Open access


Marzena TOUMI1

Publication language: English

journal paper

Transformations No. 4(119)2023 Publication date: 29 December 2023

Article No. 20231229105436343

Keywords: Human rights, Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, Arab Charter on Human Rights, Arab Court of Human Rights

Abstract This article presents the Arab 'system' of human rights protection, centred around two acts: The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Both documents are controversial in the Western world. Although the debate on whether human rights are universal or particularistic is not is new, two basic conclusions emerge from the analysis:1. there is a popular view among Middle Eastern countries, spread by Muslim jurists, that Islam was the basis for human rights and that the Prophet Muḥammad was their first promoter, thus human rights in Islam are obligatory rights by virtue of their divine origin and no human authority has the right to interfere with them; 2. therefore, any fundamental rights enshrined in international (UN and regional) treaties must be considered through the prism of Sharia. The article further discusses: The Arab Standing Committee on Human Rights), which is responsible for setting rules for cooperation between member states in the field of human rights; and the Arab League Human Rights Committee, established under Article 45 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, and the unsuccessful attempt to establish an Arab Court of Human Rights. The conclusions summarise the findings and indicate that the Arab system of human rights protection is neither effective nor independent, and that the Arab world has a 'lesson to learn': to develop a complementary system of human rights protection and, moreover, to put these principles into practice. Whether there will be enough strength and resources and, above all, whether there will be a lack of political will to establish a system for the protection of human rights at all in a world where Islam is the dominant religion still remains unanswered.

  1. War Studies University, Poland

    ORCID: 0000-0003-3838-1315

    E-mail: Marzena.toumi@gmail.com