Muslims and politics in Kenya: the issue of the Kadhis' Courts in the Constitution review process

Kadhis' Courts applying Islamic Law of personal status have been established on the East African Coast for almost two centuries and were entrenched in the Constitution of Kenya at independence in 1963. When a process of constitutional review started at the end of the 1990s, the existence of the...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of Muslim minority affairs
Main Author: Cussac, Anne
Format: Print Article
Language:English
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Published: Routledge 2008
In: Journal of Muslim minority affairs
Further subjects:B Islamic law
B Constitutional reform
B Kenya
B Constitutional amendment
B Muslim
Description
Summary:Kadhis' Courts applying Islamic Law of personal status have been established on the East African Coast for almost two centuries and were entrenched in the Constitution of Kenya at independence in 1963. When a process of constitutional review started at the end of the 1990s, the existence of these institutions, however, became the subject of heated debates. Although Muslims and Christians had been collaborating to lead the call for reforms, their relationships deteriorated as they disagreed on the status that should be given to the Kadhis' Courts in the future Constitution. On the one hand, some Muslim individuals and organizations became very involved in the review process, in order to, among other things, get the assurance that the provisions on their courts would be maintained in the proposed new text. On the other hand, some Christians denounced the legal acknowledgment of these institutions on the basis that this was discriminatory. Finally, when a compromise was reached, the Kadhis' Courts were still mentioned in the proposed Constitution, but neither the Muslims nor the Christians were satisfied. This was probably one of the several reasons that led to the rejection of the text at the referendum organized in November 2005. (J Muslim Minor Aff/GIGA)
ISSN:1360-2004
Contains:In: Journal of Muslim minority affairs