Downloadable Articles & Chapters

The following publications, arranged in chronological order, are available for download in PDF format. These may be downloaded for personal research purposes, but may not be reproduced or distributed for commercial purposes.

“The Spirit of Laws is Not Universal: Alternatives to the Enforcement Paradigm for Human Rights.” Tilburg Law Review, Vol. 21, 2016, pp. 255-274.

“Complementary, Not Competing, Claims of Law and Religion: An Islamic Perspective,” Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 5, 2013, pp. 1231-1256.

“An Inclusive Approach to the Mediation of Competing Human Rights Claims,” Constellations, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2013, pp. 7-17.  

“Islam, Sharia and Democratic Transformation in the Arab World,” Die Friedens-Warte, Vol. 87, No. 1, 2012, pp. 17-31.

“Religious Norms and Family Law: Is It Legal or Normative Pluralism,” Emory International Law Review, Vol. 25, 2011, pp. 785-809.

“Taming the Imperial Impulse: Realising a Pragmatic Moral Vision,” Economic and Political Weekly 46, no. 13 (2011): 50–59. 

“The Compatibility Dialectic: Mediating the Legitimate Coexistence of Islamic Law and State Law,” The Modern Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 1, January 2010, pp. 1-29.

“Religion, the State, and Constitutionalism in Islamic and Comparative Perspectives,” Drake Law Review, Vol. 57, Summer 2009, pp. 829-844.

“Why Should Muslims Abandon Jihad? Human Rights and the Future of International Law,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 5, 2006, pp. 785-797.

“Globalization and Jurisprudence: An Islamic Law Perspective,” Emory Law Journal, Vol. 54, 2005, pp. 25-51.

“The Interdependence of Religion, Secularism, and Human Rights,” Symposium Talking Peace with Gods, Part 2, Common Knowledge, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2005, pp. 56-80.

“Civil Rights in the Islamic Constitutional Tradition: Shared Ideals and Divergent Regimes,” Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004, pp. Ix-12.

An-Naim, Abdullahi Ahmed, and Lama Abu Odeh. “Islam And International Law: Toward A Positive Mutual Engagement To Realize Shared Ideals,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law)98 (2004): 159–68.

“Synergy and Interdependence of Religion, Human Rights and Secularism”. Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophizing, 2001, Article available as HTML file.

“Human Rights and Islamic Identity in France and Uzbekistan: Mediation of the Local and Global,” Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2000, pp. 906-941. Also published in 1999 as Occasional Paper, Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning, Emory University.

“Islam and Human Rights: Beyond the Universality Debate,” Proceedings of the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, 2000, pp. 95-101.

“The Spirit of the Ghost of Islamic Law?,” The Green Bag, 2D Series, Vol. 2, No. 4, Summer 1999, pp. 441-447.

“Self Determination and Unity: The Case of Sudan,” (with Francis Deng), Law and Policy, Vol. 18, 1997, pp. 199-223.

“The Contingent Universality of Human Rights: The Case of Freedom of Expression in African and Islamic Contexts,” Emory International Law Review, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1997, pp. 29-66.

“Reforming Islam: Sudan and the Paradox of Self-Determination,”  Harvard International Review, vol. 19, no. 2, Harvard International Review, 1997, pp. 24–64,

“Civil Rights in the Islamic Constitutional Tradition: Shared Ideals and Divergent Regimes,” The John Marshall Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1992, pp. 267-93.

“Human Rights in the Muslim World: Socio-Political Conditions and Scriptural Imperatives,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 3, 1990, pp. 13-52.

“Islamic Ambivalence to Political Violence: Islamic Law and International Terrorism,” German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 31, 1988, pp. 307-336.

“Mahmud Muhammad Taha and the Crisis in Islamic Law Reform: Implications for Interreligious Relations,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University, 1988, pp. 1-21.

“Religious Minorities under Islamic Law and the Limits of Cultural Relativism,” Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1987, pp. 1-18.

“The Islamic Law of Apostasy and its Modern Applicability: A Case from The Sudan,” Religion, Vol. 16, 1986, pp. 197-223.

“September 11th and the Search for Justice and Accountability,” in Amy Benson Brown and Karen M. Poremski, editors, Road to Reconciliation: Conflict and Dialogue in the Twenty-First Century. (Armonk, NY, USA: M.E. Sharpe, 2005), pp. 231-48.

