What is a unified system hypothesis

A uniform Sharia is a fundamentalist fiction

“The Basic Law applies and not the Sharia,” declared the Chancellor. Is that so, and what is “Sharia” anyway? How does it fit into our secular constitutional state? An overview.

Sympathizer of the right-wing citizens' movement
() Sympathizer of the right-wing citizens' movement
It is the fear of Sharia law that leads to a growing rejection of Islam. It is understood by many as an archaic legal system and associated with punishments such as chopping off hands, stoning and fighting against unbelievers. In view of this narrow view of draconian punishments, which exist in Iran or Saudi Arabia, and in view of the incorporation of Islam by the Federal President, hardly anyone comes up with the idea of ​​seriously comparing the Basic Law and Sharia and the question of factual differences and possible similarities raise. As long as you don't ask these questions, all talk for or against Islam is cheap opinion. While in our legal system the Basic Law provides guidelines and principles that are shaped by laws and regulations, there is no clear distinction between principle and specific regulation in Sharia law. Rather, it consists of the individual prescriptions of the Koran and Hadith, the sayings of the prophet Mohammed, who died in the eighth century, of the 632. However, the term Sharia contains more than the sum of these individual laws. For most (devout) Muslims it means what we generally understand by justice, by “law” in the abstract sense. This is all the more true as most Muslims know just as little about the individual Sharia laws as the average German citizen does about the individual paragraphs of the Civil Code. From Kant comes the sentence: “The law never has to be adapted to politics, but politics must always be adapted to the law.” If the word “law” is replaced by Sharia, the problematic ambiguity of the term becomes evident. The maxim of Islamic fundamentalists is that “politics must be adapted to Sharia law at any time”. If one understands Sharia as it is as a collection of regulations of the Prophet Mohammed that cannot be further interpreted, the similarities with the secular understanding of law are small. Hardly any of the Sharia legal provisions would have a place in the civil code, and very few can be reconciled with the principles of the Basic Law. Nevertheless, private property, free trade, social balance at least in the form of alms, legal security, and, hidden in the concept of honor, approaches to an idea of ​​the dignity of the human being as well as a restricted but at least granted freedom of the (book) religions can be found also here and can be proven in Islamic history. In addition, however, the fundamentalist agenda affects many areas from which a secular constitutional state stays out as long as there are no excesses: the organization of family and domestic life, questions of cult, food and cleaning regulations and the like. Since a devout Muslim who lives in non-Islamic territory should also respect the laws of the host country, even an Islamic fundamentalist can largely - albeit limited to private life - live his faith without inevitably coming into conflict with the secular constitutional state. The areas in which private and public aspects overlap are the main areas that are prone to conflict. For a traditional Muslim, the sphere of the intimate and private extends quite far and thus overlaps with what the citizen of a secular constitutional state already understands as public and political space. Elements of Islamic law, which in times of a non-existent state monopoly on the use of force to protect the family, for example, appear rightly as the suppression of personal freedoms, especially with regard to the role of the people, where the public space offers sufficient protection Mrs. Because public space has long been considered a man's privilege. Only in the reading of fundamentalist Muslims is the Sharia a clearly defined, unquestionable corpus of legal provisions (knowledge of which, moreover, requires years of highly specialized study). For most Muslims, the term Sharia is simply synonymous with justice, with “right” in the abstract sense. For for more than a millennium, the Sharia was seen in the entire Islamic Orient as a guarantee against arbitrary rule and as a promise of a more just society. For those Muslims who live in a constitutional state, however, this promise is superfluous, and the fundamentalists find correspondingly fewer followers in this country. Most Muslims in the West, including those who are more strictly religious, should understand Kant's sentence as we have learned to understand it: Politics must be committed to the principle of law and justice, but what law means in detail and specifically is Subject of the political process or the dispute between legal scholars or religious scholars. Incidentally, the idea that there is a uniform Sharia that can be clearly defined right down to the individual legal provisions has always been a fundamentalist fiction. Even the Prophet Mohammed expressed quite different views in the Koran. Even a devout Muslim, today and in our society, is therefore able to remain faithful to his faith and the spirit of Sharia, understood as a right in the abstract sense, without literally following each of its individual laws. It is this freedom to interpret the old legal corpus that almost all Muslim reformers are currently aiming at, including in the Islamic world. The average Muslim in the West does not need to have read these reform thinkers himself in order to know intuitively in a free, politically active society that regulations from the time of the Prophet and his successors can only be used as guidelines, but hardly ever as concrete legal regulations. Especially since less religious or secularized Muslims see hardly any points of conflict with the secular constitutional state in their understanding of religion. If the majority society is willing to involve Muslims in the political process, the vast majority of them will not want to enforce Sharia law, but rather principles that many long-established Germans should appreciate: less state, more personal responsibility, more privacy, a greater sense of family , more mutual respect, greater resistance to spiritual and moral fashions and the like. Who wants to be afraid of that?