Over the course of his distinguished career, legal scholar Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im has sought to reconcile his identity as a Muslim with his commitment to universal human rights. In Muslims and Global Justice, he advances the theme of global justice from an Islamic perspective, critically examining the role that Muslims must play in the development of a pragmatic, rights-based framework for justice.
An-Na'im opens this collection of essays with a chapter on Islamic ambivalence toward political violence, showing how Muslims began grappling with this problem long before the 9/11 attacks. Other essays highlight the need to improve the cultural legitimacy of human rights in the Muslim world. As An-Na'im argues, in order for a commitment to human rights to become truly universal, we must learn to accommodate a range of different reasons for belief in those rights. In addition, the author contends, building an effective human rights framework for global justice requires that we move toward a people-centered approach to rights. Such an approach would value foremost empowering local actors as a way of negotiating the paradox of a human rights system that relies on self-regulation by the state.
Encompassing over two decades of An-Na'im's work on these critical issues, Muslims and Global Justice provides a valuable theoretical approach to the challenge of realizing global justice in a world of profound religious and cultural difference.
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University. He is the author of African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam, and editor of Human Rights Under African Constitutions: Realizing the Promise for Ourselves, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Introduction: Reimagining Global Justice Part I. The Challenge of Universality and Cultural/Religious Legitimacy Chapter 1. Islamic Ambivalence to Political Violence: Islamic Law and International Terrorism Chapter 2. Problems of Universal Cultural Legitimacy for Human Rights Chapter 3. Toward a Cross-Cultural Approach to Defining International Standards of Human Rights: The Meaning of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Part II. Prospects of Mediation for the Paradox of Universality and State Self-Regulation Chapter 4. State Responsibility Under International Human Rights Law to Change Religious and Customary Laws Chapter 5. Islamic Foundations of Religious Human Rights Chapter 6. Cultural Transformation and Normative Consensus on the Best Interest of the Child Chapter 7. Toward an Islamic Hermeneutics for Human Rights Part III. Regional and Global Perspectives Chapter 8. Competing Claims to Religious Freedom and Communal Self-Determination in Africa Chapter 9. Globalization and Jurisprudence: An Islamic Perspective Chapter 10. The Politics of Religion and the Morality of Globalization Chapter 11. Global Citizenship and Human Rights: From Muslims in Europe to European Muslims Notes Bibliography Index Acknowledgments