Holding Marriage Hostage: Male Guardianship in Muslim Women’s Application for Marriage in Contemporary Malaysia
Feb. 18 | 12:00-13:00 EST | Zoom
Nurul Huda Mohd. Razif examines “wali refusal” cases, where women’s right to marry is held hostage by estranged fathers who refuse to sign their daughters’ marriage application.
Feb. 10 | 11:00-12:00 EST | Zoom
J. Andrew Bush discusses his recently published book, Between Muslims: Religious Differences in Iraqi Kurdistan. Bush’s book is based on extensive fieldwork in the Kurdistan region of Iraq between 2004 and 2013.
Jan. 29 | 13:00-17:00 EST | Zoom
An invitation-only manuscript workshop for Professor Kristen Stilt for her book project, Halal Animals: Food, Faith, and the Future of Planetary Health.
Nov. 10 | 12:00-13:00 EST | Zoom
Samy Ayoub examines Ottoman imperial authority in authoritative Hanafi legal works from the Ottoman world of the 16th to 19th centuries CE, casting new light on the understudied late Hanafi jurists.
Oct. 14 | 12:00-13:00 EDT | Zoom
Join our panel to discuss community-oriented movement lawyering in Lebanon and the ways in which activists and lawyers engage with the country’s most vulnerable communities to build, support, and amplify transformative social movements.
Oct. 7 | 11:00-12:30 EDT | Zoom
This discussion highlights the voices of Muslim women activists campaigning for egalitarian reform in Muslim family laws across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sept. 28 | 12:00-13:00 EST | Zoom
Gehan Gunatilleke and Yee Htun discuss how constitutional and treaty provisions are vulnerable to majoritarian infiltration.
Sept. 9 | 12:00-13:30 EST | Zoom
Zakia Soman and Dr. Noorjehan Safia Niaz discuss their pioneering activism for equal rights and equal citizenship of Muslim women in India and linkages with Muslim women’s movements across the globe.
July 24 | 8am ET, 12pm GMT
PLS is pleased to be a co-sponsor for this exciting event on Rohingya women. Registration is required.
March 9 | 12-1 pm | WCC 2009
Sophie Richardson (Human Rights Watch) and Rayhan Asat (Hughes Hubbard and Reed) discuss the situation of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Feb. 26 | 12-1 pm | WCC 2009
Aman Wadud and Yee Htun discuss citizenship verification in India and its effects on the nation’s Muslim minority.
Feb. 25 | 12-1 pm | Austin North
Philippe Sands, Arsalan Suleman, and Yee Htun discuss the ICJ’s case concerning the Myanmar military’s treatment of the Rohingya.
Feb. 24 | 12-1 pm | Pound 102
PLS Director Professor Kristen Stilt’s talk focuses on the question, “What are Islamic conceptions of animal rights?”
Dec. 2 | 5-6 pm | Barker Center, Room 133
Farzin Vejdani examines shifting understandings of what constituted the public and the private from criminal cases in 19th-century Shiraz.
Nov. 25 | 1-2:30 pm | WCC 3016
Seminar with Robert Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies, University of Exeter
Deadline January 15, 2020
Our Visiting Fellowship application process for the next academic year is now open. We invite scholars and legal practitioners to apply for a resident fellowship.
Oct. 25 | 9 am – 6 pm | Harvard Kennedy School
Pride & Progress: Film Festival and Symposium will highlight human rights filmmakers and activists who are leading the cultural fight against laws that criminalize and discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in the former British colonies.
Oct. 7 | 12-1 pm | WCC 3016
Catherine Renshaw author of Human Rights and Participatory Politics in Southeast Asia, recounts an extraordinary period of human rights institution-building in Southeast Asia.
Sept. 24, 2019 | 12-1 pm | WCC 1019
Professor and Human Rights Attorney Noura Erakat and HLS Professor Emeritus Duncan Kennedy discuss Professor Erakat’s new book.
Sept. 16 | 12-1 pm | WCC 1019
Corine Wegener of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative will describe the development of Mosul Museum Project Zero. The project collects evidence of destruction at the museum for use in a possible war crimes trial.
April 25 | 12-1 pm | WCC B015
Deina Abdelkader, Salma Waheedi, and Hamza Sebti use specific case studies to discuss the legal frameworks regulating speech and analyze practical realities of criminalizing critical speech across the region.
April 22 |12-1 pm | WCC 3016
This final workshop in our Gender, Law, and Society Series will explore Islamic feminism and the contributions of feminist scholars challenging patriarchy in the Muslim legal traditions. Speakers Sarah Marsso and Janna Rumminger discuss the pioneering work of Musawah and the frontiers and challenges of the contemporary Islamic feminist discourse and activist work pushing for equality and gender justice.
April 4 | 12-1 pm | WCC 3018
Two short films, Dory and On Friday Noon, tell the stories of queer women and their daily struggles to negotiate their space within their local Southeast Asian communities. A discussion with Michael Peletz, Professor of Anthropology at Emory University, and Rosalia Engchuan, filmmaker and social anthropologist, follows.
March 25 | 12-1 pm | WCC 1015
Beena Sarwar, human rights lawyer, Yasser Latif Hamdani and LL.M. ’19 student, Orubah Sattar discuss Pakistan’s history with and struggle against its blasphemy law and those that support it.
