JISPIL Vol 12 Issue 1 2016 - Book Review

BOOK REVIEW
Islam and English Law: Rights, Responsibilities and the Place of Shari'a
Griffith-Jones, Robin Published: May 2013
ISBN: 9781107639874 Publisher: Cambridge University Press.
By Sairah Al-Qasim
 
Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of the Temple at the Temple Church (and Senior Lecturer in Theology, King’s College London) is renowned for his work on law and religion. Amongst his works are the much acclaimed public discussions on Islam and English Law, which began to much furor with Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams’ lecture in the Great Hall at the Royal Courts of Justice, on ‘Civil and religious law in England’171 on 7 February 2008. The subsequent media storm was extraordinary, placing the spotlight firmly on the place of Shari’a in the United Kingdom. Given this, and that Islam is now the second-largest religion in the England and Wales with over 2.7 million Muslims according to the 2011 census,172 this is a timely publication. Shari’a is not only a reference point for Muslims but has been thrust into the mainstream for all, by the success of areas such as Islamic Banking and Finance, which is now a multibillion dollar industry in the UK.173 Despite the frenzy created by the media, a fruitful and constructive debate has started amongst academics and legal scholars. This book is one of the few that candidly and very forthrightly deal with that debate. It does so with a great insight and knowledge to the very speech that set the ball rolling.

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