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Sabria Jawhar: The Idiocy of the Anti-Sharia Crowd

19 October 2010 Huffington Post 7 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

For those following the idiotic allegations that Sharia is creeping into American society and wonder who speaks for Islam, I think the answer is obvious. Western extremists are now the new hijackers of Islam. They have adopted the language of Islamic terrorists, interpreted the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) into something unrecognizable to Muslims and cherry-pick aspects of Sharia to offer interpretations in a vacuum.

Muslims may think that Osama bin Laden perverted the true meaning of Islam, but Newt Gingrich, Geert Wilders and their slavish sycophants Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller make Al-Qaeda look like amateurs in the art of deception.

Recently, a peculiar document titled the “Shariah: The Threat to America” was published by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy. The Center for Security Policy purports to be a non-partisan group, but only ultra-conservatives authored the 352-page report. The report’s objectives are to explain how Muslims are conspiring to supplant American jurisprudence and the U.S. Constitution with Sharia. Yet not a single Muslim or non-Muslim Islamic scholar was consulted. Only one of its 19 authors claims to have a degree in theology. His biography, though, makes no mention of what kind of degree. We are supposed to take their word that they are the experts.

These self-proclaimed experts ignore the principles of Sharia that make Islamic values compatible with democratic societies. Indeed, the principles of Sharia are also found in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and predate these documents by more than a millennium. These Sharia principles ensure the freedom of religion, the preservation of human life and family, the guarantee of an education and the pursuit of economic security and justice through commerce.

Rather than focus on what Sharia has in common with American values, the report gives considerable space to a 19-year-old Muslim Brotherhood document that reportedly seeks to implement Sharia in the United States. Although the authors give much credence to this document, most American Muslims view the Muslim Brotherhood in the abstract with little relevance in their lives. The report fails to address the question of how the Muslim Brotherhood, which struggles for credibility in Muslim countries, can have a foothold in Podunk, Idaho.

The report cleverly addresses the more sensational aspects of Sharia: stoning, amputations, lashings and taqiyya. Taqiyya, according to Western extremists, means that Muslims can lie with impunity to hide their true agenda of global domination. I must admit that this is a clever tactic because anyone believing in this nonsense can conveniently disregard as a lie any Muslim argument that is contrary the western extremist position. Interestingly, the Robert Spencers of the world insist we denounce terrorism and renounce Sharia. Yet their position is that all Muslims are liars, so what’s the point of making these futile arguments?

Taqiyya refers to a single incident in the Qur’an in which a man concealed his religious faith when forced to renounce Islam while being tortured. If anything, recent history has taught us that anyone will lie under the threat of torture. But we are led to believe that this single incident in this context is the foundation of an Islamic strategy to impose Sharia.

The Center for Security Policy wants Americans to think that stoning and amputations are around the corner, but the report can’t quite explain why stonings are so rare and the streets of Saudi Arabia and Iran are not filled with one-armed thieves.

The Qur’an never mentions stoning as a punishment and there are conflicting interpretations of the Prophet’s involvement in implementing it. The most common interpretation is of a woman consumed with guilt over an adulterous affair that resulted in a child. She pestered the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) literally for years for him to wash away her sins with a death sentence. He refused, but when he could no longer find an excuse to send her away, he reluctantly agreed to punish her. What non-Muslim Sharia “experts” fail to mention is that stoning a person who commits adultery requires four eyewitnesses to the actual act of sexual intercourse. This fantastical burden of proof is almost impossible to fulfill. And rightly so. It’s designed as prevention, not an actual punishment. Allegations of adultery are easy to make but virtually impossible to prove. Sharia makes stoning extremely unlikely to carry out.

The threat by the Iranian government to stone to death Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani on a conviction of adultery is not based on the evidence of four eyewitnesses, but on a judicial authority determined to inflict fear and intimidation on the Iranian population. It’s not Sharia.

The anti-Muslim contingent points to wobbly examples that Sharia has infiltrated western judicial system. In 2009, a New Jersey judge denied a Muslim woman’s request for a restraining order against her estranged husband because the abusive husband was following his Muslim beliefs. A similar case occurred in Germany in which a judge cited Qur’anic Verse 4:34 that permits husbands to strike their wives. The higher courts overturned the rulings in a clear message that the rule of law supersedes religious principles.

Another example of creeping Sharia, according to the anti-Muslim crowd, is the use of Sharia as private arbitration in domestic and civil cases. In these cases, Muslims agree in advance to the decision made by a panel of community leaders. This method of justice, almost identical to Beth Din employed in Jewish communities for more than a century, is permitted in England under the Arbitration Act of 1996. Outlawing Sharia as private arbitration would also require governments to ban Beth Din and administrative arbitration hearings enjoyed by private businesses and public agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom. The judicial system will collapse under the tens of thousands of additional domestic and civil cases added to the calendar and deprive individuals of their day in court.

What’s more disturbing than judges making erroneous rulings is westerners lacking confidence in their own laws and constitutions. Implementing Sharia is impossible yet somehow is a hairsbreadth away from becoming a new constitutional amendment.

As a Muslim, I adhere to Sharia in my personal life. However, I see no need to impose it on anybody else, especially if they live in a non-Muslim country. As an individual, I don’t dedicate my life to the advancement of Sharia while living or traveling in the west. But I also do not represent Muslims in the west. I do, however, live my life according to its principles to practice my religion freely, revere human life, pursue an education, remain loyal to my family and work hard to earn a decent living. When I hear people say that Muslims don’t share American and British values, I have a feeling they would be embarrassed to recognize they are rejecting basic human rights that Sharia shares with democratic countries.

