Karima Bennoune (@karimabennoune) is the incoming Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School where she teaches international law and human rights. She carried out fact-finding missions to Afghanistan in 1996, 2005 and 2011. Her study, entitled “The International Obligation to Counter Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan,” and incorporating interviews with Afghan women human rights defenders, will appear in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review in November 2022.
Professor Bennoune served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights from 2015 to 2021. She also was appointed as an expert for the International Criminal Court in 2017 during the reparations phase of the groundbreaking case The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Fai Al Mahdi, concerning intentional destruction of cultural heritage sites in Mali. Since 2018, she has been a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law (AJIL). A former legal advisor for Amnesty International, she has carried out human rights missions in most regions of the world.
Her book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, received the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction. Released by W.W. Norton & Company, the book addresses the work of many people of Muslim heritage against extremism and terrorism. The related field research took her to numerous countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Niger, Pakistan, and Russia. For more information, see www.karimabennoune.com. The TED talk based on the book, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism,” has received more than 1.5 million views.
Bennoune received the 2016 Rights and Leadership Award from the International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law. In 2017, she was named one of the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. Currently, she sits on the Scholar Advisory Board of Muslims for Progressive Values.