In the West, Islamic law is successfully taking root in the financial area, but met rejection in the justice sector. According to forecasts, by 2012 the turnover of the Islamic finance industry will be $1 trillion, it is not surprising that Western banks and other financial institutions tend not to stay away from the Islamic financial industry.
Now on everyone’s lips is a phrase as “Sharia Banking”, ie the banking system, which does not involve charging interest is forbidden, but operates on the principle of a cooperative bank, separated from customers and profits and losses.
The main driving force of Islamic finance are sovereign wealth funds with billions of dollars of investments (five of the top ten are in the oil-rich Muslim countries). Australia is at the forefront in developing the legal framework for the financial activities of the Islamic type, and is ready to enter the market, which is one of the fastest growing in the banking sector. Major industry players are undoubtedly the Middle East and Malaysia. London also wants to grab their piece of the pie.
Since this is a good profit, all really concerned about the technical side of the issue to proceed quickly to the conclusion of financial transactions for Sharia principle and take their place in the market. But why sharia law in respect of financing activities do not cause such passions as the sharia court proceedings? After all, if we are happy to offer financial products to Muslims conforming to the Shariah, we should rejoice in the opportunity to render justice to Muslims under Sharia law.
It should be called a huge hypocrisy to the fact that in the financial world, we are unconcerned about the Sharia and obey him, whereas in the justice we are ready to ban it, along with all its defenders. What really is at stake? Usually, we perceive the market as a phenomenon, standing outside our control, we really have no idea how it works and why is crumbling. All this is a bit like gambling.
A justice – an area in which we all intuitively oriented. We can form an opinion in any situation, on whatever was discussed: polygamy, Burke, homosexuality, adultery and the like. All of us internally ready to assess these phenomena, and this estimate will depend on our cultural level, social status, religious affiliation, personal qualities. Thus, justice becomes a personal matter, a matter of our personal beliefs – whether rational or not.
When we share something in “good” and “bad”, “permissible” and “forbidden”, we make personal judgments. This is a private space that is so valued in the West and that allows us to make personal decisions and to judge their own kind within the existing legal norms, in turn, also created by people.
In the Shariah Court has the final say only God. It would be nice if we could wait for Yom Kippur, but for crimes against God and the nature of Sharia law prescribes punishment on the ground. For a number of crimes Sharia suggests a very severe punishment. Westerners are familiar with the most severe of these, such as stoning to death, beaten with whips or sticks or amputation of hands.
These bloody pictures and shaped our understanding of this system of justice, which operates very successfully all over the world, most countries without resorting to the most cruel forms of punishment. But for most Europeans, Sharia is a set of alien cultural, theological and legal rules that look an unnecessary addition to the secular laws of “enlightened” West. Characteristically, the western law is itself a product of Judeo-Christianity was long and difficult history of formation and not so humane in their origins.
Sharia law is already in the court system in many Western countries. For example, in Germany, judges take into account the Sharia law, if, in their view, required by the deal. Shariah applied in family and inheritance law for the appointment of benefits second wife or in case of an Islamic divorce.
Many people are concerned about such practices. Critics argue that it promotes the nucleation of a dual legal system. Others believe that it would allow Muslims to use legal framework that best match their intentions and, thus, giving them an unfair advantage.
In the context of Sharia justice gives the West a little, not counting all the same deep instinctual response to the injustice and cruelty. In the context of Shariah Finance provides income and tax revenues. This explains why the West is easily reconciled with the second, but the party first.