While some may have described the essential problem in eradicating sharia compliance in the Western world, what is needed is sound-bite-sized summaries that showcase the distinct differences between the two cultures, so that Western lawmakers and justices can have a firm basis for limiting the muslim pleas for accommodation.
I have been particularly concerned with the encroachment of muslim clothing styles in legal situations – wearing a hijab in a mug shot, for instance, or into a courtroom – or even a man’s muslim hat in a courtroom! (Keep in mind that even nuns have to remove their traditional headgear to testify in a courtroom…..)
This article provides a pithy, yet panoramic analysis which I will further reduce here. It’s still rather wordy, so there’s no need to read it unless you are looking for a bit more than what I will summarize:
|islam – honor/shame culture: Politeness||Western – Modern culture: Civility|
|Politeness is not saying certain things lest there be violence…
In an honour culture, it is legitimate, expected, even required to shed blood for the sake of honour, to save face, to redeem the dishonoured face. Public criticism is an assault on the very “face” of the person criticised. Thus, people in such cultures are careful to be “polite”; and a genuinely free press is impossible, no matter what the laws proclaim.
Contradiction/criticism of Islam was punishable by death… Dhimma laws spelled out the principles: infidels were “protected” from violence and death at the hands of Muslims as long as they accepted a visibly humiliating inferiority.
|… Civility is being able to say those certain things and there won’t be violence.
Modernity, however, is based on a free public discussion, on civility rather than politeness, but the benefits of this public self-criticism – sharp learning curves, advances in science and technology, economic development, democracy – make that pain worthwhile.
Secularism demands more maturity, it requires that religions be civil, that they not use force (the state) to impose their beliefs on others. Religious communities have to give up their need to be visibly superior as a sign of being right/true. This involves high levels of both self-confidence and tolerance for public contradiction.
We in the modern (and post-modern) West, who first forged these remarkable rules of self-restraint and created so rich, so variegated, so tolerant a culture, have a right to demand that Islam adopt these rules…
Our courts need a legal basis on which to deny the cries for islamic accommodation, and the historical underpinnings of Western culture – the source for our entire Western legal system – is a sure foundation. The above paradigm (this compare ‘n’ contrast illustration) provides a defense of the Western system based on civility and secularism, as opposed to politeness and fear of violence.
Now, if we can just get the legal hierarchy in Tennessee to apply these principles…..!