Mockery Of Justice And Shariah Law – OpEd


Shariah law, as we know, is a constant target for abuse in so many non-Muslim countries, particularly in the West. The public there are fed a constant drip of anti-Shariah diatribe, from both politicians and the media. The right-wing plays up the threat of Shariah law being introduced in their own countries in order to scare people; the liberals and the left have contempt for anything based on religion. Their opposition is based on the arrogant assumption that their secular legal system is inherently superior. They spend so much time saying how politically deficient are those countries where Islamic law prevails. We are constantly labeled as backward because we execute murderers and rapists, because we punish adulterers, because we believe there are divinely ordained rights and responsibilities for men and women — rules that are not for us to pick and choose — and sanctions when those rules are broken.

We firmly believe that morality is to be upheld and immorality and wickedness to be condemned and punished. We believe that there is right and there is wrong. Yet, for that, we are condemned by the world’s secularists and the Islamophobes (whom we know are not necessarily the same but in this case have the same agenda) as harsh, heartless and inflexible.

These are loaded words. Steadfast in the faith? Yes. Resolute in applying the law if and when necessary, as when a man rapes and then kills? Heartless? No. We always hope a murderer will be pardoned. There is rejoicing when he or she is.

Compare that with the claimed superiority of secular justice. A couple of days ago, a German court awarded a convicted child murderer three thousand euros in compensation because his “human dignity” had been “violated” by the police when, back in 2002, they tried to make him reveal where the child was. The child, the son of a banker, had been kidnapped by the man and at the time the police, who had caught the kidnapper, believed the boy was still alive; in fact he was already dead. Their apparent “crime” was to threaten to inflict “unbearable pain” on the man if he did not reveal the whereabouts of the boy.

This is a mockery of justice — not just Islamic, but natural justice as well. It is liberal legalism gone mad. Police around the world have a duty to track down criminals. But they have a higher duty to protect the innocent and prevent crime being committed in the first place. That is so whatever the legal system. To frighten a kidnapper in order to save a life cannot be wrong. If it has become so in Western secular law, then it proclaims the degeneracy of such law. Moreover, all notion of taking action to defend people in danger, such as taking up arms, is overthrown.

In any event, a man who murders a child has lost any right to claim that his human dignity in the case has been violated — and we are sure that most Germans would agree. It is not as if the police actually cut off parts of his body or blinded him. It was a desperate threat in desperate circumstances.

If this was the verdict that the law required, then the law is morally degenerate. It puts criminals’ rights before victims’ rights. It would not have happened in a Shariah court.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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