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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Religious Fundamentalism, Constitution-Making and Democracy in Kenya: The Kadhis Courts debate
Author:Mwangi, O.G.
Periodical:The Round Table; The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs
Geographic term:Kenya
Subject:Courts - Islamic
Abstract:This article examines religious fundamentalism, constitution-making and democracy in Kenya with regard to the arguments surrounding the inclusion of the Kadhis Courts in the country's new Constitution promulgated on 27 August 2010. Kadhis Courts deal with matters of Muslim law and have been entrenched in Kenya's Constitution since the country's independence in 1963. The article argues that the Church and clergy took a fundamentalist position regarding the inclusion of the Courts with the aim of influencing the country's predominantly Christian voters to reject the proposed new constitution at the referendum stage. Kenyans, however, the majority of whom are Christians, overwhelmingly endorsed the constitution. The article underscores that the Church, therefore, lost its moral responsibility and institutional legitimacy as an agent of democracy. The Kenyan experience indicates citizens can ignore religious fundamentalism for the common good of society. (Journal Abstract).