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Because Muslim states are theocratic, any criticism of the government is taken as blasphemy, for which prescribes prison or death.

Sharia law is often taken to task by common law or civil law jurisdictions for the perceived cruelty and gender-bias of its content.

Muslims point to "social problems" they say are endemic to countries with other systems of law (such as tolerance of non-traditional sexual orientation, personal crime and divorce rates) and add that the invasive and deterrent features of Sharia law are merited as this arrests those "problems" and thus frees the people and society to attain their true potential, as God aspires.

As with most theocracies, Sharia law is difficult if not impossible to reconcile with the fundamental principles of democracy.

One of the features of Sharia is that, in theory, it is invariable and stable.

Democratic principles such as political pluralism, and the constant tug towards expanding individual freedoms, are incompatible with Sharia.

Even more: to this is added a plethora of alleged sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (530-632) and his successors.

Each of the approximately 50 Islamic states and countries that have, to varying degrees, Sharia law, has applied layers of doctrine upon the original religious texts resulting in a multitude of different interpretations and different legal results.For example, this extract from a 2006 article published in the international law review of Loyola Law School at Los Angeles: "In 2002, a Nigerian Sharia court sentenced Amina Lawal to be stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock; in contrast, the man named as the father denied responsibility, and as a result, the court dropped charges against him."In another case, teenager Bariya Magazu asserted that she was raped by three men and became pregnant as a result.To some Sharia jurists, the Sharia applies only to Muslims and does not technically apply to non-Muslims such as Christians (eg. In other jurisdictions, such as Sudan (as of 2008), the application of the Shari law to non-Muslims – with all the attendant punishments - is considered unfair and unjust.Thus, it is difficult to speak of Sharia as a distinct or cohesive body of law."The extreme bias against women is apparent in sentences of adultery or fornication under Sharia.

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