March 14 | 12-1 pm | WCC 1019
Dr. Ramy Khouili, a Tunisian doctor and human rights activist, and Daniel Levine-Spound (HLS ’19), examine the origins and dynamics of the criminalization of homosexuality in Tunisia from the colonial period to the 21st century.
Standing Up to Gender Violence: The Legal Context of Contemporary Feminist Struggle in Israel/Palestine
February 25 | 12-1 pm | WCC 1015
Please join us for a discussion of gender-based violence and feminist struggles for gender justice and equality in Israel-Palestine. Professors Tally Kritzman-Amir and Sarah Ilhmoud will examine recent trends in gender-based violence in Israel-Palestine and the various state policies and responses, especially in relation to vulnerable communities of Palestinians and African refugees.
This film chronicles the destruction of culture in Syria, Mali, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and elsewhere from World War II to the present day. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Tim Slade, and András Riedlmayer, UN war crimes tribunal expert witness.
The US and Israel-Palestine: National Security, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law – A Discussion with Jamil Dakwar
ILSP: Law and Social Change and the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law host a discussion with Jamil Dakwar on challenges to the rule of law and human rights protection in Israel-Palestine, and the impact of recent shifts in United States policy.
The Progressive Jewish Alliance and HLS Advocates for Human Rights are pleased to welcome you to a lunch talk on “The Struggle for Normal Life in Gaza,” featuring Sari Bashi, former Israel/Palestine Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch and Co-Founder of Gisha, an Israeli NGO dedicated to defending Palestinian freedom of movement.
The International Human Rights Clinic will host a screening of Mother, Daughter, Sister, a half-hour documentary about ethnic women affected by rape as a weapon of war in Myanmar. There will be a discussion following the screening, with Esther Htusan, Wai Wai Nu, and Debbie Stothard, moderated by Yee Htun.
In the third event of the ILSP-LSC Workshop Series on Gender, Law, and Society, Lihi Ben Shitrit, Research Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative, will speak on the gendered dimensions of inter-communal disputes over Jerusalem.
In the second event of the ILSP: LSC Workshop Series on Gender, Law, and Society, Burmese Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Esther Htusan discusses the gendered impact of the rise of religious fundamentalism and populist nationalism in Myanmar.
Diane L. Moore, Founding Director of the Religious Literacy Project at the Harvard Divinity School, will lead this discussion on veil, divorce, and women’s agency in Islam.
After a traumatic encounter, a young, gay Egyptian joins the LGBT rights movement. When his safety is jeopardized, he must choose whether to stay in the country he loves or seek asylum elsewhere as a refugee. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Director Tamara Shogaolu.
Sittwe is a short documentary about two teenagers affected by conflict in Burma’s Rakhine state; a Buddhist boy and a Muslim girl who were displaced by communal violence in 2012. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Burmese peace activist and Film Producer Myo Win.
The Long Season is a documentary by renowned filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich about life in Majdal Anjar, a Syrian camp in Lebanon. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Producer Pieter Van Huystee.
Andrew F. March will workshop a paper outlining the argument of his forthcoming book manuscript, The Caliphate of Man: The Invention of Popular Sovereignty in Modern Islamic Thought, which traces the discourse on sovereignty from the mid-19th century reform movement to the present. You must RSVP to attend this event.
Zaman is a professor in the department of Religion and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He has written on the relationship between religious and political institutions in medieval and modern Islam, on social and legal thought in the modern Muslim world, on institutions and traditions of learning in Islam, and on the flow of ideas between South Asia and the Arab Middle East.
From the Moors to the New World: Lessons from Dynamic Water Sharing for a Colonial-Era System in the Indus
Erum Sattar explores the legal and political aspects of management of water resources in semi-arid environments. In this comparative project, Sattar draws relevant lessons from Moorish water systems for today’s management of water resources across countries. You must RSVP to attend this event.
Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork in five countries, including Brunei and Singapore, this paper by Dominik Müller examines the bureaucratization of Islam as a social phenomenon that informs dynamics of social change alongside transformations of the very meaning(s) of Islam in state and society. You must RSVP to attend this event.
Havva Guney-Ruebenacker develops a novel approach to the analysis of the cases of Islamic mahr agreements in American courts, as a remarkable example of the interaction of Islamic and western law that entails significant implications for legal and social change around mahr and divorce in Islamic law. You must RSVP to attend this event.
Diasporic Counterpublics: Multiplicities, Challenges, and Trajectories of Iranian Asylum Seekers in Turkey
Navid Fozi will present the introductory chapter of his manuscript based on two years of field research among Iranian transit asylum seekers in Turkey. You must RSVP to attend this talk.
Despite the groundbreaking achievements of the #MeToo movement, the fact is that too many women are still unheard. An intersectional approach to feminism necessarily leads to questions about what the #MeToo movement means for women from the Global South. The event looks at diverse women’s experiences that are frequently excluded from the mainstream conversation.
How is the current international order affecting freedom of religion? Leading experts Mustafa Akyol, Brian Grim, and Daniel Mark, informed by various faith traditions, academic disciplines, and experiences, will discuss this question—and what must be done to protect international religious freedom in an age of nationalism.
Ahmed El-Shamsy will speak on “The Place of Ethics in Islamic Law.” El Shamsy studies the intellectual history of Islam, focusing on the evolution of the classical Islamic disciplines and scholarly culture within their broader historical context. His research addresses themes such as orality and literacy, the history of the book, and the theory and practice of Islamic law.
