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February 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SHARIA IN BRITAIN?....The Telegraph reports on an ICM poll of British Muslims:

The most startling finding is the high level of support for applying sharia law in "predominantly Muslim" areas of Britain.

....Forty per cent of the British Muslims surveyed said they backed introducing sharia in parts of Britain, while 41 per cent opposed it.

It's easy to overreact to findings of polls, but you gotta admit that stuff like this is pretty disturbing. I expect that the results in the United States would be far different, but it would be interesting for someone to do a poll similar to ICM's and find out.

Kevin Drum 12:03 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (92)

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why is this a surprise? It's been the stated goal of some Muslim clerics for some time that Islam should be the state religion everywhere on earth.

Posted by: jprichva on February 20, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to point to my co-bloggers new essay as a counter point to the issues that the poll is addressing:

In any case I do not believe that Sen's vision of an admixed multiculturalism is multiculturalism at all, I believe that he is slyly aligning himself with the Enlightenment Project, which fundamentally does stand for something aside from group autonomy. A cultural melange where ideas and fashions float freely in the soup of individual choice must be mediated by common standards and norms. A plural monocultural vision allows group identities and the leaders of these groups to arbitrate cultural evolution, but a unitary multiculturalist vision, where more peculiar admixtures (eg, half-black Jewish Buddhist) arise is simply too chaotic to be managed by a decentralized oligarchy, rather a central state with a monopoly of core values must organize the flux. From a purely utilitarian perspective Sen's vision is not necessarily optimal. If a democratic vote was taken within Muslim communities in Europe they might very well prefer to exist as self-organized and self-ruled millets within the superstructure of European-nation state. In other words, they would be in the nations, as opposed to of the nations. Regardless of what some progressives say and what their ultimate intent is in agreeing toward the crystallization of a Muslim "ethnicity," that is certainly one step toward this process because of the more immutable nature of ethnicity. Where does that leave people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Definitely in a difficult place.
Posted by: TangoMan on February 20, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

I live in Alabama. We ave been living under sharia law for decades.

Posted by: southern man on February 20, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

What does sharia law say about driving on the left? That could get complicated...

Posted by: craigie on February 20, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

The support for Sharia may also be a reaction of circling the wagons considering the recent loosening up of criticism directed to Muslim communities in Britain regarding the practice of cousin marriage:

Britain's huge Pakistani community should be legally prevented from marrying first cousins, a Labour Party MP has declared, after new research showed Pakistani families produced an alarming 30% of the UK's genetically diseased children.

The research, conducted by the BBC and broadcast to a shocked nation on Tuesday, found that at least 55% of the community was married to a first cousin.

This is thought to be linked to the probability that a British Pakistani family is at least 13 times more likely than the general population to have children with recessive genetic disorders.

The research found that while British Pakistanis accounted for just 3.4% of all births, they had 30% of all British children with recessive disorders and a higher rate of infant mortality.

Such public criticism and shame is likely to fuel a desire to implement governing structures which legitimate your favored behavior.

Posted by: TangoMan on February 20, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't react well to that statistic either, but (as always, depending on the exact question wording) this answer probably does not mean that muslims in Britain think non-Muslims (the "traditional" English, for lack of a better term) should abide by muslim law, even in predominately muslim areas. Rather, the respondents probably mostly envision a system whereby sharia would govern "private" or "domestic" activities of Muslims. Thus, UK law would govern generally, but Muslims would marry and conduct private affairs in accord with sharia. This is a common model for the implementation of sharia. And muslims may or may not desire to convert nonbelievers (or, may have varying degrees of dedication to that at any moment), but rarely desire to force infidels to abide by sharia.

Generally, though I'm personally a secular liberal with a libertarian streak, I wouldn't even have a problem with it, broadly speaking. In fact, I don't think Muslims in Britain even necessarily need any action from the government to enable this (similarly, if I choose to conduct my private activities entirely in accordance with Catholic church "law", I wouldn't need the U.S. government to allow that).

The only real problem occurs when Muslims (especially female Muslims) decide they want to stop being Muslims, and opt back out of this system -- convert to another religion, or none at all. That is generally not allowed in Muslim countries governed by sharia. That is, if you are British, Chinese, etc. and happen to live in a Muslim country, you will not be subject to sharia. But if you are born/raised Muslim, or are somehow "ethnically Muslim," you are not allowed to decide you no longer want to be Muslim, and subject to sharia's (often) strict rules.

This is a rough characterization -- please be gentle in corrections! But I have some familiarity, and wanted to set forth this background info. I think that the answer to this poll question is not as disturbing as it looks at first blush.

Posted by: anon on February 20, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a modest proposal: The British government should provide a town for the 40% who want Sharia laws, let them live under those laws, and let's see how many escape and how long it takes them.

My hunch is that like tin pot religious figures everywhere, the push for Islamic law is not religiously motivated. It's motivated by a desire for power over other people. As long as they don't have a place to live out their fantasies, the idea has viability.

Give 'em a place to go wild with Islamic law and, trust me, the only ones left will be the nut job clerics and the kool aid drinkers, just like any cult.

Reasonable people realize the inherent value of "Western" democratic traditions and those traditions have never been inimical to the true values of any religion, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever. Indeed, religious people flourish the most in more open societies than they do in religious dictatorships.

Posted by: Fred on February 20, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

But the US is already under fundamental Christian Sharia law.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 20, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Question: How are we to know that those responding (I assume it was a phone poll) were giving honest response in all cases? Could some of them have feared the calls were actually from zealots who would hassle them if they spoke out against sharia?

Posted by: hopeless pedant on February 20, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK


Where's the anti-Bush angle on this?

Posted by: fred on February 20, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

I'm assisting in a college level class titled "Women in Islam" this term, and reading all sorts of Muslim critiques of Sharia law. There is a small movement of progressive Muslims worldwide, both female and male, who are using traditional Islamic forms of textual criticism to deconstruct the whole superstructure of inequality.

The Sharia is not the Quran. It is a set of laws developed over the centuries based on interpretations of interpretations of reports of what the Prophet may or may not have said or done.

Plenty of believing Muslim women (and men) think that Sharia (which in itself is multiplicitous - are we talking Sunni, Shi'a, which of the many legal traditions, etc.) is a big mess and needs to be reformed.

