Finished International Conference on Islamic Trust Studies: Translation and Transformation in Muslims’ Connectivity (Nov. 26–27)


Category: Symposium

Research Group: A02 Islamic Thought & KnowledgeB02 Thought & Strategy

Objectives of the Symposium

The conference examines the connectivity of Muslim behavior, particularly through law and human relations. We would like to clarify how Muslims interpret and prescribe the relationship between people and the state according to the law, human relations within the family, and the relationship found in gender in Islamic education, and what wisdom is used to enable strategic responses in doing so.

One of the main topics of the conference is that the translation of Islamic knowledge could play its role in legal affairs, particularly conflict resolutions. In other words, in the process of the development/expansion of Islam, the Sharia law was, more or less, incorporated into the vernacular legal codes. There are cases that Arabic legal terms were directly borrowed in the vernacular languages. In this relation, three speakers will talk about the cases in the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire (conflicts with the Qing China), and modern Indonesia.

While the transmission of ideas through translation greatly contributes to the transnational and ethnic ties among Muslims, there are various dynamics toward coexistence among Muslims in actual social life, both in terms of relations among Muslims and between Muslims and non-Muslims. While their value standards are in line with Islam, is there any room for strategy in their codes of conduct? This session will examine the various aspects of activities among Muslims in Muslim and non-Muslim societies to examine the connectivity that contemporary Muslims seek to have in building relationships of trust.

The conference will have three sessions. The first one is connected with the issue of legal pluralism of the Ottoman (Dr. Burak from the perspective of law) and Russian Empires (Dr. Jampeissova and Noda on the court cases). The second session is focused on gender identity among Muslim women. The first presentation is on the female madrassas in Pakistan and the following presentation will reveal how Muslim women of Pakistani and Japanese parents construct their own identities as second-generation Muslims in Japan in relation to their parents. The third session will focus on modern Southeast Asia from the viewpoint of the right and law. The first presentation will study Rohingya issue as a problem facing Muslims today will be discussed by examining what social and legal status the Rohingya have had throughout the historical process, and how they have tried to maintain their relationship with non-Muslims and the state. Dr. Takano will examine the legal cases in Modern Indonesia by the legal anthropological analysis and show the coexistence of the multiple laws including Sharia and local customary laws (adat).



Saturday, 26 November 14:30–19:00


Moderator: So Yamane(Professor, Osaka University, Japan)

Opening Address by Area Organizer for Islamic Trust Studies, Hidemitsu Kuroki (Professor, ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies/ Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University)
Introduction by So Yamane


1st Session: Legal Pluralism and Islam in the History of Empires

Moderator: Jin Noda(ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan)

Discussant: Gagandeep S. Sood (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK)

  • Guy Burak(New York University, USA)

    “Writing a Conceptual History of Early Ottoman Kanun (From Chinggis Khan to Bayezid II)”

    The talk will trace the rise of the Ottoman kanun discourse and consciousness in the context of the long fifteenth century. I hope to demonstrate that the emergence of the frequent and wide-spread of the term kanun in the fifteenth century was part of the Ottoman experimentation with political and legal concepts against the backdrop of the early post-mongol Islamic East of the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries. Moreover, the talk will suggest that the rise of the term kanun in the late fifteenth century was related to the Ottoman reading in al-Ghazzali’s (d. 1111) Ihya ‘ulum al-din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences).

  • Zhanar Jampeissova (Astana IT University, Kazakhstan) and Jin Noda
    “Translated ‘Legal’ Code: Difference of Understanding the Law between Kazakh Nomads and Russian Colonial Officials”

    This study aims to analyze the legal pluralism of the Russian Empire and examine the connectivity among the ethnic populations of the different forms of law. In this context, this study focuses on the newly created legal process called the International Assembly Court (IAC) (1886–1915), which was introduced to resolve disputes among subjects of the Russian and Chinese empires living in the Xinjiang border zones. The legal process of the IAC was based on vernacular customary laws, in particular the Sharia and Kazakh’s adat, and not on imperial legal codes, which was its significant feature.

    In the context of adat, each IAC required the ereje (regulations). This study examines the ereje and related court records and reveals that the Russian local officials barely understood or interpreted the Kazakh customary laws. In particular, the use of oaths in legal proceedings, not only in the lawsuits of the Kazakhs and Sarts but also in the claims of other ethnic groups of the region, implied its recognition as a judicial method that was used to settle disputes from a broader cultural perspective. Although Russian officials considered oaths a crucial instrument of local law, they did not have a complete understanding of its application and, thus, tried to manipulate the case results according to their own preferences. In conclusion, the IAC can provide benefits to each litigant and empire and address the cases of non-Kazakh groups, such as Sart merchants and Buddhists in Xinjiang.


Information Exchange Meeting

Sunday, 27 November 10:00–17:00


2nd Session: Faith and Strategy: The Dynamics of Trust Building within Muslim Communities

Moderator: Emi Goto(ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan)

Discussant: Marrie Lall (University College London, UK)

  • Faiza Muhammad Din(Humboldt University, Germany)

    “Trust and Muslim Women’s Mobility”

    The question of women’s mobility has been always deeply rooted in the questions of: a) trust which is built during times of b) peace via c) shared values and beliefs. Women’s mobility has been presented as an indicator of peace in Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslim Women travelled for Hajj and also accompanied the Prophet and his companions through all phases of their struggles. However, it is also well-known that at some places and times Muslim women were confined to their houses in the name of Islamic injunctions. A common issue in these cases is lack of peace and trust. In this presentation, I share examples of Afghan, Pakistani and Indonesian female students who were able to build trust and regain their right to mobility through religious institutions and networks of trust built upon shared value systems.

