In the new edition to Islam and Human Rights: Traditions and Politics (Westview Press, 2012), Ann Elizabeth Mayer analyzes the complex issue of international human rights standards in Muslim countries. In the book’s preface, Dr. Mayer says that it could more accurately be titled “A Comparison of Selected Civil and Political Rights Formulations in International Law and in Actual and Proposed Human Rights Schemes Purporting to Embody Islamic Principles, with a Critical Appraisal of the Latter with Reference to International Law, Evolving Islamic Thought, and Relevant State Practice in the Middle East.”
Throughout the book she makes that comparison in a way that is detailed, yet still easily approachable by someone new to the topic. In this 5th edition of the book she addresses increased pressures for human rights brought on by the Arab Spring, the efforts of Islamic regimes to use the human rights debate to their advantage, and the issue of the human rights of sexual minorities in the Middle East. Dr. Mayer’s book describes not only the history and evolution of human rights under Islamic law, but also addresses how these developments might continue in the future.