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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Developing an approach to a religious interpretation that can integrate legal traditions with universal human rights principles is a priority for the international community. Many theoretical visions of Islam and human rights presume both sides are rigid and fixed entities. The basic purpose of Islam and indeed of all religions according to the Koran is humanistic, ethical, moral and spiritual. 'Legal traditions' or 'religious legal traditions' are also more familiar terms for non-Muslim readers, because other religions and civilizations have such traditions as well. The conflict between the immutability of Muslim law and the universality of human rights has been one of the main issues of debate in the Islam and human rights discourse. In the Constitutions, legislation and other legislative sources of Muslim states, there are different categories of references to Islam, Shariah and similar terms, each with a different purpose.

Keywords: human rights; Islam; Koran; Muslim law; Muslim states; religious legal traditions; Shariah

10.1163/ej.9789004165557.vii-286.6
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