Professor Kristen Stilt and Clinical Instructor Salma Waheedi of the International Human Rights Clinic will discuss their upcoming Journal of Law & Gender article examining reform efforts in family law in Muslim countries.
Human Rights Program Visiting Fellow Yasser Latif Hamdani speaks about fundamental rights litigation under the Pakistani Constitution. Hamdani will discuss his personal experience as an Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan, including litigating landmark internet freedom cases. This will cover cases involving YouTube and Blackberry, and ongoing challenges under domestic legislation.
In this event, Aaron David Miller and Noura Erakat will engage in a conversation on the consequences and implications of Trump’s decision from a number of different angles, taking into consideration questions of international law, regional stability and security, prospects for sustainable peace, as well as the status and rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Noah Feldman will moderate.
A seminar with Andrew March, Berggruen Fellow-in-Residence, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University and Visiting Fellow, Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, Harvard Law School.
Asifa Quraishi-Landes will explain her current project, proposing a structure for Islamic constitutionalism that is inspired by Islamic jurisprudence and Muslim history, yet designed for contemporary realities. This structure is conceptually different from the typical “Islamic state” imagined by modern political Islam movements, as it is built upon the pre-colonial separation of Muslim lawmaking power: siyasa, made by rulers, and fiqh, articulated by religious legal scholars.
This talk by Kristine Beckerle (Human Rights Watch) will examine the US role in Yemen and explore the legal and policy avenues through which rights advocates can push for rights-respecting policies and practices, both in the context of Yemen as well as counter-terror efforts in the MENA region more broadly.
Hala Aldosari, women’s rights activist and scholar, will discuss ten key messages for feminists and activists struggling to make a difference. Beyond describing the advocacy and public campaigns in Saudi Arabia, the talk will draw on significant personal insights and reflections, and provide a snapshot of an eventful journey that is attempting to organize thought and action.
Since 2011, Turkey has received more than three million Syrian refugees, the largest community of Syrians displaced by the conflict. This has had significant economic, political, security, social, and foreign policy challenges for Turkey. This talk by Dr. Zulfukar Aytac Kisman (Firat University) will focus on the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey’s perspective and analyze the Turkish response to the crisis, policies developed, and the need for more rigorous planning.
ILSP: Law and Social Change offers yearly travel grants up to $1,000 to Harvard Law School students or Harvard University graduate students pursuing research trips related to work on or the study of Islamic law. We are pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to nine students for winter-term 2018 research.
Join us for a conversation on migrant workers’ rights in Jordan’s garment sector in the free trade zones with Mervat Jumhawee, Advocacy Officer for the El Hassan Workers’ Center. Founded in 2012, the El Hassan Workers’ Center has a mission of working with multiple stakeholders to connect workers with health and recreational services; empower workers with knowledge about their legal rights; and equip them with tools and resources to organize and advocate for those rights.
This panel will examine the cultural and sociopolitical origins and dynamics of homophobia and transphobia in the Arab world and engage in an open and honest conversation about what queer liberation would look like in this complex region. Panelists will draw on their own experiences as activists and debate solutions to dismantle the existing structures of oppression in a number of contexts, including Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, and Palestine. This event is open to Harvard Law School affiliates only.
a Syrian refugee in the US, will share her story growing up in Syria, revolting against the Assad regime, fleeing the horrors of war, and starting a new life in the US, and her new path as an activist and advocate for the rights of Syrian refugees worldwide.
Join us for the screening of two short films inspired by true events of the Syrian war. Fireplace (2017) and Orshena (2016) both recount tales of the devastating human consequences of war and give deep intellectual insights into the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The screening will be followed by a discussion with award-winning directors Muhammad Bayazid and Samah Safi Bayazid.
Ziba Mir-Hosseini, a leading scholar of Islamic feminism, will discuss the emerging reformist and feminist voices in Islam and their potential in challenging the long-established classical interpretations of Shari’a and rethinking their underlying patriarchal ethical values and norms.
The final event in ILSP: LSC’s film series on Women, Rights, and Activism in the Muslim World is a screening of “Private Revolutions – Young, Female, Egyptian.” The film chronicles two years in the lives of four young Egyptian women from various social backgrounds who are fighting for their rights and for change after the revolution.
The third event in ILSP: LSC’s film series on Women, Rights, and Activism in the Muslim World is a screening of “Speed Sisters,” on Thursday, March 23, at 5:00pm, Wasserstein 1023 (Harvard Law School campus). The Speed Sisters are the first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East. Grabbing headlines and turning heads at improvised tracks across the West Bank, these five women have sped their way into the heart of the gritty, male-dominated Palestinian street car-racing scene. Independent, determined and always on the move, they have deftly charted their own course through the pressures of social expectations, family dynamics, community politics and an ongoing Israeli military occupation.
Please join us for a talk by Zainah Anwar, of Musawah, who will speak on the challenges faced by women’s groups living in Muslim contexts and their struggle to reform laws and practices made in the name of Islam that discriminate against women. She will share the initiatives of activists and scholars who are engaged in the production of new feminist and rights-based knowledge in Islam, and their efforts at creating a public voice at the national and international levels, pushing for the possibility and necessity of reform to uphold the principles of equality and justice.
The second event in ILSP: LSC’s film series on Women, Rights, and Activism in the Muslim World is a screening of “What Tomorrow Brings,” on Thursday, March 9, at 5:00pm, Wasserstein 1023 (Harvard Law School campus). The film goes inside the very first girls’ school in a small Afghan village.