Why on earth the Brits want to get into this Sharia business, I don't know. Who is going to decide what Sharia applies? The reactionary sheiks are the ones with all the funding (Saudi cash natch)

A mess. As an American, I don't like it - I prefer to see separation between church/religion and state.

Posted by: Leila on February 20, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

You can tell by my strictness that I'm a fundamentalist...

I can tell by your strictness that you're fundamentalist too...

You can tell by our strictnesses that we're fundamentalists...

Why don't you apply some strictness and be fundamentalist too?

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on February 20, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Are their cartoons gonna riot soon ?

"...You know you're an evangelical if the fundamentalists think you're a liberal and the liberals think you're a fundamentalist..." - Alan Jacobs

Posted by: daCascadian on February 20, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

Leila >"I'm assisting in a college level class titled "Women in Islam" this term, and reading all sorts of Muslim critiques of Sharia law. There is a small movement of progressive Muslims worldwide, both female and male, who are using traditional Islamic forms of textual criticism to deconstruct the whole superstructure of inequality..."

Can you tell us more please (or post some links) ?

Interesting !

I do know the Quran & Sharia are totally different

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." - Ansel Adams

Posted by: daCascadian on February 20, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, the fundamentalist Christians in this country wouldn't hesitate a split second to impose their own version of sharia, not only on their own ``communities'' but on the entire population. Democracy is void without separation of church and state.

Posted by: secularhuman on February 20, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

It's qualitatively a different case, but till I kept track about twenty years ago, the Indian government had a hard time applying and enforcing anti-child marriage and divorce and similar laws to the siezable population of the Muslims of the country, and every time such laws were proposed there was tremendous opposition from the Islamic community.

Posted by: lib on February 20, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

the fundamentalist Christians in this country wouldn't hesitate a split second to impose their own version of sharia,

Posted by: secularhuman on February 20, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

You can be against gay weddings and many kinds of abortion without imposing sharia on someone.

But if I had to pick between laws set by gay, atheist and feminist militant lobbies and those with some Muslim influences.... I think separation of Church and State is an optional thing ...

Posted by: McA on February 20, 2006 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting, although the Telegraph reporting leaves much to be desired.

Taking this for example:
"Islamic law is used in large parts of the Middle East, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, and is enforced by religious police. Special courts can hand down harsh punishments which can include stoning and amputation."

This is false. In Iran and KSA there are religious police - particularly in KSA - but not elsewhere in MENA. Neither religious police nor do special courts exist in most of the MENA region (ex, again, Iran and KSA) and Sharia specific codes are typically reserved for Family Law. I.e Marriage and the like. And then only applying to Muslims.

It is grossly, grossly distortive for Telegraph to phrase that paragraph in this manner.

No wonder there is so much ignorance about the region out there, with this kind of mendacity.

That being said, the poll is not a happy indicator, although the comments by Leila supra are well taken that a good look at phrasing of said poll would be useful as what 'sharia law' may mean in context is hardly clear (weddings? Halal butchers permits? The range is from the atrociously out of date, such as criminal punishments to the merely religious detials like regulating Halal slaughterhouses.)

Were the writing on key points not mendaciously alarmist, I would be somewhat less doubtful of the reporting on the poll contents.

Lounsbury
'Aqoul
www.aqoul.com

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Leila >"I'm assisting in a college level class titled "Women in Islam" this term, and reading all sorts of Muslim critiques of Sharia law. There is a small movement of progressive Muslims worldwide, both female and male, who are using traditional Islamic forms of textual criticism to deconstruct the whole superstructure of inequality..."

Can you tell us more please (or post some links) ?

Posted by: daCascadian on February 20, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

There's always a few moderate Muslims trying to say Islam is not this or not that but the reality is in Mecca (the center of the pilgrimage), these guys would be stoned for their beliefs.

Like trying to say the rare liberal Episcopalian pro-gay Bishops Church speaks for the entire Anglican world.

Posted by: McA on February 20, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Leila also raises the very good question of which Sharia.

In a way Sharia is like common law, a huge body of opinions with a multiplicity of different traditions. Some traditions are far worse than others. Anyone want to guess which one is the most retrograde?

Leila of course suggests correctly it is exactely Wahhabite retrograde ideas that would likely get applied - Saudi funding.

Having lived throughout the region, I am rather less frightened by the word itself than concerned with the way which the Saudi funded neo-Salafi bigots are pimping their nasty views via their calls for Muslims to return to "the" sharia.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

lib >"...the Indian government had a hard time applying and enforcing anti-child marriage and divorce and similar laws...tremendous opposition from the Islamic community."

Note this from the BBC

"India's Supreme Court has given the federal and state governments three months to enact legislation making it compulsory to register all marriages.

The court said the public's views would be invited on the new legislation.

Under the proposed changes, proof of a traditional religious marriage ceremony would not be sufficient.

Supporters of the move say it will curb crimes such as bigamy and marriage without consent. Critics say the state is interfering and the law unnecessary..."

"...Churches have given us great treasures. Whether that pays for the harm they have done is another matter." - Daniel C. Dennett

Posted by: daCascadian on February 20, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

I do so love how commentators like Mca like to make up things like:
There's always a few moderate Muslims trying to say Islam is not this or not that but the reality is in Mecca (the center of the pilgrimage), these guys would be stoned for their beliefs.

As if he has any knowledge of the matter.

The Wahhabite bigots in KSA certainly don't like liberal Islamic scholarship, but no stonings, not even denials of visas.

The real issue is the religious discourses have been taken over by well-financed neo-Salafi bigots, leaving the moderates un-funded, and marginal in terms of religious resources.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

How many Americans would support an imposition of religious laws on the general population?

Easy: 25%. The hardest hard core of Bush's fundy base.

That's not 40-odd percent. But the problem in the US isn't the fundies, per se; it's the fact that they are Bush's most loyal supporters, and that Bush plays to them, and believes himself to be God's Chosen.

When you've got the US President on your side, it doesn't matter what your actual numbers are.

The good news, such as it is, is that no successor to Bush currently on the national scene can rally the fundies as he has AND also appeal to the sadists, scaredy-cats, plutocrats and bigots who comprise the rest of his supporters. Though it will be interesting to see if Jeb, Allen, and Romney try to position themselves to appeal to all those groups.

