NEWS | 13 Feb 2017
Gender Issues Are a National Problem, Not Just a Muslim Problem: A Response to Baroness Cox’s Statement

Guest contributor Hadeer Soliman counters Baroness Cox's statement proposing Amendment 219(C) to the Policing and Crime Bill. "Baroness Cox, a cross-bench member of the UK House of Lords, recently proposed Amendment 219(C) to the Policing and Crime Bill, which would require celebrants of religious marriages to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the marriage complies with the marriage laws of England and Wales. The Amendment attaches criminal sanctions of up to three years of imprisonment for the failure to comply. Although the law does not specify a religious group, Cox said in her statement proposing the Amendment that it has “specific relevance for Muslim women who are adversely affected by the discriminatory rulings of many Sharia councils.” In her statement, Cox said that she was motivated by “deep concern” for women. Despite her claims that the amendment does not subscribe to anti-Muslim or anti-Islam sentiment, Cox’s proposal raises concerns about the way public officials approach and understand Islamic law and customs. Cox’s statement does not address how this amendment would solve the problem of unregistered marriages, given that the current language of the existing Marriage Act of 1949 already recognizes marriages only if they are solemnized by authorized individuals, marriages solemnized under the Church of England, practices of the Quakers or of the Jewish faith, or marriages that take place in a registered building." Read more. Image credit: Getty Images 

LEGISLATION :: Arguments on Amendment 219 (C) to the Policing and Crime Bill (UK, 2016)

Proposed by MP Baroness Cox, the amendment requires all religious marriages to comply with English and Welsh marriage laws. Read more. Image credit: Creative Commons

CASE: Shamin v. Siemens Indus. (N.D.Ill., USA, 2012): Workplace Retaliation Claim

In a case of discrimination in the workplace, on the basis of a Muslim plaintiff’s practice of Islamic ritual law, the plaintiff claimed he was unfairly discharged from a hostile work environment a few years ago. He alleged that derogatory comments about his religion and ethnicity were directed at him. These charges were brought against his former employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss, stating the plaintiff's claims were procedurally barred. Read more. Image credit: J. Scott Applewhite | Star Tribune

Other News

ILSP Paper Prize on Islamic Law for HLS Students
Islamic Legal Studies Program Prize on Islamic Law (Cambridge, MA). Each year the Law School awards several prizes for the best papers written by Harvard Law School students in particular areas of the law. Graduating prize winners are noted in the Commencement Program and prize-winning papers are eligible to be published in the School’s public paper series. ILSP will award a prize of $1,000 annually to the Harvard Law School student writing the best paper in the field of Islamic law or on the intersection between other religious legal traditions and Islamic law. Papers eligible for consideration will be ones written during the current academic year, addressing any topic in Islamic legal history and theory, Islamic law and society, and Islamic comparative law – including these topics as related to other religious legal traditions. Papers are due in the Office of Academic Affairs (Lewis 208) by 5:00 pm on 28 Apr 2017. Read more.

Events at Harvard
ILSP: SHARIAsource Lunch Talk:  "Prosecuting Radicalization." (12-1 pm 17 Feb 2017 | Cambridge, MA). WCC 3016 at Harvard Law School. Amna Akbar, Assistant Professor of Law at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law will discuss the Obama-era frameworks of counter-radicalization and countering violent extremism, how they have influenced the exercise of federal criminal law at home and abroad, and what all of this suggests for what we might see under President Trump. The basis of the prosecutions are often a matter of a false notion of Islamic criminal law. Co-Sponsored by ILSP: SHARIAsource and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

Conference Panel on Islamic Law in the West Africa, convened by ILSP Affiliate Ousmane Kane: "Courts, Colonialism, & Islamic Law in Africa."  (16-18 Feb 2017 | Cambridge, MA). Hosted by Harvard Divinity School, the conference on Tests, Knowledge, Practice: The Meaning of Scholarship in Muslim Africa will feature six panels on Muslim scholarship in Africa. Panel 2 at 11 a.m. on 17 Feb will feature Etty Terem (Rhodes College), Ismail Warscheid (CNRS), Sarah Eltantawi (The Evergreen State College), and Matthew Steele (Harvard University) on Islamic law. Read more.

Call for Papers for McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Graduate Symposium: Islam in Conversation (26-27 Apr 2017 | Montreal). McGill's Institute of Islamic Studies Student Council invites submissions on intellectual debates, (inter)religious encounters and dialogue, hermeneutics and semiotics, and materials and methodologies. Islamic law scholars may want to consider their subject for a potentially fruitful hermeneutics and semiotics discussion. Abstracts and CVs due 15 Feb 2017Read more.

Call for Papers for MESA's 51st Annual Meeting (18-21 Nov 2017 | Washington, DC). MESA invites submissions from its members for its 51st annual meeting. Submissions may be in the form of pre-organized panels, pre-organized roundtables, or individual papers (to be formed into panels by the program committee). Past submissions have included dynamic panels on Islamic law. Submissions due 15 Feb 2017 . Read more.

2017 Law & Social Inquiry Graduate Student Paper Competition (1 Jan - 1 Mar 2017). Submissions are now being accepted for Law & Social Inquiry 's annual competition for the best journal-length paper in the field of law and social science written by a graduate or law student.  Law & Social Inquiry  publishes empirical and theoretical studies of sociolegal processes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We especially encourage those with new papers on Islamic law to submit papers. Entries due 1 Mar 2017 . Read more .

Temple Bar Scholarships (2-27 Oct 2017 | London). The Temple Bar Foundation is accepting applications for its scholarship program. Selected scholars will have the opportunity to shadow a barrister and observe and discuss English trial practice, spend time with a justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, observe appellate arguments, discuss legal issues with the country’s highest judges. Applications due 30 Apr 2017 . Read more.

International Conference on Transnational Families and Divorce: Revisiting Marital Break-Up in Times of Global (Im)mobilities) (27-29 Sep 2017 | Nijmegen). This conference examines transnational divorce, as its causes, processes, and after-effects increasingly take place across national and socio-cultural borders. It takes into account the different socio-legal and cultural contexts within which it occurs, notably how state policies influence the process of marital dissolution.  We particularly welcome papers from young scholars in the field of socio-legal studies, sociology,  anthropology, history, and other disciplines. We also encourage studies that employ a transnational  and/or intersectional approach (Crenshaw 1989) paying attention to structuring factors such as  gender, class, race and ethnicity. After the conference, selected papers will be published as parts of  an edited volume on transnational families and divorce. Abstracts due 30 Apr 2017  Read more.

Al-Qasimi Chair (Professor/Associate Professor) in Islamic Studies, IAIS, University of Exeter (Exeter, UK).  The post holder will be a leading international figure with the ability to attract high quality researchers at doctoral and postdoctoral level to the Islamic Studies research group. Any area of Islamic Studies is an appropriate specialism including (but not limited to) history, theology, philosophy, literature, mysticism, law, jurisprudence, art and architecture, art history, anthropology and sociology, digital humanities, and any period of the study of Islam. Applications due 1 May 2017 Read more.

Engagement Lab @ Emerson College: MA in Civic Media, Art, and Practice (Boston, MA).  For those who have an interest in digital Islamic law/humanities, and want graduate training to better prepare for an academic or industry career in the field, the Engagement Lab is accepting applications for their graduate program.  Read more.

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