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Sharia Law in Secular States
neilmarr
Sharia courts are now sitting in the UK.

As predicted by the Church of England's Archbishop of Canterbury (the Anglican Pope) just one year ago to widespread outrage, they now have the right to sit by government sanction.

Recognition of Sharia Law (or any other theological law for that matter) is a step backwards into the Dark Ages.

To allow such courts to operate at all in the West lends the strict Islamic code (unchanged for 1,300 years) a respectability it does not merit here.

Hopefully, we will never see again the old Jewish and Christian trick of religious courts passing sentence and then using secular authorities for its execution. Thousands, perhaps millions, died on the recommendation of religious courts ... including Jesus Christ (if we accept the tale), Joan of Arc and countless other poor wretches who stepped out of line and angered religious establishment.

But, already, we see in Europe secular courts excusing terrible crimes on the grounds of religion ... a judge in Germany recently ruled against a woman's divorce action against an abusive husband, for instance, on the grounds that his brutal daily beatings were sanctioned by the Koran.

How much more will a secular court be swayed if it is asked to ratify, or even merely take into account, the decision of a religious 'court', strictly applying the laws of ancient scripture with the blessing of the state?

And imagine the pressure upon those in communities where these courts sit to abide by and/or be shamed by their decisions.

This is hypotherical:

The US government allows the establishment of Protestant Courts. They have no 'legal' power in some areas -- in others (as do Sharia courts in the UK, they do)

The Court of Elders in Hammer Rock, Kansas, rules that seventeen-year-old Elly May Meister has sinned in having a child out of wedlock. Their decision, announced loudly from the pulpit one Sunday morning, is that the local evangelical church congregation send her to Coventry, have nothing at all to do with her.

Elly May is snubbed by her family and the entire Hammer Rock community. She leaves home with her child for the city, where she works the streets, becomes a crack addict and she and her child die in squallor of malnutrition and neglect.

All because of the ruling of a religious court citing Bronze Age scripture that assumes its credibiliy and right to exist by Federal government sanction.


Really want to go there? We cannot allow non-secular courts the slightest credibility in a secular state, let alone a measure of legal rights, as is now the case in the UK. They should not be encouraged and empowered -- they should be outlawed.

The world struggled hard and long to free itself of the inteference of religion in law. Any move toward now recognising its validity in any form is abominable and suggests an acceptability of religious ruling on matters that are, in our modern times, fully covered by hard-won secular courts and state laws.

If it is really the case that sharia courts will have little power or influence (and what utter nonsense that is!), why have them at all?

Neil
Edited by neilmarr on 10/04/2008 04:19
 
neilmarr
By the way, don't run away with the idea that the rulings of sharia courts are informal and non-enforceable, as has been suggested in another thread here. They actually do have the power to make civil rulings.

The details are here: http://www.timeso...749183.ece

Let me just quote a little from this article:

*The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

*Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

*Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.


*It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

*Politicians and church leaders expressed concerns that this could mark the beginnings of a “parallel legal system” based on sharia for some British Muslims.

*There are concerns that women who agree to go to tribunal courts are getting worse deals because Islamic law favours men.

*Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons. The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.

*In the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.

*In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.


Recent times have shown that this is likely to be the thin end of yet another Moslem wedge. Islamic religious courts should have NO jurisdiction whatsoever.

Not only should they not be sanctioned, they sould be outlawed. As should the century old Jewish courts in Britain, even if the Beth Din panels do only arbitrate in business squabbles.

There is no room in a secular state for ancient them-and-us laws that let England's landed and rich get away with so much and oppressed the poor for centuries. The very basis of the modern secular state is equality under a singe legal code.

And the very last people on earth qualified to pass realistic judgement on 21st Century issues are those (Christians, Jews or Moslems) whose moral values are based on a book of ancient fairy tales that advocate the sluaghter of unbelievers and the public stoning to deach of gays and of women with a roving eye.