Posted by: CaseyL on February 20, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

Amreican banks now offer mortgage loans that conform to sharia. Instead of lending the money to buy the house, then charging rent on the money, they buy the house and rent it to the buyer. In addition to paying rent on the house (including taxes and insurance), the buyer pays toward the agreed purchase price; as the buyer buys the house, the rent on the house declines. It's all the same transaction, but the "rent" is assessed on the unbought portion of the house instead of the unpaid part of the loan.

I await news that Moslems are challenging the interest penalties on unpaid federal taxes.

I would bet that 80% of American Moslems favor restrictions on speech that is critical of imams.

Posted by: republicrat on February 20, 2006 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

As if he has any knowledge of the matter.
.........
The Wahhabite bigots in KSA certainly don't like liberal Islamic scholarship, but no stonings, not even denials of visas.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

So what clothes does a female islamic scholar wear in Saudi Arabia?

What is the value of her testimony in an Islamic court in a trial? 50% of a male.

The point is, the only place some of these Muslims get to practice what they preach is in the West..they don't speak for the Muslim majority in anyway.

Posted by: McA on February 20, 2006 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

As if he has any knowledge of the matter.

Posted by: McA on February 20, 2006 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

Malaysian citizen, remember? More than you.

We have liberal Muslims here too. But when they get near the Mosque, they comply with majority rule.

Posted by: McA on February 20, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

"Islamic law is used in large parts of the Middle East, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, and is enforced by religious police. Special courts can hand down harsh punishments which can include stoning and amputation."

Collounsbury claims this is false. It's more accurate to say that the sentence was poorly constructed by suggesting that religious police enforce Islamic law in many Islamic countries. In fact, religious police are features of the two countries specificed in the quote but the opening clause is mainly correct in that Islam and sharia are prominent in many Islamic countries. All one need do is ask Amina Lawal who was sentenced to stoning (eventually overturned) for adultery by the Nigerian Sharia Court.

Further, Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution reads:

Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).

Article 7 of the Iraqi Constitution reads:

No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam

Article 227(1) of the Pakistani Constitution reads:

All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions.

Various Provinces within the nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Nigeria use Sharia law. Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Yemen have criminal laws that reflect traditional Islamic practice, banning Muslims from drinking or selling alcohol.

An Egyptian court, in 1993, declared Nasr Abu Zayd an apostate and ordered he be divorced from his Muslim wife. His crime? The court didn't like some of his writings.

Also, many Middle Eastern nations guarantee the freedom of religion but those rights don't include the right to speak against Islam nor to act on such convictions. It's also forbidden for Muslims to convert away from Islam.

The fundamental issue here is that in Islam, there is no separation between the sacred and the secular. The law is infused with religion.

To say that Saudi Arabia are Iran are unrepresentantive with respect to Islamic law is not entirely accurate. They are certainly the most severe in interpretation, but let's wait to see what happens with Hamas, and see what happens if Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front actually takes power.

Posted by: TangoMan on February 20, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Wahhabite bigots in KSA certainly don't like liberal Islamic scholarship, but no stonings, not even denials of visas.

This incident didn't deal with Islamic scholarship, just plain old adultery but it was quite sensational when a Saudi Princess was executed according to Sharia dictates. She was shot and her lover was beheaded in a public square. The event was covered by PBS in their special Death of a Princess.

Posted by: TangoMan on February 20, 2006 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: vdeedd on February 20, 2006 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

Save me from the Telegraph!

"99 per cent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity." and yet they assert in the next sentence that "Overall, the findings depict a Muslim community becoming more radical and feeling more alienated from mainstream society, even though 91 per cent still say they feel loyal to Britain."

Hmm. I think a 9% disapproval rating would be pretty hard to come by no?

Figures in the poll suggest to me that things are much better than British Muslims seem to think. Probably they spend too much time reading the British newspapers.

Actual details of the results and the survey questions are available here:
http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/reviews/2006/Sunday%20Telegraph%20-%20Mulims%20Feb/Sunday%20Telegraph%20Muslims%20feb06.asp

To save you time, the questions were (spelling mistakes included):
Q1. How likely would you be to vote in a General Election?
Q1. If there were tro be a general election tomorrow, which party do you think you would vote for?
Q3. Do you think compared to a year ago, Muslims in this country have become more or less alienated from British and western society?
Q3. Do you think compared to a year ago, Muslims in this country have become more or less radical in their views toward British and western society?
Q4. Do you think that relations between Muslims and white, British people are getting better or getting worse?
Q5. Which one of the following comes closest to your view? (Take a look at this one. Talk about leading question!!!)
Q6. I would now like to read out some things that other people have said about issues that affect Muslims living in Britain today. For each one, please tell me whether you think it was right or wrong?

To publish cartoons depicting Mohammed which first appeared in Danish newspapers
For Muslims to attack Danish embassies in Muslim countries as a result of the publication of the cartoons
For Muslim demonstrators to carry placards calling for the killing of those who insult Islam
To exercise violence against those who are deemed by religious leaders to have insulted them
For Al-Qa'eda or those sympathetic to Al-Qa'eda to attack Western targets
For Muslims to have bombed London on 7/7 and 21/7

Q6b. Still thinking about the publication of the cartoons, were you personally offended by them or not?
Q7. Irrespective of whether you think the London bombings were justified or not, do you personally have any sympathy with the feelings and motives of those who carried out the attacks?
Q8. Do you think that most Muslims living in Britain are very loyal to this country, quite loyal, not very loyal or not at all loyal?
Q9. How loyal do you personally feel toward Britain?
Q10. Would you support or oppose there being areas of Britain which are pre-dominantly Muslim and in which Sharia Law is introduced?
Q11. Compared to two years ago, are women in your family covering their faces and bodies in public more often or less often?
Q12. I would now like to ask you to think about the Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza, who last week was sentenced for 7 years in prison after being found guilty of incitement to murder and race hatred. Do you think he received a fair or unfair...

Prosecution
Conviction
Sentence

Q13. For each of the following statements do you agree strongly, tend to agree, neither agree nor disagree, tend to disagree or disagree strongly?

Britain should pull its troops out of Iraq now
A military strike against Iran would never be justified, even if Tehran is building nuclear weapons

Q14. You may have recently seen or heard about a video showing British troops beating Iraqi prisoners. Do you think this abuse of Iraqis is an isolated incident or widespread within the British army in Iraq?

