Weekend Scholarship Roundup

  • In “Non-State Courts: Illegal or Conditional? The Case of Da’esh Courts” (Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 10, no. 2 (2019)), Pouria Askary and Katyoun Hosseinnejad evaluate the legitimacy of the courts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Da’esh) under two complementary perspectives. Whereas establishing courts by an insurgent group during armed conflict should meet the requirements of international humanitarian law, because Da’esh claims to ground its laws on Islam, the authors argue that these courts should also follow the requirements of Islam as its constituting law. The paper starts with analyzing whether international law entitles armed groups to establish their courts. It argues that although such courts are not prohibited at first glance under international law, they should meet the requirements of being regularly constituted while respecting minimum judicial guarantees. Since Da’esh has sought to found its legitimacy on Islam, the paper argues that Da’esh’s interpretation of Islam is not compatible with any major schools of Islamic thought.
  • Aisha Saad explores the emergence of corporate waqf (Islamic endowment) in “The Corporate Waqf in Law and Practice” (Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law 10 (2019)). In this article, Saad claims to to introduce corporate waqf to Western legal academia by examining it in Turkey, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, and outlining its main features. She describes corporate waqf as a hybridization of the Islamic endowment, the waqf, and the modern Western corporation to create a charitable endowment whose asset base consists of shares in a company.
  • In the chapter titled “Illiberalism and Islam” (Routledge Handbook of Illiberalism, (London: Routledge, 2020)), Aziz Huq analyzes the role of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim discourse in North American and European ‘illiberal’ parties, movements, and ideologies. Huq aims to situate those deployments in a longer history and argues that  there is no strong evidence that anti-Islam was constitutive of liberal theory or early practice. Rather, he argues, that it was in the second half of the twentieth century, as mass migration from Africa and Asia to Europe and North America came to be viewed through a fraught geopolitical lens, that various conflicts emerged over ‘assimilation’ and ‘integration.’  Huq states that this yields today’s perceived juxtapositions between Islam and liberalism as well as the emergence of the current anti-Islamic discourse of illiberal political formations.

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