Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

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Some people say Sharia is not adhered by the majority of Muslims any more, that in the modern Muslim world it is of little importance. Let us study the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted by the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo, Egypt, in 1990. The collective population of OIC member states (although not all the member states have Muslim-majority population) is over 1.6 billion as of 2008. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world”.

That’s what the voice of the Muslim world says regarding human rights and Sharia:
Article 24: “all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah”
Article 25: “the Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”

In particular, CDHRI affords women “equal human dignity”, “own rights to enjoy”, “duties to perform”, “own civil entity”, “financial independence”, and the “right to retain her name and lineage”, but not equal rights in general. Both men and women are given the “right to marriage” regardless of their race, colour, or nationality, but men and women are given unequal right to marry a non-Muslim, to marry more than one spouse or to divorce their spouse(s). Different minimum ages for marrying apply for boys and girls.

Article 19 stipulates that there are no other crimes or punishments than those mentioned in the Sharia, which include corporal punishment (whipping, amputation) and capital punishment by stoning or decapitation.

The CDHRI declares the rule of law, establishing “equality and justice for all”, but with the limitations provided under Islamic law.

Article 22(a) of the Declaration states that “Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shariah.” 22(b) states that “Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shariah.” 22(c) states: “Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society, or weaken its faith.”

In other words, you may have some rights…unless this contradicts to Sharia.

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