Improving Dispute Resolution for Muslims in the United States
International Conference on Dispute Resolution 2017: Modern Trends in Effective Dispute Resolution, International Islamic University of Malaysia (2017)
18 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 24, 2017
Islamic law in the U.S. is an interest which is maintained by a relative minority within the country. By means of alternative dispute resolution, Muslims within the U.S. are able to exert their Islamic identity within the context of their country’s legal framework. I discuss legal obstacles and opportunities in religious ADR by means of analyzing state and federal regulations, the habits of Muslims in voluntarily seeking a religiously-compliant means of resolving disputes within the context of those regulations, and the habits of local governments in either obliging or impeding religious activity in such contexts. In doing so, it is my intention that legal practitioners, domestic or foreign, Muslims or otherwise, ponder the present-day legal atmosphere and plan for the future. Ultimately, I conclude that the efforts at establishing Islamic ADR centers are still in a nascent phase and that much of the activity in this area is being done ad hoc.
I argue that in order to establish a center of ADR that can last for subsequent generations, future attempts must incorporate durable, predictable practices which include:
1) adopting written procedural and evidentiary rules;
2) publication of factual and legal findings; and
3) inclusion of a trained attorney on the arbitration panel.
Keywords: United States, Muslim, religious, arbitration
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