Do muslims want to live according to Shariah law?
Most Belgian Muslims have no clue whatsoever about the contents of Shariah law. To them it’s an abstract concept, and unquestionably good since Allah is the source of it.
Yet we have not encountered any Muslim woman who is thrilled about the practice of polygamy, one of the greatest humiliations of women in Islam. According to Shariah law every man is entitled to four wives, but female Muslims, especially the ones that live in Belgium, act as though polygamy were an anomaly, and pretend that a man needs permission from his first wife to take another one. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Muslims living in Belgium never face the Shariah in practice, know nothing of itsdisadvantages, and so believe that no negative aspects exist. The average Muslim who calls for the introduction of Shariah in Belgium, or approves of it, does not have a clue what he is talking about.
On our website we analyse the passages from the Quran and the Hadith that are the sources of legal discrimination against women in Islamic law. We believe it is important to make this analysis, because everywhere where there are large groups of Muslims, including in Belgium, there is the call to introduce Shariah law. It begins with the family laws, which are the greatest source of discrimination, and the rest follows from that. We at the Movement of Belgian Former Muslims think it vitally important to inform the public of these facts.
Canadian Muslim women do not want to live under Shariah laws!!
The following anecdote clearly indicates that, even in the eyes of Muslims, Shariah poses problems with regard to women. In Canada steps were taken to allow arbitration based on religious laws in some disputes. Disputants would voluntarily allow a mediator, with the Shariah as guide, to propose solutions to family disputes.
The biggest opponent to this move was an organization called the Canadian Council of Muslim Women. Why? These ladies founded an organization based on their identity as Muslims, yet they opposed the use of Islam in their daily lives. This is completely absurd! It is as if an organisation of Catholic women in Saudi Arabia advocated legalizing abortion. Aren’t women in Islam placed on a pedestal? Apparently these women were not convinced that Islam was in their best interest.
Of course they could not say they were against the Shariah, as that could be seen as blasphemous. So they stated that they “feared that the mediators would issue judgments on cultural grounds and not based on the 'true Islam'". This of course is nonsense, because the application of family law in most of these Muslim womens' countries of origin is based on the Shariah. If there are deviations from Shariah law at all, they are mostly in favor of women.
Shariah in conflict with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
On our webpage Islam and Human Rights we explain in detail the points on which Shariah is in conflict with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and why Islamic countries had to draw up the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which states that all human-rights legislation must be subject to the Shariah (a blatant contradiction in terms).
Is there a moderate Shariah ?
In some ways Shariah is very harsh, and is above all an insult to women. It is therefore not surprising that many countries have introduced legislation to improve the situation of women in contradiction to Shariah law (which they claim to follow). An example is the new family laws introduced in Morocco.
These new laws require a wife's consent before her husband takes an additional wife. This is a deviation from Shariah for the benefit of women. Some say Shariah has been modified by this move. This is manifestly untrue and misleading. This is not a change of Shariah, but a “non-application” of Shariah.
It is sometimes said that in Turkey the Shariah is implemented differently. This is an incorrect and even absurd statement. Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, simply abolished the Shariah and installed a legal system along the lines of the Western model. Not “moderate” Shariah, but simply "no Shariah". There is in fact no moderate Shariah.
Is Shariah a monolith or not?
A common way of avoiding embarrassing discussions about Shariah is to say, “Well, Shariah is not a monolith, and it can be applied in different ways according to different interpretations." End of discussion. But again, this is a false and misleading statement. All schools of Islamic law have similar views on key principles and there are only minor deviations on secondary issues.