The Atlantic Council’s Islamic Law and Human Rights initiative, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, explores human rights violations, allegedly committed in the name of Islam, by Arab states and non-state actors. With generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the initiative, led by Nonresident Senior Fellow Geneive Abdo, convenes an esteemed committee of independent regional and Western scholars in sharia, political science, and anthropology to clarify Islamic jurisprudence and what it has to say about human rights. The project seeks to identify human rights violations through legal and scholarly analysis—rather than through activism.

Throughout the two-year project, this committee will produce a series of papers on the most urgent categories of human rights violations being committed allegedly in the name of Islam. The papers will examine the interpretations of Islamic law in these violations and their social and political context in Arab societies. The project will also conduct an implementation phase throughout the Middle East to disseminate the committee’s findings and recommendations.

Geneive Abdo is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and specializes in issues regarding modern Iran and political Islam.

Fatim-Zohra El Malki is a researcher for the initiative. She received an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and an MA in Security Studies from Queen's University of Belfast.