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Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Turn: The misguided push to ban Sharia Law

This is the spirit of America, building and contributing towards cohesive societies. I am glad to see Abraham Foxman of ADL has taken the same position. At the end, we have all got to stand up for each other for creating a better world. Rabbi, I am glad to see this report.

Please visit www.ShariaLaws.com to read some of the thoughtful articles on the subject.


Mike Ghouse
# # # 


By RABBI ROBIN NAFSHI
For the Monitor
Saturday, December 6, 2014 
(Published in print: Saturday, December 6, 2014)
Courtesy Concord Monitor

As the leader of a religious community with a wide range of political views, I am always cautious when speaking out on partisan issues. But sometimes, I must. Now is that time.

On Sept. 20, the delegates of the New Hampshire Republican Party adopted a Platform of Republican Principles. It contains 83 bulleted goals. Number 83 reads as follows:

“Take any and all actions possible to protect against the implementation of any part of Sharia law in New Hampshire, including legislation outlawing Sharia law.”

Sharia means “the way” in Arabic, and Sharia law guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and the Sunna – the sayings, practices and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

Sharia law for Muslims is quite similar to Halakhah for Jews. Halakhah means “the way” in Hebrew and it guides all aspect of Jewish life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud – the sayings, practices, and teachings of the early Jewish Rabbis.


Why has the Republican Party singled out Sharia law? Why doesn’t it seek to protect against the implementation in New Hampshire of any part of Halakhah, or for that matter, Roman Catholic Canon Law?

Because the New Hampshire Republican Party and other states that have sought similar bans are playing off of what they believe to be a growing fear in this country. We live in a difficult time, historically. Extremist Muslims – a very small percentage of the overall Muslim population – have hijacked a peaceful religion and perverted it into something narrowly construed and intolerant of the West, Jews, Israel, democracy, women’s education and more.

The politicians who endorse anti-Sharia laws are exploiting Americans’ legitimate fears of ISIS, al Qaida, Hamas and other extremist groups in order to ostracize and discriminate against the American Muslim community.

Were the platform’s position to become law in New Hampshire, it would most likely be deemed unconstitutional. In 2010, Oklahoma voters passed a measure banning the use of Sharia law in the state. A federal appeals court declared it an unconstitutional singling out of a particular religion, a violation of both the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Oklahoma introduced a modified version. It passed, and Oklahoma joined Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee in enacting laws that prohibit courts to consider foreign law.

Such laws are unnecessary – and sometimes result in unintended consequences.

Our state courts apply foreign law only when two parties have negotiated a contract that calls for the application of foreign law. This is done frequently in business, especially when a foreign-based business has a presence in the state. For example, a Canadian business and a New Hampshire business might agree that in the event of a dispute, the matter would be decided in Canada. They have the right to do that, and a New Hampshire court might then be asked to enforce a Canadian judgment. This kind of thing happens all the time in the U.S. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. But a ban on foreign law in our courts might no longer permit it.

And sometimes, on personal matters, parties agree to be governed by religious law. Many Jewish couples, for example, draw up a prenuptial agreement governed by Jewish law. In the event the marriage ends, it requires the couple to not only obtain a civil divorce, but also to comply with the requirements of divorce under Jewish law. A New Hampshire court would be asked to enforce that contract clause. But a ban on foreign law in our courts might no longer permit it.

While these two examples apply to a “foreign law” ban, we must remember that the Republican Party Platform position would ban only Sharia law. Two Muslims might use the principles of Sharia law to guide a financial contract just the same way the New Hampshire and Canadian businesses might use Canadian law to guide them. In the event of a dispute, however, a court might refuse to recognize the agreement between the two Muslims if the anti-Sharia provision becomes law, while the agreement between the New Hampshire and the Canadian businesses would remain in tact.

Too many people in our world – including, apparently, members of the New Hampshire Republican Party – believe that Sharia law is violent and contrary to our way of life.

Even if that were true, calling for its ban in our courts isn’t necessary. Our courts cannot enforce contractual provisions that violate public policy. If my congregation and I have an employment contract that requires disputes to be settled by a religious arbitrator who would apply Biblical principles, we can do that. But if the arbitrator rules that the congregation should stone me to death for working on the Sabbath, obviously a New Hampshire court would not enforce that ruling. This is the law in every state, making the adoption of a ban on Sharia law – or any foreign law – unnecessary.

There is only one reason for the inclusion of the anti-Sharia law in the Republican Party platform: hostility to Muslims. Muslims who live in America have a deep commitment to American law and the Constitution’s promise of religious freedom. Anti-Sharia proposals serve only to tell Muslims that they are less a part of the American family and less entitled to the protections of the First Amendment than their non-Muslim counterparts.

