Modernity, Rationality and Constitutional Law in Muslim-Majority Countries

Research output: Working paperResearchpeer-review


  • Antoni Abat Ninet
Are Islamic law, human rights and constitutionalism compatible? In answering this question, this paper first discusses the concept of modernity (understood in terms of rationality and standardization), analysing its abrupt implementation in the MENA countries and the role that the first modern constitutions played in institutionalising a new sort of dominion in the newly established states.

Against this background, the paper discusses the relationship between constitutionalism and Shari’a law, presenting this as a clash between two competing normative visions that are conceptually difficult to reconcile and which each claim exclusivity and hierarchical superiority.

The paper advocates for a deconstruction of the ideas of human rights and constitutionalism in order to allow for the incorporation of elements of Muslim traditions, thus challenging the understanding of human rights and constitutionalism as a cultural imposition, and as a new form of colonization.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherDanish Institute for Human Rights
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)5798000009097
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2015

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