Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Death Penalty
AuthorAsshiddiqie, SH, J
Source TitleALC Briefing Paper Series
PublisherAsian Law Centre, University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne Author/sTaylor, Kathryn
AffiliationMelbourne Law School
Asian Law Centre
Document TypeWorking Paper
CitationsAsshiddiqie, SH, J. (2015). Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Death Penalty. Asian Law Centre, University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
This paper explores Islamic attitudes to the death penalty and argues that all contemporary cultures – whatever their origin and whatever their religious context – face challenges in reconciling the death penalty with the right to life. The experiences of the United States (the world’s largest Christian society), India (the largest Hindu society), and Indonesia (the largest Muslim society) suggest, however, that religion is not always an obstacle to democracy or human rights reform, even if all these countries still execute. The paper raises the questions of whether Islam requires the death penalty for certain crimes; whether executions are a breach of human rights; and whether religion is an obstacle to human rights reform. The paper concludes that increasing acceptance of democracy and international human rights norms as a global civilisational aspiration is forcing reconsideration of the death penalty in many societies - including in Muslim majority states like Indonesia.
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