Syed Muhammad Naguib Altas and Islamization of Knowledge

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Sharia Pages: 5 (1340 words) Published: August 28, 2013
ISLAMIC RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE PROBLEMATICAL CONCEPT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MOHAMMAD PEZESHKI

ISLAMIC RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE PROBLEMATICAL CONCEPT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Mohammad Pezeshki Institute for Science and Political Thought pezeshki.mohammad@gmail.com

Abstract: To achieve a common consensus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is important to see how Muslims understand religious freedom. Such a common consensus will result in protecting human dignity and avoiding international conflicts. Keywords: religious freedom, Muslims, human rights.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18).

Introduction: Why did Muslims declared the concept of Islamic religious freedom instead of accepting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (henceforth UDHR)? How do Muslims understand Article 18 of the declaration? This essay claims that there are civilizational differences between the Islamic view and contemporary view on human rights. Thus, UDHR is not much universal. To answer these questions and explain the thesis of this essay, it is necessary to overview the background of the discussion. Background of the discussion Article 18 of the UDHR, when being discussed in Third Preliminary Committee, was considered by the representative Em Debate, Belo Horizonte, v.3, n.2, p.16-19, mai. 2011.

ISLAMIC RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE PROBLEMATICAL CONCEPT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MOHAMMAD PEZESHKI

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of Saudi Arabia as a cultural invasion to the Islamic states (Glen, 1998, 76). Previously, this civilizational difference between the Islamic and the Western views was mentioned by the Representative of Saudi Arabia, who said this committee should show the superiority of a civilization over others in the content of the article and determine the same norms for all countries. In fact, the disagreements expressed by Saudi Arabia government included both freedom to manifest religion and freedom to change religion. Finally, an abstention was given to the UNDR by this country on December 10th, 1948. Saudi Arabia was not alone in its position. The same viewpoints had been proposed by other Islamic and non-Islamic states, before the UDHR was voted for by most of them. The challenges over the article are of a more religious and philosophical nature than legal. That the religious freedom as stated in UDHR is not so universal has been emphasized by article 10 of the Islamic Declarations of Human Rights or Cairo Declaration (henceforth IDHR) passed on August 5, 1990. According to Article 10 of the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), Islam is the religion of true unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of pressure on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to force him to change his religion to another religion or to atheism. Therefore, freedom to manifest of religion and freedom to change religion as stated in article 18 of the UDHR have been disagreed by Islamic governments. But why the wider concept of article 18 was replaced by a tighter one as expressed article 10 of the IDHR? Islamic view of religious freedom According to Moon (2004), there are generally five points of disagreement concerning religious freedom between the IDHR and UDHR. First, religion and religious freedom have a philosophically different meaning in Article 18 of UDHR and Article 10 of IDHR. As Moon correctly asserted, freedom of conscience or Religion as expressed in Article 18 should be extracted from extra-value religion systems (p. 586); while the religious freedom in Article 10 is considered as a gift given by God. Therefore, there is an...

Bibliography: GLEN, Johnson (1998). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Translated to Persian by MOHAMMAD Jafar Pouyandeh. Tehran: Nay Publications. International Religious Liberty Association (2011). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from: http://irla.org/index.php Accessed on February 27th MOON, Richard (2004). From Liberty to Equal Respect: Religious Freedom under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. in M. Habibi et al. (eds.), Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights (pp. 581-593), Mofid University Publications. University of Minnesota (2011). Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. Human rights library of Minnesota University, Retrieved from: Accessed on February 28th
Em Debate, Belo Horizonte, v.3, n.2, p.16-19, mai. 2011.
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