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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sharia Politics - My random thoughts

Sharia law like any law is mis-implemented from time to time; innocent people get on the electric chair or the lethal injection in our own US of A. In at least 3 out of 56 Muslim majority nations, wrong people get stoned to death for adultery or blasphemy. It is neither our laws nor Sharia that is wrong; it is the mis-application to suit the ones in power that is wrong.

Parents are not to abuse Children, yet, incest and beating of innocent children continues. The men who beat their wives violently are Muslim, Christian, Jews, Hindus… and every one, it is not the Christian or Islam thing – it is the precisely because they did not get their own religion to guide them, even if they wear a loud label of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or any religion or tradition and even if they go the Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Temple… you see them in all groups.

Qur’aan is a binary book, everything is addressed in pairs - when it talks about male, it is followed by the word female, day follows night, and life follows death. Traditionally Quraanic interpretations have been done my men, like in all other religions. Thank God, women contributions are pouring in and bringing a balance to the meaning of the words in Qur’aan.

Sharia interpretations have been men-appeasing and justice busting in some, but not all the cases. A very small percent of Muslim women endure the non-sense of men's Sharia misapplication - while women across the world be it in America or Arabia, Chile or China, Native American or African are mistreated in jobs, harassment continues unabated, violence, rape... all of these are shameful acts that few men have stood up against. We need the majority to speak up.

Great example is the interpretation of the word Daraba, which suited the men “to discipline the woman if she does not remain faithful to you” to “separation” by Dr Leila Bakhtiar that most people are subscribing to now, which was covered very well in the www.Quraanconference.com . Michelle Bachman talks about obedience to husband, rather than partnership. More women in America are violently killed by their spouse than anywhere else in the world; does that make Christian faith bad? Heck no.

Men in power and some Qazi’s are usually rigid when it comes to punishing others. They do not see the essence of Sharia; Justice. If the Sharia laws are turned over to Regular attorneys and let there be arguments and discussions, it will serve justice. There is no stoning to death in Qur’aan... There is no triple Talaq in Qur’aan as it is practiced; the men have allowed it to happen in three to four nations out of 56 Muslim majority nations.

We all, Muslims or not, have a stake in creating just societies and we need to speak up and thank God, in democracies we can do that. Unfortunately the kings and dictators care less about religion and more about saving their tail...

As an example of shared stakes in the world, take a look at the comment in face book from a Jewish friend Paul Goldstein – “Since Sharia, to my understanding, is similar to Halacha in Judaism, it might be helpful to consider its application within secular democracies as is Halacha. To take the U.S. as an example, there exist Jewish religious courts within sizable Orthodox communities such as New York. These courts are purely voluntary for all concerned; rabbis and religious scholars are the "judges" who decide cases, and litigants can be represented by lawyers familiar with Jewish law. There is no way to enforce the religious court decisions through the regular civil courts; enforcement is only through respect of community mores, community pressure, and maintaining one's standing as an honorable member of the religious community.”
Sharia counseling in the US is indeed voluntary. The decisions are not legally binding, but morally binding. Those couples, who want to be religiously right, prefer religious guidance. It's almost like sitting with friends or going to marriage counselor. It's to maintain one's standing as an honorable member of the religious community.

If the Republican Right wingers can come out clean and say – no one has a bloody right to tell a woman or a man, what to wear, eat, worship, believe or think, and then we can look forward to a positive change. They are no different than the Bin Laden kind who believed in imposing his understanding of religion on others. Is the right wing Christians any different?
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Our first task is to communicate a comprehensive outline of knowledge to those who are attacking Sharia. The traditional Imam explanations give strength but are deficient in communicating with non-Muslims. Americans have to relate with each instance to understand it. God has blessed me and several other non-bearded, suit and jeans wearing Muslims in public, who can bridge that gap in communicating.

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We should expect every Muslim to know about his or her religion. The religion was completed and perfected while the prophet was alive. In his last speech he left the book for us, each Muslim to live by it. Prophet Muhammad did not assign any one, not one single person to interpret the religion for us. The Shia denomination of Muslims believes that Prophet had said to follow his progeny and we respect their belief, it works for them. We are accountable on the Day of Judgment and not even the Prophet will do favors. We had the time to be right and the only thing we have on that day is our deeds, the good things we have done to fellow beings and environment in preserving God’s creation.
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No Mufti, no Imam, no Khalifa is needed for Muslims. You are individually responsible for your actions. When we began life in the United States… each one learned the religion on his own like Prophet wanted us to. Talk to the people who have been here from the sixties. The clergy in every religion including Islam have made the religion dependent on them, it is their job security. Neither Jesus likes the clergy nor did Muhammad like it – if it becomes a profession. Clergy in every religion fall in the same proportions of good, ugly and greedy.
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Mother Teresa once said if you want to make peace, go talk with your enemies, you don’t make peace with friends and scholars. Hazrat Ali has also said something to that effect. A Chinese saying goes, if you want to eliminate your enemy, understand them and make friends, then you are free and they are free, if you fight head on, the battle continues. In light of these, I am pleased to carry the dialogue with my friends.
To be effective, we will have input from Imams, Scholars, Shari experts, non-Muslims, lay persons and others. We will encourage everyone to place his or her cards on the table so we can deal with the issue comprehensively.

I have been reaching out to ISNA, ICNA, CAIR and others, if they cannot do it, I am planning to pick the slack and just organize it. If you recall last year Qur’aan and the Prophet were attacked by Pastor Robert Jeffress, no Muslim Organization took it up. Thank God with the help of 10 Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, and elected Reps (Lon Burnam) who read the so called troubled verses from Qur’aan to the audience, while the 5 Muslims; Imam Zia Sheikh, Imam Shakoor, Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Ahmadi Muslim and myself either confirmed their understanding or corrected the misunderstanding. Today, those Pastors from Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Methodist…. will correct any misquotes from Qur’aan. All the details are at
www.QuraanConference.com

We are all in this together and find solutions.
Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies. His work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net and his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com
 

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