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Islamic constitutionalism and rule of law: a constitutional economics perspective

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  • Moamen Gouda

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    Abstract

    This study investigates the relationship between Islamic constitutionalism and rule of law. Al Azhar, one of the most respected Sunni religious institutions in the world, developed a model of an Islamic constitution. This study uses Al-Azhar’s constitution as a model of Islamic constitutionalism and examines its stance in regard to the rule of law. We find the Al-Azhar’s constitution to be incompatible with essential concepts of rule of law. For example, the powers vested in the head of the Islamic state are enormous, making the executive branch of government far superior to the legislative and judicial branches. Women and non-Muslims are explicitly discriminated against throughout the constitution. Moreover, laws stemming from this constitution are not stable since many differences exist among schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). Consequently, we show that state-of-the-art Islamic constitutionalism lacks essential components needed in any constitution based on rule of law. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-012-9132-5
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 57-85

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:24:y:2013:i:1:p:57-85

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866

    Related research

    Keywords: Constitutionalism; Rule of Law; Shari’a; Islam; Constitution; H10; H11; K30; K39; Z12;

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
    2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    4. repec:cto:journl:v:18:y:1998:i:2:p: is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:
    1. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Policies against Human Trafficking: The Role of Religion and Political Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4278, CESifo Group Munich.

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