Neil


*edited link
Edited by Skeeve on 10/11/2008 03:38
 
willie
I don't have any real dispute with the gist of your objection, Neil. Sharia law is a farce, where ever it exists. However, I will take up the gauntlet and temper the diatribe if I may.
As predicted by the Church of England's Archbishop of Canterbury (the Anglican Pope) just one year ago to widespread outrage, they now have the right to sit by government sanction.
Apart from the, open and constitutional, Arbitration Act 1996 the Government have not 'sanctioned' (especially quietly as quoted from the Times) any rights specific to Sharia courts, or muslims in general. This is tabloid nonsense. You are welcome to provide evidence to the contrary.
Already, we see in Europe secular courts excusing terrible crimes on the grounds of religion ... a jdge in Germany recently ruled against a woman's divorce action against an abusive husband, for onstance, on the grounds that his brutal daily beatings were sanctioned by the Koran.
This is what bothers me about people like Condell, it's like Chinese whispers, but starting from an already factually inaccurate statement. If you refer to the case I think you do, what you claim as the 'Europe secular courts excusing terrible crimes' was in fact an opinion --not a judgement-- expressed, in a national court, by one judge. The statement was roundly rejected by all sides and the judge was instantly replaced. A terrible delay for the woman in question, but not an example of a threat to civil law.
...the local evangelical church congregation send her to Coventry
I've been to Coventry. Not a sentence to be sniffed at. With respect, Neil, this hypothetical example makes no argument. The same events could theoretically take place without a 'court' ruling, within any particular community (and indeed does). But no right of civil law has been bypassed. Her rights as an individual still remain. I really don't understand your point.
Really want to go there? We cannot allow non-secular courts the slightest credibility in a secular state, let alone a measure of legal rights, as is now the case in the UK. They should not be encouraged and empowered -- they should be outlawed.
Putting aside the dichotomy. Law will always be subject to the culture in which it is formed, --assuming it is representative-- it cuts both ways, protection of the law should be open to all, as well as prosecution.
If it is really the case that sharia courts will have little power or influence (and what utter nonsense that is!), why have them at all?
Arbitration in general has many advantages. Not least, the nations civil courts would be over run without them. Should a case go on to a civil court, considering the evidence and ruling made during any arbitration seems most reasonable, at least to me. Specifically to Sharia courts, it could be argued that once a civil marriage is dissolved, a sharia court is possibly the only means to have the religious aspect resolved, especially in the eyes of that community. Of course it goes without saying what nonsense the religious aspect is to begin with, but sadly we're not all as enlighten as the folk here. Or, if we don't run with the Condellsque assumption that all muslims are raving extremists, another example. A woman in an abusive relationship could find going to a court (arbitration) of her community an easier step, than a protracted civil court that may be completely foreign and isolating to her. Would it be better that we didn't have segregated communities? Of course, but we do, alas. Blowing things out of proportion only makes matters worse.
By the way, don't run away with the idea that the rulings of sharia courts are informal and non-enforceable, as has been suggested in another thread here.
I guess that can only refer to me. Neil, you need to either show where I suggested these courts are 'informal and non-enforceable' or make a better effort to understand what I did say.

I'll reiterate. When you say 'They actually do have the power to make civil rulings.' you are correct. This means they have the power to make decisions, within the limits of the law under which they operate. This does not mean they can sentence a rape victim to a public flogging and it is legally binding. It does not mean they can make any ruling outside the laws of the land.
neilmarr wrote:
There is no room in a secular state for ancient them-and-us laws
Are you happy for 'us' to have disputes resolved by Arbitration panels, picked by and agree on by 'us' under 'our' legal framework, yet 'them' muslims don't have the same right. Is that what you propose?

It occures to me, Neil, that you may be labouring under a misapprehension. The process of arbitration is not mandatory. All parties must first agree the provisions of the 'court'. More here
Edited by willie on 10/06/2008 09:52
 
neilmarr
***By the way, don't run away with the idea that the rulings of sharia courts are informal and non-enforceable, as has been suggested in another thread here.
I guess that can only refer to me. Neil, you need to either show where I suggested these courts are 'informal and non-enforceable' or make a better effort to understand what I did say. ***


Sorry, Willie, I was actually referring to my own initial post before an immediate edit and before it had been read by any other member, and then corrected in my second. Apologies for any misunderstanding I caused.

