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Muslim Legal Traditions of Dhimmah and Relevant Human Rights Law

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Chapter Summary

Using contemporary legal terminology, Dhimmah traditions had two dimensions, public and personal. According to Dhimmah public conditions, only People of the Book could legitimately enter into Dhimmah contracts with Muslims. The other international treaties consider specifically the identity of three specific minority groups, namely indigenous and tribal peoples, migrant workers and national minorities. Not all religious groups have similar identity rights, as they don't have similar religious rights. An-Na'im points out that "[t]he general principle of the rights of the members of religious minorities is to be found in the guarantee against discrimination on grounds of religion or faith. All the relevant international human rights documents and national Constitutions consistently and explicitly provide for this fundamental principle." In the majority of countries although the law of the country, especially family law, is equally applicable to everyone, it reflects in certain important matters the concept of the predominant group.

Keywords: Dhimmah; family law; human rights; indigenous peoples; migrant workers; Muslims; national minorities; religious minorities; tribal peoples



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