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The Maldivian Federalist Papers

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

Submitted by Marco G. Sulpizi (United States), Jul 28, 2004 at 00:00

At first blush, I shared the same trepidations about Professor Robinson's seminar "Islamic Criminal Law: Drafting a Criminal Code for the Maldives" as Daniel Pipes.
It was only after reading the professor's response that I came to an alternate point of view. Indeed, Mr. Robinson posseses only the powers inherent in the limited persuasiveness of his advice. I embrace the opportunity to introduce the Anglo-Saxon principles derived from the Magna Carta that are the fountain head for our constitutional republic. Can the good professor's students be faulted for preaching the gospel of the Fourth Amendment's inquiry into the reasonableness of searches and seizures, or its requirements that arrest warrants be based on probable cause and emanate from a neutral and detached magistrate? Likewise, it is difficult to maintain the position that the Sixth Amendment's right to counsel is so offensive to our cherished notions of ordered liberty that we would want to deny it to an island nation asserting, that as a matter of law, all citizens of the Maldives are Muslin.
On second thought, it would seem more appropriate to begin with a seminar introducing the Decleration of Independence and its salient point that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" rather than the edicts of imams that create the Maldives' constitutional mandate as an Islamic nation. I do agree with Mr. Pipes after all! Here, the differences are substantive rather than procedural. They are substantive because the changes needed must address restricting the laws enacted by the Maldivian government. Perceiving the existence of Shari'a law as procedural requires only attempting to stipulate how the Maldivian government is to enact and enforce laws, as Professor Robinson asserts.

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