Sunday, August 9, 2009

Push For Shaaria in Kenya

Christians in Kenya are deeply concerned about a move afoot in that country to enshrine Shaaria law in the Kenyan constitution according to an article by International Christian Concern. Unlike Nigeria, which is about 50% Muslim, Kenya is only 10% Muslim. However there are coastal and northeastern provinces in the country that have a Muslim majority.

ICC reports as follows on the Kenyan Shaaria proposals.

Islamic courts, known as Kadhi, have existed for a long time at district levels in Kenya. But they were limited to settling divorce, inheritance and marriage disputes among Muslims.

"Kenya has drafted a new constitution which seeks to expand the power of the Islamic courts to include settlement of civil and commercial disputes. Kenyan Muslim leaders are also pushing to elevate the courts to the national level and give them the same privileges as the secular courts.

Christian leaders argue that recognizing Sharia courts in the constitution gives special privileges to Kenya's Muslims. Rev. Dr. Wellington Mutiso, the general secretary of the evangelical alliance of Kenya, said in an interview with ICC, "We oppose the entrenching of Kahdi in the constitution of Kenya because religion and state should be kept separated in a secular state. Besides, the principles of Islamic laws are discriminatory to women's right. Thus, entrenching Islamic principles in the Kenyan constitution violates constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination."

There is every reason to be concerned about the Kenyan proposals. In country after country, there are aggressive political and militarised strains of Islam that seek to not only dominate and replace local religions but to transform local variants of Islam into something aggressive, expansionist and intolerant. There are money trails from Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as other Muslim majority countries that feed these intolerant and aggressive strains of Islam.

The effects of militant Islam have been devastating to world peace in our time.

Lebanon was once the Switzerland of the Middle East. Its Christian, Druse and Muslim citizens had a division of power and a modus vivendi that served all well. Now it is a fractious collection of sectarian fragments that can but with difficulty be called a country.

Some of the first Christians in the world were Arab. In our times, the Christian population of the Middle East, (some of whom still speak the language of Jesus) are fleeing countries in which they are unwelcome and unsafe.

In the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, foreign aid from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries poured in. Extensive missionising to create intolerant and militant Islam took place in both countries. Some foreign volunteers took on Bosnian identity and aliases, creating a new springboard for terror.

Thailand and the Philippines have Muslim insurgencies that are being fed from abroad. Tolerant and peaceful local forms of Islam are being transformed by outside intervention.

European Muslims are a mushrooming sector of the population that is not integrating into host countries. Across Europe, a contempt of westerners is feeding a wave of rape and other violent crime that embodies a contempt for Europeans.

There are tolerant forms of Islam. Had it not been for Turkish Muslim hospitality, many Jews would not have escaped the Spanish inquisition. Albania was a haven of peace for Jews in World War Two.

But the bleeding maps of the cold war in which country after country was threatened by the communist advance are being replaced with maps in which militant Islam is the threatening force.

Christianity had its intolerance in the form of the inquisition and the papal tyranny of Pope Pius the Ninth. It also showed its enlightened face in post war Western Europe and indeed in Denmark where King Christian donned the yellow star in solidarity with his threatened Jewish subjects.

Just as we seek out and isolate strains of intolerant Christianity, so to must we without remorse combat intolerant and militant Islam. So soon after 9/11, the world has gone to sleep. We doze at our own peril. Sphere: Related Content

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