Monday, January 16, 2012

Religious Courts

Random, not fully formed thought:

Before all else, not an expert. Not anything even remotely like one. I have a little knowledge, so that makes me dangerous. Fair warning.

In the first place, do they not realize that even if shariah law were to be admitted as a valid legal course in the US that no one is going to force them to go to a shariah court if they have a problem with a Muslim? Even if we, *gasp* elected a Muslim as president, that president could not then turn around and say, 'Right, we're changing things up. Shariah for all and everyone start praying toward Mecca. Allahu ackbar.' *eyes the people who think that will happen*

And I do realize that there are likely people out there who would force other Muslims to use a version of the shariah court system, or something that they would claim as such, in order to perpetuate control and abuse. Do I need to spell out that that's wrong? Or that the court system of the U.S. can be abused and/or circumvented as well?

Also, yes, shariah is not a monolithic thing. Shariah is interpretive, or at least that's my understanding of it and there are definitely some places/people around who interpret it at it's most controlling and oppressive. The same though can be said for many legal systems historically and even in modern times.

That's neither here nor there, at least for the purposes of this random thought.

The people who are always so angry about the idea of shariah law coming into the US, do they not realize that other religions already in the states have their own religious laws and court systems?

Jews have the beit din, Catholic's have canon law and even Christian religions that don't necessarily have a laid out judicial system per say have the system of elders and a council that people can go through to resolve disputes. No, none of these things are exactly like the other but it's the same principle. A religious legal system designed to deal with religious/life issues.

Right then. Random thought inflicted upon the world. Back to work!


  1. Yeah. I think far too many people actually do not know these things. I need to remember that and not get so mad at my parents when they make really ignorant statements, and just teach them why it's wrong.

    1. I try to keep that in mind too, but it's hard! Especially when they don't want to listen when you try and teach them the correct information. There's a reason I'd never make a good teacher. :)

  2. It's always good to read random Amber thoughts. Enjoyed this!

    By the way, how did you end up liking the All-American Muslim series as a whole? It's over now, right?

    1. I am a random, random girl. :)

      I have the same mixed feelings about the show at the end that I did at the beginning. Over all I enjoyed it and it's funny how the people I liked at the beginning I wound up (in many instances) disliking and the ones that I thought were too harsh, too judgmental, in the beginning I wound up understanding better and liking. :) Some of it was very clearly set up for the show, which is fine. It's a reality show which does not make it reality. It had it's flaws and I don't think anyone is going to try and argue that.

      But I still think that seeing 'real live' Muslims is a good thing, especially for many people who have never encountered one in their lives. It will, hopefully, help some people ask questions and maybe make some realize that Muslims are people too.

  3. Yes, but canon law can be a problem too! Half the problem with the priest sex abuse scandal was that canon law (and, oftentimes, state law) allowed church people to report abuse allegations only to the priest or the priest to the bishop. There are dangers in religious courts, because what one person (or institution) sees as a religious concern could be a criminal or civil concern.

    On the other hand, I have no problem with any religious courts as long as the civil courts can trump them in civil matters.

    1. Absolutely! Any of these systems can be corrupted and abused or used to perpetuate abuse. They're not perfect and they should not exist as the only legal recourse or one that is placed above secular law where they intersect.

      In my opinion (which counts for a whole lot, don't you know!), religious courts should be allowed to exist as an *option* for people to take but if the concern in question is a crime under the secular laws of the land in which the people live then it should be required to be reported to the authorities. I know, I know, there are many problems with that as well. But we're never going to get rid of religious laws unless we do away with religion entirely.

      The whole priest issue is a squiggy area for me, honestly. On the one hand, having partaken of confession, I absolutely understand the importance of knowing that what I'm saying is not going to be turned around and used against me, told to other people. On the other, if a person is confessing a crime, confessing to a rape or a murder, I want the priest to turn around and call the freaking police!


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