This article explores Hasan al-Turabi’s conception of democracy with particular focus on the role and rights of non-Muslims. This is done through a qualitative analysis of his writings as well as semi-structured interviews conducted with Turabi in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In contrast to earlier studies which discuss Turabi’s ideas in light of Islamic theology and history, I engage with a range of western models of democracy in order to shed a different light on Turabi’s ideas, illustrating the elasticity of the democratic concept itself. Shura is part of an ongoing debate about the foundations of democracy. Hence, my analysis attempts to move beyond the Sudanese context into the realm of democratic theory in order to have a critical discussion of Turabi’s political thinking. My findings suggest that despite its democratic qualities, some aspects of his religious democracy, particularly with regards to the role and rights of minorities, are problematic from a multicultural perspective. The article claims that Turabi performs an internal exclusion of non-Muslims with regards to political affairs, because Islam exclusively sets the condition for substantive participation.
Keywords: Hasan al-Turabi, democracy, Islam, non-Muslims, Sudan.
This article examines the linkage between great/super power influence and socialisation of international human rights norms at the domestic level with regards to the nature and scope of human rights policy of the Clinton administration in general and towards Turkey in particular. Turkey, an old geostrategic ally of the US since WWII, effectively constitutes a case study for the Democratic administrations professed ethical or pro-democracy and human rights foreign policy, since the two Clinton administrations (the 1990s) are largely contemporaneous with the rapid deterioration of Turkeys human rights record, mainly due to the fight against the PKK terrorism in south-eastern Turkey, and thus has the potential to reveal the difficulties and dilemmas associated with that policy. In exploring this linkage in the light of competing theoretical arguments of International Relations, the article argues that the Clinton administrations professed ethical foreign policy, which was actually a semirealist policy in practice, found limited expression in case of Turkey. The US administration could have done more to encourage or assist its close NATO ally to resolve some of the much criticized justice-related issues without necessarily endangering US Realpolitik interests.
Keywords: US-Turkey relations, human rights, ethical foreign policy, the Clinton administration, semirealism, spiral model.
The ability to live with and express oneself to others is fundamental to a life of dignity. Sexual relations with others is one a way of expressing attachment to those persons. Since sexuality is very often based on stereotyped perceptions of the female body it is necessary to put a women’s perspective on legal analyses of the individual’s sexual rights. In the article this problem is illustrated by an analysis of handicapped people’s sexual rights. The Danish government issued guidelines according to which people with a disability have a right to help to engage in sexual relations. Sexual equality as expressed by the ban against discrimination on grounds of gender forms the legal framework of the analysis.
Keywords: Sexual rights, gender equality, prohibition of stereotypes, disabled people, UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.