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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Why Shariah law must be opposed

Daniel Pipes explains the difference between Shariah law and Halacha, the Jewish legal system.
Those of us who argue against Shariah are sometimes asked why Islamic law poses a problem when modern Western societies long ago accommodated Halakha, or Jewish law. In fact, this was one of the main talking points of those who argued that Shariah should become an accepted part of dispute resolution in Ontario in 2005.

The answer is easy: a fundamental difference separates the two. Islam is a missionizing religion, Judaism is not. Islamists aspire to apply Islamic law to everyone, while observant Jews seek only to live by Jewish law themselves.


Returning to pork: both Islam and Judaism abominate the flesh of pigs, so this prohibition offers a direct and revealing comparison of the two religions. Simply put, Jews accept that non-Jews eat pork but Muslims take offense and try to impede pork consumption. That, in brief, explains why Western accommodations to Halakha have no relevance for dealing with Shariah. And why Shariah as public policy must be opposed.
Pipes' comparison is fair. In fact, the main reason why there is so much controversy over converts to Judaism is that Jewish law has a presumption that we don't accept converts. No authentic Jew will try to convert you to Judaism, and except in very limited areas, no authentic Jew will attempt to force you to practice Judaism. In fact, a non-Jew who keeps the Sabbath was liable for death back in the days that Judaism had courts that could hand out the death penalty!


At 10:28 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Judaism does seek converts but doesn't say its necessary to be a Jew to find G-d. Both Jews and non-Jews have to observe the covenant with Noah. Jews are bound by additional requirements in the covenant at Sinai. G-d felt it just wasn't enough for people to be ethical, they need an ideal to live up to. That is where the Jews come as the example of how live a G-d life in the strictest sense of the word. Islam has converted much of mankind at the point of death and subjugated the rest. This leads to the contrast between the two religious philosophies. Halakah is binding only on Jews and Shariah is binding on every one and that is why it must be opposed. Legitimizing the latter in the West would mean coercing non-Muslims to accept prescribed dhimmi status, which goes against the Western belief in the equality of man and all being subject to the same outcome under the law.

That's the key difference between Judaism and Islam. Islam has spread by the force whereas Judaism has remained a faith of rational commitment. Jews abide by the law of the land and pray for the welfare of the non-Jewish ruler. Islam has no such concept of accommodation to alien societies. There is problem with Jews deciding matters according to their own religious law. In contrast, Islam seeks to apply its religious law to the entire society. The two rules are in no way similar either in their intent or in their reach. Once that is appreciated, one can see why allowing Shariah to become part of Western law is not possible.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Mart said...

"In fact, a non-Jew who keeps the Sabbath was liable for death back in the days that Judaism had courts that could hand out the death penalty!"

Thats absurd. So you dont like converts and look down on them and criticise them at every chance you get but please keep your fantasies to yourself. What you said was a very horrid and evil thing and I would like to suggest you remove that statment from the article and that you go and repent.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


A convert is a Jew.

A non-Jew who keeps the Sabbath was liable for the death penalty, because they aren't supposed to keep it.

People who are in the process of converting but have not yet converted are specifically told to violate the Sabbath at least once each week.

I may have to repent for a lot of things, but making that statement is not one of them. It's a black-letter rule.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Mart said...

That bit about repenting was as bit superfluous and I regretted saying it almost as soon as I posted it.

Thanks for the explanation but it still sounds awful. Is a non-Jew really not allowed to have a day of rest on Shabbos? Did God not sanctify the 6th day and made it holy?

Sounds crazy and besides, if it really was such a bad thing for a gentile to do then Im sure God would have put a warning about it in the Torah.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


See Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 58b. The Gemara says that a non-Jew who observed the Sabbath on a weekday - let alone on the Sabbath - is liable for the death penalty.

There are so many things that we consider 'work' on the Sabbath that non-Jews would not consider work, that it is quite easy for a non-Jew to rest without actually observing the Sabbath.

Anyway, my point in raising the issue was to show the extent to which Judaism discourages converts. Being Jewish (properly) is difficult and is not to be undertaken lightly.


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