Sharia law misunderstood, misportrayed by media, speaker says


By Jack Spady, Contributor

Sabeel Ahmed gave a presentationon Sharia law in the Milo Bail Student Center ballroom on Feb. 20.

Ahmed, an expert on comparative religions, has given many presentations on topics such as this one. He is currently the director of the GainPeace out reach program, a program dedicated to sharing Islam with non-Muslims, and to educating and correcting people about the misconceptions of Islam spread through biased media reporting.

Titled  “Sharia Law: Myths vs.Facts,” the presentation dissected western societies’ current views on Sharia law. According to Ahmed, Sharia law is a “how-to manual to establish justice in the society” and its effectiveness depends on if it’s correctly implemented or not.

He discussed the “gold standard” of Sharia law and how it differs from what is currently being practiced by the Islamic militant group which calls itself the Islamic State. He argues that when implemented correctly, Sharia law promotes equal rights for men and women, freedom of religion, the protection of minorities, privacy and caring for the impoverished. 

When asked about why the misconceptions on Sharia law exist, Ahmed blames biased media reporting from news outlets who spend time focusing on a small portion of the Muslim community. Moreover, he contends American Muslims need to put more effort to educate non-Muslims.

After his presentation, Ahmed answered questions from people in the audience relating to women’s rights in Syria, how Sharia law deals with a changing culture and the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.


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