A Contrastive Critical Discourse Analysis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Treatise on Rights 'Risalat Al-Huquq' of Imam Al- Sajjad (p.b.u.h.)

Abstract

Due to the dominating non-human actions in the world, appealingto rights has become a central concern of all humans. As such,to bridge the gap between the idea, cultivation, and conventionsof human rights on the one hand and their realistic application onthe other has been of an extreme importance. Therefore, the studyaims at analysing two texts which are highly concerned with theissue of rights, namely, the Universal Declaration of Human Rightswhich was adopted and proclaimed in 1948 by the General Assemblyof the United Nations and Treatise on Rights 'Risalat Al-Huquq'written by Imam Ali Al-Sajjad (p.b.u.h.) a principal figure in Islamand the fourth imam of Shias in the 7th century. The analysis willbe carried out using an analytical framework of Critical DiscourseAnalysis. Specifically speaking, the aims of the study are: investigatingthe linguistic structure of the texts selected, exploring themwith respect to four interpretative procedures, and explicating theirideologies. Consequently, it is hypothesised that the texts selectedalthough differ as to their linguistic structure, the texts that intertextuallythey accord with, the speech acts they employ, and theirideologies. Such an analysis reveals the linguistic as well as ideologicalperspectives in which rights are presented in these two texts.This, consequently, leads to the identification of power in thesetexts which can be mainly achieved by the "ideological workings oflanguage", as proposed by Fairclough (1989: 2).