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Deontological Ethics, Human Rights, and Islam

Deontological ethics, human rights, and Islam

Jennifer Garvin-Sanchez

on 19 April 2018

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Transcript of Deontological Ethics, Human Rights, and Islam

Because we are all equal, we have
responsibilities to treat each other
with dignity and respect--the foundation
of human rights.

Dr. Ali Alyami

minute 56
Amina Wadud
Some Islamic scholars focus on duties vs. rights; but the list of duties for men always seems longer than the list of duties for women; duties seem to be constructed based on cultural duties

Instead, Wadud wants to emphasize the equality of all before God, the Islamic principle of no intermediary between God and humanity. There is nothing in the Koran, she says, that argues that women need men to intervene on their behalf before God. So there is an equality-- equal human dignity. The only difference between them is the one with the most "God consciousness." While we must respect differences we cannot use them as excuses to treat them differently.
The clerics are the strong arm of the Assad family; it is divide and conquer. Keep the men and women arguing with each other, not us. It is not religious, but political and economic. They invented the religious police.
Secular Muslim Feminists
Islamic Feminism

God is love--Wadud, an attribute of God that means all-loving.
born into the civil rights movement
moved from Xnty to Buddhism to Islam (carried meditation into Islam)

What is Islam?
Conflicting ideas about Islam.
Is Islam what the sources use say it is?
Is it what Muslims do?
or just my personal relationship with the divine.
There is a difference between what Muslims do and Islamic primary sources, the Koran, the established practices of the prophet, the Hadith, and Islamic law.
Wadud emphasizes that we cannot use the measurement of the most conservative practitioners as the norm for what Islam is.
It is important to insert new interpretations of the Koran in order to let change occur.
The posture of conscience surrender--Islam
Tawhid--the oneness of God--
but also refers to making humans one with God.
The purpose of women is to aid in this project.
Her agency is in a direct relationship with God, not mediated by man. This is accomplished through standing up for justice. This is the same role as for men.
At some point within the Islamic tradition, precedent became the legitimate authority.

Because voices were not there before, it cannot happen now.

i.e., women leading prayer.
family relationships, etc.
Wadud is not concerned with the exceptional woman in Islam, like Aisha, the Prophet's wife, but mass movements of women for gender equality.

the rise and fall of colonialism--women participated as well as men in the movement to end the empire. Unfortunately, women were not equal beneficiaries of those movements.

women's movements rose from this wings of larger nationalist movements.
The pluralism of the 19th century gave the first impetus--my voice is not the only voice, my view is not the only view.

first women were from the well-education, traveled class. They challenged the idea that their culture was the only way to do things. Basic ideas like health care, reproductive rights, education, were coupled with more complex ideas of citizen participation.
If women were not allowed education, they would not be allowed to produce and become participating citizens in the advancement of the nation state.

2nd wave--the secular women's movement--religions are too patriarchal for redemption and religion must be removed from the discussion of human rights.
Islam is the cause of women's oppression. Religion is either irrelevant or marginalized.

The human rights documents are looked to as the definition of universal human rights.

This led to two opposing sides--those who advocated for a separation of the state from religion, which was soon recognized as both secular and Western, and marginalizes God and or announces God's death and places the human at the center of the universe. This was coupled with a cry for the glorious past of the Islamic Empire with the idea that Islam is the solution.

The idea is that Islam was the religion before colonization, and if it was part of the glorious past, it must indeed be superior and be the solution to the problems faced by Muslims.

The goal is to take the soul and spirit of Islam and organize these within the politics of a new world order.

This is characterized by a return to sharia law.
1. there was no sharia at the time of the prophet. He did not found a particular school of law
2. the term is not found in the Koran
3. the Islamist says it is the application of Islam to the state, but it does not reflect historical reality, but is a reaction to secular regimes and authority.

The root definition of sharia is the path that leads to water, water being the source of all life. Specific cultural adaptations of sharia reduce it to less than it is. The goal of sharia is justice.
What they are really doing is trying to use fiqh to accomplish the goal of sharia.
Sharia cannot be implemented except through fiqh, which has always been open to debate. Yet Islamists are quick to squelch debate and say that anyone that doesn't agree with them is the anti-Christ.

The existence of at least 4 schools of thought among the Sunni means that in practice there is no uniformity. There is no such thing as pure and simple Islamic law.
within the Nation State, laws must occur through the will of the people, and people disagree.

