I have not, until now, written about Maryam Namazie. I did contemplate it, a distant thought ago, only to say to myself: ”Is she really worth the energy?” What I mean to say is that she is very populist and, in the cold light of day, a rather disappointing imitation of Ayaan Ali Hirsi – someone not too impressive in her own right. Surely one’s time is better spent addressing people of substance and not those devoid of it?
Then, earlier today, someone brought to my attention a rather disappointing post written by Namazie in which she makes an attempt to vilify an Ahmadi speaker she faced recently at the Shari’a debate. What was he guilty of: requesting that she respects his preference to not shake the hand of a lady. And so, on reading her rather crude comments I felt compelled to write this post.
The reality is that as Namazie commands no depth in her arguments she has to resort to emotional attacks – the Daily Mail in its’ human manifestation if you like. Rather than to actually address the arguments presented to her by the opposing side in the Shari’a debate, she chose to pick an erroneous issue and play the emotional card. Both Ahmadi Muslim women and men choose not to shake the hands of people from the opposite gender. Do the theories of liberality that she holds to so firmly not allow for men and women to choose the degree to which they want to physically engage with others? If not, then where is the liberality? A person of conviction that truly believed in liberality and the freedom of person would never have written such an anti-liberality post. Quite telling, wouldn’t you agree?
A paragraph is about enough on that. Namazie’s post, henceforth, will be completely ignored because the focus should remain on that which is substantive and not emotion and triviality. Let us return, then, to Namazie and her substance, or lack thereof. During the debate she made little reference to any substantive evidence which could possibly lead one to believe that Shari’a law negates human rights. One would expect a serious person, a worthy adversary, to attend such a debate or lecture loaded with references from the primary and secondary sources of Islam that demonstrate that Shari’a law advocates the denial of human rights. In the case of Namazie, however, no such evidence was forwarded.
Rather than present the substantive case against Shari’a law, Namazie chose to point towards contemporary examples of the application of law, what she would term Shari’a law, in Muslim populated states which apparently contravene human rights. Again, for this argument to be substantive she would need to prove that the primary and secondary sources of Islam were the legal basis behind the contravention of the human rights she says were negated. She did not do this. Perhaps this is because any cursory study of both the constitutions and legal procedure in the majority of Muslim populated countries would clearly show that the Shari’a is not the overriding source of the law. Exceptions to this are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran. Further investigation would have led her to discover that in Egypt the constitutional clause which places Shari’a as the primary source of the law has been tested in Egyptian courts and failed. It is not the source of law in practice. She would also have found that the Saudi application of Shari’a law is not in line with the traditional maxims and precedent’s of Shari’a law proper. Furthermore, that the Saudi state is a Wahhabi / Salafist state which is the only one of its kind; hardly representative. Lastly, she should have already know that Iran follows the jurisprudence of the Shi’a Ja’fari interpretation of Islamic law which cannot fundamentally be confused with the Sunni interpretation – i.e., the majority.
To conclude, the problem I have with Namazie is not simply that her lack of proof offends me, but that it is obvious she cannot even be bothered to take the time to substantiate her arguments with fact.
She would do well to substantiate her position with evidence and to stop raising the fact that she is a woman and an apostate – something which is of no concern to the argument or to anyone partaking in it. On completion of this post I am still left asking myself: ”Is she really worth the energy,” admittedly, probably not!