Welcome to the Blogosphere: Islamic Law in Our Times

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Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi at University of Pittsburgh School of Law has started a new blog called Islamic Law in Our Times. From the first post:

For my first post, I thought I would try to give my reasons for why I am writing this blog. It is my purpose to clarify and explain Islamic law in the modern world, a subject I think is largely misunderstood in many ways.

In order to demonstrate the crisis, and it is most definitely a crisis, in the way that Islamic law is approached and understood today, I’d like to draw on two very recent news stories concerning Saudi Arabia and the Sudan, respectively. In Saudi Arabia, a woman was sentenced to 90 lashes (raised to 200 lashes on appeal) for “Unlawful Seclusion” with a man not her husband (her ex fiance) prior to being gang raped (along with her ex fiance) by seven individuals. Apparently she was in a car with the ex fiance, though beyond this the circumstances are largely disputed. In the Sudan, a by all accounts well meaning English schoolteacher named a class teddy bear Muhammad at the request of the class (a common name throughout the Muslim world). She has been convicted of a crime under Article 125 of the Sudanese criminal code and has been sentenced to fifteen days in prison and exile. The maximum punishment under the act could have been 40 lashes or six months in prison. Throughout the past few days, I have been asked whether or not all of this nonsense is “Islamic law.” The answer, of course, depends very much on what “Islamic law” is supposed to mean.

For Haider’s interesting analysis of these cases, read the rest of his post.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Haider!

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