Going back to an idealized time in the past is especially problematic for women because what it was a time period when the family was extremely patriarchal.

within Islam, the marriage contract was not between two equals, but was a sale (it is not a sacrament).

Third Voice
1995--Beijing Conference on the Status of Women-Islamists and secular feminists refused to "yield ground to these backward sounding feminists". The meeting turned into chaos.

The secular feminists agenda was to get the human rights documents for women signed by nation states, ignoring the role of religion, which further incensed the Islamists. For them, there is an Islamic solution to everything, superior to any human made documents.
third voice--the either/or dichotomy did not reflect the experience of Muslim women. The idea that there must be either human rights or Islam was false.
The goal should not be to abandon human rights, but to read into them the cultural experiences of women. For human rights to be universal, it must be integral to the experiences of ALL societies everywhere. Human rights requires validation in terms of the values of each culture, and in terms of shared values of all cultures.
Most Muslim women identify with Islam, yet did not identify with the cultural practices of marginalization.
Western feminism and the liberal project has failed to question women's place in a post-colonial or neo-colonial world, where women are victimized by this and seen as needing to be rescued or rehabilitated.

Feminism needs to be shaken from its roots in the white middle class to reflect the diverse experiences of women around the world.

Shaking Islam from it's complacency is more difficult. The human being is the agency of the divine will--why has the application of this to women so difficult?
In classical fiqh texts, women are seen as sexual beings, not as social beings and their rights are discussed only within the context of the family. ie, the marriage contract which treats women as semi-slaves. The rights of women have been circumscribed through the rules of fiqh through the marriage contract. All fiqh schools reflect this.

The patriarchal marriage is built on unequal but complementary relationships.
Does this complementary fulfill the divine purpose on earth? or achieve agency, the purpose of human beings?
since there was no equality within the family during the Prophet's time, neither secular feminists nor Islamists questioned this.
Wadud--"This was were radical reform was needed."
Even secular feminists focused on the public sphere, and didn't question the private sphere. The hijab was a reflection of that private sphere.

Islamic feminism says--
Islam belongs to all of us; all of us have a stake in how religious policies are implemented in our states and in our homes; notions of women's subservience are medieval constructions reflecting the understandings of jurists and philosophers at that time but they are not divine constructions. We are free to understand divine constructions for ourselves and within our context.
some countries are modern is some aspects and yet not in others.

Egypt: women cannot serve as judges, but can be members of parliament and the cabinet

Morocco: 20% of the women are judges

Egypt and Malaysia have access to the best education and hold responsible positions of power in every sector, yet need male permission to travel.

Saudi Arabia, own real estate and businesses but cannot drive a car, are sexually segregated and are restricted to appropriate professions (like west teaching, nursing, etc)
Kuwait, women hold responsible positions in many areas, but cannot vote. And a move to sexually segregate universities.

Iran, women must wear the chadar, yet constitute the majority in universities and have had a woman vice president.

Pakistani women can vote and serve as ambassadors and pms, yet poor women suffer from Islamic laws.

Afganistan Taliban forced professional women to give up their jobs and forbade girls to attend school.

Fatima Mernissi, professor at Rabat, Morocco, where she teaches at University Mohammed V.
The author of five books on Islam admired for their original and scrupulous research, Mernissi is regarded by many as the pre-eminent Koranic scholar of our time. A Muslim feminist may seem an oxymoron to some, but not to Mernissi, who describes herself as "the product of a lifetime of Koranic schools."
"You find in the Koran hundreds of verses to support women's rights," she tells me, "and perhaps four or five that do not. [The fundamentalists] have seized upon those four and thrown away the rest."

Fatima Mernissi
Born in 1941 in Fez, she was educated entirely at Koranic schools, and spoke only Arabic until she was 20. Her mother and grandmother were both illiterate. After earning a degree in political science at University Mohammed V, she won a scholarship to the Sorbonne, and later received a doctoral degree in sociology from Brandeis University.

a reformer
"In the Mecca desert, these guys were really savage. There was no respect; you just robbed your neighbors, took their wives, killed whatever. And along comes this guy Muhammad, who had this completely subversive idea about slaves, nonviolence, and women, of course. Saying that you cannot be violent against another.

