The first USPPIP Workshop took place on 24-25 February 2017 in Rabat, Morocco. The workshop entitled “Customs, Culture, Shari’a and National Law” was organized by prof. Léon Buskens and hosted in NIMAR (the Netherlands Institute in Morocco), a national center of expertise in Moroccan Studies in Rabat and part of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University since 2016. The workshop explored the entangled relation between Customs, Culture, National Law and Islamic Normativity: what are the relations between these domains and how do actors refer to them to justify their actions; how do Muslim scholars understand Muslim tradition; how do they understand the relation between custom and Islamic normativity; why customs became at some point customary law and how codified law refers to customs; how people negotiate different views of Islamic normativity? Special attention was paid to ethnography and legal-anthropology in order to understand how concepts are negotiated, constructed and legitimized.
A number of case studies were considered and analyzed. The contributions of Baudouin Dupret, Mohamed Mouaqit, Adil Bouhya and Fadma Ait Mous explored the Moroccan case while the perspective of Algeria and Sudan was brought in by Yazid Ben Hounet. The workshop was a valuable networking event involving Arshad Muraddin, a Muslim judge working in Europe, who dealt with reconciliation procedures in Dutch-Moroccan Mosques.
All members of USPPIP attended the conference chairing sessions, presenting papers dealing with their individual researches and discussing future events and perspectives for the project.