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commenting mayeed: promise of western society, values, women and one question

Reader comment on item: Why Shariah Must Be Opposed
in response to reader comment: And it makes me laugh...,

Submitted by arno (Germany), Aug 10, 2009 at 07:49

thanks for illuminating some of the benefits people of muslim background see in sharia rule. The promise of western society as expressed in televion commercials is eternal youth and endless prosperity. However you are right to state that this may not secure happiness even for the rich. In my view this really prefers a new car over having a family. Obviously the muslim part of the population in europe is somewhat more active on the family issue.

Unfortunately we in the west have failed to communicate our values. In the cold war times it was clear that having the better society, less violent, free, higher prosperity regardless was an essential part of the message towards the eastern block. These days it is only the slogan of globalized economy on just any subject. Does it pay to have a family, be happy ? I do oppose this new doctrine. On the other hand I do not want just another replacing it.

As for western values let me express this in a very offensive way: We want to be free to be unhappy. We want the right to do the wrong thing as long as it is democratically legitimate. We are willing to pay any price to keep up human rights for individuals. I see some uncovered area between the individual and the larger politcal scale here. However it is the experience of rather violent european history that to cut human rights and freedom by law or social customs will be fatal. It is our culture to favour a thought of doubt over a solution. Therefore I will always doubt any overall solution such as sharia.

With respect to sharia I must have serious doubts. People like Ayaan Hirsi Ali will seriously protest your view that a woman in muslim context has a happier life. The idea that the destination of a woman's life is being the mother of a happy family and all the rest follows is too narrow a life perspective from a western point of view. A good friend of mine is a convert to islam and a criminal defense attourney. He defends all those people who massacre family members out of religious and culture beliefs. Unfortunaltey these people are convinced they do the right thing which is killing on many occasions. I cannot ignore this has a strong sharia background. On the oher hand this shows that even punsihments as found in sharia law are not strong enough to intimidate people into following them. It demonstrates the strongest opposition of especially women against these restrictions.

On a bigger level I see no proof that people living in almost intirely sharia ruled societies live happier lives. Quite the opposite. For me this subject boils down to one question: do I want my daughter to even have a muslim friend ? The answer is no because I do see my daughter's life in danger. I'd rather see her unhappy than dead. If the situation was less of a threat I would like not make such a strong statement. As for any individual in question it is a prejudiced approach I know. Based on my own freedom of thinking I am willing to make it.

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