Malaysian Custody Cases of Children Unilaterally Converted to Islam: Indira Gandhi Mutho v. Pathmanathan Krishnan (2016)

In this post, I examine an ongoing legal custody battle between a Hindu woman, Indira Gandhi Mutho against her former husband Pathmanathan Krishnan, who converted from Hinduism to Islam in 2009. At the heart of this battle is the fact that Krishnan, who now goes by the Muslim name Muhammad Riduan, obtained custody over the … Continue reading Malaysian Custody Cases of Children Unilaterally Converted to Islam: Indira Gandhi Mutho v. Pathmanathan Krishnan (2016)

When Fatwā Becomes Law: Examining the Fatwā’s Place in the Malaysian Islamic Legal System

In the 1997 Miss Malaysia Controversy, two contestants of the Miss Malaysia Petite Contest were fined by the Syariah (Ar. sharīʿa) High Court in Kuala Lumpur for breaching a fatwā, or religious edict, which prohibited Muslim women from participating in beauty pageants. The National Fatwā Council of Malaysia issued the opinion on 15 January 1996 … Continue reading When Fatwā Becomes Law: Examining the Fatwā’s Place in the Malaysian Islamic Legal System

Islam vs. Liberalism? An Analysis of an Opinion issued by a Malaysian Fatwā Council  in July 2014

This article examines the content of a fatwā issued and published into law on 31 July 2014 by the fatwā committee of a state in Malaysia named Selangor. The fatwā is entitled “Fatwā Pemikiran Liberalisme Dan Pluralisme Agama,” or “Fatwā on the Thought of Liberalism and Religious Pluralism.” It is significant politically for having targeted … Continue reading Islam vs. Liberalism? An Analysis of an Opinion issued by a Malaysian Fatwā Council  in July 2014

Commentary :: The US, the UK, and the Model of Competitive Equality

This commentary, by SHARIAsource U.A.E. and Malaysia editor Paul Lee, examines the U.S. and the U.K. as an example of a model of competitive equality for the regulation of sharīʿa compliance in Islamic finance. The regulation of Islamic finance has generally been an area to which Western jurisdictions have devoted limited attention, and courts and regulators have … Continue reading Commentary :: The US, the UK, and the Model of Competitive Equality

Challenging a “Deviancy” Charge in a Civil Court: Sisters in Islam Files for Judicial Review against a Fatwā

On September 19th, 2016, Malaysia’s Federal High Court dismissed an application for judicial review filed by the feminist organization Sisters in Islam (SIS). The group had filed a petition for judicial review under the Federal (civil) High Court to challenge the validity of a fatwā issued by the Fatwā Committee of the State of Selangor … Continue reading Challenging a “Deviancy” Charge in a Civil Court: Sisters in Islam Files for Judicial Review against a Fatwā

Commentary :: Minority Religious Legal Identity within the Modern Nation State: A Case Study of the Ismāʿīlī Constitution

By Aleema Jamal In 1986, the Aga Khan IV promulgated a global Ismāʿīlī Constitution, which brought the social governance of the Ismāʿīlī community under one umbrella. It was envisioned as a document that could harness the best in individual creativity while creating an ethos of group responsibility. The Ismāʿīlī Constitution provides an example of the … Continue reading Commentary :: Minority Religious Legal Identity within the Modern Nation State: A Case Study of the Ismāʿīlī Constitution

Commentary :: Guardian Council and the Ultimate Power

By Marzieh Tofighi Darian This post analyzes the self-proclaimed power of Iran’s Guardian Council to strike down previously approved laws due to claims of inconsistency with sharīʿa. In order to contextualize this problem, I analyze a recent opinion of the Guardian Council that nullified the results of recent elections, on grounds that a law legalizing membership … Continue reading Commentary :: Guardian Council and the Ultimate Power

Commentary :: How Was Secularism Added to the Turkish Constitution? The Varying Rationales

By Cem Tecimer While the founding fathers of the Turkish Republic erased reference to Islam in the Constitution in early 1928, it was not until 1937 that the term “secularism” was inserted into the text of the Constitution. While this legal move was backed up by full parliamentary support in the form of a constitutional … Continue reading Commentary :: How Was Secularism Added to the Turkish Constitution? The Varying Rationales

Commentary :: The Problem of Nonfinality of Judicial Decisions in Iran’s Sharīʿa-Compliance Jurisprudence

By Marzieh Tofighi Darian This post argues that there is an excessive focus on sharīʿa-compatibility for legislation and judicial decisions in Iran. Even when a law enters into force or a judicial decision becomes final, there are still tools for the Guardian Council to legally invalidate the law or reverse the judicial decision. Assessing the … Continue reading Commentary :: The Problem of Nonfinality of Judicial Decisions in Iran’s Sharīʿa-Compliance Jurisprudence

Commentary :: The Aga Khan Case: An Example of the Law’s Role in Religious Identity Formation

By Aleema Jamal The Khoja Case, also known as the Aga Khan Case, is one of the rare cases profiling the Shīʿī Imāmī Nizārī Ismāʿīlī community (henceforth “Ismāʿīlīs”). Decided in the High Court of Bombay in 1866 by the Honorable Sir Joseph Arnould, this case was brought by a series of Ismāʿīlī plaintiffs who argued … Continue reading Commentary :: The Aga Khan Case: An Example of the Law’s Role in Religious Identity Formation