This event occurred on September 23rd, 2011
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
What is Islamic Law (shari'a) and why have demands for its implementation become more widespread in the Muslim world? What are the implications of the the shari'a for democratic rights and freedoms, including those of women and religious minorities? How should Western government and aid agencies respond to calls for shari‘a implementation? Even as they undergo great political transitions, Muslim societies today are experiencing growing calls for the implementation of Islamic law (shari‘a). Yet Muslims disagree on the meaning of the shari‘a and its proper place in modern society. The outcome of the debate is not merely academic, but will have powerful implications for Muslim politics and interactions with the West.
Building on a two-year project conducted by the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University, this conference brought together leading experts in the study of Islamic law to examine the political uses and meanings of the shari'a in Muslim societies. Designed for policy analysts, journalists, and others involved in the Muslim world, the conference highlighted the implications of shari'a politics for democracy, freedom, social justice, and Western foreign policy.
This seminar was sponsored by the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University, and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University.
Panel 1: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey
Robert W. Hefner, Boston University. "Introduction: Western Democracies and the Question of Sharia: Emerging Threat or Evolving Plurality?"
Frank E. Vogel, Harvard Law School (emeritus). "Saudi Arabia: The Politics of Public, Civil, and Individual Sharia"
Nathan J. Brown, George Washington University. "Consensus and Cacophony: Debating the Islamic Shari'a in 21st-Century Egypt"
Bahman Baktiari, The Wilson Center. "Iran: Shari'a Politics and the Transformation of Islamic Law"
For more information, see the event page here: berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/events/islamic-law-sharia-and-us-foreign-policy