Articles on Islamic law

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This term ‘jihad’ can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

So, what really is jihad?

Violent radicals are often described as jihadists. A scholar explains what the word means and why those using the word to justify terrorism are often misrepresenting their sources.
Conservative lawmakers in dozens of U.S. states have raised fears that Islamic fundamentalists want to impose Sharia on Americans. Reuters/David Ryder

Don’t blame Sharia for Islamic extremism – blame colonialism

There is no inherent tension between Islam and democratic values. Like any use of religion in politics, the application of Sharia as law depends on who is using it – and why.
A Muslim family breaks fast during the month of Ramadan. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

What are halal foods?

Food plays an integral role during the 30-day period of Ramadan. This Speed Read explains how Muslims determine what foods are 'halal,' an Arabic word that means 'permissible.'
The 1979 Iranian revolution wasn’t purely Islamic but the clerics, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, made it so to consolidate their power. BockoPix/Flickr

Religious backlash loosens clerics’ grip on legacy of 1979 Iranian Revolution

Reformists are calling for the emancipation of religion from a state that's seen to exploit Islam for purposes of political power. This remains the most formidable challenge to Iran’s ruling clergy.
Islam is a rich and varied religion. EPA/Sanjeev Gupta

Why is Islam so different in different countries?

Since Islam is predicated on law, variations in the interpretation of that law – along with geography and distinct legal schools – have all contributed to differences in the religion.
The moderate majority of Muslims need to claim Islam as a religion of peace to counter the loud voices of extremists. AAP/Nikki Short

Muslims need to counter violent jihadists’ claim to represent Islam

A struggle is underway for the heart and soul of Islam. Moderate Muslims need to engage in the contest to ensure their view of Islam is the one that prevails.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as self-declared caliph, seeks to exploit the historical resonance of the caliphate for a brutal present-day cause. EPA/Furqan Media

Caliphate, a disputed concept, no longer has a hold over all Muslims

The Caliphate has inspired disputes among Muslims for centuries, but attempts at revival in modern times are unlikely to succeed. Most of the world's Muslims would not accept its authority over them.
Islamic dietary law requires that certain methods be used when preparing meat, such as that a Muslim be the one butchering the animal. Reuters

Regulating the sacred: why the US halal food industry needs better oversight

For many Muslims, adherence to Islamic dietary laws, known as halal, is an intrinsic part of their everyday lives. Even those who are relatively lax with other rituals of the faith tend to adhere to halal…
Ever since arriving in Canberra in July, Senator Jacqui Lambie has had the media in a spin. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A Lambie loose in the top paddock of Parliament

If a movie is ever made about the life of the well-known PUP senator from Tasmania, we can be sure it won’t be titled “Silence of the Lambie”. After a little over two months in public life, quiet and stillness…

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