Monday, 16 January 2012

A leading barrister has called for the UK to become more sharia-literate, while arguing that Islamic law can be compatible with the toughest human rights legislation.

Sadakat Kadri told the Guardian that so-called "sharia courts", such as the Muslim arbitration tribunal, could serve "the community as a whole" by putting Sharia on a transparent, public footing and should be more widely accessible to those who want to use them.


Kadri said they played a role in safeguarding human rights: "It's very important that they be acknowledged and allowed to exist. So long as they're voluntary, which is crucial, it's in everyone's interests these things be transparent and publicly accessible. If you don't have open tribunals, they're going to happen anyway, but behind closed doors."

In 2008, Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, sparked controversy when he appeared to suggest that sharia law should be more widely adopted.

In fact, under the Arbitration Act 1996, the rulings of religious bodies, including the Muslim arbitration tribunal, already have legal force in disputes involving matters such as inheritance and divorce.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, has long opposed the use of sharia in the UK, and argued the rule of law "must not be compromised by the introduction of a theocratic legal system operating in parallel".

He said: "There can be no convincing case made for it to have even a toe-hold in western societies that have developed a mature and far superior legal system. I regard any legal system based on a theocratic model as being dangerous and innately unjust. There is no escaping the fact – whatever interpretation you put on it — that sharia treats women differently from men"

But Kadri, a barrister and contemporary of Barack Obama at Harvard Law School, stresses the ability of sharia to adapt and change. He sets out the history of sharia in a book, Heaven and Earth, to be published next week. He describes the slow development of sharia law, which many assume to be derived directly from the Qur'an, in the centuries after the death of Muhammad.

"After 7/7," he said, "people were saying the sharia is all about violence, it's all about chopping people's hands off, it's all about stoning adulterers to death. Others said it's nothing to do with that, Islam is a religion of peace. Clearly both of those things were true at a certain level, but very early on I just realised no one had a clue what sharia said about this or that."

Sharia, which means "path" in Arabic, is the name Muslims give to a wide-ranging collection of ethical and legal principles that believers are expected to observe. It includes prohibitions on certain foods and alcohol, as well as the obligation to visit Mecca and give to charity.

"I'm not a theologian," said Kadri. "But this is my interpretation of Islamic history. There's a mistaken belief that Islamic law is a vast unchanging body of rules – 1,400 years of Muslim history shows that little could be further from the truth."

"It's really important that the Muslim community engage with its actual history, as well as idealised traditions. If that's to take root, critical engagement with the past among young Muslims will be crucially important."

Kadri points out that many of the punishments associated in people's minds with sharia law have only been applied very recently. "I try to show how it's only really in the last 40 years, since Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, but more especially since the Iranian revolution in 1979 that the idea of enforcing Islamic rules through national laws has come to the fore. Before 1973, it was only Saudi Arabia which actually did that."
Source: The Guardian

He, or the Guardian, then gives us a classic example of one of the standard Muslim deception techniques: "It's not in the Koran!"
Top five sharia myths

That amputation is a typical punishment for theft in Muslim countries

Of the world's 50 or so Muslim-majority states, only about half a dozen allow for amputations and at least one of those countries – Pakistan – has never carried out the penalty in practice
That veiling is mandatory under sharia law

Women are simply advised by the Qur'an to wear modest clothing and – like men – to lower their eyes and maintain their chastity

That suicide bombing is permissable under sharia law

Most interpreters of the Qur'an understand it to forbid suicide. The first suicide bombing by Muslims was carried out in 1983 during the Lebanese civil war

Stoning is mentioned in the Qur'an

Stoning is not mentioned as a punishment in the Qur'an. It was institutionalised on the basis of hadiths (reports about Muhammad) which were themselves not written down until more than a century after his death

Capital punishment for apostasy is mentioned by the Qur'an

The Qur'an repeatedly warns believers who abandon their faith that they will have to account to God in the afterlife, but it does not provide for their punishment on earth. Again, it was hadiths that later served to justify the death penalty


Who cares if it's in the Koran? It's in the set of canonical (for Sunni Muslims, 70-80% of all Muslims) hadith.

H/T Bluepanic

5 comments:

Bluepanic said...

Growing use of Sharia by UK Muslims , BBc today ;)

Link & Video
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16522447

Chrysostomos said...

It's troubling this idiotic propaganda that seeks to cloud reason. Suicide is prohibited in Islam, yes, but a "mujahid" isn't full of despair in life. Qaradawi said it best:

"These operations [suicide bombings] are the supreme form of jihad for the sake of Allah, and a type of terrorism that is allowed by Shari‘ah … the term ‘‘suicide operations’’ is an incorrect and misleading term, because these are heroic operations of martyrdom, and have nothing to do with suicide … While someone who commits suicide has lost hope for himself and with the spirit of Allah, the mujahid is full of hope with regard to Allah’s spirit and mercy. He fights his enemy and the enemy of Allah with this new weapon, which destiny has put in the hands of the weak, so that they would fight against the evil of the strong and arrogant."

This is backed up by numerous hadith and whatnot but you'd never read about those in any mainstream media article.

sheik yer'mami said...

He kept the Islam carefully out of his wiki page, but since he's a Paki who claims Islam is compatible with yuman rites who are we to doubt him?

The Koran says "this book must not be doubted"- and since this British born Muselmaniac sees it as his duty to push sharia in the UK I guess we should give him a public flogging for being such a liar.....

DP111 said...

Let us consider the hypothetical situation that ALL Muslims at present living in the West, accepted the call, under the threat of expulsion, to clean up their communities of extremism . They even went further and made changes in their teachings of the Koran, Sharia and the jihad. Such an outcome would no doubt come as a relief to many on this site, the government, the MSM, and elsewhere. But I counter, that all such changes were being done merely to protect the ummah while it grows at ever-increasing pace in the West. Once a near majority is achieved, that future generation of Muslims will simply revoke any changes(Taqqiya is advocated for Muslims when under stress), and return to the traditions of the unchanging and unchangeable Koran and Shariai.e., the canonical texts of Islam that cannot be changed, but only protected when under duress. That future generation of Muslims in the UK or the West, will even praise this generation of Muslims for having done what was necessary to protect Islam.

Anonymous said...

No objection, DP111!

I see it the same way. It might be changed - to protect islam - and then turned back to the original again at a later stage.

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