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Human rights and Islam: A critical review of research on Sudan

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  1. Introduction
  2. Human rights violations in Sudan
  3. Cultural and political hegemony
  4. Hale's argument
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Many non-Muslim onlookers in places like the West have heard of the apparent human rights violations that occur in the some parts of the Islamic world, and they have come to conclude that women are naturally supposed to take a subordinate position to men. While there might be some good reasons for observers to believe this, it is actually more complicated as the status of women in Islam is one that can be perceived in many ways.

To begin with though, it should be noted that the Quran dictates that men and women and equal before God, but as will be shown, this done not always mean that women are treated in the same way as men in Islamic communities. There are many countries in this world where the teaching of Islam are interpreted in a very conservative way, one that justifies a certain type of societal treatment that most people around the world would consider to be a gross violation of any conception of human rights. It is for this reason that Women Living Under Muslim Law (WLUML) was established. They seek to provide ?information, support and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam.? They provide many resources on their website, and some of them are there to educate people about the human rights issues that are affecting women in several Muslim countries across the world.

[...] From this critical review, it will be clear that there are fundamental human rights violations going on in Sudan being perpetrated against women, but as sociologists, we must view this as the attempt by social groups to control each other, and not as the implementation of an inherently dangerous religion. Both of the articles bring up many serious issues regarding human rights violations that are seemingly taking place in Sudan. The first article goes into depth about all of the ways in which violence against women is being propagated in Sudanese law. [...]


[...] Hale also notes how Women are needed in Islamic society, more so than the leaders would have them think, and there is a component of the female population in the country that is capitalizing on this and using it to try and redefine gender roles and power and relationship with the state.[12] The situation in Sudan speaks to the greater issue of Women and Islam. As mentioned in the introduction, there are many outside-lookers that might assume from what they have heard that these two words are incompatible. [...]

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