Reviews

This monograph based on archive materials, but also on a selection of works by jurists and orientalists of the 1920s, deals with the policy implemented by the Soviet authorities in the Tatar ASSR in the early 1920s. Particularly interested in the activity of the Shari‘a Commission near the People’s Commission for Justice of the republic, the author examines the proposals made for a rapprochement of the norms of Islamic law with those of the early Soviet legislation. A. R. Mukhamadiev insists on the valuation by the Shari‘a Commission, of the impact of Islamic norms on the population of the TASSR. Such was especially the case of Gimaz Bogautdinov (Bahavetdinov, 1897-1938), the autonomous republic’s People’s Commissar for Justice in 1921-2, and its State Prosecutor from 1922 to 1925 (before becoming its People’s Commissar for the Interior in 1928-30). Among his fellow companions Bogautdinov is credited by historians of a particular interest in Tatar history and in the traditional juridical practice among his countrymen ― which soon exposed him to the solicitude of the NKVD.

This captivating though yet understudied page of the management of confessional diversity in the Volga region by the Soviet power in the early 1920s is still enriched by substantial appendixes with interesting examples of the assessment of Islamic law by jurists and specialists of Oriental studies: G. Gubaidullin, “Obychnoe pravo tiurkov i mongolov [The Turks and Mongols’ Customary Law],” 42-58; ibid., “Istoriia rasprostraneniia arabskogo prava sredi privolzhskikh tatar [A History of the Propagation of Arab Law among Volga Tatars],” 59-64; A. I. Formakovskii, “Osnovnye printsipy musul’manskogo ugolovnogo prava v sravnenii s printsipami deistvuiushchego ugolovnogo zakonodatel’stva RSFSR [The Fundamental Principles of Muslim Criminal Law Compared to Those of the Active Criminal Law of the RFSFR],” 65-77; ibid., “Ob‘iasnitel’naia zapiska po voprosam o peresmotre ugolovnogo kodeksa RSFSR, primenitel’no k shariatskomu pravu [An Explanatory Leaflet on the Reconsideration of the Penal Code of the RSFSR in Conformity with the Shari‘a Law],” 78-83; Zmiev [sic], “Detskaia prestupnost’ i ugolovnyi kodeks [Children Criminality and the Penal Code],” 84-96; anonymous, “Izvlechenie iz ugolovnogo prava shariata po sunnitsko-khanafitskomu tolku [The Treatment of the Criminal Law of the Shari‘a according to the Sunni Hanafi Orientation],” 97-100.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.2.D-200