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Pipes has to conceed that Robinson's goals are the same

Reader comment on item: [Paul H. Robinson:] U Penn Prof for Shari'a

Submitted by Josh Perlman (United States), Jul 26, 2004 at 13:39

Both sides in this battle of opinions have a worthy goal. However, what is the best way to accomplish change in the world? Embargos, whether by trade or ideas, have never been shown to work well. They do serve to isolate and create bigger gaps in ideology and understanding though.
If it is shown that Sharia can become the base for a system of modern law that is at the very least acceptable according to our guidelines, then what is the harm in trying? If we are seen slapping the hand of a government that is calling for help how will that encourage any other Islamic government to reform their law. No one would in retrospect deny Libya the opportunity to declare their nuclear weapons programs and join the international world once again, should the Maldives not be given a chance just because they are nearly inconsequential in the the larger problem of our relations with the Middle East? If anything, this is an opportunity to start with a small, willing Islamic government that could pave the way for larger reforms in the entirety of the Middle East's Sharia based countries. A country that is skeptical about whether it is possible to reform their system need only look to the Maldives to see what is possible.
And if it does not work, the world will commend Prof. Robinson for trying and he will no doubt have much to say about the challenges or incongruities of the Sharia and modern law.

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