Saturday, May 01, 2004

Religious tolerance update 

A conference of Muslim scholars meeting in Cairo has called on the world community to adopt sharia (Islamic law) as the basis of the international law.

"The International Law has recently tilted towards unequal treatment of people, as some agreements turned into valueless pieces of paper when they came against the interests of such a super power as the United States;" an attitude that is foreign to Islam, which respects treaties, according to Mohamed Dissouki, an International Law professor at Al-Azhar University.

Internationalising sharia might not happen any time soon, but it's not stopping the march of the Islamic jurisprudence on a national level. In Nigeria, "Governor Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State, has ordered the demolition of all churches in the state, as he launched the second phase of his Sharia project yesterday... [He said] that time was ripe for full implementation of the programme as enshrined in the Holy Quran [and] ... that his government would soon embark on demolition of all places of worship of unbelievers in the state, in line with Islamic injunction to fight them wherever they are found."

That's at the same time as an American municipality allows its Muslim residents to broadcast their daily prayers over loudspeakers. And in Spain, churches are being converted into mosques, and the Muslim community there has got its sights set on regaining the Mosque or Cordoba, which has been a Catholic cathedral since 1236.

Don't you sometimes wish that religious tolerance could be a two-way street?


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