Commentary: The Limits of State Religion in the Moroccan ‘Baha’i Affair’

This commentary, by SHARIAsource Morocco editor Ari Schriber, argues that the negative political ramifications of prosecuting the Baha’is in 1962 led the state to limit the scope of Islamic discourse in Moroccan law. In 1962, a Moroccan criminal court convicted fourteen Baha’is accused of attacking religious convictions and attacking public order (among other charges). Most … Continue reading Commentary: The Limits of State Religion in the Moroccan ‘Baha’i Affair’

Historical Primary Sources: Report of the Panel of Jurists Appointed by the Northern Region Government to Examine the Legal and Judicial Systems of the Region

On July 28, 1958, the colonial government of the Northern Region of Nigeria appointed a panel of jurists to examine the multiple systems of law existing in the region and to make recommendations for avoiding conflict among those plural systems. The multiple systems of law were English common law, British colonial statutory law, customary law, … Continue reading Historical Primary Sources: Report of the Panel of Jurists Appointed by the Northern Region Government to Examine the Legal and Judicial Systems of the Region

New Resource: Compendium on Islamic Criminal Laws of Northern Nigeria

According to the Penal Code of 1960, criminal laws purportedly based on sharīʿa ceased to exist in Northern Nigeria. In 2000, twelve states of Northern Nigeria sought to reintroduce Islamic criminal law, which had been partially in place prior to the 1960 law reforms. Besides the enactment of penal codes, these states enacted several laws designed to … Continue reading New Resource: Compendium on Islamic Criminal Laws of Northern Nigeria

Pakistan’s Federal Shariat Court and the Islamization of Prison Laws Judgment of 2009: Continued Expansion of Jurisdiction

Student editor Noor Zafar examines how the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan expanded its jurisdiction through its interpretation of "injunctions of Islam." In the “Islamization of Prison Laws” judgment[1] of 2009, the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan[2] (FSC) expands its original jurisdiction by broadly construing the term “injunctions of Islam.[3]” It construes the term to both … Continue reading Pakistan’s Federal Shariat Court and the Islamization of Prison Laws Judgment of 2009: Continued Expansion of Jurisdiction

REVIEW: Privacy in Islamic Legal History (A Review of Christian Lange, “Privacy in Islamic Law” (2009))

Utrecht University's Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies Christian Lange takes a historical view on the question of privacy in Islamic law. On his review of the medieval discussions of privacy, he notes that they arise mainly in the domain of the private sphere of the family and sometimes have trickle-down effects into the criminal law arena. "Norms, … Continue reading REVIEW: Privacy in Islamic Legal History (A Review of Christian Lange, “Privacy in Islamic Law” (2009))

Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code: Have International Criticisms Been Effective for Children and Juvenile Offenders?

Professor Intisar Rabb and Iran editor Marzieh Tofighi Darian analyze changes made to statutes defining juvenile crimes and punishment under Iran's new Islamic Penal Code, passed in 2013. The Code follows a traditional dichotomy between ḥudūd fixed crimes and qiṣāṣ retaliatory scheme (which are directly incorporated from classical Islamic law interpretations of criminal law into … Continue reading Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code: Have International Criticisms Been Effective for Children and Juvenile Offenders?

Does ISIS Really Follow the Salafī Version of Islamic Law and Theology?

Guest contributor Jacob Olidort critically examines ISIS's claim of adherence to the doctrine of Salafism, a popular orientation among conservative Muslim clerics who attempt to model their actions on a certain vision of law and theology in the early Muslim community. Himself a scholar of modern Salafī thought, Olidort concludes that ISIS's claims are at … Continue reading Does ISIS Really Follow the Salafī Version of Islamic Law and Theology?

The Construction and Failure of Islamic Laws of Evidence in ISIS’s State-Building Project

Guest contributor Mara Revkin outlines the legal infrastructure of ISIS. She argues that the movement's barbarism and apparently wanton acts of terrorism belies a self-contained legal system based on Islamic law – including the Islamic law of evidence. Using interviews with eighty-two Syrians and Iraqis, Revkin reconstructs how evidence is used within ISIS's purported borders. … Continue reading The Construction and Failure of Islamic Laws of Evidence in ISIS’s State-Building Project