The Western Universalism v. Cultural Relativism Debate on Human Rights and Islam - An ‘Aqidah-Based Approach

Afkar: Jurnal of Aqidah and Islamic Thought, Vol. 21 (2), 2019, pp.175-216

42 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2020

See all articles by Fajri Muhammadin

Fajri Muhammadin

Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) - Faculty of Law

Mohd Hisham Mohd Kamal

Department of Islamic Law

Date Written: December 30, 2019

Abstract

The human rights discourse of (Western) universalism versus cultural relativism in international law becomes interesting when Islam is put into the equation. Scholars incline to either side of the debate while trying to have something in between to bridge the differences. This article uses a literature doctrinal method and does not use the 'third-person view' used by most scholars. Rather, this article uses an 'aqīdah approach to analyze the challenge faced by Muslim international law scholars. It is argued that inclining to either universalism or relativism is against the Islamic 'aqīdah (creed). Rather, the position which is correct according to the Islamic 'aqīdah is to take a third path, namely Islamic universalism as a way forward.

Keywords: Aqidah, Islam; international human rights law; relativism; universalism

Suggested Citation

Muhammadin, Fajri and Mohd Kamal, Mohd Hisham, The Western Universalism v. Cultural Relativism Debate on Human Rights and Islam - An ‘Aqidah-Based Approach (December 30, 2019). Afkar: Jurnal of Aqidah and Islamic Thought, Vol. 21 (2), 2019, pp.175-216, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3514385

Fajri Muhammadin (Contact Author)

Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Jl. Sosio Justicia No. 1
Bulaksumur
Sleman, Yogyakarta 55281
Indonesia

HOME PAGE: http://fajrimuhammadin.staff.ugm.ac.id

Mohd Hisham Mohd Kamal

Department of Islamic Law ( email )

P.O. Box 10, 50728
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

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