Sharia in America

Sharia in America: Confirmed Panelists


Michael J. Broyde (Emory University School of Law) – Jewish Law. Professor Broyde will discuss what the development of Jewish Law and Jewish law arbitration courts in the United States can teach practitioners of Islamic Law. Michael J. Broyde is professor of law at Emory University School of Law and the academic director of its Law and Religion Program. Professor Broyde is ordained (yorehyorehve-yadinyadin) as a rabbi by Yeshiva University and is a member (dayan) of the Beth Din of America, the largest Jewish law court in America. Professor Broyde is the founding rabbi of the Young Israel synagogue in Atlanta, a founder of the Atlanta Torah MiTzionkollel study program, and a board member of many organizations in Atlanta.  Professor Broyde has published more than seventy-five articles and book chapters on various aspects of law and religion, including Jewish law and federal courts. Professor Broyde has authored and edited several volumes, including among others: Human Rights in Judaism, Marriage, Divorce and the Abandoned Wife in Jewish Law: A Conceptual Understanding of the Agunah Problems in America, and Marriage, Sex and Family in Judaism. He received his J.D. from New York University and also clerked for Judge Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Mohammad Fadel  (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law)  Mohammad H. Fadel is the professor of Religion and the Liberal State: The Case of Islam. He joined the Faculty of Law in January 2006. He received his B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs (1988), a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (1995) and his J.D. from the University of Virginia (1999). While at the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Fadel was a John M. Olin Law and Economics Scholar and Articles Development Editor of the Virginia Law Review.  Prior to law school, Professor Fadel completed his Ph.D in Chicago, where he wrote his dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law. Professor Fadel was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. In addition, Professor Fadel served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history.

Umar F. Moghul (University of Connecticut School of Law, Murtha Cullina LLP) Umar F. Moghul practices in the realm of banking & finance, private equity and real estate.  Mr. Moghul has represented an array of financial institutions, businesses, joint ventures and high net worth individuals (many of which operate per Islamic principles), in a variety of cutting-edge financing and investment transactions. His legal practice also encompasses counseling financial institutions with respect to their obligations under the USA Patriot Act. In the realm of real estate, Mr. Moghul’s practice has included the establishment of real estate investment funds (both onshore and offshore), joint ventures and one-off financing transactions; novel Islamic warehouse and table funding financing transactions; and the design and documentation of novel Islamic residential and commercial financing products. Mr. Moghul’s corporate and private equity practice includes the establishment of a variety of onshore and offshore investment fund structures and advising on leveraged buyouts and growth equity transactions with targets in the services, healthcare, technology and energy sectors. Mr. Moghul has published several articles and has spoken at numerous forums regarding Islamic law and Islamic finance. He is a lecturer in law at the University of Connecticut School of Law where he teaches Islamic law. Mr. Moghul earned his J.D. from Temple University and his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Asifa Quraishi (University of Wisconsin Law School) – Family Law. Professor Quraishi will summarize the ways in which Islamic family law has been addressed in American courtrooms, and why continuing to accommodate this phenomenon does not threaten our secular democracy. Asifa Quraishi specializes in comparative Islamic and U.S. constitutional law. Professor Quraishi has served as a Public Delegate to the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, the Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and as advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.  She is currently on the governing boards of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML), Muslim Advocates, the Journal of Law and Religion, and the Section on Islamic Law for the Association of American Law Schools. Her recent publications include articles on comparative legal theory, Islamic criminal law, and Muslim family law in U.S. courts. Currently, she is working on a theory of contemporary Islamic constitutionalism, for which she received a national Carnegie Scholar grant. She holds a doctorate from Harvard Law School and degrees from Columbia Law School, the University of California at Davis, and the University of California at Berkeley, and served as law clerk in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Sadiq Reza (New York Law School) – Criminal Law. Professor Reza will argue that there is no interest among American Muslims in implementing “sharia” criminal law in the U.S., and that it would be impossible to do so under Islamic legal theory as well as U.S. constitutional law. A scholar and teacher of criminal law and procedure (American, comparative, and Islamic) at New York Law School, Sadiq Reza is a former public defender in Washington, D.C., and award-winning teacher at Harvard in courses on Islam and the modern Middle East. Professor Reza’s current scholarship focuses on criminal law and procedure under Islamic law in the countries of today’s Muslim world. He was named a Carnegie Scholar for his project identifying rules of criminal procedure in classical and modern Islamic jurisprudence. Professor Reza was educated at Princeton University and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He clerked for the Hon. Stanley A. Weigel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Kristen Stilt (Northwestern University School of Law) – Constitutional Law. Professor Stilt will address the recent “anti-Sharia” legislation in Oklahoma and other states. Kristen Stilt specializes in Islamic law in classical formulations and modern interpretations. Professor Stilt practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Moscow, Russia offices before receiving her Ph.D. in Islamic history from Harvard University. She is an associate professor of law with a joint appointment in the Department of History at Northwestern. Her book, entitled Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt, has been published recently by Oxford University Press. She has received grants from Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, the American Research Center in Egypt, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Carnegie Corporation. Professor Stilt received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, where she served as an associate editor of the Texas Law Review and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law.

Frank E. Vogel is an independent scholar and consultant on Islamic law and the laws of the Muslim world. He taught Islamic law at Harvard Law School for 20 years, holding the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chair. In 1991, he founded that law school’s Islamic Legal Studies Program, serving as Director until 2006. He has written extensively on Islamic finance, including the basic reference Islamic Law and Finance: Religion, Risk, and Return (1998). He frequently consults on Islamic finance and on Islamic law in Muslim countries.