Islam: Modernizing Mohammed's Law

At the same time that Roman Catholic canon lawyers were putting together their reform proposals, another group of ecclesiastical legal experts—the ulema (scholars) of Islam—was meeting in Cairo to update the Sharia, or code of spiritual rules, which governs their own ancient faith. Since the Sharia is based exclusively upon Mohammed's words in the Koran and the equally authoritative oral tradition of his deeds and sayings, the ulema had a tougher task adapting its provisions to fit the changes in modern life.

Although Moslem women in such countries as Tunisia and Lebanon are...

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