As a Jew, I know that my people have been persecuted for thousands of years, and that nations throughout history have passed laws to make it more difficult for Jews to practice our faith. I will not stand by and watch that happen to another minority religion. The New Hampshire Republican Party platform position is nothing more, in the words of Abraham Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, than “camouflaged bigotry.”

(Rabbi Robin Nafshi is the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Jacob in Concord.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Supreme Court ruling on sharia courts draws sharp reaction from Indian Muslim clerics

URL - http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2014/07/supreme-court-ruling-on-sharia-courts.html

Maulana Jilani's comment is precise and sums up the role of Sharia in one's life.   It was in the same spirit I have been writing about sharia Law in America.  Let personal conflicts be resolved between any two parties through any system that mitigates the issue and bring peace to the parties. 

 Zafaryab Jilani, member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, said, "We are not doing anything parallel to the judicial system and we don't say that any order passed by a Qazi is binding on all. Our sole motto is to resolve a matter with the consent of two parties involved in accordance with sharia."

The following statement by the Supreme Court needs to be understood, "Disapproving of a sharia court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court on Monday said it has no sanction of law and no legal status." The Supreme Court is right, no one should pass a judgment against an individual without his or her presence in the court, and the right to defend himself or herself. There should be no judgement in absentia.

The third statement comes from Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid, president of Kul Hind Imam Association, the Maulana is dead wrong when he asserts, "A Muslim who does not follow the sharia is not a true Muslim." This statement is excessive, and amounts to stepping beyond Maulanas' bounds. 

For hundreds of years, the Muslim religious leaders had the power of the state behind them,  and got away flouting the God given freedom of expression in Quran,  " ... Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error ..." [2:256]. This is Islam's unambiguous affirmation of freedom of faith. It is time to question what has been passed onto us for generations. Is Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid talking about Quranic Sharia based on justice or the Human designed Sharia Laws that purport to serve Justice? Please note the difference at http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html 

The Maulana's call amounts to rendering judgment in behalf of God. Even Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had admonished his associate for killing a man who claimed to be a Muslim but the associate did not believe in him.  The Prophet questioned him, how did you know what was in his heart? Indeed, he reiterated that God alone knows what is in one's heart.  No human has a right to judge on one's faith but God, and God is merciful and kind and offers the opportunity to seek forgiveness until the moment of death. 

Every practicing Muslim recites that God alone is the master of judgment at least 17 times a day. As a society, Muslim or other can punish the violators of the common rules for theft, cheating, robbing, breaking contracts, but God did not authorize any one to judge on one's faith. Islam is about freedom and not enforcement of faith. 

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim speaker, thinker and a writer, and presides over the World Muslim congress, a think tank, and a forum with the express goals of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies. More about Mike at www.Mikeghouse.net 

# # #
Supreme Court ruling on sharia courts draws sharp reaction from Muslim clerics

PTI | Jul 7, 2014, 05.59 PM IST  - Times of India


Supreme Court ruling on sharia courts draws sharp reaction from Muslim clerics

Disapproving of a sharia court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court said it has no sanction of law and no legal status.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court's verdict on Monday declaring that a sharia court has no legal sanction drew sharp reaction from Muslim clerics who said that the Constitution allows them the right to work and act according to Muslim personal law. 

Zafaryab Jilani, member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, said, "We are not doing anything parallel to the judicial system and we don't say that any order passed by a Qazi is binding on all. Our sole motto is to resolve a matter with the consent of two parties involved in accordance with sharia." 

Khalid Rasheed Farangi, a Muslim cleric, said that under the Constitution, Muslims have the right to work and act according to Muslim personal law. 

"Indian Constitution has given us the right to act and work according to our Muslim personal law. 
"One must also keep in mind that Sharia Application Act, 1937, has very clearly said that in those cases in which both parties are Muslims and the matter is related to nikaah, talaaq, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, the decisions will be taken in the light of the Muslim personal law," he said, adding that the verdict needs to be studied properly before a final statement can be given. 

Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid, president of Kul Hind Imam Association, said the plea filed in the apex court is itself wrong as it is a religious matter. 

"If a person is practising a religion, he/she has to follow its preachings. A Muslim who does not follow the sharia is not a true Muslim," he said. 

Maulana Anisur Rehman, member of Imarat Shariah, Patna, however, agreed with the apex court ruling, saying that the judgment is not wrong and it is not going to hinder the functioning of sharia courts. 
"For arbitration, when two parties or people consensually approach the sharia court, it is lawful. The Supreme Court is not wrong, but I need to go through the entire verdict properly," he said. 

Disapproving of a sharia court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court on Monday said it has no sanction of law and no legal status. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Supreme Court Ruling on Sharia Courts,Supreme Court,Sharia courts,Muslim Personal Law,Muslim Clerics on Sharia Courts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fixing Sharia Laws

Published here on this site www.ShariaLaws.com and at OpEd news as well:  Continued: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Fixing-Sharia-Laws-by-Mike-Ghouse-Apostasy_Blasphemy_DNA-Rape-Kit_Divorce-140115-276.html 



Rather than the outright rejection of Sharia, which serves as a system of justice to the given populations in Muslim majority nations, we need to fix the laws; without it a large swatch of population becomes rudderless. Our own constitution has been amended several times, and that is what is needed to be done with Sharia.


