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03:00 PM on 09/17/2010
It matters because low information voters will never take the time to learn what it is and what it means because it has been defined for them by the GOP & Fox News. Sadly
01:17 PM on 09/17/2010
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." It is the ultimate norm of high morality in our culture. Sure there are other morals by which we live, but this one phrase embodies our most cherished value: That we should treat people as we would like to be treated.
12:47 PM on 09/17/2010
The author never states why a flag on the porch means racism, why does it to some people? I liked where the analogy was going but without it being complete I don't quite understand the connection.
02:43 AM on 09/16/2010
@ " At the most basic level, sharî'ah is the Muslim universe of ideals." .... FULSE ! ---

09:10 PM on 09/15/2010
You mention punishments are only "a small sliver" of shariah. How do all four fiqh view apostasy? My understanding is that all four view it as punishable by death. Could you shed some light on that?
10:33 AM on 09/16/2010
Not necessarily. Hanbali is farily universal in how they issue rulings (they are essentially the Qu'ran alone school), but the Hanafi and Mali'ki allow for much more outside influence and therefore become more culturally centric. The Hanfi school varies from radicals like the Taliban, who end up looking like the Hanbali in many ways (though it is more due to their underlying Pashtunwali code than their Islam sepcifically) to the Turkish, Indonesian, and European Muslims (ones who have been there a while, not recent Aab immigrants who are more Hanbali) who are much more secular and view only the family law sections of Shari'a as having any legal authority (lime most Christians in the US still generally recognizing a religious law in the Bible through the Ten Commandments and Leviticus, but most view those laws as independent of state laws and not binding in any way on nonbelievers; same with reformed Judaism, etc).
12:48 PM on 09/15/2010
"Translated as “the path,” shariah is a comprehensive legal and political framework. Though it certainly has spiritual elements, it would be a mistake to think of shariah as a “religious” code in the Western sense because it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere — economic, social, military, legal and political.

"Shariah is the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle. On one side of the divide are Muslim reformers and authentic moderates — figures like Abdurrahman Wahid, the late president of Indonesia and leader of the world’s largest libertarian Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama — whose members embrace ... separation of the spiritual and secular realms. On this side of the divide, shariah is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct...

"By contrast ... Islamists. ... seek to impose a totalitarian regime: a global totalitarian system cloaked as an Islamic state and called a caliphate. ... shariah is an immutable, compulsory system that Muslims are obliged to install and the world required to adopt, the failure to do so being deemed a damnable offence against Allah. For these ideologues, shariah is not a private matter. Adherents see the West as an obstacle to be overcome, not a culture and civilization to be embraced, or at least tolerated. It is impossible, they maintain, for alternative legal systems and forms of governments peacefully to coexist with the end-state they seek ..."
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05:12 AM on 09/15/2010
Mr. Jackson, do you have any comment on this statement?

"There is a scholarly difference these days with
regard to fiqh al-aqalliyyat or the fiqh of
Muslim minorities. Some scholars regard it as
an innovation that manipulates Allah’s religion,
and others consider it a lawful necessity.
What is your point of view on that issue with
special reference to the concept of fiqh al-aqalliyyat
itself? What is the nature of the scholarly
difference in that regard?71"

page 12
01:55 PM on 09/15/2010
Thanks for the link. It's a really informative essay about parameters of minority Muslim behavior, how to navigate living in the West.
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05:09 AM on 09/15/2010
Mr. Jackson:

Do you have any comment on this statement?

There is a scholarly difference these days with
regard to fiqh al-aqalliyyat or the fiqh of
Muslim minorities. Some scholars regard it as
an innovation that manipulates Allah’s religion,
and others consider it a lawful necessity.
What is your point of view on that issue with
special reference to the concept of fiqh al-aqalliyyat
itself? What is the nature of the scholarly
difference in that regard?71

page 12
06:18 PM on 09/14/2010
This is an amazing article. Very well written. Kudos to the author.
01:37 PM on 09/14/2010
The argument has two factors

A) Should non-Islamic secular states like USA, most of Europe, India, China - be adopting a separate set of laws (civil or criminal or both) for Muslims. (India already has separate Civil Laws for Muslims by the AIMPLB). This has been contested time and again in the Muslim majority ghettos in UK, France, Nigeria, India, Thailand, Philippines and denial of the secular state leads to violent protests called upon by "fringe Islamic extremists". This is a case of immigration without assimilation that has become the norm after cheap Air travel and cheap communications keeps immigrants closer to their roots than to the country they live in.

B) how acceptable is Sharia Law and Islamic jurisprudence being already applied by citizens of secular states when they clash with local laws and local aspiration - who should be forced to give up? (It is usually applied in the form of honor killing, denying pork and alcohol bottles in taxicabs by Muslim drivers, divorce by men saying Talaq 3 times, inability of women to work, forcible use of veil/hijab, beatings of women at home by husbands as per the Quranic traditions, stopping apostasy by violence, giant loudspeakers for Azaan disturbing local peace, Islamic finance etc. )

I am not a wingnut, but from first hand experience majority of educated Muslims want their daughters to work, want them to succeed and be happy. Influence of the Imams and Islamic scholars forces these family Muslims to become monsters.
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03:27 PM on 09/14/2010
Right on the money.
07:26 PM on 09/14/2010
Talaq (Divorce) is not accomplished by simply repeating "Talaq" three times. Depending on the particular "school" of jurisprudence the process will normally take at least 3-4 months. The man must separate from the woman, wait the duration of at least 3 monthly menstrual cycles and not have sexual intercourse at all during the duration. He must forfeit the mahr (wedding gift - not bride price) he gave. Although he must in fact pronounce the Talaq, actually intention to divorce 3 times it cannot be in quick succession and the rest of the process must be followed. Muslim women have the right to work and own property. As such any property she owns is hers and she is not compelled to share it with her husband or even provide for the upkeep of the household. The Muslims husband is completely and totally responsible for the provision and upkeep of the household to include the clothing and feeding of his wife and children. in fact if the wife cannot breastfeed for some reason he must with the consent of the wife provide for a wet nurse. Those are the norms (Fiqh) of Islam. Honor killings have no part or sanction is Islam. Having been a Muslim now for 25 years + and having two daughters, I have yet to meet an Imam or Islamic scholar that has attempted to force me to become a monster. And 12 of those years were spent as a Commissioned US Army Officer!
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08:00 PM on 09/14/2010
The Muslims husband is completely and totally responsible for the provision and upkeep of the household to include the clothing and feeding of his wife and children.

