Shari'a Politics

Shari‘a Politics

Islamic Law and Society in the Modern World
Edited by Robert W. Hefner
Distribution: World
Publication date: 3/14/2011
Format: paper 344 pages
6 x 9 x .875
ISBN: 978-0-253-22310-4
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Description

One of the most important developments in Muslim politics in recent years has been the spread of movements calling for the implementation of shari`a or Islamic law. Shari`ʻa Politics maps the ideals and organization of these movements and examines their implications for the future of democracy, citizen rights, and gender relations in the Muslim world. These studies of eight Muslim-majority societies, and state-of-the-field reflections by leading experts, provide the first comparative investigation of movements for and against implementation of shari`a. These essays reveal that the Muslim public's interest in shari`a does not spring from an unchanging devotion to received religious tradition, but from an effort to respond to the central political and ethical questions of the day.

Author Bio

Robert W. Hefner is Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University.

Reviews

"An extremely well-crafted, deeply engaging, and very timely book that will appeal to scholars across a number of academic disciplines, to foreign policy experts, and their interlocutors." —Michael G. Peletz, Emory University

"Valuable for researchers and others who need access to surveys of Islamic politics in a variety of countries. . . . [C]an easily be adopted by teachers who would like materials that are suitable for upper-level undergraduate courses or graduate courses. . . . [A]n extremely fine book." —Clark Lombardi, author of
State Law as Islamic Law in Modern Egypt

"The volume edited by Hefner (anthropology, Boston Univ.) includes essays that analyze the status of Islamic law in eight countries. In Saudi Arabia and Iran, shari'a has a consolidated position in the legal system and receives popular support. In Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Egypt, shari'a is constitutionally established, but its implementation continues to be a contested issue. The other three countries reflect more diversity and complexity. In Nigeria the federal state is secular, while shari'a is in place in most of the Muslim-majority states; in Indonesia the federal state is secular, while legal codes based on shari'a were passed in 53 of 470 districts and municipalities; and Turkey is a centralized secular state. Chapters examine the impacts of colonization, state-building, and local traditions, as well as the roles of governmental and societal actors, on the diverse practices of Islamic law. The contributors successfully expose both opponents and proponents of shari'a in a balanced way. This interdisciplinary book challenges various misperceptions about Islamic law by revealing the dynamic relationships among the state, society, and shari'a in significant cases. It is a must reading for those who are interested in Islam, law, and politics. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. —Choice" —A. T. Kuru, San Diego State University, March 2012

"This interdisciplinary book challenges various misperceptions about Islamic law by revealing the dynamic relationships among the state, society, and shari'a in significant cases. It is a must reading for those who are interested in Islam, law, and politics. . . . Highly recommended." —
Choice

"In sum, the book provides a first-rate, readable overview of 'shari'a politics' in the world today. Undoubtedly, it will be widely read and referenced across academic disciplines and by policy experts." —American Ethnologist

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration and Spelling
Introduction: Sharia Politics—Law and Society in the Modern Muslim World Robert W. Hefner
1. Saudi Arabia: Public, Civil, and Individual Sharia in Law and Politics Frank E. Vogel
2. Egypt: Cacophony and Consensus in the Twenty-first Century Nathan J. Brown
3. Iran: Sharia Politics and the Transformation of Islamic Law Bahman Baktiari
4. Turkey: Islam without Sharia? M. Hakan Yavuz
5. Afghanistan: The Local and the Global in the Practice of Sharia T. Barfield
6. Pakistan: Sharia and the State Muhammad Qasim Zaman
7. Nigeria: Mapping a Sharia Restorationist Movement Paul M. Lubeck
8. Indonesia: Sharia Politics and Democratic Transition Robert W. Hefner
List of Contributors
Index