INTL 1201 Foundations of Human Rights

What are the legal foundations for religion and human rights? What is the relationship between religion in human rights and human rights in religion? How does the United Nations' secular approach differ from that of human-rights commitments made by Islamic nations? Although the methods and motivations vary, how might the human family forge alliances to pursue shared outcomes?

Rutgers University · February 17, 2021

Peaceful CoexistenceReligious Literacy + Legal Literacy =
Peaceful Coexistence

The United Nations, in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, makes clear that “freedom of religion or belief” (FoRB) is protected by international law, ensuring that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his [or her] religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his [or her] religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

In distinguishing itself from western/secular frameworks, the Organization of the Islamic Conference articulating an Islamic framework for promoting human rights in law. The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam declares that “All human beings form one family… [and] are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations… [and] no one has superiority over another… [and that] All individuals are equal before the law, without distinction between the ruler and the ruled.”

Although the secular and theocratic motivations are distinct, these legal frameworks share much in common in their desired outcomes, as this course will demonstrate.


Dr. Nathan C. Walker

President, 1791 Delegates

Not Enrolled
45 hours for 3 College Credits from Rutgers University
15 hours for 1 Certificate

College, Graduate, Professional Development

Download INTL 1201 Course Pack A. Legal Foundations for Religion and Human Rights


Download INTL 1201 Course Pack B. Religious Foundations for Human Rights

Civic Education for a Common Good

We apply the U.S. Department of Education’s Consensus Statements about Constitutional Approaches for Teaching about Religion

▸ Our approach to religion is academic, not devotional;
▸ We strive for student awareness of religions, but do not press for student acceptance of any religion;
▸ We sponsor the study about religion, not the practice of religion;
▸ We expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose any particular view;
▸ We educate about all religions, we do not promote or denigrate any religion;
▸ We inform students about religious beliefs and practices, it does not seek to conform students to any particular belief or practice.

We apply the American Academy of Religion’s “Religious Literacy Guidelines”

▸ “Religious Literacy Guidelines for College Students.” American Academy of Religion, 2019.
▸ “Teaching About Religion: AAR Guidelines for K-12 Public Schools.” American Academy of Religion, April 2010.

We apply the National Council for the Social Studies C3 Frameworks for Religious Studies

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, “Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework.” Silver Spring, MD: National Council for the Social Studies, 2017.