NYT Excerpt: Ruud Peters in “Indonesians Seek to Export a Modernized Vision of Islam”

From The New York Times, May 1st, 2017 "...The 2006 painting has become the symbol of a global initiative by the Indonesian youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest mass Islamic organization in the world, that seeks to reinterpret Islamic law dating from the Middle Ages in ways that conform to 21st-century norms. Among other … Continue reading NYT Excerpt: Ruud Peters in “Indonesians Seek to Export a Modernized Vision of Islam”

Comparing the Religion-State Divide in the Arab World: Constitutions

Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, asserts that "Arab constitutions are not abnormally religious," even though they legally integrate religion in different ways. "Religion appears in the constitutions of the Arab world, almost all with Muslim majorities, in a variety of … Continue reading Comparing the Religion-State Divide in the Arab World: Constitutions

Legal History of Religious Accommodation and Muslim Prisoners

Bernard Freamon chronicles the legal history behind the recent case regarding religious accommodation of prisoners, Conway v. Purves. Four Muslim prisoners incarcerated in four prisons in the Michigan prison system just settled a federal lawsuit against prison officials. The lawsuit, Conway v. Purves, No. 13-cv-10271 (E.D. Michigan, 2017) alleged that the prisoners were denied sufficient nutrition when … Continue reading Legal History of Religious Accommodation and Muslim Prisoners

Gender Issues Are a National Problem, Not Just a Muslim Problem: A Response to Baroness Cox’s Statement

Guest contributor Hadeer Soliman counters Baroness Cox's statement proposing Amernment 219(C) to the Policing and Crime Bill. This bill "would require celebrants of religious marriages to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the marriage complies with the marriage laws of England and Wales. Baroness Cox, a cross-bench member of the UK House of Lords, recently proposed … Continue reading Gender Issues Are a National Problem, Not Just a Muslim Problem: A Response to Baroness Cox’s Statement

The Long Shadow of England’s Privy Council Cast on the Islamic Law of Trusts in British India

South Asia editor Zubair Abbasi surveys the influence of England’s Privy Council – also known as the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council – on awqāf (Islamic endowments, or trusts). As the highest court of appeal in the British Empire, "[t]he Privy Council contributed towards the development of several legal principles in Islamic endowment law," in attempts to standardize law throughout the colonies. Its jurisprudence in turn … Continue reading The Long Shadow of England’s Privy Council Cast on the Islamic Law of Trusts in British India

CASE: Abul Fata Mahomed Ishak v Russomoy Dhur Chowdury (1894)

This case exemplifies the complex influence of the British Privy Council on Islamic law (called “Muhammadan law”) in India during colonial rule. While the British rulers instituted their legal system in India, family and inheritance law often remained under the purview of the exponents of Islamic law. This case demonstrates the political and legal complexities … Continue reading CASE: Abul Fata Mahomed Ishak v Russomoy Dhur Chowdury (1894)

REVIEW:: Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy (A Review of Abed Awad, “Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy” (2010))

In their paper Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy (2010), U.S. editor Abed Awad and his co-author Robert E. Michael compares bankruptcy in classical Islamic law to American bankruptcy pre and post the enactment of Chapter 11. Bankruptcy in classical Islamic law is "strongly analogous to the traditional civil and common law treatment of bankrupts prior to … Continue reading REVIEW:: Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy (A Review of Abed Awad, “Classical Islamic Law and Modern Bankruptcy” (2010))

The Comparative Costs and Benefits of Models of Islamic Finance Regulation

Islamic finance is under increased scrutiny. Just last week, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Finance Institutions (AAOIFI) announced plans to more aggressively develop centralized standards to regulate the boards responsible for assessing sharīʿa-compliance among banks and financial institutions doing business in GCC countries. UAE editor Paul Lee provides some context. From a series … Continue reading The Comparative Costs and Benefits of Models of Islamic Finance Regulation

CASE COMMENT: Shamim Ara and the Divorce Politics of a Secular and Modern India

South Asia editor Jeff Redding argues that the "state vs. non-state character of talaq" is too often overlooked as a factor influencing the Indian Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case Shamim Ara v. State of U.P. (2002). While the decision's positive effect on Muslim women's welfare in India cannot be denied, the contemporary Indian state's concerns about presenting itself as a … Continue reading CASE COMMENT: Shamim Ara and the Divorce Politics of a Secular and Modern India

Privacy in Islamic Law in the Modern State

Guest contributors Vidusha Mardi and Bhaira Acharya examine issues of privacy and the state in Islamic law with the baseline argument that privacy is the default rule in Islamic law and that the public sphere, into which the state may intrude, is the exception to this rule. As they put it, Islamic law recognizes that "every society [must] impose certain requirements … Continue reading Privacy in Islamic Law in the Modern State