They were going to smash him. They tried. That's why he left Mecca for Medina." Muhammad, says Mernissi, revolutionized life for women - granting them the right to divorce, the right to inherit, the right to have custody of their children in the event of divorce, the right to pray in the mosque, and the right to participate as fully in life as men.
"Sharia law" [as practiced today] she says, "does not exist in the Koran. It was created by man. There are only four or five laws in the Koran." Much willful misinterpretation, she says, stems from the Hadith, a four-volume encyclopedia believed to be the sayings and wisdom of the Prophet. But as Mernissi and others have pointed out, the Hadith - similar to the Gospels - was compiled long after Muhammad's death, and over a period of centuries. (The Gospels were compiled from 55-95.) Moreover, some of the sources were known to have conflicting and oddly selective memories of their conversations with the Prophet.

Sharia law
For instance, Abu Bakr, a disciple of Muhammad's, is said to have heard the Prophet say, "Those who entrust their affairs to a woman will never know prosperity," among other disparaging notions concerning women. "Abu Bakr must have had a fabulous memory," writes Mernissi in The Veil and the Male Elite, "because he recalled [this] a quarter of a century after the death of the Prophet."

Now, if I were in the White House, I would want things to stay that way, because if you have democracy you are going to be dealing with many men and around 100 million Arab women. If you don't understand this, you don't understand why people are financing fundamentalism. As for veiling, Mernissi says that the Koran puts no restrictions on how a woman should dress, but suggests "modesty for both men and women." The hijab, which Mernissi explains means "curtain" in Arabic, has nothing to do with women's wearing veils or chadors. It refers, she writes, to the curtain that Muhammad dropped outside his bedroom on the night of his marriage to his cousin Zaynab, to ensure privacy.
Does the condition of Muslim women warrant intervention from the United Nations or the West? "The Muslim states have signed the United Nations charter, which prohibits discrimination against women," she says/ "They need only to enforce it. It's just like slavery. Slavery only stopped when they criminalized it." She does suggest, however, that the International Monetary Fund reconsider the terms of its loans to certain countries. "The day the l.M.F. says you cannot get a loan unless you repeal all the laws which justify aggression against women, believe me, we will have another planet." August 1993Vanity Fair
One must be careful, warns Mernissi, to distinguish between what she calls Risala Islam - the true Islam of the Koran and the Prophet's intentions - and political Islam. Much of what is preached by fundamentalists today in the Middle East she refers to as "Petro-lslam." And the West, she avers, has no right to stand in judgment, having gone into business with most of the repressive Islamic states.
"Misogyny is the key to the global economy," she declares. "If you have a king in Saudi Arabia, then [the West] is only dealing with one guy and his family - his club. He needs a symbol which says, 'I am a Muslim country.' That is the veiled woman. So if women are veiled, you can have whiskey, you can have whores, you can squander money, you can call foreigners in to run the place, you can treat other Muslims like shit. You can do all that, because you only need one symbol of the despotic tradition where half the population have no rights - the veiled woman.
Social Justice and Liberalism
have focused narrowly on individual well-being and broadly on universal human rights.
has roots in the Enlightenment and the ideas that the sovereign state is duty bound to to protect the rights of the individual equally.
John Locke, 1632-1704
Prior to government, in a state of nature, individuals have the right to contract with one another, for economic and political reasons, so long as they didn't impinge on other's economic or political freedoms.
Any impingement upon the freedoms of others must be justified either through emergency circumstances or through a prior social contract (i.e., a constitution).
The Enlightenment
shifted emphasis from divine law to individual reason and autonomy based on "natural law" and "natural rights"
rationalized dramatic changes in the concept of property and property relations required for capitalism to appear and thrive.
it established a societal duty to each individual gets what he or she "deserves", establishing a different moral basis for law and society.
through the idea of the social contract, it produced the basis, in principle, for a more free and egalitarian society.
this constituted a direct attack upon feudalism and led to the great revolutions of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Provided a new Meta-narrative
replaced the feudal idea of hierarchy with one that individuals are all equal based on our ability to reason.
In the US, this universal principle became the foundation of constitutional rights to individual liberty and equal protection under the law.
Associated with:
Jeremy Bentham: 1748-1832
John Stuart Mill: 1806-1873
Henry Sidgwick: 1838-1900
G.E. Moore: 1873-1958

Individual rights seem to be trampled over the greater good of the many.

