Ethics & International Affairs Volume 12 (1998): Articles: Islam Christianity and Forcible Humanitarian Intervention [Abstract]

Dec 4, 1998

Issues surrounding forcible humanitarian intervention have assumed new dimensions as the emphasis within international law has shifted from UN Charter Article 2(4), which addresses the legitimacy of cross-border military actions by states, to UN Charter Article 2(7) addressing intervention by the UN in the internal affairs of states. This change is of concern to both Muslims and Christians, as there can be no collective international response to intervention unless it embodies a cross-cultural consensus that includes both faith communities. This essay compares Christian and Islamic teaching on the question of forcible humanitarian intervention and concludes that the traditions are sufficiently similar to enable agreement on how and when to intervene in a humanitarian crisis.

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