July 25, 2011
Is a 'Little Bit of Sharia' Okay?
Some Americans argue that U.S. civil and criminal legal codes and courts should recognize Islamic law (sharia), as applied to Muslim families, at least. But sharia critics need point no further than Australia to show the utter incoherence of that contention. Polygamy is illegal in Australia, as is marriage of underage women and children. Nevertheless, Australia accepts "valid Muslim polygamist marriages, lawfully entered into overseas,... with second and third wives and their children able to claim welfare and other benefits," according to The Australian legal affairs editor Chris Merritt. Australia accepts them, even though in many such marriages a woman is "under [Australia's] lawful marriage age." In effect, Australia has allowed a parallel legal system -- operating against its own statutes as a sort of illegal "shadow system" -- to take hold. Courts and attorneys down under may be largely "oblivious," but sharia has taken root there, according to legal research by...(Read Full Article)