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Justin Jones

Abstract

Over the last four years, India has become the centre for a major experiment in the implementation of a so-called ‘gender-just Islam’ by Islamic feminist organisations: the formation of a non-official, female-led sharī‘ah court network, within which women serve as qāẓīs (religious judges) to adjudicate disputes within Muslim families. Pre­senting themselves as counterweights to more patriarchal legal bodies, including both the official judiciary and unofficial dispute resolution forums, these sharī‘ah ‘adālats employ both state-centred and community-focused strategies to assist Muslim women experiencing marital or family-related strife. Based on interviews with female qāẓīs and associated documentary sources, I examine how the women who run these courts adjudicate family conflicts according to what they understand as both the Qur’an’s ethical teachings, and its stipulations regarding the proper methods of dispute resolution. I also argue that these all-female sharī‘ah ‘adālats reflect a shift of focus away from court litigation and legislative intervention, and towards non-state, arbitration-focused practices, as the most fruitful means to protect the needs of Muslim women in contemporary India.

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Matthias Vanhullebusch

Series:

Matthias Vanhullebusch

Armed conflict, today, has diverged from war as it was known in generations past, and from this, has tested the means by which conflicts and violence are regulated. Written with an eye to a region plagued by such conflicts, War and Law in the Islamic World examines the origins and roles that two distinct systems of governance – Islamic law and international humanitarian law – have played in conflicts past and present. Meant equally for the scholar or student, this book presents the legal and policy complexities of today’s conflicts in a new light through its careful and well-researched investigation of the past and the present.

This title is now listed in the International Humanitarian Law Bibliography: https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/2015/biblio-2015-3.pdf