Islamic Law, Gender, and Politics Theory, Doctrine, and Practice

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Junaid S. Ahmad



Throughout February 2007, American University’s Washington College of
Law (WCL) sponsored several important forums and conferences as part of
the college’s “Founders’ Celebration.” The National Muslim Law Students
Association (NMLSA), in conjunction with the WCL’s Islamic Legal Forum,
proposed a conference that would look at the intersection of classical and
modern conceptions of Islamic law, discourses around gender and Islam, and
the larger political questions that often frame these issues. Many Muslim law
students were interested in engaging with these themes, which emerge from
any discussion on “Islam and/in the West,” or “Islam and Modernity.” Muslim
law students and the region’s Muslim community in general, as well as
interested non-Muslims, were pleased to hear about WCL’s sponsorship and
support for the conference, which was held on February 2-3, 2007.
Mohammad Fadel (faculty member, School of Law, Toronto University)
opened the first panel, “Islamic Law: An Introduction and Critical Issues,” by
presenting the basics of Islamic law. He clarified several misunderstandings
held by Muslims by distinguishing between the Islamic juristic and legal tradition
and the Islamic theological cum philosophical tradition. One of North
America’s leading scholars on Islamic law and with a J.D. from the ...

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