Your well-stated and valid opinions, I have no beef with at all; other than to say that they run contrary to my own.

Any legitimisation of religious community courts -- whether they be Moslem, Jewish or Christian -- should be considered an unconstitutional fudging of the line between Church and State. But, of course, England has no written constitution.

I agree with you that it is sad that communities are divided, but allowing religious groups to have their own government-sanctioned, religiously motivated courts can only underline the fact and make matters worse.

There's no suggestion, of course, that we will see public executions and floggings (though there does appear to be a move toward empowering sharia courts to deal with crime). But the code of laws that guide these courts do include these barbaric punishments, which, of course, demonstrates that the entire code belongs to a bygone and uncivilised age.

The spirit of the 1966 Arbitraction Act does not appear to have been to condone the application of a set of scriptural laws but to offer a choice of speedier process to two or more parties in a civil dispute.

The arbitrator is -- as far as I can see from the Act -- supposed to be 'impartial'. A pannel with a vested interest in upholding scriptural ideals can hardly be viewed as such.

(There's an interesting full roundup here: http://www.endisp.../auaa.html)

Islamic authorities have used the British legal system to dedmand certain rights for sharia law that they should not be allowed -- any more than should Jewish or Christian courts.

As for extremism in religion, I make no distinction between a so-called religious 'moderate' and an extremist. Moderates are quietly dangerous in that this visible majority lends a veneer of respectability to the self same scriptual codes that are used to justify the whole sad catalogue of extremism in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Religious courts are not impartial arbitrators and should not be allowed to sit in secular societies. And where there are legal loopholes that allow their existence, those loopholes should be closed.

Cheers. Neil


edit to make url live. nm
Edited by neilmarr on 10/06/2008 10:47
 
Doubting Thomas
Niel, your hypothetical situation is not far from the truth, as there have been many right-wing militia groups who have held their own "common law" courts. They do not and have not ever had any actual legal foundation. And while they are more politically-oriented rather than religiously-oriented, most militia groups in the US have difficulty in separating church and state as they tend to want to infuse their brand of Christianity with government. Most are associated with the Christian Identity movement, which states that white Europeans are the true children of Israel, Jews are the result of an affair between Eve and Satan, and blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and others are all "mud people."

Basically what the common-law courts were used for is for militia members (a.k.a. "freemen"Wink to try to subvert actual laws of the state & country. In instances of child custody, for example, when a militia member divorces a spouse who may want to take their children far away from the craziness that is the root of such groups, a common-law court may be hastily convened in which a freeman pleads his case, and usually gets a judgement in his favor. Then he believes that since the common-law court rules in his favor, he has full and legal rights to take the children despite what the actual laws say.

The other thing these common-law courts have been used for is to file false liens against people such as judges, police officers, or any officials whom the militia groups dislike. It is sort of a scam that goes like this. A freeman sends an "invoice" or bill to someone for say, $10,000, and at the bottom the paper states that they have 30 days to dispute the bill (only in a common-law court, usually). Most people would just toss it in the trash, realizing that the bill was false and has no legal standing. After the 30 days, the person who sent the bill calls a common-law court to plead his case, and if the other person doesn't show up to dispute it (which they would rarely do), then the ruling was in his favor, in spite of the fact that the bill was false to begin with. So when the common-law court ruled that the person the bill was sent to owes the sendee $10,000, then the sendee would often go to the real courthouse and file a lien for $10,000 against the property of the person who received the bill.

