Monday, February 18, 2008

one Muslim on Shari'a

Sharia cannot be customized for specific countries. These universal, divine laws are for all people of all countries for all times.
--Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy, reported here

Beware the paternalistic non-Muslim who willingly engages in the "no true Scotsman" fallacy to defend an indefensible stance.

Any legitimate interreligious dialogue needs to include a consideration of how members of a tradition view themselves. The above quote is, of course, not one that every Muslim will agree with; it should be obvious that a religion of more than a billion people cannot be reduced to a small set of overgeneralizations. At the same time, it is also wrong to ignore the fact that people in positions of authority, like the above-quoted imam, make strongly worded, hard-to-misinterpret pronouncements, thereby influencing thousands or even millions of believers. Denial that this problem exists is not an option.

By the Calgary-based imam's reckoning, shari'a is not merely a legalistic hermeneutic; it is "universal, divine law."



Cappy said...

The Imam can have his own opinion but when he intrudes on Levant's freedom (or mine) it's gun time!

Malcolm Pollack said...

One can make a strong case (as does Sam Harris in The End Of Faith) that among Muslims it's the ones who don't espouse sanguinary jihad and sharia-for-all that are the false Scotsmen.

Good luck with that dialogue...