Song of the Day: “Sharia!”

by Kim on February 10, 2008

(To the tune of “Maria” from West Side Story)

I’ve just made a speech on Sharia.
And suddenly that name
Has set the press aflame -
Next me!

I’ve just hit a nerve with Sharia.
And suddenly I’ve found
Hysteria unbound
And free!

Say it loud and a lynch mob is braying.
Say it soft and for blood they’re still baying.


Kim Fabricius

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }


Rodney Olsen 02.10.08 at 9:31 am

How about borrowing something from Sound of Music?

“How do you solve a problem like Sharia?”


Kim 02.10.08 at 9:51 am

Bring it on, Rodney!


PamBG 02.10.08 at 1:34 pm

Love it. :-)


Paul Martin 02.10.08 at 2:39 pm

I ahred it with my stewards this morning. We had a laugh and then a seriosu conversation about the last few days.

As with Mayhem in macedonia, thanks Kim for giving us something to laugh about at a time when our country seems to be losing its sanity.


Kim 02.10.08 at 3:24 pm

Thanks, guys.

As Bonhoeffer wrote from prison: “Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humour.” And the best humour is deadly serious.


Methodist Preacher 02.10.08 at 11:16 pm

A blogger once said, very wisely,

“I simply don’t know enough about Sharia to have an opinion worth expressing.”


Kim 02.11.08 at 12:38 am

David, you crack me up. We should become a double act. I could play Laurel to your Hardy. What do you think?


Methodist Preacher 02.11.08 at 6:19 am


Last night I was speaking to a man who fled a Muslim community in fear of Sharia (and his life).

I really don’t think you can even comprehend how serious this really is for many people. It is not a joke for millions of people.

Do you know anyone personally who has ever sought asylum from a Muslim country? From Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria etc. If you did you may well understand why the Archbishop’s speech has caused so much concern.

Sorry lads, it is time to stop the wise cracks.

If you don’t know what you are talking about,it may be better to be silent. I think Ricahrd was right to rasie the issue of the bogeyman. I think he was right to accept that he didn’t know enough about Sharia to have anything worth saying. Perhaps he, and you, should have left it there.

This is, and I’ll say it again, no joke.



Bene D 02.11.08 at 7:40 am

Breath David.

It was the Archbishop of Canterbury exercising his intellect.
England is not in danger of putting religious law in over human rights yet.

‘This could get media attention’ was a Lambeth proverbial understatement, but that’s all it is going to get.

That and another band wagon for you.

You’re not a politican anymore.
Comfort the fearful.
No votes here, move on.


Kim 02.11.08 at 8:03 am

Hi Dave,

One more time.

Guys like you in this debate rather remind me of Dawkins and the New Atheists in the larger debate about religion. They reduce all religon to the most odious fundamentalism, recounting the historical atrocities of Christianity and Islam, insisting that there is no reasoning with these fanatics, and solemnly declaring that the only thing to do is to eliminate belief altogether. Their whole case feeds on over-simplification, bogus antitheses, and popular ignorance. It needs serious critique and reconstruction - which is exactly what Rowan is attempting (as he puts it) “if we are to think intelligently about the relations between Islam and British law.”

Of course there are abominable practices based on Sharia, and Rowan is quite explicit in dissociating himself from any laws that do dirt on human dignity (which he insists is “a non-negotiable assumption”). However he also points out that Sharia is not only religiously but also culturally constructed, that it is not a monolithic structure and indeed as much a method of interpretation as even a pluralistic body of statutes, and that it is a contested issue in Islam itself, with more liberal Muslim jurists arguing for more humane explication and application of the Quran and tradition. And, importantly, he is speaking to a British context where accommations between religious teaching and state law is already happening. By bringing the the umma and the state into dialogue the Archbishop is trying to avoid the dangerous ghettoisation of Islam. In fact, as Deborah Orr (mentioned by Richard) correctly obesrves in Saturday’s Independent, Rowan “wants to beat extremists at their own game.”

