Publication

Back to overview

The portrayal of Islamic family law in Europe

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Project The practice of Islamic Family Law in Palestine and Israel: Text and Context
Show all

Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Critical Research in the Social Sciences: A Transdisciplinary East-West Handbook
Editor Roger Heacock & Édouard Conte
Publisher Birzeit University and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Ramallah and Vienna
Page(s) 133 - 152
ISBN 978-9950-316-41-6
Title of proceedings Critical Research in the Social Sciences: A Transdisciplinary East-West Handbook

Abstract

This paper discusses some issues related to the portrayal of Islam, Islamic law, and the gender question in Europe. Under the current circumstances of neoliberalism and the ‘war on terror’, it is argued, the focus on the discriminatory aspects of Islamic law — in the abstract— is, in fact, reinforcing stereotypes about Muslims’ backwardness, Islamic misogyny, and gender disparity, instead of adding to what we already know. The paper offers a processual analysis of situations in which many norms and references are invoked when implementing Islamic family law. To exemplify certain current attitudes to Muslims, a workshop attended in Spring 2009 at a highly reputed research centre in Europe is analysed. This leads to a discussion of the implications of politics of representation. The paper concludes with contrasting observations from the author’s fieldwork in an Islamic family law court.
-