Area of Research

The main article in this book is presented in two parts, the first of which sets the framework and context for a discussion of ethical limits on freedom of expression, and the second describes what those limits actually are. Part one explores the diversity of customs, the climate of opinion and culture that tend to influence ethics. It also draws attention to the impact of science, technology, globalization, the internet and social media that did not feature traditional ethical values but now needs to be taken into account. This is followed by an overview of the key ethical norms of Islam. Part two discusses the ethical limits on freedom of expression and explores several themes and concepts including “public utterance of evil speech”, infliction of harm (darar) on others, defamation, violation of privacy, transgression and lawlessness (baghy. Besides, The author explains the Islamic teachings prohibiting indulgence in suspicion and faultfinding with others. The article ends with a brief note on Islam’s overriding commitment to truth and justice.

The respondent to the main article draws on the South African History that went into the writing of the post-apartheid Constitution as well as the efforts exerted by Nelson Mandela in trying to forge a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. He emphasizes that the debate sets out to analyze the ethical limitations on freedom in the context of Islam and Muslims, taking some case studies from South Africa since the adoption of the new Constitution. He concludes with highlighting the serious battles between those genuinely desiring freedom for the Muslim world and those seeking to institutionalize the limitations on freedom to perpetuate the pervasive authoritarianism within Muslim society.

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