However, the moderate majorities in all groups see the value in fixing the cancerous cells, rather than rejecting the whole system.  Unless we fix things, injustice in the name of justice will continue.


The golden rule is central to all religions that say, "Treat others as you want to be treated."   There is not a religion on the earth that teaches one to treat the other any less.   Most people get their religion right, and some don't.


The conservative men tend to be insecure when dealing with women; no matter what faith they belong to, they behave the same. Their perceived safety hinges on keeping some one or the other under their thumb; usually women. 


Sharia was a human effort to dispense justice to fellow beings in accordance with Quran and the Prophet's examples; however, men are fallible beings and have failed to deliver justice. They have got it all wrong when it comes to women, apostates, blasphemers and the victims of rape. Sharia as practiced in a few of the Muslim nations does not reflect God's wisdom or the practice of the prophet. It needs to be fixed badly.

Our conservative lot gets offended when Sharia is criticized as they (mistakenly) believe that Sharia is God's law, delivered like Quran, and it is not. Criticizing Sharia is the right thing to do, after all how are we going to fix it?    

Muslims need to feel secure that God is not going anywhere, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is not going anywhere nor Qur'an will disappear; they are eternal. God tells the prophet not to worry if people don't listen to his message, because he is the one who gives guidance. God also says he will protect his system (religion), shouldn't we trust in God? The conservatives, be it Christian, Muslim, Jews, Hindus or others, don't really trust in God, and aggressively preempt him.

Just as Americans cannot fathom any other form of law other than the one we know, the Muslims in Muslim majority nations cannot imagine any other law either. Our laws are not perfect, and neither is theirs. We have amended ours many a time, and need to include marriage-equality amendment and more. The Muslims have not made amendments to Sharia in a long time.  It is time to fix it and keep the laws to serve justice to the Muslim populations.

A majority of Muslim nations are not familiar with any other laws; they will resist pushing new codes on them, just as we would. Remember the Obama-care battle? We need to understand them and encourage amendments.  There is nothing wrong with the intent of Sharia; it's the corruption that needs fixing, when done, and Sharia would be as good as any other law aligning fully with the human-rights declaration.

Let's deal with a few Sharia-related issues concerning  rape victims, apostasy, blasphemy, and treatment of rape victims.
Rape


Sharia Unveiled
(image by Sharia Unveiled)

The Council of Islamic Ideologies (CII) in Pakistan declared that DNA evidence in case of rape is supplementary, and they still require the four male witnesses to prosecute the rapists. Science (knowledge) means nothing to conservatives whether they are Christians or Muslims.   
Asma Jahangir, the human rights activist of Pakistan, responded, "The council members were refusing to reach out for the truth in rape cases and had given such urgency and prominence to their recommendation as if acceptance of DNA testing was a great threat to Islam."

Moazam Syed wrote in the World Muslim Congress forum, "So a rape victim needs to produce four pious Muslims, who must have watched the full act of rape?" A few conservative Muslims may not like this statement, but  that pales to the misery of the rape victim, who endures the anguish for her entire life.  

That ain't justice, and that ain't Islam. The conservatives are not only defensive, but carry an attitude; any suggestion of reason or application of logic threatens them, and they scream that their religion is threatened. I have heard these sentences from Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all other right-wingers in different circumstances.

A documentary (Pakistan) is in the making where a 13-year-old girl returning from the school was gang raped, and the damned judge was embarrassed that she dared to bring the case to his court, and the men laughed and questioned, why was she not at home? Shamefully, this is also a part of the men's attitude in America - she asked for it. 

I am glad they had the sense at least to debate, in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Iran; the woman would have been brutally stoned to death -- again, that is not Islam and purely the men culture of those nations.

Honor killing is not a thing to be slapped on to Muslims.  In Punjab, Haryana, and other parts of the subcontinent, the Hindus and Sikhs also kill their victim girls to protect the honor of their family. I am sure if we Google it, we may find surprises elsewhere.
Learning.

The first word in Islam is "Iqra" -- meaning read, recite, and understand. That was the first word uttered to Prophet Muhammad by angel Gabriel. Iqra opens the door to everything in life. On another occasion, the prophet said, if you have to learn something new, don't hesitate to go anywhere, including far- off lands like China.

The prophet did not say, "Your minds are being plucked out, you don't need it any more to think, everything is given to you in Quran and my examples, just follow it." Indeed the Prophet said, in his last sermon, that he was leaving this book to his followers to read, understand, and follow it.   
Doesn't learning imply reading, observing, understanding, and adopting the new information to the existing conditions for a better life and a better society?