  • Masako Kudo(Rikkyo University, Japan)

    “Negotiating Identity among Muslim Women with Pakistani Fathers and Japanese Mothers: An Exploration of Connectivity, Gender, and Strategicity Perspectives”

    The processes of constructing and reconstructing identities among Muslim women have often been understood in terms of how these women strategically deploy Islamic values to negotiate spaces within family and society. The term “strategy” in such explorations draws attention to the agency of Muslim women, who tend to be stereotyped as “oppressed” and “passive” within patriarchal power structures. While it is important to stress women’s agency, understanding the specificities and dynamics involved in women’s strategies requires a close examination of the socio-economic contexts in which women operate and what the strategies mean to them. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Muslim women born to Japanese mothers and Pakistani migrant fathers, this study shows that these young women contest the Muslim gender ideals that their families expect them to adhere. The women interviewed contested these ideals by stressing “true” Islamic values, which they distinguish from the culture of Pakistan. Women’s negotiations are interwoven into their multi-dimensional life contexts, including their transnational upbringing, the way they are marginalized in Japan as haafu (children of international marriages) and minority Muslim, and the shifting power dynamics between their Japanese mothers and migrant fathers. Further, women’s positions within the family are affected by how their fathers, the majority of whom export used cars from Japan, build relationships of trust and (re)construct a sense of masculinity within transnational connectivities. Therefore, this study aims to demonstrate the complexities of women’s identity negotiations by exploring the intersection of their strategies, gender, and connectivities that extend and evolve beyond national borders.

Lunch Break


3rd Session: Right and Law in the Multi-Ethnic Societies

Moderator: So Yamane

Discussant: Zaw Lynn Aung (Independent Researcher) and Gagandeep S. Sood

  • Kazuto Ikeda(Osaka University, Japan)

    “Becoming Rohingya in Myanmar: Ethnic Politics in the U Nu Era 1948-1962”

    The focal issue of the present Rohingya conflict is their legal position as (illegal) immigrants on both sides of the Naaf River, a national boundary between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Their identity as immigrants was already documented from the beginning of British rule in Myanmar. Today, they are accepted as nonindigenous refugees on Bangladeshi land. And if neither side of the Naaf River is theirs, then where is their native land?

    The first ethnic claim as a Rohingya was made in the politics of independent Myanmar in 1948, and the U Nu government agreed to form the Mayu Frontier District in the northern Rakhine in the late 1950s. To find a place to live in the Buddhist state, this unnamed frontier Muslim group invented the ethnonym Rohingya. Though it has been disputed as to what U Nu’s true intentions were for rewarding them with an autonomous district.

    The purpose of this presentation is to examine the newly emerging politics of ethnicity and identity under the U Nu administration and its consequence for Muslims from northern Rakhine. The novel connectivity between the Buddhists and Muslims eventually died after Ne Win’s 1962 coup, the grave watershed for all Muslims in Myanmar.

  • Sayaka Takano(Chuo University, Japan)

    “Legal Pluralism and Connectivity in Indonesia”

    Indonesia has long provided a rich source for the study of legal pluralism, and Islamic law has always formed an essential component of that plurality. An extensive literature has examined the interpretation and vernacularization of Islamic law in Indonesia, particularly in areas related to family law, such as marriage and inheritance.

    Therefore, Muslims and non-Muslims have been connected, whether consciously or not, through state law, adat, and other legal and social norms. Examining the relationship between these legal categories and ethnographic data obtained through interviews, fieldwork, and formal documents, I present a brief outline of land conflicts in North Sumatra and the transformation of the underlying reasoning related to adat, Islamic law, and state law.

    Investigating connectivity based on categories related to law, this paper sheds light not on opposition or recognition but rather on interpenetration and cross-reference. It is not apparent a priori how the law might vary in this context: Here, it will be necessary to focus on the various legal concepts, institutions, practices, and technical objects that play roles here and how they encounter each other.


General Discussions

Moderator: Jin Noda

Concluding Remarks by Jin Noda

Pre-registration for onsite participation will be closed when reaches the maximum number of participants (currently 70). In addition, the above provisions may change depending on the situation of Covid-19 and other infections.
We ask all onsite participants to wear face masks and to cooperate with the prevention measures such as hand sanitization.

Language: English
Venue: hybrid meeting onsite/ online,
Lecture Room, 4th floor in Minoh Campus Building, Osaka University*/ online meeting via Zoom
Open to public/Admission free, Pre-registration is required.
*Please click here for directions to the venue.

  For those coming to Osaka University, Please use the the form.
  For participants via Zoom, Please use the the form.
Registration Deadline: Sunday, November 20 at 23:59 (JST).

Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Changes in the World of Islamic Thought and Knowledge” (Principal Investigator: Jin Noda (ILCAA); 20H05825)
Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Trust Building Through Thought and Strategy” (Principal Investigator: So Yamane (Osaka University); 20H05828)

Islamic Trust Studies: Project Office (connectivity_jimukyoku[at]

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