Few images attached to Islam and to the Islamic legal tradition (the Sharia) in particular are more often and more disturbingly sensationalized than that of the stoning punishment. In her riveting new book Shari'ah on Trial: Northern Nigeria's Islamic Revolution
(University of California Press, 2017), Sarah Eltantawi
, Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion at Evergreen State College, offers a dazzlingly nuanced and lucid account of the past and present of the stoning punishment in Northern Nigeria. Effortlessly moving between pre-modern and contemporary archives and contexts, Eltantawi traces the shifting meanings and political projects that have been invested into the stoning punishment over time. Historically grounded, theoretically exciting, and lucidly composed, this book is sure to spark important conversations and debates in multiple fields. It will also make a wonderful text for undergraduate and graduate seminars for courses on Islam, Islamic Law, Gender and Sexuality, and on Islam in Africa.
SherAli Tareen is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available at https://fandm.academia.edu/SheraliTareen/. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listener feedback is most welcome.