The role of Shari'a-based restorative justice in the transition from armed conflict to peacebuilding: Do Somalis hold the view that the restorative justice aspects within Qisas offer a solution?

Rahma Abdulkadir, Caroline Ackley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Somalia's civil war has been ongoing for more than two decades. While there are studies that investigate possible conflict resolution mechanisms and peacebuilding processes for Somalia, there are not many scholarly works that look at specific instances of mass violence through the eyes of the public. This article presents qualitative findings from an ethnographic research study conducted on public opinion among Somalis regarding transitional conflict resolution approaches that address occurrences of mass violence that have taken place over the last two and half decades in this war torn country. The findings suggest that there is significant support for a model of transitional justice based on Islamic jurisprudence for Somalia. In particular, the interviewees in this study agree that certain elements of Islamic jurisprudence (e.g., restorative justice aspects of qisas) can be important tools for addressing instances of mass violence. However, it is imperative to note that many participants in this study expressed concerns about some of the distortions in the interpretation and application of Shari'a by extremist groups such as Al Shabaab in Somalia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-131
Number of pages21
JournalNortheast African Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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