Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic Shari’ah as its sole source.

The CDHRI declares its purpose to be “general guidance for Member States in the Field of human rights”. This declaration is usually seen as an Islamic counterpart of and a response to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The CDHRI has never been fully implemented by any Muslim nation, and has been criticized by non-Muslim nations and human rights organizations on several bases.

I’m interested in coming up with a progressive statement of human rights from an Islamic perspective. The Muslim world is groaning under the crushing weight of dictatorship and oppression. I don’t imagine that my puny little human rights statement will make any difference. But I want to at least point the way to a concept of freedom, human rights and equality under the law in a way that can be accepted by religious and secular Muslims alike. The Islamic Shariah is a flexible body of law intended to assure a dignified and free life for people of all times and places. We need to apply it in a way that will open a path to freedom, equality and dignity in the Muslim world.

First of all, here is the full text of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights. In coming weeks I’ll look at it piece by piece, consider the criticism against it, and ask how it might be improved. From there I’ll work on modifying it.