Friction can be a drag

In the interests of free speech…just make it interesting

Sharia Law – a reality?

with 5 comments

Earlier today it was agreed that a tribal region of Pakistan will be ruled by Sharia Law. The Malakand region (under NWFP Government rule) has been at the forefront of many Taliban uprisings; many soldiers have died in the region and recenetly pro-Taliban Pakistani civilians have taken over the Swat Valley.

This peace deal with pro-Taliban followers has meant that the region will now be ruled by Shariah Law.

Has Pakistan just set a precedent negotiating with a pro-Taliban movement? I hope not.

The Taliban are great for mis-interpreting Sharia Law and passing off many rulings that are not Shariah, as law. So what does this mean for the people of the region? Will Pakistan still have enough control to stop the uprising of a fundamentalist regime? Is this the start of a Pakistan ruled by Shariah Law?

For a country already in turmoil, this in my mind is “two steps back, no steps forward“. I don’t say this because Shariah Law is wrong in principle, I believe this because no two people in Pakistan can agree on the interpretation of Shariah Law. You cant impose a law that you don’t fully understand and agree on; can you?

This will also have an effect on many country’s that are at holding off an uprising from Islamic Fundamentalists. Is this the green light for those movements to start pushing ahead. Pakistan has what is known as a democratically elected government; something the rest of the world was happy with as opposed to rule by the Military.  

Musharraf (ex-General) has spoken out and is against this peace deal. This deal would not have happened were he still in power. So the next question must be, is a democratically elected government better than military rule?


Written by ChakDePhatte

February 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Posted in free speech

Tagged with , ,

5 Responses

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  1. It does seem that Pakistan seems to operate more smoothly when it is being run by the military.
    I’d struggle to agree with even the most minimal form of sharia, but as you say it is almost impossible to agree on what sharia means.
    Or for that matter to agree on anything that the bible/quran/torah/bhagvadgita etc means – they were all written thousands of years ago – hardly a surprise that universal agreement is impossible and that they have all split into factions.
    Just heard the Vicar of Bhagdad saying that he would agree that it is almost always best to strive for secular government.


    February 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm

  2. Democracy doesnt mean anything to large portions of the tribal regions within Pakistan. They have lived autonomously for generations in clans ruled by tribal elders, with little interference from Islamabad. Their border with Afghanistan is just a political inconvienence to them. Friendly fire incidents and pakistani army stationed in and around their villages has pushed them into the waiting arms of the Taliban -a ready supply of recruits.

    Therefore in this instance, Musharraf was right. Prior to the war on terror, he handled the tribal areas very well. By granting them freedom to live they way they had lived, they acted as a buffer to the taliban, and Pakistan was safer.

    With his removal, the situation will only get worse, and although westerners (note: not western goverments) in general frown about rule by military juntas or dictators, democracy has done nothing in pakistan except make it a more dangerous place, and thus we must be careful imposing our own system of government on people with different histories, demographics and traditions, a real melting pot of complicated forces that are easier tamed by one strong man, then a committee of muslim intelligentsia schooled in the west and representative of very few.
    Pakistan certainly was not a police state under Musharraf – indeed for the vast majority of pakistanis, a happier and more prosperous place then it is today.


    February 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm

  3. the point of law is not to be a set standard that everyone agrees on completely by default and ready made… it has to get there over a long period of development and earn that right.

    Shaftoe was recently complaining about british law where it has gone against parental rights.

    the point of law is that it satisfies the majority of people as being fair, reasonable, and accurate.

    A huge proportion of british law is based on christian rules and ideas, but it holds in law according to our system of common law.

    The next proportion of rules in Western society come from Enlightenment ideals, which have been established as charters, constitutions and the like.

    the imposition of christian and enlightenment ideas on the muslim population of Pakistan was a travesty at odds with the principle of being reasonable to the population at large.

    The Taleban have every right to call for Sharia Law.

    The fact that there are at least 4 main schools of Sharia law who are sometimes at odds is not a mark against it. My understanding is that one can choose which court to sit before, and in the abscence of that, as sharia law is practiced, it will generate norms of interpretation.

    It is because it is outside of common practice that it hasn’t developed those common standards you seek.

    It will take a transition period, but it will happen, as it happened in the past, and it will at some point satisfy the majority much more than external ideas of law.

    Law is not absolute, even God’s law is only absolute to believers, and that holds true of enlightenment ideas of law, for all that our western societies consider it the norm.

    So stop imposing your cultural values.


    February 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm

  4. I find this sequence of events shows clear evidence that Western intervention in the name of “good” does not always mean that. If anything, that notion completely backfires and hopefully it won’t come back and bite us. I definitely don’t want to be around if they come knocking.


    February 16, 2009 at 10:35 pm

  5. Fullenglish are you implying that some people are unable to exist within a democracy and require dictatorship (even if it is benevolent)?


    February 18, 2009 at 3:13 am

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