Sharia Law – Theocracy or Democracy Q&A Part 1
Channel: Sherman Jackson
File Size: 30.32MB
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Thank you very much Professor.
As I contemplated coming here, the question that came into my mind
is that I understand that in some European countries there is some of the Western European countries, there's consideration being given to having Sharia law or perhaps simply Sharia courts as part of the judicial system. And I read probably about a week ago that there is some
some location here in the United States, that's also considering that, can you tell me two things? One is, what is the impetus for taking that action? And what are the potential implications? Well, first of all, let me discover a question, what was the impetus for taking that action on the part of the Muslim community on the part of the state officials? The state officials? I think in this, I can't answer that, that with regard to the state officials.
Let me let me just say this.
I do believe that, quite frankly, certainly not in my lifetime. But But by the time we get to the end of the 21st century, I do think that we will be in it mode of political thinking, that is much more
committed to a more genuine liberalism, I think the world is getting smaller. But but in point of fact, what we're finding is that it's becoming more and more difficult to sort of, not integrate, but to hold
on all of these disparate histories, disparate visions of the good, a different traditions, religious and otherwise, into a singular, one size fits all, a little more. And so I think that the the, the alternative to that is, is a more a more genuine pluralism. And I think that that's the spirit in which some of that is being is being paid. I think that, quite frankly, that when you talk about Sharia being introduced in any Western country, essentially what you're talking about,
you're not gonna have criminal law, you're not going to talk about necessarily a commercial law. Basically, what you're talking about is family law. And so you're asking, you know, well, Muslims have the right to marry, divorce inherit,
according to, according to Islamic law. org, that's essentially the extent of the calls for a charity. In the West, I have never heard of anything beyond that any serious, which get very involved, for example, government that I'm talking about some serious
movements. That's the extent to which a caution here takes on any significance in the West, he talked about the
follow up, the follow up question would then be part of women's rights and potentially injury to them? Well, again, here you hit here's where we get a here's where we get an interesting discussion about what or how to define women's rights.
And, of course, the real issue is whether or not this is a voluntary or or not, or not system. I think it's I think it's a it's a mistake, however, to assume two things. First, that all Muslim women will simply join in Yes, we will understand the cloth. Right? Because that will not be the case. But also to assume that, that that almost women say no, we don't want to start with law. We don't we prefer American inheritance law over Islamic inheritance law. Because there are Muslim women who simply say, I believe that this is what I'm obligated to do in order to live the kind of life that is pleasing to God. And I want the right and the ability to be able to do that. And to
impose a non legal amount of Islamic system is no less oppressive
than that then then the standard system maybe from another perspective.
Again, it depends on how we how we define women's rights, I think and let me just be clear here because I don't want to be apologetic but I think that that needs to be a serious discussion about the the sort of tyranny of liberalism and all of these discussions about women's rights.
you said that Muslims understand the difference between most of them
In non Muslim areas, Muslim and non Muslim laws, I'm going to say something that's going to be a little controversial. What about the
what about the gentleman posted in
the cartoon of Mohammed as a terrorist?
I mean, obviously, the first reaction was that they had, you know, stomping on Danish flag, or people, you know, people who said unknown sounding or Danish material, that was perfectly fine. But when he started going to murder, that's when it turned out. But what do you think about that? Well, I think I think that a friend of mine does a chapter about Cutler, man What you call them the
clash of David's.
Class and civilization. Class A weakened civilized? Yes.
I think that
I think that, again, there are many things that we can do legally, that we should not do ethically. And I think that,
that that number of things I want to say about this. Personally, we will take your hockey
personally, I was not offended by the cartoon.
Which is not to say that I am not. I mean, I'm also under the personality of the President of Hungary the sacred to me. There's no question about that.
But I want to think that by drawing a little bow on the turbulent inside that that's why I thought it was ridiculous.
That what we're really seeing here is, is his reaction to the fact that put it this way. What do you think what have happened? Is those tools have emerged, a lot of them are.
What do you think would have happened?
Why? Why even if they noticed, they will probably silly Guatemalans
or something like
Into this power to define,
that has people reacting, I'm hurt,
because they feel helpless in the face of this voice that can define them in ways that they feel no way of sort of getting from underneath. All right, having said that much. The reaction to me and to every single solitary, intelligent, informed muscle just I've ever talked to was completely non flow.
