NEWS |  30 Nov 2018
Roundtable on Blasphemy Law in Pakistan: Asia Bibi v. The State (Nov 2018)
Last month the Pakistan Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges, bringing Asia Bibi v. The State to a judicial conclusion. Asia Bibi's case has drawn international attention since she was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in 2010. A controversial case both domestically and abroad, the October 8th decision was not made public until earlier this month. The Pakistan Supreme Court's decision brought forth questions about evidence, judicial independence, procedure, and the state's authority in matters of law and religion. A detailed summary and text of the Supreme Court decision may be found here ; the appeal — originally dismissed by the Lahore High Court — may be found here . Three scholars of Islamic constitutionalism and law in Pakistan weighed in on the implications of the decision. Zubair Abbasi (LUMS) underscores how the judgment conveys to the general public that "only the State has the authority to prosecute for the offense of blasphemy through its courts." Imran Ahmed (UNE) points to the procedural problems of prosecuting blasphemy. And Rachel Mazzarella (Georgetown) advises that the Supreme Court judges highlighted several factors that complicate the history of blasphemy law in Pakistan as a result of complex interactions between British colonial rulers and Islamic legal norms. Read the full Roundtable here . Image credit: Radio Pakistan
Asia Bibi v. The State (2018) : Pakistan Supreme Court Vacates Blasphemy Conviction of Christian Woman
The Pakistan Supreme Court has acquitted Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges, removing her from death row. A Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was arrested in 2010 after a dispute with her Muslim co-workers in which they claimed that she insulted the Prophet Muhammad. The state prosecutor charged her with blasphemy and the trial court sentenced her to death. The courts subsequently dismissed her appeal to the Lahore High Court . After a lengthy series of appeals, the Pakistan Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges, vacating her sentence. The decision navigates between affirming the law and reversing its application to Ms. Bibi. Read more . Image credit: Supreme Court of Pakistan/Wikimedia
Asia Bibi v. The State & Another (Lahore High Court) : Trial Court Blasphemy Conviction of a Christian Woman in 2014
The Asia Bibi case presents a recent manifestation Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. At trial, the Court sentenced Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, to death after accusers alleged that she uttered blasphemous statements against the Prophet Muhammad to fellow Muslim field workers. Despite serious questions regarding the quality of her defense and the credibility of the allegations against her, and despite the questionable Islamic legal basis for the decision, the trial court convicted her and the Lahore High Court dismissed the appeal. Read more . Image credit: Lahore High Court/Wikimedia
SHARIAsource News
Islamic Legal Studies Program Visiting Fellowship: Applications Now Open
The Islamic Legal Studies Program announces the opening of applications for a Visiting Fellowship for ILSP: SHARIAsource for the 2019-2020 academic year. This fellowship provides opportunities for outstanding post-doctoral scholars and faculty from other institutions for research, writing, and scholarly engagement on Islamic law at Harvard Law School, in ways that further the broad  Program mission . We welcome applicants with a terminal degree (JD, SJD, PhD) interested in spending a semester or the year working on an independent project. Topics of study can range widely, and typically bring legal history, comparative law, and law and society approaches to the study of Islamic law. The deadline to submit all application materials (including letters of recommendation) is 1 Feb 2019 . Details .

Islamic Legal Studies Program Senior Fellowship: Applications Now Open
The Islamic Legal Studies Program: SHARIAsource is now accepting application for Senior Fellowships, which are designed to provide tenured professors in the field the opportunity to spend an academic year, semester, or shorter period in residence at Harvard Law School to conduct their own research. Successful applicants will be tenured professors with at least one published book. Please note that these fellowships are typically non-stipendiary, but provide workspace (as available), a Harvard ID and affiliation, and access to the Harvard Library and intellectual community. Fellowship opportunities are subject to space and other considerations. Interested scholars should send a letter of interest, including a short description of the proposed research, research period, and a CV to  shariasource@law.harvard.edu , with the subject heading ILSP: SHARIAsource Senior Fellowships. Applications due  1 Feb 2019.

