Sharia law is fascinating

Off the back of an ongoing discussion I’ve been having recently, I decided to investigate Sharia law and how it would impact on Australian law to have some aspects of it introduced. What I found was fascinating.

Sharia law has some very nasty connotations from a non-Islamic standpoint. While I’m never going to claim to be an expert, there are a fe things involved in Sharia law I personally find distasteful. First and foremost is the position on marriage.

Under classical Islamic law a husband did not need to petition a court to divorce his wife. He simply pronounced to his wife that she was divorced. A wife, however, had to petition a court for a divorce

This is a definite injustice – that the position of a woman and the position of the man be inequitable in the case of marriage. An example of how Sharia law is mutable, though, is that most Muslim nations require both parties to submit the petition, which is extremely similar to Australian law relating to divorce.

Many Muslim countries permit polygamy, albeit with restrictions.

Now this I have less issue with – the act of marriage between consenting adults should be the province of the adults in question. I do have a liberal view on this, however.

Interestingly, though, Sharia law also has very strong views on men being “just” to wives. Tunisia has banned men being married to multiple women, as the Koran states that men cannot be just to multiple wives.

So in these cases, although the far-right religious factions within Islam will support these, in practice many of these laws are defunct.

But, putting aside specifics at the moment, as I’m sure there are many examples that could be covered here, I’m going to have a quick look at the fundamentals of religious doctrine as it relates to law.

Australia’s legal system is based strongly on a Judeo-Christian legal system. Many who follow Christian teachings take this as meaning that we consider religious beliefs as paramount for deciding on what law is just and what isn’t.

They’re extremely wrong.

Let’s have a quick at Christian law.

Deuteronomy 24:1-3

  1. If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,
  2. and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man,
  3. and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house…

So, interestingly, Judeo-Christian teaching supports Sharia law.

(Of course the Bible has much more to say relating to divorce. Having a look at the words of Jesus in the book of Matthew I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. This does not change the fact that the one who is doing the divorcing is the man.)

But what about polygamy?

Exodus 21:10

  1. If that son marries another woman, he must not deprive the first wife of food, clothes, or sex.

So, as long as a man is still treating his current wives justly, he is free have subsequent wives. Given King David had 6 wives, Solomon had 700 wives, Rehoboam had 18 wives, and so on, polygamy was obviously okay according to Judaic law.

But, some Christians will argue, that when Jesus came he did away with the old law.

Matthew 5:18

  1. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

So Jesus, also called Christ, who Christians derive their name from and whose teachings they say they follow, supported Judaic law. Which includes polygamy. Which, in turn, is the same as Sharia law.

So, in short, Sharia law is a form of religious doctrines that people use as a basis for creating legislation, in exactly the same way that Judeo-Christian teachings are used as a basis for our law, but not the whole of our law!

I did try to find what Sharia law and Judaic law said relating to copyright issues, but funnily I couldn’t find anything from either. That suggests to me that copyright laws, something that all of us are aware of.

I’m going to come back to this later, as I haven’t finished this thought. For those who use Sharia law as an example of why we should restrict Muslim immigration, however, it might be interesting to note that exactly the same logic would relate to Christians.

Feel free to flame below.

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