Article

Islam and the Constitutional Order

Chibli Mallat

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199578610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199578610.013.0064

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Islam and the Constitutional Order

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Amidst a planet-wide array of crises, three are central: the AfPak arc, which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, India (and the surrounding countries in Central Asia as well as Iran); the Iranian Revolution (which, in addition to Pakistan and Afghanistan, impacts directly on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and the so-called Shii crescent, comprising Iraq, Syria under the Alawis, a small Shi'i sect, and Lebanon); and Israel, with its own crisis radiating across the Middle East and beyond. In all these arcs of crisis, Islam as religion-civilization is vying to define an alternative constitutional order. In this complex framework of three persistent arcs of crisis, the fracture occasioned in the constitutional ordering of the world can be approached through a dual prism. One is international: depending on where the analyst positions herself, the matter is of an Islamic universal call for domination, or one of self-defence. The other is internal, and challenges the constitutional order within the nation-state in its Westphalian characteristics as best summarized by Max Weber: the state's exclusive right to use force over a given territory. Both international and national perspectives dovetail significantly in the modern world of constitutionalism. This article provides international perspectives on Islam and the constitutional order, and then offers an appreciation of Islam within a primarily domestic constitutional set-up.

Keywords: Islam; constitutional order; Pakistan; Afghanistan; India; Iranian Revolution; Israel

Article.  10302 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law

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