Did the ECHR declare Islam incompatible with human rights and democracy?

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has studied Sharia to see whether or not they can support Sharia-based regimes. Their conclusions;

In Refah Partisi, it carried out a thorough examination of the relationship between the Convention,
democracy, political parties and religion, and found that a sharia-based regime was
incompatible with the Convention, in particular, as regards the rules of criminal law and
procedure, the place given to women in the legal order and its interference in all spheres of
private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

The first concerned the dissolution, by the Turkish Constitutional Court, of a political
party, the Welfare Party, on the grounds that it wanted to introduce sharia law and a
theocratic regime. A Grand Chamber of the Court found unanimously that there had been
no violation of Article 11 of the Convention, which protects freedom of association. This
case gave the Court the opportunity to conduct an in-depth analysis of the relationship
between the Convention and democracy, political parties, and religion.

Noting that the Welfare Party had pledged to set up a regime based on sharia law, the
Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as
set forth in the Convention. It considered that "sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas
and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism
in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it".
According to the Court, it was difficult to declare one's respect for democracy and human
rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverged
from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal
procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervened in all spheres of
private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/6B93E29C-36E0-42C7-B982-721440881AC7/0/Annual_Report_2003.pdf

Every now and then I read the Dutch Muslim blog (just 'moderate', not extremist), and they claimed that Sharia wasn't a strange evil law system; it was very normal for Muslims and was already in Europe. -> http://www.wijblijvenhier.nl/12004/jip-en-janneke-volgens-de-sharia/

And indeed, a lot of things that we all know are normal for Muslims, are part of the Sharia.

Muslims are enjoined to pray five times each day, with certain exceptions. These obligatory prayers, salat, are performed during prescribed periods of the day, and most can be performed either in groups or by oneself. There are also optional prayers which can be performed, as well as special prayers for certain seasons, days and events. Muslims must turn to face the Kaaba in Mecca when they pray, and they must be purified in order for their prayers to be accepted. Personal, informal prayer and invocation is practised as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Prayer

We all know about Muslim rules for prayer. But.. it's Sharia.

All Muslims who live above the subsistence level must pay an annual alms, known as zakat. In the modern sense, this would be Islam's equivalent to US Social Security or UK National Insurance. This is not charity, but rather an obligation owed by the eligible Muslim to the poor of the community.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Alms

The zakat? Sharia.

During the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sex between dawn and sunset. Exceptions to this obligation are made for children who are pre-pubescent, the infirm, travelers, and pregnant or menstruating women.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Fasting

Ramadan? Sharia!

Halal is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law. The opposite of this word is haraam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal

Eating halal? You're following Sharia.

So basically...
1. Sharia is 'incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy'.
2. Sharia is a core part of Islam.

What to do, what to do? Prosecute the ECHR because they're racist?

The actual discussion value; answer this question;

LetalisK:
How many rules and beliefs can a person cut away from the official stance of their religion before they cease to be of that religion? How much cherry picking is too much?

Or, if I may posit an alternative: recognize that not all Muslims follow Sharia the way the Sheik does, just like not all christians follow the bible perfectly, and recognize that Sharia being a "core part of islam" for these people changes what Sharia means to the moderate muslims.

This is really no surprise. Taken at face value, the way many middle-eastern states do, the Sharia is a brutal, evil, disgusting book, with no space for progressive rights, the improvement of society, or acceptance of anyone who didn't fit in with the 7th-century view of "acceptable". But most people dont take the Sharia at face value; they audit it, like almost all Christians do to the bible. They take the parts they like and reject those they don't like. It's nothing new or specific to Islam; if you were to offer the Talmud or the Bible the same test, they'd probably flunk it just as well.

