Dr. Arskal Salim is a scholar of law in Muslim societies. He completed his early education mainly in Indonesia, and was trained in both Muslim traditional and modern school systems. Having graduated from the IAIN (State Institute for Islamic Studies) of Jakarta with a BA in Shari’ah law and an MA in Islamic Studies, he went to McGill University, Canada, for a two-semester postgraduate studentship. In late 2006, after receiving his PhD from Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, he took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany. He then moved to London in 2009 and was Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations until 2012 when he left to take up his appointment at the University of Western Sydney.
Arskal’s early research focused on Islamic legal theory and political Islam. His area of research interest then shifted and expanded during the course of completing his PhD (2002-2006) and the postdoctoral ethnographic fieldwork in Aceh that followed (2007-2009).
He began studying the interaction between Islamic jurisprudences and politics, constitutionalism, human rights and legal anthropology in various contexts within Indonesian Islam. The events over the past two years associated with the Arab Spring has prompted a growing interest in the comparative constitutional law of Muslim countries. On numerous occasions, Arskal has been invited to present papers based on his comparison of the position of religious law (Sharia) in the respective constitutions of Tunisia, Egypt and Indonesia.