Description - International Review of Comparative Public Policy: Volume 9 by Nicholas Mercuro
In Islamic states the process of definition and the source of legitimacy of public policy is complex and potentially more controversial than in secular states. This complexity arises from applying the interpretations of the divine law, the Shari'a, to contemporary social issues. The Shari'a is the code of social conduct and the means of regulating social discourse as well a social change. Since definition of the Shari'a is itself a matter of interpretation, two fundamental issues arise. First, what is the legitimate source and process of interpretation of the precepts of Islamic law, the Shari'a? And second, how are the specific dictums of the Shari'a affected by the fundamental changes in the social and technological circumstances of life? The rise of Islamic revivalism in the past decades has added new dimensions to this politico-theological issues. The problem has evolved into the more fundamental questions of "what is Islam?" and "whose Islam?" frequently asked by Muslim revivalists groups themselves, who claim that theirs is the "true Islam".
Each article in this volume concerns itself with the theoretical and practical applications of a major issue in public policy, and with the controversies that may exist on the interpretation of Islamic precepts on the topic. In this respect, this volume is planned to be a cohesive and integrated collection, seeking to reflect the difference in methodological approaches of various authors.
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