Dossier Articles

Introduction

The objective of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the processes of communal identity formation in Sri Lanka with special reference to the Muslim community [1]. Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society in which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others have coexisted for centuries. However, in more recent times, ethnic relations on the Island have been consistently strained by the rise of communalist politics which have deepened ethnic and religious divides.
“Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised through their chosen representatives within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust; And whereas Islam is the State religion of Pakistan and it is the obligation of the State to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually and collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam set out in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah;

And whereas in
There has been a huge rise in the number of British Muslim women forced into arranged marriages following a decision by the government to liberalise the immigration laws last year.

Civil rights campaigners say hundreds of young women are being tricked abroad, mainly to Pakistan, where they are married and forced to live in remote villages.
The violence of Islamism has roused anxious concern throughout the world, especially the Muslim world. In the United States, the media and policy makers wage a campaign to demonize Muslims and Islam as a threat to Western interests and civilization itself. This politically motivated propaganda has been aided by the Islamic resistance to Israel's occupation of Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan, along with such incidents as the plot to blow up New York's World Trade Center.
The decision stunned even its leaders. During their model parliament held last April in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian women's rights activists first recommended that laws be enacted to restrain and regulate polygamy; that it be allowed only in exceptional cases and with the first wife being offered a divorce. But after the 126 "delegates" confirmed the vote, they dramatically invalidated the decision.
The question of Muslim personal law has become not only a question of Muslim identity but also a question with deeper political implications. The Muslim leadership doggedly resist any reform in certain aspects of the law particularly pertaining to marriage and divorce and the Hindu communal leadership would not accept anything short of complete abolition of personal law pertaining to Muslims.
ISLAMABAD, Nov 10, [1998] (IPS) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's attempt to Islamise Pakistan has been checkmated by the imposition of Governor's rule in the troubled Pakistani province of Sindh.

The controversial 15th Constitutional Amendment Bill, popularly called the Shariat Bill, has lost even the slimmest chance of ratification in the Senate, but rights activists who are alarmed by the loss of freedom say the reprieve is at best temporary.

Just last Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made the bill the main plank of a public speech in the mountainous nort
Introduction

We live in an era where relativism and humanism affect almost every facet of our lives. Not least among these facets is the discourse of Islam vis a vis women’s human rights. The importance of such factors as relativism, humanism and gender sensitivity has not come about in a vacuum.
“Wanted: Flat for three twenty-something Palestinian women to rent; Must be in Jewish west Jerusalem and free from religious bigots and bombers”.

That would be an honest advertisement if Manal Diab, Sonia and Wafa Khoury wanted to be open about their recent travails on the top floor of No. 16 Iddo the Prophet Street.
Introduction

In recent years Islamic doctrine has assumed a more visible place in the Indonesian legal system. This trend arguably dates from the passage of the National Marriage Act in the mid-1970s, which for the first time gave explicit recognition to Islamic doctrine as state law. Its most conspicuous manifestations, however, have occurred since the mid-80s. In 1989 the Religious Judicature Act significantly expanded the system of Islamic courts, ended their subordination to the civil courts, and enlarged the courts' substantive jurisdiction.
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