Towards a United Islamic Identity in the Making of International Law
International Journal of Business, Economics, and Law, Vol 9 (5), 2016
9 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2017
Date Written: April 5, 2016
Can the Muslim Ummah contribute to the international community? Muslims all around the world take part to contribute to the world in many ways as display of the great character and value of Islam. However, the international world is a world of state politics and international law. It is a reality that the ummah barely exists on this plane except the recent military alliances and diplomatic tensions. Despite the necessities behind all this, is this really all there is to the Islamic world? This paper examines how role of the Islamic world is minimum (conflict-response at best), while the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security would also facilitate the law making a platform from which to conduct peaceful international relations. An overwhelming part of international law is consistent with Islamic law –albeit some friction—,Muslim nations individually ratify international conventions because ‘they are compatible with Islam’ leaving no trace of Islamic identity in their participation in this largely secularized making of international law. It may seem that Islamic identity only becomes a highlight when Muslim nations make reservations to certain provisions against the Shari’a which triggers negative reaction from other nations (see the CEDAW declarations and reservations). Is this the best that the ummah can do? This paper proposes to promote an Islamic version of International Law through ‘Soft Law’ like the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, optimizing the role of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Being more practical, soft laws are preferred over treaties. While binding rules are already there in existing international conventions, it is argued that this proposal will help unite, distinguish and emphasize Islam’s role and position in the making of international law.
Keywords: International law making, Islamic law, Islamic identity
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