Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Heaven on Earth: A Journey through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), by Sadakat Kadri
Shari'a law has become the panic button for fools—the sort of people who believe in death panels and fear the black helicopters of One World Government—as well as the hobbyhorse of Islamic fundamentalists. In Heaven on Earth, Sadakat Kadri (an American-educated British barrister of Pakistani heritage) explores the evolution of Islamic law and finds it inseparable from the religion's history. In other words, Shari'a has always been contentious among Muslims, subject to development and radically divergent interpretations. An elegantly composed model for writing cultural and intellectual history, Heaven on Earth explodes the nation of the Muslim world as a monolith and Islamic tradition as unchanging. Sadly, fools of all persuasions will probably never read it.