In pursuit of the pagans: Muslim law in the English context

Link to article here.


A reconfiguration of law is taking place in the contact between Western and Muslim law. While Muslim law is itself a complex, pluralistic amalgam of different legal ‘bricks,’ in the context of the struggle for Islam to be acknowledged as a legitimate source of value pluralism in the Western context, the religious aspects of Muslim law, with their doctrinal justifications, are brought into sharper relief. The English case shows that customs among Muslims are suppressed in this process of ‘shariatization.’ Beyond that, even Muslim doctrines are being placed under the spotlight in various ways. These changes are taking place not simply because Muslims are living as nondominant communities in Europe, where they are under the gaze of the dominant culture and seen as potential or actual violators of human rights and the rule of law. Relying on the ‘dynamic of religion’ as theorized by Balagangadhara (‘The heathen in his blindness…’ Asia, the West, and the dynamic of religion, 1994, Leiden, E. J. Brill), these processes are seen as outcomes of the collision between two religious cultures, the Islamic and the Western, and they tell us more about the nature of religion itself.

This entry was posted in Islam, Muslims, Orientalism, S.N. Balagangadhara and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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