Stagnant:
Or, if I may posit an alternative: recognize that not all Muslims follow Sharia the way the Sheik does

But is this a position that can be properly theologically justified, or is it part of 'The Dissonance'?

inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs - compare cognitive dissonance
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.360564-The-Religious-Dissonance-Whats-Stifling-the-Discussion

Stagnant:
This is really no surprise. Taken at face value, the way many middle-eastern states do, the Sharia is a brutal, evil, disgusting book, with no space for progressive rights, the improvement of society, or acceptance of anyone who didn't fit in with the 7th-century view of "acceptable". But most people dont take the Sharia at face value; they audit it, like almost all Christians do to the bible. They take the parts they like and reject those they don't like. It's nothing new or specific to Islam; if you were to offer the Talmud or the Bible the same test, they'd probably flunk it just as well.

But have Muslims consciously rejected 'evil' parts of the Sharia, and is Islam thus 'permanently altered', or were they just never confronted with the 'evil' parts of Sharia?

I've talked a lot with the Muslims on that blog I linked you to, and when I confronted them with 'evil' parts of the Sharia/Quran, they just 'activated basic Atheist defence';
-claim I'm misinterpreting
-claim that Arabic can't be translated to Dutch or English
-claim it's all about context
-claim I'm racist
-claim I'm islamophobic
-claim 'it's not as bad as it looks'

Never did they reject parts of the Sharia/Quran.

Danyal:

Stagnant:
Or, if I may posit an alternative: recognize that not all Muslims follow Sharia the way the Sheik does

But is this a position that can be properly theologically justified, or is it part of 'The Dissonance'?

inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs - compare cognitive dissonance
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.360564-The-Religious-Dissonance-Whats-Stifling-the-Discussion

I don't care. Your entire thread is ridiculous and based on the faulty premise that because one applies the title of "christian" or "muslim" to oneself, one must take all of the typical notions of that religion seriously. You HAVE to take the bible literally; you HAVE to follow the Sharia to a T, you HAVE to have that weird perm-to-your-shoulders hairdo and a big nose. It's a ridiculous premise, simply because that doesn't represent what these terms mean to these people. I recognize that at some point we need to ask ourselves, "What does it even mean to belong to religion X", but you're framing it all wrong.

Stagnant:
I don't care. Your entire thread is ridiculous and based on the faulty premise that because one applies the title of "christian" or "muslim" to oneself, one must take all of the typical notions of that religion seriously. You HAVE to take the bible literally; you HAVE to follow the Sharia to a T, you HAVE to have that weird perm-to-your-shoulders hairdo and a big nose. It's a ridiculous premise, simply because that doesn't represent what these terms mean to these people. I recognize that at some point we need to ask ourselves, "What does it even mean to belong to religion X", but you're framing it all wrong.

The ridiculous notion that a Muslim takes his religion serious? That's like the ridiculous notion that a Marxist supports Marx or that a Republican supports the Republican Party?

I never said literally, and the ECHR wasn't talking about 'Following the Sharia to a T'.

Danyal:
The Shahada means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed, testification;" it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God (tawhid) and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet.

A single honest recitation of the Shahadah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim.

Muslims believe that the Shahadah is without value unless it is earnest. Islamic scholars have therefore developed, based on the data of the Quran and hadith, essential criteria for an expression of the shahadah to be earnest.

Al-`Ilm: Knowledge of the meaning of the Shahadah, its negation and affirmation.

To believe in the Prophet and in whatever he said and conveyed in his message as the seal of the prophets.
To obey him in whatever he commanded.
To stay away from or avoid whatever he commanded Muslims not to do.
To follow or emulate him in our worship, manners, and way of life.
To love him more than you love yourself, your family and anything else in this world.
To understand, practice, and promote his sunnah (habits) in the best way possible, without creating any chaos, enmity or harm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahada

This testament is a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam#Testimony

Knowing this, is it so strange to expect that Muslims believe, obey, follow and (at least try to) understand the Prophet?

