Spring 2019

Islamic Constitutionalism

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-277  |  Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-277


Stephen E. Laizer (Section 01)
Mona Oraby (Section 01)


(Offered as LJST 277 and ASLC 277) Islamic constitutionalism is now a global phenomenon. References to Islam or Islamic law have been incorporated into more than thirty constitutions. Many states that are constitutionally Islamic also espouse commitments to liberal rights such as religious freedom, freedom of speech, and nondiscrimination. Rather than rehearse common binarisms that assess the compatibility of Islam and liberalism, this course considers the dilemmas that emerge in societies where more than one normative source of legal and institutional authority operates. We will consider how classical Islamic law varies from its modern codification, as well as how colonial inheritances such as British common law and French civil law shape legal systems in post-independence states. Drawing on an array of case studies, we will address issues like religious liberty, criminal sentencing, and personal status. How do judges in different places adjudicate between various and often competing sources of authority? What discursive resources become available to complainants, litigators, and jurists living under these hybrid legal regimes? How does Islamic constitutionalism compare with other varieties of religious establishment?

Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Oraby.

If Overenrolled: Priority will go to LJST majors


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2020