MPAC Announces “Values of Sharia” Report Card

Download Human Rights Report for Algeria

January 27, 2015

Picture by Richard Gibbens

We’re proud to announce the release of the first report in MPAC’s “Values of Sharia” Human Rights Report Card for Muslim Countries series! This report assesses the human rights record of Algeria and we will soon release reports on nine additional countries that claim to base their constitution and system of governance on Islamic guidelines. We hope think tanks, policy makers and community groups use the “Values of Sharia” report card to inform their understanding and perspective on the human rights abuses committed in the name of Islam.

The report card for Algeria and all the countries in this series examine issues such as civil liberties, social rights, minority rights, women’s rights, and migrant worker or refugee rights. The scoring is consistent across the countries and each score is based on data gathered from the constitutions and legal codes of each country, as well as information gathered from human rights groups within the country, as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The final source of data came from news outlets such as Al Jazeera and the British press, as well as AFP (Agence France Presse).

The concept of the report card came out of a number of factors. Islam and Sharia have been and are being used for narrow political and social agendas, especially in Muslim-majority countries. Unfortunately, these agendas are using a limited understanding of Sharia to impose fear and authority on the citizenry. The overarching designation of “Sharia” and “Islamic” are being used to give authenticity and authority to authoritarian and violent worldviews, which are not accepted by the masses. As has become blatantly apparent, both nation-states and non-state actors are using broad terms such as Sharia and Islam to justify ideologies, behaviors, acts and laws that are not necessarily based on Islamic principles and values.

Please stay tuned for the release of the next report card in our “Values of Sharia” series, which will examine Bangladesh.



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