Harvard Worldwide Week Event: SHARIAsource Book Talk :: From Slaves to Prisoners of War.
On October 22nd, Professor  Will Smiley  of the University of New Hampshire spoke to a group of twenty-three students, professors, and scholars on his new book  From Slaves to Prisoners of War: The Ottoman Empire, Russia, and International Law  (Oxford University Press, 2018). The book takes a look at the independent evolution of a recognizable code of international law in the Ottoman Empire, beginning with Russo-Ottoman compromises on how war captives should be treated. Professor  Intisar Rabb  (Harvard) moderated panelists Professor  Cemal Kafadar  (Harvard University) and Dr.  Mariam Sheibani , 2018-2019 ILSP: SHARIAsource Fellow, who praised Smiley’s scholarship before starting a rich discussion with their questions in response to the book. Questions included “Where are the jurists [in the book]?”, “How did the evolution of law affect the sphere of normative law within the Ottoman Empire?”, “Regarding the tension between the domains of sharīʿa vs siyasa…is there a recognition of the sultan’s responsibility to promulgate law especially in issues of warfare and captivity?” The event was  livetweeted  and part of Harvard’s Worldwide Week. The book is available through  Oxford University Press .

SHARIAsource Publication.  The seventh book in the Harvard Series on Islamic Law is out:  Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts  (Islamic Legal Studies Program/Harvard University Press, 2017) . Edited by  Intisar A. Rabb   and  Abigail Krasner Balbale , this book presents a wide-ranging exploration of the administration of justice during Islam’s founding period, 632–1250 CE. Inspired by the scholarship of Professor Emeritus  Roy Parviz Mottahedeh  and composed in his honor, this volume brings together ten leading scholars of Islamic law to examine the history of early Islamic courts. The book is available through   Harvard University Press .
Features on the SHARIAsource Portal and Blog
Spotlight on Research ::  SHARIAsource StackLife . The SHARIAsource Portal aims to facilitate thinking about and searching for the often complex set of sources related to Islamic law. SHARIAsource StackLife is a digital tool in development that compiles and organizes the Islamic law-related volumes at the Harvard Law School Library in a new way for a different browsing experience. If you have sources and tools of your own that you'd like to share, please feel free to send an inquiry to shariasource@law.harvard.edu .

Scholarship Roundup :: The SHARIAsource Blog features weekly scholarship round-ups of new or notable work on Islamic law by SHARIAsource editors and other scholars of Islamic law. This month’s features include: previous contributor Ralph Grillo published an  article  in the  Journal of Muslims in Europe  in which he reviews and assesses the panel’s recommendations on 1) civil registration of Islamic marriages and 2) the role of  sharīʿa  Councils in issuing religious divorces; Delfina Serrano-Ruano 's new article “Redefining Paternal Filiation through DNA Testing: Law and the Children of Unmarried Mothers in the Maghreb” in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies examines continuity and change in the responses of Islamic jurists and state courts to the social reality of thousands of children who are born out of wedlock each year in the Maghreb; L. L. Wynn and Angel M. Foster published “Muftis in the Matrix: Comparing Online English- and Arabic-Language Fatwas about Emergency Contraception” in the same issue; Cambridge University Press just published A Secular Age beyond the West: Religion, Law and the State in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa , edited by Mirjam Künkler , John Madeley , and Shylashri Shankar ; SHARIAsource Editor Zubair Abbasi and Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema have recently published through Oxford University Press Family Laws in Pakistan ; Eva Brems , Saïla Ouald Chaib , and Katrijn Vanhees discuss the status of the “burkini” (body covering swimwear) under Belgian law and policy in the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (Do you have a new article, book, or case that you’d like to see featured? Feel free to send citations and abstracts to shariasource@law.harvard.edu .) 

News Roundup :: Islamic Law in the News. The SHARIAsource Blog regularly adds context to new and developing stories about Islamic law in the news. This month, read about the ongoing row over developments on interfaith marriages and Islamic law in Tunisia , Islamic courts in Greek Thrace , paternity lawsuits and DNA testing in Egypt , Islamic veils in France , religious conversions and name changes, and child custody laws in Nigeria .

SHARIAsource Events at Harvard

SHARIAsource Film Screening – Study Break :: A Separation (Dec. 4 | Cambridge, MA). Come to the film screening of the 2011 movie A Separation —about marriage, divorce, crime, and regret—directed by Oscar Award-winning director Asghar Farhadi (for The Salesman , 2017). A Separation won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, becoming the first Iranian film to do so. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Refreshments provided. For details and location, RSVP to shariasource@law.harvard.edu .


