MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The end of one law for all?

The wikipedia article on national identity states:
Nations are defined by a limited number of characteristics, which apply to both the individual members, and the nation. The first requirement for the definition is that the characteristics should be shared - a group of people with nothing in common, can not be a nation. Because they are shared, the national population also has a degree of uniformity and homogeneity. And finally, at least some of the characteristics must be exclusive - to distinguish the nation from neighbouring nations.
The fact is, this is not the case in modern Britain. The break up of the nation is continuing slowly but inexorably.

As the article states, the basis of the nation are shared culture, language and law. Of course, it's also important to remember the roles of ethnicity and faith, but some would say they have diminished in importance within the modern state. On those pillars everything else is built, without them the nation is simply a 'global traffic station'.

That multicultralism is being used to attack the nation state, is obvious. Multiculturalism attacks the first pillar holding up the state, the shared culture of the nation. But it also leads to multilingualism, in which the ability to speak the language of the nation is no longer required. Instead, the state pays for translators at huge expense to the taxpayer. And the very fact that we speak different languages is even celebrated by the liberal media.

The only pillar of the nation state which has not yet been attacked by multiculturalism, is the law. Well, so I thought. Then I came across an article on the BBC website, it turns out that the laws of this land, rooted in anglo-saxon common law, are not accepted by some British citizens. Instead:

Aydarus Yusuf has lived in the UK for the past 15 years, but he feels more bound by the traditional law of his country of birth - Somalia - than he does by the law of England and Wales.

"Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law. It's not Islamic, it's not religious - it's just a cultural thing."

he 29-year-old youth worker wants to ensure that other members of his community remain subject to the law of their ancestors too - he helps convene an unofficial Somali court, or "gar", in south-east London.

Aydarus is not alone in this desire. A number of parallel legal universes have been quietly evolving among minority communities. As well as Somali customary law, Islamic and Jewish laws are being applied and enforced in parts of the UK. [...]

So how did this court come about? Some academic lawyers see these alternative legal systems as an inevitable - and welcome - consequence of multiculturalism.

Dr Prakash Shah, of London's Queen Mary University, advocates this "legal pluralism".

"Tribunals like the Somali court could be more effective than the formal legal system in maintaining social harmony."

And so, the final pillar is attacked. Don't be surprised when the whole structure collapses.

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