Verbum Sapienti sat est (A word to the wise suffices)

Location: Modi'in, Israel

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Means and ends

Osama Saeed (a spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain) wrote an article entitled "The return of the caliphate" in the Grauniad today.

Lovely, reassuring stuff. Apparently we shouldn't be worried about the resurrection of the idea of the Caliphate - it's just a codeword for something like the USA, the EU or the WTO. And Shari'a, to Muslims also is a very benign word:

The aim of Islamic law, contrary to popular belief, is not punishment by death or amputation of body parts. It is to create a peaceful and just society, with Islamic scholars over centuries citing its core aims: the freedom to practise religion; protection of life; safeguarding intellect; maintaining lineage and individual rights. This could be the basis for an Islamic bill of rights.

It's true - the aim of Shari'a is a peaceful society. Of course, the means to achieve that admirable end include punishment by death and amputation of body parts.

Of course citing one of the "core aims" of Shari'a as "the freedom to practice religion" is also a little disingenuous. It might be more realistic to say "the freedom to practice Islam".

"Protection of life" - well, it's possible that some people (I won't point any remaining fingers) might argue that this doesn't actually apply to Israelis, who seem to be condemned by all Islamic peaceful scholars to be blown up wherever necessary.

Hmmmm...."maintaining lineage"...that's an interesting phrase. In other words it's a major concern of Islam that your wife doesn't fool around with anyone else and screw up your kids lineage. Well, I'm all for fidelity in marriage, but somehow I've never felt the need to beat my wife or force her to wear a hijab - I guess I'm lacking the necessary commitment. Yay Shari'a!

"Individual rights" - the right to blow yourself up in a pizzeria, the right to hijack a plane and fly it into a skyscraper, the right to behead people who are delivering food to someone you don't like...all important rights to be protected in the "Islamic bill of rights".

I wonder how many people he convinced.


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