Hiding In Your Cupboard

Hiding In Your Cupboard
Banksy's desecration of the Palestinian wall

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Debate over Sharia Courts in Britain shows internet's ability to spread hate

Click on the above title to read a story from the UK's Times newspaper about the use of Muslim Sharia law in the UK. Then read the comments; largely from denizens of the USA, but also, to my shame, from citizens of the UK.

I will copy a few examples:

Unbelievable! When do we get the first beheadings of Christians daring to hold a service in Bradford or any of those other Islamic areas Its time the politicians started looking at what is happening in this country, sorry they are too busy wallowing at their expenses trough in Westminster.

John Dykes, Pontypool, Wales UK

Insanity and disgusting. Are we going to see woman stoned to death in the street for having an affair like they do in Iran? In Iran they hanged to 19 year old lads because they were gay. There was a picture of it on the internet, they were hanged off two JCB diggers! Considering joining BNP!
Peter Duffy, Glasgow, Scotland

The only good thing that will come out of this, apart from the amputation of the limbs of proven thieves and the death sentence for murderers and traitors, will be the rise in support for the BNP. Out of bad comes good my mummy used to say.
Peter C. Lucas, Torquay, England

The crusades lasted 20 some years and where the desperate response after more rthat 400 years of aggressions by the Muslims, we need another crusade.
juan, Brownsvile, USA

Islam is not a "Religion of Peace" -- nor is it even a Religion -- it is a POLITICAL SYSTEM! This is a start of a Very Slippery Slope..... Adios, amigos.
Abigail, Tampa, FL, U.S.A

The people who have left these comments clearly have an inability to read. The story refers to a part of UK law which allows alternative arbitration for disputes if both parties are in agreement, the results are legally binding. They do not apply to criminal law, only civil law, and Jewish Beth Din courts have operated in a similar fashion in the UK for more than a 100 years. I don't see the UK being overrun by hordes of barbaric Rabbi.

The comments here, and of course there is no way for me to know their true origin, have a flavour of what I imagine hatred of the Jews was like in the first half of this century (or throughout history).

Ill-informed and exaggerated stupidity and hatred coupled with threats to vote for a racist, violent party (the BNP) are a sign the love of different cultures that many in the UK hold dear is being threatened. These comments are from an ignorant bunch of reactionaries too lazy to get out of their IKEA-clad box flats and walk down the street to talk with neighbours who are just that bit different..

Don't be appalled by their difference - be interested, it's what makes the world go round.

This is not to say the idea and concept should be without debate. I am against courts set up in the name of religion - religion should be a personal value not an arm of the state. However, I am prepared to argue the point without the use of such racist, ignorant language - instead using the time honoured tradition of logical argument and debate.

I also find it strange that, although these courts are for civil disputes, cases of domestic abuse have been heard. I thought this was a criminal offence and should therefore be heard before a criminal court. I am also concerned about the treatment of women in such a court - we cannot allow inequality between the sexes in our legal system.

So - I am fine with these courts with two recommendations. Firstly that they are not used for criminal cases only for dispute arbitration and secondly that the UK's equality laws hold sway over decisions.

There, I managed to say it without calling a single muslim a barbarian or calling for a new crusade - how clever of me.

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