Islamic Humanitarian Law and Islamic Armed Groups



Tanisha Fazal, University of Minnesota

Date and Time

November 11, 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


RSVP Required.


Virtual Seminar

* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


Seminar Recording:


About the Event: While most civil wars today are fought within Muslim-majority states and, frequently, by armed groups that self-identify as Islamic, we know little about the relationships between and amongst Islamic humanitarian law, Western (treaty-based) humanitarian law, and the rhetoric and behavior of Islamic armed groups. Our legal analysis suggests that, while there is a great deal of overlap between Western and Islamic humanitarian law, this overlap is not perfect. Our empirical analysis, which focuses on both the words and behaviors of Islamic armed groups, suggests similarly mixed results. Specifically, we find that, on average, Islamic armed groups do not appear to be more or less compliant with Western or Islamic humanitarian law than non-Islamic armed groups when it comes to civilian targeting and child soldiering. While they often appeal to Islamic humanitarian law, Islamic armed groups appear to be bound by similar political and military – rather than religious or legal – constraints to non-Islamic armed groups.


About the Speaker: Tanisha Fazal is Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarship focuses on sovereignty, international law, and armed conflict.  Fazal’s current book project analyzes the effect of improvements in medical care in conflict zones on the long-term costs of war.  She is the author of State Death: The Politics and Geography of Conquest, Occupation, and Annexation (Princeton University Press, 2007), and Wars of Law: Unintended Consequences in the Regulation of Armed Conflict (Cornell University Press, 2018.

Share this Event