Not all Muslims, but a few of the self-appointed guardians of religion, do not listen to God or the prophet. They have the arrogance to reject Iqra or go to China for learning. They have shut themselves out from learning and push others to do the same. Should we let them? Are they responsible for our actions?

Divorce

These men eagerly approved and adopted the text-message divorces and even e-mail divorces because they cared about men and not the women who were thrown under the bus at the whim of the idiot men. This is not justice and this is not Islam.

Some of the conservative men don't believe in equality of women, and simply don't listen to the prophet. Yet from that very same mouth, they say, "Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a mercy to mankind" -- Do they fully understand what it means?  Fourteen hundred years ago, the Prophet declared that women are free to own property, own their business, initiate marriage and divorce, and could disobey their husbands if they were coerced into doing things against their will.  That is Islam.

A majority of Muslims believe in it; a few don't but get the media attention. Do we talk about good husbands? We always focus on the bad ones who are violent whether they are American, Chinese, and Arab, Indian, Hispanic, or Russian men.

1200 years later, the western societies accorded that status to women,  including the passage of women's-suffrage act here in America just a hundred years ago, while a few conservative Muslim societies have gone back to the times before the prophet.
Apostasy

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not punish apostates, that is those who chose to abandon Islam, and yet Pastor Naderkhani in Iran is being harassed; Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan and Lena Joy in Malaysia were relieved with the international pressures.

Paster NaderKhani of Iran
(image by Beloved country)

Prophet was clear, there is no compulsion in religion, and you cannot force any one to believe who does not want to believe. His own uncle chose not to believe in Islam; did the Prophet punish him?  This is a divine intentional example from God for people to learn, that there is no compulsion in faith; let anyone believe what he or she is comfortable with.  There is confusion among the average Muslims, and it behooves for Muslims to put this thing behind and move on.  It is time to follow the prophet and universally declare that there is no punishment for apostasy. 

Blasphemy

Prophet Muhammad did not punish anyone for blasphemy.  Instead he did the right thing; prayed for them. The self-appointed guardians of Sharia laws can tell great many stories of the prophet, yet they do the opposite. 

The blasphemy laws go against the God-given freedom and it aids the crooks to abuse it. In Pakistan a damned crook framed a girl for desecrating Quran.  A whole Christian town was destroyed before they discovered the truth; at least that is the saving grace


Salman Rushdie
(image by Salman Rushdie)

Muslims believe that we are answerable to God on the Day of Judgment. The more of us speak up, the greater the chance of delivering justice to fellow beings; if we don't, then evil persists. The least a Muslim can do is to speak up.

Sharia was a human effort in delivering justice to fellow beings in accordance with Quran and the Prophet's examples; however, humans are fallible beings and are not delivering justice to women, apostates, blasphemers and rapists, and the raped.  Sharia as practiced in a few of the Muslim nations does not reflect God's wisdom nor does it correspond with prophet's practice. It needs to be fixed badly before we sink with our sins of injustice to women.  More about Sharia at www.sharialaws.com.  

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who mitigates conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation, life and matter. 

...............................................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shariah and Constitution: A Personal Journey

American Muslims have placed their trust in the American justice system and will continue to oppose Sharia laws as they are currently applied in a few Muslim majority nations across the globe. The right wingers are duping Americans to believe that Muslims want that kind of Sharia law here in America, they are wrong, no Muslim organization in America has asked for it, none.  I will be one of the first ones, if not the first one, to stand up against Sharia for public, however, I support Sharia for personal use of people to square off their conflicts. We are Americans and the law of the land is our law. There is no substitute for it. 

 Sharia in its simplest form is a how-to-serve-justice manual based on the Qur'an and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad's sayings and life examples). Indeed, it is a human effort to understand the concept of justice enshrined in Qur'an for the day-to-day living. Sharia like all other human laws, including the laws of the United States has its own shortcomings when it comes to just applications of the law. However, the world has evolved* but Sharia is frozen in times.

Here is the genesis of Sharia Law. http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html


Shariah and Constitution: A Personal Journey

Posted by

We the people

Source: Muslim Sunrise, Winter 2013 volume
By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

After my training of six years to be a physician, as a lung and critical care specialist, I needed to serve in a small village in an under privileged area, to become a naturalized resident in USA.  Five years later, when I became eligible for USA citizenship, it was no small achievement, in my view, however, insignificant it may appear in retrospect now.

There is no denying that a lot of effort, planning and dreaming had gone into it.

About a million people become citizens of USA every year.  The day I and my wife became USA citizens, in 2000, we took an oath:

    I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

Now, as good Muslims, are we supposed to forget it, ignore it, trivialize it or honor it as a binding promise and contract?

May be we should ignore it, as USA is not a Muslim majority country and at times we do not agree with the foreign policy of USA?  But, did we think about it, when we so anxiously took the oath of allegiance and celebrated it as a life time achievement?  Of course not!

