Friday, September 15, 2006

The Sharia

Burka on the Hogeweg, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

There is a big storm-in-a-teacup discussion going on in The Netherlands at the moment. The Minister of Justice said that if it came to pass that two-thirds of the members of Parliament (what is normally required to change the Constitution) voted to introduce Sharia Law into the country, it should be allowed.

This is a long way from suggesting that this is a possibility, but is a reaction to the leader of his party who want to ban political parties who have it in their programmes to introduce the Sharia Law. This in turn because wholesale introduction of Sharia Law is anti-democratic and goes against various Human Rights treaties to which The Netherlands has signed up. It cannot be right, they say, that a political party can operate within a democratic system if there aim is to eventually break down democracy.

This seems to have been the case in other parts of the world where democracy has led to the wrong results, with people voting for parties addicted to violence, like Hama, Hizbollah, the President of Iran and so on. In this way you have a one-time democracy... it is set up and brings into power a political party who then goes about destroying the democracy through which they achieved power.

Others are saying that the essence of democracy is freedom and debate and that when one starts picking out political parties and ideas and then ban them you are undermining the what democracy is about in the first place.

I am with the latter argument, although ideally there should be some mechanism to protect the minorities from the tyranny of the majority and to protect various values such as the equality of all people under the law.

As an aside to this debate, we have been fed photos from Somalia where the Union of Islmic Courts have introduced Sharia Law into the areas which they control. So yesterday in the Volkskrant we see a picture of a teenage with a sharp knife stabbing the man who killed his father, this man, being on the floor, hands bound and a cloth ovr his head, blood seeping from this chest. Also, photos of women being flogged for selling drugs or committing adultry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting Topic! I would like to comment on Hamas and Hizbollah as “addicted to violence”. I find it regrettable that you do not put things in their right perspective, when mentioning the up-rising of those two organizations.

The up-rising of those two organizations is merely a logic consequent or reaction to the actions of the hostile state of Israel. Israel finds its legitimacy for committing their atrocities in that one same democratic system that helped Hamas and Hizbollah to rise and politicize. Those or other organizations didn’t decide on one particular day to become addicted to violence.


15 September, 2006 23:33  
Blogger Charles Roffey and Fred O said...

Thank you for your comments, much appreciated.
This is not a blog about the rights or wrongs of the various groups in the Middle East. The point I was trying to make is that people in Palestine, South Lebanon and Iran, and Israel for that matter, as you are right to point out, had democracies and decided to vote for parties and programmes where violence forms a major part of their policies.
I would also say that it is not entirely logical to react to the actions of the state of Israel by advocating yet more violence. There is usually a peaceful option which can be pursued. However, the people decided to react to violence with more violence, as people often do, with all the dreadful consequences that involves.

16 September, 2006 11:46  

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