Shariah between two popes
This is an interesting article about Sharia by Sherman Jackson.
The article describes the different view of Sharia from two popes. Here is an excerpt :
While it started out as a minor footnote, opposition to sharî’ah has now morphed into the mantra by which many justify their opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero mosque.” If we allow this mosque to go forth, so the logic goes, the next thing you know, all the bars in the country will be shut down (and those infidel lushes flogged!), all the women will be draped in sheets, and Muhammad will replace Jacob as the most popular name in America. Allahu akbar!
While some of this hysteria is clearly being peddled by people who know better, most Americans are probably just engaged in a good-faith attempt to understand and respond to sharî’ah through the only prism they have: their own historical experience. I was recently reminded of this on a visit to Cairo, during which time two popes, one Catholic, the other Coptic, expressed almost mutually contradictory sentiments about sharî’ah. The chasm separating their perspectives related not to their different levels of knowledge aboutsharî’ah but almost entirely to their differences in historical experience.
The most interesting position, however, was that of the [Coptic] Church itself. In addition to religious freedom it invoked sharî’ah in its defense! Time and again, Church officials publicly invoked such sharî’ah maxims as, “When confronted with People of the Book (Jews and Christians), adjudicate among them on the basis of their own religion.” The Coptic patriarch, Pope Shanoudah III, even went so far as to quote the Qur’ân directly in his weekly sermon: “Let the People of the Bible adjudicate according to what God revealed therein. And whoever does not adjudicate in accordance to what God reveals, they are among the corrupt” (5: 47). As if these statements were not explicit enough, in an interview published on 10 June in the official Ahram newspaper, Pope Shanoudah stated plainly and without equivocation, “We simply ask the judges, if they want to reconcile with the Church, to apply the Islamic sharî’ah.”
Read full article here.
A much more comprehensive article on Sharia is written by Noah Feldmen, of Harvard Law School, can be read here.