Search This Blog

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sharia law

One of the big stories over the past few months deals with whether or not Sharia law is a legal issue that the USA needs to be worried about.  The issue has already come up for a vote in Oklahoma. Oklahoma voters by a 70-30 percent margin passed a ballot question that barred “state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.” However, this law  was blocked by an injunction issued just a few weeks later by federal judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange. The judge argued that the Sharia ban was unconstitutional because it violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment and unfairly singled out Muslims. I disagree with her opinion.

So, just what is Sharia law? Sharia is the entire body of Islamic law. The term literally means "the way to the water source." It is a wide-ranging body of law and personal rules, regulating matters of jurisprudence, hygiene, politics, business, banking, family, sexuality, diet, and society. It is meant to serve as the governing principle both within the Muslim world and for Muslims living outside it. Covering a wide array of subjects, the Sharia requires years of dedicated study to master. However, some of its better known requirements are simple and easy to explain. Sharia law dictates the Halal, or the famous Muslim dietary laws that prohibit the consumption of pork and alcohol, among other things. Sharia also requires the use of the right hand for eating and drinking, mostly because it is common practice to use the left hand for cleansing after defecation. Sharia describes the major Islamic religious festivals, such as Eid il-Fitr. Sharia also contains the famous dictate of verse 9:29: "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." This law is generally interpreted as requiring Muslims to bring non-Muslims under their political domination, but to be tolerant of other religions that exist under their rule. However, the Jizya, or tax on non-Muslims, is required.

So, is this something we should fear? I do not know that I would say we should fear it, but we certainly should not embrace it. The laws of the USA are grounded in our Constitution. These laws have established one of the most successful and prosperous societies the world has ever known. Are Islamic societies good examples we should imitate? They are actually some of the most backward and repressive societies in the world. What possible benefit would be get by adopting these barbaric rules and practices? Why do people run away from these cultures and come to the USA only to try and incorporate the rules that they wanted to escape from? It makes no sense. However, it also should be avoided. Sharia law should be made illegal in the USA. I believe Mahfooz Kanwar, a member of the Muslim Canadian Congress and a professor emeritus of sociology at Mount Royal University in Calgary said it very clearly. "If you want to live under sharia law, go back to the hellhole country you came from, or go to another hellhole country that lives under sharia law." 

I would support a ban on Sharia law in every state in the Union. But let us expand that to include all religions. Why would we use any religious text as the basis for a legal decision? The USA was not founded a religious country, it is a secular country. We should have a law that says that judges cannot use any religious text as the basis for their decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment