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Over the years, Muslim countries have been faced with wave of violence mostly related to insurgency or rebellion, leading to loss of lives and property on an unprecedented scale. Interestingly, rebellion and insurgency have a long, controversial, and deeply rooted history in Islam. As such, it is one of the most thoroughly studied and regulated concepts in Islamic law. Other non-Muslim societies too, have faced these kinds of challenges at different stages of their development, underlining the literature on rebellion and insurgency in customary international law. Therefore, from Muslim to non-Muslim states, this challenge is not a new one: there clearly is no shortage of legal regulation from either side. Notwithstanding, the menace of insurgency related violence seems to have defied all attempts at regulation. This paper compares the regulation of insurgency and rebellion under Islamic law and customary international law with a view to identifying the similarities or otherwise. It thereby relates the trends in rebellion and insurgency in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries to the legal regime in both systems. The paper finds that the legal regime regulating rebellion and insurgency in Islamic law and customary international law are similar, with trivial variances in substance. This being the case, it raises the question if the legal regulation of these issues has had any effect on the unending violence that has so far destroyed several states and led to loss of millions of lives. The paper concludes that notwithstanding the seeming laxity of the legal regimes regulating insurgency and rebellion in both Islamic law and customary international law, the genesis of the problem might have been with application rather than the substance of the law.
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