Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Interpreting Shariah Law Across The Centuries

By NPR | April 16, 2012 | [Original Article]

...Sadakat Kadri is an English barrister, a Muslim by birth and a historian. His first book, The Trial, was an extensive survey of the Western criminal judicial system, detailing more than 4,000 years of courtroom antics...

...Islamic law is shaped by hadiths, or reports about what Prophet Muhammad said and did. The hadiths, says Kadri, govern how Muslims should pray, treat criminals and create medications, among other things...

Interview Highlights

On why he wanted to write about Shariah law

..."People just seemed to be arguing about Islam, Islamic law, the Shariah, without actually getting to the substance of what it was all about. So because I come from a Muslim background, I certainly had plenty of people I could ask... [Read More]

On the word 'Shariah'

"It means the right path to follow if you want to attain salvation. It's a very spiritual concept. It's an idea of the right thing to do, how you attain salvation. And there's no denying that the human interpretations of the Shariah do contain some very repressive laws."

On the movement to ban Shariah law in America

..."It's crazy, basically. It's this idea that Shariah is some kind of movement to take over the United States or a conspiracy to overturn American freedoms. That isn't what Shariah is. There are certainly hard-line interpretations of Islamic law. But these measures don't even claim to restrict themselves to that. They claim to prevent the courts from taking any account at all of the Shariah...
[Read More

...I am absolutely sure that many of the people who support the laws and their sponsors are genuinely motivated by fear of Islamic extremism. Islamic extremism is something which I'm fearful of. I was around on Sept. 11 and July 7 here in London when Islamic extremists blew lots of people up. I'm no fan of violent extremism from Muslims, but these laws don't target that. They simply target the body of beliefs that Muslims call the Shariah."

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