Following the attacks in Paris last week, one of the contributors to our book Sensible Religion, Sara Khan, spoke on the BBC Panorama programme ‘The Battle for British Islam’. The programme is available to UK viewers on BBC iPlayer.
Sara Khan is Director and Co-Founder of Inspire, a non-governmental advocacy organisation (NGO) working to counter extremism and gender inequality. Her chapter in Sensible Religion is entitled “Retrieving the equilibrium and Restoring Justice: Using islam’s egalitarian teachings to Reclaim women’s Rights”.
The chapter examines Islam’s teachings on women’s rights and the purpose of shariah as a dynamic and sophisticated process for establishing equilibrium, securing justice and serving the public interest. It also explores the dominance of a literal decontextualized and patriarchal interpretation of Islam’s religious texts which has influenced sections of Muslim thought. It outlines the historical and contemporary reality of some Muslims, in manipulating and misusing Islam for their own authority whether political, economic or social to those Muslims who through the combined use of modern day Islamic law and international human rights law have secured the rights of Muslim women.
Read the full text of the chapter in Sensible Religion here.
‘This is a very timely book on one of the most disputed legal and cultural issues in Europe today. Andrea Büchler has left no stone unturned to systematize and analyze the scope and limits for the application of Islamic norms in European family laws from private international law to arbitration. The book is extraordinary in its problem-orientated and comparative approach.’ Mathias Rohe, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
‘Deftly written and superbly argued, this book is a must read for all interested in legal pluralism, Muslim family law, and Islam in Europe.’ Seyla Benhabib, Yale University, USA
Cultural and religious identity and family law are inter-related in a number of ways and raise various complex issues. European legal systems have taken various approaches to meeting these challenges.
Andrea Büchler’s book examines this complexity and indicates areas in which conflicts may arise by analysing examples from legislation and court decisions in Germany, Switzerland, France, England and Spain.
It includes questions of private international law, comments on the various degrees of consideration accorded to cultural identity within substantive family law, and remarks on models of legal pluralism and the dangers that go along with them. It concludes with an evaluation of approaches which are process-based rather than institution-based.
About the Author: Professor Dr. Andrea Büchler is Chair of Private and Comparative Law in the Institute of Law, University of Zurich.
More about Islamic Law in Europe? Legal Pluralism and its Limits in European Family Laws
Posted by Claire Jarvis
BBC 2’s three-part series on the life of Muhammad got off to a fascinating start last week. Featuring contributions from two of our authors- Robert Hoyland and Gerald Hawting – the first part of Rageh Omar’s documentary traced the prophet’s journey from an orphan child to the founder of the world’s second-largest religion. By contextualizing his life within the culture and society of sixth-century Arabia, this programme provides the viewer with an excellent overview of the subject.
For those seeking further information on this area of study, the Ashgate Variorum series The Formation of the Classical Islamic World, prepared by scholars from across the world, is the most ambitious endeavour of its kind in the modern study of Islamic history.
Of further interest may be our recent book by renowned Israeli academic Uri Rubin, Muhammad the Prophet and Arabia, which details specific events in Muhammad’s life to show how the post-qur’anic image of Muhammad was developed by the Muslims of the first Islamic era.
Ashgate publishes a wide range of Islamic Studies books across many different subject areas. The Islamic Studes catalogue brings all these titles together, and the new 2010 Islamic Studies catalogue is available to browse on our website.
It covers History, Religion, Law, Philosophy, Arts, Science and Politics – ancient and modern! Why not take a look?