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  3. Human Rights, Muslims and Islamic Law

Human Rights, Muslims and Islamic Law (ISLM30019)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeISLM30019
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The subject explores how a wide range of international human rights norms and values are conceptualised in classical and contemporary Islam and how Muslim thinkers of today are engaged in modern human rights discourses. The subject will consider the implications of conceptualizing human rights under sharia (Islamic law and norms) and international systems of human rights. Main themes covered are: the relationship of the sharia with modern international human rights law as well as with several of the controversial issues within human rights law; and compatibility of sharia with human rights values. A number of specific substantive issues, most notably the rights of women, children’s rights, and freedom of expression, freedom of religion and jihad and war will be studied in depth to illustrate the complexity of the contemporary debates on human rights and Islam.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the Islamic foundations of human rights and the relationship between sharia with modern human rights law;
  • Explain the different foundations of human rights, in particular regarding religious and secular grounding of human rights;
  • Illustrate the cultural relativism argument in the context of Islam;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the discourse of the appropriateness of applying international human rights standards in different contexts;
  • Critically examine the practise of human rights in various Muslim societies.

Last updated: 19 July 2019