Thursday, May 7, 2009

Islamic human rights

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Saudi-backed group that includes 57 Muslim countries, issued the Cairo Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. The Declaration forbids genocide, guarantees everyone access to justice, and states that all individuals are equal under the law.

There is, of course, a caveat: Article 24 states that "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in the Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah." Other articles, such as the one on freedom of expression, contain explicit restrictions.

A principal shortcoming of the international human rights movement has been its failure to challenge the Cairo Declaration in any serious manner.

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