24 August 2005

Religious Law: the Wave of 21st Century?

I just came across this article on MSNBC, where the extension of sharia, or Islamic religious law, to Nigerian public transit, is discussed. And the sad thing is, apparently the religious law has many supporters in the northern provinces of Nigeria.

Sharia has already destroyed many lives in places like Saudi Arabia, and it's threatening to take social norms back to the Middle Ages. And it's not just Islamic law. Christian moral laws are being enacted left and right in the United States as well, and even a local municipality in liberal Netherlands supposedly enacted laws against public kissing in religious fervor.

If the 20th Century can be described as a struggle against communism (a great idea on paper, but a failure in practice), the 21st Century is starting to look like a struggle against religious fanaticism. I hope it doesn't take the entire century to defeat the religious extremists, like it took the entire 20th Century to defeat the demons of communism that kept workers and peasants from becoming as empowered as they were supposed to be.