I'm proud to announce a project which I view as the most necessary change in Muslim thought: the creation of a new Islamic Human Rights declaration. A detailed project plan and methodology will be presented later, as this needs careful and detailed delibiration. I was first addressed by several experts in the field of human rights to set up this project, which I then discussed to the late prof.Nasr Abu Zayd who's lifework revolved around this subject. Sadly he passed on before we could start the project plan, but in the last months before his passing I spent many days at his house discussing his views. Thus the project will contain his spirit and will be done in his honor.
Thankfully, another person stepped up which I view with great regards and admiration: professor Abdulaziz Sachedina. A scholar who has degrees from renowned universities as Toronto university, Aligarh Muslim university in India, Ferdowsi university in Iran and studied directly under the famous Dr.Ali Shariati. For around 25 years he has been a major proponent of tolerance, inclusivism and human rights theology in Islam.
His works include:
Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights
The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism
The Islamic World: Past and Present
Islamic Biomedical Ethics
Human Rights and the Conflict of Cultures
Prolegomena to the Qur'an" being trans of Abu al-Qasim al-Khui's Al-Bayan
A Vision of Inclusivity: Islam and the Common Good of Humanity (PDF)
I couldn't ask for a better scholar to work with. Together we will create the project plan, researchers team, and be lead authors and editors for the documentation.
The researchers team will be diverse, representing Islamic communities and scholarship from all over the world.
One of the main researchers is professor Abdullah Saeed, the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies from Melbourne university. A scholar with a great expertise and experience on Islam, Qur'anic Hermeneutics and Human Rights.
His works include:
The Qur'an: An Introduction
Islamic Thought an Introduction
Approaches to the Qur'an in Contemporary Indonesia
Interpreting the Qur'an: Towards a Contemporary Approach
Muslim Australians: Their Beliefs, Practices and Institutions
Islam in Australia
Islam and Political Legitimacy
Muslim Communities in Australia
Islamic Banking and Interest: A Study of the Prohibition of Riba and its Contemporary Interpretation
Essential Dictionary of Islamic Thought
Introdudtion to Modern Standard Arabic
Sacred Time and Sacred Place in Islam Deakin University Press 1990
Freedom of Religion and Apostasy in Islam
Creating a Culture of Human Rights from a Muslim Perspective (PDF)
The Need to Rethink Apostasy Laws (PDF)
Rethinking citizenship rights of non-Muslims in an Islamic state: Rashid al-Ghannushi's contribution to the evolving debate (PDF)
I am very grateful to work with them and excited about the potential and importance of this project. In history, many different agreements and declarations have been written which discuss laws and rights. In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created, which was a landmark in human history, since then several upgraded agreements of human rights have been created since then to show the progressive pursuit of human rights by mankind. To create a similair pursuit of human rights from within the Islamic context, several Islamic declarations of human rights were created. As these contained several flaws which fell short of the Qur'anic ideal of justice and equality (Adl عدل), we believe a review and revision is necessary. What is missing in Islamic thought is a contemporary Islamic philosophy of Human Rights, which lays out the ideals which we as Muslims must pursue in this world.
This project is longterm, where we try to create a large researchers team and a long line of documentation and promotion of this project in the form of books, articles, film and other media. In this way we hope to create a worldwide awareness of the Islamic philosophy of Human Rights and the declarations that are formed through it. The DRC website will be the main platform for now untill the IHRP website is finished together with its own logo. The project is a NGO, independent volunteer mission of Muslim scholars and activists dedicated to Islam and Human Rights.
Arnold Yasin Mol
CEO of DRC Islamic