Mill recognized this and said that justice arises from the utility principle. In a society where there was an abundance and all needs were met, there would be no need for justice. All rules of justice arise from their utility.

Conflicting claims arise out of scarcity and claims over private possession. this is when issues of distributive justice arise.
Perfect and Imperfect Obligations
Duties of perfect obligation generate rights on the part of the recipient: If I have a duty not to harm you, you have a right not to be harmed by me.

Duties of imperfect obligation do not give rise to corresponding rights: I have a duty to do good, but you have no "right" that I do good for you.

Mill suggests that all those duties of perfect obligation that give right to rights are the arena of justice.

"Justice implies something which it is not only right to do, and wrong not to do, but which some individual person can claim from us as his moral right."
Right action
Being good
Character, or virtue
Teleological and Deontological ethics
What is the Good?
The Good
A Just Society
Kant (1724-1804)
was a decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of minimum wage legislation enacted by the State of Washington, overturning an earlier decision in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923).
Minimum Wage--West Coast vs. Parrish
Does the earth have rights?
Sunnis and Shi’as
The issue of Muhammad’s successor led to a split between two factions: the Sunni (roughly 80-85% percent of Muslims) and the Shi’a
According to Islamic teachings, the Creator not only laid down laws governing the natural universe but rules for human conduct in all aspects of life.
Unlike natural order, which follows its predetermined laws, mankind has the freedom to rebel and follow its own "man-made" laws, which is, however, a form of unbelief (shirk).
Non-submission to the will of Allah is not only an act of ingratitude (kufr) for divine mercies, but also a choice for evil and misery in this world and punishment in the life hereafter.
In Islam, all aspects of natural life have been God-willed, therefore, the ultimate purpose of all creation are the compliance of the created with the will of the creator.
Meaning of Islam
Sunnis or “people of the Sunnah” emphasize the authority of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (and the Hadith) Sunnah, meaning path, or way, contains those religious practices that are established by the Prophet among his companions and have passed down by the consensus of generations
Hadith, literally meaning something new that comes out, a saying, a statement, refers to narrations that are attributed to the companions of the Prophet who narrate a statement or a story about the Prophet or are related to the Prophet.
Their understanding is that Muhammad did not appoint a successor but rather left this up to the Muslim community or ummah
For Sunnis, the caliph is the leader of worship and the administrator of the sacred law of Islam, Shari’ah
The Five Pillars
Belief and witness: unity of God and Muhammad’s messengership
Daily prayers: praying facing Mecca five times daily.
Zakat: donating a certain percentage of one’s income to charity
Fasting: obligatory during the month of Ramadan
Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca

Shi'ites derive their name from Shiat Ali, or partisans of Ali. When the Umayyads seized the Caliphate after the first 4 and moved the seat to Damascus, they rejected the Caliph's authority.

In contrast to the emotional detachment and legalism of Sunni Islam, Shi'ite Islam is characterized by a rejection of formalism, devotion to martyrdom, worship at tombs of holy men, and a mystical faith in the eventual return of the vanished Imam, or spiritual leader. Shi'ites believe it was Ali who codified the Qur'an.