Luckily, militia groups have really waned in the years following the Oklahoma City bombing terrorist attack carried out by McVeigh. It's also possible that 9/11 may have had a lot to do with the reduction in the number of militia or "patriot" groups. But back in the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's, this kind of activity was commonplace. I think that if the idea of having a local religious body making legal decisions ever takes off here in the US, we're all finished.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
General-Pryce
There should be one law for the country and that's it. These smaller, religious, community based courts should be abolished, not encouraged. The fact that one is planned to open in Edinburgh is worrying and I for one, although never protested before, will be out there taking part in any demonstrations to stop it going through.

This cannot exist in a secular society. The law as laid down by the government is the only one that should count and the existence of Sharia courts is ridiculous.

I had a short film idea, which I may now re-address, set in a future Britain where Sharia law ruled supreme. It was planned as a piece to show how barbaric and extreme this law is and how much damage it would do.

The reason they are allowed to exist is obvious. Political Correctness. The government is scared to say no to these people because they are Muslim. I always try to be as politically incorrect as possible on the tours, when I can and of course not being directly offensive. But PC annoys me. Last night I had to squeeze 50 people into the haunted Stone Circle room which can only comfortably fit 30. I made the comment that i'd managed to get 90 in this room before, although to be fair it WAS an annorexic's convention.

It resulted in the oh so familiar stifled laugh people make when they don't know if they should find the comment funny for fear of causing offence. As it was an over 18s tour I had no qualms with following up the statement with the line "Fuck Political Correctness" at which point the group laughed properly.

We shouldn't be afraid of saying or doing something that's right because it might upset a minority. 50 years ago the idea of a Sharia court in Britain would have been quite rightly laughed out.

edited because my spelling was really crap!
Edited by General-Pryce on 10/06/2008 12:43
 
willie
neilmarr wrote:
I agree with you that it is sad that communities are divided, but allowing religious groups to have their own government-sanctioned, religiously motivated courts can only underline the fact and make matters worse.
Currently isolated (self imposed or otherwise) people have the choice to have to claim justice, resolve disputes and be protected in an environment that is familiar to them. Without that the only other option is the lengthy, costly and intimidating civil courts --which to the most disenfranchised, means no choice at all. The fact of the matter is some people know little else and/or hold their religion in the highest esteem. Whipping that from beneath their feet because you fear them, is not reasonable, especially as you have yet to show your fear is rational.
neilmarr wrote:
There's no suggestion, of course, that we will see public executions and floggings (though there does appear to be a move toward empowering sharia courts to deal with crime). But the code of laws that guide these courts do include these barbaric punishments, which, of course, demonstrates that the entire code belongs to a bygone and uncivilised age.
Again. What sharia law says is irrelevant. These courts operate within the laws of the UK. If you persist suggesting otherwise, you need to back that up.
neilmarr wrote:
The arbitrator is -- as far as I can see from the Act -- supposed to be 'impartial'. A panel with a vested interest in upholding scriptural ideals can hardly be viewed as such.
All parties must agree the process. There is no 'supposed to be'. Without the agreement of all parties there is no court and no ruling. Throughout the protection of UK law is afforded to all parties
neilmarr wrote:
Islamic authorities have used the British legal system to dedmand certain rights for sharia law that they should not be allowed -- any more than should Jewish or Christian courts.
Did you mean 'have used'? What certain rights?
neilmarr wrote:
As for extremism in religion, I make no distinction between a so-called religious 'moderate' and an extremist. Moderates are quietly dangerous in that this visible majority lends a veneer of respectability to the self same scriptual codes that are used to justify the whole sad catalogue of extremism in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
That was not the point. The point is your assumption that a sharia panel is likely to prescribe the most extreme interpretation of the religion. There is no evidence that is the case.
 
seeker
I'm purposely avoiding this debate, mainly because my opinions on the subject are perhaps too well known. I do find it disturbing that any religion can get away with pushing its way into the court system of any country in any capacity. I think the problem is that we as a society have never really dealt with the fact that religion permeates our society in such a fundamental way. As long as theists can point to their notions of right and wrong as being equivalent to secular notions of justice they can always make the case they need to be included.
 
willie
General-Pryce wrote:
There should be one law for the country and that's it.
There is.

