Recent Scholarship: Akhter v. Khan

In August, the SHARIAsourceBlog featured a roundtable discussion on the Akhter v. Khan case, concerning the legal status of Islamic marriages and divorces under UK law. The London School of Economics’ “Religion and Global Society” blog also posted a commentary on the case, written by Alistair Jones, which questioned the role of the government in regulating religious affairs.

If certain religious practices are deemed to be unacceptable, who should say so? Decisions made in the High Court are made by a single legal professional acting on his or her own. … But perhaps neither Parliament nor the courts are the main answer. Not every decision is primarily a decision for law-makers. The state has a duty to protect the vulnerable, but the law also has its limits. Islamic teaching on divorce is a matter of theology. These days theology is regarded as an irrelevance. It is a bit of a Cinderella subject. But the particulars of faith can only be reordered in the language of a living tradition. The fundamental issue is a question of what should be taught about divine truth and human traditions.

Read the entire post here.