In this lecture, Abdullahi An-Na’im will explore arguments surrounding Sharia as a legal barrier to implementing human rights norms. He will discuss the relationship between, and transformation of, cultural and political attitudes of Muslims in relation to Sharia and human rights. The current assumption that Sharia norms are divine, and can be enacted into positive law of the state, makes it extremely difficult for Muslims to resist or insist on upholding human rights norms that appear to be contrary to Sharia. But the deconstruction of Sharia as the product of human interpretation, and never divine command, opens the way for contestation of the cultural and political influence of Sharia norms.

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