In a recent blog post at The Shropshire Star Newspaper Online (UK, link below) entitled ”Sharia Councils ‘undermine social cohesion,’ ” Mark Pritchard, MP, remarked ”By expanding the powers of Sharia Councils, ministers have set the scene for a breaking narrative which is fractious, discriminates against women, and, incrementally, is establishing a parallel legal system.” I’ll say. Mr. Pritchard goes on to say, “Sharia rulings are more likely to create legal ghettos – undermining rather than improving social cohesion. And in so doing, ministers are found guilty of piecemeal legal vandalism and managing the gradual decline of English jurisprudence.”
Astonishingly, we are told in the article that “Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, commented: “There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Sharia principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law”.” It is as if the weight of the legal argument falls entirely on the first concept - sharia is not prevented – yet no consideration is given to the second concept – whether sharia does or does not conflict with English law. And Mr. Pritchard further observes, “Such conflicts occur throughout Britain every week, and with it, the shunning of basic rights for thousands of British Muslim women.”
MP Pritchard is a member of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission and is concerned that sharia violates human rights. So am I. In fact, it is one of my core challenges to sharia in any non-islamic nation – sharia violates all or nearly all national constitutions and charters in some manner or the other. (I am leaving aside the question of whether sharia promotion is sedition.) So, I thought I would participate in the dialog, international dialog at that, and post a comment. I did and while it sat, well I sat, awaiting moderation, I read the ‘content standards.’ They include that contributions must not (emphasis mine):
> Contain any material which is obscene, OFFENSIVE, hateful or inflamatory
> Be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause ANNOYANCE, INCONVENIENCE or needless ANXIETY
> Be likely to harass, UPSET, EMBARRASS, ALARM or ANNOY any other person.
With standards like this, it is a wonder anything of importance is discussed publicly. So, I am not holding my breath to see if my comment shows up. There was, of course, a note by someone calling the blog entry a “right wing xenophobic” comment and questioning Mr. Prichard’s honor. I am posting my comment here in its brief, yet potentially unacceptable, entirety:
"The theo-political ideology of Islam fully implemented under sharia law – consistent with the koran, sira and hadith – condemns freedom (speech, religion association, press, petition of government), forbids equality (between men and women, muslims and non-muslims) and denies traditional sovereignty (national boundaries based on language, culture and shared history). Any form of sharia, implicit (in mosques and ‘at home’) or explicit (as practiced in civil or criminal courts), denies human rights to women and children. Therefore, allowing sharia in a Constitutional Republic or any non-islamic nation violates that nation’s basic laws. The tenets of islam are supremacist and misogynist; they invite or encourage deception toward non-muslims and mandate perpetual hostility to that which is not islamic. Study up before you shout about xenophobia or whatever…"