FundamentalIssues Regarding the Contemporary Human Rights Paradigm
In this chapter, some of the fundamental issues regarding the contemporary human rights paradigm shall be discussed. These are issues that should influence one’s attitude toward the contemporary human rights paradigm.

These fundamental issues include the following:
(1)    The justification of HR
(2)    How can something be determined to be a “human right.”
(3)    The paradox of the human rights paradigm.
(4)    Human rights between theory and practice.

The Justification for Human Rights
When reading books on human rights, it seems clear that some human rights advocates expect all societies and religions to bow down to their demands and implement the contemporary human rights schemes. This is quite a hefty demand upon Muslims, for example, who believe that they possess a divine revelation from God—a belief that entails that they do not have the right to deviate from what God has revealed.

If human rights advocates are serious in their demands upon others, they, at the very least, should have an extremely sound basis or justification for what they are claiming for themselves and demanding of others. This leads to the inevitable question of the very foundation of human rights.

On what is the belief in human rights based on?
Perhaps even human rights advocates will admit that on this issue comes the first chink in the armor of the human rights movement. In fact, this question was often “dealt with” by simply avoiding it. It is admitted by many that it is simply too controversial, divisive and confusing an issue to ask about the foundations of human rights. It is easiest and best simply to accept the theory and to ensure that every human is granted these rights. However, more and more theorists are questioning such a blind approach and raising questionsconcerning the foundations of human rights. More and more are realizing that somehow this question must be answered and it must be answered satisfactorily. In the words of An-Na’im, a pro-human rights writer, “But more than fifty years later [after the UDHR], the question of the moral or philosophical foundation of human rights remains both difficult to answer and critical for the practical implementation of these rights.”

As noted, when making demands on all of human society, one would hope that there would be something truly substantial behind those demands.If not, then, it could be argued, it is nothing but bigotry, fanaticism and arrogance that would lead such advocates to demand that the entire world follow along their path.