A Secular Need
Islamic Law and State Governance in Contemporary India
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
240 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 0 illustrations
- ISBN: 9780295747088
- Published: April 2020
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.
Redding provides thought-provoking cases and analyses, and these are riveting.~CHOICE
[A] nuanced description of how the law works –not in isolation, in this or that state institution, but rather in interaction with society, its history, the political contestations, cultural factors and economic conditions. This is done through an ‘against the grain’ reading of unconventional materials to get a reasonable grasp of the uncertain, unﬁxed and unpredictable nature of the law.~Contemporary South Asia
A Secular Need is a succinct text which engages with a plethora of difficult topics.