The Cairo Declaration again

Let’s take another, closer look at the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, focusing on certain aspects of it. This is not a selective excerpt, this is one that pulls out certain words and ideas, so it’s not fair in the sense of quoting a fair sample in context. Be sure to look at the Declaration itself – there is plenty of sensible stuff in it. But it’s startling and interesting what a large amount of non-sensible stuff there is in it – what a lot of Allah there is and what an enormous amount of Shari’ah there is.

Keenly aware of the place of mankind in Islam as vicegerent of Allah…Recognizing the importance of issuing a Document on Human Rights in Islam…Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which Allah made as the best community…to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah…fundamental rights and freedoms according to Islam are an integral part of the Islamic religion…they are binding divine commands, which are contained in the Revealed Books of Allah…

All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah…All human beings are Allah’s subjects…it is prohibited to take away life except for a shari’ah prescribed reason…Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right…it is prohibited to breach it without a Shari’ah-prescribed reason…provided they take into consideration the interest and future of the children in accordance with ethical values and the principles of the Shari’ah…The State shall ensure the availability of ways and means to acquire education…so as to enable man to be acquainted with the religion of Islam…Islam is the religion of true unspoiled nature…Human beings are born free…there can be no subjugation but to Allah the Almighty…Every man shall have the right, within the framework of the Shari’ah, to free movement…unless asylum is motivated by committing an act regarded by the Shari’ah as a crime…Everyone shall have the right to enjoy the fruits of his scientific, literary, artistic or technical labour…provided it is not contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah…There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Shari’ah…Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right…according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah. Information…may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets…Everyone shall have the right to…assume public office in accordance with the provisions of Shari’ah…All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah…The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.

That’s a human rights document. Human rights human rights human rights – provided it is not contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah. And who decides what is contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah? Ah…that would be telling.

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