And I think that again, I mean,
Christians do things all the time
that we don't attribute to Christianity.
Why does this reaction have to be necessarily representative of us? Yes, there are Muslims, and they're acting out certain other sentiments. But that doesn't make them that doesn't make them sad. If I
a lot of people would say that, for example, bombing abortion clinics, which I also strongly disagree with, is part of their Christian faith. A lot of people also say a lot of things that are very painful, are out of their Christian faith. So it's very hard for a lot of people to see the difference between what they say is Christianity, and what the majority says.
You know, same thing with Islam. Well, yes, but but the Lord law is if if we bring any issue that Christians do to the people who have the authority to define Christianity, and they say this is Christianity, that means Christianity, but certainly said that anything that a president was weighing across does is Christianity I don't think that's fair. In the same way as any anything that they buy last Muslim name does is a slap. I don't think that's right. And I think we know this metric and I think that you know, we in the West have to think about why we allow ourselves to go down those kinds of hours
Let me just let me just ask you this question said
You know, if I was a bomber, okay, kk headquarters. Why did you say
what am I calling for your champion first? I'm
going to say that, no, he's just using the word guy.
If that's the case, the real reason is
because we know that history, we know that history.
You know, some Muslims do something that they'll give you a copy of it.
I mean, really, this is the whole world is too small, and we have too much destructive capability.
And we have, you know,
the ability to communicate both positively and negatively in unprecedented ways. All right, we all have to be responsible, more responsible,
not only for what we do, but how we validate the way that things are brought to us when we should take it up with these things.
The IoT things. I mean, the first thing is that
I think if all Muslims believe what you said here today, then we wouldn't have any problems, like there would be no problems called life. Yeah.
And on top of that, or anything,
but like there are some people who don't want to get into whether they're Muslims or not, who would disagree with almost everything you said today? And
I think that
That's all right. Don't Don't worry about
I think that because of those people, we can't.
I mean, we can't completely dismiss Islam as
something that needs to be studied by our leaders and understood and and
I don't know, I mean, there's there seems to be some consistence in things like the the Mohammed cartoons in the issue with the teacher in Sudan, people continue to justify their actions based on Islam. And just because there are a majority of Muslims who disagree with that. I don't think that can that that means we should just disregard a song as something completely benign, you know?
Well, up to the last point, but
let me say this, in all sincerity, and let me let me let me first of all, congratulate you for your courage, because I think that's also part of what's on tape. We have serious questions about Islam, and we should not be afraid to ask them. But let me just say this.
And I hope you believe this. No one, no one is more concerned about you or more bothered by
those more stridently.
I don't even call them extremist. But those more stridently violent,
rejectionist voices that Muslim I
mean, we, we deal with this as an everyday reality, right? Because this is a part of what is seeking to define us as a religious community. All right. And so the number one making here, once you have a one to seven is that you should take
the voices of those who speak out not simply on the basis of pragmatism, I have a whole lecture here that comes down to the nitty gritty stuff on the porch, all the tears, but on the basis of a serious indulgence of the most authoritative articulations of the Southern tradition. And who seemed to come to terms with besides these kinds of problems, this should be taken seriously. That's, that's number one. Number two, is any religion in the world had to live up to the criteria that said, we will only assume that you guys are okay. When nobody in your community says.
The dislocations in the Western world
and the Muslim world is in a state of transition.
And there are developments that are going on in
current and positive developments. People who used to be committed to violence, for example.
I'm gonna give a lecture a few weeks from now on the group who kill Mr. Sadat. They have come 180 degrees to completely renounce violence. This has happened. We don't hear him
All right. So there are there are elements in that, in that in that regard.
friendly. I mean,
I think America as a society has come, I mean, has taken a gigantic step, anyway.
But if I wanted to,
you know, I could still find concrete justifications for saying that,
you know, I don't know, this still determined and what I mean by that, I think that the same courage that I had to have
to want to accentuate the positive Navidad,
a little more indulgence, maybe maybe do with regard to that. And I don't want to give the impression that we should not be concerned about those people who want to kill innocent civilians who want to blow things up, we should be concerned about them, and we should condemn them. And we do. And no one is more concerned about that reality, in terms of what it's doing to Islam, both physically, who are the biggest victims of terrorism in the world today, Muslim terrorism, I mean,
most of the biggest victims of this, who are the biggest victims in terms of the image of their collective image of terrorism in the world today, for ourselves, so no one was we have a mutual interest in all right. Now, I want to make one last point.