I look at the peace and justice the country is providing me and my family.  My three sons were born in USA, before I and my wife became citizens and so they became citizens before us, a privilege that would have been denied to us in many of the so called Muslim countries.

Being in USA, gives me the freedom to express myself, in writing, in blogs and in Twitter, even if I am critical of Christianity or USA’s foreign policy.

The same cannot be said for the country of my birth, where as an Ahmadi, if I say Salam, the Muslim greeting to anyone in public, I could be put in jail for three years, according to a draconian law in Pakistan, The-Amana-Media-initiative@yahoogroups.com notorious Ordinance XX of 1984.[i]

So, do I want “Shariah” or the Constitution of USA?
The answer is ridiculously obvious.

I have to honor my oath of allegiance.  It is not only my moral duty, but also a religious one.  The Holy Quran reminds me in several places to honor my promises and pledges and I quote three here:
It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfill their promise when they have made one.  (Al Quran 2:178)
And:
Relate the story of Ishmael as mentioned in the Book. He was indeed strict in keeping his promise. And he was a Messenger, a Prophet.  (Al Quran 19:55)
And:
Surely, success does come to the believers, Who are humble in their Prayers, And who shun all that which is vain, … And who are watchful of their trusts and their covenants.  (Al Quran 23:2-9)
So, keeping my promises is my Shariah, my religion.  Additionally, there is a well known Hadith, ‘Love of your country (patriotism) is a part of your faith.’

I joined Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, when I was in my medical school, in King Edward Medical College, in 1984.  Many of my close relatives are still Sunni Muslims and when some of the zealot Sunni Muslims aspire for Shariah law in one or the other Muslim country, I know, where they are coming from.
The zealot Muslims suggest that the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, was the political leader in Madinah and therefore they want to pursue Shariah Law in their respective countries.
But, they conveniently forget that he ruled according to the Covenant of Madinah, rather than Shariah, among the different groups in Madinah.

They also conveniently forget that he did not prescribe a political system and each of the four righteous Khulafa, after him, came to office, through some what different procedures.

They also forget that unlike the Holy Quran, God did not choose to preserve the “Muslim political system” and it soon degenerated into kingship.

They also conveniently forget that the Holy Quran does not prescribe a political system or a theocracy, but, it does high light principles of religious freedom, justice, and consultation with those who are ruled.  These and additional core principles should go into the development of any political system, which fulfills the need of the time.

The Holy Quran tells us:
There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.  (Al Quran 2:257)
And:
Indeed, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. And surely excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.  (Al Quran 4:59)
And:
O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.  (Al Quran 5:9)
And:
And those who hearken to their Lord, and observe Prayer, and whose affairs are decided by mutual consultation, and who spend out of what We have provided for them.  (Al Quran 42:39)
The zealots conveniently forget that the Prophet himself said to acquire knowledge, even if one has to go to China.
So, we have no choice, but to benefit from the human experiences, in the sphere of political science, both in the Muslim and the non-Muslim world.
Just like science has progressed in the last 1400 years, so has the understanding of political, judicial and financial systems.  As the Muslims cannot afford to throw away science and technology, all the other human learning of the last 1400 years cannot be thrown away in a zeal to pursue “Islam.”
The Holy Quran is certainly the literal word of God and the Holy Prophet is certainly the last Law bringing Prophet.
But, we have to understand and interpret their teachings in the present day context and not in the context of seventh century Arabia.

We now live in a Global village with its varied considerations.

In this day and age the Quranic perspective and the judgment of the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is that Separation of Mosque-Church and State, is the only recipe for peace and security.[ii] [iii] This is wisdom and Islam, rest is being penny wise and pound foolish or living in fool’s paradise.

I do not like the foreign policy of USA, when it, at times, kills innocent people in drone attacks and labels it as collateral damage.  Lately, France, Germany and Spain are unhappy with USA as it was spying on phone communications in Europe.  In other words my country, USA is no angel.

But, when I look at the foreign policy of other countries, I find that there is no utopia and the world is not black and white.  When I look at Saudi Arabia, I find the rule by one royal family completely defies the egalitarian principles of Islam.  I look at their foreign policy and I am dismayed by their recent role in Syria.  I do not approve of discriminatory practices of West Pakistan against East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

I do not approve that USA does not allow polygamy, while same sex marriage is allowed.  There are countless single mothers and millions of fatherless children, with numerous psychological setbacks for these children, as a result of broken homes.  They could certainly benefit from a father figure in their homes.
Islam is a religion of middle course.  I do not have to take extreme positions of being “for,” America or “against,” America.  I can have a more nuanced position, a middle course.  I can be patriotic, serve my fellow citizens in my profession and otherwise and where I think my country has gone on a wrong track, to work through the civic process to gradually rectify the wrong.  Slavery was not abolished in USA, for several decades after the Declaration of Independence, despite the statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”
Nevertheless, we have seen gradual perfection of our un
ion to borrow words from President Barack Obama and now race relations have tremendously improved in USA.
I recently happened to read the preamble of constitution of Ireland; it starts off with the following lines:
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of √Čire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ,
Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation.
Now, if Trinity is strange, as all the Jews, Muslims, Unitarian Christians, Jehovah Witness and agnostics and atheists think, then the country has certainly started on the wrong foot.
The Constitution of USA does not commit any such folly of condoning an irrational dogma of Trinity.  It may not be perfect, but, I think it is the best among the constitutions in vogue in the world and it has 225 years of successfully history behind it.