Danyal:
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has studied Sharia to see whether or not they can support Sharia-based regimes. Their conclusions;

In Refah Partisi, it carried out a thorough examination of the relationship between the Convention,
democracy, political parties and religion, and found that a sharia-based regime was
incompatible with the Convention, in particular, as regards the rules of criminal law and
procedure, the place given to women in the legal order and its interference in all spheres of
private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

The first concerned the dissolution, by the Turkish Constitutional Court, of a political
party, the Welfare Party, on the grounds that it wanted to introduce sharia law and a
theocratic regime. A Grand Chamber of the Court found unanimously that there had been
no violation of Article 11 of the Convention, which protects freedom of association. This
case gave the Court the opportunity to conduct an in-depth analysis of the relationship
between the Convention and democracy, political parties, and religion.

Noting that the Welfare Party had pledged to set up a regime based on sharia law, the
Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as
set forth in the Convention. It considered that "sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas
and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism
in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it".
According to the Court, it was difficult to declare one's respect for democracy and human
rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverged
from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal
procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervened in all spheres of
private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/6B93E29C-36E0-42C7-B982-721440881AC7/0/Annual_Report_2003.pdf

Every now and then I read the Dutch Muslim blog (just 'moderate', not extremist), and they claimed that Sharia wasn't a strange evil law system; it was very normal for Muslims and was already in Europe. -> http://www.wijblijvenhier.nl/12004/jip-en-janneke-volgens-de-sharia/

And indeed, a lot of things that we all know are normal for Muslims, are part of the Sharia.

Muslims are enjoined to pray five times each day, with certain exceptions. These obligatory prayers, salat, are performed during prescribed periods of the day, and most can be performed either in groups or by oneself. There are also optional prayers which can be performed, as well as special prayers for certain seasons, days and events. Muslims must turn to face the Kaaba in Mecca when they pray, and they must be purified in order for their prayers to be accepted. Personal, informal prayer and invocation is practised as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Prayer

We all know about Muslim rules for prayer. But.. it's Sharia.

All Muslims who live above the subsistence level must pay an annual alms, known as zakat. In the modern sense, this would be Islam's equivalent to US Social Security or UK National Insurance. This is not charity, but rather an obligation owed by the eligible Muslim to the poor of the community.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Alms

The zakat? Sharia.

During the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sex between dawn and sunset. Exceptions to this obligation are made for children who are pre-pubescent, the infirm, travelers, and pregnant or menstruating women.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Fasting

Ramadan? Sharia!

Halal is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law. The opposite of this word is haraam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal

Eating halal? You're following Sharia.

So basically...
1. Sharia is 'incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy'.
2. Sharia is a core part of Islam.

What to do, what to do? Prosecute the ECHR because they're racist?

Yes, Muslims are obliged to do these things under Sharia law, but they are supposed to do them anyway; Muslims in countries that don't follow Sharia law don't suddenly stop praying or observing Ramadan, the ECHR aren't saying 'Islam is anti-democratic' they're saying 'Sharia Law is anti-democratic' which is not the same thing.

Sharia != how most Muslims live their lives. Religion is barely ever followed to the letter, and this is a good thing, because there'd be so much weird crap everyone would have to adhere to.

Well, this could have been several, but a quick decision leaves me with this one:

image

Sharia fundamentalists =/= all of Islam just like the WBC =/= All of Christianity and Zionists =/= Judaism

And so it begins. ;P

Oh, here we go. I expect much copying and pasting of these pics for at least a week.

Esotera:
Sharia != how most Muslims live their lives. Religion is barely ever followed to the letter, and this is a good thing, because there'd be so much weird crap everyone would have to adhere to.

And that's why I created the dissonance-thread.
Sharia != how most Muslims live their lives.
But...
Sharia = how Muslims must live their lives.

Danny Ocean:
Well, this could have been several, but a quick decision leaves me with this one:

image

Sharia fundamentalists =/= all of Islam just like the WBC =/= All of Christianity and Zionists =/= Judaism

Great! I see you've turned them all into separate images, I'm looking forward to using them! :D

But...

