Wills and the Individual Conscience

As David Conway has noted in this space, the past week has seen quite a brouhaha in the United Kingdom over the Law Society’s decision to issue guidelines for sharia-compliant wills.

The controversy has sparked commentary here as well. But there appears to be considerable confusion on this matter, resulting in some very ill-considered assertions—ones that could backfire on time-honored conservative principles. The message here must remain: “Look before you leap.”

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Islam, Constitutionalism, and the Rule of Law

So what are the prospects in the Islamic world for constitutional political orders featuring the rule of law, limited government, and political representation? To answer this question Sohail Hashmi, Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College, has written an incisive essay exploring the political, legal, and religious history of Islam in order to shed light on the compatibility between Islam and political constitutionalism. Hashmi's essay is a powerful argument for ethical objectivism and the possibilities for ressourcement within the Islamic tradition that could lead to a flowering of liberty with law. Robert Reilly, author of the powerful book, The Closing…

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Targets on Their Backs

ChristianophobiaRecent decades have seen a remarkable growth in America and Europe of secular humanism, along with other less self-conscious and militant forms of religious disaffiliation. Elsewhere there has been an equally striking resurgence of religion, especially Islam. Practically wherever this has happened has witnessed a concomitant upsurge in the persecution of religious minorities who, as often as not, have been Christians, given the size and global reach of their faith.

Within Muslim lands, Christians have been especially subject to persecution. But they are not their only religious minorities to have suffered increased levels of it.

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Creating a Liberal Islam: The Story of Maajid Nawaz

In the air on September 11th 2001, along with the four aircraft 19 Al Qaeda operatives hijacked to carry out their audacious attack on America, was another airplane on which was another Islamist, intent on another equally nefarious a mission. That other Islamist was Maajid Nawaz, author of this engrossing account of what led him to take that flight on that fateful day and what befell him upon arriving at his destination.

Unlike the 19 Al Qaeda operatives, who were all on board US domestic flights, the flight on which Nawaz was a passenger was an international flight from the UK to Alexandria in Egypt. Similarly, unlike the 19 Al Qaeda hijackers, Nawaz had no intention or wish to prevent his aircraft from arriving at its destination.

The ostensible purpose with which the 24-year-old British-born and bred Muslim of Pakistani extraction had taken that flight that day, along with his wife and small son, was to spend a year at the university there to improve his Arabic, as part of his degree in Law and Arabic at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. His real purpose was to assist in the revival in Egypt of the Islamist party to which for the previous decade he had belonged and which, despite being legal in the UK and USA, had long been proscribed in Egypt.

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