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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Analyzed in the context of the protracted sharia crisis that dominated Nigeria’s fourth attempt at civil democratic government (the Fourth Republic), this chapter provides historical, political, and constitutional context for the challenges posed by expanded sharia to modern governance in Nigeria. Drawing on a distinctive interdisciplinary perspective that engages entrenched traditional structures in Muslim Northern Nigeria, the chapter underscores the challenges of modern governance in this critical region of the country. Specifically, the chapter discusses how the expanded sharia policies of twelve northern Nigerian Muslim states are not only embedded in Islamic structures, practices, doctrines, and discourse in the region, but also reflect fierce contestations for state power among Nigeria’s ethno-regional political classes. Finally, the chapter analyzes the implications of expanded sharia for Nigeria’s modern constitutional development that seek to advance liberal traditions such as civil rights, state rights, freedom of religion, and secularism.

Keywords: sharia, Islam, constitution, civil rights, secularism, colonial rule, postcolonial state

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