In U.S. criminal court, extreme poverty cannot be used as a defense in cases of theft. Such is not the case under classical Islamic law. Prof. Hascall will examine whether American states should recognize a defense of extreme poverty to a charge of theft or, allow for evidence of extreme poverty, as a mitigating circumstance when a defendant can show the theft was done out of necessity.
Prof. Hamoudi will discuss some of the ways in which Shī‘ī jurists opined on the offenses of highway robbery and sedition (ḥirāba). He will also consider the manner in which such legal opinions might help to shed light on current events transpiring in America, from peaceful demonstrations to violent attempts at destruction and insurrection.