What is Quran and Shari ah?

I got bored and decided to catch up on some local political blogs over the weekend since my better half wanted to catch up with a college friend. So I wandered onto our favorite Greensboro Republican Party’s blog, The Chairman’s Corner.
Lo and behold, I find another baffling word as last time I wrote regarding his blog. This time it was the “Quran.” This post also had a funny way of defining Sharia Law.

I have a friend who had an idea about allowing the Quran for the Swearing in Oath in court.
This would be a new twist. He said he thought that we should maybe take it a step further and let those who want this to have their cases adjudicated under Shari ah Law. Robbers have hands cut off and so forth. Beheadings and the like.
Interesting concept. don’ think the ACLU would like it.

And so I went on another quest to search for this words and their meanings. I swore up and down that I thought it was Qu’ran but what do I know.
Here it is again:

Also I note you objection to the Bible, but not to the Quran….( so your view is also antiquated?)

So from context, it sounds like “Quran” is actually meant to be Qu’ran. I wonder if the Chairman decided to withhold the apostrophe because it wasn’t important enough to respect the other religion’s spelling. If so, then I would imagine he would not like it if other religions started spelling Bible, “bibl”… But benefit of the doubt is given yet again.
So back to educating myself on Sharia Law, since the Chairman said that it was about beheadings and the like. Obviously this sounds interesting.

In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the re-introduction of relatively harsh punishments without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony, such as the necessity of four eyewitnesses, with a woman’s testimony counting no less than that of a man. The punishments include amputation of one/both hand(s) for theft and stoning for adultery. Such measures are usually introduced to gain support of local ulema who are often community leaders in rural areas. But overall in the eyes of Islam the the proper implementation of the Sharia law means a just society where the law and people live in complete harmony. Many Western views have considered the punishments described above as harsh, but if implemented properly these punishments are suppose to serve as a lesson to the society to abstain from crime, once the basic requirnments of the society are meet.

So basically this is no different than from some of the other European laws that I’ve studied in the past. Just as DUI carries a lot heavier punishment in EU, here theft and adultery are punished a lot more severely. What really got me was the next section under the Wikipedia entry:

Like Jewish law and Christian canon law, Islamic law means different things to different people in different times and places. In the hands of moderates, religious law can be moderate, even liberal. In the hands of post-Enlightenment readers of philosophy, religious law becomes associated mainly with ritual, theology, or history and no longer regulates society or the state.

In the hands of fundamentalists, it is legally binding on all people of the faith, and even on all people that come under their control. Islamic law to American Muslims in Dearborn, Boston, or Houston is a very different thing than Islamic law to religious Muslims in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gaza Strip, western China, Nigeria[1], Indonesia or Pakistan. All of them are following Islamic law, yet it varies as much as individual Muslims vary.

What this section meant was that such like Christianity, Baptist does not equal Catholic and vice versa. Even regionalization made a significant difference and it CANNOT be grouped together in a general sense.
What is most amusing about this whole research is that Sharia is not a law form, persay, but a way of life. This is where the lines of religion and actual day-to-day life blur together. Singling out points of the Sharia Law just shows that there are people out there that have not done their homework on whom they speak to and about.
It’s a scary world out there, but it’s even scarier when certain people perpetuate facts out of context because they only read the Cliff Notes.