Shariah v. Human Rights

Melissa Barnhart
Accuracy in Media

The clash between Sharia law and Western societies and the implications for Christian-Muslim relations was the topic of a recent forum held at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C.

“Confronting Islamic extremism is one of the greatest challenges facing the United States and the West in the 21st century; and the issue is not only one of national security and foreign policy significance, it is also manifest in many domestic policy ways as well,” said Jennifer Marshall, director of Domestic Policy Studies and Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, as she opened the discussion on “The Challenges of Islamic extremist ideology to America’s founding principles.”

Marshall said that Western legal traditions originate from Judeo-Christian beliefs and the concept that there is one law for all; specifically, the religions’ teaching about equal dignity and liberty for all. She then posed the primary issues of concern for Western nations by asking, “How do Islamic tenets challenge specific core principals of Western legal and social foundations: including the rule of law, the role of women and equality before the law, religious liberty, freedom of speech and free enterprise?”

Because Sharia doesn’t provide equal rights to women and non-Muslims, and contains obvious conflicts with Western law (such as its allowance for bigamy), “it would be a great mistake for provisions of Sharia to be recognized in terms of public law in the West,” said Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England from 1994 to 2009 and the Heritage Foundation’s guest lecturer on the topic.

An outspoken critic of Sharia, Nazir-Ali has not only faced criticism from the international press, but along with his family, has received death threats for his criticisms of Islamic extremism and its impact on cultural traditions and societal laws in Western nations.

The article continues at

Comments are closed.