The Middle East and Human Rights: Inroads Towards Charting its Own Path

Mokhtari, Shadi | January 1, 2012

Popular protests and civil society have moved human rights to the fore of contemporary Middle Eastern politics. This article addresses the rise of an indigenous Middle Eastern human rights agenda and a recasting of the relationship between human rights and the West. There is less and less talk of human rights being Western. A more nuanced treatment of the human rights paradigm, which rejects both Western appropriations of human rights and attempts by Middle Eastern governments to exploit Western appropriations, is taking shape. There is now good reason to be optimistic about the long-term future of human rights in the Middle East.