In September, the University of Edinburgh Press will release Regime Change in Contemporary Turkey: Politics, Rights, Mimesis by Necati Polat (Middle East Technical University, Ankara). The publisher’s description follows:
Turkey has undergone a series of upheavals in its political regime from the mid-19th century. This book details the most recent change, locating it in its broader historical setting. Beginning with the Justice and Development Party’s rule from late 2002, supported by a broad informal coalition that included liberals, the book shows how the former Islamists gradually acquired full power between 2007 and 2011. It then describes the subsequent phase, looking at politics and rights under the amorphous new order.
This is the first scholarly yet accessible assessment of this historic change, placing it in the larger context of political modernisation in the country over the past 150 or so years.
In September, the University of Toronto Press will release Ethics of War and Peace in Iran and Shi’i Islam by Mohammad Jafar Amir Mahallati (Oberlin College). The publisher’s description follows:
Nearly four decades after a revolution, experiencing one of the longest wars in contemporary history, facing political and ideological threats by regional radicals such as ISIS and the Taliban, and having succeeded in negotiations with six world powers over her nuclear program, Iran appears as an experienced Muslim country seeking to build bridges with its Sunni neighbours as well as with the West.
Ethics of War and Peace in Iran and Shi’i Islam explores the wide spectrum of theoretical approaches and practical attitudes concerning the justifications, causes and conduct of war in Iranian-Shi‘i culture. By examining primary and secondary sources, and investigating longer lasting factors and questions over circumstantial ones, Mohammed Jafar Amir Mahallati seeks to understand modern Iranian responses to war and peace. His work is the first in its field to look into the ethics of war and peace in Iran and Shi’i Islam. It provides a prism through which the binary source of the Iranian national and religious identity informs Iranian response to modernity. By doing so, the author reveals that a syncretic and civilization-conscious soul in modern Iran is re-emerging.
This month, Routledge releases “Accommodating Muslims under Common Law: A Comparative Analysis,” by Salim Farrar (University of Sydney) and Ghena Krayem (University of Sydney). The publisher’s description follows:
The book explores the relationship between Muslims, the Common Law and Shari’ah post-9/11. The book looks at the accommodation of Shari’ah Law within Western Common Law legal traditions and the role of the judiciary, in particular, in drawing boundaries for secular democratic states with Muslim populations who want resolutions to conflicts that also comply with the dictates of their faith.
Salim Farrar and Ghena Krayem consider the question of recognition of Shari’ah by looking at how the flexibilities that exists in both the Common Law and Shari’ah provide unexplored avenues for navigation and accommodation. The issue is explored in a comparative context across several jurisdictions and case law is examined in the contexts of family law, business and crime from selected jurisdictions with significant Muslim minority populations including: Australia, Canada, England and Wales, and the United States. The book examines how Muslims and the broader community have framed their claims for recognition against a backdrop of terrorism fears, and how Common Law judiciaries have responded within their constitutional and statutory confines and also within the contemporary contexts of demands for equality, neutrality and universal human rights. Acknowledging the inherent pragmatism, flexibility and values of the Common Law, the authors argue that the controversial issue of accommodation of Shari’ah is not necessarily one that requires the establishment of a separate and parallel legal system.
Posted in Books, Scholarship Roundup
Tagged 9/11, Islam, Islamic Law, Law and Religion, Religion and the Common Law, Religion in America, Religion in Australia, Religion in Canada, Secular Societies, Secular State, Shari'a Law, United Kingdom
Next month, Edinburgh University Press releases Reclaiming Islamic Tradition: Modern Interpretations of the Classical Heritage, edited by Elisabeth Kendall (Oxford) and Ahmad Khan (Oxford). The publisher’s description follows:
Recent events in the Islamic world have demonstrated the endurance, neglect and careful reshaping of the classical Islamic heritage. A range of modern Islamic movements and intellectuals has sought to reclaim certain concepts, ideas, persons and trends from the Islamic tradition. This book profiles some of the fundamental debates that have defined the conversation between the past and the present in the Islamic world. Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic law, gender, violence and eschatology are just some of the key themes in this study of the Islamic tradition’s vitality in the modern Islamic world. This book will allow readers to situate modern developments in the Islamic world within the longue durée of Islamic history and thought.
