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There is a symbiotic relationship between law and violence. Legal systems legitimate violence at the same time as they punish and demand alternatives to violence. Violence in the law is thus both lawful and unlawful, both morally acceptable and morally reprehensible. What does Islamic law say about violence, either perpetrated by individuals or by the legal system itself? How does Islamic law, theoretically and in historical or contemporary instances, justify, enjoin, permit, or condemn violence, whether the violence is at the level of international relations, the state, society, communit(ies), or individuals?

The organizers of the V International Conference on Islamic Legal Studies are soliciting presentations that give insight into the question of how Islamic law and its legal systems relate and have related to violence and violent acts, in international, public, and private law. We are interested particularly in the legal-doctrinal regulation of violence (i.e., both the way Islamic law reacts to violence by penal and other sanctions and the legal use of violence by the state by way of punishment or war), discussions of fatwas, court cases, and other forms of legal practice that involve particular instances of violence, and the confrontation between social conflict and the rule of law.

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should clearly state the legal dimension of the topic, the topic's relationship to prior scholarship, and conclusions that are reached. Abstracts must be e-mailed, either in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment, to ilsp@law.harvard.edu, with as subject heading "V ILS conference". If sending an attachment, please avoid using uncommon fonts for transliteration, which may not be legible upon receipt. The e-mail should include the complete name, address, occupation, and work or university affiliation of the author. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is November 1st, 2005. Submissions after this date will not be accepted.

The International Society for Islamic Legal Studies (ISILS), set up in October 2004, is the formal organizer of these triennial ILS conferences. Membership in ISILS is for a three-year period, the first period comprising the years 2005-2007. Membership is $60 ($30 for full-time students, with proof of full-time student affiliation). To become a member of ISILS, which will allow one to attend and vote in the ISILS Business Meeting at each conference and will allow for a reduction of the conference registration fee, please send a cheque or money-order for the relevant amount to ISILS, c/o Peri Bearman, 1563 Mass Avenue, Pound Hall 501, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

For more information, contact Peri Bearman at :  pbearman@law.harvard.edu