Dialoguing with Islamic fighters about international humanitarian law : towards a relational normality
Asia-Pacific perspectives on international humanitarian law
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2020
In order to take into account the effect of the relationships upon the normativity of the law of war, this chapter advances a theory on the relational normativity of international law (TORNIL) that takes into account each of the three sources of its normativity, namely norms, moral values and relationships. TORNIL combines a Western and Asian epistemological framework (which is particularly relevant in the context of Islamic warfare in Asia) as well as international law and international relations disciplines. TORNIL can assist in structuring ongoing humanitarian debates as to better understand the conduct of Islamic fighters that is responsible for the erosion of the law of war, on the one hand, and to enhance compliance with the law of war through the restoration of the law of war, on the other hand. The second section of this chapter outlines the possible advantages and disadvantages of TORNIL when developing a new humanitarian framework for dialogue with Islamic fighters. The third section applies TORNIL to identify how the erosion of the normativity of the law of war has been inherently affected by the doctrinal development of Islamic juristic authorities as well as the dehumanising discourse on the (non-)Islamic enemy other. The final section proposes a new foundation from which to restore the normativity of the ILW and thus enhance compliance with IHL. It does this, not by virtue of a moral call towards re-engagement with the law of war, but by reminding Islamic fighters about their religious duties under Islamic law in general to respect the creationary unity of mankind before God (vertically) and all other human beings (horizontally) affected by hostilities.
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