Libyan Liberal Muhammad Al-Houni on Statements by Archbishop of Canterbury: If Europe Adopts Shari'a, It Will Revert to Pre-Enlightenment EraRead the whole thing.
In a February 26, 2008 article in the Arab liberal e-journal Elaph, Libyan-European liberal thinker and entrepreneur Muhammad 'Abd Al-Muttalib Al-Houni wrote that the recent statements by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams on implementing shari'a law in Britain constituted dangerous encouragement to fundamentalists in their war against the Enlightenment. He added that such statements could have very grave repercussions for the struggle for freedom in Muslim countries as well.
The following are excerpts from Al-Houni's article:Would Europe Have Islamic Courts, or Would We Send European Judges to the Taliban to Learn Shari'a?
"I recently read a statement by the head of the Anglican Church [Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams], the upshot of which was that there was nothing wrong with the British legal system adopting some laws from Islamic shari'a and their implementing them for British citizens of the Islamic faith.
"There has already been a great clamor [and argument] between supporters and opponents of these statements, so I thought that I, as a Muslim citizen of Europe, would take up this thorny subject and attempt to understand this statement and its implications. [I do this] in order to shed light on what would happen in Europe if its countries were to adopt the kinds of measures that the English archbishop is demanding.
"I do not think that this demand that some laws from Islamic shari'a be adopted into European law is [meant] to include shari'a criminal law - that is, punishments such as killing the apostate (a Muslim who converts to another religion), amputating a thief's hand, cutting off a brigand's opposing hand and foot... stoning the adulterer to death, publicly flogging wine drinkers, killing homosexuals by throwing them from a high place, or allowing a relative of a [murder] victim to deal with the murderer, instead of the state.
"I imagine that the archbishop is referring [only] to Islamic shari'a laws regarding personal status. So let us imagine these laws being implemented in European courts.
"First of all, on the procedural side, there would need to be Islamic courts in European countries to adjudicate in all disputes involving European Muslim citizens - or else a large number of European judges would have to be sent to the Taliban to learn shari'a thoroughly enough to implement its laws.
"Also, European countries seeking to implement shari'a would need to submit their reservations regarding any international conventions they may have signed. This is because they will have to:"1) Permit polygamy for European Muslim citizens, and not punish them for it - [even though] this is considered criminal under European law;
"2) Permit European Muslim citizens to beat their wives to discipline them, as the Koran urges;
"3) Allow men to unilaterally decide to divorce without requiring any court proceedings, as this is a right guaranteed [to men] by shari'a;
"4) Give daughters [only] half the inheritance rights that sons have, while widows receive only an eighth of the inheritance;
"5) [Not] consider women's testimony the equal of men's in shari'a courts;
"6) Deprive a divorced woman of custody of her children if she remarries;
"7) Allow European Muslim citizens to marry in traditional marriages without the need to officially register these marriages;
"8) Eliminate adoption, since it is contrary to shari'a;
"9) Force a woman whose Muslim husband converts to another religion to divorce him, because he is an apostate;
"10) Prevent European Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims…"
Technorati Tag: Sharia.