The fact that you can form such strong views, vow to take to the streets, make wild generalisations and decry general respect for others is a tedious annoyance based on such a flawed premise is the kind of thing that pisses me off about Condell's, then Neil's and now your willingness to parrot such bigoted nonsense without any attempt to back it up.

There is one law for the country and that's it.

As much as I hate the fact that a large section of our society is religiously deluded, the fact remains they are part of the country. Removing the legal rights of someone on the grounds of that delusion is a slippery slope.
 
willie
seeker wrote:
I'm purposely avoiding this debate, mainly because my opinions on the subject are perhaps too well known. I do find it disturbing that any religion can get away with pushing its way into the court system of any country in any capacity. I think the problem is that we as a society have never really dealt with the fact that religion permeates our society in such a fundamental way. As long as theists can point to their notions of right and wrong as being equivalent to secular notions of justice they can always make the case they need to be included.
That is not disputed. The problem is the notion that sharia courts in the UK are being given special powers to enforce the barbaric practices that all muslims naturally adhere to. And they are only getting away with it because 'we' are scared to resist. Currently the biggest threat to our legal system is the media and wealth. Divisive us and them fear mongering looks like being the next.
Edited by willie on 10/06/2008 18:08
 
willie
Errant post.
Edited by willie on 10/06/2008 18:26
 
Sinny
I'm confused about something. Why would a Muslim woman go to court for divorce or domestic violence when it's her religion that prohibits her from protecting herself?

What happens at arbitration when there is a dispute between someone who isn't religious or christian and the other is Muslim?

Isn't Sharia Law only for Muslims?
 
General-Pryce
willie wrote:
General-Pryce wrote:
There should be one law for the country and that's it.
There is.

The fact that you can form such strong views, vow to take to the streets, make wild generalisations and decry general respect for others is a tedious annoyance based on such a flawed premise is the kind of thing that pisses me off about Condell's, then Neil's and now your willingness to parrot such bigoted nonsense without any attempt to back it up.

There is one law for the country and that's it.

As much as I hate the fact that a large section of our society is religiously deluded, the fact remains they are part of the country. Removing the legal rights of someone on the grounds of that delusion is a slippery slope.


I understand that they will have no actual power, but allowing the very idea to exist, to have them in place is an offense. Some people will buy into the idea that they not only have real power, but power over the existing law.

I think it is much more dangerous to allow these courts to exist. it is not bigoted to be opposed to Sharia courts and want them closed down, even if they have no real power, the fact they are there is worry enough.

Just because Muslims live in the UK, doesn't mean we should give them whatever they want. Like I've said before, fuck political correctness. I would oppose this as much as I would oppose a Christian Court, a Buddhist Court or an Atheist Court. religion should have nothing to do with the legal system.

I know they have no actual power, but the laws and punishments within Sharia, even if not enforced here, are so bigoted, mysoginistic, and backward that it is only rational to oppose them.

By allowing them to exist, even with limited or no ability, is still too much, it sends out the wrong message: the message that Sharia law is considered just and acceptable in the UK.

It is not.

Grin
 
neilmarr
From The Times:

***Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.

The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.

In the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.

In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.***


Where is this equalty under a single law that you're talking about, Willie?

Cheers. Neil

 
seeker
willie wrote:
That is not disputed. The problem is the notion that sharia courts in the UK are being given special powers to enforce the barbaric practices that all muslims naturally adhere to. And they are only getting away with it because 'we' are scared to resist. Currently the biggest threat to our legal system is the media and wealth. Divisive us and them fear mongering looks like being the next.


