Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

Human Rights and Wrongs | Episode 3

Human rights may seem like an obvious thing to advocate for. After all, we are all human and want the best for ourselves and others. But where does our notion of rights really come from? Who is the “human” of human rights?

Imam Tom Facchine invites Dr. Zara Khan to discuss the history of human rights movements, the underlying assumptions of what it means to be human, as well as how human rights discourse is politicized and weaponized against Islam and Muslims.


0:00 – Introduction

2:00 – Defining “rights” and their origins

5:05 – The rights of Allah

6:15 – Rights implied in the Qur’an

8:56 – Two sources of rights from Surah al-Nisa

12:07 – Origins of the Western conception of rights

14:28 – Roman-Christian tradition vs. Enlightenment

21:03 – Imam Ghazali on the sacred value of society

22:30 – The (not) Universal Declaration of Human Rights

24:32 – Are human rights useful?

25:50 – Defining the “human” in “human rights”

28:55 – Unpacking freedom of religion

31:00 – Not all societies prioritize the same rights

33:00 – The state defines and limits human rights

35:25 – Secularism in the United States and France

37:57 – Consent to marriage, child labor

Want to listen on the go? Check out Dogma Disrupted on your favorite podcast platform.

Dr. Zara Khan

Dr. Zara Khan

RESEARCH DIRECTOR | Dr. Zara Khan is an educator and researcher who studied Political Science and social justice at the City University of New York. Having specialized in comparative political philosophy and critical theory, her main hope is to contribute to the Islamicization of profane knowledge, particularly in education, politics, culture and economics.

Tom Facchine

Tom Facchine

Tom Facchine (pronounced fa-KEEN-ee) converted to Islam in 2010 as he was finishing his BA in Political Science. For the next few years he studied Islam and Arabic with local teachers while working with Muslim youth, founding and directing youth groups in two different communities. In 2015 he was accepted into the University of Madinah and is now close to completing a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Law. In addition to youth group activities, for the past two years Tom has directed an after school program for young Muslims called the Ramadan Academy, which operates out of the GCLEA mosque in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Tom’s academic and personal background brings a unique dual ability to relate to mainstream Western cultural norms and engage them from a traditional Islamic perspective. His unique teaching style is highly interactive and brings high-level concepts to a level that even children can understand. He is passionate about building relationships with Muslim youth and giving them the tools and confidence to live as observant, well-adjusted people of faith in our times.