Factors to consider about Sharia law and M103: Kutty 

Faisal Kutty on the M-103 controversy:

For those who fear Sharia creep, it’s too late. It’s already here. For most, rather like “the golden rule,” the Sharia demands that they obey the laws of the land; live peacefully with their neighbours; don’t lie; don’t cheat; pay their taxes; respect each other; care for the underprivileged and the oppressed; and focus on making the world better for all.

In fact, scholars consider the thrust of the Sharia to be advancing human welfare. Muhamad Abdu, a prominent Al-Azhar jurist at the turn of the 19th century, once said: “I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”

Getting past the Sharia hysteria is not enough, because opponents still have their trump card (pun intended). They don’t have a hate on for Muslims, they only object to the term “Islamophobia.” These newly minted word etymologists argue it is imprecise and precludes legitimate criticism. They counter that it is not a phobia because it is not a mental condition, but a grounded fear of bad ideas.

Au contraire, it is a phobia, because it is prejudice and bigotry towards Muslims and the irrational and exaggerated fear of an assumed, but non-existing monolithic Islam represented by the Sharia bogeyman.

It is exaggerated, because it takes the regressive interpretations of the few who justify terrorism and antimodern ideas and instinctively project it onto all Muslims.

It is irrational because it ignores the peaceful and progressive Sharia interpretations adopted by the clear majority of Muslims while authenticating only the extremist views. All 1.6 billion Muslims (except “moderates”) are painted with the same brush.

Respectful criticism of Islam and even Muslim practices is done daily by many, including Muslims. Yet the Islamophobia label is not used, because it is not done with loathing and contempt. Diversity of opinions are a recognized forte of Islamic jurisprudence.

For the past 26 years, I have critiqued the mainstream Islamic opinions on blasphemy, apostasy, the status of women, etc. I am challenged sometimes, but never have I been labeled an Islamophobe. Many in the Muslim world are persecuted for this, but it’s not for Islamophobia.

Yes, anti-Muslim hate or “Muslimophobia” work, but Islamophobia conveys the deeper, richer and more precise nature of the feelings and beliefs that drive the “othering” of Muslims.Faisal Kutty

Source: Factors to consider about Sharia law and M103 | Toronto Star

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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