The problem with Gingrich’s simplistic attack on sharia: Read More on Muslim Times on What is Sharia?

Washington Post: Opinion by Michael Gerson: ……Who else shares this interpretation of sharia law? Well, totalitarians naturally do. Gingrich joins Iranian clerics, Taliban leaders and Salafists of various stripes in believing that the most authentic expression of sharia law is fundamentalism and despotism.

Other Muslims — many other Muslims — dispute this. The varied traditions of Islamic jurisprudence assign different weights to scripture, tradition, reason and consensus in the interpretation of Islamic law. Some assert it is identical to the cultural and legal practices of 7th-century Arabia, creating a real global danger. But others believe it is a set of transcendent principles of justice separable from its initial cultural expression and binding mainly on the individual. Most Muslims respect Islamic law. But the interpretation of sharia varies greatly from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia to Tanzania to Detroit.

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2 replies

  1. Muslim Tradition is not equal to wife beating or child marriage like the Western civilization is not equal to torture in Abu Gharaib or alcoholism or Christian tradition or atheism equal to Spanish inquisitions or holocaust

    Any tradition that is followed by billions and have millions of apologists is bound to show some dirty laundry for one reason or another. Without going into specific reasons, why we all have dirty laundry, because we all sweat and are smelly mammals, let me just suggest that to understand a tradition, you want to immerse yourself in it at least temporarily, while you study it, so you can judge it in a holistic fashion as an insider rather than as an outside critic, who just frowns at what he or she finds ugly!

    One may not agree with individual details of what is written in the Holy Quran and it does not have to be forced on a society. It only gives a choice to the society. For example, I have never known any woman, including my mother, whom I respected and loved a lot, who would be fully happy with the permission of polygamy. However, this does not mean that polygamy is bad for those women who cannot find a suitable husband or for those children, who do not have a loving and responsible father. So, as legislative body examines the utility of any idea before approving its details, likewise, in a pluralistic society, a congress could discuss the merit of any idea, or lack thereof, whether it comes from the Quran, the Bible, the mind of a visionary or someone with a myopic vision. As long as we agree on the legislative process, there should be perfect peace and harmony!

    Each and every recommendation of Sharia, whether it is mentioned in the Holy Quran or not, should be judged on its utilitarian value and not lumped together to promote the monster of Islamophobia or a political agenda of grabbing power. If we lump every thing together, it is not a dialogue but merely political posturing!

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