Instead of assuming "Some of group of A behave this way THUS all of group A behave this way" it's more like "This is how group A must behave, BUT only a small portion of group A actually does it".

As I said...
Sharia != how most Muslims live their lives.
But...
Sharia = how Muslims must live their lives.

So maybe in some kind of way...
image

Muslims have to follow Islamic rules, but this characteristic doesn't automatically apply to every individual member.

And so it begins. ;P

:D

I love living in the future.

All I know is that Sharia4Belgium are borderline morons. The ones in the news, that is.

Danyal:

Muslims have to follow Islamic rules, but this characteristic doesn't automatically apply to every individual member.

Much in the same way that US citizens have to follow US laws, but many many many don't.

They key difference being that there are no Islamic Police outside Islamic States, so yeah. Difference shmifference.

Yeah it was a toss up. A few of them are very similar.

Danny Ocean:
Much in the same way that US citizens have to follow US laws, but many many many don't.

In Islamic countries, yes. If apostasy is punished with a death sentence and you're deemed to be Muslim when you're born, yes.

But... That would make Islam a very cruel religion, wouldn't it? So assuming Islam is just a nice religion like all others, people join it voluntarily. US law is not an ideology, it's a legal system that applies to everyone on US territory.

Thus...
image

:D

Danyal:

*snip*

Not sure about that. In Islamic States the law is based on ideology. It is enforced by police. Outside them it's just Ideology that may or may not be followed. In the USA the laws are based on ideology. They are enforced by police. Outside the USA it's just ideology that may or may not be followed. I don't think it's much of a simplification or distortion to compare the two, it's just the ability to see it from the other side of the table.

Besides, I'm happy because you already somewhat agree that your post is an example of division:

image

Now it's just playing with words.

Danyal:
the Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention.

Oh, good, does that mean we won't have to put up with people fearmongering about Sharia law being introduced in Europe for much longer?

Well, it should allow for putting an end to any Islamic denomination where the theological dogma includes (re)establishment of "the caliphate", at least so far as they're politically involved. Not sure how I feel about denying such antidemocratic groups political involvement before they've actually done anything to violate the democratic process and/or law though. Freedom of Speech should be nigh-absolute on political issues, but I suppose that a firm and explicitly stated resolve to eventually commit illegality count as "attempt" on their part, and that they can hence reasonably be outlawed.

While it'll be of no consequence for Islamic groups that aren't involved in secular politics, it reflects poorly on the religion as a whole too, as the "values" it promote are what inspired Sharia. The legal status of women in Sharia would hardly differ so much from the values of the convention, if the "values" of the religion that inspired Sharia didn't also do so. This is even outright acknowleged in the "sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion..."-part, though it is of no legal consequence.

I really had to laugh when I saw something about the author. A university student at the same university I attended, who has no doubt never seen any whippings, beheadings, serious injuries, murders, hanging and what not.

I astounds me that people like that defend the sharia without ever having seen the consequences of it. I mean, if I were to defend the death penalty, I'd better have seen an execution up close and realise what it means, because otherwise I'd be a hypocrite.

And that's also what applies to such deluded Muslims who defend the sharia law because they really want to identify with Islam; they're hypocrites who don't have a clue what they are talking about.

oktalist:
Oh, good, does that mean we won't have to put up with people fearmongering about Sharia law being introduced in Europe for much longer?

If only... But to our eternal shame, it's not fearmongering, it's reality. When I got a passport, I was forced to go to the men's desk, because Muslims had insisted on enforced gender separation for everybody.

Can you imagine atheists demanding that everybody who needs something from local government first swearing they hate all religion and all gods are poo? No, me neither. Unfortunately when it's about Muslims, a combination of cultural imperialism, spineless socialist (no, not in American terms) politicians and people not caring enough about their society has made the Islamic equivalent of that a reality.