Global Events: Islamic Legal Studies


Conference :: Whither Islamicate Digital Humanities: Analytics, Tools, Corpora (13-15 Dec | Amsterdam).  “Whither Islamicate Digital Humanities? Analytics, Tools, Corpora” is a three-day international conference dedicated to the budding field of Islamicate Digital Humanities (IDH). In recent years, the number of projects, initiatives and research programs in this field has greatly increased. Recognition of these efforts has already resulted in the formulation of guidelines for the evaluation of digital scholarship by the Middle East Studies Association, as well as a recent proposal for a set of principles to guide scholarly corpus building (IJMES 50, “Roundtable”). These developments signal a field gradually coming of age. Yet, most scholars would also agree that much work remains to be done before a plug-and-play, one-click survey of the vast Islamicate textual heritage becomes even remotely realistic. This conference seeks to take stock and showcase efforts currently underway in global IDH text-mining and identify ways of promoting collaboration and synergy. Details.

Opportunities: Jobs, Fellowships, CFPs


Call for Applications :: American University of Beirut: Professor, Modern Middle East/Arab History. Applications due Nov 30 ; position starts Aug 15, 2019. Details .

Call for Applications :: Yale University: Program in Iranian Studies: Ehsan Yarshater Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2019-2020. A pplications due Dec 1 ; position starts Aug 2019. Details .

C all for Applications :: University of Vienna: Postdoc, Islamic Theology. Applications due Dec 13 ; position starts Dec 2018 and ends Dec 2022. Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna , mentioning reference number 9110. Details .

Call for Applications :: University of Wisconsin–Madison: Assistant Professor, Gender in the Middle East (applications due Dec 15; position starts Aug 2019). Details .

Call for Applications :: Bern University: Professor, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (1 Aug 2019 and on). Applications due Nov 30 ; position starts Aug 1, 2019.  Details

Call for Papers :: Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting Call for Papers: Asylum and Refugee Rights in Islamic Law (Jan 2019). The AALS Section on Law and Religion and Immigration Law has approved a section on asylum and refugee rights in Islamic law, which will be held during the 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The Muslim World today is currently experiencing the greatest rate of refugee movement in the world. This will allow scholars to explore historical and contemporary discourses on migration and refugee rights. The section will need four panelists to present on this subject If you have conducted a research in area, please reach out to Samy Ayoub and include an abstract at sayoub@utexas.edu. Details.

Call For Papers :: Ibadi Manuscripts and Manuscript Cultures (5-6 Apr 2019 | Ifrane, Morocco).  This workshop aims to highlight the importance of the cultures of producing, using, buying, selling, endowing, and transmitting Ibadi manuscripts from the earliest history of the community to the 20th century. The intention is to bring those interested in Ibadi manuscripts together in order to workshop drafts of short research articles on different aspects of this topic, which will later be proposed for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts. Applicants will be notified by early Jan 2019. Participants will be asked to submit working drafts of their articles (in Arabic, English, or French) by Mar 1, 2019. Housing and meals at Al Akhawayn University are covered. Please send proposals (max. 500 words) by  Dec 1   2018 to Paul Love ( p.love@aui.ma ) or Soufien Mestaoui ( smestaoui@ibadica.org ). Details .

Call for Papers :: McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Graduate Student Symposium (4-5 Apr 2019 | Montreal, Canada) . Abstract submissions are invited from graduate students from all over the world for the ninth annual symposium. Reflecting the department’s primary research areas, the symposium’s themes include but are not limited to: theology, philosophy, mysticism, and jurisprudence; history, political science, and anthropology; and Urdu, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature. An abstract of 250-500 words and a one-page résumé should be sent to  miisscsymposium@gmail.com  by  Dec 30 Details .

Call for Papers :: Symposia Iranica (9-10 Apr 2019 | Cambridge, UK). For the 4th Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies, hosted by the University of Cambridge at St. John's College, we are welcoming proposals that engage with any aspect of Iranian studies within the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Topics include history, politics, law, cultural heritage, literature, media, and comparative studies. Online submissions due Dec 30 . Details .

