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CSLR congratulates Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im on being named “Great Immigrant”
By CSLR | Emory Law | Jul 9, 2020 12:07:00 AM

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion is delighted to announce that Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im has been selected as a “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. An-Na’im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, and Director of CSLR’s program in Law and Islam.

Each year, the Carnegie Corporation recognizes extraordinary immigrants from around the world who have “made notable contributions to the progress of American society.”

Originally from Sudan, Dr. An-Na’im has dedicated his life and work to reconciling his Islamic faith with a commitment to advancing human rights. He is a leading expert on Islam and human rights, Islam and the secular state, constitutionalism in the Arab world, and human rights from a cross-cultural perspective. 

As noted by the Carnegie Endowment:

One of An-Na’im’s central arguments is that human rights should be people-centric rather than state-centric. He maintains that human rights are often used by states to attack each other instead of being universal principles, and that they should be seen as a work in progress, accessible to everyone whose rights are at risk…

His views are controversial. "If I'm not resisted, I'm not relevant," An-Na’im told the Unesco Courier. “In my view, human rights should be defined by the people who accept and live by them on the ground, and not imposed by former colonial powers on their former colonies or by delegates of post-colonial states, and international bureaucrats.… We need to go beyond bureaucratic, formulistic ideas — to inspire the imagination of people, and to drive change.”

The CSLR community is grateful to work with and learn from this world-renowned scholar whose contributions are now honored by the Carnegie Endowment.


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