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Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im - "Islam and the Secular State"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 4:45pm to Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 12:00pm

Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall (April 17th)
Room 390, Myron Taylor Hall (April 18th)

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im (Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory Law; Associated Professor, College of Arts and Sciences; Senior Faculty Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion; Senior Fellow, Center for Ethics, Emory University)

Thursday, April 18, 2013
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Room 390, Myron Taylor Hall

An Islamic state is conceptually incoherent, historically unprecedented and practically unworkable. Yet the possibility and feasibility of an Islamic state to enforce Sharia as law of the state is taken for granted by its proponents and opponents alike.  There is no agreed or verifiable “Islamic” quality for the state to be, and Sharia norms cease to be part of the religious law of Islam when enacted as state law.  The choice is between a good or bad secular state, not between an Islamic or secular state. The challenge is how to regulate the unavoidable connectedness of Islam and politics while ensuring the institutional separation of Islam and the state.

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Nacim is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Associated Professor in Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and Senior Faculty Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Ethics, Emory University.  An-Nacim the author of Muslims and Global Justice (2011); Islam and the Secular State (2008); African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam (2006); and Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil liberties, human rights and international law (1990). His edited books include Human Rights under African Constitutions (2003);Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book (2002); Cultural Transformation and Human Rights in Africa (2002); and Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Quest for consensus (1992).

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