In June, Brill released “The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands,” by Patricia Crone (Princeton University). The publisher’s description follows:
Patricia Crone’s Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.
In June, Brepols Publishers will release “
Muslim law developed a clear legal cadre for dhimmīs, inferior but protected non-Muslim communities (in particular Jews and Christians) and Roman Canon law
decreed a similar status for Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe. Yet the theoretical hierarchies between faithful and infidel were constantly brought into question in the daily interactions between men and women of different faiths in streets, markets, bath-houses, law courts, etc. The twelve essays in this volume explore these tensions and attempts to resolve them. These contributions show law was used to attempt to erect boundaries between communities in order to regulate or restrict interaction between faithful and non-faithful—at at the same time how these boundaries were repeatedly transgressed and negotiated. These essays explore the possibilities and the limits of the use of legal sources for the social historian.
In March, Palgrave Macmillan released “Formation of the Islamic Jurisprudence: From the Time of the Prophet Muhammad to the 4th Century” by Labeeb Ahmed Bsoul (Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates). The publisher’s description follows:
Islamic jurisprudence has undergone many historical changes since the time of Prophet Muhammad, and researchers have divided its development into several historical stages. In Formation of the Islamic Jurisprudence, Labeeb Ahmed Bsoul presents the history of Islamic jurisprudence from its earliest period. Drawing upon a wide variety of Arabic primary sources to provide an inclusive, unbiased view of the history of jurisprudence, this book covers all the main centers of legal scholarship in the Islamic world, addressing not only the four well-known Sunni legal schools but also defunct Sunni and sectarian legal schools. Bsoul makes intellectual history the center of attention, recognizing the contributions of women to legal scholarship, and avoids attributing academic developments to the events of political history. This book presents a new reading and understanding as Bsoul critically assesses the history, development, and impact of Islamic jurisprudence in the Muslim world.
In May, Cambridge University Press will release “China and Islam: The Prophet, the Party, and Law” by Matthew S. Erie (University of Oxford). The publisher’s description follows:
China and Islam examines the intersection of two critical issues of the contemporary world: Islamic revival and an assertive China, questioning the assumption that Islamic law is incompatible with state law. It finds that both Hui and the Party-State invoke, interpret, and make arguments based on Islamic law, a minjian (unofficial) law in China, to pursue their respective visions of ‘the good’. Based on fieldwork in Linxia, ‘China’s Little Mecca’, this study follows Hui clerics, youthful translators on the ‘New Silk Road’, female educators who reform traditional madrasas, and Party cadres as they reconcile Islamic and socialist laws in the course of the everyday. The first study of Islamic law in China and one of the first ethnographic accounts of law in postsocialist China, China and Islam unsettles unidimensional perceptions of extremist Islam and authoritarian China through Hui minjian practices of law.
In May, Lexington Books will release “Islamic Law and Muslim Same-Sex Unions” by Junaid Jahangir (MacEwan University) and Hussein Abdullatif (pediatric endocrinologist, Children’s Hospital of Alabama & University of Alabama Hospital). The publisher’s description follows:
This book is written with the objective of reasonably addressing the need of Muslim gays and lesbians for a life which involves intimacy, affection and companionship within the confines of a legal contract. Contemporary conservative Muslim leaders unreasonably promote false marriages with straight spouses, failing which they prescribe the “solution” of permanent celibacy as a “test.” This book delves into an extensive scholarship on the same sources that conservative Muslim leaders draw on—the Qur’an, Hadith and jurisprudence. It is argued that the primary sources of Muslim knowledge addressed sexual acts between the same gender in the context of inhospitality, exploitation, coercion and disease, but not true same-sex unions; past Muslim scholarship is silent on the issue of sexual orientation and Muslim same-sex unions. The arguments of contemporary conservative Muslim leaders are deconstructed and the case for Muslim same-sex unions is made based on jurisprudential principles and thorough arguments from within the Muslim tradition.