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Pre-modern Western sources generally claim that European mercantile communities in the Ottoman Empire enjoyed legal autonomy, and were thus effectively immune to Ottoman justice. At the same time, they report numerous disputes with Ottoman officials over jurisdiction ("avanias"), which seems to contradict this claim, the discrepancy being considered proof of the capriciousness of the Ottoman legal system. Modern studies of Ottoman-European relations in this period have tended uncritically to accept this interpretation, which is challenged in this book.
In 2006 a dispute broke out regarding an initiative by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles (backed by Israeli authorities) to construct a Museum of Tolerance (MoT) in West Jerusalem. The museum was to be built on a plot of land that in the past had been part of the historic Muslim Mamilla Cemetery, which since the 1980s has served as a municipal parking lot. Debate centred on whether construction of a museum dedicated to human dignity on Muslim cemeterial land was justified. The Northern Islamic Movement and a group of 70 academics and eight Israeli civil society organizations (including rabbis) opposed the project, but their petition to Israels High Court of Justice failed. Yitzhak Reiter presents the public and legal dilemmas at the individual level (an act of insensitivity to the Muslim minority in Jerusalem); at the political level (the right of equal treatment by the state and the right to administer holy properties [waqf] according to religious law and rulings of sharia [Islamic law] courts); and at the universal level (can conflict over a holy place be addressed objectively from the ideological/political positions that the place symbolizes, and is a secular civil court competent/appropriate to adjudicate a religious conflict). Research for this book integrates a multi-disciplinary approach involving history, identity politics, and conflict resolution. Sources include documents obtained from the Sharia Court of Jerusalem and Israels High Court of Justice, as well as Islamic law and Israeli civil law literature, reports of experts submitted to the courts, and personal participation of the author, including discussions with key players and informants. The Mamilla dispute reflects a microcosm of conflicts over religious and national symbols of cultural heritage as well as Jewish majorityArab minority tensions within Israel.
Islamic legal theory (usA"l al-fiqh) is literally regarded as 'the roots of the law' whilst Islamic jurists consider it to be the basis of Islamic jurisprudence and thus an essential aspect of Islamic law. This volume addresses the sources, methods and principles of Islamic law leading to an appreciation of the skills of independent juristic and legal reasoning necessary for deriving specific rulings from the established sources of the law. The articles engage critically with relevant traditional views to enable a diagnostic understanding of the different issues, covering both SunnAE" and ShAE"'AE" perspectives on some of the issues for comparison. The volume features an introductory overview of the subject as well as a comprehensive bibliography to aid further research. Islamic legal theory is a complex subject which challenges the ingenuity of any expert and therefore special care has been taken to select articles for their clarity as well as their quality, variety and critique to ensure an in-depth, engaging and easy understanding of what is normally a highly theoretical subject.
This book explores the contentious topic of women's rights in Muslim-majority countries, with a specific focus on Iran and the Iranian women's movement from 1906 to the present. The work contextualizes the authorial self through the use of personal narrative and interviews. A new critique of Islamic law is produced through an in-depth study of the Iranian Constitution, civil and criminal codes. The work presents a novel reconceptualization of the term "Islamic feminism" by revisiting the arguments of various scholars and through analysis of interviews with Iranian women's rights activists. It is contended that the feminist movements can play a critical role in Islamic law reform and consequently the eventual implementation of international human rights law in Muslim-majority countries. What emerges from this study is not only a feminist critique of two major regimes of law, but also the identification of possibilities for reform in the future. The study transitions from the Iranian national context to the international by way of a comparative legal study of international human rights laws and Islamic laws. The book will appeal both to academics and human rights practitioners.
Triple talaq, or talaq-e-bidat, is one of the most debated issues not only in India but also in other countries having a sizeable Muslim population. Muslim men have regularly misused this provision to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering 'talaq' thrice. The Supreme Court of India, in the landmark judgement Shayara Bano v. Union of India, finally declared the practice unconstitutional. Salman Khurshid, who assisted in the case as amicus curiae, dives deep into the topic but presents it simply, without much jargon. Explaining the reasons behind the court's decision, he goes on to discuss other aspects of this practice, such as why it is wrong; why this practice has thrived; what the previous judicial pronouncements on it were; what the Quran and Muslim religious leaders say about it; and what the comparative practices in other countries are. This is the Hindi translation of the English edition.
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