“Oh, [Muslims] Believers: Be Just, That is Always Closer to True Piety,” Conversations on Justice from National, International, and Global Perspectives: Dialogues with Leading Thinkers,” Jean-Marc Coicaud and Lynette E. Sieger, editors, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019) pp. 79-100.

“The Role of ‘Community Discourse’ in Combating ‘Crimes of Honour’: Preliminary Assessment and Prospects,” in Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain, editors, 

Honour:’ Crimes, Paradigms and Violence against Women. (London: Zed Books, 2006), pp. 64-77.

Plenary Address “Banning Sharia is a ‘Red Herring’: The Way Forward for all Americans,” International Conference on Invisible Constitutions: Culture, Religion and Memory,” St. Louis University School of Law and Center for Intercultural Studies, St. Louis, MO, March 2nd, 2012.

“Editorial Note: From the Neocolonial ‘Transitional’ to Indigenous Formations of Justice,” The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 7:3, (2013), pp. 1-8.

“The Individual and Collective Self-Liberation Model of Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha,” in Akeel Bilgrami, editor, Beyond the Secular West, Columbia University Press: New York, 2016, pp. 45-75. [We gratefully acknowledge the special permission we have from Columbia University Press to make this publication available for only two years.]

“Islamic Politics and the Neutral State: A Friendly Amendment to Rawls?,”  in Tom Bailey and Valentina Gentile, editors, Rawls and Religion, Columbia University Press: New York, 2014, pp. 242-266. [We gratefully acknowledge the special permission we have from Columbia University Press to make this publication available for only two years.]

“Islam and Human Rights,” in John Witte, Jr. and M. Christian Green, editors, Religion and Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 56-70.

“Universality of Human Rights: Mediating Paradox to Enhance Practice,” in Midrag Jovanovic and Ivana Krstic, editors, Human Rights Today – 60 Years of the Universal Declaration, Eleven International Publishing: The Netherlands, 2010, pp. 29-50.

“Chapter 12 – Islam and Secularism,” in L. Cady and E. Hurd, editors, Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, pp. 217-285.

“Shari`a in the Secular State: A Paradox of Separation and Conflation,” in Peri Bearman, Wolfhart Heinrichs and Bernard G. Weiss, editors, The Law Applied: Contextualizing the Islamic Shari`a, London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008, pp. 321-341.

“Human Rights and the Imperative of Cross-Cultural Dialogue: An Islamic Perspective,” in Berma Klein Goldewijk, editor, Religion, International Relations, and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2007, pp. 305-319.

“Global Citizenship and Human Rights: From Muslims in Europe to European Muslims,” in M.L.P. Loenen and J.E. Goldschmidt, editors, Religious Pluralism and Human Rights in Europe: Where to Draw the Line?, Antwerp-Oxford: Intersentia, 2007, pp. 13-55. Text of the inaugural lecture of Prof.An-Na’im as G.J. Wiarda Chair for 2005-2006 at Utrecht University.

“Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue,” in Jorn Rusen, editor, Time and History: The Variety of Cultures, New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007, pp. 135-150.

“The Politics of Religion and Morality of Globalization,” in Mark Juergensmeyer, editor, Religion and Global Civil Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 23-48.

“The Future of Shari’ah and the Debate in Northern Nigeria,” in Philip Ostien, Jamila M. Nasir and Franz Kogelmann, editors, Comparative Perspectives on Shari’ah in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, pp. 327-357.

“Introduction: “Area Expressions” and the Universality of Human Rights: Mediating a Contingent Relationship,” in David P. Forsythe and Patrice C. MacMahon, editors, Human Rights and Diversity: Area Studies Revisited, University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, 2003, pp. 1-21.

“Introduction: Expanding Legal Protection of Human Rights in African Contexts,” in Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, editor, Human Rights Under African Constitutions: Realizing the Promise for Ourselves, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003, pp. 1-28.

“Shari’a and Islamic Family Law: Transition and Transformation,” in Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, editor, Islamic Family Law in a Changing World, London: Zed Books, 2002, pp. 1-22.

“Islamic Fundamentalism and Social Change: neither the ‘end of history nor a ‘clash of civilizations,” in Gerrie Ter Haar and James J. Busuttil, editors, The Freedom to do God’s Will: Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change, New York: Routledge, 2002, pp. 25-48.

“Upholding International Legality Against Islamic and American Jihad,” in Ken Booth and Tim Dunne, editors, Worlds in Collision: Terror and the Future of Global Order, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, pp. 162-171.

