Mayer assesses human rights in Islam by comparing Shariah law to international human rights standards. She usefully looks at the commentary of several Islamic scholars, as well as several case studies from countries that have adopted Islamic law, such as Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. She shows the tensions between Islam and human rights, but also how they can (or should) be compatible. For example, she cites several scholars who question whether the Prophet Muhammad ever executed anybody for apostasy, as opposed to mere political treason.
Because the book covers so much ground, it can at times be superficial. However, it l paints a reasonably accurate picture of the tensions between the two legal systems and human rights challenges in the Muslim world.