I couldn't agree more Willie. What I was trying to say is that as long as we accept the notion of religious values as equal to secular values then we have no business discriminating between which religious values we accept or reject. As far as I can tell Muslim courts in your country have no special powers and only handle civil cases.
 
willie
Sinny wrote:I'm confused about something. Why would a Muslim woman go to court for divorce or domestic violence when it's her religion that prohibits her from protecting herself?
Good question Sinny. Contrary to popular belief, not all muslim women feel oppressed and violated in general, or by their religion specifically. Many take their religion as seriously as the men (as stupid as that is). In the case of a divorce, it may be as important to the woman as the man to have it dissolved by a court with religious 'power'. An abusive husband may claim the koran permits him to beat his wife, and an expert in sharia law may be the most qualified to rule, on a woman's behalf, that that is not the case. Simply, in the same way as you or I might choose to use arbitration that is secular, even white and middle class, so might a muslim woman turn to her peers. Unless someone can back up with evidence that all muslim courts are hell bent on barbarism and injustice, I think it's fair to assume they are not.

That fact remains arbitration is not mandatory. The process requires agreement from all parties. If a woman is coerced, then the law has been broken and any ruling is invalid. If the judgement goes beyond the basic rights of an individual then that is also subject to the protection of the law.

General-Pryce wrote:
I understand that they will have no actual power,
Sorry GP, did I frighten you into a complete turn around? You seem to have gone too far the other way now Pfft What is referred to as Sharia courts do have power. They are an arbitration service, specialising in muslim communities. There are others that specialise in: finance, marriage and domestic disputes, neighbour disputes, and inter racial disputes. Sharia courts (rightly or wrongly) do have the same powers, but they don't have greater powers. Unless Neil can provide something to back the hysteria.

neilmarr wrote:
Where is this equalty under a single law that you're talking about, Willie?

I hope you checked the facts on this one. Considering the last example, of the German judge, turned out to be completely blown out of proportion.

Actually, I was waiting for someone to start with these examples because it makes my point well. For this ruling there must, under national law, have been a series of events. First all parties must have agreed to take part, agreed on the panel, and all other terms. All parties would have provided evidence in accordance with the (national) law.

In the first case, it is correct that had they gone to a 'normal' British court (another loaded term) they would have received equal amount (actually not necessarily, a number of factors could come into play. It's not that simple in 'normal' courts) but the fact is, for whatever reason, they didn't go to a 'normal' court. They chose another avenue, maybe they wanted to adhere to their batty religion. Maybe they simply didn't want a protracted 'normal' court action and were willing to sacrifice equality for convenience. Maybe they were forced into it by misogynistic threats of violence, and then awarded a share (albeit unequal). Under all of these possibilities the full protection of the law is still open to them, as it was before arbitration. If the women choose to go to 'normal' court and claim discrimination they still have every right. Perhaps they are too oppressed to choose. Perhaps. How does it help to remove the only avenue open to them thus far?

The crucial point is that, like many others, you are projecting your preconceptions on the barbarism of all muslims and assuming an injustice where none may exist.

I know of someone who went to arbitration in a divorce case. She came away with no share in the family home and no maintenance for the children. Based on what you now know, can you explain why that was? Clearly she should be entitled to more. Was she oppressed? Was she discriminated against?

Of course you can't say. You'd be guessing. What if I said they were muslim?

You'd still be guessing. And I'm guessing your blood is starting to boil, right Wink

Fact is neither are muslim, but he is an arsehole. She decided for the sake of her and her children's mental health, that it would be better to work out a deal outside the 'normal' courts. For a clean break and limited access to the children, she made certain concessions.

In the second case you cite, regarding domestic violence, there is nothing to suggest that these cases are any different to the daily workings of the justice system. You are aware that the police don't just prosecute every claim made. At any point a couple can seek reconciliation and hopefully avoid the courts. But the fact remains prosecution, or not, lies with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Neil, with respect, this is getting tedious. I have no doubt that you are convinced by your opinion. I've tried to address each assertion you have made. You've tempered your stance a great deal, we have come a long way from Condells 'we are effectively living under Saudi law', however it's all still just assertions and opinion. Dig a little deeper, check the law and you'll see things are not so frightening.

