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Vol 22 No 12 Dec 17/Jan 18

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Shari’a As Discourse: Legal Traditions and the Encounter with Europe

Edited by: Jorgen S. Nielsen, Lisbet Christoffersen

ISBN13: 9780754679554
Published: February 2010
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £110.00

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It has been argued that, in some sections of the Muslim communities in Europe, aspects of custom related in some way to Islam remain so persistent that for the legislator and the judge to ignore them is tantamount to institutionalizing severe injustice.

From a Muslim perspective this discussion refers to the wider contests taking place about the nature and role of Shari'a within the Muslim world, contests which are to be found all over the Muslim world today, often formulated in the context of a response to the ominous 'other' associated with the dominant, ex- and post-imperial 'West'.

From a European perspective we are witnessing an engagement with a religious/legal/cultural complex of traditions which have until the last couple of generations been mostly located outside Europe, and which have to large extent been viewed as the external, colonial 'other'. These two perspectives have now become engaged within the boundaries of Europe, often in a contest of some virulence both in their mutual relationship and in their respective internal negotiations and arguments.

The purpose of this volume is to expose some of the various issues thus raised and to put the two intellectual and legal traditions into some form of dialogue and to explore how the encounter is working out in practice in selected locations both in Europe and in the Arab Muslim world.

The book brings together a number of scholars of Shari'a and Islamic law with counterparts from parallel European disciplines: hermeneutics, philosophy and jurisprudence to explore how the processes of theological-legal thinking have been expressed and are being expressed in a more or less common intellectual framework and to do so in a dialogue with similar processes in Europe.

The work provides a valuable reference for all those interested in exploring how Muslims and non-Muslims view Shari'a law and in looking at ways European legal systems can provide some form of accommodation with Muslim customs.

Islamic Law
Between renewal and tradition: Shari'a as discourse,
Jorgen S. Nielsen
Part I An Encounter of Legal Theories: Clarity or confusion: classical fiqh and the issue of logic,
Mona Siddiqui
Demarcating fault-lines within Islam: Muslim modernists and hard-line Islamists engage
Shari'a, Asma Afsaruddin
Islamic jurisprudence and Western legal history,
Mark van Hoecke
Is Shari'a a law, religion or a combination? European legal discourses on Shari'a,
Lisbet Christoffersen
Women, secular and religious laws and traditions: gendered secularizatio, gendering Shari'a,
Hanne Petersen
Shari'a and Nordic legal contexts, Kjell-Ake Modeer.
Part II Local Experiences: Shari'a from behind the bench: court culture, judicial culture and a judge-made discourse on Shari'a at a Swedish district court,
Matilda Arvidsson
Between God and the Sultana? Legal pluralism in the British Muslim diaspora,
Prakash Shah
Shari'a and secularism in France,
Manni Crone
Divine law and human understanding: the idea of Shari'a in Saudi Arabia,
Dorthe Bramsen
Speaking in His name? Gender, language and religion in the Arab media,
Dima Dabbous-Sensenig
Shari'a and the constitutional debate in Egypt, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen.
Part III Shari'a and Discourse: Traditions of interpretation within (Protestant) Christian theology as compared with Islam,
Mogens Muller
Rebellious women: discourses and texts: Shari'a, civil rights, and penal law,
Peter Madsen