Judging in God’s Name: State Power, Secularism, and the Politics of Islamic Law in Malaysia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

“The Politics of Religious Freedom in Malaysia” Maryland Journal of International Law, vol. 29 (2014) 468-491.

Keywords: 
religion
religious freedom
Malaysia
Islam
rights
shariah
Islamic law
rule of law
judicial process
courts
Abstract: 

Malaysia ranks sixth out of 175 countries worldwide in the degree of state regulation of religion. The Malaysian state enforces myriad rules and regulations in the name of Islam and claims a monopoly on the interpretation of Islamic law. However, this should not be understood as the implementation of an ‘Islamic’ system of governance or the realization of an ‘Islamic state’. Rather, the Malaysian case provides a textbook example of how government efforts to monopolize Islamic law necessarily subvert core epistemological principles in the Islamic legal tradition. As such, Malaysia provides an important opportunity to rethink the relationship between the state, secularism and the politics of Islamic law.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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