Nobody has yet explained why they think Obama did the right think regarding involving himself in the Kenya Sharia Law referendum. Just stating it was the right decision is not explaining why they believe so.
The Kenya Sharia Law referendum?
What Kenya Sharia Law referendum? There hasn't been a Kenya Sharia Law referendum. There's been a Kenyan referendum to introduce a new constitution and a small part of that constitution allows the recognition of Muslim courts within the Kenyan legal system. Is that the referendum you're talking about? It's hard to keep pace Denise when you flit around from one subject to the other. First there was outrage against a girl getting mutilated that was supposedly sanctioned by Sharia law yet no Sharia court passed down such a judgement. Then there's outrage that Sharia courts are being instigated in Kenya presumably to lop off the noses of the folks there and finally there's the outrage that US money might have been spent to ensure nose lopping becomes an international sport.
The girl had her nose cut off in a mountain pass by her husband and relatives as they were bringing her back from Kandahar. No Sharia court sanctioned the act or even heard the case, they acted independently and their actions should be judged accordingly. If you want a parallel to act as a comparison try this:
Some courts in the US sentence offenders found guilty of certain crimes to forfeit their lives, but that doesn't mean that US courts sanction the murder of anyone accused of a capital offence. A family from Texas aren't carrying out US law if they hang a woman accused of killing one of their relatives - you'd call me stupid if I suggested that Denise.
What was the next outrage? Oh yes, Sharia courts in Kenya.
I explained why nose lopping wasn't going to be part of the Sharia court system - the courts will act in a similar fashion to tribunals, passing judgements on matters of family, business and religious disagreements between consenting Muslims. Apparently you can't see the point of having them, you believe that there's no need for them. I've already said that you may be right and if no Muslims use the system that would be sufficient evidence prove your point but you seem to want an example of a case that the Sharia court would hear that couldn't be heard in a standard court - OK Denise here's an example:
Bob is a Muslim, part of his religion requires him to attend prayer meetings at the Mosque on a Friday and fast during the period of Ramadan unless there are valid reasons why he's unable to do so. Bob has put himself forward as the chairperson of the local community council, he's claiming that he's a good chap for the job. Bill is also a Muslim, he thinks Bob has been dodging prayers and breaking the fast during Ramadan, he's also running for the chair of the community council. The accusations have escalated into heated arguments whenever the two meet, several times almost coming to blows and the issue seems to be spreading tension throughout the community. In the end Bob decides that enough is enough and goes to the local Sharia court to clear his name, Bill is invited to attend the hearing and after both parties offer their testimony the court decides that there's no evidence that Bob has been anything but a good Muslim. Bill agrees to issue a public apology and as a measure of good faith offers to withdraw his nomination to the office of chairperson.
In the above example Bob had no recourse to a criminal court because no crime had taken place, he could seek redress in a civil court for defamation of character but that would be costly and without a specific understanding of Muslim religious tenants the claim that Bob missed prayers may not be seen as a clear case of defamation.
BTW The end of my little story, in case anyone was wondering, was that Bob became the chairperson of the community council and invited Bill to head the finance committee and they all lived happily ever after.
What's next? The US money to publicise the Kenyan referendum on the proposed new constitution.
I'm not generally in favour of American involvement in the politics of other countries, especially when it's armed involvement but given the history of Kenya and recognising that the old constitution is seriously flawed I'm willing to make an exception in this case.
Kenya has a constitutional system similar to the US system; the flaws in the old constitution however mean that it's possible that the President could, quite legally, hold more power over the judiciary than is comfortable. That wasn't a big issue previously because the last President was pretty good, although accusations of some abuse have been made, he managed to avoid going completely power crazy and destabilising the country. Not only that, he was actively working to introduce a new constitution which would, effectively, reduce his powers. Recently though all that changed, the incumbent fought, and lost, an election in which his opponent was accused by international observers of rigging the vote. The consensus was that the new president may not be as reluctant to use the holes in the old constitution.
Chaos ensued as people demonstrated against the legitimacy of the new regime, thousands died in armed clashes, 600,000 fled their homes and rumours abounded that both sides were arming for a fully fledged civil war.
Enter the UN.
They managed to broker a peace deal that led to the formation of a temporary coalition government; part of that deal was that the proposed referendum on the new constitution would be brought forward. The idea was that if the new constitution was in place the chances of any future president abusing his power would be diminished - if the bad guy won next time it wouldn't be so bad.
The US, along with other members of the UN thought that this was a good idea and pledged money to support the 'Yes" vote which was a damn fine idea if you ask me and a lot better, and cheaper, than shipping over a few thousand troops to calm a civil war.
Does that answer your questions Denise?