Re: Sharia Denial and Cultural Relativism

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Andrew Bostom takes a bizarre swipe at me below, claiming that a post of mine had “nothing evidence-based to add — just more flimsy, disproven assertions.” All I said was that to refute Matthew Schmitz’s argument, you’d have to produce evidence or arguments relevant to his central claims. You’d have to show, that is, that we face a real threat of having sharia law imposed by the government, that existing legal protections do not suffice to meet this threat, and that anti-sharia laws are fully compatible with religious liberty. Bostom may have some good arguments and evidence for those views. But none had so far been presented in the Corner. What Schmitz pointed out in his last post is that most of Bostom’s assertions just didn’t have any bearing on those questions.

I don’t think Bostom’s latest post changes anything in this regard. It just repeats his original error of attempting to refute Schmitz by making a bunch of irrelevant claims, while attempting to steal some bases through loaded characterizations (e.g., Schmitz wrote a “diatribe”) and the misuse of words (“relativism” comes in for some abuse: On Bostom’s usage it’s “relativism” to say that Muslims, like Christians, should enjoy freedom of religion.)

Speaking of evidence-free assertions, though, neither David French’s claim that anti-sharia laws are “benign” nor Bostom’s applause for that claim constitute a reason for accepting that claim.

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