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Human Rights in Islam: an Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the equality rights of women in the Koran, the statutory Islamic law of Pakistan and compares these with international human rights standards. In Islamic human rights scholarship, a distinction should be made between the positions of Islamic states and that of the scholars of Islam. A few secular minded Muslim scholars advocate the approach of applying international human rights law in Muslim states. There is a separate group of Islamic scholars within the reformist group who argue that Islamic law can be reformed by the re-analysis of the divine text, the Koran. The chapter concludes with suggesting reform of the Islamic law of Pakistan on the lines of a contextual interpretation of the Koran using the mechanism of ijtihad on the one hand, and proposing, on the other, to make human rights law more sensitive to issues specific to women and voices from other cultures.

Keywords: contextual interpretation; ijtihad ; international human rights law; Islamic law; Koran



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