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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Inventions and Reinventions of Sharia in African History and the Recent Experiences of Nigeria, Somalia and Mali

  • Author(s): Lydon, Ghislaine
  • et al.

This essay provides a reflection on how the concept of “sharia” has been re-invented in recent African history. It sketches the history of Islamic legal practice among African Muslims, with a particular focus on women's rights and the question of adultery (zinā), in an effort to place in context contemporary events in Nigeria, Somalia and Mali. Its overarching conclusion is that the recent actions by extreme Muslims groups in Africa, in the name of so-called sharia, are far removed from the spirit of Islamic law.

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