 
Sinny
Well something does bother me about having a separate sharia law or any religious court of law that is separate from secular law. That would be the very likely future possibility of having courts of law in all religions. Like anything else once the chance has been taken on something the chance of opening a future floodgate is possible. Since all religions claim the man is the ruler, head of the household and above the woman then I think it could lead to having more religious courts. Even if the woman isn't religious but because the man may be or claims to be just to get more out of a divorce. The man in most religious court cases would have an unfair advantage.

Another thing that bothers me is if all tax payers have to pay for having different courts based on religious beliefs. I know I would like to see a breakdown of the budget that shows where every penny goes and see what the breakdown is in my taxes compared to the budget for municipality, state, city, etc.

It seems to me that if beating an individual is a crime in that Country whether it's a wife, sister, mother or female in-law then regardless of religion it shouldn't be tolerated. I know when a woman files a complaint...usually after being examined and at the point of near death she is offered a place to go where the husband can't find her. But with Muslim women they may not be educated enough to find a job and support themselves. There are workshops for women in desperate situations where they can learn enough to get a job and support themselves. I doubt very much these Muslim courts are providing that for these women. So someone tell me what is to stop sharia law from eventually taking over secular law? could it happen I wouldn't say no or absolutely yes but anything is possible considering how fearful the public and the law makers are of them. According to a website I found their laws don't prevent crime or even slow it down it just makes it go underground.

The thought of the possibility does bother me.

Here's the website. It's humongously long.

The purpose of these links is not to condemn Islamic countries or to assert that the West is better than they are. Facts say that the West has many problems. Rather, the purpose is to demonstrate that Islamic countries have their share of problems as well. This means that Islamic countries are also decadent. This means that Islamic punishments do not work entirely (except by scare tactics), but they can drive the sin or crime underground.


http://www.americ...ia_is.html
Edited by Sinny on 10/07/2008 18:18
 
General-Pryce
willie wrote:

General-Pryce wrote:
I understand that they will have no actual power,
Sorry GP, did I frighten you into a complete turn around? You seem to have gone too far the other way now Pfft What is referred to as Sharia courts do have power. They are an arbitration service, specialising in muslim communities. There are others that specialise in: finance, marriage and domestic disputes, neighbour disputes, and inter racial disputes. Sharia courts (rightly or wrongly) do have the same powers, but they don't have greater powers. Unless Neil can provide something to back the hysteria.



Actually, I never said at any point in my posts that I thought they had any actual power, so I haven't turned around. I simply pointed out that I was opposed to their existence quite strongly and if it was implied I thought they would have greater power than British courts, then that was misinterpreted as it was not what I meant, apologies.

The fact they DO have power is certainly very worrying. The idea of any religion having power within a legal setting is atrocious and I would be out vocally opposing it if necessary. If they are able within a legal setting to promote their own backward ideals then that is worrying too.

It does give out the wrong message and community courts like these should not exist. I cannot stress that enough. Its not me being bigoted, I just think it's unfair to bend over backwards to please religous persons.
 
Sinny
After I posted earlier I got to questioning 'is there a sharia law in America' so I googled it. Here's what I found. Not a real biggie but I got a laugh out of one person who said "I don't recognise my own Country anymore" *sigh* Why do I get this awful feeling that it could be just a matter of time, a short time, until we see all the differnt religions, especially christian/Islamic, protesting, fighting and eventually warring over who has more rights and authority, not just the claimed which one is the right and true religion.

BTW I think this is the School in Virginia.

McGINLEY: A look to the future
Will Islamist supremacy rein supreme?
David P. McGinley
Thursday, July 3, 2008
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Photo by Astrid Riecken

Christine Brim of Fairfax County, an official with the District-based Center for Security Policy, joins a protest at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria on Tuesday. "They don't have a First Amendment right in this country to incite violence against other groups," she said.

OP-ED:

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2017: The Supreme Court today, in a 6-3 decision, found that government funding of an "Islamic studies" charter school not only was not unconstitutional but was well within the scope of the state's authority to promote the compelling public purpose of diversity.

