I’ll go out on a limb and say liberal academia will whitewash the true nature of Sharia law.

MONTANA — Earlier this semester, Jeff Renz, a law professor at The University of Montana, appeared on a conservative radio show to discuss the myths and realities of Islamic law. Accompanying him to Missoula’s KVGO studio were UM professor Mehrdad Kia and Robert Seidenschwarz, president of the World Affairs Council of Montana.

According to Renz, the talk stirred up a fair amount of debate.

“It was an interesting conversation,” he said. “A lot of the myths were repeated and we talked about those as well as a lot of the accuracies that are negative.”

The appearance was a launching pad for Renz, who plans to expand the conversation this fall semester by teaching an Islamic law class at UM.

This development adds UM to the growing number of American universities offering classes on Islamic law, ranging from the University of Minnesota to Yale. Islamic law, also known as Shariah law, guides the daily behavior and actions of Muslims while influencing the legal code of Islamic countries.

The three-credit class, ANTY 491, will meet three times a week and is open to UM undergraduate, graduate and law students. Renz said the course will examine the development of Islam along with the four principles of Islamic jurisprudence and will address the challenges of applying Sharia law in the 21st century.

Renz said Shariah law is not monolithic and that legal codes vary from one Muslim country to another and are often intertwined with tribal law.

“The most important thing they’ll learn is that what people perceive to be Islamic law is really local and national law rationalized, and falsely rationalized, by reference to the Quran,” he said.

HT: Daniel D.

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