ISLAM AND HUMAN rights: STATUS OF WOMEN IN POST REVOLUTION IRAN
ISLAM AND HUMAN RIGHTS: STATUS OF WOMEN IN POST REVOLUTION IRAN
The historical relationship between human rights and the world's major religions has been significant, complex, and fascinating, particularly with regard to the dominant monotheistic religions (Bloom, Martin, & Pridefoot, 1996). Western Christianity and Judaism influenced the development of modern human rights (Henkin, 1998).
However, after WWII, the drafters of various international human rights instruments, working under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council and its human rights commission (Morsink, 1999), began to use secular language to transcend the specificities of individual religious and ethical traditions.
Though the universal Declaration of Human Rights is referred to be ‘Universal', it was drafted in accordance with historical tendencies in the Western World during the last three centuries, and a specific philosophical anthropology of individualistic humanism assisted them in justifying it (Panikkar, 1989:31).
According to Panikkar (1989), the fundamental assumptions underlying the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights were a universal human nature shared by all individuals, individual dignity, and a democratic social structure.
In the decade since the Declaration, the phrase Human Rights has become an intrinsic element of both political and popular discourse, particularly among those educated in the West.
In fact, many human rights supporters in both Western and non-Western (including many Muslim) countries frequently believe and assert that human rights can only exist in a secular setting, not inside the framework of religions (Henkin, 1998:230-231).
However, since the late 1970s, the West has shown an increasing interest in the relationship between Islam and human rights. Islam, one of the world's main faiths, “is not just a collection of beliefs and spiritual values; it also incorporates a legal and cultural system to which all of its adherents conform” (Qutb, 2001:28).
The relationship between Islam and human rights has gotten a lot of attention in academic and policy circles (Muedini, 2010:1). Islam has been viewed as containing various beliefs and rules inside a single encompassing entity in the context of international relations.
This may be seen in a variety of ways; the numerous sects of Islam, the multiple schools of interpretation, and the diverse places and cultures where Islam has thrived all point to a variety of views and approaches to certain human rights themes.
Such interpretations of Islamic laws are presented by several schools of Islamic jurisprudence, which are not only concerned with theological and spiritual aspects of Islam,
but also with formulating stances on human rights implementation in Muslim states and communities (An-Naim, 1990). The literature on human rights and Islam has included studies on specific concerns such as Islam, women, and human rights in certain countries (Kamilian, 2005).
The role of women in society is neither new nor completely resolved (Badawi, 1995). Women's status in Islam is one of the most contentious and significant topics of our time, not only among Muslim women and those who advocate for their rights in the Islamic world, but also among conservative Muslims (Dagher, 1997:1).
Some focus on Islam's achievements for women, claiming that it was Islam that granted them rights and honour, while others blame Islam for all of Muslim women's problems.
Iran is around three millennia old (Kamiar, 2007). The ancient Greeks referred to Iran as “Persia,” and for several centuries afterward, the rest of the world followed suit.
In 1935, Iran's ruler, Reza Shah, requested that the world refer to Iran by its proper, indigenous name rather than Persia (Kamiar, 2007; Yarshater, 1989). Caliph Umar's seventh-century Islamic conquest brought Islam to Iran.