Issues of citizenship, identity and cohesion have rarely been as vital as they are today. Since the events of 9/11 and subsequent terrorist episodes in Bali, Madrid, London and elsewhere, focus in this area has centred primarily upon Muslim minority communities living in the West. Opinion polls of Muslim communities in Europe and publications from authors within those communities have shown that there is an energetic debate going on around what it means to be a Muslim and a citizen on this continent. Sean Oliver-Dee explores these questions of citizenship and loyalty from the point of view of Muslims living under non-Muslim rule and non-Muslim governments trying to engage with them. He draws on the historical contexts of Muslim minorities living under British and French imperial rule in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and looks at how shari'a functioned within the context of imperial civil codes. This book draws important comparisons between the French and British approaches to their Muslim minorities, which illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of both, and engages with current debates about the compatibility of Islamic law with civil law in non-Islamic societies.
This is important reading for scholars, students, commentators and policy-makers concerned with the question of Western engagement with its minorities.
Sean Oliver-Dee is Associate Researcher of Inter-Religious Affairs at the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the EU and Associate Research Fellow at the London School of Theology. He is also a consultant on religio-political issues for a number of think-tanks, NGOs and government departments in the UK and overseas. His PhD was published as The Caliphate Question: British Government and Islamic Governance in 2009.
Introduction Section 1: Historical and Theological Background 1. State, Citizenship and the Law: Islamic Theology and History 2. Anglo-French Imperial Interaction with Islam: Historical Contextualisation Section 2: Islam in Minority: Citizenship and the Ummah 3. Should Muslims Always Obey Those in Authority Over Them, Even When They Are Not Muslims? 4. From Ijtihad to Khilafah State: On What Level Should the Notion of the Muslim Community Function? Section 3: Islam in the Minority: Shari'a and the State 5. The Introduction of Shari'a into British Imperial India: Issues and Questions 6. French Imperial Interaction with Shari'a. 7. The New World: Citizenship, Identity and the New Europe Conclusions Notes Bibliography Index