I am a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist too. If you don't like it, then this place is not for you, but as long as you don't force your beliefs on anyone, you're welcome to join in, it doesn't matter if you're a liberal, a republican or just simply you.
Two weeks ago, about 75 leaders and stakeholders of the emerging interfaith youth movement gathered at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in an event co-organized by my organization, the Interfaith Youth Core, to discuss the shape and future of what we are about.
The core idea of our movement is simple: Religious diversity can either unite us or divide us, and the direction we go on this key issue will be largely determined by young people.
There are at least five intersecting trends which create the context for the interfaith youth movement.
1) The youth bulge 2) The religious revival 3) The breakdown in traditional socio-economic patterns 4) The increased frequency and intensity of interaction between people from different backgrounds 5) The growth in numbers and power of civil society forces
One of the remarkable things about the gathering at USIP was the diversity of stakeholders represented.
THEY have already taken over much of the continent's economy. Now they have gone one step farther.
The Chinese in South Africa were officially declared "black" yesterday.
The Pretoria High Court accepted the Chinese as a "previously disadvantaged" group.
This means that, at least in legal terms, Chinese South Africans will be included in the definition of black people in legislation covering lucrative Black Economic Empowerment deals. The controversial BEE policy, under which large companies have to surrender a percentage of their equity to black-run entities, is aimed at reversing decades of apartheid bias. It covers Africans, Coloureds (mixed race) and Indians but has been criticised as a politically correct form of theft by ruling party cronies.
Under white minority rule, the Chinese were classified as Coloureds. In a decision that illustrated the difficulty of applying racial segregation, Japanese people were given "honorary white" status - partly because they were wealthier and fewer in number than the Chinese.
When the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act and the Employment Equity Act - the two BEE legislative pillars - were adopted, the Chinese were left out and claimed they had been discriminated against.
The first Chinese came to South Africa in the 1870s after gold was discovered. They remain one of the most politically marginalised and separate communities in South Africa.
In 2004 a crash of Blackwater Flight 61 occurred in the rugged mountains of central Afghanistan, killing three soldiers and three-man crew. The widows of the soldiers sued Presidential Airways, Blackwater’s sister company, which was under contract with the U.S. military to fly cargo and personnel around Afghanistan.
Lawyers for the company has asked a federal court to decide the case using provisions from the Islamic Shari’a, not the U.S. laws. They argue that the Shari’a “does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.” http://www.newsobserver.com/917/story/1113022.html
The Vicarious Liability
In the American legal system the term ‘vicarious liability’ is used to indicate the responsibility of the employer for the acts of his employee provided that the employee is doing his job within the scope of his employment. Thus if a driver of a company car hits someone on the road, during the course of his employment, he and the company may be liable for the damages. To establish the employee's conduct was within the scope of employment, certain conditions must be met, these are: (1) the conduct must have occurred substantially within the time and space limits authorized by the employment; (2) the employee must have been motivated, at least partially, by a purpose to serve the employer; and (3) the act must have been of a kind that the employee was hired to perform. In this example, if the driver is driving the same car to see his girlfriend without authorization of his employer and an accident occurs during this trip, he alone, not the employer may be responsible for the accident.
In the Islamic Shari’a (law), the closest example that may shed light on this subject is the mutual help in relation to the custom of blood money (diyya) under the Arab tribal custom. This is a compensation paid to the heirs of a victim of murder.
According to Islamic Shari’a, the penalty applied for causing death to someone is based on the principle of an eye for an eye and a nose for a nose. However, the hadith, a second source of shari’a, allows the payment of diyya in terms of cash to the heirs of the victim, regardless as to whether the crime was pre-meditated or not.
In the majority of cases, when the person cannot afford to pay the diyya, his family and clan come up with the money accepted by the family of the victim. This tradition, which has been in existence before the rise of Islam, has been endorsed by the four Islamic schools of thought in the Sunni sect of Islam: Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali.
The principle of compensation and group responsibility was accepted by the Prophet of Islam. The system of collective responsibility was practiced in Medina in what is known as "The Constitution of The Medina". It occurred after the Hijra (the migration of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina in 622) and was recorded by the biographer of the Prohet, Ibn Ishaq, who authored the first book on the life of Muhammad; his book is titled: "Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya".
