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Islam and Human Rights Conference

Event date: Thursday, 04 March 2021 09:00 am - 06:00 pm




The complex and multifaceted relationship between Islam and human rights has given rise to increasingly high-profile debates over the past decade – both in the Islamic world and in Western contexts

While the Arab Spring of 2011 appeared to hail a new era of dramatic political change, later developments have belied the early optimism of reformers in the region. Reform processes have stalled or reversed as violence and heightened instability mark the region. Against this background, those voices contending that there is a fundamental incompatibility between the values of Islamic Sharia and human rights are finding growing resonance.

In European and Western democratic states, the debate is shaped by the presence of Muslim minorities, such that the focus has substantially shifted from general doctrinal questions to questions of how European Muslims understand human rights and the role Sharia plays in their daily life. This one-day international conference brings together leading scholars whose works have shaped current debates on the relationship of Islam and human rights as well as on wider questions of religious freedom. Through their individual presentations and exchanges we hope to foster a rich dialogue that engages questions concerning the current situation of human rights in the Muslim majority context and the place of Islam in Western societies.

While addressing the often-posed question of the ‘reconciliation’ of Islam and human rights, the conference will seek to move beyond this binary framing of the subject, forcing us to probe our perhaps preconceived understandings of the universality of human rights and the presumed secularity of many of our national states.

Program available here.

Videos of the conference available here.