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On British IslamReligion, Law, and Everyday Practice in Shari'a Councils$
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John R. Bowen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158549

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158549.001.0001

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Why Shariʿa in Britain?

Why Shariʿa in Britain?

(p.3) Chapter 1 Why Shariʿa in Britain?
On British Islam

John R. Bowen

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides a background of British Islam. In Britain, Islam is fractured, divergent, and institutionally creative. The legal pluralism of the Indies administration, the fractious character of North Indian Islam, and the British idea that religious communities nurture social life have, together, contributed to the emergence of a British Islam with multiple institutional forms. This varied British topography of Islam has engendered open disagreements and debates. It has also nurtured the continued existence of conservative Islamic traditions that are easy to present in the press as exhibiting insufficient integration into British life. The chapter then argues that British Islamic life is not the simple transposition to Britain of Asian practices; it is filtered through new institutions that are both British and Islamic. This book focuses on the issues and practices surrounding shariʻa, which can mean both the broad path God set out for Muslims and a particular set of normative teachings.

Keywords:   British Islam, religious communities, Islam, Islamic traditions, British Islamic life, shariʻa, Muslims

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