Q15. Do you think soldiers responsible will or will not be appropriately punished?

Posted by: Dylan on February 20, 2006 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

No. Poll for the support among Christians for imposing Biblical law in America. Far higher than 40%.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on February 20, 2006 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

I think there's a big problem here. But see for yourself. I suggest you discuss the role of religion with Muslims before you dismiss the problem. They, even the younger generation, are not as pro-freedom as you might assume. Discuss the cartoon issue and see for yourself. No sense in putting your head in the sand.

Posted by: Bob M on February 20, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Just don't worry that the Koran commands that heretics be killed. We'll just let the Muslims enforce that among each other..

I really don't know what the answer is to the friction between Muslim immigrants and their host countries. Some time back, I emailed Juan Cole on this question, and he said that Muslim immigrants have morals similar to those of many Europeans that came here 100 years ago---i.e., very conservative and traditional, especially with respect to women. That sounds about right, but when you combine the presence of an older morality with a religion which is in conflict with the religion of the home country, you have a different dynamic. The Church is the vehicle of moral instruction for religious people; if they come to this country and don't have any more modern Churches (mosques) to attend, then how can they learn the different, more tolerant standards of the host country?
I'll be harangued for this, but personally the more I learn about Islam, the less I like it (I'm an atheist---I already despise the other Abrahamic religions). I don't really believe that women have a choice about wearing the veil, for example, which is why I have come to approve of measures such as the French took 2 years ago.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Are well not completely tired of pandering to the Muslims? Why don't we start asking how the Buddhists are doing? Or how the Shinto's, or even the Methodists are getting along these days? Who gives a fuck about what the muslims want anymore. What the hell have the leaders of that faux religion done for their people in the last 300 years? The middle east hasn't infrastructurally progressed one iota in the last 100 years, which I am sure is a huge part of the problem. Sketch out a cartoon and they kill people. In fact, they are their own worst enemy having killed more muslims themselves than any other groups combined. They should all be relegated to the back room of society unless and until they all can learn how to play nice.

Posted by: Jay on February 20, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

I agree it's not surprising but is disturbing. I've read articles warning about Sharia law being a threat in Canada via the Muslims there.

There's an unpleasant reason why non-muslims aren't allowed in Mecca or Medina, the religion is immensely exclusionary at its core. This extends to financial affairs, contributing to the economic and civic isolation of Islamic states. "Islamic" banks have recently developed in reaction to this problem.

Posted by: jerry on February 20, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

I think the idea was that when people are exposed to a modern, rational society, they become modern and rational themselves.
If only.
I think it was Rising in the West, the book about Dust Bowl refugees in California that told the same tale. After several generations in Southern Cal, many if not most of these families are still the same rednecks who burned black Tulsa.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on February 20, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't react well to that statistic either, but (as always, depending on the exact question wording) this answer probably does not mean that muslims in Britain think non-Muslims (the "traditional" English, for lack of a better term) should abide by muslim law, even in predominately muslim areas. Rather, the respondents probably mostly envision a system whereby sharia would govern "private" or "domestic" activities of Muslims.

In other words, they could stone each other but not non-Muslim Brits? Well, that's better.

Posted by: kc on February 20, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

You know, none of the news stories I have read yet say what questions the ICM poll actually asked.

Nor have I seen any headlines pointing out that that 41 percent of those interviewed opposed any introduction of Sharia law even in Muslim-dominated parts of Britain.

Posted by: Jesurgislac on February 20, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ka'Bala (sp?) encloses a large black rock...a rock, for crying out loud, folks.

Big rock fell into their desert - proves they are chosen by God.


"If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, that's schizophrenia." Thomas Szasz

Posted by: CFShep on February 20, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Its not like having "personal law" which apply to particular religious minority communities hasn't been tried before--as in the case of India. But it is the case that the problem for these communities is that, as people have observed above, the communities themselves have a hard time policing their boundaries when their laws conflict with rights that the larger society would afford some individual. The two classic examples, of course, would be young men and women of all ages. Why should a woman opt to remain a "muslim" for purposes of personal law if it means that she gets screwed out of her rights *as a british citizen* under british divorce laws? Why should a young man submit to the less desirable parts of sharia law in the matter of chosing a wife or inheritance of property if, under some other legal system, he might benefit? This happens in the US under conflicts between tribal and us law too. Individuals sometimes sue (sometimes sucessfully sometimes not) to gain rights under one system that they have lost under the other. It makes policing the boundaries of who is "in" and who is "out" of the p rotected class of persons even more important than it is in theory.

I'm opposed to separate "personal" laws that are other than signed, enforceable, contracts between consenting adults. But that is not what the advocates of sharia law want--because they want it specifically to apply to non-consenting adults and to minors as well.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on February 20, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Republicrat -
The banks which offer no-interest Islamic-style home loans in the United States are not ordinary secular banks, but cooperative, member-only institutions operating within the Muslim community.

Posted by: Peter on February 20, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

"Theocracy is forever descending on America, but somehow it always lands somewhere else."

Posted by: Frank J. on February 20, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Go to the bible belt and change Sharia to Dominionism on the survey and then let's discuss the results. It is not surprising that conservative/fundamentalist believers of any faith would want/desire/acquiesce to the authority of their crazy belief systems.

Posted by: Hostile on February 20, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

...Forty per cent of the British Muslims surveyed said they backed introducing sharia in parts of Britain...

That's not so bad. 40% of Americans approve of the job that GW Bush is doing as President. For any population, you have to allow for 40% being flakes.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 20, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Jgurlac,
I too would like to see the actual question, but I have to say that if 41% opposed the introduction of Sharia, that number is far too low.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

What does sharia law say about driving on the left? That could get complicated...

It says IOKIYAM.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

i wonder about the methods used in the survey and how they might have influenced the outcome. i especially wonder about the polling sample and how individual participants were identified. sort of like polling catholics by staking out a church on sunday?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 20, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

This is exactly why immigration must be limited. The age old assumption that people come to the West in general and the U.S. in particular was for greater religious, political, and economic freedom has changed. Now, contrary to what many multi-cultural to a fault posters here will argue, throughout and Europe, Canada, Austalia, and the U.S. immigrant communities are assimilating less and less than they once did, primarily because their numbers are much larger in the aggregate than they once were. As natural a scientitst might say, we've reached a "tipping point."

