RE: Islamic beliefs and their memetic sources

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Mon 11 Nov 2002 - 03:38:05 GMT

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    Interesting. I'll look for the whole code. I am not an expert on the shari'a so we'll be exploring it together. You posed a fascinating question, on the memetic origins of Islamic law. I can make some inquiries about some good sources on the sharia. I know there has been a HUGE volume of materials written on it by Muslim jurists, and that out of these debates over time evolved some four principal schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Advocates of each still flourish today and continue to provide the grist for debate. Issues of modernization, relations with the non-Muslim world (which had to change as the Muslim world lost its pre-eminence), science, and the changes that occurred in society as individual communications began to be changed by such things as the telephone and TV, movies and easy travel - all these have challenged the traditional Islamic schools and caused great intellectual and social struggling.

    These struggles were paralleled in the West, in such events at those leading to the Magna Carta, the Reformation, Inquisition, various internecine and religious wars, censorship and martyrdoms. The parallels are quite striking, and there is much unfinished dispute going on in both the Muslim world and the West.

    One of the parallel themes that has struck me is the arrogance that empires have, even as they decay. The Roman, Bourbon, Holy Roman, and Ottoman empires are good examples. They were on their last legs, while their rulers acted as if they could still control everything. They didn't, in Kathleen Townsend's now famous words (well, at least here in Maryland!), 'see it coming'. I imagine we could find this meme, of impregnable and supercilious superiority, at play in the last days of each of these empires. And it would be interesting to compare it to the language of present day powers. In interesting memetic research project, no?

    Cheers, Lawry

    -----Original Message----- From: []On Behalf Of Grant Callaghan

    I've just read the complete code and found it bore little resemblance to the description of it by the Canadian Judge who summaraized it in the previous message. I'll try to send it to you as a file. It still has a lot of value and I need to find a discussion of the sharia to make a decent comparison.

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