A conservative stands up for sharia 99

Michael Gerson, in an article at Townhall – a conservative website! – objects to Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment preventing the introduction of Islam’s sharia law into the state.

He claims that the measure was introduced to “to taunt a religious minority”, and dubs it “faith-baiting”, warning that other states could follow the example and introduce measures to “bait” Christians, for instance, or Hindus.

He tries to defend sharia:

Anti-Shariah activists argue that Shariah law controls every area of a Muslim’s life … and thus that Islam itself is incompatible with American democracy. Radical Islamists would nod in agreement to each of these claims…

Not surprising really, since the claims are true. But he has a different understanding:

Both are wrong. The proper interpretation of Shariah law is a subject of vigorous debate within Islam. There are some who would freeze societies in the cultural practices of seventh-century Arabia. But there are others who identify a core of Islamic teaching that is separable from the cultural assumptions of the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. Predominantly Muslim nations take a variety of approaches to the application of Islamic law, from theocracy to official secularism.

Wherever did he get this idea of a “vigorous debate within Islam” over sharia or anything else? Where is “Islamic teaching separable from the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad”? What taqqiya (religiously sanctioned lies) has he been swallowing? He gives no sources, no references.

Most if not all states that have a majority Muslim population and a constitution  – and we have found only one exception  – claim that the basis of their  law is sharia. The exception was Turkey, but that is changing. Turkey is now governed by a religious party. The genuinely secular state  that Kemal Ataturk created is being dismantled and the Turks are returning to Islamic darkness.

Does Gerson actually know anything about sharia law? He goes on:

So is Shariah law compatible with democracy? In the totalitarian version of the Taliban, it cannot be reconciled with pluralism. But if Shariah is interpreted as a set of transcendent principles of fairness and justice

If it is so interpreted? It would be interesting to see how a system of law that has a woman’s testimony valued at half that of a man’s, and prescribes death for apostasy, to take just two examples, can be interpreted as “a set of transcendent principles of fairness and justice”.

He really seems not to know what he’s talking about. It is precisely this sort of deliberate blindness to what Islam is and intends that helps it towards its objective of domination.

He also seems to be unaware that sharia is creeping into Western countries and creating a great deal of justified anger and anxiety by the sort of “justice” the sharia courts are doling out. Muslim women in Britain, for instance, who had hoped for protection from sharia under British law, are now subjected to the “justice and fairness” of one or another of 85 sharia courts, whose rulings are enforced by the British state. They feel bitterly betrayed by the country in which they sought refuge from the subjugation that the law of Islam prescribes for them. (See our post Sharia in Britain, November 5, 2010.)

The state of Oklahoma, in our opinion, is foresightful and wise to bar sharia out. What is deplorable is that it has become necessary to take legislative action against it in the United States of America.

Posted under Britain, Commentary, Islam, jihad, Law, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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Sharia in Britain 156

(This post, like the one immediately below, Europe’s doom, takes up a point made in the comments on the video Getting nowhere. )

Sharia has been accepted in Britain as a parallel legal system. Here is a report from the Times (London) which seems adequately to establish the fact:

Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Britain has cruelly betrayed Muslim women and children by allowing sharia rulings to be enforced. Here are extracts from an article by Maryam Namazie in the (left leaning) Guardian, explaining some of the ways women are unjustly treated in sharia courts, and pleading for a single system of secular law.

A report, Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights, reveals the adverse effect of sharia courts on family law. Under sharia’s civil code, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. A man can divorce his wife by repudiation, whereas a woman must give justifications, some of which are difficult to prove. Child custody reverts to the father at a preset age; women who remarry lose custody of their children even before then; and sons inherit twice the share of daughters.

There has been much controversy about Muslim arbitration tribunals, which have attracted attention because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act, making their rulings binding in UK law. …

An example of the kind of decision that is contrary to UK law and public policy is the custody of children. Under British law, the child’s best interest is the court’s paramount consideration. In a sharia court the custody of children reverts to the father at a preset age regardless of the circumstances. In divorce proceedings, too, civil law takes into account the merits of the case and divides assets based on the needs and intentions of both parties. Under sharia law, only men have the right to unilateral divorce. If a woman manages to obtain a divorce without her husband’s consent, she will lose the sum of money (or dowry) that was agreed to at the time of marriage.

There is an assumption that those who attend sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged. Since much of sharia law is contrary to British law and public policy, in theory they would be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions and may lack knowledge of their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a sharia court could lead to to threats, intimidation or isolation.

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no religious courts.

Read here and here about sharia spreading in Europe , Canada and the United States..

Finally, listen to Pat Condell, eloquent and just, deploring the Archbishop of Canterbury’s pronouncement that the acceptance of sharia is “unavoidable”: