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SHAHBAZ AHMAD CHEEMA, Punjab University - Law College Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This article explores different facets of women's contribution to gender discourse of the Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan. Their contribution is demonstrative of the fact that they want to live a life as honorable human beings while observing their religious responsibilities.
Sixty years on, the Hertogh litigation (1950-51) continues to resonate in the Malay-Muslim world. The person on whom the courts focussed was a 13 year-old girl, ‘Maria’ in her Dutch-Christian persona and ‘Nadra’ in her Muslim reincarnation. The Singapore Court at the time was bound by wholly inappropriate law to decide which of her two religious identities was the correct one for determining custody and validity of marriage. There was, in fact, no ‘right’ answer and Maria/Nadra suffered the consequences. This essay describes the litigation, the result of which (apart from personal tragedies) was a complete loss of trust by Singapore Muslims in the post-war colonial legal system. The issue of trust is of vital importance and has recently re-appeared in Malaysian syariah. The issue there is exactly the same – what law determines the legal identity of women and children whose religious identity is uncertain as, for example, in circumstances of apostasy and conversion. The Malaysian answers are inconsistent and in the view of many (both Muslim and non-Muslim) are bidding fair to allow, or even encourage, distrust of the law and the courts. The subject itself, the personal status of women and children, is always crucial in Muslim societies, as is the question of who decides the appropriate law and determines its effects for daily life. In this respect the Hertogh litigation lives on and we ignore its historical lessons at our peril.
Mindanao, the second largest island grouping in the Philippine archipelago, has experienced lengthy conflict over land, resources, and identity. It is the only island grouping with a large Muslim population, while the rest of the country is predominantly Christian. Territorial conflict in Mindanao began in the sixteenth century, when Spain conquered northern Mindanao and a small part of southern Mindanao from the sultanates or royal kingdoms of Sulu and Maguindanao. After years of revolts, the Philippine war for independence from Spain broke out in 1898. This was overtaken later that year by the Spanish-American War, which resulted in America’s purchase of the Philippines from Spain. Mindanao was subdued by American forces, but conflict between the Moros and American-sponsored Christian migrant settlers and workers from other islands continued, resulting in laws legalizing confiscation of lands owned by the Moros, large-scale land acquisitions (also referred to as land grabbing), and prejudice against and marginalization of the Moros. After Philippine independence from American rule in 1946, temporary calm ensued. However, in the 1960s, conflict resumed between Moros and Christian settlers, giving rise to a secessionist movement. In the 1970s, a war of independence was launched by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Twenty years of negotiation, beginning with the Tripoli Agreement in 1976 and culminating in a second peace agreement in 1996, put a temporary stop to the conflict. In 2008, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), which marked a significant step in the Moro quest for a homeland by setting up the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). Publication of the proposed area of the BJE sparked vehement public opposition, however, because the territory overlapped with non-Muslim regions and was determined without consultation of affected Christian communities. The Supreme Court ruled in Province of North Cotabato v. GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) that this entity violated the constitution. This chapter discusses the complex legal framework for resolving the struggle over land and natural resources in Mindanao. It demonstrates how conflicting laws and policies inherited from colonial regimes have added another layer of complexity to the conflict and made the achievement of lasting peace more difficult. A comprehensive understanding of such frameworks is crucial in preventing a return to conflict and achieving stable political and social regimes in post-conflict countries. The chapter is organized as follows: The first part reviews the relationship between the legal framework and the land conflict in Mindanao; the second part reviews the historical roots of the conflict. The third discusses the peace agreements and the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); the fourth discusses the passage of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and its impacts on the legal framework; and the fifth discusses critical land issues arising from the 2008 MOA-AD. The chapter concludes by reviewing lessons learned.
This paper analyses an important series of episodes in politico-legal history of Pakistan from a particular perspective. It is generally contended by Islamic religious discourses that whatever has been presented by them that is the only authentic manifestation of the divine sources, i.e. the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. The paper problematizes the above contention and argues that the link between the divine sources and its human interpretations is not so straight forward. Without denying or undermining the role of the divine sources, it is argued that there are many factors which help formulate the authentic stances of the religious discourses and one of them is socio-political context of a particular discourse. To substantiate the above argument, the paper analyses the gender discourse of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan. The analysis underscores the relevance and scope of those socio-political factors which have played a significant role in construction of authentic stances of the Jamaat-i-Islami’s gender discourse at different stages of its formation.
The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) of Pakistan has been granted extensive power to determine validity of any law or custom having the force of law on the yardstick of ‘injunctions of Islam’. It is the original jurisdiction of the court. This paper explores the scope of ‘injunctions of Islam’ as construed by the FSC along with its implications on the constitutional system of Pakistan. Although it is an important jurisdiction having many implications for the role of Islam and its introduction into the legal system by judicial pronouncements, the irony of this jurisdiction is that it’s very foundation, i.e. ‘injunctions of Islam’ has not been defined precisely by the Constitution of Pakistan. Leaving this important phrase undefined, the Constitution has abdicated its task to the FSC. Hence, the court has to give a connotation to the ‘injunctions of Islam’ in order to exercise its jurisdiction. The paper posits that the court’s exercise of jurisdiction in this regard is somewhat ambivalent and amounting to interference in the tasks assigned to other constitutional courts.