March 17, 2008
Just Released, An-Na’im's Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a
An-Na’im's Islam and the Secular State was first published in Indonesia last year and is available on the Internet in eight languages spoken by Muslims. It is a product of An-Na’im's role in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion's Islamic Legal Studies research project at Emory Law and was funded in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
From the Center's press release for Islam and the Secular State:
"The American Constitution got it right on the separation of church and state, but there isn't much clarity of the relationship between religion and politics ... I want to help clarify the role of religion in society so that it is seen as a positive, humanizing force, not as a bigoted, narrow-minded, destructive force." -- Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a
by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
List Price: $35.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 15, 2008)
Book Description: What should be the place of Shari‘a—Islamic religious law—in predominantly Muslim societies of the world? In this ambitious and topical book, a Muslim scholar and human rights activist envisions a positive and sustainable role for Shari‘a, based on a profound rethinking of the relationship between religion and the secular state in all societies.
An-Na‘im argues that the coercive enforcement of Shari‘a by the state betrays the Qur’an’s insistence on voluntary acceptance of Islam. Just as the state should be secure from the misuse of religious authority, Shari‘a should be freed from the control of the state. State policies or legislation must be based on civic reasons accessible to citizens of all religions. Showing that throughout the history of Islam, Islam and the state have normally been separate, An-Na‘im maintains that ideas of human rights and citizenship are more consistent with Islamic principles than with claims of a supposedly Islamic state to enforce Shari‘a. In fact, he suggests, the very idea of an “Islamic state” is based on European ideas of state and law, and not Shari‘a or the Islamic tradition.
Bold, pragmatic, and deeply rooted in Islamic history and theology, Islam and the Secular State offers a workable future for the place of Shari‘a in Muslim societies.
About the Author: Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University. His specialties are international human rights, comparative constitutional law, and Islamic law. An-Na’im has written and edited numerous books and articles, and lectured widely throughout the world on law and human rights, Islamic law and politics, and cross-cultural comparative law. Noted titles include: African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam; Inter-religious Marriages Among Muslims; Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights and International Law; Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Quest for Consensus, and Human Rights under African Constitutions.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Just Released, An-Na’im's Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a: