Last night on Q&A Yassmin Abdel-Magied asserted that sharia law was as simple as ‘me praying five times [a] day’ and then ‘Excuse me, Islam to me is the most feminist religion, right. We got equal rights well before the Europeans. We don’t take our husbands’ last names … we were given the right to own land, their property’.
Talk about dissembling. She should know that Sharia is a body of laws, not just praying five times daily. It is derived from the Quran and Hadith. Praying is but one law but of course the application of Sharia varies according to interpretations. But in no country which applies Sharia as the principal law does simply praying five times daily fulfil all obligations. The beheadings and cutting off hands occur in Saudi Arabia are conducted under Sharia law. The genital mutilation of girls occur under Sharia law.
Islam does not have a ‘render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s’ clause and in countries which apply Sharia law it is the superior law and hence those countries are theocracies. Many (but by no means all) proponents of Sharia law in Australia think it ranks above Australian law – that where Sharia and Australian law conflict the former should apply.
this is of course anathema to a secular liberal democracy where all religions (and no religion) are subject to Australian law. I think anyone who wants to push for the superiority of Sharia law over Australian law is advocating treason. But if it is simply praying five times and respecting Australian law then they are good Australian citizens.
As for her claim that Islam is the most feminised religion that is a joke. More women around the world are oppressed in the name of Islam than any where else. Genital mutilation, forced obedience to men, covering up etc are not examples of feminism. Where female Muslims enjoy freedoms it is secular western states which have been touched by the enlightenment. Yassmin is from Sudan where women have no rights. Not many people wish to migrate from secular states to Sudan, but many do wish to migrate from Sudan to secular states. That’s revealed preference and shows the superiority of secular states where people can practice their religions freely under secular law.
As for her claim that Islam had rights for women before European states she should realise in Ancient Rome women had many rights including property and easy divorce. It is true though that there was a period in Islamic history during the European dark ages when Islam was a beacon of thinking and enlightenment. Sadly that is gone but one can hope that a form of enlightened Islam will ultimately return and displace the extreme Islam ideologies practiced in parts of the world and which are the catalyst for Islamic terrorism.