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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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Islamism, Statehood and Human Rights: A World of Difference


ISBN13: 9781780683317
Published: October 2015
Publisher: Intersentia Publishers
Country of Publication: Belgium
Format: Paperback
Price: £52.00



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An inconveniencing reality, which attests to the ever-increasing presence and influence of Islamism, is the emergence of Islamic State in the Levant. While this book does not give a day-to-day account of events in the newly created state, the worldviews that shape public policies and law in the 21st century world of Islam are very richly studied. Islamism, Statehood and Human Rights is therefore a contribution to the ongoing universalist-relativist debate in international relations and law. At the heart of the book is the question of whether religious and political philosophies of contemporary Islamic regimes are compatible with human rights originating from the secular tradition of the West.

Islamism, Statehood and Human Rights examines two different worlds and competing perspectives on international human rights: firstly, a world where all humans are, by nature, entitled to human rights, and secondly a world where religious identity is a requirement for human rights. The former world of entitlement usually consists of secular societies where efforts are consistently made to ensure the separation of Church and State. In the latter world however, there is a hypostatic union between Church and State. Political and legal authority is stamped on the minds of citizens or subjects through religion. Rights, some theocrats believe, are divinely ordained and ascribed to members of a given community of faith.

This strategic inquiry is informed by a strong desire for ethnographic understanding in multicultural societies and for peaceful co-existence within modern multi-religious states, which are often divided and threatened by the manipulation of religion and laws derived from religiously based traditions. Islamism, Statehood and Human Rights therefore investigates and analyses how law, politics, and religion interact in such local and international public arenas.