The amount of diyya in the Sunni traditions depends on the gender and religion of the victim. According to the Shafi’i and Hanafi schools, the family of a murdered Muslim woman gets half the diyya given to the family of a murdered Muslim man. If the murdered person is Jew or Christian, the family gets 1/3 of the amount given to the family of a murdered Muslim man according to the Shafi’i school. The Maliki states that the families of a murdered woman, or murdered Jew or murdered Christian, get half of the diyya paid to the family of a murdered Muslim man. The Hanbali differentiate between pre-meditated and un-premeditated murder. If the killing is pre-meditated committed by a Muslim against Christian or Jew, the families of the victims get a diyya equivalent to that given to the family of a Muslim victim; but if the killing of Christian or Jew by a Muslim is un-premeditated, then the families get half of the diyya given to a Muslim family.
In Islamic countries, the vicarious liability applies to the insurance company to pay for the damages incurred to the insured. Insurance is regarded as a system of mutual help in relation to the custom of blood money that is practiced in the Muslim world.
Jurisdiction and Application of Law
As far as the jurisdiction of US courts is concerned, the following principles have to be taken into consideration: (1) American courts do not recognize the Islamic law; judging a case in an American court on a religious law is unconstitutional. The courts do recognize however the law that is tied to specific nation, such as the laws of Saudi Arabia and Iran; American judges make every effort to understand how the principles of Islamic Shari’a relate to the law of the nations involved in the case. (2) To have a better understanding of the Islamic Shari’a, the judges usually hold evidentiary hearing eliciting expert testimony from both sides.
In this case, the legal team for the defendant requests the Federal Court in Florida to apply the Islamic law of Afghanistan. They argue the lawsuit “is governed by the law of Afghanistan…”
Lawyers familiar with Middle East legal systems know that Islamic Shari’a is applied in matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance and custody of children. Even countries which adhere strictly to Islamic law, have modernized their civil codes.
Afghanistan adheres strictly to the Hanafi madhab (school of thought in Sunni Islam), its 1976 Civil Law does not require the application of Islamic shari’a in a matter like this; to the contrary, the Civil Law of Afghanistan asserts that the obligations stemming from contracts “must adhere to the laws of the state where the contract was signed”. Article 27 reads the following: "in regard to obligations arising from contracts, the law of the state where parties to the contract reside, shall be applicable, in case they do not reside in the same country, the law of the state where the contract is completed, shall be applicable provided the parties to the contract have not agreed on application of specific law, or evidence do not point to the fact that the parties to the contract did not think of application of another law.”
As to the conditions related to the "form of contracts", article 28 of the Civil Law states the following:
"Provisions of the law of the state where the contract is completed shall be applicable.”
Subsequently, if the contract was signed in the United States, then it is obvious that that jurisdiction is here in the US and US laws are applicable.
I guess this could be a sign that your daily dose of garden/hell variety fatwas may be going out of style soon, it's dubious international arrest warrants that are hot and trendy these days and Mr Wilders doesn't like it one bit of course.......and frankly, neither do I.
Published: Friday 20 June 2008 09:12 UTC Last updated: Friday 20 June 2008 09:12 UTC
Dutch MP Geert Wilders says Jordan will soon issue an international warrant for his arrest in connection with his anti-Islam film, Fitna. The leader of the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) says the move will mean he could be extradited to Jordan if he travels abroad. He says Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has been informed of the risk and is taking it extremely seriously.
A group calling itself The Messenger of Allah Unites Us has brought a case in Jordan against Mr Wilders. The group is accusing him of racism and incitement to hatred of Islam and Muslims, and the charge has been ruled actionable by a court in the Jordanian capital Amman. The MP expects the court to go on to issue a summons and an arrest warrant.
Muslims who live by the strict rule of "sharia" will never get along with other nations (especially those nations where "freedom of speech" trumps all), not necessarily because they don't want to get along, but because the nature of sharia does not allow it. Muslims who fail to grasp the concept of "freedom of speech"and its importance to the human spirit, could (for instance) never understand what it means to be free and practice their faith freely, purely for the love of God and not out of fear of what might happen to them in the hereafter.