So, I have a framed copy of the Constitution hanging in my medical office and that is the only wall hanging in my office, for the last twelve years. Let me also share another content of my office.  I always have a copy of the Holy Quran on one of my desks, in my office, with English translation by Sir Zafrulla Khan.
Utopia is not possible.  We cannot have a perfect world or a perfect country.  But, I find USA to be the best country to live in.  So, I continue to be patriotic and love my country and will continue to honor my oath of allegiance.

Link - http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/01/law-and-religion/shariah-and-constitution-a-personal-journey



Read more: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/01/law-and-religion/shariah-and-constitution-a-personal-journey#ixzz2ppOwprjW

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Video: Sharia dialogue by Hasan Mahmud and Taher Gora in Urdu Language

Hasan Mahmood on Sharia Controversy
Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora

Hasan Mahmud is an advisor to World Muslim Congress.


URL- http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/12/sharia-dialogue-by-hasan-mahmud-and.html

Apostasy: Talks about fallacies of Apostasy - there is no punishment for apostasy, indeed Prophet Muhammad (pbh) did not punish three people who chose to leave Islam.
The Punishment meted out - that is killing is not there in Quran and Hadith.
Also visit http://apostasyandIslam.blogspot.com



Divorce: 2:239 It is not three utterances in one instance, but three months, three periods. Just as in the United States - a waiting period.
He gives examples where prophet gave full and equal rights to women.

Interest/Usury: Good points about Interest.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS63AE0BYyY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUYZDPjEw6MaD4jxym_b6jEA


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oklahoma Anti-Sharia Constitutional Amendment Struck Down By Federal Judge

Sharia was an option for couples to refer in case of divorce, just as seeking counsel from a psychologist, friend or a pastor. The purpose was a to find solution and has nothing to do with the laws that affect public. Its a shame on the Oklahomans to let the stupidity of the congressman and senators to go this far.  I am glad this is a country of law and order and not fickle minded people.

Mike Ghouse
 
Source: Huffington Post
ryan.reilly@huffingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON — A proposed amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution that would have prevented state courts from considering Sharia and international law was struck down by a federal judge on Thursday.
Chief District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the Western District of Oklahoma, who issued a temporary restraining order preventing the law from taking effect after it passed in 2010, ruled Thursday that the amendment’s references to Sharia, or Islamic law, violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. While Oklahoma officials argued the amendment could be enacted if the reference to Sharia was removed, Miles-LaGrange ruled that wasn’t possible.

“Having reviewed the numerous statements by the legislators who authored the amendment, it is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law and to act as a preemptive strike against Sharia law to protect Oklahoma from a perceived ‘threat’ of Sharia law being utilized in Oklahoma courts,” she ruled.

Miles-LaGrange also found that Oklahoma voters wouldn’t have passed the constitutional amendment without the Sharia language, ruling that the “public debate, public discussions, articles, radio ads and robocalls regarding SQ 755 all primarily, and overwhelmingly, focused on the Sharia law provisions of the amendment” and that given that context, any reasonable voter would have thought the amendment was a referendum on Sharia.

It was an “undisputed fact” that “the concern that it seeks to address has yet to occur,” said Miles-LaGrange.

“While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights,” she ruled.
The lawsuit against the constitutional amendment was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of the executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter, Muneer Awad.
“Throughout the case, the state couldn’t present even a shred of evidence to justify this discriminatory, unnecessary measure,” Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said in a statement.

“This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We’re thrilled that it has been struck down.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Anti-Shariah Movement Gains Success


I screamed at my friend, "I will not go in that  rocket to the moon,"  and I angry," I will refuse to go on the rocket to moon" and ratched it up even further, " to hell with them, I am not going".  Then my friend calmly asks, "Have they invited you?" I said no. That is the point in the little skit. Muslims have not asked Sharia be implemented, and these Republican assess are screaming to ban it, that which is not there.  This site is dedicated to understanding Sharia and I urge you to read  Genesis of Sharia Law on this site at http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html


Mike Ghouse

..................
By Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service

(RNS) When Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a 2010 ballot measure that prohibits state courts from considering Islamic law, or Shariah, the Council of American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit within two days challenging the constitutionality of the measure, and won.

