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Permitted vs. required

Reader comment on item: Resisting Islamic Law

Submitted by Ted (United States), Feb 20, 2008 at 20:20

I suspect that Muslims will ulimately respond to civil law in much the same way as Mormons did to the ban on polygamy. Insisting on something that is permitted by one's religion, but not required, in the face of strong civil opposition, is a losing proposition. There will also be some practices that incur little civil opposition, and these will persist without much difficulty.

What is needed is an effort to differentiate between practices that are required by Islam (daily prayer, hajj, charity, fasting during Ramadan, and shahada) and those that are permitted by it as part of the cultural system in which Islam is embedded. Muslims should be encouraged to recognize this distinction and to shed those practices that are offensive to Western norms when they are not actually required by religious law.


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