The school in question is the Sabri Khalil al-Banna Academy, named for the Palestinian freedom fighter. The school is housed in the former Dupont Circle Episcopal Church building adjacent to the Muslim Brotherhood's D.C. headquarters and across the street from the National Mosque. The school's daily program includes Salah (prayer facing toward Mecca), ritual washing in specially designed bathrooms, halal food preparation, intense Arabic study, Koran memorization and recitation, Middle East history, as well as other basic staples of U.N.-sanctioned education.

The suit was brought by a group of citizens who had sought to open a "Christian studies" charter school but were denied a permit to do so. And, although it was not at issue in the case, the court's majority decision opined that government funding for a "Christian studies" school would be unconstitutional.

In crafting its decision, the court's majority introduced the concept of "religious and cultural inextricability" when determining the proper interrelationship between government and religion. The court stated that "the more intertwined a discrete minority group's culture is with its religious adherence, the greater the need for government support and protection." Additionally, the court went on to further establish that "through the natural evolution of our multicultural society, it is the state's compelling interest to promote diversity by ensuring additional protections and freedoms to those disfavored religious groups, whose faith is defined by their cultural norms."

In applying its new "religious and cultural inextricability" doctrine to the case at bar, the court focused its attention on the myriad of customs attendant to daily Muslim life. Dress, diet, rules of gender interaction, prayer five times daily, patriarchal familial structure, pronounced gender roles, lending and usury rules, spousal discipline, and other routine mandates of Shariah were cited by the court in making its determination that "Islam is a religion with an utmost cultural underpinning," thereby finding that "its religious and cultural aspects were inextricable." The court therefore held that "the Constitution's fundamental basis that all cultures are inherently valuable and the authentic preservation of such is paramount to a truly egalitarian society, funding of an Islamic studies school is well within the scope of the state's authority to promote the compelling public purpose of diversity."

In what analysts have said was an attempt by the court to stem the filing of future church-and-state claims, it sua sponte applied its analysis to government funding for schools with primarily Christian and Jewish curriculums. It stated that religious and cultural inextricability of Christianity was minimal at best and pointed to the mass secularization of Western Europe to bolster its claim. The court also stated "the absence of dietary standards, dress codes, and routine forms of comprehensive daily worship evinced a personal belief system, separate from cultural constructs." And, although the court did find these factors present in certain sects of Orthodox Judaism, nevertheless, it held that Judaic law "in its totality," as evidenced by the vast majority of Jewish-Americans, was not strictly adhered to and that the "impact of Jewish-Americans was felt more in secularized pursuits, than in that of the sacred."

The court's decision further removes its "Equal Protection Clause" jurisprudence from the anachronistic interpretation of government neutrality and now incorporates the "Establishment Clause" within the confines of its newly revealed "discrete cultural preservation doctrine." That doctrine is based on the 14th Amendment's clear intimation of the inherent equality of all cultures and the compelling state interest to ensure the survival of each.

The ACLU and People United for the Separation of Church and State, two organizations that fought for years against government entanglement with religion, stayed on the sidelines for this case. When asked to comment on the case, ACLU President Muhammad Smyth said, "The ACLU respects the Supreme Court's wisdom in this complicated matter and agrees that Muslim culture warrants government support and protection."

The response of Christian organizations has been muted as most are reticent to comment on anything concerning Islam since the court recently narrowed free speech rights to exclude "speech that subjects identifiable minority groups to hatred and contempt." One Christian leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said, "I do not recognize my country anymore."

Justice Thomas, writing for the minority, inappropriately excoriated the court's decision with this one-word dissent, "Nuts!"

David P. McGinley is a Virginia trial lawyer and graduate of Regent University.


http://www.washin...he-future/
Edited by Sinny on 10/08/2008 00:41
 
Doubting Thomas
I don't understand how the Court could say that an Islamic studies school receiving government funds is constitutional while a Christian studies school receiving government funds would be unconstitutional. I think any religious school receiving government funds is unconstitutional.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
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