ILSP: LSC, a co-sponsor of the Harvard Global LGBTQ Conference, “A Call to Action: Advocacy, Agency, and Alliances for a Changing World,” is pleased to support speakers on two of the event’s panels, “Bridging Differences: Engaging Faith Communities” and “Queer Immigration: Refugees and Criminalization.” Event details can be found on the conference website and FaceBook page.
The Harvard South Asia Institute, the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Program, and the Harvard Law School Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change are pleased to announce an upcoming workshop on Animal Agriculture from the Middle East to Asia.The workshop will bring together experts to exchange ideas as an initial step toward the goal of a broader collaborative research project. Academics, practitioners, and others with backgrounds in law, the sciences, animal welfare, environmental studies, religious studies, cultural studies, economics, and public policy are encouraged to apply.
Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, with support from the Harvard Human Rights Program, is pleased to announce its first film series, “Women, Rights, and Activism in the Muslim World.” Throughout the Spring semester, we will showcase films that highlight women’s struggles, conflicts, and triumphs across the region. The films cover a broad range of themes, including political and social activism, marriage, divorce, education, and sports.
This session explores the study of comparative constitutional law in South Asia through presentations that draw on a diverse range of sources, methodologies, and approaches in the field. Building on the joint session on Islamic law pedagogy immediately before this session, scholars will address the range of substantive and methodological problems that arise in connection with Read more about Comparative Constitutional Law in South Asia: Sources, Methods, and Applications[…]
We are pleased to announce that travel grants have been awarded to three students for winter-term 2017 research. Katherine Gonzalez will travel to Kuala Lumpur for her project, “Unconstitutional Corporal Punishment? The Movement for an Islamic Penal Code in Malaysia and Its Impact on Muslim Women”; Malik Ladhani (JD ’18) will travel to Kyrgyzstan to work on “Environmental Protection in the Kyrgyz Constitution”; and Myra Siddiqui will travel to Karachi and Lahore for her research on “Disability Rights in Pakistan.”
The Arab Association of Constitutional Law and the Tunisian Association of Constitutional Law, with the support of Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, will hold an international conference, “Religion and the State,” in Tunisia March 24-25, 2017. Deadline for submissions: 18 November 2016.
Please join us for a Skype discussion over coffee and bagels with leading Malaysian activist and Muslim feminist Zainah Anwar on the topic of women’s rights activism in Muslim contexts and her work currently leading the Musawah global movement for equality in the Muslim family.
ILSP: Law and Social Change is now accepting applications for Visiting Fellowships for the academic year 2017–2018. This fellowship provides opportunities for outstanding scholars and legal practitioners to undertake research, writing, and scholarly engagement on Islamic law that furthers the Program’s mission. We are particularly interested in applicants whose work focuses on human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, minority rights, animal welfare, constitutional law, food law, environmental law and climate change, migration and refugee studies, and related areas.
The Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change (ILSP: LSC) invites Harvard Law School students to submit travel grant proposals to secure funding for proposed research trips related to work on or the study of Islamic law. All projects associated with Islamic law or with the legal systems of Muslim countries qualify, internships included. The Program distributes a limited number of awards on a competitive basis, up to a maximum of $1,000 per student. Selected grantees may use ILSP: LSC travel grants to supplement an award from another source.
A Lunch Talk with Hala Aldosari on Challenges and Developments in Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
Saudi blogger and activist Hala Aldosari will join us to discuss the family laws of Arab Gulf states and the challenges and prospects of change. She will focus on women’s legal capacity under these laws and discuss the current debates and controversies surrounding Islam, social customs, and legal reform in these countries.
The Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change will host a screening of the film “Horma” (“Sanctity”), followed by a Q&A with Ahd Kamel, the film’s director, and Pascal Menoret, Professor of Modern Middle East Studies at Brandeis University.
HLS Lambda’s LGBTQ Advocacy Conference, “Incomplete Justice: The Ongoing Struggle for LGBTQ Equality in Our Local Communities,” will include a panel on “Battling Homophobia in the Muslim Community,” moderated by Professor Kristen Stilt, Faculty Director for ILSP: Law and Social Change.
Raheemah Abdulaleem (JD *01), Associate General Counsel in the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, the White House; former Senior Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section; President of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights Fri, Sep 16 | 12.00-1.00p To register go to: https://harvard.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eW0su1ecEmuaUrX Hearing the Read more about From Big Law to Public Service in the White House[…]
ILSP offers a hearty welcome to incoming HLS students. We encourage your participation in Program activities. Check back soon for information on events, grants, and other opportunities.
ILSP offers a hearty welcome to incoming HLS students. We encourage your participation in Program activities. Check back soon for information on events, grants, and other opportunities.
ILSP Director Kristen Stilt was recently awarded the 2016 I•CON Prize for the most outstanding article published in Volume 13 of the International Journal of Constitutional Law. I•CON ‘s Board of Editors and the Scientific Advisory Board awarded Stilt the prize for her article, “Contextualizing Constitutional Islam: The Malayan Experience.” The article proposes a contextual approach to constitutional Islam and uses it to examine the making of the Federation of Malaya independence Constitution of 1957.
Each year, Harvard Law School and Harvard University offer a variety of courses related to Islamic law. Check out the coming year’s list! (More courses added/updated as the summer progresses.)
