By Kamran Bokhari
Last week, two unrelated but noteworthy events took place. One was the execution of a convicted assassin in Pakistan on Feb. 29 and the other was the 92nd anniversary of the formal abolishing of the caliphate by the Turkish parliament. Both events symbolize the continuing struggle in the Muslim world between those who call for the rule of law and those seeking to implement Islamic Shariah law. This conflict will only intensify in the years and decades to come.
Defining the Law in the Islamic World
When the nation-state of Turkey succeeded the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, the new republic, under the leadership of its founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, rejected both religious law and dynastic rule. Over half a millennium before the Ottoman Empire emerged as the world’s most powerful Muslim polity during the 16th century, the caliphate had ceased to be an institution of any worth, as power rested in the hands of hereditary sultanates. This is