We are pleased to announce that the recording is now available of the exciting debate, This House Believes That Shari’ah Law is Fairer than English Law, between Zara Faris alongside Abdullah Al-Andalusi for the motion, and Adrienne Page QC and a retired Judge against – the motion, “This House Believes That Shari’ah Law is Fairer than English Law” was WON on voter changes from before and after the debate (from an exclusively English upper/middle class audience), where we won over 25% of the audience, while support for ‘English Law being fairer’ DROPPED.
The debate had a Q/A session where many misconceptions from the audience were dealt with, like Sharia not accepting forensic evidence (which is false – even in early days of the Prophet (saaw) it was taken as evidence that men were identified as fathers of their children by observed resemblance – which is a basic form of forensics).
Strangely, the Judge and QC were unwilling to defend the English legal system after Abdullah and Zara cited quite a lot of unjust English laws and effects (rape laws, secret trials, theft, the economy, prejudicial treatment at sentencing), and seeing as the audience could find no real fault with our representation of the Sharia, it is not really that strange that they would deflect by pointing to the current Muslim world. Their main contention in the end seemed not to be with the Sharia itself, but with the fact it was not being implemented, implicitly suggesting they have no problem with its laws in theory.
Lessons from the Debate
This highlights to Muslims two important lessons. Firstly, we should not be shy or apologetic about the Sharia – nor abrogate parts of it that we fear Liberals find distasteful. Rather, we should study the Sharia and understand its wisdom – how it produces true fairness, and addresses Human nature and needs better than any other alternative. We should not only be confident in explaining the sharia, but wise, and point out the inconsistencies, unfairness and contradictions in Western legal systems – citing clear observations from its laws, practices and mainstream interpretations. The Quran defined the test we should put upon anything to determine whether it is false, or true – consistency. Anything that doesn’t come from God is not only untrue by displays many contradictions, and therefore injustices. People, I’ve found, we generally see the wisdom of Islam when it is explained to them. However, the greatest method to bring people over to Islam, by the millions, was historically through the international example of justice and peace that the world saw when they looked at the Islamic civilisation. Intellectual persuasion can never match persuasion by setting a good example. This brings me to the next lesson.
The second lesson to be learned for the debate, is that actions do speak louder than words – and the fact that the Muslim world does not have an exemplar of the application of Sharia is the biggest cause for misunderstanding of Islam. The average non-Muslims asks themselves ‘if Sharia is so perfect, and obligatory, then why do not the Muslims jump to establish it?’ Although we may explain that the Muslim world is prevented from doing so by puppet Muslim rulers, and Western military intervention (by supporting coups or by direct invasions), the truth of the matter is – we are our own obstacles to the implementation of the Sharia. Muslim rulers only hold power by our consent (even though it be due to fear), and the soldiers of their armies are recruited from amongst us. It is, in effect, our own ignorance of the Sharia, and our own fear of these puppet rulers that prevent us – but try explaining that to a non-Muslim without seeing the confusion in their faces. For many of them rightly cannot understand how a civilisation which believes in its way of life, would be so fearful of establishing it. It’s time we stopped being ‘The Muslim World’ and started being the ISLAMIC WORLD.
Official MDI Transcript of Zara Faris’ opening presentation can be read: here.
A Review of the debate by Abdullah al Andalusi can be read: here.
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