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Since Islam: Its Law and Society was first published in 1999, there have been a number of events which have brought Islam and its followers into the forefront of discussion in western society. The most notable of these were the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 and the subsequent London and Bali bombings which led to unprecedented security legislation in western countries, including Australia, and to a public climate of fear and distrust of Islam and Muslims.
At the same time, there has been a huge expansion of the Islamic finance industry throughout the world, and governments in western countries, including Australia, have been seeking ways of taking advantage of the financial benefits of Shariah compliant banking and finance. Additionally, as Muslims have settled in western countries in larger numbers, there has been much discussion of the ways in which they should integrate into the legal system and culture of their new societies.
This book provides an introduction to Islamic law for western readers. It explains the origin and development of the Shariah (Islamic law). It contains updated chapters on the Islamic laws of War and Peace, including juristic opinions on the legality of suicide bombing and the use of modern weapons of mass destruction. It explains the commonalities and the differences in family laws, and the differences in Muslim opinion concerning the status of women. It contains a completely rewritten chapter on Islamic finance and rounds off with a look at Muslim communities in Australia and the way they live their lives.