And, please, don’t patronise me about this being no laughing matter. Your headmasterly reprimand is an unintended salutary demonstration that a text without a context is a pretext.


Methodist Preacher 02.11.08 at 1:45 pm

Do you know anyone who has sought asylum from a Muslim country?


Wood 02.11.08 at 2:29 pm

I do. From Iran, no less. Christians. Nice family.

Same reasons as your chap: Iranian interpretation of Sharia = oppressive and vicious. Doesn’t really change that the Archbishop (PBUH) made it clear that he was not talking about the use of Sharia in oppressive regimes.


Richard 02.11.08 at 2:46 pm

I hate to disappoint you, David, but so do I. Again, from Iran.

Ditto what Wood said.


Kim 02.11.08 at 3:16 pm

David, rarely have I seen someone miss the point with such unerring accuracy. Maybe you’ve spent too much time in politics, learning the black art of ignoring what an interlocutor actually says, the point he is making, or the question he is (explicitly or implicity) asking - and proceeding to repeat what’s written on your inner idiot card come hell or high water. God’s teeth, man, you would wear out Jeremy Paxman! You really are a paradigm case of the those horrific-looking-fish-like depths to which public discourse has sunk.

If you can manage 11 pages, read the Mike Higton piece Richard has referred to. Then - but only then - get back to us.


Methodist Preacher 02.11.08 at 5:19 pm

You are resorting to personal insults again, as usual.

There is no further point in dialogue.


Richard 02.11.08 at 6:19 pm

Was there a dialogue?


Beth 02.11.08 at 6:29 pm

OK, I’m clearly not around enough, but I;m confused. Who is David? Is he the same person as Methodist Preacher? Why do you call him a politician?


fatprophet 02.11.08 at 9:08 pm

Sometimes I am a little loathe to comment when Methodist Preacher is about in case people think I am sticking up for him all the time but I think there is some important stuff missing in the discussion about what the Archbishop said or didn’t say or mean or didn’t mean and I will be posting on my own blog in relation to this.
For the benefit of Beth Methodist Preacher’s real name is David Hallam and he was at one time a member of the European Parliament and you can look him up on Wikipedia if you want to know more.


Beth 02.12.08 at 12:17 am

Thanks, prophet. LOL n00bs, huh? :)


Bene D 02.12.08 at 3:17 am

Sorry Beth, I shouldn’t have assumed readers would know Mr. Hallam’s background.
David Hallam started his blog MethodistPreacher January 23, 2007.

Mr. Hallam has also written a book.


PamBG 02.14.08 at 6:56 pm

but I think there is some important stuff missing in the discussion about what the Archbishop said or didn’t say or mean or didn’t mean and I will be posting on my own blog in relation to this.

I suspect that there really is a point in discussing how Sharia is or is not implemented in the UK and I suspect that Williams himself would be interested in such a discussion.

But David has set up the conversation with this logical fallacy: That anyone who doesn’t think that Williams was promoting the use of Sharia law over and above the law of the UK - which Williams was patently not doing - is supporting abusive applications of Sharia law.

I’m as certain as I can be that regular participants on this blog would be happy to protest loudly against applications of Sharia law that threatened individuals lives and freedoms. I’m as certain as I can be that Rowan Williams would do the same.

But David has once again applied his ‘Spin’ such that he tells us that to listen fairly to Williams is to support abuse. It’s a ridiculous viewpoint. The logic is ridiculous and experience suggests that there is no point in actually trying to have a serious conversation.


Beth 02.15.08 at 2:06 am

I really like how you put all that, Pam.

I was too quick to jump on the bandwagon with this, in that I believed what the BBC told me (which is becoming a more and more dangerous thing to do - sad times.) You’re absolutely right that there’s a lot of rhetoric going on in which asking for a fair hearing for RW is equated with supporting some kind of overly-PC Islamification of British law. I still don’t agree with much of what RW suggests, but I wish there were more people like you around trying to put forward a rational way of holding dialogue about this.

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