we know what that means – anyone is a legitimate target for the death penalty.

Article 2c states:

(c) The preservation of human life throughout the term of time willed by Allah is a duty prescribed by Shari’ah.

The allotted time willed by Allah is contingent on The Koran and Shari’ah Law. All the way through the declaration Shari’ah is introduced as normative. In other words there are many ‘get out’ clauses that have the ring of ‘we were only obeying orders’ – that is obeying the will of Allah by killing apostates.

Just in case you miss it the last two articles, 24 & 25 say this:

ARTICLE 24: ‘All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.’

ARTICLE 25: ‘The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.’

At least the Islamic declaration is honest, nothing is hidden, yet Western governments, including my own just don’t seem to get it. I have no way of telling if every Muslim wants to see the whole world dominated by Islam. However, if not, they will be at odds not only with  the Islamic Human Rights Declaration but with The Koran. I’m left scratching my head and wondering just how Blair, Brown and now Cameron in the UK and Bush & Obama in the US can miss this – that is unless it’s intentional.

Buy or borrow the book and read for yourself.

More on the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

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