In the News: Child Custody in Islamic Law

Last month, the ex-daughter-in-law of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida took to Instagram to share her frustration with how the court was handling her child custody case, accusing the judge of having “changed the sharia law to fit his client” (her politically prominent ex-husband). Child custody, like other aspects of law, varies between countries—even in … Continue reading In the News: Child Custody in Islamic Law

In the News: Religious Conversions and Name Changes

This past year, there have been several celebrities and public figures who have announced that they have converted to Islam. As a personal choice, some people who convert also adopt an Arabic name, since Arabic is considered the sacred language of the Qurʾān and many political and religious leaders throughout Islamic history have also had … Continue reading In the News: Religious Conversions and Name Changes

In the News: Headscarves

Last month, the legal and political debate in Europe over Muslim headscarves was reignited after Denmark began implementing a ban on wearing burqas in public, and former UK foreign minister Boris Johnson said that women who wear burqas look like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.” In the US, the headscarf has been debated by courts … Continue reading In the News: Headscarves

In the News: Muslim Marriages in the UK

Last week, an English High Court judge ruled in favor of a Muslim woman seeking a divorce from her husband, despite the fact that their marriage was never formally registered in the UK. The couple performed an Islamic nikāh ceremony 20 years ago, which recognized the marriage on religious terms. However, the judge found that … Continue reading In the News: Muslim Marriages in the UK

Islamic Law in SCOTUS

Senior Scholar Noah Feldman commented yesterday in Bloomberg News on the U.S. Supreme Court “travel ban” case, Trump v. Hawaii, calling the Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the Executive Order restricting immigration to the U.S. of citizens from seven countries—most of which are predominantly Muslim—"a decision that will live in infamy." He had previously suggested … Continue reading Islamic Law in SCOTUS

Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: In re: The Marriage of Ahmad & Shaifia Shaban (Cal. Ct. App. 2001): Marriage Certificate as Prenup

The appellate court upheld the Superior Court of Orange County’s refusal to divide marital property in the context of a divorce according to Islamic law. The plaintiff introduced a marriage certificate as a “premarital contract,” which, among other things, lays out a set amount to be paid to the wife in the event of a divorce. … Continue reading Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: In re: The Marriage of Ahmad & Shaifia Shaban (Cal. Ct. App. 2001): Marriage Certificate as Prenup

Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Amicus Brief filed by Fifteen Religious and Civil Rights Organizations in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, 575 U.S. __ (2015)

This brief, submitted by fifteen religious and civil rights organizations, addresses the notion that numerous conflicts often arise between job duties and religious convictions in areas of ritual law, including Sabbaths and other holy days, dietary restrictions, and dress for many Jews, Muslims, Christians and members of other faiths. These organizations point out that the … Continue reading Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Amicus Brief filed by Fifteen Religious and Civil Rights Organizations in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, 575 U.S. __ (2015)

Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Webb v. City of Philadelphia (3d Cir. 2009): Ḥijāb with Police Uniform

A female Muslim police officer, Kimberlie Webb, sued the City of Philadelphia under Title VII and the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Protection Act, alleging religion- and gender-based discrimination. Specifically, the plaintiff objected to the City barring her from wearing a headscarf (ḥijāb) with her police uniform, and argued that the prohibition amounted to a failure to … Continue reading Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Webb v. City of Philadelphia (3d Cir. 2009): Ḥijāb with Police Uniform

Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Matiyn v. Comm’r Dep’t of Corr. (W.D.N.Y. 1989): Prison Prayer Space

Faris Matiyn, an inmate at the Attica prison, mounted a § 1983 claim against the commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and prison superintendent Walter Kelly. The plaintiff alleged that the prison violated his First Amendment free exercise right by not allowing Sunnī and Shīʿī Muslims—the two major Muslim denominations—to have separate … Continue reading Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Matiyn v. Comm’r Dep’t of Corr. (W.D.N.Y. 1989): Prison Prayer Space

Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Harvey v. Anderson (W.D.La. 2012): Religious Accommodations for Prisoners

Plaintiff Andre Harvey, a Muslim inmate at the David Wade Correctional Center, filed this action against the Respondent, Chaplain Ray Anderson, for allegedly removing the Plaintiff from the list on inmates approved to receive a religious diet and for denying him access to the Islamic community chapel. The Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment, … Continue reading Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Harvey v. Anderson (W.D.La. 2012): Religious Accommodations for Prisoners