God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, September 12, 2005


According to CTV.ca, "Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says there will be no sharia law in his province and that he will move to ban all faith-based arbitrations." This is a very smart move.

The group No To Political Islam lays out the reasons why western civilizations should whole-heartedly reject sharia law:

The more pernicious interpretations of the Sharia today fall far short of the minimum standards of justice widely demanded by the international community and by Muslims and non-muslims alike.

The Sharia should be opposed for its imposition of theocracy over democracy, its abuse of human rights, its institutionalized discrimination, its denial of human dignity and individual autonomy, its punishment of alternative lifestyle choices, and for the severity of its punishments.

The Sharia as it developed in the first few centuries of Islam incorporated many pre-Islamic Middle-Eastern misogynist and tribal customs and traditions. The Sharia was developed not only from the Holy Quran but incorporates legal principles from other sects.

The Sharia reflects the social and economic conditions at the time of the Abbasids and has become further and further out of touch with later social, economic, technological, cultural and moral developments. The principles of the Sharia are inimical to moral progress, humanity and civilized values.

Not only should sharia law be rejected by western civilization (if only because of its anti-democratic, anti-individual, misogynistic nature) so should any separate faith or culturally based legal structure. Allowing citizens of a republic to partition themselves into factions with different legal systems and rights, many of which would be in total conflict with the others, is a sure recipe for chaos. Women, for example, most certainly do not have the same standing before an Imam that they would before an impartial judge. Such fracturing would also be a clear violation of the equal protection clause of the federal and state constitutions (in the United States anyway, but I imagine Canada has something similar.)

Adherents to a particular religion who wish to get spiritual advice on dealing with legal issues according to their faith are perfectly free to do so. Still, they must be held accountable to, and protected by, the same laws as all other citizens.


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