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Behind the Veil

A Critical Analysis of European Veiling Laws

Neville Cox

Since the early 2010s, an increasing number of European countries have passed laws that prohibit the wearing of various kinds of Islamic veil in particular circumstances. This insightful book considers the arguments used to justify such laws and analyses the legitimacy of these arguments both generally and in regards to whether such laws can be seen as justified interferences with the rights of women who wish to wear such garments.
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Abdullah Saeed

Is there a basis for human rights in Islam? Beginning with an exploration of what rights are and how the human rights discourse developed, Abdullah Saeed explores the resources that exist within Islamic tradition that are compatible with international human rights law and that can be garnered to promote and protect human rights in Muslim-majority states. A number of rights are given specific focus, including the rights of women and children, freedom of expression and religion and jihad and the laws of war. He concludes that there is a need for Muslims to rethink problematic areas of Islamic thought that are difficult to reconcile with contemporary conceptions of human rights.

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Abdullah Saeed

Those who argue for an Islamic conception of human rights agree that it is essential for a connection to be made between international human rights law and Islamic values if human rights are to gain widespread acceptance among Muslims. This chapter outlines the most important Islamic textual sources of authority and legal tools that can be used in this endeavour.

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Abdullah Saeed

What are human rights? This chapter answers this fundamental question, then provides a synopsis of the development of the international human rights discourse, from its inception in the context of natural law theories to its codification in the aftermath of the Second World War.

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Abdullah Saeed

This chapter examines the efforts made by Muslims to engage with the international human rights discourse; particularly the development of Islamic human rights instruments as alternatives to the international instruments drafted and promulgated by the United Nations.

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Abdullah Saeed

In 1993, Samuel Huntington proposed that differences between “civilisations” would be a fundamental source of conflict in the future. The idea of a “clash of civilisations” has also permeated the human rights discourse, with some arguing that Islamic conceptions of rights are essentially different to international conceptions. This chapter examines this thesis and explores Islamic notions of rights.

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Abdullah Saeed

There are various models of government in the world today, but is one model preferable when it comes to the promotion of human rights? This chapter considers whether Islamic models of governance can be conducive for upholding human rights, the benefits of democracy as a system of governance for protecting human rights and whether Islamic norms for governance is compatible with democracy.

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Abdullah Saeed

Following on from the previous chapter, this chapter again focuses on governance. It explores various frameworks for managing the relationship between religion and the state, including different models of secularism, and how these impact on the practice of human rights and religious freedom.

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Abdullah Saeed

This chapter considers the rights of women in Islam: from the revolutionary nature of the rights granted to women under the Prophet; to the eventual deterioration of those rights some centuries later; to those scholars fighting to revive the Qur’an’s original teachings in the contemporary period. It also provides an overview of the rights of women according to international law and explores the tensions and compatibilities between international standards for women’s rights and Islamic law.

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Abdullah Saeed

The rights of the child have been an important part of Islamic legal thinking since the very emergence of Islam. This chapter outlines the rights of the child according to Islamic law and thought and compares these conceptions to the rights of the child under international law. It identifies several areas of tension and considers how these might be addressed.