As was predicted by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams several months ago, the British legal system has recently made steps to include sharia law as a legitimate legal standard for practicing Muslims in Britain. What this means is that, if a British Muslim has a dispute come up which ranges from divorce and domestic issues to wills to possibly even real estate transactions, they now have the option of having their case tried under the letter of the Islamic law and the Qu’ran in place of the letter of the British law and constitution. You can read about this here.
So, big deal, right? Well, possibly, if you are in favor of the continued oppression of women and minorities and the ever-growing cultural assimilation of England into an Islamic state. What has been making its way through Europe silently over the past decade or so, advancing in the name of multiculturalism and tolerance, has now become a looming cloud on the horizon of Western civilization where all of our both Judeo-Christian and secular democratic principles are being threatened by a strong willed, highly populated movement of devout Muslim immigrants.
Now, lest I sound too polemical and religiously fanatic, let me break down why I believe this to be a bad thing. First, in the view of just the law, it seems absurd to allow a population to be split between which courts they should go to. Of course, at this point there are jurisdiction limits and some argue that what is being done is no more than what British Jews have in place already. But, when you look at other countries such as Iran or Saudi Arabia, you see countries whose entire legal system is based on sharia law, and so it only seems reasonable that the sharia courts in Britain will strive towards this same goal. This is unconscionable. A country the size of Great Britain cannot afford to have its people governed under different legal standards, it just won’t work.
Beyond this, the legal standards of sharia law run opposite to the accepted laws of any democratic nation in so many ways. Sharia law is characterized (not stereotyped, actually so) by a favoring of men over women and a dehumanization of “criminals.” If we look at sharia law against the Bill of Rights we would find that it violates at minimum the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment. Sharia law actually allows for domestic abuse in certain cases. It also calls for the execution of homosexuals. This is not just an archaic rule that stands without ever being enforced, but is a very well-enforced law in places like Iran (just search the internet, you can find the videos). All of the tolerance and equality which makes democratic nations so great is thrown to the side when sharia law kicks in.
Moving to a more religious tone, I feel that the inception of sharia law in Western courts is a bad thing because it provides legitimacy and furtherance of a satanic religion. I say that with as little fundamentalism as possible and with as much biblical support as I can muster. Islam denies the deity of Christ, his atoning work on the cross, the sufficiency of his sacrifice for our forgiveness, and the power of grace to eventually save us. There can be no compatibility between Christianity and Islam because to the core we worship two radically different gods. Therefore, by propping up Islam in the courts we are inevitably propping up Islam in the culture and increasing the aversion to the message of the Gospel and Christ in the general population.
This is a difficult issue to approach because so many people will blindly fall into the trappings of extreme tolerance and open-mindedness and view any opposition as religious fundamentalism and bigotry, but I just want to leave you with one question: if a Muslim murders a Christian because they attempt to share the Gospel with them (as may be prescribed by Qu’ran 22.40), which court would get to try this?