Keeping the State Out: The Separation of Law and State in Classical Islamic Law
Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-first Century. By Rudolph Peters. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. 2005. Pp. xi, 219. $70.
The implementation and enforcement of Islamic law, especially Islamic criminal law, by modern-day Muslim nation-states is fraught with controversy and challenges. In Pakistan, the documented problems and failures of the country’s attempt to codify Islamic law on extramarital sexual relations have led to efforts to remove rape cases from Islamic law courts to civil law courts. In striking contrast to Pakistan’s experience, the Republic of the Maldives recently commissioned a draft of a penal law and sentencing guidelines based on Islamic law that abides by international norms. The incorporation of Islamic law into the legal systems of various countries around the world makes understanding Islamic criminal law especially important.