Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2009

Publication Citation

16 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 681 (2009)


In today's world, nation-states do not operate in isolation. Rather, the myriad global organizations and cross-border treaties evidence that the post-World War II political climate is one of interconnectedness and cooperation between states. Against this backdrop, this Note surveys the tension between the current global world order and a strict adherence to traditional source-based application of Islamic law, Shari'a. The tension begins with the concept of statehood, seemingly absent in traditional Islam, and continues with the Islamic unification of religion and state and its limited role for a political leader. Using Iran as an example, this Note argues that political reality has interfered with the strict application of Shari'a thus enabling the Islamic state to engage in the global society. It is this inherent tension that, despite claims to the contrary, limits an Islamic state's ability in today's global society to truly return to "traditional Islam."