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Sharia
By Kevin Filan

Chechnya |  Iran |  Nigeria |  Pakistan |  Saudi Arabia |  Sudan


For many, the West symbolizes not progress and tolerance but exploitation and decadence. They aren't interested in incorporating our vision of "human rights" or "religious tolerance." Many of them have spent years or decades under the thumb of dictators who used those words to gain world support even as they befouled their meaning. Others see no reason to separate religion and government; for them, a state without religion is a ruler without morality.

An increasing number are turning to the Q'uran for their political theory. There is a long tradition of Sharia - Q'uranic law - stretching back over 1,000 years. Empires have been governed according to its principles … and today many see it as a way to assert their independence from Coca-Colonialism. And while the Taliban, the current media bugbears, have been overthrown, Sharia persists and thrives in several regions throughout the Islamic world.

The Sharia has gained a bad reputation in the Western media. Some of this is certainly justified: there have been horrendous excesses committed in the name of Q'uranic law. On the other hand, we should also consider that the Sharia has frequently brought law and order to lawless regions. Women in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan could not leave the house without veils… but they also didn't have to worry about being raped or kidnapped by one warlord or another, a situation which was all too common beforehand. Nor should we forget that Sharia has typically been introduced by popular demand… and that the people in Sharia-ruled countries often complain not because Islamic law is too rigid, but rather because it is not enforced strictly enough. We should also remember that Islam is not a monolithic faith, nor is it practiced entirely by Arabs. The Persians of Iran and the Caucasian Noxhe (Chechens) have an interpretation of Islamic law which differs widely from that practiced by the House of Saud, or by Nigerian and Sudandese scholars.

Here are a few countries and regions which have implemented Islamic law.
Chechnya
Iran
Nigeria
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Sudan

 

 


Mike Doughty



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