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PA daily: Majority of participants at debate see no contradiction between Islamic law and the civil state

     “The Bir Zeit University Debate Club, together with the Institute for Women’s Studies, yesterday held the eleventh session of its series of regular debates under the heading ’There is no contradiction between implementing Islamic law and maintaining a civil state.’
The debate centered around a discussion that became heated between the two sides – the side supporting the idea that ’there is no contradiction between implementing Islamic law and maintaining a civil state’ presented by Samih Hamouda who teaches political science at the university, and the opposing side presented by Majid Shehadeh who teaches international relations.
Hamouda said that law is based on human understanding that formulates laws and institutions, but Islamic law differs in that its authority is divine inspiration. Rather than being baseless, it is firmly based on fundamental laws established by the Creator in His book, in its commentaries and explanations, and embodied by the Prophet during his lifetime. Human understanding develops as knowledge and discoveries develop, but being a relative type of understanding, it cannot attain absolute truth.
Hamouda went on to say, ‘Human understanding is as far as possible from general agreement, while [Islamic understanding] and its source of absolute authority are nearest correct judgment, truth, and the general interest.' ' ...
At the end of the debate and after hearing questions and comments from the audience, the side supporting [the proposition that there is no contradiction between implementing Islamic law and maintaining a civil state] won 62.8% of the vote, versus 37.2% who opposed."
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