Time to pull up the draw bridge as the U.S. is already too crowded, regardless of who wants to come.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 20, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

What does sharia law say about driving on the left? That could get complicated...

It says IOKIYAM.

I look forward to Turban and No Turban lanes.

Posted by: craigie on February 20, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

No, the M was for "man," not "Muslim." Which isn't really accurate in terms of sharia; I was just being snarky.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Anent Biblical law: how many children have ever been killed for being disrespectful to their parents?

So, right off the bat, there's a break from the letter of the law and the practice.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 20, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

So what clothes does a female islamic scholar wear in Saudi Arabia?

The abaya, of course. Fuck all to do with the question.


What is the value of her testimony in an Islamic court in a trial? 50% of a male.
And?

KSA's rules are idiotic and backwards. That's not in question. You're hand-waving to distract from the idiocy of your original statement. It was false and you know it.

The point is, the only place some of these Muslims get to practice what they preach is in the West..they don't speak for the Muslim majority in anyway.

Whether they speak for the 'Muslim majority' is a seperate question (your assertion in connexion with your idiotic statement re stoning rather doesn't impress me).

In terms of practising what they preach, well, maybe. Maybe not. Depends. Rather stupid, empty generalisation.

As for being a Malaysian citizen, maybe you are. Proves fuck all about your knowledge of the Middle East (in question re KSA etc) or indeed Islam etc.

Lounsbury
Aqoul.com

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Amusing this:
This is exactly why immigration must be limited. The age old assumption that people come to the West in general and the U.S. in particular was for greater religious, political, and economic freedom has changed.

You mean the post-facto mythology, right?

Europeans emmigrated to North America to get work.

And the wave of Catholics produced the exact same kinds of comments, as that and this:

Time to pull up the draw bridge as the U.S. is already too crowded, regardless of who wants to come.

Yup, can't trust the newcommers. Whoever they are.

Interesting, the precise correspondence in discourse.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Collounsbury,
Great to see you commenting here.
In comparison with earlier European immigrants, the difference between the religions of Muslim immigrants with the dominant religion is much greater. Of course, even Catholics were persecuted quite a bit, which is my point---religious differences in immigrants are a big deal. Can you tell us which European countries you think are doing the best and worst jobs adapting to Muslim immigration?

Thanks.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Responding to Tangoman

Collounsbury claims this is false.

It was false, as constructed it clearly indicated by suggestion that the Saudi extremism is the norm when in fact it is not.

It's more accurate to say that the sentence was poorly constructed by suggesting that religious police enforce Islamic law in many Islamic countries. In fact, religious police are features of the two countries specificed in the quote but the opening clause is mainly correct in that Islam and sharia are prominent in many Islamic countries. All one need do is ask Amina Lawal who was sentenced to stoning (eventually overturned) for adultery by the Nigerian Sharia Court.

It certainly is not correct in the manner implied.

The Nigerian case is peripheral (never mind it is not part of The Middle East which is what the article was focused on) and the Sharia courts 'innovation' of recent vintage in Nigeria.

It is certainly not typical or normal to have Sharia courts of that kind anywhere in the MENA region.

Criminal and in most civil courts are almost exclusively based off of Code Civil throughout MENA and indeed the wider Islamic world.


Further, Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution reads:

Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).

And? (Presuming the cite is correct, I don't feel like checking)

A piety, but in fact both civil law and criminal law and court practice are based off of Code Civil, with some influence from Islamic jurisprudence.

Practical reality.

Of course the real problem in Egypt is that the courts are weak, prone to corruption and under State control.

Visions of Sharia based barbarity are far and away trivial as compared to the real practical problem of underpaid judges, gross corruption and the interference of Mubarek's secular secret police in judicial affaires.

Article 7 of the Iraqi Constitution reads:

No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam

Shrug.

What the universally agreed tenents of Islam in fact are is rather less than clear to me, the constitutional clause is an empty piety in large part. The Iraqi law codes and court system remain based on the Code Civil system, largely off of the initial interpretation into Arabic that the Egyptians (as well as Iraqis) developed in the late colonial/early independence era.

Article 227(1) of the Pakistani Constitution reads:

All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions.

When did Pakistan become the Middle East?


Various Provinces within the nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Nigeria use Sharia law. Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Yemen have criminal laws that reflect traditional Islamic practice, banning Muslims from drinking or selling alcohol.

And in North America, there are laws banning the sale of alcohol and other immoral products, etc. on Sundays.

The point being what?

(again of course, the article was about the Middle East, so muddying the waters by dragging in non-Middle East countries rather changes the standard from what I was commenting on, rather like a comment on North America and the response notes practice in Norway.)

I would note, as a point of correction, that Jordan does not ban the consumption of alcohol by Muslims, although liquor store licenses etc. can not be primarily held by a Muslim. He has to have an Xian partner. Ah yes, and alcohol can't be sold within x metres of a Mosque.

Shrug. In plenty of ostensibly secular European and North American jurisdictions there are bans on sale of alchohol within x metres of a church etc.

And if one rewinds merely 20-40 years, one would find yet more laws based on explicetly Xian religious precepts.

Religious sentiment having influence on law codes reflects the underlying culture and certainly if one stops shrieking in fear over the scary Muslims, one would recognise much of the supposedly scary "Sharia" influence over law is really no different than similar Xian influence over the law in Xian countries - historically until very recent times and even presently.

One should be able to analytically distinguish between actual Sharia courts run on by the ulema, and proper court systems and legal codes that naturally reflect the societal mores of the underlying society.

The first is a serious problem and very bad practice. The second may or may not be a genuine issue.

However, the Islamophobes like to confuse the issue by throwing up in the scariest light possible any potential 'influence' - and engaging in massive straw man and red herring argumentation.

An Egyptian court, in 1993, declared Nasr Abu Zayd an apostate and ordered he be divorced from his Muslim wife. His crime? The court didn't like some of his writings.

Indeed, and it was a scandal in Egypt.

In actual fact, the proceedings were rather more complex. Under family law for Muslims, which is civil code mixed in with Sharia jurisprudence a Muslim woman can't be married to a non-Muslim. The Jihadis who brought the case claimed Zayd was an apostate because of his writings, and by a chain of argumentation got around to getting the judge to force the divorce.

