Our Sharia

Although the protections afforded Jews and Christians by Islamic law were, in many ways, ahead of their time, this grace, such as it was, had its limits. According to the Pact of Umar, which defined the relationship between the Peoples of the Book,

[Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians] shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks’ cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.

This strict limit was not absolute, in practice. But how interesting that the very groups that oppose Sharia law as a looming threat to the American way of life would now duplicate it, to repress Muslims.


  1. Steve Jeffers · ·

    On a related note, here’s Glen Urquhart, Delaware Congressional candidate on the church/state separation:

    “That is not a matter of protecting the state from the church, but the church from the state.”

    I’ve never seen this sentiment stated quite that bluntly before. It makes me picture a great big guy with glasses punching someone repeatedly in the stomach, then invoking the ‘don’t hit a guy with glasses rule’.

    The separation of church and state is a one way street – the church can do what it likes with and to the state, the state isn’t allowed to touch a church. Discuss.

    1. I have no idea who Glen Urquhart is or what his point is, but the belief that separation of church and state is at least as much for the benefit of the church as of the state is both old and widespread. The idea is that if the church gets too entangled with secular affairs and government administration, it is distracted from the care of souls which should be its real business, so it’s better for both parties to remain apart.

      1. Steve Jeffers · ·

        Urquhart’s a Republican Congressional candidate in Delaware. He’s not not a witch, but he is a Tea Party favorite and I’d characterize him as ‘Tea Party Mainstream’ (just as Jon Stewart characterized O’Reilly on Fox these days as being the thinnest kid in fat camp).

        His point is that religions (should) have every right to politically campaign, that the church-state divide is there to protect them from any government interference, rather than to keep religion out of politics.

        He’s not looking to keep the church pure and free from political ideology, he’s advocating the opposite – a church that attempts to lever party political advantage with utter impunity.

        I have a number of complex and nuanced things to say about that idea, although I’d probably start with ‘well, he should fuck off’.

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