(Source: Pike, Jeffrey M. The Men Who Invented Religion . Brown Dog. Kindle Edition.)

The Koran and the hadith are used to give a literal interpretation of Sharia, the legal framework often expanded by the Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh).

It is Sharia which defines the acts of worship, the five pillars of Islam, which are:

Affirmation: There is no god except Allah and Mohammed is his messenger
Prayers: To be said five times a day
Fasts: During Ramadan
Charity: The poor to be always remembered
Pilgrimage: To Mecca, at least once in a lifetime.

Sharia law is comprehensive, but widely criticised by non-Muslims for containing unjust laws whose infringements are dealt with by cruel punishments. While liberal Christians ignore some parts of the Bible so, similarly, liberal Muslims often overlook the harsher parts of Sharia and may point out that punishments form just five per cent of Sharia, which in any case insists that there has to be evidence, such as several eye-witnesses. In the absence of confessions this rules out possible convictions on several items on the list below. However independent European Court of Human Rights has determined that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy… would do away with the State’s role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms… and infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy.” Only Saudi Arabia bases its legal system on its interpretations of Sharia. Other Muslim countries, with the exception of Iran which views Sharia as a Sunni invention, use both secular and religious courts, only referring to Sharia when ruling on financial and marital issues. Sharia is wide-ranging and controls financial transactions, laws of inheritance, marriage, divorce and child custody, food and drink including ritual slaughter and hunting, punishment for violations, war and peace and forms of evidence.

The following are punished by immediate death under Sharia Law: • Criticizing or denying any part of the Koran
• Criticizing or denying Mohammed is a prophet
• Criticizing or denying Allah
• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim
• A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam
• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman

Other laws in conflict with western democracy include the punishment for theft by amputation of the right hand, the ban on homosexuality, that men may marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is nine, that a girl’s clitoris should be cut (Mohammed’s words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251) and that a man may have up to four wives.

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