ILSP offers hearty congratulations to the more than 700 JD, LLM, and SJD students who graduated from Harvard Law School on May 26 amidst a full slate of Commencement activities. The Program has been fortunate to have known and worked with many of these young scholars in various capacities: student, research assistant, event organizer, and enthusiastic participant in Program activities. We offer our best wishes for success in the varied endeavors on which they now embark. Congratulations HLS Class of 2016!
ILSP’s Spring newsletter will be available soon. Sign up to receive this and other important ILSP news. See the sign-up below. Stay current on additional topics important to ILSP by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
As a flagship project of the Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP), SHARIAsource hosted conference on Courts and Judicial Procedure in Early Islamic Law (632-1250 AD) on May 6th at Harvard Law School. Convened by Professors Intisar Rabb (Harvard Law School) and Abigail Balbale (Bard Graduate Center) to honor Dr. Roy Mottahedeh, who is retiring as the Gurney Professor of History at the University after thirty years of service, the conference gathered some 100 legal scholars, experts, and practitioners from various continents, including Europe, Asia, and North America.
ILSP would like to wish HLS other Harvard University students much success during the year’s final exam period!
In February 2016, members of the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations at American University in Cairo initiated a development campaign to raise funds for the naming of a Shahab Ahmed Memorial Room on the new AUC campus. The drive was successful and a plaque was installed in conjunction with a memorial event held in Ahmed’s honor on March 9, 2016.
ILSP Director Kristen Stilt will moderate a panel discussion on “Addressing Violence against Women in Muslim Countries.” Panelists include Salman Sufi, Jacqueline Bhabha, Rihab Elhaj, and Aisha Mukhtar. Sufi was one of the drafters and defenders of the Punjab Women Protection Act and has also been one of the few male champions for gender equality. The discussion will highlight the prevalence and causes of violence against women in Pakistan, Libya and Jordan, with focus on the role of culture and religion, and institutional responses to violence against women.
ILSP Directors Intisar Rabb and Kristen Stilt will participate in Yale University’s workshop “Sharia in Motion: Islam, Law, and Mobility in Asia.” The workshop brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars working on Islam in Asia. It seeks to foster a dialogue between research on Islamic legal cultures in Asia and scholarship exploring themes of mobility, including travel, networks, and translation. The workshop builds on growing interest in studying how Islamic law travels across different jurisdictional, linguistic, and cultural spaces.
The Harvard Muslim Law Students Association holds its first annual symposium examining how US laws and policies, deployed both domestically and abroad, shape the American Muslim experience. The goal of the symposium is to explore how laws and policies embedded in the US and international legal systems contribute to and sustain anti-Muslim violence at home and abroad. ILSP Director Intisar Rabb will participate in the panel “Do Government Counter-Extremism Programs Violate the First Amendment?” on Friday, April 1.
This symposium will provide an opportunity to consider What is Islam? from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Those who will reflect on Shahab’s book and its impact include Michael Cook, Noah Feldman, Cemal Kafadar, Gülru Necipoğlu, Parimal Patil, and Nicholas Watson.
As part of Harvard Law School’s Animal Law Week, Prof. Kristen Stilt (Harvard Law School, and Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program and Animals, Law, and Public Policy Program) gave a lecture entitled, “The Women’s Movement, Animal Welfare, and Islamic Law: Constitutional Animal Protection in Egypt.” The video of the lecture is available here.
Professor Donovan Schaefer (Departmental Lecturer in Science and Religion, University of Oxford) will discuss his new book, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power (Duke University Press, 2015). The conversation will be moderated by Kimberley Patton, Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School.
The four students to whom ILSP awarded January-term travel grants are back from their journeys and ready to share their experiences. Sarah Abraham and Lauren Blodgett worked on a joint project in Jordan on “Statelessness and the Syrian Refugee Crisis”; Mariam Boxwala traveled to Karachi, Pakistan for a legal aid internship and research on women and minorities; and Ari Schriber traveled to France to research “The Evolution of Sharia in Early Protectorate Morocco.” Click on each student’s name to see his or her report as they are received and posted.
Febe Armanios (Associate Professor of History at Middlebury College and Fall 2015 ILSP Visiting Fellow) will deliver a lecture on “Evangelicals and Warlords: Christian Television in the Middle East, 1981-2000.″
Former ILSP Visiting Fellow Hauwa Ibrahim was recently named “Person of the Year 2015” in Cavaglià, Italy, where she now makes her home. Mayor Giancarlo Borsoi praised Ibrahim’s work, saying, “We have the honor to know and reward an exceptional person. This is a woman who has done and is doing so much to protect human rights. It is an honor to be by her side this special night.”
As part of Harvard Law School’s Animal Law Week, Prof. Kristen Stilt (Harvard Law School, and Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program and Animals, Law, and Public Policy Program) will give a lecture entitled, “The Women’s Movement, Animal Welfare, and Islamic Law: Constitutional Animal Protection in Egypt.”
Henri Lauzière, Assistant Professor of History, Northwestern University, will give a public lecture, “How Did the Salafiyya Become an Ideology?” This talk examines the historical process by which Salafis came to be associated with a purist and comprehensive religious orientation that embraces the entire gamut of Islamic beliefs and practices, from theology to etiquette.
