This book describes Socrates as he was depicted in medieval Arabic literature. The body of anecdotes, sayings and evaluations of Socrates existent in Arabic literature leads one to search for an explanation for the popularity of this ancient, Greek, pagan philosopher.
The author argues that Socrates played a role of legitimizing authority in the religious controversies between Christians and Muslims on the one hand and between the more rationalistic minded Muslims and the more traditionalistic ones on the other hand.
Thus, three approaches are encountered: those belonging to the non-fundamentalistic stream in Islam refer to Socrates as a prophet, historians such as ibn Fātik or ibn Abī Usaib‘ah, who relate to Socrates as an exemplary personality with tacit Islamic qualities. The third approach is that of orthodox writers such as al-Ghazālī who attack Socrates as a non-believer.
State behaviour during armed conflict is increasingly exposed to judicial scrutiny. It may also be subjected to standards developed in human rights law which, at times, are inconsistent with the law of armed conflict. This article draws attention to States’ worry over this process, and to their effort to limit the application of human rights law to military operations. The article discusses this effort, as well as the extent to which it was successful in court, focusing on three operational matters: the use of force, the detention of enemy nationals for security reasons, and the investigation of deaths caused by the armed forces. It concludes that courts tend to be more attentive to States’ concerns than often perceived, and that the latter should remain patient during this ongoing process.
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the Ottoman authorities in Syria incorporated parts of the desert into the territory under their direct rule. An important element of this policy was the government’s integration of the leaders of powerful tribal confederacies into its administrative structures in return for material gains. The article argues that this policy changed the nature of tribal leadership and injected greater stability into a power structure that had been precarious. As a result, Ottoman tribal policy created stronger sheikhs with a new measure of authority and a more secure position of leadership within the confederacy, which allowed them to form more enduring hereditary lines of succession.
This article critically discusses two judgments, recently delivered by the Israeli Supreme Court, which concern Bedouin land rights in the Negev (Al-Naqab), southern Israel. It is submitted that the narrow approach taken by the Court ignores the Bedouin traditional lifestyle and land tenure systems, thus preventing members of this indigenous and minority group from fully enjoying their human rights, and exposing them to further displacement and dispossession by Israeli authorities. The article also explains the relevance of these decisions to the Bedouin living in Area C of the West Bank which is occupied by Israel.