New Book: Sharia As Discourse
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.