Much attention has long been accorded to substantive rulings in early Islamic contexts, and recent work has highlighted social histories surrounding courts. But few of those studies place particular emphasis on judicial procedure. Answers to questions of procedure are essential for rounding out the picture of any legal system beyond the four corners of the pages framing the law in the books or the unbounded conception of law as it affects society. Procedure informs both inquiries. By bringing together scholars of Islamic law from different periods, this conference seeks to uncover the inner workings of courts and the administration of justice in medieval Islamic lands, 632-1250 AD.
On February 18, 2016, HLS’ Animal Law & Policy Program and ILSP will hold a workshop on the intersection of animals, religion, and constitutional law. Presentations will address constitutional theory, institutional design, and case studies grounded in the constitutional experiences of particular jurisdictions or regions. Participants will also discuss topics that involve issues of religious law, such as the relevance of the halal and kosher debates to constitutional developments regarding animals (e.g., in Europe), and the religious dimensions of the constitutional protections for animals (e.g., in India).
For additional information, please contact email@example.com.
Please note that ILSP and other University offices will be closed for the Winter/Holiday Recess at noon on Thursday, Dec. 24th and will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2016.
Professor Intisar A. Rabb will deliver a lecture on “Qāḍī Justice: Cases and Controversies in Early Islamic Law and Society” as part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Fellows’ Presentation Series. The talk will take place on December 16, 4-5:30 pm, at the Institute’s Fay House, 10 Garden St.
Zeeshaan Hashmi (LLM ’16) is the winner of this year’s ILSP Writing Prize on Islamic Law. Hashmi won the prize for his paper, “Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments or Amending the Unamendable? A Critique of District Bar Association Rawalpindi v. Federation of Pakistan.”
A book launch party to celebrate the release of Shahab Ahmed’s What Is Islam? will be held on Tuesday, December 1, from 5:00-7:00 pm in the offices of the Society of Fellows, 78 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA.
The deadline for applying for 2016-2017 ILSP Visiting Fellowship has passed. Please check back next fall for 2017-2018.
ILSP Director Kristen Stilt and Fall 2015 ILSP Visiting Fellows Febe Armanios and Boğaç Ergene co-organized a scholarly workshop on the treatment of animals from Islamic and comparative religious and religio-legal perspectives. The goal of the event was to foster a conversation about how religious traditions consider the interrelated topics of animals, ethics, and law, with the aim of developing an integrated methodology from a comparative perspective. The event took place May 20-21, 2016, and was the first in a series of events on this topic. To learn more about the participants and papers, click here. Co-sponsored by the Animal Law & Policy Program.
A memorial service for former ILSP Visiting Fellow Shahab Ahmed will be held on Sunday, November 15 from 4:00-5:30 pm at the Memorial Church at Harvard University (Harvard Yard). A reception will follow.
In this book presentation hosted by Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Prof. Mateo Farzaneh (Assistant Professor of History of the Islamic World and Modern Middle East, Northeastern Illinois University-Chicago) will discuss the role of Islamic jurisprudence in political reform in Iran.
The Islamic Legal Studies Program invites Harvard Law School students to submit travel grant proposals to secure funding for proposed research trips related to work on or the study of Islamic law. All projects associated with Islamic law or with the legal systems of Muslim countries qualify, internships included. The Program distributes a limited number of awards on a competitive basis, up to a maximum of $1,000 per student. Selected grantees may use ILSP travel grants to supplement an award from another source. All proposals should be submitted via the online application process.
ILSP Directors Intisar Rabb and Kristen Stilt will participate in a panel discussion “Perspectives on Reform of Islamic Law” at the Law Library of Congress on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. The aim of the program will be to explore perspectives on and new avenues of reform in Islamic law.
The Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program presents a Faculty Seminar Series event “Political Islam and Masculinity: Muslim Men in the West.” The lecture will be delivered by Joshua Roose, Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society at the Australian Catholic University, and Visiting Scholar at the East Asian Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.
ILSP is now accepting applications for Visiting Fellowships for the academic year 2016–2017. The purpose of the Visiting Fellows Program is to provide opportunities for outstanding scholars to undertake research, writing and scholarly engagement on Islamic law in ways that span traditional and interdisciplinary academic disciplines consistent with the Program’s mission. Applicants with a JD, SJD, PhD or other comparable terminal degree from any field of study are welcome to apply.
ILSP Directors, staff, and affiliates mourn the passing of M. Shahab Ahmed on Thursday, September 17. Ahmed, an ILSP Research Fellow in 2014-2015, was remembered by HLS’ Noah Feldman in Bloomberg View: “He demonstrated, in his work and in his life, that it’s within the power of today’s Muslims to make rich and cosmopolitan meaning within their tradition—to embrace, not reject. His legacy should extend beyond the world of scholarship to the world of thought and belief and action and love.”
The ILSP September 2015 Updates newsletter is now available online. See what’s upcoming at ILSP in the new academic year!
His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Gebril, former Prime Minister of Libya will deliver an talk on “The Future of Arab Upheavals.” The event will be moderated by ILSP Faculty Affiliate Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School.
Organized by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and co-sponsored by the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School.
ILSP Faculty Affiliate Malika Zeghal, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life, will speak on “Is Tunisia a Secular State? Islam in the 2014 Tunisian Constitution.” The lecture takes place as part of the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar Series at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
French sociologist, historian, and legal scholar Patrick Weil will deliver a talk entitled, “After the Paris Attacks: What Future for French Society?” The event is co-sponsored by Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, Islamic Legal Studies Program, and Harvard European Law Association.
