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Sharia law in Britian


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For those who were concerned about Archbishop of Canterbury's comments found this on the Beeb


Q and A: Sharia law explained


What is Sharia?


Sharia law is Islam's legal system. It is derived from both the Koran, as the word of God, and the example of the life of the prophet Mohammed.

But Sharia differs in one very important and significant way to the legal traditions of the Western world: it governs, or at least informs, every aspect of the life of a Muslim.


What does it cover?


Western law confines itself largely to matters relating to crime, contract, civil relationships and individual rights.

Sharia is however concerned with more. Sharia rulings have been developed to help Muslims understand how they should lead every aspect of their lives according to God's wishes.


What does it cover in practice?


All sorts of things in daily life. For example, many young Muslims ask themselves what they should do if colleagues invite them to the pub after work or college.

Many people would of course make up their own mind about the appropriate course of action. But others may turn to a Sharia scholar for advice.

So Sharia covers a lot of very mundane and banal daily issues where observant Muslims want to ensure they act within the legal framework of their faith.


So how are rulings made?


Like any legal system, Sharia is complex and its practice is entirely reliant on the quality and training of experts.

There are different schools of thought, which consequently lead to different rulings.

Scholars spend decades studying the law and, like with Western law, an expert on one aspect of Sharia is no means the authority on another.

Islamic jurists issue guidance and rulings. Guidance that is considered a formal legal ruling is called a Fatwa.


Do people go to court?


Sharia courts exist in both the Muslim world and in the Western world.

In the Muslim world the criminal courts and their punishments are of course drawn from the rules of Sharia.

In the West, Muslim communities have established Sharia courts to largely deal with family or business disputes.

The internet has become a popular way of seeking a ruling with scholars. Some of the guidance to Muslims in the west which has been considered most outlandish has come from these sources, particularly where the scholar has no knowledge of the realities of western life.


Why is Sharia mentioned in the same breath as public executions?


Of all the issues around Islamic law, this remains the most controversial in Western eyes - and its presentation the most infuriating for Muslims.

Muslims say the Western world misrepresents Sharia by focusing on beheadings in Saudi Arabia and other gruesome punishments. The equivalent, they say, would be a debate about the history of Western law focused on America's electric chair.

Some modern Muslim scholars say that while Sharia includes provisions for capital and corporal punishment, getting to that stage is in fact quite difficult.

The most famous Muslim thinker in Europe, Tariq Ramadan, has called for a moratorium on these penalties in the Muslim world.

He argues that the conditions under which such penalties would be legal are almost impossible to re-establish in today's world.


But Muslims can be executed for converting?


Apostasy, or leaving the faith, is a very controversial issue in the Muslim world and the consensus of scholars believe it is punishable by death.

But a minority of Muslim thinkers, particularly those engaged with Western societies, argue that the reality of the modern world means the "punishment" should be left to God - and that Islam itself is not threatened by apostasy.

The Koran itself declares there is "no compulsion" in religion.

Egypt's most senior cleric has faced a storm in the Middle East after floating some of these ideas but the debate may well continue for many generations to come.


So what kind of Sharia are we talking about in the UK?


The key issues are family law, finance and business. In practice many Muslims do turn to Sharia guidance for many of these day-to-day matters, particularly family disputes.


And how does this work in practice?


Muslims are increasingly looking to the example of Jewish communities which have long-established religious community courts.

These "courts" are legally recognised in English law as a means for warring parties to agree to arbitration. The law sees this as a practical way of helping people to resolve their differences in their own way, without clogging up the local courts.


Has any western nation allowed Sharia to be used in full?


Not at all. Canada is widely reported to have come close - leading to protests in 2005.

But its proposals were little different to the existing religious arbitration rules here in the UK.

Experts considered establishing Sharia-related family courts to ease the burden on civil courts - but said these would have to observe the basic human rights guarantees of Canadian law.


What about Sharia and women?


Some Muslim women in Britain are concerned about how their rights are protected. Take marriage for example.

Muslims only consider themselves truly married once they have conducted the Islamic ceremony, known as the nikah. In some cases, this means that there is a cultural view that the British civil ceremony, which enforces legal rights under the law, is not important.

Some mosques are alive to this issue and now demand to see a marriage certificate as a condition of the nikah. Others do not. Many women want Muslim leaders to do more to ensure their rights are protected under British law.


So women have reservations about Sharia?


Many Muslim women in the West would be worried about protection of their rights in Sharia courts where there is discrimination against them because of patriarchal and cultural control in their communities.

This does not mean that they are necessarily opposed to Sharia - only there are live concerns about the fairness of its application.

It's fair to say that many leading Muslim women are more concerned about how existing British equality measures and human rights laws can be used to improve their position and voice in society.

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leave sharia law where it belongs outside this country.If anyone wishes their lives to be governed by religious laws of this ilk then let them take themselves and their families to Saudia or Pakistan or Yemen or any other backward hole that practices this form of law.

Oh thats right most of them came from countries with Sharia law to move to the UK without Sharia law.

If you dont like the system sausage off to a country where it is practiced to your liking, just don't claim british nationality when they are about to chop your head off for getting drunk and shagging your girlfriend.

Then again we could try all muslim terror suspects under the Sharia law and then execute their sorry arses, no getting in to paradise for them, when gods law finds them wanting they do not pass go, do not collect 100 virgins, and will burn in a perpetual state of agony for eternity. :lol:

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So, sharia law is open to interpretation, and interpretations differ?

Could give some issues if you try to apply it as law, especially given the mixture of cultures that come under "Muslim" in the UK?


Would we end up with, say breach of contract, cases held under UK law where A thought sharia law variant 6F was going to be applied, but B thought it would obviously be variant 6G?

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Off course. No religious orginisation should have the right to have their laws incorporated into national legislation.


Where it's crept in already is through weak politicians/legislators getting religion confused with culture. It should be firmly opposed on all fronts.


Surely it's a non sequitur. What happens if something like scientology was to start getting it's influence into the judiciary? It claims to be a religion and even though it was only thought up a short time ago who knows how many people will be involved in it in a hundred years or so from now. This goes for anyone starting up a new religion. If precedents are set then surely any religious group has the right to ask for the same legal concessions once they get big enough.


Religion is only common to distinctive groups of people, law should be common to all.


Btw 10th of Feb is international protest day against scientology. Project chanolgy started this because of scientology continually shutting down all media forms of protest against their cash generating cult, especially when this extended to the internet. COSc has had clips of Tom Cruise making a tw*t of himnself removed from you tube and have shut down many web pages and sites critical of scientology. Chanology feels strongly that the internet should remain free of censorship.


However I see that the scientologists have eventually got to their site and managed to corrupt it. Chanology bombarded you tube with clips though so there still plenty of stuff to see if anyone is interested.


Watch this for more - http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=oM-LeRLiqA0


Maybe this post will be hacked. Maybe I've caused the destruction of Shetlink by mentioning them. Maybe the mods will run scared. Watch this space.

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