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Books and Documents

Islam and Human Rights

ISIS, Slavery, and Islamic Abolitionism

In a late 2014 issue of its English-speaking magazine, ISIS elaborated a justification for reviving slavery in the present day, and as the New York Times details in a lengthystory in the past month, they have systematically put their slave-holding beliefs in practice. In painful detail, the Times documents the horrors of ISIS' practice of sexual slavery including the abuse of girls as young as 11. ISIS attempts to justify its horrific acts in the name of scripture. But to what extent is their reading of scripture reasonable?

 

Islam and Slavery: The Persistence of History

Literalists, like those behind the Dabiq article, have interpreted these words as meaning “captured in battle”. Its purported female author, Umm Sumayyah, celebrated the revival of Islam’s slave-markets and even proffered the hope that Michelle Obama, the wife of America’s president, might soon be sold there. “I and those with me at home prostrated to Allah in gratitude on the day the first slave-girl entered our home,” she wrote….

 

Relatives of detainees who die in custody say they have been pressured into conducting hurried funerals, often at night, and sometimes coerced into declining an autopsy, even if the corpse bears signs of ill treatment. In other instances, they say, local mullahs are forbidden from offering prayers for the dead......

Eid in Yemen: The Muslim World Will Face Saudi Arabia in Prayer, But Never, It Seems, In Protest
Rafia Zakaria

The trash is piling high in the streets of Sana’a and other Yemeni cities; the dead and the starving pose their own threats to those that are left behind. In the thankless summer days and the nights of bombings, Yemenis cower and take shelter where they can. With the delivery of aid repeatedly stalled by the breakdown of ceasefire agreements, their fate will be a cruel one. Those spared by bombs will be taken by disease; those surviving that will be destroyed by trauma. The Muslim world will face Saudi Arabia in prayer, but never, it seems, in protest.

 

Stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh and Pakistan's Obligation towards Them
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

I call upon the Pakistani leaders, intellectuals, and people to work on resolving the problem of their brothers and partners who have been stranded for four decades. I am confident Pakistan will be stronger and better when it embraces all its nationals as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says, "Seek me among the poor and weak. Truly, you are given victory and provided for on account of the poor and weak among you."...

 

The government of Pakistan has a choice. It can act to defend fundamental human rights and consign the death penalty to the dustbin of history. Or it can end this brief season of “human dignity” and condemn Kaneezan Bibi, Khizar Hayat and thousands of others to the darkness of a vindictive death penalty policy with no end in sight.....

 

The Race to Kill In Pakistan
Nida Kirmani

Pakistan has executed over 150 people since a seven-year moratorium was lifted on state executions just six months ago. If we continue at this pace, we will quickly surpass China, North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia in the number of executions carried out by the state this year. It is not only the pace of executions that is alarming, it is the fact that many of these cases are marred by corruption, torture and a flagrant disregard for international human rights standards......

 

The government has repeatedly touted its "war on terrorism" — a reference to its battle against Islamic militants carrying out stepped-up attacks and to a crackdown on Islamists following the military's July 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. With the clampdown, many activists have gone into hiding, complicating efforts to determine who has been detained....

 

Human Rights Groups in Egypt Remain Invaluable
H.A. Hellyer

One of the Arab world’s most pre-eminent human rights institutions is the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, which has worked with institutions across the region, including intergovernmental bodies such as the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute. Its efforts in keeping track of state excesses for more than 20 years have been lauded around the world....

 

A Dragged, Stripped, Blamed Victim in Egypt
Diana Moukalled

In Egypt, it is common to blame women for being attacked, particularly when expressing their right to protest. A few weeks ago, amid the life sentences and executions being issued by the Egyptian judiciary, Nafea was sentenced to life in prison over accusations of sabotage and terrorism. It went largely unnoticed that she turned from victim to defendant, something many others have experienced....

 

Wars are a nasty killing business, the culmination of a failure of diplomacy or resolution of conflicts in a peaceful manner. Like religious fanaticism, where reason and logic stop and aggression gives way to hostility, mankind and nations often take refuge in manoeuvring and manipulating to go one up and control situations by non-peaceful methods....

