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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.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



One class presentation, 10 minutes (equivalent to 1000 words)

  • 1000 words
Throughout the semester25%

Book review due four weeks after the teaching period

  • 500 words
During the assessment period15%

Research Essay due 6 weeks after the teaching period

  • 2500 words
At the end of the assessment period60%

Hurdle requirement

Hurdle requirement: Hurdle requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, class attendance is compulsory on all teaching days. All pieces of assessment must be submitted to pass this subject. Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.
Throughout the semesterN/A

Dates & times

  • July
    Principal coordinatorAbdullah Saeed
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursThis subject will be taught intensively with a total of 35 hours : 7 x 5 hours of lectures and tutorials
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Pre teaching start date20 June 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents are expected to listen to a number of lectures (available on the internet/LMS) and read the essential readings for this subject before the class commences. This information will be provided on LMS before the beginning of the teaching period
    Teaching period 8 July 2019 to 16 July 2019
    Last self-enrol date24 June 2019
    Census date12 July 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail 9 August 2019
    Assessment period ends 6 September 2019

    July contact information

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 21 September 2019