The story here is less Sharia code influence, but rather Jihadi neo-Salafi nutjobs intimidating the state and judges into issueing a completely mad and nonsensical ruling (although very much in the political tradition of the secular Nasserite system of political manipulation of courts to render bizarre verdicts againts opponents). The ruling actually made no sense even under Sharia - it was pure abuse.

Also, many Middle Eastern nations guarantee the freedom of religion but those rights don't include the right to speak against Islam nor to act on such convictions. It's also forbidden for Muslims to convert away from Islam.

Indeed. Nothing is perfect.

However, that is hardly the same as blood-drenched Sharia courts and the like scare-mongerers like to pain.

I would note being mildy critical of Islamic practice is typically not an issue.

In this area, I am simply patient.

A culture that feels itself under attack is not going to change such clauses, although they're hardly necessary. Symbolic value.

The fundamental issue here is that in Islam, there is no separation between the sacred and the secular. The law is infused with religion.

So was Xian law, that is not the same problem.

Most law in MENA - in real terms - as I noted is based on Code Civil and not in practical terms infused with religion, again contra the scare mongering.

The concept of a division into sacred and secular is certainly absent in the Islamic tradition, as a specific structure.

However, at the same time in actual Sunni practice and historically Shia, "clerics" did not get involved in actual rulership. They gave moral advice to rulers, who applied the law.

There is plenty of basis to build a legal tradition that while having recourse to religious sentiment to inform its standards, is independently administered.

Will it look like the European case? No. But that is neither good nor bad. It is different. In practice one might end up in the positive or the negative, but like ostentatious secularism - which produced the murderous regimes of the Communist world - it could produce either.

To say that Saudi Arabia are Iran are unrepresentantive with respect to Islamic law is not entirely accurate.

Rubbish.

KSA and Iran are absolutely far away from typical MENA region practice with respect to the Law, regardless of your clouding the issue with scare-mongering distortions and vague hand waving.


They are certainly the most severe in interpretation, but let's wait to see what happens with Hamas, and see what happens if Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front actually takes power.

FIS in Algeria is dead.

As to Hamas, yes, indeed one has to see.

However, in actual MENA region, Iran and KSA remain unrepresentative.

collounsbury
'Aqoul
www.aqoul.com

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

The banks which offer no-interest Islamic-style home loans in the United States are not ordinary secular banks, but cooperative, member-only institutions operating within the Muslim community.

British banks offer Islamic products. Indeed, they're quite profitable. So what? If the consumer wants a certain product, we in Finance can always concot something.

The problem appears to be irrational fear.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Overreact? What do you mean? Nearly half of British Muslims would like to live under Sharia! That's 1.2% of British citizens! Western civilization is doomed!

Posted by: Mike on February 20, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it the case that pro-sharia sentiment is being stoked by some foreign governments for domestic political reasons? I don't know this for a fact, but that is how things appear.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Collounsbury,
Great to see you commenting here.

I drop by and read things of interest. Things touching on MENA / Europe. The US domestic politics are uninteresting.

In comparison with earlier European immigrants, the difference between the religions of Muslim immigrants with the dominant religion is much greater.

True, and so is the fear.

Of course, even Catholics were persecuted quite a bit, which is my point---religious differences in immigrants are a big deal. Can you tell us which European countries you think are doing the best and worst jobs adapting to Muslim immigration?

The UK.

That does not mean all is perfect or there can not be improvements, but it strikes me UK is going a great job.

Spain oddly seems to be okay.

France is running towards disaster.

collounsbury
aqoul.com

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the response, col.
Obviously the fear goes both ways.
On the other hand, for religious people, churches (mosques) can be a place of transmission of appropriate cultural values---a positive force.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it the case that pro-sharia sentiment is being stoked by some foreign governments for domestic political reasons? I don't know this for a fact, but that is how things appear.

In the UK?

KSA finances this sort of thing, partly out of distorted piety, party to keep things under control at home.

Of course again we get back to two issues:
(i) what sharia really means
(ii) who's controlling the dialogue.

Sadly the religious sphere is largely ceded to the seperatist whack jobs, and they are sadly as well the first ones to latch on to frustrated young men (and when are young men not frustrated?) looking for causes.

I think of them as the functional equivalent of the hard left Red Brigade types recruiting back in the 70s

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

In the US, the dynamic is extremely perpexing, since on the one hand, we are at war with a vast Islamofascist movement, and on the other hand, Bush's best friends and allies are the same Islamofascists' financial backers.
Seems like a shell game to me, but for what benefit and to whom, I am not sure. Most likely oil companies.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously the fear goes both ways.
On the other hand, for religious people, churches (mosques) can be a place of transmission of appropriate cultural values---a positive force.

Yes they can. But an emerging problem is that in Muslim communities KSA financed whack job preachers are too common and too influential.

Not so much with the masses of moderate adults, but with the fringe types and the angry young men feeling put out by whatever.

This is dangerous, and should be addressed.

Not as a "ohmilord the Muslims are scary" reaction (nor the wooley headed "but if we just please them blah blah blah) but as a typical state security issue.

Just like the anarchist murderers that were the radical Left in Europe in the 70s.

Infiltrated and broken (while also addressing those issues in the community that are genuine).

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

I personally despise the term "Islamofascist"

It is not accurate and rather has an ugly sound to it.

The Neo Salafi jihadi murders are not really fascist in a meaningful sense.

That being said, the queer position of KSA in both financing extremism (to buy off the radicals who hate the corrupt fat whoring Ibn Saud) and providing the rest of the world with oil is ... most unpleasant.

There are not easy solutions. Clearly reducing their revenues would help - energy efficiency and substitution away from hydrocarbons strikes me as a very sensible global policy for reasons of economic efficiency alone - one can add in all kinds of nice happy warm and fuzzy reasons on to that as well.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Col.
I'm sorry if my irony was not evident---but I think the term Islamofascist is a farce.
And the proof that Bush doesn't take the concept seriously is his relationship with KSA.
I like your analysis of the mosque problem as a state security issue based on rooting out foreign agent provocateurs---that sounds about right to me.

