Some fourteen hundred years after the Prophet Muhammad first articulated God's law-the shari'a-its earthly interpreters are still arguing about what it means. Hard-liners reduce it to amputations, veiling, holy war, and stonings. Others say that it is humanity's only guarantee of a just society. And as colossal acts of terrorism made the word "shari'a" more controversial than ever during the past decade, the legal historian and human rights lawyer Sadakat Kadri realized that many people in the West harbored ideas about Islamic law that were hazy or simply wrong. Heaven on Earth describes his journey, through ancient texts and across modern borders, in search of the facts behind the myths. Kadri brings lucid analysis and enlivening wit to the turbulent story of Islam's foundation and expansion, showing how the Prophet Muhammad's teachings evolved gradually into concepts of justice. Traveling the Muslim world to see the shari'a's principles in action, he encounters a cacophony of legal claims. At the ancient Indian grave of his Sufi ancestor, unruly jinns are exorcised in the name of the shari'a. In Pakistan's madrasas, stern scholars ridicule his talk of human rights and demand explanations for NATO drone attacks in Afghanistan. In Iran, he hears that God is forgiving enough to subsidize sex-change operations-but requires the execution of Muslims who change religion. Yet the stories of compulsion and violence are only part of a picture that also emphasizes compassion and equity. Many of Islam's first judges refused even to rule on cases for fear that a mistake would damn them, and scholars from Delhi to Cairo maintain that governments have no business enforcing faith. The shari'a continues to shape explosive political events and the daily lives of more than a billion Muslims. Heaven on Earth is a brilliantly iconoclastic tour through one of humanity's great collective intellectual achievements-and an essential guide to one of the most disputed but least understood controversies of modern times.
Author: Michael J. Broyde
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017
This book explores the rise of private arbitration in religious and other values-oriented communities, and it argues that secular societies should use secular legal frameworks to facilitate, enforce, and also regulate religious arbitration. It covers the history of religious arbitration; the kinds of faith-based dispute resolution models currently in use; how the law should perceive them; and what the role of religious arbitration in the United States should be. Part One examines why religious individuals and communities are increasingly turning to private faith-based dispute resolution to arbitrate their litigious disputes. It focuses on why religious communities feel disenfranchised from secular law, and particularly secular family law. Part Two looks at why American law is so comfortable with faith-based arbitration, given its penchant for enabling parties to order their relationships and resolve their disputes using norms and values that are often different from and sometimes opposed to secular standards. Part Three weighs the proper procedural, jurisdictional, and contractual limits of arbitration generally, and of religious arbitration particularly. It identifies andThis book explores the rise of private arbitration in religious and other values-oriented communities, and it argues that secular societies should use secular legal frameworks to facilitate, enforce, and also regulate religious arbitration. It covers the history of religious arbitration; the kinds of faith-based dispute resolution models currently in use; how the law should perceive them; and what the role of religious arbitration in the United States and the western world should be. Part One examines why religious individuals and communities are increasingly turning to private faith-based dispute resolution to arbitrate their litigious disputes. It focuses on why religious communities feel disenfranchised from secular law, and particularly secular family law. Part Two looks at why American law is so comfortable with faith-based arbitration, given its penchant for enabling parties to order their relationships and resolve their disputes using norms and values that are often different from and sometimes opposed to secular standards. Part Three weighs the proper procedural, jurisdictional, and contractual limits of arbitration generally, and of religious arbitration particularly. It identifies and explains the reasonable limitations on religious arbitration. Part Four examines whether secular societies should facilitate effective, legally enforceable religious dispute resolution, and it argues that religious arbitration is not only good for the religious community itself, but that having many different avenues for faith-based arbitration which are properly limited is good for any vibrant pluralistic democracy inhabited by diverse faith groups.
Author: Sadakat Kadri
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-01-05
This book is important because it is: Unique. Heaven on Earth offers a critique of extremism that is human rights-based and entertaining – combining the comparative approach of Karen Armstrong and the immediacy of Ed Husain (The Islamist) with storytelling. Timely. At a time of veil bans, Qur’an burnings and English Defence League protests, Kadri voices a liberal view of Islamic history and shows Muslims working against repression. This book explains up-to-the-minute brutalities. Epic. Interviews, anecdotes, personal reflection and analysis are set against a narrative that sweeps from seventh-century Mecca to the war in Afghanistan. Civilisations are evoked via the vivid lives of caliphs, mystics, and travellers. Legal changes are described through the feuds, courtroom dramas, conquests and cataclysms that have left their mark on modern Islamic law. First-hand. On the road for five months, Kadri travelled through Iran just before the June 2009 election protests, and took part in a human rights conference there with ayatollahs and academics. Eye-opening. This book goes beyond the explosive headline issues (criminal justice, women, jihad, religious freedom) to reveal the stranger ones: genie exorcisms; the legal consequences of premature ejaculation; online fatwa advice; the sharia approach to Facebook and Qur’anic mobile phone ringtones, etc. Bold. Heaven on Earth primarily targets religious extremism, but also cuts anti-Muslim panic down to size.
It is becoming increasingly common for human rights norms to be transferred between legal and political systems and this book is a fresh approach to the intersection of transnational law and the protection of cultural difference beyond the single state border. It investigates how the construction and evolution of human rights norms are transferred in transnational legal settings and asks whether law should reflect, express or control any given aspect of culture. The chapters explore the ways that law and cultural identity may or may not co-exist, particularly in circumstances where a prima facie clash is observed. Examining legal approaches to cultural differences from a comparative perspective and across a wide range of locations, the book covers topics such as juvenile punishment, religious defamation, religious rights and conflict between industry and indigenous communities. It will be of value to those working in the areas of transnational and comparative law, as well as those concerned with human rights and the intersection of law and cultural difference.
Providing a comprehensive and accessible examination of Shari’ah Law, this well considered introduction examines the sources, characteristic features and various schools of thought of a system often stereotyped for its severity in the West. In a progressive and graduated fashion, Mohammad Hashim Kamali discusses topics ranging from juristic disagreement to independent reasoning. Also broaching more advanced topics such as the principle of legality and the role and place of Shari’ah-oriented policy, Kamali controversially questions whether Islam is as much of a law-based religion as it has often been made out to be. Complete with a bibliography and glossary, and both a general index and an index of Arabic quotations, this wide-ranging exploration will prove an indispensable resource for Islamic students and scholars, and an informative guide to a complex topic for the general reader. Professor Dr Hashim Mohammad Kamali is the Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC) at the International Islamic University, Malaysia.
In an extraordinary history of the criminal trial, Sadakat Kadri traces the development of criminal justice from the marbled courtrooms of Athens, past the torture chambers of the Inquisition to the judicial theatres of seventeenth-century Salem, from 1930s Moscow and post-war Nuemberg to the virtual courtooms of modern Hollywood.
Author: Richard Rorty
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1989-02-24
In this 1989 book Rorty argues that thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein have enabled societies to see themselves as historical contingencies, rather than as expressions of underlying, ahistorical human nature or as realizations of suprahistorical goals. This ironic perspective on the human condition is valuable on a private level, although it cannot advance the social or political goals of liberalism. In fact Rorty believes that it is literature not philosophy that can do this, by promoting a genuine sense of human solidarity. A truly liberal culture, acutely aware of its own historical contingency, would fuse the private, individual freedom of the ironic, philosophical perspective with the public project of human solidarity as it is engendered through the insights and sensibilities of great writers. The book has a characteristically wide range of reference from philosophy through social theory to literary criticism. It confirms Rorty's status as a uniquely subtle theorist, whose writing will prove absorbing to academic and nonacademic readers alike.
Eric Walberg's postmodern imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Game is a riveting and radically new analysis of the imperialist onslaught which first engulfed the world in successive waves in the 19th–20th centuries and is today hurtling into its endgame. The term "Great Game" was coined in the nineteenth century, reflecting the flippancy of statesmen (and historians) personally untouched by the havoc that they wreaked. What it purported to describe was the rivalry between Russia and Britain over interests in India. But Britain was playing its deadly game across all of Eurasia, from the Balkans and Palestine to China and southeast Asia, alternately undermining and carving up "premodern" states, disrupting the lives of hundreds of millions, with consequences that endure today. With roots in the European enlightenment, shaped by Christian and Jewish cultures, and given economic rationale by industrial capitalism, the inter-imperialist competition turned the entire world into a conflict zone, leaving no territory neutral. The first "game" was brought to a close by the cataclysm of World War I. But that did not mark the end of it. Walberg resurrects the forbidden "i" word to scrutinize an imperialism now in denial, but following the same logic and with equally horrendous human costs. What he terms Great Game II then began, with America eventually uniting its former imperial rivals in an even more deadly game to destroy their common revolutionary antagonist and potential nemesis—communism. Having "won" this game, America and the new player Israel—offspring of the early games—have sought to entrench what Walberg terms "empire and a half" on a now global playing field—using a neoliberal agenda backed by shock and awe. With swift, sure strokes, Walberg paints the struggle between domination and resistance on a global canvas, as imperialism engages its two great challengers—communism and Islam, its secular and religious antidotes. Paul Atwood (War and Empire: The American Way of Life) calls it an "epic corrective". It is a "carefully argued—and most of all, cliche-smashing—road map" according to Pepe Escobar (journalist Asia Times). Rigorously documented, it is "a valuable resource for all those interested in how imperialism works, and sure to spark discussion about the theory of imperialism", according to John Bell (Capitalism and the Dialectic).
Author: Akbar S. Ahmed
Publisher: Brookings Inst Press
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Political Science
A tour of Islam and its peoples follows the author's anthropological expedition to the Middle East, South Asia, and East Africa, describing the experiences of ordinary Muslims, women, and children in these three major regions of the Muslim world.
Author: Adam Winkler
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-09-19
A provocative history that reveals how guns—not abortion, race, or religion—are at the heart of America's cultural divide. Gunfight is a timely work examining America’s four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. In this definitive and provocative history, Adam Winkler reveals how guns—not abortion, race, or religion—are at the heart of America’s cultural divide. Using the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller—which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation’s capital—as a springboard, Winkler brilliantly weaves together the dramatic stories of gun-rights advocates and gun-control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.
An accessible introduction to Islam by an American Muslim shares comprehensive and academically sound answers to key questions about such topics as jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, and women's rights. Original.
Tariq Ramadan has emerged as one of the foremost voices of reformist Islam in the West, notable for urging his fellow Muslims to participate fully in the civil life of the Western societies in which they live. In this new book, he tackles head-on the main roadblock to such participation - namely, the rulings of Islamic jurists that make Islam seem incompatible with modern, scientifically and technologically advanced, democratic societies. Ramadan argues that it is crucial to find solutions that will enable Western Muslims to remain faithful to Islamic ethics while fully living within their societies and their time. He notes that Muslim scholars often refer to the notion of ijtihad (critical and renewed reading of the foundational texts) as the only way for Muslims to take up these modern challenges. But Ramadan argues that, in practice, such readings have reached the limits of their ability to serve the faithful in the West as well as the East. In this book, he sets forwarda radical new concept of ijtihad, which puts context - including the knowledge derived from the hard and human sciences, cultures and their geographic and historical contingencies - on an equal footing with the scriptures as a source of Islamic law. This global and comprehensive approach, he says, seems to be the only way to go beyond the current limits and face up to the crisis in contemporary Islamic thought: Muslims need a contemporary global and applied ethics. Ramadan's radical proposal and the conclusions to which it leads him are bound to provoke discussion and controversy. Muslims and non-Muslims alike will have to contend with Ramadan's new idea of the very basis of Islam in the modern world.