Perhaps you’ve been asked this or similar questions by your parents or friends after a semester of college. The best way I’ve found to answer this question is to present a copy of an A+ paper, about half a paragraph in, when you see the puzzled and perhaps frustrated look on the readers face, all curiosity should be quenched.
But what about our favorite academic in Iraq? You know, Moqtada al-Sadr. What has he for us to read? Professor Hamoudi has obtained some of Moqtada’s work and has translated the Arabic. It seems someone’s been hanging around the European football fields when he should have been studying. Hamoudi provides a link to the original Arabic, and the professor has never put forth a false document in anything of his that I’ve read thus far, however, I’m having trouble believing that this is real. There are only three paragraphs and Hamoudi prefaces the translation with a few remarks, the first is as follows:
In his Guardian Observer article “Don’t believe myths about sharia law,” Jason Burke is largely apologetic and obfuscatory about the realities faced by citizens of nations ruled according to Islamic law:
What is clear is that where there is sufficient demand for Islamic law, courts of some kind are likely to be found. In Afghanistan in the 1990s, in the anarchy of civil war, many initially supported the Taliban simply because they brought a form of order. In parts of western Pakistan, Islamic judges have long dealt out summary justice according to religious law and tribal customs.
Is he citing the Taliban with approval in order to make a case for shari’a?
Elsewhere, Burke asserts:
In overwhelmingly Muslim majority Egypt, religious minorities are governed under separate personal status laws and courts. The Coptic Christian minority in the country marry under Christian law and foreigners marry under the laws of their countries of origin.
He seems to be implying that Coptic Christians, although a minority, still have all the religious freedom they need to practice their faith.
For those who might have actually thought “moderate” Islam was possible…