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Islam and English Law: Rights, Responsibilities and the Place of Shari'a
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Islam and English Law: Rights, Responsibilities and the Place of Shari'a

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Published April 2013 (Cambridge University Press)
ISBN: 9781107021648. Hard Cover, 331 pages.

Edited by Robin Griffith-Jones The Temple Church, London 

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams triggered a storm of protest when he suggested that some accommodation between British law and Islam's shari'a law was 'inevitable'. His foundational lecture introduced a series of public discussions on Islam and English Law at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Temple Church in London. This volume combines developed versions of these discussions with new contributions. Theologians, lawyers and sociologists look back on developments since the Archbishop spoke and forwards along trajectories opened by the historic lecture. The contributors provide and advocate a forward-looking dialogue, asking how the rights of all citizens are honoured and their responsibilities met. Twenty specialists explore the evolution of English law, the implications of Islam, shari'a and jihad and the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights, family law and freedom of speech. This book is for anyone interested in the interaction between religion and secular society. 


List of contributors; 

Preface Robin Griffith-Jones; 

List of abbreviations; 

Introduction Stephen Hockman; 

Part I. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Shari'a Law: 

1. The 'unavoidable' adoption of shari'a law? 

The generation of a media storm Robin Griffith-Jones; 

2. Civil and religious law in England: a religious perspective Rowan Williams; 

Part II. The Archbishop's Proposal for 'Transformative Accommodation': 

Section 1. Shari'a and Secular Democracy: Is Islamic Law Compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights?: 

3. The Refah case at the European Court of Human Rights Nicolas Bratza; 

4. The compatibility of an Islamic/shari'a law system or shari'a rules with the European Convention on Human Rights Dominic McGoldrick; 

5. An analysis of the relationship between shari'a and secular democracy and the compatibility of Islamic law with the European Convention on Human Rights Mashood A. Baderin; 

6. Dignity and religion Christopher McCrudden; 

Section 2. Legal Pluralism: Should English Law Give Greater Recognition to Islamic Law?:

7. Family law: current conflicts and their resolution Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Mark Hill;

8. Arbitration law and family law: developments towards legal pluralism? Ian Edge;

9. Judging Muslims Prakash Shah; 

10. From Muslim migrants to Muslim citizens Shaheen Sardar-Ali; 

11. Ontario's 'shari'a court': law and politics intertwined Marion Boyd;

Section 3. Accommodation or Conflict: Trajectories in the United Kingdom: 

12. Religious rights and the public interest Robin Griffith-Jones;

Part III. Responsibilities and Rights: 

Section 4. Freedom of Speech, Incitement to Religious Hatred: Beyond the Divide?:

13. Where to draw the line, and how to draw it Sydney Kentridge,

including a note: the Satanic Verses and the Danish cartoons Robin Griffith-Jones; 

14. Censor or censure: maintaining civility Tariq Modood; 

15. In praise of 'fuzzy law' Albie Sachs;

Section 5. Defining Jihad: Personal Commitment, Politics and the State: 

16. Towards an Islamic society, not an Islamic state Abdullahi An-Na'im; 

17. Following shari'a in the West Tariq Ramadan; 18. Violence, personal commitment and democracy Khaled Abou El Fadl; 

Part IV. Prospect: Equality before God and before the Law: 

19. Equal before God David F. Ford; 

20. Equal before the law Nicholas Phillips. 


'The contributions collected in [this book] testify [to] the extent and the complexity of the matter.' The Bookseller 


Robin Griffith-Jones, Stephen Hockman, Rowan Williams, Nicolas Bratza, Dominic McGoldrick, Mashood A. Baderin, Christopher McCrudden, Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Mark Hill, Ian Edge, Prakash Shah, Shaheen Sardar-Ali, Marion Boyd, Sydney Kentridge, Tariq Modood, Albie Sachs, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Tariq Ramadan, Khaled Abou El Fadl, David F. Ford, Nicholas Phillips

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