by Ziya Meral, Cambridge University, Wiley-Interscience, September 21, 2009
Thus far, public debates around human rights in the Islamic world have mostly been abstract debates around Islamic thought. This has taken the form of arguments around faulty notions of clash of civilisations or the attempts of Muslim thinkers to demonstrate that Islam is compatible with contemporary ideals of democracy and human rights. In contrast, this essay focuses exclusively on how Muslim-majority states have reacted to the development of the human rights both domestically and internationally. It presents an overview of the emergence of Cairo Declaration and Arab Charter on Human Rights and current debates around Defamation resolutions and Durban conferences on racism, along with politics of sharia and domestic power challenges faced by Muslim-majority states and their effects on implementation of human rights in the Islamic world.