But when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a similar measure, one that its sponsor said would forbid Shariah, on April 19 of this year, no legal challenges were mounted
Why the change?

The biggest difference is that the older bill — and others like it — singled out Islam and Shariah, but also raised concerns that they could affect Catholic canon law or Jewish law. Many early anti-Shariah bills also made references to international or foreign law, which worried businesses that the new bills would undermine contracts and trade with foreign companies.

The new bills, however, are more vague and mention only foreign laws, with no references to Shariah or Islam. They also make specific exceptions for international trade. All of that makes them harder to challenge as a violation of religious freedom.

“These bills don’t have any real-world effect. Their only purpose is to allow people to vilify Islam,” said Corey Saylor, CAIR’s legislative affairs director, of the more recent bills.

The change in language seems to have helped such bills advance in several states. And while these bills no longer single out Shariah, it is often understood that Shariah is the target, which many legislators make no secret of.

The driving force behind these new versions of anti-Shariah laws is “anti-Muslim bigotry plain and simple,” said Daniel Mach of the American Civil Liberties Union, speaking on a panel in Washington Thursday (May 16). To those agitating for such measures, “Islam is the face of the enemy,” he said.

To date, Oklahoma is the sixth state — joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Tennessee — to adopt a law prohibiting courts from using foreign or international law, with some exceptions, in their decisions.

This year, at least 36 anti-foreign law bills have been proposed in 15 states, down from 51 bills in 23 states in 2011. While most of this year’s anti-foreign law bills have failed, several others, have advanced:

  •     A North Carolina legislative committee on Wednesday sent a bill to the House that would prohibit consideration of foreign laws in custody and other family law cases.
  •     On May 9, the Missouri legislature passed an anti-foreign law bill that goes next to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has until July 14 to decide whether he will sign or veto it. Nixon, a Democrat, has not indicated what he will do, and did not reply to a request for comment.
  •     In Alabama, Indiana and Texas, anti-foreign law bills have made it through the state senates, and are now either in house committees or awaiting full floor votes.
  •     An anti-foreign law bill in Florida that needed a two-thirds majority to pass fell one vote short, 25-14. Besides Florida, anti-foreign law bills have been introduced but were defeated, died, or are languishing in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Despite the losses, David Yerushalmi, the Washington-based lawyer who drafted template legislation used for the anti-Shariah and anti-foreign law bills, said the anti-Shariah movement “is growing every day” and expects more states to adopt such bills in the future.

“People see the threat and also know that a bill that simply protects U.S. citizens and residents from constitutionally offensive foreign laws and judgments can only be a good thing,” Yerushalmi said.

But CAIR’s Saylor said that victory may prove elusive for the anti-Shariah forces. By stripping all references to Islamic law, the anti-Shariah movement has failed to restrict Muslim religious rights. “In terms of substance, it’s already been beaten,” he said.

Nevertheless, some observers worry that even these watered-down bills could still be interpreted in ways that impinge on Muslims’ religious freedom.

For example, according to the Gavel to Gavel website that covers state legislatures, many of the new anti-foreign law bills specify that the prohibition on courts using foreign laws applies only to certain case types, such as family law or domestic relations. Shariah, as well as Jewish law, is widely used in these types of cases.


“While the foreign law bans are certainly less of a frontal assault on religious freedom than the anti-Shariah bills, they continue to raise concerns about bias towards minority faiths,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

“The bans cast a cloud of uncertainty over a myriad of arrangements, including family and business-related matters, simply because they have foreign or religious origins.”

She added that some bans on foreign law seem to require judges to reject any foreign law or judgment that comes from a country that does not protect rights in the same way the United States does, even if the case being considered does not raise any rights concerns.

“This could deprive many Jewish and Muslim couples of a wide range of benefits — lower tax rates, immigration benefits for foreign partners and the ability to make life-and-death decisions on behalf of each other in medical emergencies,” Patel said.

Even CAIR won’t rule out the possibility of future legal challenges.

“If someone tries to use these laws to undermine a person’s religious rights, we’re keeping all of our legal options on the table,” Saylor said.

(Lauren Markoe contributed to this report from Washington.)

Courtesy - Huffington post

Please visit www.sharialaws.com to an understading of Sharia Laws.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Disgusting Sharia practice; divorce by text message and emails

This is a disgusting example of Sharia practice, which is passed out as Islamic, Islamic it is not.  There are a lot of practices going on in the world, which add up to defame Sharia.

In the following article, it talks about divorcing a woman on whim, not only that, the Sharia Courts in Dubai and informal Sharia counsel in India have held out that the guy can utter "Talaq -Divorce" three times and the divorce happens. They have validated text message and email divorces. This goes completely against the principles laid out in Quran.  I hope Muslims rise up to restore Islam to be what it was; a just and fair religious guidance.

