This monograph examines the dynamics involved in implementing Islamic law in Southeast Asia, and how this issue has become a source of conflict in Kelantan, Malaysia and Aceh, Indonesia. Using textual and fieldwork methodology, the study compares and contrasts the collective experience of trying to apply Islamic law in these two locations.
In both Kelantan and Aceh, Islamic law was first developed in the thirteenth century with the coming of Islam to the region, but was later replaced by colonial legal systems, and then by the jurisprudence of national governments following independence. Reinstituting Islamic law has become a dominant political issue in both countries.
Through an analysis of the conditions that have made the emergence of Islamic law in Kelantan and Aceh possible, the author helps extend previous studies on this issue by providing a sociological understanding of religious law as a source of both conflict and identity.