Also: The Dutch state recognizes and registers polygamy, even though this is banned in the Netherlands for it's misogyny and role in oppressing women. Not only that, but settlements on divorce, inheritance and such that have been ruled according to sharia law are also enforced despite violating Dutch law. The same for marriages with children: these are recognized and entered in the statistics, where the bureau of statistics erases them, and with that erases the problem.

Another well-known example is of course the existance of recognized sharia courts in Britain.

While I don't really have a problem with people following sharia in their own personal lives...

I think the idea of having courts in the UK/elsewhere that use sharia law to be a terrible idea.

When you move to a new country, you need to adhere to their laws. You can't just import yours! That would be a massive mind screw to the society you are TRYING to integrate into! If you come to Canada (let's say), you need to follow the Canadian laws. That's what you agree to when you immigrate here!

Plus, if I were to go to a country that uses sharia law as the standard, and I tried to implement non-sharia courts for anyone not born in that country...Yeah, I don't think they'd allow that. So...Why should we allow them to import their laws into our culture when they refuse to do the same?

Imperator_DK:
Well, it should allow for putting an end to any Islamic denomination where the theological dogma includes (re)establishment of "the caliphate", at least so far as they're politically involved. Not sure how I feel about denying such antidemocratic groups political involvement before they've actually done anything to violate the democratic process and/or law though. Freedom of Speech should be nigh-absolute on political issues, but I suppose that a firm and explicitly stated resolve to eventually commit illegality count as "attempt" on their part, and that they can hence reasonably be outlawed.

Just for comparison, to make it a little more clear, what if their firm and explicitly stated resolve to eventually commit illegality involved not changing the laws to something ridiculous, but rather flying planes into buildings? The FBI would be all over that in seconds.

Stagnant:
It's a ridiculous premise, simply because that doesn't represent what these terms mean to these people. I recognize that at some point we need to ask ourselves, "What does it even mean to belong to religion X", but you're framing it all wrong.

This is on a tangent, but that is a very good question. I'm not asking you specifically, but rather putting it out to the ether, how many rules and beliefs can a person cut away from the official stance of their religion before they cease to be of that religion? How much cherry picking is too much?

LetalisK:

Stagnant:
It's a ridiculous premise, simply because that doesn't represent what these terms mean to these people. I recognize that at some point we need to ask ourselves, "What does it even mean to belong to religion X", but you're framing it all wrong.

This is on a tangent, but that is a very good question. I'm not asking you specifically, but rather putting it out to the ether, how many rules and beliefs can a person cut away from the official stance of their religion before they cease to be of that religion? How much cherry picking is too much?

I'm gonna put that in the OP! Thank you for your contribution.

Stagnant:
...
Just for comparison, to make it a little more clear, what if their firm and explicitly stated resolve to eventually commit illegality involved not changing the laws to something ridiculous, but rather flying planes into buildings? The FBI would be all over that in seconds.

Changing the laws into something ridiculous isn't illegal though, as long as you go through the properly proscribed democratic way of doing so. So if these guys wanted to introduce Sharia law by gaining a democratic majority in parliament, resign from the convention, and properly pass Sharia laws, then they're playing on the right side of the fence of legality, and shouldn't be outlawed.

Only when they're determined to (eventually) not follow proper procedures can they reasonably be banned.

Imperator_DK:

Stagnant:
...
Just for comparison, to make it a little more clear, what if their firm and explicitly stated resolve to eventually commit illegality involved not changing the laws to something ridiculous, but rather flying planes into buildings? The FBI would be all over that in seconds.

Changing the laws into something ridiculous isn't illegal though, as long as you go through the properly proscribed democratic way of doing so. So if these guys wanted to introduce Sharia law by gaining a democratic majority in parliament, resign from the convention, and properly pass Sharia laws, then they're playing on the right side of the fence of legality, and shouldn't be outlawed.

Only when they're determined to (eventually) not follow proper procedures can they reasonably be banned.