To the Shi'ites, the Imam is a divinely inspired, infallible spiritual leader who possesses doctrinal authority. In place of the consensus of the community of the Sunni, the Shi'ites accept the authority of the Imam.
There are different systems of Islamic law, and varying interpretations of those laws.
In general, shari’ah is based on the Qur’an and the sunnah; its dictates are applicable to all areas of life from diet to inheritance to social justice.
It is frequently noted that shari’ah gave women rights they did not have in the west until the nineteenth century (e.g. the right to inherit, to divorce).
Islamic Law
Muslims are required to observe religious rules in the community and establish a caliphate to achieve righteousness. It is the duty of every Muslim to cooperate with others for seeking the common good. It is the duty of the Islamic state to establish a just social order based on principles of harmony, respect, freedom and dignity where all human beings are accepted with all of their differences.
no distinction between mosque and state--developed during time period when the Byzantine Empire was Xn. (Before the Reformation)
Sharia law is established by God (like the Torah it is to establish justice) while the Hadith, the written record of M. pronouncements is the basis for legal jurisprudence and fatwas.
No central doctrinal authority--no church councils to decide what is heresy and what is orthodox.
No pronouncement about what form govn. should take
Saudi Arabia sharia is the only code of law
Egypt--sharia is the basis for legislation
Turkey--excluded sharia
No pronouncement about who should succeed M.
practical effect--legal codes
Egypt--conservatives demanded the outlaw of alcoholic beverages in the 1970's. because of tourism and because these industries were nationalized in the 60's the govn. accepted legislation that confined public consumption to tourist sites and the home.
Saudi Arabia--life insurance was banned because it is a form of betting on life. Banks are forbidden to charge interest, but they are allowed a "commission" on loans.
Malaysia--Khalwat--close proximity between the sexes. (actually means sexual relations between unmarried persons). Khalwat is prohibited with a month in jail or a fine of about $100. Should this apply to non-Muslims? 1962 ruling, no.
A Muslim is duty bound to live a virtuous life, not to just profess religious beliefs. Sharia is the guide to the performance of that duty. The qadi (religious judge) decides on the basis of religious law based on sharia.
In a purely Islamic state, the qadi is part of a legal system guaranteed by the Caliph, or successor to the temporal power of M. This is not in the Qur'an, the community decided this after M. death. It became the Caliph's duty to enforce sharia by appointing the best judges. Young men who study the law and fatwas and trained in madrasas or schools are certified as qadis. There are no lawyers, they hear directly from the litigants. They might be guided by a Mufti, or legal counsil. The Grand Mufti is the chief legal authority (attorney general).
The Caliphate is no more, and some states have abolished religious courts, muftis, and qadis along with the Caliphate. But they have not abolished sharia, as sharia is Islam.
Islamic way of life can be summarized in three words 1) Din (religion), 2) Dunya (Community), 3) Dawla (State). Islamic Shariah covers all of these three aspects. From Islamic point of view, life is a unity.
Islamic Shariah gives directions to all aspects of life in its entirety (although this Shariah tradition was added after Mohammed).
Therefore there is no separation between state and mosque. Secularism, in Muslims view, destroys the transcendence of all moral values. In Qur'anic words "those who forget God eventually forget themselves" (59:19) and their individual and corporate personalities disintegrate.
No Separation between mosque and state
Who should interpret the Koran
As the Ulama developed, they became more and more in control of what was considered orthodox.
Ijtihad, or the use of individual reason, the ability of a person to decide for themselves in the absence of an applicable text, fell by the wayside as legal scholars began to take control.
Prior to Islam
polygamy--no limit; Islam limits it to 4 wives and they have to be treated equally
prostitution rampant

24:33--marry the spouseless among you and your slaves and handmaidens that are righteous; if they are poor, God will enrich you of His bounty.
Family law in the Qur'an
If there are two siblings, male and female, the woman's share of the estate is 1/2 that of her brother's, but her brother is required to take responsibility for her support if she is unmarried.
A husband can divorce a wife by saying I divorce you 3 times (meant to slow it down over a period of 3 months). In practice, this is not always followed. Some countries require this before a judge.
Women are allowed to keep their property and anything given to them by their husbands.
Adultery and fornication are prohibited, punishment is 100 lashes for BOTH men and women, and women are protected by requiring 4 witnesses.
Children and close female relatives are not to be taken in marriage. Sex with slaves is permitted, but they cannot be sold into prostitution.

In Practice

husband is to make love to wife 2 times a night; neither head nor feet of either spouse should face Mecca; sodomy forbidden.
One should say 25:54 at moment of orgasm: And it is He who has created from water a human being and made him [a relative by] lineage and marriage. And ever is your Lord competent [concerning creation].
Traveler's marriage: husband and wife give up rights by their own free will.
Nikah mut'ah--lasts from 3 hours to months. practiced as a cover for prostitution.
love jihad or Romeo--young girls are targeted to convert to Islam by feigning love in tourist resort areas. Also easy way to emigrate to Europe.
during war ban on prostitution may be lifted.
Sex jihad: refers to Sunni women offering themselves in sexual roles to fighters for the establishment of Islamic rule. 100's of Tunisian girls volunteered to go to Syria. Saudi Cleric--urgent call for sex jihadists. -- Mongi Bahloud, 8/29/14
Tunisia -- banned polygamy in 1956 upon independence, 1st Arab country to do so.