Because you raised the issue.
We have to stop this business.
Sort of chopping off the legs of every I'm not talking about myself, don't worry about me.
But we have to stop this business of chopping off the legs of every muscle intellectual who stands up and wants to give a vision of Islam that's different from that stereotypical vision. We understand that because America will not America does not need a head, this Muslim community. America needs a Muslim community with strong, respected, respectable leadership.
And that is the most effective means of offsetting those unfortunate voices, either here or abroad. So in this regard, I think we need to begin to recognize our mutual interest, and maybe stop some of this business of these sort of subterranean civilizational borders that we find underneath the surface and finds all kinds of excuses for doing something.
Well, who are you who you're referring to when you're when you mean, cut off the legs? And
what I mean is that I have to say the names here, but I know Muslims who, who have gone out on a limb
with great courage to condemn this and turn that into my fists and to propose God. All right. And there are viciously attack,
stop fundamentalist, and all of these kinds of things. And it's a it's almost as if to say that, you know, we don't want any credible Muslim leadership emerging. And unless it is a Muslim leadership, all right, that does exactly what I said at the opening up my talk with regard to be brother.
Their point is a quote from already, but I think, Oh, I'm alone. But I'll wait. I'll ask you after because I have too much time. I mean, there might be a number of posts on my blog, which I disagree but, but get the point of my talk here. I'm not responsible for about our
Muslim community in America, we need to talk to the Muslim community in America
we tend to, you know, again, you want to
get on a plane and fly 1000 miles. So it's live in America. It's not real.
I'm very serious about that, by the way.
The first ones who need to understand this
Can I make a comment this question, as I was working like
I don't mean an insult to you, but I'm often bothered by questions like you are from that's not to say you cannot ask it and have an answer to it. That's legitimate in itself, but the fact that and by asking the question
To me, it means to me like you have this tunnel vision and not just by saying you.
I mean, the general American public, or most of the American public who asks that question, because you don't in the same way, ask why
a country like United States, which couldn't be cool, it should be called the hypocrisy, Mantra democracy, or goes and invades Iraq, kills over a million people since the first Iraqi invasion in 1991. More, most of which are civilians and children and women, innocent civilians, and that's not the cold. Nobody talks. Nobody talks about that, or say, oh, you know, a Christian country of United States is killing Muslims in the Iraq, nobody labels it as a Christian crime or as being done by Christians.
So everyone has a logic to distinguish. Okay. Or when when, what's his name? Mike Fay, who is a white Christian goes and bombs ability. Nobody labels them as a Christian fundamentalist or Christian terrorists. But the minute a Muslim does something, whether it's in self defense or whatever, the whole Islam is blamed.
No, of course not. But yeah. So my question is,
understand the mind boggling of a cake, a cake was in the name of a slap.
Nobody believed me though, right.
My question about laws in Western countries.
If you don't agree with some laws in a non Muslim country as a Muslim, then what do you do supposedly, these laws are founded by an elected official. And the same laws founded by elected officials has nothing to do with justice, common sense, and basically simply
their revenue making laws.
You you indulge and fully engage the process process process by which laws change.
Thank you very much.
Scotland. So if I say something wrong, please forgive me.
I would like to ask you the question regarding freedom of speech, because I think that is a very important area
for not only American democracy, but also the whole western enlightenment, understanding of freedom of speech, and the Muslim understanding of freedom of speech. It seems to me that there's a big gap, and how can we bridge that gap? One thing I can say is, the Enlightenment idea, for example, is about tires. There's a saying attributed to Voltaire, for example, you know, although I hate what you were saying, I will defend it.
But in the case of Islam, as I understand it.
Sharia there's one thing and protection of religion, how can you how can anybody, you know, stand by when somebody is criticizing the Quran, allow
profit, hobbies and all that. Okay. And as I understand
that there were a couple of three bullets that were
dispatched, because of their past.
with extreme prejudice is another word, I guess. So given all that weight of Islamic history, how can we accommodate because as long as you have repeatedly said that, you know, it's very important that we ask questions we discuss and especially in this kind of situation, we are in the university side, and we are not shouting fire.
