Religion and Human Rights

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I got interested in the indigenous peoples of the world while doing research at Yale University. Though my main focus was writing about Islamic law and how modern scholars like Morocco’s Allal al-Fasi, Algeria’s Malek Bennabi, and Tunisia’s Rached Ghannouchi were recalibrating its traditional methodology and concepts, I was also reworking my dissertation into book form. I just posted in…
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I began this two-part blog post with the invasion and subsequent colonization of the small Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE. Yes, Jeremiah along with many other prophets since at least two centuries had warned its rulers that unless Israel repented of its sins, this calamity would surely strike them. At the same time, the short book of Lamentations which…
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From one angle, human history is an unbroken chain of strong nations invading, abusing and controlling weaker nations. With time they lose their grip, weaken and fall prey to other rising powers; and the cycle goes on. Empires rise and fall, and as young male lions compete, sometimes to the death, for the honor of leading a “pride” of mostly…
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We now come full circle in this trilogy on the “impossible Islamic state.” Two months have elapsed since the second installment and only a couple of weeks ago a dramatic event took place that “puts the icing on the cake” in a way that I could never have anticipated. Ghannouchi himself in his opening speech to his party’s (Ennahda) Tenth…
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In the first installment of this blog we looked at Wael Hallaq’s The Impossible State (2013) and in following the assessment of two reviewers, Lama Abu-Odeh and Andrew March, we felt Hallaq helpfully highlighted some of the challenges of pressing traditional Islamic legal norms into the service of a modern nation-state. On the other hand, his rather rigid and dogmatic…
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Translating Ghannouchi’s book (“The Public Freedoms in the Islamic State”), as I stated before, has forced me to delve into political theory. Keep in mind that if you want to get a handle on the contemporary islamist movement in all its variety, you will have to think about issues related to the modern nation-state and democracy. My title here comes…