Mix of Berber traders and Islam
Circumcision of women
to prevent sexual pleasure
to ensure virginity
test on wedding night (dukhla)
chastity belt when husband is away.
Criminal law
commands retaliation for murder, flogging for adultery and maiming by cutting off the hand as punishment for theft. In practice, this was rarely carried out; there is such a strict requirement for corroborating witnesses.
In a land where blood feuds were common, taking it out of the hands of the family was seen as a step to stop the bloodshed.
Everything has changed, though, under the process of modernization. In fact, even though theologically there can be no separation between mosque and state, both Sunnis and Shiites developed a separation very early on.
In the Sunni world, the separation was de facto; Islamic law developed as kind of a counterculture to the aristocratic courts.
In the Shiite world, there was a separation of mosque and state on principle. It was held that since every state was corrupt, clerics should take no part in them, that the religious should withdraw until the messiah came and established a proper Muslim state.
Fundamentalist movements have tried to drag religion back into the center of public concern and policy across the world. The United States did this first in the early 20th century, really during World War I. Islam was the last of the three monotheistic religions to produce a fundamentalist religion in the late 1960s after the shock of the Six Day War. Religious fundamentalism took hold on both sides of the war. In Egypt, the feeling that [President] Nasser's secular policy was bankrupt made many Egyptians feel that they wanted to get back to their roots. The same thing happened in Israel with orthodox sects.
the Debate
the debate
To be noted in this connection is the fact that in such key countries as Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, and Turkey hardly anything is run anymore according to Islamic precepts, administered along the lines of sharia law, or functions in conformity with theological doctrines and/or teachings.
“In the above-mentioned countries, the modern secular-nationalist calendar, with its new holidays, symbols, heroes, and ceremonies has come to fill the public square, relegating the old religious calendar and its landmarks to the margins of public life. This is why the truly radical Muslim fundamentalists complain not so much about the unsecularizability of Islam, but rather about the absence of Islam from all realms of human activity, because it has been reduced to mere prayer, the fast, the pilgrimage and alms giving.”--Sadik J. al-Azm
Consequently, these radical insurrectionary Islamists keenly resent the fact that contemporary Islam has allowed its basic tenets to turn into optional beliefs and rituals. To reverse this seemingly irreversible trend they literally go to war in order to achieve what they call the re-Islamization of currently nominally Muslim societies.
4 general Muslim orientations
John Esposito
Secularist—religion is a personal affair and should be excluded from politics and public life. Separation of religion and state. Islam belongs in the Mosque, they are sometimes dismissed by their opponents as non-believers.

Conservatives: Following the traditions and any deviation from these is heresy. Continue to promote the adequacy of centuries old Islamic law. Represented by the Ulamah. They resist substantial change. Society must conform to God's law, not the other way around. Wahhabism

Mainstream (Islamists, Fundamentalists): Not just marginalized youth. Professional. place an emphasis on the need for Islam and Sharia. They emphasize a political Islam. They often challenge the political and religious establishment. They have often been less progressive than reformers in areas such as women. leadership is lay, rather than clerical, like Muslim Brotherhood.

Reformers—more open to change from Western sources. They distinguish between divine revelation and local customs which should and can be changed for modern situations. Distinguish between sharia and fiqh that is historically conditioned. Place more emphasis on the historical nature of some of the Hadith and its need for reform for today.

Human worth and dignity
Islamic respect for human rights, as in Christianity and Judaism, rests on the intrinsic worth and dignity of humans:

95:4 We have indeed created man in the best of molds,

They are not granted by kings or nations, they are inalienable, because they are granted by God.
From the 19th Foreign Ministers’ Summit of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) which was held in Cairo, Egypt on 31 July to 4 August 1990
Most essential rights are shared
However, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association which is in art. 20 of UDHR, is not embodied in Cairo Declaration. And conversely, the specific exclusion of usury (riba) in the Cairo Declaration does not have place in the UDHR.
Fact #1: Over 22 million women in the United States have been raped in their lifetime. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

Fact #2: 18.3% of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

Fact #3: Of the 18.3% of women who have survived rape or attempted rape, 12.3% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 29.9% were between the ages of 11 and 17. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

Fact #4: Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) calculation based on 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
Women's Rights in the US
Percentage of Men earning poverty level hour wage: 19.5% -- 2000
Percentage of Women earning poverty level hourly wage: all women: 2000- 28.5% 2009 – 32.5%
Hispanic – 40.6%