ILSP Director Intisar Rabb will be featured in an Author-Meets-Reader session at the American Society for Legal History annual meeting in late October. Rabb will discuss her recently published book, Doubt in Islamic Law A History of Legal Maxims, Interpretation, and Islamic Criminal Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
ILSP Director Kristen Stilt is featured in the September 8, 2015 edition of Harvard Law Today. Prof. Stilt discusses her work on the intersection of animals, law, and religion, including that of animals and Islamic law.
ILSP Faculty Affiliate Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, with co-authors Jason Brownlee and Andrew Reynolds, will discuss their book The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform. The event is hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and co-sponsored by the Middle East Initiative.
The Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP) at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce the position of Research Assistant for SHARIAsource—an online portal of resources and analysis on Islamic law, built with support from the Berkman Center and in cooperation with students and scholars of Islamic law and policy in the United States and around the world.
The Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP) at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce the position of part-time Research Editor for SHARIAsource—an online portal of resources and analysis on Islamic law, built with support from the Berkman Center and in cooperation with students and scholars of Islamic law and policy in the United States and around the world.
ILSP cordially invites Harvard University affiliates and friends to the Program’s annual Open House to learn about exciting new initiatives, find out how to become involved, and meet Directors Professors Intisar Rabb and Kristen Stilt, staff, and this year’s visiting fellows
Read the Harvard Law Today article on the Henry Luce Foundation’s $400,000 award to ILSP for the development of SHARIAsource, a project designed to be an online portal of resources and analysis on Islamic law and directed by Harvard Law School Professor Intisar A. Rabb.
The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded $400,000 over two years for the development of SHARIAsource, a project designed to be an online portal of resources and analysis on Islamic law and directed by Harvard Law School Professor Intisar A. Rabb. SHARIAsource is a joint project of Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
ILSP’s May 2015 newsletter is now available online. Catch up on news from the Spring semester and find out about upcoming plans for the next academic year.
Marzieh Tofighi Darian (LLM ’15) is the first winner of the ILSP Writing Prize on Islamic Law. Tofighi’s paper, “Jurisprudential Differences in Sunni Law and Shii Law and Their Impact on Constitutional Drafting and Design,” was chosen from among a strong field of submissions.
ILSP offers hearty congratulations to the more than 700 JD, LLM, and SJD students who graduated from Harvard Law School on May 28 amidst a full slate of Commencement activities. The Program has been fortunate to have known and worked with many of these young scholars in various capacities: student, research assistant, event organizer, and enthusiastic participant in Program activities. We offer our best wishes for success in the varied endeavors on which they now embark. Congratulations HLS Class of 2015!
ILSP Visiting Fellow Shahab Ahmed’s new book, What Is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, is forthcoming in November 2015 from Princeton University Press.
As the 2014-2105 academic year comes to a close, we will have a few pieces of exciting news to share: information on our new Visiting Fellows, the winner of the first ILSP Writing Prize, and a recap of the semester’s happenings in our Spring 2015 newsletter. Check back (or check your email!) for more on these over the next couple of months.
Muslim Advocates, in partnership with the New England Muslim Bar Association and Muslim Justice League, invites you to register now for our next Legal and Financial Educational Seminar for 501(c)(3) Nonprofits & Mosques. The event will feature top-level expert attorneys and accountants covering topics such as nonprofit governance, financial & accounting best practices, and more. We invite all board & executive committee members, imams, directors, senior staff, key volunteers, attorneys, and accountants to attend. Early Registration Closes Next Week.
ILSP Directors Intisar Rabb and Kristen Stilt presented at the 2015 Law and Society Program. The Program, organized by the Federal Judicial Center, hosts judges from around the US for three days of learning and discussion led by Harvard Law School professors.
Dörthe Engelcke, ILSP Visiting Fellow, will present “Reforming Contested Issues of Islamic Family Law: Morocco and Jordan Compared” at the Middle East Beyond Borders Graduate Student Workshop. Engelcke’s paper surveys a range of contested issues that were debated prior to the issuing of the 2004 Moroccan and the 2010 Jordanian family code, and the various legal suggestions made by state actors, secular feminists, as well as Islamists.
On Anarchy and Government: The Arab Fall in Libya. Dr. Ali Mihirig, former Libyan Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, will address Libya’s political transition and constitutional challenges post-revolution and its volatile path to democracy. April 15, 5:00 pm, Austin Hall 308 (Morgan Courtroom).
The HLS Christian Fellowship, Jewish Law Students Association, Muslim Law Students Association, Catholic Law Students Association, and Latter-Day Saints Student Association are hosting the 2nd Annual Harvard Law School Interfaith Conference on “Forgiveness and the Law.” There is no official conference registration—come for as much of the day as you can! Lunch and snacks will be served throughout the day.
ILSP will host a showing of “Bastards,” a documentary by award-winning film maker Deborah Perkin about a young Moroccan woman’s struggle to gain legal recognition for her illegitimate child. Following the film, a special Q&A session will be held with Perkin via Skype.
Open to Harvard University affiliates.
HLS 3L Paul Lee received an ILSP travel grant to fund his January-term research on Islamic securities regulation in Dubai. Lee has held several internships in the field and recently led a team of students writing a report on waqf for HLS’s Law and International Development Society. Check back soon to read the text of his research report when it become available.