Call for Papers :: British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS) Conference (15-16 Apr 2019 | Nottingham, UK). The organizers invite proposals for whole panels or individual papers for our sixth annual conference. Islamic Studies is broadly understood to include all disciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and Muslim societies (majority and minority), modern and premodern. Plenary lectures will be delivered by Maribel Fierro (CSIC, Madrid), Khaled Fahmy (University of Cambridge), and Alison Scott-Baumann (SOAS, London). Please submit a 200-word abstract using the online form to brais@ed.ac.uk  by Nov 30 . Details .

Summer Fellowships for Advanced Turkish Language (Jun-Aug 2019 | Istanbul, Turkey).  The American Research Institute in Turkey is offering 15 fellowships for participation in the summer program in advanced Turkish language at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. This intensive program offers the equivalent of one full academic year of study in Turkish. The fellowships cover round-trip airfare to Istanbul, application and tuition fees, and a maintenance stipend. Online application, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, official transcript, and $25 application fee due  Feb 1 Details .

Call for Applications :: Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History (9-22 Jun 2019 | Madison, WI). The American Society for Legal History and the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School are pleased to invite applications for the tenth biennial Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History. The two-week program features presentations by guest scholars, discussions of core readings in legal history, and analysis of the work of the participants in the Institute. It will be led by Mitra Sharafi, Professor of Law and Legal Studies at UW-M. Scholars in law, history, and other disciplines pursuing research on legal history of any part of the world are eligible to apply (preference will be given to applications from scholars at an early stage of their career: beginning faculty members, doctoral students who have completed or almost completed their dissertations, and J.D. graduates with appropriate backgrounds). Travel, hotel room, and most meals will be provided. Submit the following in a single attachment to ils@law.wisc.edu : CV and Statement of Purpose (maximum 500 words) describing your current work, specific research interests, and the broader perspectives on legal history that inform your work. In addition, arrange to have two letters of recommendation emailed by the deadline of Dec 3 . Details .

Call for Papers :: Law and Development Institute Conference (6 Dec 2019 | Dubai, UAE). Law, legal frameworks, and institutions have a significant impact on economic and social development. This tenth annual international conference will focus on the role of law and legal institutions for development in the Islamic world. Interested speakers should email a one-page abstract by Feb 1 to info@lawanddevelopment.net Details .

PhD Scholarship in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh (2019-TBD) . The scholarship will be funded by the university and will cover tuition fees. Open to both UK and international students. Applications for both the scholarship and the PhD must be received by  Dec 12 Details .

Weatherhead Initiative on Global History Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019-2020 | Harvard University).  The Institute seeks to support scholars interested in the interconnections—cultural, economic, ecological, political and demographic—among world societies. Fellows are appointed for one academic year and are provided time, guidance, office space, and access to Harvard facilities. They should be prepared to devote their entire time to productive scholarship and may undertake sustained projects of research or other original work. Fellows will receive an annual stipend of up to $50,000, according to fellows’ needs. CV and proposal (no more than 3 pages) should be submitted online by  Dec 20 Details .

Berger-Howe Legal History Fellowship (2019-2020 | Harvard Law School).  The purpose of this fellowship is to enable the fellow to complete a major piece of writing in the field of legal history. The fellow will also help coordinate the HLS Legal History Colloquium, which meets four or five times each semester. Fellows will be required to be in residence at the law school during the academic year (September through May). Applicants should have a JD or have finished the coursework for a PhD. Proposal (no more than 5 pages), writing sample, CV, graduate transcripts, and two letters of recommendation should be sent to Prof. Bruce Mann at  mann@law.harvard.edu . The deadline for applications is  Feb 15 , and decisions will be made by Mar 15. The fellow will receive a stipend of $38,000.  Details .

Call for Applications :: American Center of Oriental Research Fellowships (2019-2020 | Amman, Jordan) . Funding/residential fellowships are available for graduate students and scholars in all areas of Middle Eastern studies, including archaeological fieldwork. Apply online by Feb 1 . Details .

CASA Arabic Language Fellowships (2019-2020).  The Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) at Harvard University offers advanced level training in Arabic language and culture to qualified American students at the American University in Cairo and Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman (pending the security and funding for each location). Applicants to the CASA programs must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and should have a minimum of 3 years of formal instruction in Arabic prior to joining CASA. The program is for 9 months, from September 2019 through May 2020. Online applications are due  Jan 9.   Details .

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