Applying shari’a in modern times: Some insights from nineteenth-century Egypt
Conférence donnée par Khaled Fahmy (Professeur d’études arabes modernes, Université de Cambridge).
Organisée par le GIS Moyen Orient et mondes musulmans avec le soutien de la Fondation de l’Islam de France et de l’IISMM – Responsables : Ziad Bou Akl (Centre Jean Pépin, CNRS-ENS), Ismail Warscheid (IRHT/CNRS)
For the past half century, implementing sharia has been a rallying cry for Islamist groups throughout the Muslim world. Judging the legal systems of various Muslim-majority countries to have been imposed by colonial powers and/or Westernized legal and political elites, many Islamists have been calling for a return to what they believe was an authentic, legal system – the shari’a. However, there is little understanding of what this shari’a consisted of or how it was applied in Muslim countries before the Western onslaught. This lecture looks at a particular historical case, that of nineteenth-century Egypt, to see how precisely shari’a was applied in the field of criminal law, and asks if secularization is the best way to explain the process by which criminal law changed in a time of profound political and social transformation.