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Law Courses Catalog

Islamic Law and Politics

NOTE: This course description is new for the 2016-2017 academic year. You may read the prior course description immediately below this new one. 

2016-2017

This course provides an introduction to Islamic law and politics in historical and comparative modern contexts.  In many majority-Muslim nations, Islamic law regulates, to varying degrees, civil, criminal, and commercial relations.  The course will begin by surveying the nature, origins, and sources of Islamic law, schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and methods of Islamic legal interpretation.  Following that introduction, the course will examine the areas in which Islamic law remains relevant today: constitutional law, human rights (including women’s rights and minority rights), banking law and insurance, crime and punishment, and family law.  The course will conclude by analyzing the legal and political controversies surrounding Islamic law in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other majority-Muslim nations in transition following the 2011 Arab Spring.

Evaluation will be based on class participation and a final exam. With the permission of the instructor, students may be allowed to write a paper in lieu of the final exam and submit the paper to satisfy the Capstone requirement.

Writing Requirement: Students may elect to meet the Capstone requirement.

NOTE: The below course description applied prior to the 2016-2017 academic year.

This course provides an introduction to Islamic law and politics in historical and comparative modern contexts.  In many majority-Muslim nations, Islamic law regulates, to varying degrees, civil, criminal, and commercial relations.  The course will begin by surveying the nature, origins, and sources of Islamic law, schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and methods of Islamic legal interpretation.  Following that introduction, the course will examine the areas in which Islamic law remains relevant today: constitutional law, human rights (including women’s rights and minority rights), banking law and insurance, crime and punishment, and family law.  The course will conclude by analyzing the legal and political controversies surrounding Islamic law in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other majority-Muslim nations in transition following the 2011 Arab Spring. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a final exam. With the permission of the instructor, a limited number of students may be allowed to write a paper in lieu of the final exam and submit the paper to satisfy the Capstone requirement.

Writing Requirement: Limited number of students may elect to meet capstone requirement.

Updated April 6, 2015