While I hope we (in the U.S.) can resist religious based laws, after reading Michelle Bachmann's Dec 2012 suspect speculation that Obama wants to institute Sharia Law in the U.S., I thought it might be interesting to discuss Sharia Law and ask if it has any merits that are compatible with Western Society? My intent is to separate Sharia Law from the Muslim Faith and not to use this thread as a means of discrediting the Muslim faith, but of examining what exactly Sharia Law dictates and how flexible is it, and how compatible with a modern society? Honestly when I look at the Middle East, I see the Middle Ages. I'm a proponent of secular law, the separation of government and religious institutions. I'm not an expert on Sharia, but as I understand it on a superficial level, it's existence concerns me on a wide spectrum of social standards that I don't believe are compatible with Western Society. When it comes to God's rules, how are they extracted from your favorite Holy Book? The only rules I've seen in the Bible are the 10 Commandments. The rest of the Bible standards appear to be based on what is written in an approving or disapproving manner. This defacto becomes God's rules. Does the same situation exist in the Qur'an? Are there standards listed as rules or are the rules inferred? Regarding the Qur'an, the Sharia Law standard seem alien to me, such as punishments (stoning), lack of jury trials, individual represent themselves in court, different treatment for men, discrimination directed at women on a wide spectrum of issues such as divorce, infidelity, restriction of women's rights, everyone being forbidden to leave the faith, allowing religious leaders to hand down punishments for blasphemy including death by vigilante justice. Ultimately it seems to be an all or nothing system, a my way or the highway tolerance. From a Western viewpoint, what can be called Sharia's best attributes? Does it have anything we could embrace with open arms? Or has it been and will continue to be the source of suedo religious/terror based wars as long as intolerant followers exist and Western Powers are in the Middle East stirring the pot? The other consideration is how much of implementation of Sharia Law comes from the Qur'an and how much from Middle Eastern Culture? Where does the Qur'an/Sharia Law stop and culture start? Wikipedia Sharia Law My disclaimer: I consider myself a spiritual person who believes there could be a higher power and a spiritual existence after physical death, but in my Agnostic thinking, it is something not understood. If anything, I'd describe as vague goings-on behind the screen. I don't believe the Bible is the word of God, but a compilation of documents written and manipulated by man as an attempt to understand our place in the Universe and establish a relationship with the Diety we believe in. I categorize the Qur'an in the same manner.