The Islam and human rights nexus is too often viewed as being static. In reality, the relationship is complex and mutable. In an era of unsettling changes to the status quo, perceptions of the Islam and human rights nexus have also proven to be sensitive to shifting political dynamics. In these circumstances, the position that Islam and human rights are inherently in conflict, which assumes two settled entities in a stable relationship, is becoming hard to sustain – as is the position that human rights are ineluctably tied to Western civilization. Many Muslims are arguing that Islam and human rights are harmonious, and human rights contain principles that address some of Muslims' most pressing concerns. However, there are also factors – such as certain U.S. policies - that could work in the opposite direction, energizing Islamist hostility to human rights and confirming Muslims' suspicions that human rights are part of a nefarious Western plot. We must recognize that the Islam and human rights relationship is regularly readjusting in response to a changing environment, so that the issues addressed over the next decades will not likely be the same ones that Muslim societies and Islamic thinkers have been wrestling with to date.
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DOI 10.2202/1554-4419.1115
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