The Accommodation of the Shari'a within Western Legal Systems
Posted: 30 Jun 2015 Last revised: 10 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2012
Most Western countries today are grappling with the question whether Islamic law, the Shari’a, should somehow be recognized and incorporated into their domestic legal systems. The issue is highly complex and controversial, for it involves not only questions of law and politics, but also of religion, culture and history. Hardly a week goes by without a controversy erupting over some aspect of Muslim ritual, symbolism, belief or practice, whether it be the ban on the public wearing of the burqa and niqab in France, allegedly offensive comments toward a Muslim woman by a guest-house proprietor in the United Kingdom, the establishment of a mosque and community centre near the site of the World Trade Centre in New York, a Muslim cleric in Melbourne who reportedly instructed his male married followers to hit and force sex on their disobedient wives, the consumption of halal meat in New Zealand prisons, or the murder of Westerners in Afghanistan following the burning of a Qur’an in Florida by an American pastor, Terry Jones.
JEL Classification: k00
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