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Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights$
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Abdulaziz Sachedina

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388428.001.0001

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Freedom of Religion and Conscience

Freedom of Religion and Conscience

The Foundation of a Pluralistic World Order

(p.185) 6 Freedom of Religion and Conscience
Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The last chapter explores one of the most controversial articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding the freedom of religion. The rulings about religious minorities in the Islamic juridical tradition were formulated when the Islamic empire existed as a source of Muslim hegemony over non‐Muslims. With the changed political reality, Muslim scholars need to investigate the revealed texts of Islam in order to make an incontrovertible case for the freedom of religion in the Qur'an. The main argument of the chapter is that without the recognition of religious pluralism as a principle of mutual recognition and respect among faith communities, the community of nation‐states is faced with endless violence and radical extremism propelled by an uncompromising stance in the matter of exclusive religious truth. Introducing the controversial term pluralism with its negative connotation for the exclusive salvation guaranteed by Islam to its followers in this chapter was a conscious decision, in line with needed originality in reinterpreting the understanding of exclusive salvation in the community without denying non‐Muslims their human dignity and inalienable human rights related to individuals' choice of religion.

Keywords:   empire mentality, interfaith relations, pluralism, exclusive theology, common word

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