 

The Two-State Solution is Dead
Mehdi Hasan

At a recent Arab American Institute dinner I attended here in Washington DC, the keynote speaker was US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who claimed that a "comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians" was still "possible"....

 

Rohingya Muslims: Victims of Ethnic Cleansing
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

The United Nations recently described the Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan state of Myanmar as the “the world’s most persecuted minority.” For several decades, these people have been subjected to murder, arson, displacement and deprivation....

 

Saudi Arabia is Helping Al-Qaeda Invade Syria
Asa Winstanley

Al-Qaeda has now won an important series of victories in that region. Who is behind this newly invigorated military push to install al-Qaeda in Syria? According to one expert, it is none other than that most important of US and British allies: the Saudi dictatorship....

 

To identify the boundaries of an Islamic legal order, the existence of other legal orders, and what happens when they “bump” into each other (both in terms of law and sovereign claims) lies at the heart of my research, given an assumption that the international state system is not dissolving any time soon. Answering those questions will not only offer insight into a specific issue like international child abduction, but arguably will help inform the ways by which those inside and ¬outside the Muslim world reflect on sharing a future amidst different histories, political orders, and legal orders……

 

Mohammed Morsi Should Not Be Given the Death Sentence
Amanda Paul

The euphoria of the “new Egypt,” President Morsi, his Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government and the hope that a new era of democracy and prosperity was about to be ushered in did not last long. A year to the day after Morsi's inauguration, an estimated 15 million Egyptians filled streets across the country calling for Morsi's departure. ...

 
Pakistan and The Rome Statute
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Pakistan and The Rome Statute
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Rome Statute opens up a new vista. It defines crimes against humanity as murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of the population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity….

In Bangladesh, As In France, Free Speech Has Become Deadly
Omer Aziz

Having dared to challenge the Islamist zealots who have become increasingly threatening in Bangladesh, these writers were repeatedly threatened online before their executioners, bearded and superficially devout, hacked them to death in the open street. Their story in many ways symbolizes the story of their country: daring to be independent and paying the price for it.....

Syria’s Circle of Hell
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The Responsibility to Protect principle commits the international community “to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council” to intervene on behalf of civilians when national governments fail to protect them from “genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity....

 

The group paraded and traded Syrian and Iraqi girls in 'slave bazaars' before the victims were shipped to other provinces, it was claimed. 'ISIL have institutionalized sexual violence and the brutalization of women as a central aspect of their ideology and operations, using it as a tactic of terrorism to advance their key strategic objectives....

 
Education and Terror
Rafia Zakaria

Education and Terror
Rafia Zakaria

Just as the terrorism report reveals that girls’ schools are more likely to be targeted for destruction, so the Unesco report reveals that girls are less likely to be educated and less money is spent on their education. Destroying girls’ access to education is a top priority for terrorists — providing that same access is a low priority for the state. Together they create a perfect collusion of ignorance, an insistence that the female remain relegated to a short life of child bearing and illiteracy....

 

Saudi Monarchy Cripples its Citizens' Ability to Dream
Tufail Ahmad

It is time Saudi Arabia is declared an apartheid state. Recently, US Senator Rand Paul urged a boycott of Saudi Arabia, telling Americans: “Remember when South Africa was misbehaving? We organised a boycott of South Africa. We should be boycotting Saudi Arabia.” Indian diplomats at the UN are too spineless: we should have moral stance on global issues so that our children know where we stand in this world.....

 

Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and specifically emphasizes and gives preference to mothers. The command to be good to one’s parents is in the Holy Qur’an. Allah says: “Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents....

 
A Holocaust on the Horizon
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

A Holocaust on the Horizon
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

It concerns the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar who for the most part have been ignored by the rest of the Muslim world. Researchers from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recently stated that “conditions in Myanmar are ripe for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority and the treatment of Rohingya Muslims could be the prelude to genocide....

 

The first symptom of this religiosity is the allegations against various party leaders for using mosques and Imambargahs as launching platforms for their political activities. The second symptom is the current unanimous decision of a so-called Jirga (local council) which bars women to vote....

 


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