Home > Free Essays > Politics & Government > International Relations > The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms

The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms Essay (Article)

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Nov 25th, 2019


It is plainly difficult to establish the relationship between the perceived globally accepted view and the Islamic orthodoxy. For instance, the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq are some of the issues which creates a disparity in international and Islamic excepted views respectively.

Western observers have not welcomed the Islamic views. According to their views, all Muslim states should adhere to the rules and values enclosed in the Shari’a law. Consequently, the western observers believe that the difference in opinion can only be solved by replacing their current political system with that which supports human rights law.

Arguably, this has been supported by the fact that the western observers were happy with the Arab spring as it would bring a system of government which supports normal global view of fairness and democracy. Categorically, the western observers believe that the Islamic laws are going against the internationally acceptable principles. On the other hand, Muslims also take their laws to be rights and the universal human rights to be wrong. This creates the conflict between their views and that of the western observers.

Universalism and the international accepted view

Many people have been faced with the problem of making concrete conclusions over the general global view that international human rights are common in nature. According to an extensive mainstream international view, the current global human rights law should be considered to be universally applicable.

Consequently, this implies that every person should be entitled to certain rights. Countries which are not able to protect these rights are not considered to be morally upright. Freedom, fairness, and peace can only be achieved by recognizing the importance of the global human rights law. These views are mostly welcomed by the western people who believe that it is globally acceptable for human beings to be given certain basic rights. People are regarded as the real owners of these rights hence they must be protected by their states.

According to religious beliefs, universality of an individual’s rights started from creation. By definition, God is universal in nature hence the rights must also be common as He is the one who created them. Conversely, this theory has got a number of complexities. First, the theory does not make sense to those people who do not believe in the existence of God.

Since people have failed to prove the existence of God, it is also difficult to prove that human rights are universal. According to Judaeo-Christian point of view, there is a huge doubt about God’s opinion on the issue of universal human rights. Therefore, there is also a considerable doubt about the existence of the global human rights laws.

Human condition is also another source of the universality of an individual’s rights. As indicated in the International Bill of Rights, the universality of human rights comes from their inherent nature and equal status. Additionally, it also comes from their dignity and value hence they are considered to have certain rights.

The problem with this theory is that the beliefs are not visible. Subsequently, this makes it difficult for people to trust the theory. The other disadvantage of the theory is that an individual’s statue does not reflect a universal status. For instance, an individual’s acceptance of the current western opinion on an individual’s rights does not reflect the global opinion on the same issue.

Nature of the global universalism

Despite the conflicts which arise between Muslims and the international community on human rights, the international community has approved other difficult proposals. One of the proposals is that particular rights, considered to be universally appropriate and valid, exist.

The other preposition is that there exist commonly acceptable and unacceptable principles regarding when a country may lawfully control such rights. Arguably, the Islamic notion that men and women should have dissimilar duties in the family is not commonly accepted. This is because it does not obey the western understanding about the right to equality. Moreover, it restricts people from enjoying their religious freedom.

The universalism allegation of the global human rights law is considered to be strange by many Muslims since it is against the Islamic law. It does not only cover the perception of human rights, but also the nature of a person’s rights. Additionally, it also views Islamic position of not supporting these rights as something not acceptable. Therefore, the above claims have caused the conflict in this context.

Universalism and the traditional Islamic thought

A number of errors have been made when speaking about the western accepted view. Islamic orthodoxy should not only be viewed on the negative side, but also on the positive side. For instance, it should be considered that not all Muslims have similar thoughts and their law is open to different opinions and interpretations. Subsequently, a number of these interpretations will make the Islamic law to be in line with the global human rights law than the other existing laws around the world.

God controls the whole world hence all the powers used by people comes from his authority. Therefore, western human rights policies should not only consider their own provisions to validate the universal legality, but also the values of Shari’a law. For instance, the law should be considered to be naturally independent and universally self-legitimizing.

According to the global human rights, the law must be accepted even in situations where it appears to be unjust. Since people are not able to know what God thinks, his law appears cruel because people have not been able to completely understand the meaning of universal justice. Therefore, instead of criticizing the law, people should carry out more studies to ensure that their minds precisely pinpoint that of God.

According to Muslims, Shari’a law cannot be put into action by a state since it is a secret between the followers and God. Besides, He is the one who created the law hence religious devotees are expected to obey God’s commands and not emphasizing on their individual importance. The traditional Muslim law should be conformed not challenged. This is because the law, like any other law, comes from God who controls all the states.

Lessons from the clash of universalisms

It is clear from the article that conflict between western-led global human rights law and the accepted views of Islam contains an opposing faith claim whose validity cannot be proved.

Certain characteristics of Islam law considered to be immoral by the supporters of the intercontinental human rights law may appear strange to some of the Muslims. This is because most of them grew up in such cultural background hence it will not be easy for them to change their belief. Islamic law can make sense when observed from the perspective of ideologies they are based upon.

The law can only be understood by accommodating their fundamentalists’ who believe that the law is collectively right. There are certain moral principles which are considered to be important internationally. Therefore, the values may be characterised as representing the universal law containing basic human courtesy.

Human rights should not be taken as the most appropriate way an individual can obtain a fundamental commonality of ethical decency. For instance, it is a common ethical law that an individual’s life is important hence the law can be put into practice by understanding the right to life. The above accepted view may be similar based on the moral principles under which a community is expected to operate. They only differ when it comes to establishing the procedures of obtaining such care.

Consequently, this is caused by their dissimilar normative starting points. There is a conflict between Islamic law and global human rights law when it comes to establishing justifiable rights. They both believe that some of the rights are not complete hence can be controlled. Therefore, the two only differ when it comes to determining the right time to apply the law restrict freedom.


Conclusively, the alleged difference between Islamic law and global human rights law is majorly caused by difference in history and culture. Additionally, western observers still take Islam to be an evil culture which is against the universally correct norms. Islam has really grown in the past years with many followers. It also has its own universal truths which are not in line with those of the international law. Therefore, it is not easy to understand the truth between the Islamic law and the global human rights law.

This article on The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Article sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, November 25). The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-clash-of-unprovable-universalisms/

Work Cited

"The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms." IvyPanda, 25 Nov. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-clash-of-unprovable-universalisms/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-clash-of-unprovable-universalisms/.


IvyPanda. "The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-clash-of-unprovable-universalisms/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-clash-of-unprovable-universalisms/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Clash of Unprovable Universalisms'. 25 November.

More related papers