Do you see this as a good thing or something that puts the Muslim man in charge of his wife? If he is required to be in a certain role, doesn't that put inordinate pressure on the wife to also be in a certain role?

Combined with the description of the man as the guardian of the woman, gender inequity is almost certain, by Western standards.
10:09 AM on 09/14/2010
No-one is complaining about the good parts of Shari'ah (and there are lots of good things), it is the bad parts that worry sane people (including muslims) everywhere.

When advocates for Shari'ah in the US and the West make their case do they say - "we want to introduce shari'ah" and then qualify it with all the bad parts that they think should not be applied? No, they say that want to introduce Shari'ah, and without an added qualification, that means in it's entirety - with all the misogynist and bigoted discrimination and biased treatment of religious and sexual minorities, and draconian criminal punishments included.
Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me vide
09:29 PM on 09/14/2010
Actually, I've never heard Muslims say they want to introduce Shari'ah in America. I have only heard folks who fear Muslims claim that they fear Muslims taking over and introducing it.

Could you produce documentation from a reputable source, please?
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04:19 PM on 09/15/2010
Please see my post above.
09:44 AM on 09/14/2010
the concept of a god would be so pleasant without religion.
Pamm Stadt
speak the truth slowly
03:36 PM on 09/17/2010
try Deism
07:08 PM on 09/13/2010
He says: This is because Sunnism never established a single ecclesiastical authority or "church" to decide doctrine.

It is implied that Christianity has had a single church as a source of authority. This is not the case.
07:46 PM on 09/13/2010
You made a very good point, dear eric14

What is the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism? And which one is better ? Protestantism is better because it is less catholic, but the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is only the difference between an alligator and a crocodile .

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), American lawyer and orator, known as the Great Agnostic because of his antireligious views.
07:51 PM on 09/13/2010
It is in fact that the Church in original manifestation of the "Catholic" (Universal?) church did establish a single ecclesiastical authority. Then of course came the Archbishop of Canterbury as the head of the Anglican Church and of course now you have the many governing bodies of Protestantism. Muslims have no such canonical bodies. Although of course there are various government sanctioned Ulema and Fuqaha, and notwithstanding the eminence of Al-Azhar there are no governing ecclesiastical bodies for Muslim. There are many socio-cultural organizations in the West; ICNA, ISNA, MANA, MAS, and others. And even though we do have the Fiqh Council of North America, they serve only to inform relatively benign issues such as setting the rules for the sighting of the Ramadan moon, the start of hajj, and other similar issues. For the most part Muslim congregations follow the fiqh of their Imam's, and he of his school of jurisprudence or the Ulema under which he studied and in some cases where he acquired his Ijaza (diploma).
09:02 PM on 09/13/2010
Nestorians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Other Orthodox Churches, Christian Churchesin India, Gnostics in North Africa and Arabia. Coptics. Various sects of one kind or another surviving in remote places in Mid-East.

Standard of governance in North Africa under the Caliphate was such that where there once was a string of prosperous cities there were established ports devoted to piracy and the trafficking of slaves from Africa and Europe. The peasants were dispossessed of land due to oppressive taxation. If the Caliphate had established efficient and just government the conquest of Europe would have been easy. The Caliphate lacked a system of governance. Shariah fails to supply. Thus there was despotism, which became cruel and decadent.
02:56 AM on 09/14/2010
Interesting comment, AlKhateeb.
07:02 PM on 09/13/2010
He writes:
'And yet only the naïveté of the most crass and cynical utopianism would deny the validity of an ideal based solely on the reality of an experience. We don't conclude that the ideal of eradicating hunger is bogus simply because so many hungry people continue to exist.'

Utopians are idealists and they are denying ideals? Because they are cynical? Utopians cynical? Then the hunger stuff clarifies this? The underlying idea here is very poorly expressed.
06:54 PM on 09/13/2010
The Koran is complete. The Koran tells us that it contains all the guidance we need to live our lives. The Koran warns us against apostates who would set them selves against the perfect Koran by wanting to change it or add to it. Sunna, and by extension Shariah, are a long tradition of doing exactly what the Holy Koran warns against, setting more un-needed rules, first by gathering stories of what the human (imperfect) Prophet did and how he acted, then expanding to the product of learned debate. This apostacy is given as an unforgivable sin in the Koran. (The only other unforgivable sin is suicide).

More than half of all Muslims alive today have lived in a country with an elected female leader (Pakistan, India, Indonesia, the Phillipines), yet the world image of Islam is from the fundamentalist Saudi or backward Pushtan treatment of their female population. (This is why educating girls in Afghanistan is so important). It is Shariah that is used by these backward people to supress their women. Shariah is an afront to God!
07:10 PM on 09/13/2010
It is accretion.
06:56 AM on 09/14/2010
I thought I read that say suicide bombers instead of considered unforgivable sinners and end up in hell, they go to paradise?