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New Meetup: History of Shari’ah

From: Alexandra
Sent on: Saturday, August 28, 2010 11:35 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for "Ideas that shaped history" discussion group!

What: History of Shari?ah

When: Sunday, September 12,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Laura's residence
949 N. Hill Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91104

This Meet-Up group will soon mark its one-year anniversary. I?d like to thank you all for sharing this wonderful journey with me. Our monthly gatherings have broadened our horizons, enlightened us, and deepened our thinking. And all without one mention of Lindsay Lohan! I greatly appreciate all of your contributions.

At our last gathering, we had, as Marjorie eloquently put it, an ?illuminating discussion in the garden?. We started with the Code of Hammurabi, but soon proceeded to discuss a timeless question: How have our ideas of what?s right and wrong, just and unjust changed over the millennia? Are there fundamental, absolute concepts of right and wrong, or do they depend on a certain time period, geographic location, and culture?

As we entered our brainstorming session to decide September?s topic, we agreed, with only one dissenting voice, that our subject would be the history of Shari?ah (Islamic Law). We will look at how Shari?ah gained in popularity over the centuries, and what its role in the history of mankind has been. Coincidentally, our meeting will fall near the end of Ramadan and also of the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York. Seems like a good time to start understanding the origins of the Muslim religion.

This is a proper follow-up for our Code of Hammurabi topic. We can continue to consider the relationship between culture and religion, religion and law, and culture and law. We can raise interesting questions such as: Is religion a byproduct of culture, or vice versa? Or is it a ?chicken-and-egg? type of question? (Even if it is unclear which came first, it?s still a question worth asking.)

And then we can pursue the eternal conundrum: Is there an absolute concept of right and wrong that is independent of time period, geographic location, and culture?

Members are encouraged to do their own research on the history of Shari?ah and then share their knowledge with the group. If you wish, you can post interesting sites you have found on our discussion board. (To access the discussion board, click on the word?Discussions? at the top of the group?s website, and select ?Message Board?. As an alternative, you can use ?Talk about this meet-up? section of the group?s website).

This topic might prove to be more controversial than any of our previous topics. It?s up to us as enlightened human beings to try to shed more light than heat on the issue of Muslim law. You are expected to defend your opinion in a mature fashion, and to refrain from personal attacks. Just remember how your mother taught you to behave in company, and forget that she told you never to discuss religion or politics!

Come join us for what will certainly be a fascinating discussion. The meeting will take place September 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Laura?s home. Don?t worry about the heat, as we plan to meet in the cool, air conditioned living room (unless it?s comfortable outside). Please bring some healthy snacks or juice to share. (If you waver over whether to bring potato chips or veggie sticks, opt for veggie sticks! An exception is made, as always, for Sivy, the Cheesecake King.) To cover the cost of running this meet-up, a donation of $2 is respectfully requested.

RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/Ideas-that-shaped-history-discussion-group/calendar/14573161/

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