A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Facts and Myths About Sharia Law

Unlike many people on Facebook, I am not an expert on sharia law. In fact, I know very little about it; and one thing is for certain-- you won't learn much about it that's accurate from watching and listening to journalists and political pundits. So, perhaps we can learn something from someone who truly knows what is true and what is not about sharia. Asifa Quraishi-Landes is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law. She highlights five popular myths about sharia. I only list them below, but her commentary on each is worth a read.

Myth #1: Sharia is "Islamic law."

Myth #2: In Muslim countries, sharia is the law of the land.

Myth #3: Sharia is anti-woman.

Myth #4: Islam demands brutal punishments.

Myth #5: Sharia is about conquest.

Quraishi-Landes writes,
In the same way that the Ku Klux Klan's tactics are a poor representation of Christian practice (despite its claims to be a Christian organization), the Islamic State is the worst place to look to understand what sharia says about punishment and the treatment of innocents and prisoners. It's true that sharia permits harsh corporal punishment, including amputation of limbs, but fiqh restricts its application. Theft, for example, doesn't include anything stolen out of hunger or items of low value. Adultery? Yes, corporal punishment for extramarital sex is Koranic in origin, but it comes with an extremely high evidentiary burden of proof: four eye-witnesses. It's a sin but not one that is the business of the state to punish.
So, there we have it. We are entitled to our own opinions, to be sure, but not our own facts.
The entire article can be read here.

1 comment:

bthomas said...
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