But it seems to me that Muslims whenever there is a criticism of religion of the prophet or anything come to mind and they say, Oh, this is like a shoving fire. So, you know, unless we can bridge this gap, it seems to me that there is going to be a very
Yeah, I quite frankly
While the issue of competing notions and understandings of freedom of speech is certainly an important one, and one in which we can have a scholarly exchange, I don't think that most of what is happening with regard to Muslim reactions to the exercise of freedom of speech has necessarily to do with different conceptions of freedom of speech. What it has to do with is differential levels of Power BI once I'm in the fall.
I have conversations with Muslims that confirm this.
You see, part of the problem that we have today is that Muslims feel that even the whole discourse on violence is sort of stack against against Muslims, because it focuses only on physical violence, that's gonna hurt anyone.
Not all forms of blindness that are equally, if not more harmful,
but simply happen not to be physical. Does that make any sense to you? In other words, if a three year old, came here and insulted me, I mean, call me really nasty names. I probably just laughed at the kid.
And that's because the power differential between myself and that kid is such that he can't hurt me with those with those words. All right, if that same three year old kid, however, came with a baseball bat, and crapping across the shin. I feel that like, like anybody else assaulted, alright, and once Muslims are suspicious in this regard, because physical violence can enter the West, although it does have this power of definition. But what can Muslim say? You see, like a three year old, one can Muslim say, All right, I'm gonna actually have the same effect on the web, as what the West said the fact that the effect they have on them, I see that as part of the problem.
As well, they have a different understanding of freedom of speech from this beautiful speech. Now, the exercise of freedom of speech has a different impact. And that's what we're seeing the reaction to.
And even if we even if we talk about, okay, let's come up with, you know, if we talk about different perceptions, and and, you know, we arrive at a Muslim understanding, let's say, that is exactly the same as the Western understanding those facts, reactions will still be there, because the hurdles will be there.
And that has to do with a power differential in the world.
But my point is, I mean, that's something to be explored in a more scalable event. My point is that it won't make a difference. much of a difference. I mean, you you may have freedom of speech law.
Can President Bush Obama, anybody use the N word?
Well, that's why it's freedom of speech.
That guys, that's
you know, every time I come to Stanford Law, it's hard questions about this a great place.
So I'd like to possibly get your commentary on a different network. A few
perceived conflicts between Muslim laws, Muslim Rights, saying with Western laws or US laws in particular, I've heard people brag about the fact that oh, you know, who's American is that can't have a woman.
Polygamy is illegal here, but it's allowed or petition, domestic
domestic abuse for
physical action taken spouses, but some supplements a bonus amount. So, where does that
do the laws of reputation you live in supersede the rights you may be afforded
At more, are those even considered particles? Are they just what?
I just heard that
is yeah, I want to I want to ask
a clarifying question. Is your question primarily political or is it is it is it legal? Is it is it was elephant here or or is it? What should we do?
politically speaking in this context
the point that I'm trying to make to you is this. It's a legal in other words, a question at some law. All right? Are there any number of legal interpretations that we could come up with, with regard to those various, quote unquote, permissions that you quoted, for example,
I have a conversation with the Grand Mufti of Egypt. And he told me and explain why, in traditional Islamic legal terms, it's forbidden, right? To physical discipline, You're forbidden. Now, I'm not saying that, you know that. I'm not saying
don't get me wrong. I'm not making that claim. All right. But if we're talking about
you see, how many understand this this law there any there's a range of possibilities? All right. So that's one question. The other question would be well, politically speaking, what do they do in America in the face of that? That's a different question.
All right, so we'll move on to the possibilities. I mean, there are endless possibilities. Politically, again, you know, Muslims have to get active. But before Muslims
getting active, really have very much effect. I think that the first priority of the Muslim community in America has to be to indigenize the discourse of a slap
to indigenize a discourse on the slab, to indigenize the discourse on the slab, because right now, people are looking you right in the face. And they're talking to you, and thinking about things that are happening 8000 miles away.
And all I can imagine in terms of the kinds of proposals that you may bring forth, that's what they see on television.
And that's because the Muslim community has failed and a lot of thing continues to fail to digitalize the disposables. That is, to me one of the top priorities of the Muslim community.
I want to make a couple of points. First of all, people shouldn't see the movie bill, bad Arabs in the West has always portrayed Arabs in a very bad light throughout the context in media that may, you know, have a big impact