Is There an Islamic Ethic of Humanitarian Intervention? [Abstract]
Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 7 (1993)
December 3, 1993
Recent interventions by non-Islamic states into conflicts involving Islamic nations have shifted the focus of debates within the Muslim community from the conflicts themselves to whether non-Muslim states have the moral right to intervene into Muslim matters at all. Hashmi delivers an overview of fundamental issues Western leaders ignored when evaluating their power of intervention in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Somalia, and Afghanistan. In Islamic law (sharia), for example, national sovereignty carries an explicitly separate and less clearly defined meaning than in Western philosophy. Lack of consensus within the international community on the definition and criteria of intervention exacerbates even further the flaw of not incorporating non-Western thought into the decision-making process of intervention. In the aftermath of the Cold War, Hashmi proposes this as a long overdue moment for reassessing the UN chapter on intervention, reappraising the value of human rights and justice, and most important, including Islamic thought into the new system.
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