Islam Between Faith and Ideology

Islam & Human Rights
Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin
Islamic State University
Yogyakarta- Indonesia
Human Rights to Social Justice
•Social class
•Sex/ Gender
Social equality/
•Civil and Political
•Economic, social
& cultural rights
Equality to Social justice
All human being regardless of their race or
ethnic, faith, social class and sex and gender are
entitled to have equal:
access, participation, control over decision
making and benefit of development and social
Social justice will be achieved if human basic
needs are fulfilled: aspects on civil and political
rights and economic, social and cultural rights.
Human Rights Category
The First generation: Civil & Political rights
 Rights to grant human dignity: individual rights
The seconds: Economic, social & cultural Rights: Rights
to fulfill life sustenance or enjoyment.
 Right of poor nations to access part of the abundant
resources of rich nations: results of unequal political
economic in the global setting.
 The third generation: collective rights: based on
solidarity: right to peace, right to development, right
to balance environments
Discrimination as the Obstacle to
Achieve Social Justice
Forms of discrimination:
 Stereotype: negative label to degrade human
dignity of others:
indigenous: unintelligent, negligent, laid-back, conservative
and uncivilized.
Women: physically & intellectually inferior to men.
Subordinate position:
Patriarchy: men’s social position is superior to women: men
are leaders & masters. Women are followers and providers.
Feudalism: The rich is the dominance and the poor are the
subordinate. The royal family is the leader and the communal
and ordinary people are ruled and controlled
Marginalization: public life:
majority are leaders and minority are ruled and
 Men are leaders and managers & women are
followers or executors
 Physical, emotional and sexual violence
The Root of social discrimination
Culture: Patriarchy, feudalism ,
ethnic chauvinism
Religion : misogyny, prejudice &
Ideology: power dominance &
Human Rights as Universal value?
Universality of human rights:
Global acceptance of human rights achieved since the
adoption of UDHR 1948.
Universalism of human rights
Interpretation and application of Human right
principles: a common universal value consensus:
 Has not been achieved
 Being subjected of debate: Universalism Vs cultural
 Individual right Vs Collective rights
The Paradox of Human Rights :
Western Liberal perspective: Human rights
are exclusively universal , both substance and
application; western norms should always be the
universal model for human right law : emphasis
heavily on individual rights.
Universalism of Human rights understood by non
Westerners as the return of the colonial laws
which were systematically diminish the local laws. “
another form of new colonialism serving to
strengthen the dominance of the West.
Cultural relativism (non Western) : Human
right principles are not exclusively rooted in
western culture, but are inherent in human
nature and based on the ultimate morality of
every culture and religion. Human rights will not
be fully realized without contextualizing them
into local culture.
cultural relativism prone to abuse and to justify
human rights violations by different regimes
Muslim’s Responds to Human
Islam is compatible with international
human rights.
True human rights can only be fully
realized under Islamic law.
International human right is an
imperialist agenda that must be rejected
Islam is incompatible with international
human rights.
1. Human Right is compatible
with international human rights
Inclusive approach to Islamic Law:
Most promising perspective in harmonizing
Islam& human rights. Derived from the
inclusive understanding of Islamic law:
The sources and methods of Islamic contain the
concept of good governance and human welfare:
respect for justice, protection of human life and
dignity that validate modern international human
rights ideals.
2. True human rights can only be
fully realized under Islamic law
Exclusive Approach to Islam & HR:
Part of the submission to the Divine requires the
deepest and sharpest sense of responsibility as well as
the total absent of arrogance and egoism, internal and
external communication.
human rights in Islam have been granted by God; they have
not been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly.
The rights granted by the kings or the legislative assemblies,
can also be withdrawn in the same manner in which they are
conferred. They can withdraw them when they wish; and they
can openly violate them when they like (Abu al-'A'la
Mawdudi ).
3. International human right
is an imperialist agenda
Post-colonial responds:
 not peculiar to Muslim; common responses of
developing countries in fear of the neocolonialism.
 Psychological aspect of the past colonial
experience of most developing countries under
Western imperialism
 Double standard of the West:
Iraq invasion to Kuwait Vs US invasion to Afghanistan
Saudi Arabia Vs China
4. Islam is incompatible with
international human rights.
“Fundamentalist” political approach:
Human right objective has a hidden antireligious agenda.
Human Rights is new ‘civil religion’ and
international ideology of humanism ” rooted
in secularization in the West.
Systematically remove religiosity from the
world order.
Promote decadence and immorality:
Homosexuality, adultery and abortion, etc.
Islamic Law Framework
Qur’an &
Literal /Textual
Strict /
Current Islamic Law
Syari’ah & Islamic Law
Misconception about Syariah & Islamic
The source :the corpus of the revealed law (the
Qur’an & authentic tradition of the prophet.
 Textually immutable: moral, legal, social &
spiritual aspects of Muslim
Islamic law: (Current Syariah)
‘positive law’ derived from “fiqh”: human
understanding and application of Syariah.
 Changing according to time and circumstances.
Exclusive and textualist:
Uncritically used “Syariah” (Islamic Law) to cover the
source and the method as well as the application
Unaware of “human agencies” in the formulation of
figh : cultural hegemony: Arab Vs non Arab, class
structure: the ruling class & communal and and
gender biases; Male and female scholars.
Inclusive and Progressive:
Differentiate between Syariah & fiqh (Islamic law)
Sensitive to “human agencies and “human progress”
Acknowledge political interests behind the application
of Islamic law.
Islamic Law in Indonesia
Indonesia: not Islamic State but Muslim country.
Islam is one of five official religions.
Fiqh: one of the sources of ‘positive law’ (Islamic
inspired law) : Indonesian family Law 1974.
Current Application of “Syari’ah Law”:
Political trend after reformation: Political Autonomy
and decentralization.
Political means to gain people’s support.
Public disappointment of the corrupt “secular”
government: political chaos & enduring economic
Human Right Issues in Indonesia
The denial of equal right of non-Muslim in the
highest political leaderships: President & head of
Parliament (the supremacy of the majority).
The denial of equal rights to establish religious
institutions: churches, temples, schools: requires
the permission of the surrounding community
(Ministerial decree 2003).
Unequal rights to religious practices for Islamic
minority groups: Shi’i and Ahmadiyah: outlawed
by the National Ulama council (fatwa no. 8,
Unequal right of men and women:
Public leaderships
Access to education
Family matters: Family law: husband: family
leader, the main financial provider & educator.
wives: loyal supporter & housewives.