The Quranic guidance calls to wait for three periods time (3 months) to ensure that she is not pregnant, and if she is, the arrangement for child support and alimony. If the couple changes their mind, they can reverse it.

It is fascinating that this common sense principle is adopted by the US Laws while abandoned by the Muslim nations.

The site "total divorce" summarizes the system, "Some states have divorce waiting periods when filing for divorce to make sure that couples are absolutely certain about ending their marriages. These range from a month to six months to even a year or more, if certain divorce issues haven't been resolved. Some states have considered extending divorce waiting periods, especially for couples with children. Such divorce legislation has been based on observations that shorter divorce waiting periods lead to higher divorce rates. A divorce lawyer can further explain the divorce waiting periods in your state."

 A current divorces practice in Muslims nations is abhorrent, cruel and uncivilized to put a woman on the street at one's whims, and this is not Islamic. Islam is about mercy and kindness.
Its time for Muslims to rise up against this practice and speak out.
This practice is strongly fortified that even the erudite scholars and Imams of Islam are afraid to speak out, it is like going against the gangsters, it has nothing to do with education, it has to do with lack of common sense. In the US we have conservative PhD Christians who are as stick-in-the-muds as the Mullahs. Unfortunately, the public does not support these extremist American clergy and they cannot get away with their wishes.

 
Sharia is a good law if we can purge out idiotic rules from it - particularly about divorce, apostasy, blasphemy, and punishment for rape and theft.The civil laws of the nations ensure justice, the Sharia laws in these instances don't. Sharia Law badly need revision to match the common sense and the purpose for which they were created; justice with mercy and kindness.



Mike Ghouse
www.ShariaLaws.com
www.MikeGhouse.net 
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Talaq by text message? Muslim women cry foul

| 1 Comment and 1 Reaction
Sharia law, according to some Muslim sects, allows husbands to end a marriage simply by uttering the Arabic word for "divorce" three times. But a husband must wait the mandatory three-month period before it can take effect. Electronic media have created a new dilemma that religious scholars have yet to work out.
By Udayan Namboodiri

New Delhi: Shamina Abubecker never expected her marriage would end this way.
One afternoon, the Kerala woman received a short text message on her mobile phone. It was from her husband. The message contained one word repeated three times: Talaq, Talaq, Talaq.

Under sharia law, a husband can divorce his wife simply by uttering the "three T's", although Shia and Sunni Muslims differ on whether this can be done at one go, and interpretations vary even among Sunni jurists.

Now, internet, social media and mobile phones have added a digital-era twist to the practice, leading to complaints from those affected. The message delivered to his daughter was "totally unacceptable," Shamina's father, Reshid, told Khabar South Asia.

"We complained to the imam of the local mosque who took it up with higher authorities. After a few weeks we got the fellow to apologize and re-deliver the Talaq in the formally prescribed way."

Besides being divorced via text message, some Muslim wives are now encountering "Facebook Talaq" -- the practice of writing the words on the woman's Facebook page.

"This is a global phenomenon seen all over the Islamic world. It came to the fore in India last December through a case in Bhopal," reputed Islamic scholar Mushtaq Ali Nadvi told Khabar.
In that case, the wife was an educated woman who knew her legal rights. The husband faces a lawsuit and has been arrested on charges of dowry harassment.

Besides text messaging and social media, some men have sent notification to their wives by e-mail. That is what allegedly happened to Majidi Begum, a Delhi resident whose husband worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Not being very net-savvy, my sister did not operate her email account much," her brother Imtiaz told Khabar. "When [her husband] came on leave in 2012 she confronted him and he coolly told her that he had divorced her two years earlier."

When challenged by Majidi's family, the husband produced a document that showed he had two witnesses with him while typing the three T's.

Divorce and marriage issues among Muslims are normally handled by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), founded in 1973. The country's single largest Islamic body, its membership consists of scholars representing different schools of thought.

In 2005, Shiites and advocates for women seceded to form their own separate Boards, the All India Shiite Personal Law Board & the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.

Neither board has come out with clear positions on the validity of electronic divorcing. "In many cases local imams and muftis support this practice out of sheer ignorance or lack of understanding of the Qur'anic injunctions," Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Muslim Women's Movement of India) convenor Saifia Akhtar told Khabar.

Some scholars insist the Talaq rule predates Islam, and has its origin in ancient Arabian societies, in which a husband had the power to divorce a wife for any reason, and at any time he wished.

"This practice of the Jahiliyya (Days of Ignorance) is still followed among the Muslims of South Asia who divorce their wives by pronouncing triple Talaq in one sitting, often on flimsy grounds," Indian Islamic scholar Sohail Arshad of New Age Islam magazine told Khabar. "Recently I saw a case where a woman was given Talaq because she suffered from poor eyesight."

(Courtesy: Khabar South Asia | Indian Muslim Observer