Judging in God's Name: State Power, Secularism, and the Politics of Islamic Law in Malaysia
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 3 (2014) 152-167.
16 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2013 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014
Malaysia ranks sixth out of 175 countries worldwide in the degree of state regulation of religion. The Malaysian state enforces myriad rules and regulations in the name of Islam and claims a monopoly on the interpretation of Islamic law. However, this should not be understood as the implementation of an ‘Islamic’ system of governance or the realization of an ‘Islamic state’. Rather, the Malaysian case provides a textbook example of how government efforts to monopolize Islamic law necessarily subvert core epistemological principles in the Islamic legal tradition. As such, Malaysia provides an important opportunity to rethink the relationship between the state, secularism and the politics of Islamic law.
Keywords: Islamic Law, Secularism, Malaysia, Religion and Politics, Islamic State, Human Rights
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