Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sharia in Europe

There is a discussion going on in several European countries about the influence of Sha’ria law on their societies. Needless to say; not one European thinks that Sharia must be partially implemented or adapted to let me say the British or Dutch law. I just read an article of a Dutch lawyer who denied the far stretching influence of such Sharia courthouses. He describes them as ‘folklore’. But when you read the long article of an British journalist you will be astonished and frightened what some Imams are saying and planning. For example: stoning to death of a girls who have under-age sex. You can all read it here. (a long read)

At the same time, the Dutch quality newspaper NRC published yesterday two opinions about Sharia courthouses in the Netherlands. One is from Maurits Berger, a professor of 'Islam in the West' at Leiden university. He’s a non-Muslim and is pro-sharia courthouses. Here one excerpt:

’There are of course limits to freedom of religion. Stoning, forced marriage of minors, cutting off hands: these are strictly forbidden. But religious courts usually deal mostly with family law. If adults want to submit to religious rules, even if they allow for inequality between men and women, it is their right to do so. After all, the Dutch orthodox Christian party SGP adheres to similar principles: it doesn't allow women to hold political office, for instance.’’

He forgot easily to mention here that women in this ultra conservative Christian party face only one restriction: no holding office. They can vote and are as equal as everybody else. In contrary with Sharia ruling.

But isn’t it strange that the person who is against Sharia courthouses is Nahed Selim, a Dutch Muslima, a writer and of Egyptian origin. Maybe she knows what it means to live under sharia rule. Here and excerpt.

‘’For everything in sharia law is discriminatory against women: marrying a non-Muslim is not allowed, divorce is not allowed unless the husband agrees to it. The man, for his part, can disown his wife whenever he wants. (A sharia court in Malaysia has ruled that a text message saying 'I disown you' suffices.) If he changes his mind within three months, he can take his wife back. He can do this up to three times. Custody always goes to the father: the mother may raise the children, but he always has the final word.’’

You can read both articles here and here and make up your mind. I already did. In favor of Nahed Selim.

Day Opening - July 12