Does Sharia Law Apply To Non-Muslims? – Christians Expelled From Jammu And Kashmir For Encouraging Conversions

By • on February 13, 2012

Much has been said to reassure non-Muslims that sharia law will not apply to them, but are these reassurances valid? has reported on a case in the Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir that put non-Muslims are the very centre of a sharia ruling.  The article at states:

“A “shari’a court” in Srinagar, capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, has issued a decree expelling four pastors from the territory, after accusing them of using financial inducements to convert young Muslims to Christianity.”

So much for sharia apologists who say that sharia is just a ‘moral code for Muslims’ that just cover matters relating to marriage and family disputes, and do not affect non-Muslims in any way.  Of course the spread of sharia compliance to the West in the wake of constant lobbying by the Saudi based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has created an atmosphere of sharia inspired discrimination there too.  People may recall the case in Birmingham in the United Kingdom when Christian preachers were confronted by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and told that converting Muslims was a hate crime.

It is true that many Muslims regard apostasy as an extremely serious issue, but learning to tolerate people who choose to change their religion is something that such people need to work on.  Governments and servants of the state should not be encouraging such attitudes either through their action or inaction.  It seems that governments in many countries seem to encourage Islamist ideas and are apparently unwilling to support liberal Islamic reformers who could help promote understanding and community cohesion.

Sharia apologies tend to explain such examples away as just isolated negative examples.  If this is indeed the case then where are the positive examples of the practice of sharia where it stands clearly in favour of universal human rights?  Where does sharia stop the practice of stoning, amputating, and flogging?  Where are the positive parts of sharia that give non-Muslims and women equal rights?  Where are the parts of sharia that combat homophobia? Where is sharia active in promoting the most fundamental of freedoms – freedom of expression?  It is time for opinion formers to stop making excuses for sharia, and it is time for governments to stop encouraging it.