Islam and Human Rights: Advocacy for Social Change in Local Contexts reflects the outcome of the Islam and Human Rights Fellowship Program, a three-year project at Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, USA. The Program brought ten scholars and activists together to explore the relationship between human rights and Islam, with the objective of helping people within Islamic societies promote and protect human rights from an Islamic perspective.
The book begins with a Foreword by Prof. Abdullahi An-Na’im, Director of Program, which explicates the idea and approach of the program and the ten studies. This introduction is followed by an article authored by each Program Fellow, reflecting the theoretical framework, research methodology, and fieldwork experience of their particular project. The ten articles cumulatively cover a wide range of disciplinary, theoretical, and advocacy issues and perspectives on engagements between Islam and human rights in diverse local contexts.
The articles in the collection are divided into three categories. Gender Justice, Sexuality, and Health Rights includes articles on: Islam and women’s rights in Senegal; Islam and gender justice in Philippines; and domestic violence in Indonesia. The category of Civil and Economic Rights consists of articles on: Shari’ah in Northern Nigeria; constitutional and human rights perspectives on Islam in Malaysia; rights of slum dwellers in Morocco; and rights violations of the Al-Akhdam ethnic minority in Yemen. The category of Commentary on Islam and Human Rights includes: an evaluation of a rights paradigm beyond secularism and Islamism for Nigeria; and an examination of human rights in Islam between universalistic and communalistic perspectives. An article on promoting human rights education through the Islamic Law curriculum in a university in Yogyakarta, Indonesia represents the final category of Human Rights Education in an Islamic Context.
The individual articles and the collection as a whole represent a rich engagement between human rights scholarship and human rights advocacy, in keeping with the program objective of promoting the protection of human rights in Islamic societies and communities around the world. This book marks an innovative and original contribution to the discourses of human rights theory, practice, and advocacy; Islamic law; Islamic studies; women’s rights, gender studies; and fieldwork methodology. It is an invaluable resource for scholars, rights activists and advocates, NGOs, policymakers, and anyone with an interest in issues of Islam and human rights.