Yes, well, that's the thing that this report kinda outlines - their goals will always eventually run up against the proper procedures by ending democracy and the like. And honestly? I think gross violations of international human rights are worse than the death of a few, and I doubt I'm alone on this.

LetalisK:

Stagnant:
It's a ridiculous premise, simply because that doesn't represent what these terms mean to these people. I recognize that at some point we need to ask ourselves, "What does it even mean to belong to religion X", but you're framing it all wrong.

This is on a tangent, but that is a very good question. I'm not asking you specifically, but rather putting it out to the ether, how many rules and beliefs can a person cut away from the official stance of their religion before they cease to be of that religion? How much cherry picking is too much?

Believe me, I'm wondering that too.

The fact that Sharia law has some measures that are reasonable, and the fact not all Muslims follow the "bad parts" of Sharia law does not and should not change the judgement of the ECHR.

Until and unless Sharia is edited to remove the parts that are incompatible with European standards, it has no place within European law. If changes to those laws are considered to be a change to the religion itself, that's a damn shame, do it anyways or GTFO.

Tolerance and acceptance of religious views and beliefs is both admirable and desirable, but that tolerance must not and cannot extend to allowing for practices that are against the other laws of society.

Heronblade:
The fact that Sharia law has some measures that are reasonable, and the fact not all Muslims follow the "bad parts" of Sharia law does not and should not change the judgement of the ECHR.

I am opposed to Sharia being forced on people, i am also against the rules in bible being forced on people, and for the same reasons.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with Muslims following (and most likely picking and choosing if they live outside middle east) Sharia, as long as they do not try to enforce it on others, and breaks no laws while doing so.

LetalisK:

Stagnant:
It's a ridiculous premise, simply because that doesn't represent what these terms mean to these people. I recognize that at some point we need to ask ourselves, "What does it even mean to belong to religion X", but you're framing it all wrong.

This is on a tangent, but that is a very good question. I'm not asking you specifically, but rather putting it out to the ether, how many rules and beliefs can a person cut away from the official stance of their religion before they cease to be of that religion? How much cherry picking is too much?

depends on who you ask, according to seekster im not a Christian, since im pro gay marriage and believe in universal reconciliation. so now im just a true follower of christ, a term i came up with just to piss people off.

Just a point here from a Muslim from Pakistan (living in England) - Sharia law is pretty stupid, and is not based of Islam completely, but more on "culture" according to my parents. I think this is true, because the Qur'an often says that if someone is going the "wrong" way (not obeying Muslim rules), then you leave them as they are non-believers and will be punished in the after life etc etc. Therefore, Sharia Law itself can be considered as going against the Qur'an, and absolutely pointless.

I am not really sure about the topic, and I don't understand why it would come to a majority non-muslim country like England :s.

OT: And isn't democracy supposed to be a country ruled by the people in a way, so if the majority of people are Muslim and want their country to be ruled by Sharia law, then let it be? I know it also related to "freedom" and "choice" to some extent, though that is mostly the western version of democracy. And anyway, my dad says that in Pakistan, laws like no alcohol don't really apply to non-muslims, so if some of the Muslim laws like fasting during ramadan also do not apply to non-muslims, then everybody's happy? So in essence, sharia law is compatible with democracy, but not the west's culture?

I really don't understand what is the point in comparing the two :/, let alone this thread no offence.

THE_NAMSU:

OT: And isn't democracy supposed to be a country ruled by the people in a way, so if the majority of people are Muslim and want their country to be ruled by Sharia law, then let it be? I know it also related to "freedom" and "choice" to some extent, though that is mostly the western version of democracy. And anyway, my dad says that in Pakistan, laws like no alcohol don't really apply to non-muslims, so if some of the Muslim laws like fasting during ramadan also do not apply to non-muslims, then everybody's happy? So in essence, sharia law is compatible with democracy, but not the west's culture?

