Islamic Law Scholarship Round Up: Oct 19th

Ralph Grillo, who wrote for the SHARIAsourceBlog in March regarding “The Independent Review into the application of Sharia law in England and Wales” by the UK Home Office, just published an article in the Journal of Muslims in Europe on this ongoing legal and policy debate. In his article (“Comment on the Report of the Siddiqui Review Panel, 2018”), Grillo explains the controversy over the possible application of Islamic law and practice in the UK, and reviews and assesses the panel’s recommendations on 1) civil registration of Islamic marriages, and 2) the role of Sharīʿa Councils in issuing religious divorces.

The most recent issues of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies includes an article by Delfina Serrano-Ruano on “Redefining Paternal Filiation through DNA Testing: Law and the Children of Unmarried Mothers in the Maghreb.” The article examines continuity and change in the responses of Islamic jurists and state courts to the social reality of thousands of children who are born out of wedlock each year in the Maghreb.

The journal issue also includes an article by L. L. Wynn and Angel M. Foster on “Muftis in the Matrix: Comparing Online English- and Arabic-Language Fatwas about Emergency Contraception.” The article highlights different visions of Muslim religious scholars’ relationships with technology, science, and scientific experts. It analyzes contrasts between how English- and Arabic-language religious websites discuss modern social issues like emergency contraception.

Finally, Cambridge University Press just published a book, edited by Mirjam Künkler, John Madeley, and Shylashri Shankar, called A Secular Age beyond the West: Religion, Law and the State in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Taking its cue from Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (2007), the book traces the relative incidence of religion and secularity in eleven countries outside the West: Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Morocco. The authors show how the state—as informed by post-colonial and post-imperial legacies—highly conditions or determines religious experience, by variably regulating religious belief, practice, property, education, and/or law. A preview is available on Google Books.