Thursday, 18 October 2012

Abrogated sharia

Has sharia been abrogated by civilised nations?

I need to explain a few concepts for those who do not know the terms before suggesting an answer to this.

You might know that the qu'ran is not read and understood in the same way as the bible.  Biblical inconsistencies seem to be used as an opportunity for the bible to prove whatever you want to prove, and biblical scholars tie each other in logical knots.

But this is not such an easy option in Islam.  Wherever early (more peaceful) and later (jihad-laden) sura disagree, the later one takes precedence.  The earlier verses are then said to be 'abrogated' and they are only quoted by people who don't know better, or people who are indulging in taqiyya.

It is claimed that nearly 40% of the qu'ran is abrogated, even if there is not unanimous agreement about which 40% it is.   Presumably Islamic 'scholars' use that as a negotiating opportunity, but at least you can see the concept.  Abrogation means that it has been replaced by something newer.

So now lets apply this idea to the law.  Sharia law is based on the ideas of the middle ages.  At that time all Western countries had laws too, and over the centuries those laws have developed into what we have today.  Thank goodness for progress in human rights!

Common sense suggests that the same should have applied to sharia law in Islamic countries too, and in many of them it has.  However, in a few countries that have not yet been penetrated by concepts of human rights, unaltered sharia is still in everyday use.  Shame on the rulers of those countries for that.  Whatever you think of their religion, they should be criticised for depriving their populations of the basic rights that we all deserve.  It is not a question of their rights to be Islamic but a question of whether Islamic clerics have the right to impose their standards on others.  Ask yourself whether you would want it for yourself.  [No I thought not.]

This is why secularism is so obviously the right thing to aim for.  It guarantees freedom of religion for those who want it, and freedom from religion for those who do not.

That sharia still exists at all is regrettable for the people living in strongly Islamic countries, but it has no bearing on us in the fortunate parts of the world.

As far as we are concerned, sharia is clearly and completely abrogated and has been replaced but an imperfect but better legal framework.  Why should we tolerate sharia in our countries at all?

I say "One Law for All!"

Small note:  Thank you to a Portuguese colleague for the idea behind this post!

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