Islam, Europe and Emerging Legal Issues

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Meanwhile, central power continued to weaken, especially in the area of international commerce. The certificates of protection that had accompanied the Capitulations arrangements for foreign nationals were extended to non-Muslim Ottoman subjects, who gradually oriented themselves toward their foreign associates. A second stage of absolutist restoration occurred under Selim III , who became sultan in the first year of the French Revolution and ruled until In other areas, leaders envisioned or created new social orders that were self-consciously Islamic.

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The growing popularity of Westernization and a decreasing reliance on Islam as a source of public values was counterbalanced in many parts of Islamdom by all sorts of Islamic activism, ranging from educational reform to jihad. Islamic politics often were marked by an oppositional quality that drew on long-standing traditions of skepticism about government. Sufism could play very different roles. Sufis often encouraged the study of tales about the Prophet Muhammad Hadith , which they used to establish him as a model for spiritual and moral reconstruction and to invalidate many unacceptable traditional or customary Islamic practices.

Sufism could also be condemned as a source of degeneracy. Within an Islamic context this type of movement was not conservative , because it sought not to conserve what had been passed down but to renew what had been abandoned. Although the first state produced by this alliance did not last, it laid the foundations for the existing Saudi state in Arabia and inspired similar activism elsewhere down to the present day.

In West Africa a series of activist movements appeared from the 18th century into the 19th. There, as in Arabia, Islamic activism was directed less at non-Muslims than at Muslims who had gone astray. Such Muslims were inspired by reformist scholars from numerous times and places—e. Jihad activity continued for a century; it again became millennial near the turn of the next Muslim century, in ah ce , as the need to resist European occupation became more urgent.

In the Indian Ocean area Islamic activism was more often intellectual and educational. During his lifetime the collapse of Muslim political power was painfully evident.

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Once again the study of Hadith provided a rich array of precedents and inspired a positive spirit of social reconstruction akin to that of the Prophet Muhammad. Islamic world. Article Media. Info Print Print.

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Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Prehistory c. Load Previous Page. Our delegation arrived in Tunisia and Israel at sensitive political moments. Tunisia held its second democratic presidential election ever on September 15 and will follow in the coming weeks with its third-ever free legislative election and a presidential run-off. I commended him for leading his country through a historic peaceful transition of power following the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi earlier this year.

When I asked about the most serious existential threat facing Tunisia, he had a bracing assessment: that the gravest threat is the economic and social despair afflicting so many youth. Early next year, I intend to do my part to respond to the call of President Ennaceur and others by hosting young parliamentarians from throughout the OSCE region and the Partners for Cooperation in Washington for a seminar that empowers our future leaders.

I look forward to sharing details with your delegations in the near term. While in Tunisia, our delegation also held roundtables with civil society groups and local and international election observers. I was encouraged by the bold commitment of these groups to preserving and advancing the gains Tunisia has made since in respect for the rule of law, democracy, and fundamental freedoms. I remain concerned, however, that the ongoing imprisonment of one of the leading presidential candidates could undermine confidence in the democratic process.

Both leaders were candid in their assessments of the impasse in the peace process.

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  5. While no clear opportunities emerged, I was affirmed in my belief that parliamentary diplomacy bridges divides. Prime Minister Netanyahu shared his sobering assessment of the global threat posed by Iran and the existential danger it poses to the people of Israel. I hope we will discuss ways of addressing this matter during our debates in the coming days. During a roundtable with Israel-based civil society, we heard warnings about possible threats to the rule of law impacting both Israeli citizens and Palestinians. In a separate meeting with the leaders of major Christian denominations, including Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, we explored interreligious relations and the mediating role Christian churches play in the Holy Land.

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    In Luxembourg this summer, this assembly passed a resolution I authored on the importance of integrating and protecting civil society engagement in the work of the OSCE and this Assembly. Our meetings with such groups in Tunis and Jerusalem confirms the value of consulting local activists in our work as parliamentarians at home and abroad. In the coming days, I urge you, my distinguished colleagues, to continue exploring ways to integrate civil society in our work and to deepen engagement with the Mediterranean Partners, particularly through support for- and observation of their electoral processes.

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    Parliamentary diplomacy is an important tool in U. Commissioners have championed the development of parliamentary assemblies for regional organizations throughout the world. The Helsinki Commission organizes bicameral U. With 17 of seats, the United States has the largest representation in the assembly. The active involvement of members of Congress in debates and dialogue assures all other states—including allies and friends as well as adversaries—of the depth of the U. Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Alcee L. In addition, Sen.

    Cardin, Rep. Steny Hoyer, and Rep.

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    Hilda Solis served as a committee officer and Special Representative on Migration. While the OSCE operates based on consensus decision-making, meaning just one of the 57 participating States can block a decision, the OSCE PA operates on majority voting, allowing for adoption of resolutions on more controversial issues that need to be confronted directly. Responsiveness Central to OSCE diplomacy is the notion that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is part of a comprehensive definition of security, and that raising concern about violations of these rights and freedoms in other states does not constitute interference in the internal affairs of that state.

    Still, many states resist discussion of their human rights performance. The United States has generally been more responsive to the concerns raised about its record, including the conduct of elections, use of the death penalty, or treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Both diplomatic and congressional representatives have accepted legitimate concerns raised, provided clarification when necessary and acknowledged shortcomings that do exist. Members of the U. Congress have a diversity of opinions that they express at parliamentary forums, rather than reflecting a single official policy.

    Thus, the U. Field Activity The Helsinki Commission has observed scores of elections in other OSCE participating States since contested elections were first held in the formerly one-party communist states of Eastern Europe and then-republics of the Soviet Union in the late s and early s.


    OSCE PA observation missions effectively deploy commissioners and commission staff to observe elections and encourage their free and fair conduct. While the Lund Recommendations have not necessarily been the direct catalyst for national minority progress since, subsequent actions reflect the same international desire to guide tense situations which could erupt into violence toward a stabilizing and peaceful resolution.

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    And doing so in a way which respects the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and their collective aspirations are satisfactorily reflected in the organization and operation of the state. For example, the Ohrid Agreement ended the ethnic conflict in North Macedonia by giving the substantial Albanian minority in that country specific privileges, including a defined role in government.

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    This agreement built off the established approach of the Lund Recommendations to extend the rights of national minorities. Intended for policymakers and government representatives, they offer guidance on developing policies that may help ease inter-ethnic tensions. The greatest challenge is to take guidelines of reason and respect developed by international officials and legal scholars and to implement them in real situations where passions run high, hate may be a tool of political power, and violence looms on the horizon. Of these issues, none received more attention than those relating to human rights and humanitarian questions; the relevant section of the declaration contained more than paragraphs.

    Leading subjects of concern included the treatment of investigative journalists, manifestations of discrimination and intolerance in society, gender inequality, and efforts to stifle dissent. The text also focused heavily on migration, including the rights of refugees. During the consideration of a final text for adoption, Rep. Her amendment, co-sponsored by other members of Congress and by parliamentarians from Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, and North Macedonia, made clear that returns should not only be safe, but also voluntary and dignified. The Helsinki Commission offers a unique opportunity to reap the benefits of such a partnership.

    Destro is a human rights advocate and a civil rights attorney with expertise in religious freedom issues and election law. What was a Russian military plane doing taking pictures over Washington, DC?

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