I really don't understand what is the point in comparing the two :/, let alone this thread no offence.

One of the basic principles of a well constructed democracy is that it should never allow the majority to abuse the system in order to bully a minority, otherwise it simply becomes a different kind of tyranny.

Sharia law discriminates against both non Muslims, and against women. If Sharia law is enacted and enforced in a country, it ceases to be a democracy (at least by western standards of making sure all individuals are equal). If Sharia law is enacted and not enforced, what was the point? People were free to live by those rules if they so desired to begin with, with the only reason to make it into actual law being to force it upon others.

Worse still, nearly all versions of Sharia law make leaving the Islamic faith punishable by death, between that and the heavy pressure to convert the other way, it means an end to religious freedom.

Blablahb:
Another well-known example is of course the existance of recognized sharia courts in Britain.

Source?

"Stable and invariable" You know, that's why it has changed over the course of hundreds upon hundreds of years... It may be this way in this place now, and it might be different come another hundred. Not to mention shariah is not identical in every country in every sect.

Not to say some of it doesn't suck the big one.

Heronblade:

THE_NAMSU:

-snip

-snip-

I already gave you the example of sharia law in Pakistan, which does not count for non-muslims. How does sharia law discriminate against women? Some bits are directly from the Qur'an, such as the man getting a greater share in the divorce, otherwise I don't really see many inequalities, can you name some please? Reading these BBC articles does not really give much. Although, I do agree that if there is this killing of apostates than that is wrong; the Qur'an does not specifically state this as said in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam . I know this is not a reliable source, but I could not find one. Also, in my reading of much of the Qur'an, there is always the repetition of non-believers being punished in the afterlife, I don't recall any sayings of advocating the killing of others except in some cases like war, and the allowing of revenge (ie you killed my mum so I'll kill yours sort of thing, though that is also advised against and the Qur'an says it is better to accept money or something as an apology or just outright forgive them).

I mainly agree with your point that if Sharia law is not enforced, than what is the point. I don't see the point of sharia law at all except in some few cases which is basically normal law e.g. murder being banned.
EDIT: For Muslim women, they are Muslims so they have accepted those parts of the Qur'an which seem to discriminate against them such as the lesser share in divorce. If they do not accept parts such as these which are clearly written out in the Qur'an, than they are not really Muslims are they? Although again, I really think that people follow their own version and sort of "cherry pick" and enforce their chosen parts of the Qur'an, so yeah Sharia law just seems pointless.

Basically, I just realised that sharia law is absolutely pointless and does not agree with democracy, this law should really be something that people enforce in their own life as their own beliefs and lifestyle rather than impose on others, which contradicts my initial point :/.

Danyal:
Instead of assuming "Some of group of A behave this way THUS all of group A behave this way" it's more like "This is how group A must behave, BUT only a small portion of group A actually does it".

For the first time, I find myself genuinely wondering if you're just trolling rather than having weird opinions. I don't see how any sane reductionist could believe that religion ever works on that principle.

..especially a religion like Islam which places an enormous emphasis on interpretation and individual scholarship. "Sharia" can only be ascertained through Fiqh, and you're not a Fiqh scholar, so your opinion as to what a Muslim must do is completely irrelevant.

Once again, you seem to be taking Christian fundamentalism and applying it to every religion on Earth. It doesn't work.

THE_NAMSU:
snip

Concerning women under Sharia law, there are a couple of things I find troublesome aside from the reduced inheritance, which is minor to be honest.

-A woman's testimony is only given half the weight of a man's in legal matters
-many versions of Sharia law allow a rapist to escape justice by marrying his victim, sometimes without the consent of that victim.
-many versions of Sharia law require a woman to submit to her husband at any time, instead of considering it rape if she is not willing.

Like you stated yourself, a person that is willing to abide by these rules is welcome to do so if that is what they believe in. But even within the Muslim community, there are plenty of people that don't believe such laws reflect the teachings in the Qur'an

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