No Comparison: Shariah and Jewish Religious Courts
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
Many stealth jihadists pushing to have Shariah law instead of American civil law govern American Islamic communities are making the preposterous claim that Shariah Courts are similar to Jewish religious courts that observant Jews often use to adjudicate intra-community disputes. This is entirely inaccurate given that Shariah has as its goal the replacement of American law with Shariah, whereas Beit Din, Jewish religious court, limits its purview and has no intent or desire to flout American law.
Eight hundred years later, as the center of Jewish life shifted westward to Europe, Rabbi Gershom of Germany expanded on the theme of “The Law of the land is the law.” He declared that because something is permitted in religious law does not mean a Jew should exercise that religious right if it is contrary to a fundamental standard and custom of the country where he now resides.
And herein lays an essential difference between those advocating shariah for Islamic communities as opposed to Beit Din in highly observant Jewish communities. Whereas, a Jew finds himself at a Beit Din once or twice in life, and for many never at all, shariah will dominate the individual within the community. He will live under shariah. Shariah is comprehensive, and coercive. It is the ultimate balkanization, wherein a mini nation lives within a broader nation. It is a seceding from the Union - yet with all the privileges of being in that union.
This is a very interesting article, even if you’re “just” nuts about history. It shows the importance of understanding the elements in supposedly analogous situations. Things superficially similar may in fact be very dissimilar.