Paperbacks: Heaven on Earth By Sadakat Kadri
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Saturday 29 December 2012
Learned and wise, a leading lawyer's "journey through Shari'a law" must be read by anyone who seeks an informed view on Islam's legal traditions and their role today.
From Cordoba to Cairo, Lahore to Deoband, our guide – son of a father from the broad Barelvi strain of Islam - shows that the cruel cartoon Shari'a pushed by the militants owes more to human vanity than divine will. In scope and subtlety, Islamic law "outshone Christendom" for centuries. But Kadri warns that mortals always fail "when they play God in the here-and-now". That goes for us all.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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