Sunday, December 13, 2009

Islam and Sharia law in Catalonia

I am a strong believer in tolerance of others beliefs but the recent case of the Muslim women in Tarragona who had to escape twenty extremists wanting to kill her under Islamic “sharia law” is too alarming to quietly stomach.

I have worked as a teacher in an Islamic school, and in my personal experience, the average Muslim who just wants to live their life without trouble and strife would be very much against a death penalty for a 30 year old woman who has defied her husband over keeping her unborn child.

As usual it is the extremists who get the publicity. In this case it is obviously well-deserved, because they are, it is alleged, clearly breaking Spanish laws against kidnapping and attempted murder while holding up what they believe to be their own moral code.

A Muslim friend of mine living here told me that many of the migrants who come to this part of the world are from rural parts of north Africa and are often educated at a fairly basic level. Without a better understanding and acceptance of the laws of the land, ignorance can mean relying on fundamentalist interpretations of the Koran.

There is a strongly established idea on the left of politics and in Catalonia that there should be genuine, healthy separation between the law and religion (including Islam and Catholicism.)

This is exactly as it should be.

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