Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law
This book is important because it is: Unique. "Heaven on Earth" offers a critique of extremism that is human rights-based and entertaining - combining the comparative approach of Karen Armstrong and the immediacy of Ed Husain ("The Islamist") with storytelling. Timely. At a time of veil bans, Qur'an burnings and English Defence League protests, Kadri voices a liberal view of Islamic history and shows Muslims working against repression. This book explains up-to-the-minute brutalities. Epic. Interviews, anecdotes, personal reflection and analysis are set against a narrative that sweeps from seventh-century Mecca to the war in Afghanistan. Civilisations are evoked via the vivid lives of caliphs, mystics, and travellers. Legal changes are described through the feuds, courtroom dramas, conquests and cataclysms that have left their mark on modern Islamic law. First-hand. On the road for five months, Kadri travelled through Iran just before the June 2009 election protests, and took part in a human rights conference there with ayatollahs and academics. Eye-opening. This book goes beyond the explosive headline issues (criminal justice, women, jihad, religious freedom) to reveal the stranger ones: genie exorcisms; the legal consequences of premature ejaculation; online fatwa advice; the sharia approach to Facebook and Qur'anic mobile phone ringtones, etc. Bold. "Heaven on Earth" primarily targets religious extremism, but also cuts anti-Muslim panic down to size.
A timely and eye-opening investigation into one of the most disputed but least understood topics of recent times - the history and reality of shari'a law.
Brilliant and illuminating -- Boris Johnson Mail on Sunday Greatly enriches our understanding of a much misunderstood subject Sunday Times Erudite and instructive The Times First-rate Guardian [A] lively, yet scholarly, book... Kadri is an ideally positioned guide Daily Telegraph
Half-Finnish and half-Pakistani, Sadakat Kadri was born in London in 1964. He graduated with a first in history and law from Trinity College, Cambridge, and after taking a master's degree at Harvard Law School qualified as a barrister and New York attorney. He has been attached to London's Doughty Street Chambers since the mid-1990s, and has worked on human rights issues in several overseas jurisdictions, including Turkey and parts of the Middle East. His last book was The Trial: A History from Socrates to O.J. Simpson, he is a past winner of the Spectator/Shiva Naipaul travel writing prize, and before setting off to research the sharia, he wrote a regular column on legal questions for the New Statesman.