Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Catholic Legal Theory Meets Islamic Bioethics

Mirrors of Justice has a good post on a Catholic lawyer that was asked to speak at a Islamic Bioethics conference at the University of Michigan.

He brings ups some good points as an outsider on where perhaps Catholic Legal Theory and Islamic Legal theory in this field are alike and differ. See Islamic bioethics: an outsider's view.

This area of bioethics hopefully is an area that Catholics and people of the Islamic faith can start engaging each other on more often. This part struck me:

Second, to whatever extent Catholic legal scholars believe that our project faces stiff opposition from the surrounding culture, it is nothing compared to what Muslims face. To be clear, conference participants disavowed any interest in having the Islamic community's bioethical judgments made to be legally binding on American Muslims. Still, as evidenced by the shameful anti-Sharia laws cropping up in Oklahoma and elsewhere, there is widespread fear of American Muslims today, and it seems likely that the fear will be even more pronounced when presented with an increased Islamic institutional capacity to set norms (even non-legally binding norms) for Muslims, especially in the health care context, where our commitment to individual autonomy looms so large. Since I was identified as a lawyer, many participants asked me, with some evident trepidation, about the likely prospects for the anti-Shariah campaigns. As a non-Muslim, I was asked repeatedly about the motivation and mindset underlying these campaigns. Everyone who asked me these questions was born in America (one woman informed me that her family has lived in America for 110 years), and the concern was coupled with a real sadness about the climate that has developed here in the past ten years.

That part I bolded in one I hope we as we Christians in America are look closely at and be aware. That Islamic Americans could be our allies in some regards as we might be all under the same common threat.

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