The Islamic Legal Studies Program will host a workshop given by ILSP Visiting Fellow Dörthe Engelcke on March 11, from 2-3:30. Engelcke will present her research on family law in Morocco. Her abstract is provided below.
This workshop is open to all HLS and Harvard University affiliates. Please RSVP no later than March 6 to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend. The full paper will provided upon receipt of your message.
Our special coffee hour for HLS grad students has been rescheduled! This will be an informal gathering, with no agenda and no preparation necessary. At this event, we hope to provide an opportunity for LLM and SJD students, faculty, staff, and visiting fellows to get to know one another and exchange thoughts, ideas, and information about their interests—professional and otherwise.
Light refreshments will be provided.
Open to HLS graduate students.
Asma Jahagir (Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Partner, AGHS Law Associates; former President, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan; former Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan) will meet with interested students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday, March 4 for tea/coffee and discussion.
This event is open to members of the Harvard community by invitation only.
The Promise of Culturally-Specific Development: Using Islamic Finance to Grow Rule of Law in Afghanistan
The Islamic Legal Studies Program will be hosting a workshop given by ILSP Visiting Fellow Meagan Froemming on March 4, from 12-1. Froemming will present her research on Islamic finance in Afghanistan. This workshop is open to all HLS and Harvard University affiliates. Please RSVP no later than February 28 to email@example.com if you plan to attend. The full paper will provided upon receipt of your message. A light lunch will be available for attendees at 11:45.
The 2013–2014 ILSP Annual Report is available online (Click on the bottom corner to turn each page. To access the report if your device your device cannot use Flash Player, see the regular pdf here.) The report includes a summary of the year’s events, as well as information about plans for 2014–2015.
Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security
A talk by Sarah Chayes, with commentators Professor Matthew Stephenson and Professor Kristen Stilt.
The deadline to apply for an HLS travel grant for Winter Term 2015 has now passed. Check the website’s Student Grants page next fall for updated information. Congratulations to HLS third-year Paul D. Lee, winner of an ILSP travel grant for research on securities regulation in Dubai.
ILSP Co-Director Kristen Stilt met with the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Constitutional Drafting Commission, journalist and author Mohamed Salmawy, to discuss why the new Egyptian constitution includes a state commitment to animal welfare. Mr. Salmawy dedicated his weekly column in al-Masry al-Youm to their meeting.
On October 23, Deborah Amos, NPR International Correspondent, and Professor Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School, discussed the evolution and future of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The discussion was moderated by ILSP Co-Director Kristen Stilt. Read the Harvard Gazette’s account or watch a video of the event.
Venue: Wasserstein 1015
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 15, 7:30 pm.
ILSP’s Night at the Movies will show “A Separation,” winner of the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Open to Harvard affiliates.
Date and Time: Wednesday, Oct 15, 3:00–5:00 pm
Kim Scheppele of Princeton University will speak on “The Empire of Security and the Security of Empire,” as part of the International and Comparative Law Workshop. Open to HLS faculty, students and fellows.
Date and Time: Friday, Oct. 24, 3:00–5:00 pm
Tom Ginsburg (Leo Spitz Professor of International Law at University of Chicago Law School; Research Professor, American Bar Foundation) will be speaking on “Constitutional Islamization and Human Rights,” as part the International and Comparative Law Workshop.
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 1, 5:00-7:00 pm
“Autonomy, Freedom, and Islamic Law: The View from China,” a talk by Matthew Erie, Princeton University.
Date and Time: Wednesday, September 24, 5:00-7:00 pm
“The Sublime State Would Not Act Contrary to Shari’a and Contrary to Promises— An Early Debate on Islamic Law, Treaties, Childhood, and Apostasy.” A talk by Will Smiley, Princeton University.
Date and Time: TBD
Prof. Bryan Turner of the Australian Catholic University and CUNY will hold a lunch-time talk on sociology of Islamic legal pluralism.
Venue: Austin Hall 111, Harvard Law School campus
Date and Time: Thursday, October 23, 3:15-4:45 pm
A discussion with NPR International Correspondent Deborah Amos and Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman, moderated by Prof. Kristen Stilt.
A revitalized ILSP opened the academic year with two new Co-Directors and a wide variety of new programs, events, and opportunities to engage in program activities. Check this site often for updates!
ILSP’s groundbreaking project to-be: an online research portal for Islamic and comparative law for scholars and generally interested readers worldwide.
ILSP welcomes Visiting Fellows M. Shahab Ahmed, Dörthe Engelcke, and Meagan Froemming.
The deadline to apply for an ILSP Visiting Fellowship for 2015-2016 has now passed. Check back soon for an announcement of next year’s fellows! And look on the Fellowships page next spring for updated information on how to apply for 2016-2017.
A Question of Relative Need: British Colonial Legal Limitations of the Islamic Concept of Charity in Southeast Asia
Venue: S153, 1st Floor, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St.
Date and Time: Thursday, October 9, 4:00 pm
“A Question of Relative Need: British Colonial Legal Limitations of the Islamic Concept of Charity in Southeast Asia,” a lecture by Dr. Nurfadzilah Yahaya, Washington University, St. Louis.
Venue: Austin Hall 102, Harvard Law School campus
Date and Time: Monday, September 22, 4:00–6:00 pm
ILSP will hold its 2014 open house and reception on September 22. Faculty, staff, students, and friends are welcome to attend.
ILSP’s workshop on Islamic Family Law will be held February 12-13, 2015.