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Mark Massoud: “Shari’a, Inshallah – Finding God in Somali Legal Politics”

May 5, 2021 @ 8:30 am 9:45 am

This book talk is presented by the Politics Department, the Centre for the Middle East and North African, and the Legal Studies Program.

Speaker: Professor Mark Fathi Massoud, Politics and Legal Studies

Discussant: Professor David Anthony, History

Moderator: Professor Jennifer Derr, History

Book Description:

Western analysts have long denigrated Islamic states as antagonistic, even antithetical, to the rule of law. Mark Fathi Massoud tells a different story: for nearly 150 years, the Somali people have embraced shari’a, commonly translated as Islamic law, in the struggle for national identity and human rights. Lawyers, community leaders, and activists throughout the Horn of Africa have invoked God to oppose colonialism, resist dictators, expel warlords, and to fight for gender equality – all critical steps on the path to the rule of law. Shari’a, Inshallah traces the most dramatic moments of legal change, political collapse, and reconstruction in Somalia and Somaliland. Massoud upends the conventional account of secular legal progress and demonstrates instead how faith in a higher power guides people toward the rule of law. (Cambridge University Press https://www.cambridge.org/inshallah)