Weekend Scholarship Roundup

SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDUP On Islamic Law: In "The Hoax in the ISIS Flag" (Newlinesmag.org, October 28, 2021), Ahmed El Shamsy (Chicago University) explains how a forged letter, presented by a French diplomat in the middle of the 19th century as the genuine writing of the Prophet, ended up finding its way on the ISIS flag - … Continue reading Weekend Scholarship Roundup

In the News: Revkin on ISIS’s Legal System

Last week’s New York Times article on “The Case of the Purloined Poultry: How ISIS Prosecuted Petty Crime” describes the implementation of Islamic criminal law in Iraq under ISIS. According to Mara Revkin of Yale University, providing open and quick access to justice was one way that ISIS tried to distinguish itself from the Iraqi government: “ISIS seemed to … Continue reading In the News: Revkin on ISIS’s Legal System

ʾAlī al-Sīstānī: Guiding Conduct of Pro-Government Militias in Iraq

By Marta Wojtowicz Description: The Advice and Guidance to the Fighters on the Battlefields[1] was issued by ʾAlī al-Sistānī in February 2015 and directed to the fighters involved in the campaign against ISIS, addressing the issue of their conduct in war. The fatwā is an example of humanitarian considerations in warfare framed in the terms … Continue reading ʾAlī al-Sīstānī: Guiding Conduct of Pro-Government Militias in Iraq

Contemporary Primary Sources: Open Letter to ISIS from Muslim Scholars

In 2004, 126 Islamic scholars from around the world published an open letter “to the fighters and followers of the self-declared ‘Islamic State,'” rejecting the religious justification for their violence. In particular, they sought to demonstrate how ISIS’ leaders were “cherry-picking” verses from the Qurʾān and how they were ignoring Islamic legal and ethical standards. … Continue reading Contemporary Primary Sources: Open Letter to ISIS from Muslim Scholars

Contemporary Primary Sources: Open Letter to ISIS from Muslim Scholars

In 2004, 126 Islamic scholars from around the world published an open letter "to the fighters and followers of the self-declared ‘Islamic State,'" rejecting the religious justification for their violence. In particular, they sought to demonstrate how ISIS' leaders were "cherry-picking" verses from the Qurʾān and how they were ignoring Islamic legal and ethical standards. … Continue reading Contemporary Primary Sources: Open Letter to ISIS from Muslim Scholars

Does ISIS Really Follow the Salafī Version of Islamic Law and Theology?

Guest contributor Jacob Olidort critically examines ISIS's claim of adherence to the doctrine of Salafism, a popular orientation among conservative Muslim clerics who attempt to model their actions on a certain vision of law and theology in the early Muslim community. Himself a scholar of modern Salafī thought, Olidort concludes that ISIS's claims are at … Continue reading Does ISIS Really Follow the Salafī Version of Islamic Law and Theology?

The Construction and Failure of Islamic Laws of Evidence in ISIS’s State-Building Project

Guest contributor Mara Revkin outlines the legal infrastructure of ISIS. She argues that the movement's barbarism and apparently wanton acts of terrorism belies a self-contained legal system based on Islamic law – including the Islamic law of evidence. Using interviews with eighty-two Syrians and Iraqis, Revkin reconstructs how evidence is used within ISIS's purported borders. … Continue reading The Construction and Failure of Islamic Laws of Evidence in ISIS’s State-Building Project