You must have noticed that Bush backtracked on his SOTU pledge to reduce consumption of ME oil almost immediately. No real attempts at energy independence will occur while the current joint oil consortium of Bush and the Saudis is in power.

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

KSA's rules are idiotic and backwards. Posted by: collounsbury

All religious rules are idiotic and backwards. You must admit, though, that most of Christianity and Judiasm seem to have made it into the 21st Century. When does Islam plan to them?

Posted by: Jeff II on February 20, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

As long as you're still here.. if you are, any thoughts about ME oil reserves? Are they overstated? If so, could this cause serious near-term economic dislocation?

Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

ME reserves?

I am not an oil analyst, all I can say is that it would not surprise me if they are overstated.

As to Jeff II.

Well since if one compares like to like (i.e. Muslim majority countries with Xian of similar income levels), you can find all kinds of fun things like abortion bans, witch burning (southern Africa), and the like, I find your silly comment merely boring.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Don't think it happen here in the U.S. anytime soon? Looks like it is happening now: Halfway to Heaven.

This is why I still won't buy Domino's pizza, even though it has been sold.

From the article:


For Tom Monaghan, the devout Catholic who founded Domino's Pizza and is now bankrolling most of the initial $400 million cost of the project, Ave Maria is the culmination of a lifetime devoted to spreading his own strict interpretation of Catholicism. Though he says nonbelievers are welcome, Monaghan clearly wants the community to embody his conservative values. He controls all the commercial real estate in town (along with his developing partner, Barron Collier Cos.) and is asking pharmacies not to carry contraceptives. If forced to choose between two otherwise comparable drugstores, Barron Collier would favor the one that honored that request, says its president and CEO, Paul Marinelli. Discussing his life as a millionaire Catholic who puts his money where his faith is, Monaghan says: "I believe all of history is just one big battle between good and evil. I don't want to be on the sidelines."

...

So far, Naples Community Hospital, which plans to open a clinic in Ave Maria Town, says it will not prescribe any birth control to students. Will others be able to get the pill? "For the general public, the answer is probably yes, but not definitely yes," says hospital point man Edgardo Tenreiro.

Posted by: Robert on February 20, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

The range is from the atrociously out of date, such as criminal punishments to the merely religious detials like regulating Halal slaughterhouses.)
Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Dude, you're kidding yourself if you think that the Al Qaeda killers who are calling for global universal sharia are really all that concerned about the regulation of slaughterhouses.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry if my irony was not evident---but I think the term Islamofascist is a farce.
Posted by: marky on February 20, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

The farce is that we have not yet had a serious public debate about this term. We hear about it a lot among the rightwing commenters. But nobody talks about what our options are.

There are the extremes: Capitulate or Kill Them All.
Then there are messy shades of grey in between, from;
Live and let live.
to
Become energy independent and Israel independent, and ignore them.
to
Spend trillions trying to root out the fanatics, take off the gloves, provoke to make sure you also get all the moderates who are likely to become fanatics.
to
Stir up the anthills and let them kill themselves off, and hope we can still extract meaningful quantities of oil.
to
Open up investment, socialize oil profits, but spend it on education, democratic reforms, send their women to college, and all the other cool stuff that kills fundamentalist religious regimes dead.
to
etc.

But nobody's had any real discussion about this in the public sphere. There's this bland wishywashiness from the Bush Administration, which sends the "We're gonna kill them all, but we can't admit it publicly cuz the Liberals - just trust us." message. But we know damn well they have no intention of following through with such a thing, because "kill them all" deprives yourself the ability to economically enslave them.

But there's been the enormously profitable (PR-wise) idea that all liberals are for "let's just convert to islam and get it over with".

The democrats have really fallen down on what the message should be, and pushing the debate on what Americans should be after here.

I'm sure there are a lot of really pissed off Americans after 9/11 (and now the Cartoon riots) - but they're refusing to acknowledge the reality that - "Kill them all" just ain't gonna happen. And it's this refusal to acknowledge that, that's put us into this position of pretending to be chasing the "kill them all" goal, while ignoring any other realistic options.

Fuck, if we had a "global muslim annihilation bomb" that could be activated with a single press of a button (just for sake of argument) and put it up for a fair, simple popular majority vote here in the US - I wonder if we'd actually have the guts to vote yes? I don't really think we have the guts to honestly assess that. What we'd prefer to do, instead, is pretend we're not for that when it's convenient, and let some other "bad boy" make those kinds of decisions. It's an abdication of the RESPONSIBILITY for being a citizen in a Democracy. (Just like our penchant for purchasing slave-manufactured goods at low Wal-Mart prices).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Dude"

Dude, you're kidding yourself if you think that the Al Qaeda killers who are calling for global universal sharia are really all that concerned about the regulation of slaughterhouses.

My comments were about Muslims generally being interested in Sharia, not al Qaeda you sub-literate knee-jerking moron.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Your follow on comment, "Dude" is simply incoherent mish mash of typical idiot lefty commentary about 'slave' mfg (perish the thought poor labourers in emerging markets have an opportunity to work) to frankly incoheren rambling about genocide.

Wonderful combo.

Subliterate lefty twits.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

..."Sharia" influence over law is really no different than similar Xian influence over the law in Xian countries - .

Indeed. Such influences are an abomination, and an affront to democratic and secular values. You can't really shriek in fear of Sharia without also pointing the trembling finger at the school prayer/intelligent design/10-commmandments wack jobs.

I don't think there's a way to reconcile the desires of fundamentalists to lord their mythology-based legal system over all of humanity, and humanity's desire to permit all religious systems to co-exist peacefully.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

(perish the thought poor labourers in emerging markets have an opportunity to work) to frankly incoheren rambling about genocide.
Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yes - damn those evil leftists and their child-labor laws, stealing away every child's opportunity to work!

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

"All religious rules are idiotic and backwards"

Yeah, that "thou shalt not steal" is sheer caveman, and the "love your neighbor as yourself" is pure absurdity.

Posted by: mch on February 20, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't think there's a way to reconcile the desires of fundamentalists to lord their mythology-based legal system over all of humanity, and humanity's desire to permit all religious systems to co-exist peacefully."

So when do we start burning the churches, mosques and synagogues, in the name of freedom.

Posted by: mch on February 20, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

mch

Indeed.

