Canada, as a country committed to pluralism, today stands as a beacon of hope for all mankind. At the same time, there is much debate on the role of religion in the public sphere, most particularly in the field of private justice where arbitration and mediation are practised. Faith communities have generally shown a preference for ensuring that the ethics and values of their faith are engaged when disputes arise and their resolution is attempted. However, legitimate concerns with regard to human rights are expressed by those in Canadian society who feel that alternative forms of justice can be prejudicial to vulnerable groups such as women, minorities and children or those who are on the wrong side of the power balance. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has both supporters and detractors in these cases.
Over the years the issue of alternative forms of justice has become contentious with regard to family dispute resolution and the role Sharia, as portrayed in the popular media, plays in its deliberations. Sharia is viewed as a draconian, punitive and pre-modern system that has been defined over the years by a patriarchal interpretation. The deeper ethical values of Sharia are obfuscated and the fact that it has an inbuilt mechanism to respond both to necessity (darura) and to public interest (maslaha) and that each day in the Muslim world these mechanisms are used, is often overlooked.
Understanding Sharia, Islamic Law in a Globalised World is a book by two common law lawyers, a Canadian lawyer mediator and an English barrister, which has been written for the educated lay reader and which is both accessible and informative. The authors do not sidestep the controversial issues associated with Sharia but address them with reason, thought, and understanding. Abdulla and Keshavjee have provided a welcome text setting out the origins of Islam, Sharia and their development from the classical period to modernity within the context of other civilizations and other legal systems. The authors saw a need for a clear and easy to read text. Sharia has been a source of misunderstanding both within and outside the Muslim world. The authors take the reader from pre-Islamic Arabia to the present. They point out that less than ten percent of the Qur’an is made up of verses of a strictly legal nature.
Read full review of this book by Max Blitt, QC at the source: Understanding Sharia, Islamic Law in a Globalised World
Book is available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Sharia-Islamic-Globalised-World/dp/1788313194
Max Blitt is an associate of the law firm of Spier Harben where he practices Family Law, Real Estate, Wills and Estates. His extensive experiences include dealing with international children’s issues and international property issues. He is a Court Appointed Dispute Resolution Officer (QBAB), and a Negotiations /Advocacy Assessment Instructor for CPLED.