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Research

Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile.

Research is the core of KARAMAH’s work, and serves as the bridge between thought and action in the struggle for justice. KARAMAH’s authentic, yet innovative research in Islamic jurisprudence is the source of the knowledge base essential to the promotion of the rights of Muslim women, and human rights for all, in an Islamic context. However, an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence alone is not enough to build networks of Muslim women and men around the world who support this mission. In order to become agents of change, future leaders also need knowledge and skills that will allow them to navigate sensitive issues and cogently present their thoughts. For this reason, KARAMAH also produces, collects, and disseminates research on leadership and conflict resolution.

KARAMAH’s Jurist Network – a network of over 400 scholars from around the world who contribute scholarly works on a variety of topics to our scholarship database, is vital to the success of many of KARAMAH’s endeavors. With their guidance and scholarly contributions, KARAMAH communicates knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, leadership, and conflict resolution to the public at large by way of our educational programming and Law and Leadership Summer Program (LLSP).

 

The ‘anti-Shari’ah Legislation’s Adverse Human Rights Implications and Other Unintended Consequences

Engy Abdelkader, Esq.

“In 2000, Layla and Ahmed were married in an Islamic religious ceremony in Egypt. Layla recently filed for divorce in New Jersey and her husband moved to throw out her complaint alleging that they were never legally married. The New Jersey judge must determine whether there is merit to the husband’s claim. To do so, the judge would require expert testimony about Egyptian family law, which is largely based on Shari‘ah. The recently enacted amendment to New Jersey’s state constitution bars the court from even considering Shari‘ah, however, when deciding cases. If the court fails to recognize the marriage, Layla may not be able to obtain equitable distribution of the marital assets the couple accumulated over the past eleven years (e.g. marital home, money in savings accounts, automobiles, etc.).”

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Turning Insult into Opportunity: Anti-Sharia Sentiments in America and their Implications for American Muslims

Celene Ayat Lizzio

“A September 2011 resolution of the Fiqh Council of North America, a body of esteemed American Muslim religious scholars, takes just this stance. In their statement entitled: “On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans,” the members of the council strongly affirm that Islamic values and modern, Western, secular, democratic values both seek to uphold “universal moral values which are accepted by the majority of people of all backgrounds” and argue that: “no inherent conflict [exists] between the normative values of Islam and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.” Furthermore, to suggest that there is a conflict between being loyal American citizens and being faithful Muslims is “misleading,” suggests the resolution. In their resolution, the members of the council condemn “hate mongering and fear propaganda” as counter to both religious and American values. “

 

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Who Says Shari’a Demands the Stoning of Women? A Description of Islamic Law and Constitutionalism

Asifa Quraishi-Landes

“I titled this presentation “Who Says Shari’a Demands the Stoning of Women?” And I mean the “who says” in a couple of different ways. First, quite literally: “Who says?” “Who says that?” I think it’s pretty easy to think about the question and say, well, it’s in the news. In the news, a lot of Muslims around the world seem to say that about shari’a. And it seems to come from both lay people and those in authority and government positions. And then there are the various commentators and international women’s organizations, and human rights organizations that are lobbying against various applications of Islamic law—they might say something like that about shari’a too.”

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Shariah ban Violates Muslim, Jewish, and Christian American Civil Liberties

Qasim Rashid

“Since Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to pass anti-Shari‘ah legislation in July 2010, at least 20 more states passed, or attempted to pass, legislation banning Shari‘ah. Those trying to ban Shari‘ah consistently lack an understanding of exactly what is being banned. This paper demonstrates that these legislations violate fundamental Muslim-American civil liberties, and ironically, those rights of Jewish and Christian Americans as well.”

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