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The 1979 Iranian constitution, with Ayatollah Khomeini as it's first supreme leader, reframed the concept of the Arab state. Photo: Georgis Kolidas, Shutterstock The 1979 Iranian constitution, with Ayatollah Khomeini as it's first supreme leader, reframed the concept of the Arab state. Photo: Georgis Kolidas, Shutterstock

Chapter 10 – Constitutional Islam

Genealogies, transmissions and meanings

The incorporation of references to Islam and Islamic law in modern constitutions is now a well-recognized phenomenon. More than twenty nations provide that Islam is the religion of the state (which I call the Islamic “establishment clause”), slightly fewer declare that the Islamic Sharia or its principles are a source or even the main source of legislation (which I call the “source of law clause”), even fewer declare that the nation is an “Islamic state” (which I call the “Islamic state clause”), and some make explicit the idea that laws that conflict with Sharia, however that may be interpreted, are invalid (which I call the “repugnancy clause”)1

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