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Conference: Legal Perspectives on Islam and Europeanization, Denmark

October 4, 2019

This conference is for researchers, lawyers, judges, law students and others, who are interested in the legal aspects of Islam in Europe.

During the conference, six leading scholars from around Europe will discuss how Islamic law and other Islamic norms are being used in Europe and how the European legal systems are responding to it.

This will include looking at the underlying needs of the Muslim populations in Europe, as well as how they are currently applying Islamic law and legal practices in Europe, e.g. in relation to marriage. The conference will also focus on which legal problems have arisen out of these practices, and how European lawyers, judges, and politicians can either help solve these problems or exacerbate the tensions. Furthermore, the conference will include a talk on how the European Court of Human Rights have responded to Islam across Europe, as well as a talk about the possibilities of using Islamic finance in Europe, especially in the Nordic countries, where this has so far been hindered by legal obstacles.

The six speakers will be Prof. Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali (UK and Pakistan), Prof. Dr. Maurits Berger (Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Torkel Brekke (Norway), Prof. Dr. Marie-Claire Foblets (Belgium and Germany), Senior Research Fellow Dr. Effie Fokas (Greece) and Prof. Dr. Werner Menski (UK).

Prof. Dr. Hanne Petersen, CECS (Center for European and Comparative Legal Studies) will chair the conference.

Danish researchers will comment on the talks and bring perspectives from their own research.

The conference organizers believe that the conference will be highly relevant for legal practitioners. The legal regulation of Islamic practices has been hotly debated among Danish politicians, and experiences can be learned from other countries. Similarly, in an increasing number of Danish court cases one or both parties have used rules from Islamic law. A greater understanding of the issues in this regard is therefore relevant for legal practitioners. The question of the importance and influence of Islamic norms and practices in Europe lies in the intersection between the perceived unity of the law and the demand from minorities to be treated equally and be reasonably accommodated. This fruitful, but still undetermined, field will also make the conference highly relevant for the research community. The multidisciplinary approach of the speakers, who are researching both Islam and European law, have led to many new interesting findings and can inspire further research.

The conference is organized by Mikele Schultz-Knudsen (PhD-student, researching the use of Islamic law in Denmark), Malthe Hilal-Harvald (PhD-student, researching the regulation of Islamic practices in Europe), Kumm Sabba Mirza (PhD, researching honour-related crimes) in cooperation with Hanne Petersen, professor of legal cultures.