Shari’a, Inshallah: Searching for the Rule of Law in Somalia’s Islamic State
Religion is commonly asserted to be antithetical to the rule of law, and the rule of law an antidote to religious strife. But to what extent can religion and religious law instead serve as a foundation for the rule of law, especially after periods of colonialism, civil war, or political violence? Using his field research in Somalia, Mark Fathi Massoud (UC Santa Cruz) uncovers how colonial administrations, postcolonial governments, international aid agencies, and activists use shari’a (roughly translated as Islamic law) to achieve their political, economic, or social objectives. Tracing Somalia’s dramatic moments of political and legal change, collapse, and reconstruction, Massoud’s work contributes to a growing body of scholarship on law in fragile states and human rights in the global South. As Massoud argues, religion has come to matter for political elites reaching for the rule of law.
Light refreshments will be served.