In order to give a response to the long-standing question of the compatibility between Sharia law and human rights, too many aspects must be taken into consideration and a deeper analysis is needed. On the other hand, the author is of the opinion that where human rights are concerned there should be no room for religious or cultural exceptions.
Sharia Watch: We disagree with the conclusion that there are too many "aspects must be taken into consideration". One link the author this article has omitted is that to the where all these questionable aspects of sharia are documented. Also a report from 2016 by the which states:
“In this study I shall be looking at the general principles of Sharia law in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights”
“Sharia law is understood as being ‘the path to be followed’, that is, the ‘law’ to be obeyed by every Muslim.”
13. In Islamic family law, men have authority over women. Surah 4:34 states: ‘Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.’ While wives clearly have a duty of fidelity, husbands do not. In Sharia law, adultery is strictly prohibited. Legal doctrine holds that the evidence must take the form of corroborating testimony from four witnesses to prove an individual’s guilt. These witnesses must be men of good repute and good Muslims. The punishment is severe and degrading, namely ‘a hundred lashes’. In the case of rape, which is seldom committed in public before four male witnesses who are good Muslims, punishing the rapist is difficult if not impossible. In practice, this obliges women to be accompanied by men when they go out and is not conducive to their independence. While divorce by mutual consent is enshrined in Islamic law, the application has to come from the wife, since the husband can repudiate his wife at any time. There is also the question of equal rights with regard to divorce arrangements such as custody of children.
14. For division of an estate among the heirs, distinctions are made according to the sex of the heir. A male heir has a double share, whereas a female heir has a single share. The rights of a surviving wife are half those of a surviving husband.
15. In criminal cases, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments are authorised by Sharia law, including death by stoning, beheading and hanging, amputation of limbs, and flogging. Apostasy results, firstly, in the apostate’s civil death, with the estate passing to the heirs, and, secondly, in the apostate’s execution if he or she does not recant.
Lastly, non-Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in civil and criminal [sharia] law, which is discrimination on the ground of religion within the meaning of Article 14 of the Convention.
Joseph Schacht, “An introduction to Islamic law”, Oxford University Press, 1983.
UN (1948), Universal Declaration of human rights, available at:
UN, Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, New York, 18 December 1979, available at:
United Nations Treaty Collection, Status of the treaties, CEDAW, available at:
Christian Campbell, “Legal aspects of doing business in the Middle East”, 2007, p. 265.
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2019, Annual Report, available at:
Human Rights Watch, “Saudi Arabia: events of 2018”, available at:
Nhina Le, “Are human rights universal or culturally relative?”, Peace Review: a journal of social justice, 28:203-211, available at:
Marie Juul Petersen, “Islam and human rights: clash or compatibility?”, available at:
Gregor Puppinck, European Centre for law and justice, “The Council of Europe is greatly concerned by the application of Sharia in Europe”, available at:
ECHR, Refah Partisi (the Welfare Party) and Others v. Turkey, February 2008, available at: file:///C:/Users/Meu-Intern2/Downloads/002-5004.pdf
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Report Doc. 14787, 03 January 2019, available at:
Cairo Declaration on human rights in Islam, 5 August 1990, available at:
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, “Sharia, the Cairo Declaration and the European Convention on Human Rights”, Resolution 2253 (2019), available at: