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International Law and ReligionHistorical and Contemporary Perspectives$
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Martti Koskenniemi, Mónica García-Salmones Rovira, and Paolo Amorosa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805878.001.0001

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From Imperial to Dissident

From Imperial to Dissident

Approaches to Territory in Islamic International Law

(p.239) 11 From Imperial to Dissident
International Law and Religion

Nahed Samour

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that contexts and interpretations of Islamic International Law have shifted from imperial to dissident, and that the imperial-dissident divide is a necessary frame for assessing Islamic international law as a legal system today. Core legal concepts of territorial acquisition through conquest were elaborated at a time that laid the foundations for Islamic Empires. Importantly, the laws of territorial conquest were linked to the laws of property, taxation and trusts, which were key in keeping conquered territory divided or united. Conceptional interpretations shifted from the imperial to the dissident when territory was not to be acquired but later on defended against conflicting legal orders permitting foreign domination. This historic, paradigmatic shift from a law with a formerly imperial character to law as dissent might explain some of the existing dissonances within Islamic International law as well as between Islamic international law and prevailing understandings of international law.

Keywords:   territory, Islam, empire, conquest, colonialism, property, taxation, land

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