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1 Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines various aspects of sharīʿa debates in sub-Saharan Africa, carried out by Africans, both Muslims and Christians. The countries involved in the research have prior experience of sharīʿa for historical reasons in that, prior to European colonisation, they were either colonised by Muslim powers, for example the Coastal Strip of East Africa and Sudan, or were independent Muslim states, for example the Sokoto Caliphate in what is now Northern Nigeria. The September Laws were introduced by the Numayrī regime in 1983. Since the implementation of the September laws of 1983, Sudan has been a sharīʿa state. Islamic laws, including the application of corporal punishments, have been imposed on all Sudanese regardless of their religious affiliation. After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 the situation changed fundamentally: Southern Sudan is exempted from sharīʿa and Khartoum as the capital of the state enjoys a special status.

Keywords: Comprehensive Peace Agreement; European colonisation; Islamic laws; sharīʿa debates; Sudan



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