Sorry Civitas, were you trying to be insulting or did it just happen?

// 8 February 2008

Whilst the Rowan William’s publicity seeking speech wendles its merry way onwards Civitas today joined the fray on the Radio 4 news programme. Why is this of interest to us? Because their argument was that Sharia law should not be allowed near our legal or civil arbitration systems because all women are unable to agree or refuse Sharia rulings because of their inequality in Sharia law.

Lets just recap why this is so insulting:

1. a white, right-wing, middle class man determines that muslim women are not unable to decide for themselves whether to submit to Sharia law in a society where Sharia Council rulings are not legally binding.

2. it maintains the myth that Muslim women are only Muslim by force and not choice. This deems women unable to choose their own religious beliefs.

3. it ignores that, largely white, religions like Judiasm and Christianity (the other two Abrahamic religions) also discriminates against women and does not see women as equal to men. Does this mean that all jewish and christian women are also unable to choose their own religious beliefs because of this? Or does the majority not white factor of islam make a difference?

4. it distances the solace and faith that some women find in Islam from the solace and faith that some women find in Christianity or Judaism, making Islam a “special case”. Really not on….

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