There has always been a debate, among scholars, whether and in what scale is Islam compatible with human rights. Is there afterlall, a comptatibility or is it present a tremendous gap between the two. Also, in order to answer, scholars have studied various text and books such as Islam’s basic sources(Koran,Haddith), and Islamic law(Sharia).On the other hand, there are various human rights proponets, that are very often to blame Islam, if not religion as a whole, for human rights violations. Certainly, difficult to answer whether Islam is compatible with human rights or not, but nonetheless intresting to look into different percpectives and try answer the question.
Unfortunately, due to all the recent events happening across Europe as well as the rest of the world, people have again started been skeptical about Islam and people that are part of it. All the latest, suicide attacks, have people being afraid of Muslim people and thinking them as the enemy. Islam, has started to be viewed as something bad and that it promotes violence. Nobody, has really thought if that is the case or people are just following blindly the ”norm”. People, do not really know what Islam is teaching. They believe that it is completely different from any other religion and does not have any good elements. Although, it might have some flaws, like all religions. It still is not what it is presented. Evil people that just to hurt another individuals. Even though, many Islamic regimes are authoritarian and have a very poor rate of human rights records, that does not lie on Islam itsself. That has to do more with the cultural, political and economic situation that is present to the specific country. Even today, there are proponets of Islamic rights among Islamic extremists, who are either violent or non-violent, who have as a vision to replace universal human rights with Islamic ones. Moreover, Islam and Islamic culture can not be entirely blamed for the practices on certain Muslim countries because ‘previous research has not considered other factors that affect human right practices or compared the human rights records of Islamic counties with those of other developing nations’.
On the other hand, it is still evident that, even though human rights are spread all over the world even to Islamic countries, some Muslims may not be entirely convienced. There is still a great deal of scepticism, especially to certain human rights. In order to be more specific, for example, even though there is the right to education and work, there is still some trouble. The conservative ones and their point of view, fully accept the existance of human rights, whereas certain individuals still believe that many things should not be altered since they exceed the ‘normal’ scope of human rights and ultimately is ”threatening the traditional family structures” , gender roles and values” as Miss Patersen highlights in her article. Moreover, although most of the Muslim countries have accepted and verified the UN Women’s Convention, certain ones will reject any part of the convention, because in their opinion they have to follow the Islamic Law. In a sence they are forming a ‘silent’ shari’ah law and have the power to reject anything.
Furthermore, another example is the right to freedom of expession, a right that many individuals consider to better work if it is used to protect religious actions, and more specifically to protect religion, by creating blasphemy laws or other any type of legislation. It seems as the Islamic world is truing to find its place in the Western civilization which is a contradiction to its traditional role. The Islamic world seems as if its gradually trying to escape from the past and try and make a different image. Although, it seems that certain values, are deep connected with their past and its difficult, to break out of them.
Evidently, it is very difficult to answer whether Islam is for or against human rights. It has taken some steps forward and its trying to fit in the Western civilization but seems difficult for the values it upholds. Among certain scholars, there is the idea that human rights are compatible as long as they do not challenge Islamic law. It seems as there always the constant battle among the old and the new wolrd. A constant eternal conflict on which road to follow. If human rights are to become one with the Islamic law, the one to reconcile with the other, many things should be changed or canceled since Islamic law is more powerful. Islamic law is much stronger since its a feeling that god provided can not be formed differently. Such interpretations, are still alive and many people from Muslim countries believe such a thing, still. As a result, it seems as if certain people are in a cirlce and don’t which path to follow. Follow the human rights or believe in more traditional approach?
As a last word, whether Islam and human rights are compatible or not can not be answered with as easy no or yes. It is easier said than done. When trying to intergtate something new with something old it will be difficult. When seeking to integrate Western values and ideas instead of rejecting them, it seems peculiar at first. As Miss Petersen says in her article, ”inspired by such thinking, there are certains Muslim human rights activists that argue that Islam is fully compatible with human rights”. More specifically, ”compatible not in the sence of legal system but in a set of more ethical and religious values”. These values, are able to strengthen and legitimise the legal standards of human rights. It is very important, that a common ground is met so there will be better connection among the two. One has to ask what kinds of Islam are compatible with what kinds of human rights, when, where and with whom. Also, in her article Miss Patersen highlights that ”Islam is unique in a sence that it entails multiple and different voices, interpretations and positions on human rights”. In each historical period Islam is promoted accordingly. As a last word, Miss Patersen insists on ”the use of different actors in different historical, social, cultural and political contexts. If we want to strengthen human rights, it is crucial to include all those Muslim voices engaging in the human rights debate”.