Hastings Law Journal


Wael B. Hallaq


In this Lecture, it is argued that a significant factor behind the recent rise of so-called Islamic "fundamentalism," in both of its violent and nonviolent forms, is the structural uprooting of the Islamic legal institutions during the middle of the nineteenth century and thereafter (a factor neglected by analysts). When the colonialist powers induced western legal "reforms" that came to displace traditional and indigenous Islamic law, little did they realize that such a process of aggressive change was in the long run to lead to both brutal military dictatorships (during the past half century) and, more recently, to violent reactions in the heart of western commercial and political power. The current U.S. foreign policies toward the Muslim world, it is furthermore argued, can only nourish these reactions.

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