An-Na’im book cited in Guardian Article on Evolution of Islamic Law
Muslims who embrace the idea that the Ottoman Empire adhered to a strict interpretation of Islamic law for more than 600 years may be misguided, according to an opinion article published in The Guardian.
Emory Law Professor Abdullahi An-Nai’m’s book, Islam and the Secular State, was cited in the Oct. 7 article to support the view that concepts such as human rights and citizenship are more consistent with Islamic principles than a state that purports to be Islamic and enforces sharia.
Scholars, including An-Na’im, recognize the content of the sharia is bound to its historical context, the article said.
“When hardline groups present Islam as a rigid political ideology, they end up doing a great disservice to Islam and Muslim communities,” Tehmina Kazi wrote. “One of Islam's strengths is its relevance to all places and all times, which means that it can take on numerous expressions.”
“[An-Na’im] goes as far as to suggest that the very idea of an Islamic state is based on European ideas of state and law and not the Islamic tradition,” Kazi wrote.