Asma Uddin

Asma Uddin is an attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Legal Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of

Muslim States and the Protection of Fundamental Rights

In his essay, “Islam and Constitutionalism,” Sohail H. Hashmi boldly confronts a difficult question: Are Islam and constitutionalism compatible? On his account, a functioning constitutional system has three essential features: (1) limited and accountable government; (2) adherence to the rule of law; and (3) protection of fundamental rights. While virtually all majority-Muslim states have embraced the idea that a constitution is an essential feature of modern governance, the features of constitutionalism identified by Hashmi have often been conspicuously absent from these states. In responding to him, I will focus on the ability of majority-Muslim states to embrace the third element…

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In response to: Islam and Constitutionalism

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The Formidable Philosophical Obstacles to Islamic Constitutionalism

Sohail Hashmi makes what seems to be a very reasonable case for the compatibility of Islam and constitutional government, and for the role of a reformed sharia as the foundation for the development of constitutionalism today.  However, his case founders upon his not having given sufficient weight to the obstacles to this development, though his…

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Islamic Constitutionalism and Human Flourishing

I’m deeply grateful for Professor Hashmi’s lead essay and would recommend it to anyone interested in the intellectual history of Islam or curious about the distinctions between a modern Islamic view of the relationship between government and religion and the modern, dominant view of the Christian and post-Christian West.  It is not, in fact, my…

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