“Religion and Global Civil Society: Inherent Incompatibility or Synergy and Interdependence?” in H. Anheier, M. Glasius, and M. Kaldor, editors, Global Civil Society 2002.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 55-73.

“Human Rights,” in Judith R. Blau, editor, The Blackwell Companion to Sociology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., 2001, pp. 86-99.

“Human Rights in the Arab World: A Regional Perspective,” Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2001, pp. 701-732.

“The Legal Protection of Human Rights in Africa: How to Do More with Less,” in Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns, editors, Human Rights: Concepts, Contests, Contingencies, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Michigan University Press, 2001, pp. 89-115.

“Sharia and Positive Legislation: is an Islamic State Possible or Viable?” in Eugene Cotran and Chibli Mallat, editors, Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, Vol. 5, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2000, pp. 29-42.

“Competing Claims to Religious Freedom and Communal Self-Determination in Africa,”  in Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, editor, Proselytization and Communal Self-Determination in Africa, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999, pp. 1-28.

“The Cultural Mediation of Human Rights Implementation: Al-Arqam Case in Malaysia,” in Joanne Bauer and Daniel Bell, editors, Human Rights in East Asia, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 147-168.

“The Position of Islamic States Regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” in Peter Baehr, Cees Flinterman and Mignon Senders, editors, Innovation and Inspiration: Fifty Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999, pp. 177-192.

“Universality of Human Rights: An Islamic Perspective,” in Nisuke Ando, editor, Japan and International Law: Past, Present and Future, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1999, pp. 311-325.

“Expanding the Limits of Imagination: Human Rights from a Participatory Approach to New Multilateralism,” in Michael G. Schecter, editor, Innovation in Multilateralism. Tokyo, New York, Paris: United Nations University Press, 1998, pp. 205-222.

“Human Rights and the Challenge of Relevance: The Case of Collective Rights,” in Monique Castermans-Holleman, Fried van Hoof & Jacqueline Smith, editors, The Role of the Nation-State in the 21st Century: Human Rights, International Organizations and Foreign Policy, Essays in Honour of Peter Baehr, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1998, pp. 3-16.

“Islamic Foundations of Religious Human Rights,” in John Witte, Jr., and Johan D. van der Vyver, editors, Religious Human Rights in Global Perspectives: Religious Perspectives, The Hague, Boston, London: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1996, pp. 337-359.

“Toward an Islamic Hermeneutics for Human Rights,” in Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim et al., editors, Human Rights and Religious Values, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995, pp. 229-242.

“State Responsibility Under International Human Rights Law to Change Religious and Customary Law,” in Rebecca J. Cook, editor, Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, Chapter 7.

“The National Question, Secession and Constitutionalism: The Mediation of Competing Claims to Self-Determination,” in Stanley N. Katz, Doug Greenberg and Steve Wheatley, editors, Constitutionalism & Democracy: Transition in the Contemporary World, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 105-25.

“Toward a Cross-Cultural Approach to Defining International Standards of Human Rights: The Meaning of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” in Abdullahi A. An-Na’im, editor, Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992, pp. 19-43.

“Problems of Universal Cultural Legitimacy for Human Rights,” in Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim and F. M. Deng, editors, Human Rights in Africa: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Washington, D.C., USA: The Brookings Institution, 1990, pp. 331-67.

“The Postcolonial Fallacy of ‘Islamic’ Family Law,” Shazia Choudhry and Jonathan Herring, editors (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 254-279.

“Beyond dhimmihood: Citizenship and Human Rights,” in Robert W. Hefner, editor,

 The New Cambridge History of Islam, Muslims and Modernity: Culture and Society since 1800

(Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010), Vol. 6, pp. 314-334.

“Transcending Imperialism: Human Values and Global Citizenship,”The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Suzan Young, editor, (Salt Lake City, UT, USA: University of Utah Press, 2011), Vol. 30, pp. 71-144.

“Introduction: Expanding Legal Protection of Human Rights in African Context,” in Abdullahi

Ahmed An-Na’im, editor, Human Rights under African Constitutions: Realizing the 

Promise for Ourselves (Philadelphia, PA, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), pp.


“Cultural Transformation and Normative Consensus on the Best Interest of the Child,” International Journal of Law and the Family, (1994), Vol. 8, pp. 62-81. Also published in Philip Alston, editor, The Best Interest of the Child: Reconciling Culture and Human Rights. (Oxford, UK: UNICEF, Clarendon Press, 1994), pp. 62-81.