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4 Conflicting Values or Misplaced Interpretations? Examining the Inevitability of a Clash between 'Religions' and 'Human Rights'

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Chapter Summary

This chapter adopts a challenging position - it argues that it is possible to reconcile the values of religions with those of human rights law. It is argued that over time the meanings provided to 'human rights' and 'religion' have varied greatly; and their interpretations continue to vary. The chapter is divided into four main sections. After the introductory section, the second section, analyses the complexities within international human rights law. The jurisprudential kaleidoscope of 'human rights' raises profound questions regarding the meaning of 'rights' within the international legal framework. The obstacles in establishing a coherent set of human rights standards in international arenas are also examined. The third section elaborates on the difficulties facing conventional interpretations of religions. With its focus upon Islam, the section elaborates upon the methodological and contextual interpretation of Sharia. The final section provides a number of concluding observations.

Keywords: conflicting values; human rights; Islam; misplaced interpretations; religions; Sharia



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