Census BureauPercentage of Men earning poverty level hour wage: 19.5% -- 2000
Percentage of Women earning poverty level hourly wage: all women: 2000- 28.5% 2009 – 32.5%
Hispanic – 40.6%

Census Bureau
2009 census bureau stats
Median income of men-- $47,127
Median income of women -- $36,278
Earnings ratio 77% (1959—60%)
“The union of human beings that is made for the procreation of children, turns virgins into women. But when God begins to consort with the soul, He makes what before was a woman into a virgin again, for he takes away the degenerate and emasculate passions that made it womanish and plants instead the native growth of unpolluted virtues. Thus He [God] will not talk with Sarah till she has ceased from all that is after manner of women (Gen. 18:11), and is ranked once more as a pure virgin (On the Cherubim 50).”

Here we have a description of one of Philo's dominant images for salvation. To become like God one must do away with the “womanish” qualities that pollute the rational male soul. Thus, childbearing, which is associated with sexuality, “turns virgins into women.”
Jewish women in first century Palestine had very limited legal and economic rights. It's particularly in the domain of economic rights that this is a big problem. When a girl was in the household of her father, any work that she did or wages that she earned would belong to her father. Once she married, her wages and products that she made belonged to her husband. There were very few times when she would have any sense of financial and economic autonomy.
A woman's life
The synoptics show women, such as Mary and Martha, making decisions about who is a guest in their home.

Acts and the letters also show wealthy widows as benefactors of the early movement
the Jesus Movement
In the Jesus movement we have example after example of Jesus talking to women, eating with women, teaching women. They do not need to become virginal to converse with him. Jesus is often seen talking to “sinful” women.
However, we do have the example of how the later church has taken the stories of Mary and turned them into stories about the necessity of the “virgin” birth. If Mary’s womb was polluted, then Jesus would not have been born sinless. Christianity became influenced by this Greek dualism. This thinking is an example of how the church quickly became conservative and then reactionary.
The Jesus Movement
Of the 27 Christians listed in Romans 10 are women.
He uses the verb “to work hard” to mean dedicated apostolic activity. He applies it to himself twice, be here he uses it four times, and exclusively for women.
Individual Christians listed
Wives and husbands

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Colossians 3:18,19
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephe. 5:22-33
The conservative Paul
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. I Timothy 2:11-15

Sounds similar to Philo; women are irrational and easily deceived; also similar to Roman practice of women being declared legally independent from their paterfamilia after bearing 3 children.
The reactionary Paul
Recall that utilitarians believe that our only moral obligation is to maximize the total amount of happiness in the world. As such, they do not recognize any specific duties to give more goods or income to those who NEED it most, or to those who MERIT it most, etc. The right thing to do will just depend upon whatever generates the most happiness
Human rights face a serious challenge to their universality from cultural relativism. Since morality is inextricably linked to the general cultural values of a society, it is very difficult to argue that the moral standards arising from one society can be imposed on another. In its most extreme form, cultural relativism leads to the conclusion that each culture is equally valid and the ethical norms of any society are just as legitimate as those found in another society.

Cultural relativism, therefore, poses a serious hurdle to global human rights standards: with the variety of political, religious, economic, and cultural values across the world, how can one set of 'human rights' bind all societies? The challenge raised by cultural relativism undermines the two dimensions of universalism: that all humans possess human rights, and that all humans enjoy roughly the same benefits from those rights.
Cultural Relativism
In Islam whose morality is based upon duties imposed on the believers without reference to the rights of others to be treated morally. The duty to treat others properly is owed to God and, it is argued, one cannot make a claim against the duty another owes to God. Islamic rulers are subject to dictates in the Koran about the treatment of their subjects, but these duties do not create any rights for the governed.
Without a claim-rights basis for human rights, there is little justification for any institution to adjudicate someone's claim that they have been denied a benefit that someone else was bound to respect.
what happens when members of a religious group challenge a human right in the UDHR?

The members of that culture claim that their practice is a revered moral value within their society and that the outside world has no moral authority to require a change to conform to the external norms.

The problem is especially compounded when the infringement involves some issue that defines that culture or religion.

For example, one of the most egregious sins for a Muslim is to renounce Islam and take up another religion; And yet the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically states in Article 18 that the right to freedom of religion includes the freedom to change one's religion or belief. So, does any religious community infringe human rights if it punishes or condemns apostasy?
We have a duty to each other because we have a duty to God.
state provides
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