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November 18th, 2012

Islam and Human Rights

At this link you can read my presentation at a meeting at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, England, on 17th November 2012, on the subject of Islam and Human Rights, which I was invited to give.

4 Responses to “Islam and Human Rights”

  1. Thank you for posting this Dr. Zahid Aziz; what a wonderful read. I will pass it along to my family and friends.

    Did you receive good feedback from your audience with regard to your presentation on this very important subject?


  2. Thank you for your kind comment. This conference was organised by MECO, a Muslim reformist group friendly towards Ahmadis. Those speaking at the conference represented a similarity of views, chiefly (1) rejecting the later, fiqh-type interpretations of Islam which contradict the letter or the spirit of the Quran, (2) emphasising the tolerance taught by Islam both within its own ranks and towards non-Muslims, (3) opposing the turning of Islam into a political ideology, and (4) opposing the trend that Muslims must cut themselves off from wider society in the West into separate enclaves.

    Of course the people and the groups attending are not in complete agreement on all issues, but they agree in accepting the authority of the Quran.

    Some speakers were familiar with Maulana Muhammad Ali sahib’s name and work. The chairman of the session in which I spoke, a retired particle physicist of Bangladesh origin (and admirer of the late Professor Abdus Salaam) asked me during question time why I had felt it necessary to revise the English translation of the Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali. I said that the reasons are given by me in full in the preface, primarily that certain forms and styles of expression which were commonly understood by the average educated person fifty years ago are much less familiar now. So I have cautiously made some limited stylistic changes (e.g. replacing “thou” by “you”), following the kind of style the Maulana himself used in certain places.

    The people who spoke included:   

    Ziauddin Sardar (UK)
    Merryl Wyn Davies (Wales, UK)
    Arnold Yasin Mol  (Holland)
    Hasan Mahmud (Canada)

    (Names above are links to their websites.)

    and, of course, Dr Taj Hargey, founder of Meco. 

    We had taken along some of our literature, which we presented as gifts to many of the people.


  3. November 24th, 2012 at 10:06 pm
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    @Dr. Zahid Aziz

    I just read your speech. It is concise and lucid speech. I hope you won’t mind if I read it verbatim in some gathering on human rights in Islam.


  4. Rashid, I will be only too pleased if you read it to any gathering wherever you wish.

    If someone does further research along these lines, I am sure they will find more such “human rights” in the Holy Quran.


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