Listen... Let's talk Shariah. Shariah Law. Anyone scared yet? Well, you really shouldn't be, don't believe the hype. It's been my experience that when ignorant people talk, all you hear is "BLAH BLAH BLAH!"
[This goes for Muslims also, Muslims can and a lot of the time are ignorant, don't think because someone is Muslim that they are inherently better than a non-Muslim, this was not a teaching of our Holy Prophet (S)]
The khateeb discussed the increasingly important issue of "Shariah Law in the United States." Unfortunately, it's not important for the right reasons. The political Left tends to use it as a fear mongering tool. Truly ignorant, but there will always be ignorant people stoking the unnecessary flames that keep the rest of us scared and stupid.
This is a great topic to discuss, and I am glad someone like this particular khateeb addressed it. Not many would do it justice, but enough of my commentary, here is what the man said.
The khateeb began his khutbah by talking about what happened in Tennessee last February. There was a legislation introduced saying that anyone using Shariah Law would be imprisoned for 15 years. Since then, at least 13 states have ratified similar laws.
Let me reitrate that point... SHARIAH = RIGHT PATH
SHARIAH != EXPLOSIONS
SHARIAH != FANATICISM
SHARIAH != JIHAD
SHARIAH != YOUR MOM (It actually might in some languages)
SHARIAH != OPPRESSION
SHARIAH != INSTABILITY
SHARIAH != IGNORANCE
[ The "!=" sign means "Does not equal", you CS nerds will get it.]
I can go on for several miles, but you get the point.
Resuming the khutbah.
The khateeb commented that the primary reason our American neighbors fear the term "Shariah" almost as much as they fear the term "Jihad" is simply due to a lack of education on the specific matter, they are ignorant. [My side comment: Now people complain and say things like, "Where are the moderate Muslims? Why don't they speak up?" The funny thing is, we are speaking up, unfortunately, the media finds us all rather bland and boring, we are all so plain Jane. Not good drama for the late night news soap opera. "If it bleeds, it leads!"]
The khateeb continues by stating that the Shariah is very complex, it is much more like a methodology. It's not simply a book of laws that we are expected to follow. It determines the right path in a systematic way, incorporating guidance from the Qur'an as well as real life influences and experiences. Such as regionalization, social influences, other outside influences, the particular people that it will affect, etc. It is very flexible and is not inherently limited in its scope.
Also, the khateeb made one very important distinction, the interpreters of the Shariah are human, not divine. Hence, mistakes are possible. Not just that, but, it's up to us to determine whether we agree with a specific ruling. [The khateeb said that, I agree with him to an extent, I would ammend that by saying "knowledgeable people can determine whether we agree with a specific ruling."]
The khateeb did a fantastic job, expressing the moderate Muslim viewpoint, I appreciate this particularly since there were almost 20 non-Muslims sitting and watching the Jummah prayer. More girls than guys, but almost evenly split. More and more non-Muslims seem to be attending. I guess that's a good thing.
He made the assertion that if the Catholics are allowed to observe the Canon Law during the judicial process, that Muslims ought to be extended the same courtesy. Reiterating that it is only to be used as a source of information, not as a source of determining the official ruling on any given judicial matter.
I think this was a pretty good khutbah. It was well thought out, delivered articulately, was not heated or ignorant.
I think the non-Muslims left with positive impressions, Insha'Allah.