New open-access article by Reed Taylor, published in Religions (6:2)
In this paper, I argue that the implementation of syariah is best understood as a heterotopia by women in Aceh, Indonesia. The current debates over the role of syariah for women in Acehnese society focus on either a secular human rights critique of non-liberal norms that restrict the rights and freedom of women or a religiously prescribed defense of communal norms that protect women and society. Based on interviews, I identify three variants of how women conceive of and inhabit syariah in Aceh. Two of these variants are underrepresented in the current academic literature on syariah in Aceh. Two key distinctions are drawn between blueprint and iconoclastic utopian thought and state-centric and non-state-centric models of political legitimacy. Rethinking syariahas a “socio-spatial dialectic” allows for all three variants of syariah existing simultaneously as a heterotopia in Acehnese society.
Taylor, R. (2015) ‘Syariah as Heterotopia: Responses from Muslim Women in Aceh, Indonesia’ Religions 6 (2) open-access
12 May 2015