In July 2017 Professor Brett Scharffs lectured for the sixth consecutive year at the Masters Level Course on Shari’a and Human Rights at Muhammadiyah University in Malang, Indonesia. This innovative course is designed to create avenues of discourse between two important world legal systems, Islamic law and human rights law. Professor Scharffs taught classes on the foundations of human rights, the right of freedom of thought, conscience and belief, and the regulation of religion under the rule of law. The Course was expanded in 2016 into a two-year master’s degree program on Shari’a and Human Rights at Muhammadiyah University, with the financial support of the Asia Foundation. The Course is co-organized by Professor Syamsul Arifin, Vice Rector of the University of Muhammadiyah, Malang, Ms. Cekli Setya Pratiwi, SH, LLM, a lecturer at Muhammadiyah’s Department of Law and General Counsel of the University, and Dr. Ahmad Nur Fuad, from the University of Sunan Ampel in Surabaya, Indonesia.
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU Law School and the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, a part of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo, Norway, have helped organize the Masters Level Courses. The teachers of this course are in the process of writing a coursebook on Shari’a and Human Rights, which will be published in 2018 with each chapter in both English and Bahasa Indonesia. The program organizers anticipate holding a major conference in Jakarta in 2018 to launch the course book and to train professors in the teaching of a course on Shari’a and Human Rights.