And yes you illiterate lefty git, when child labour laws when the actual choice is between starvation, begging and traditional work, can be stupid.

But then nothing sold in Wal Mart is made via child labour so that is merely hand waving to distract from your previous hysterical shrieking.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that "thou shalt not steal" is sheer caveman, and the "love your neighbor as yourself" is pure absurdity.
Posted by: mch on February 20, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Um, yeah, can we update that one to cover copyright and patent law please?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

So when do we start burning the churches, mosques and synagogues, in the name of freedom.
Posted by: mch on February 20, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Who said anything about burning churches?

And yes you illiterate lefty git, when child labour laws when the actual choice is between starvation, begging and traditional work, can be stupid.
Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hm - two folks offering a purely black-or-white view of the world.

No, there's no possible middle ground between;
Absolute Dominionist Theocracy - and State Enforced Atheism. (for instance: separation of church and state).

And there's no possible middle ground between Anarcho-Capitalism and Soviet-style breadlines. (for instance, a rationally regulated economy).

Two peas in a pod. God it's good to be an incoherent "lefty git"

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

You're the fellow making idiotic statments mate, as in pretending my comment was about al-qaeda. I suppose now you've realised how moronic your comments have been, backpeddling is all you have.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

http://anti-slavery.org/slavery_today/products/index-map.html

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

collounsbury: I personally despise the term "Islamofascist"
=====
It is not accurate and rather has an ugly sound to it.

It refers to that subset of Moslems (in Indonesia, about 25% of Moslems) who attempt to attain political power by terrorizing their opponents: beating and killing, burning opposition newspapers, burning homes of Christians -- that sort of thing. Not all Moslems, but it includes the Taliban, and the jihadists of Iraq

Posted by: republicrat on February 20, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

You're the fellow making idiotic statments mate, as in pretending my comment was about al-qaeda.
Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

No - I was giving an example about how your attempt at mitigating the radical spin on Sharia is patently absurd. Sharia should never be a valid input source for any secular legal system. It's not at all about mundanities like regulation of slaughterhouses. It's about power and control. It is not because some proponents of sharia don't advocate blowing up infidels. It's because some of them are. It's not because the worst common examples of "bad things that happened to people under sharia" are edge-cases and abuses. It's that such abuses are possible under a system that abhors transparency and democratic moderation, and the concept that a person is innocent until proven guilty.


Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

But the US is already under fundamental Christian Sharia law.

stupid comments like that do not advance the discussion.

Posted by: republicrat on February 20, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Peter: Republicrat -
The banks which offer no-interest Islamic-style home loans in the United States are not ordinary secular banks, but cooperative, member-only institutions operating within the Muslim community.

I believe that news is outdated. In order to be competitive, mainstream banks have implemented sharia-compatible programs. sorry that I don't have a link.

Posted by: republicrat on February 20, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

I believe that news is outdated. In order to be competitive, mainstream banks have implemented sharia-compatible programs. sorry that I don't have a link.
Posted by: republicrat on February 20, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but are such banks profitable?

And if they are - then why is a law that limits the amount of profit a bank can make off a loan (ie. anti-usury laws) more valid than a law that limits how little a factory owner can pay it's workers (or how young a worker he or she can hire)?

Please don't tell me it's because the anti-usury law comes from God, because Mammon probably would disagree with that. I think the Flying Spaghetti Monster would also take issue.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on February 20, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but are such banks profitable?

And if they are - then why is a law that limits the amount of profit a bank can make off a loan (ie. anti-usury laws) more valid than a law that limits how little a factory owner can pay it's workers (or how young a worker he or she can hire)?

Google "Sharia compliant mortgage" +UK, OBF, and you'll find the answer to your question.

Posted by: jayann on February 20, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

No - I was giving an example about how your attempt at mitigating the radical spin on Sharia is patently absurd. Sharia should never be a valid input source for any secular legal system.

I.e, posturing little ignorant moron.

You've got a phobia about religion and Islam in particular.

Whatever your shrieking about "never"


It's not at all about mundanities like regulation of slaughterhouses. It's about power and control.

Like all law.

Welcome to the world kid.

It's that such abuses are possible under a system that abhors transparency and democratic moderation, and the concept that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Posture, posture, posture.

First, of course, I note that Code Civil doesn't presume innocent until proven guilty. Try not to impose American pecularities as generalities.

As for "a system" - there's nothing inherently untransparent about Shariat laws, and given you know fuck all about Sharia except some newspaper articles, I'll give a pass on your whinging on about "abhoring" moderation or not.

RE our young little lefty's question about Islamic finance products, they're actually quite profitable in general.

Why anyone should have their diapers in a bunch over islamic finance products and blithering on about usury laws (although they are of a religious origin).

As to Islamofascist
It refers to that subset of Moslems (in Indonesia, about 25% of Moslems) who attempt to attain political power by terrorizing their opponents: beating and killing, burning opposition newspapers, burning homes of Christians -- that sort of thing. Not all Moslems, but it includes the Taliban, and the jihadists of Iraq

I am well aware of who you are refering to, I simply find the term to be stupid, clumsy and borderline illiterate.

There's really nothing "fascist" in the proper sense about the Islamist/jihadi extremists. I rather prefer to have accurate and not ugly-clumsy terms mushed together. Islamist works fairly well, Islamist extremist, Salafi extremist. All have a better ring and have the advantage of not ripping a term of European politics out of its contexts simply for its abuse value.

Posted by: collounsbury on February 20, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Damn. OBF said And if they are - then why is a law that limits the amount of profit a bank can make off a loan (ie. anti-usury laws) more valid than a law that limits how little a factory owner can pay it's workers (or how young a worker he or she can hire)?,

(I messed up the coding.)

OBF I support laws of the kind you seem to oppose.

Collounsbury, I don't think OBF's all that left wing. (I am.)

Posted by: jayann on February 21, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK
It's easy to overreact to findings of polls, but you gotta admit that stuff like this is pretty disturbing.

Not really. Finding that a substantial minority of a minority religion would like some part of their religious law to govern the areas they live in isn't that disturbing. Its kind of expected.

I suspect you'd find a similar minority of adherents to the majority religion in the United States would like their sectarian precepts to guide, in some part, the government of the entire country, irrespective of the locally dominant religious belief. The electoral results show that support. Which is more disturbing?

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

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