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Is there any good example of a state that implements Shariah today?

With so much talk about Shariah in the news, a natural question to ask is Is there a Muslim country which implements Shariah now? Tabloid newspapers often say that if Muslims dont like living in the UK because of the absence of Shariah law, then they can go back to the Muslim world. The problem with this comment is that when Muslims examine the Muslim World, there are no Muslim countries that implement the Shariah authentically or wholly. Some governments apply aspects, or parts, notably some parts of personal law in the courts for example Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, and Nigeria. Whilst some like Turkey face opposition from secularists who continue a call for religion to be separated from government and see it as a purely personal matter, much as people do in the UK.
Article Contents:
Religion and State: government policies^
In Islam religion and politics are intertwined. So Islam as a creed and set of laws whether personally, communally or in government is followed. Whilst increasing numbers of Muslims conduct their personal affairs according to Shariah and develop a communal atmosphere, its absence at State level impacts Muslims worldwide in ways of huge proportions. Let's look at a few examples:
  • Muslim countries allow themselves to be dependent and subjugated which the Shariah does not permit. These countries largely have no independent political or economic will.
  • Regimes co-operate with US aggression. Egypt permits US warships easy access through the Suez canal to the Arabian gulf so it may conduct military operations in Iraq. Qatar and Kuwait allow airbases for UK and US forces. The Pakistan regime aids the US in its occupation of Afghanistan and permits attacks by the US on its own soil.
  • Economic policies in Muslim countries are guided by Western multinational foreign interests (backed by Western governments) e.g. the Saudi regime was exposed by the BAE scandal.
  • IMF and World Bank loans and policies severely hamper any form of independent national economic policy. A case in point is the IMF's insistence on Pakistan to rapidly privatise its strategic energy sector assets including Sui Gas and Pakistan State Oil. This was outlined in the Pakistan Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Policy Framework Paper, 1998/99-2000/01. As recently as September 2007, the IMF, visiting Pakistan for an annual review of the economy, again demanded that the government of Pakistan put the privatisation programme on track as part of its earlier commitment.
  • Interest in the banking system (prohibited by Shariah ) is allowed throughout the Muslim world with government approval. The banking crisis in Kuwait in 2005/2006 is an example of this, along with corruption and the Kuwaiti government not being interested in its responsibility to look after its financial dealings with its own citizens
  • The Egyptian education system has been practically re-written, particularly history as a subject, excluding much of 1400 years of Islamic history, replacing it with ancient Egyptian history.
  • Many Gulf countries all have legalised gambling establishments, which have received government licences. Gambling is strictly forbidden in Islam.
  • Sovereign Wealth Funds of Muslim countries, notably the Gulf States pump billions of dollars into western financial institutions that have lost billions of dollars, (the most recent example being the sub prime loans economic disaster), instead of developing industry (including heavy), manufacturing and trade in their own countries. Oil money could easily help and reduce the increased amount of poverty faced by much poorer Muslim countries, like Bangladesh. Rich oil countries only have oil wealth, and are totally dependent on Western industrial and manufactured goods. US oil companies take huge profits from Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and even Iran among others, all selling oil at cheap prices to suit Western oil demands. Oil receipts don't benefit the people although in the Shariah law fuel is a public asset.
These examples and many more show that the Muslim world does not adopt Shariah anywhere. It is in fact subject to the policies and dictates of Western governments or Western run political or economic institutions. The problem is that the Capitalist Western political, economic and legal tradition does not match what the Muslims believe in, hence the difficulty in implementing it in Muslim countries. On the whole, it does not solve people's problems; there is a conflict of creed versus law. When the scattering of Shariah law is implemented (e.g. partially in criminal law, or divorce) in personal areas and the outcome is perceived to be detrimental, it is Shariah law that is wrongly blamed. Yet it is the absence of a proper and whole application of the Shariah in its preventative and penal aspects that causes so much misery and problems in the Muslim world, whose regimes are content with following a Western Capitalist lead, or un-Islamic traditions that people are increasingly rejecting.
Categories: Challenging Myths, Islam Explained, | Tags: Shariah,

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Cached: 21/6/2011 at 20:56