A Secular Need

Islamic Law and State Governance in Contemporary India

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Jeffrey A. Redding
  • Seattle, WA: 
    University of Washington Press
    , April
     2020.
     240 pages.
     $30.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780295747088.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Whether from the perspective of Islamic law’s advocates, secularism’s partisans, or communities caught in their crossfire, many people see the relationship between Islamic law and secularism as antagonistic and increasingly discordant. In the United States there are calls for “sharia bans” in the courts, in western Europe legal limitations have been imposed on mosques and the wearing of headscarves, and in the Arab Middle East conflicts between secularist old guards and Islamist revolutionaries persist—suggesting that previously unsteady coexistences are transforming into outright hostilities.

Jeffrey Redding’s exploration of India’s non-state system of Muslim dispute resolution—known as the dar-ul-qaza system and commonly referred to as “Muslim courts” or “shariat courts”—challenges conventional narratives about the inevitable opposition between Islamic law and secular forms of governance, demonstrating that Indian secular law and governance cannot work without the significant assistance of non-state Islamic legal actors.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jeffrey A. Redding is senior research fellow at Melbourne Law School and a New Generation Network scholar at the University of Melbourne’s Australia India Institute.

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