Articles of interest
03rd April 2023
Book in Focus
Peace and Reconciliation in International and Islamic Law
By Kaleem Hussain
The war in Ukraine has highlighted the destabilisation that conflicts can create on our global order at a multitude of levels. These include key considerations around energy security, defence, military intervention, food price inflation and the role of NATO, as well as meeting the global climate change objectives.
We are living in an age where conflicts across multiple theatres around the world continue to impinge on the pathway towards peace and stability. Conflicts such as those in Syria and Yemen have been categorised as some of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history. International observers and political analysts use terms such as “Frozen Wars” or “Never-Ending Wars” when referring to such conflict hotspots, implying that the pathway towards peace seem highly uncertain.
The international rules-based order encompasses a range of norms, diplomatic conventions, treaties and supra-national institutions that play a pivotal role in the trajectory of how conflicts unfold. Intertwined in this global milieu is the oft-negated role of how religion interfaces with religious-based principles, which in turn state and non-state actors utilise in alignment or misalignment with sacred traditions in conflict theatres around the world.
Peace and Reconciliation in International and Islamic Law presents a lucid analysis, observing how the sources of international law and Islamic Law help or hinder the pathway towards peace and reconciliation in selected conflict theatres: namely, Afghanistan, Palestine-Israel and Kashmir. These theatres have been selected as the depiction, interpretation and understanding of Islamic law is often misconstrued and mis-represented across many mainstream media platforms, which leads to indignation from its normative faith adherents. Also, Islamic-based paradigms play a pivotal role in the day-to-day governance and social practices of these regions. Juxtaposed within this matrix, non-state actors use religion as a pretext to engage and partake in acts of aggression against the other. Peace and Reconciliation in International and Islamic Law decouples the narratives that are put forward by such actors using the litmus test of international law, Islamic Law and humanitarian norms.
The synergies and divergences between international law and Islamic Law are explored in tandem with an analysis of the applications and principles of international law and Islamic Law in practice in Afghanistan, Palestine-Israel and Kashmir.
The book also explores the role of religion and faith in the process of conflict resolution, de-escalation of violence, conflict transformation, as well as creative non-violent contributions that can be inculcated through the prism of interfaith and intra-faith dialogue in the peacebuilding process. Innovative and creative solutions are explored such as “Theo-Diplomacy”, which uses insight and wisdom from the great sacred faith traditions to determine their relevance and the role they can play in conflicts. As such, it can also be used in facilitating the pathway towards peace and reconciliation in accordance with the tenets of the international rules-based order, humanitarian norms and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The book will be of interest to any academic, researcher, diplomat, security analyst, geo-political observer, practitioner or peacebuilder who is keen to understand at a deeper level how the principles of international law and Islamic law interface with each other vis-à-vis the realpolitik reality considerations that govern the international rules-based order and how the two systems can be synchronised and used in practice in selected circumstances by attempting to de-escalate problems and restore harmony.
Kaleem Hussain is a British writer, multi-disciplinary change management consultant and geo-political observer with an interest in the intersection of religion in public life, politics and international relations as well as programmes and initiatives fostering peaceful coexistence and reconciliation at a national and international level. He is an Honorary Fellow at the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham, UK and at The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (Muslim Heritage), UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Global Diplomatic Forum Alumnus, and a Risk Assistance Network Exchange (RANE) Analyst. He completed his LLB Law (Honours), LLM in International Economic Law at the University of Warwick and a PDLGM at Warwick Business School, UK.
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