Friday, July 15, 2016

Some thoughts on Sharia

Newt Gingrich just said that American Muslims should be asked if they believe in Sharia Law, and they should be kicked out of the country if they say "yes."

Someone should ask Newt Gingrich if he knows what Sharia Law IS - because he obviously doesn't. It's like asking a Christian if he believes in the Bible. He will say "yes." But that doesn't mean that he believes in stoning someone to death for gathering sticks on a Saturday, even though that's in the Torah. Nor does it mean that he believes the Ten Commandment should govern American law.

Sharia is the religious code of the Quran. Just as Christians all claim to believe the Bible, but disagree on what the Bible means and how it is applied, there is no single understanding of Sharia in Islam. Different Muslims disagree on what the Quran means and how it is applied, just as Christians disagree about the Bible.

However, some Muslim fundamentalists do believe that there interpretation of Sharia should govern secular law. And such an idea would violate the 1st Amendment, and go against American secular values. But most American Muslims do not favor that. Part of the reason they came to the United States was BECAUSE of its secular values. Because they don't WANT the Quran to govern secular law.

But isn't it odd is American Conservative Christian Fundamentalists - like Newt Gingrich - are so loudly critical of Sharia when they believe that the Bible - a religious text - should govern secular law? That is PRECISELY the same thing the extreme fundamentalist Muslims want with Sharia. And i every bit as much a violation of the 1st Amendment.