Of course, non-Muslims may have reason not to believe a word I write. This may be my idea of taqiyya.

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7 Comments »

  1. I think this is an exceptionally well-written article. It is informative without being preachy, easily read and most importantly, it makes complete sense. Thank you.

  2. Holy War, Y’all

    By Eric Allen Bell

    The video you are about to see is taken from an interview I did with Tea Party Congressional candidate, Geroge Erdel. In Murfreesboro, TN he has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the new Islamic Center that has been the subject of much controversy in the media.

    As I have mentioned in my prior blog “One Mosque Too Many?” the public backlash against the building of a new mosque in this Southern town almost makes you feel like we have gone back in time, rewinding the clock on civil rights by about 40 years. Islamophobia, the irrational fear of Muslims, is on the rise in America and in Europe and this can be felt and seen powerfully right here in Murfreesboro, TN. Religious groups and political organizations, such as the Tea Party, are having frequent meetings and lectures about the coming “Islamic takeover of America“. These sentiments are echoed on Fox “News” and on the 700 Club regularly. And more and more we are seeing right wing political candidates bringing this subject up in their campaign speeches as November draws near.

    The theology of Apocalyptic Christianity is one you are about to hear articulated by George Erdel. It is the main engine that is driving the sudden rise in anti-Islamic sentiment. You will notice that this man is armed throughout the interview. He talks about the arson on August 28th on a tractor at the construction site of the Islamic Center, while mocking a frightened Muslim woman. You will hear about his hatred for what he terms “Islamists” while he talks about how “God” commanded “his people” to commit ethnic cleansing, back in the day, and how if they had just done what they were told, we wouldn’t be having the problems we are having in the Holy Land today.

    I want to make something abundantly clear. Having interviewed all of the key players here (I am in production on a documentary on this subject), including residents for and against the mosque, my very strong feeling is that this has nothing to do with Jewish Zionism. That’s where I feel that a lot of the foreign press in the Middle East gets it wrong. They blame the sudden rise in Islamophobia on “the Jews” and my research shows me that the facts just don’t support this. There are only something like 15 million or so Jews in the entire world. Some studies have shown that as many as 50% of them are not at all religious. The myth of Jewish Zionism setting the agenda is really a front for something far, far more sinister.

    So who then is really to blame? There are a combination of factors that all add up to this xenophobic frenzy, reminiscent of the early days of the Nazi rise to power:

    1 – BRING ON THE END TIMES: There is a racial Evangelical theology of Apocalyptic Christianity which says that we are living in the End Times and that, in order for the Messiah to return there is a certain timeline, involving Israel. This is an Evangelical movement and not a Jewish movement. There are an estimated 30 million Americans who not only support this movement, but their powerful political influence makes and breaks presidents, senators, congressmen, judges and on and on. This fanatical religious group can even influence the world’s greatest super-power to go to war. Sure, I’m worried about Islamic terrorism, but this group really, really, really freaks me out.

    2 – GROW THE BASE: By sounding the alarm bells and announcing that a “Mega Mosque” is being built in the Bible Belt, the radical right is able to grow its base. More people send in money to the 700 Club, the RNC, right wing candidates and of course more people go out and vote. People in the South are not as concerned about a so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” up there in the North, but the idea that “Sharia Law” is going to take over in the Bible Belt is a real hot button issue during this election season. Or course, Muslim Americans making up less than one percent of the total population in this country, the idea that one percent will arm themselves and take over is nothing short of paranoid and psychotic nonsense, but it sells. With the right marketing, this could be the new Red Scare.

    3 – DIVIDE AND CONQUER: The super rich, such as Tea Party backers like the Koch Brothers (the 5th and 6th richest men in America) and Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox “News”) want to keep us all distracted and confused and fighting each other so that we don’t organize against the very powers that took our jobs away, gave our tax money to the big corporations and are kicking us out of our homes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, historically when times get tough, the power elite will always look for ways to pit tribe against tribe in order to prevent us from storming the castle.

    4 – BOMB, BOMB IRAN: President Eisenhower, in his cautionary final speech to the American people before leaving office, warned us of the dangers of the emerging “Military Industrial Complex”. This is the unholy alliance between government and defense contractors and lobbyists to hijack our Democratic political system and use our tax money, to not only build more and more war machines, but also to find reasons to use them. The sudden rise of Islamophobia in America is an effort on the part of the “Defense” Contractors, oil companies and other special interests to manufacture consent for the bombing of Iran.

    (VIDEO of Eisenhower’s speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY )

    Throw in some good old fashioned bigotry and religious fanaticism and you have a movement, well-timed, well funded, urgent and spreading through the American psyche like a wildfire. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you George Erdel and the Murfreesboro, TN anti-mosque movement:

    VIDEO of George Erdel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqfhjUbEfzA

  3. what i find interesting is that while the powers that be keep using various propaganda tools to keep Americans in the dark and in fear, their own websites tout Obama’s foreign policy as “largely working”, while on the mainstream news we hear that everything he is doing is going to fail, is failing or has failed.
    http://www.cnas.org/
    The first web-link I’ve included is to a site called Center for a New American Security. It is largely, from what i could tell, a right wing think tank (yes they do actually think) and if you read some of the articles you might discover that what is on the media controlled news and what is actually being tossed around at top level meetings is not the world according to Rush and Glenn. These two are making millions in a job that lenin would have termed “useful idiots,”
    And on a another front. Do you really wonder what the war in Afghanistan is about? not oil this time, but close. Check this link
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_in_Afghanistan
    The two lines that caught my attention were:
    “As of 2006, the mineral resources of Afghanistan were relatively under-explored from a global perspective.” (well, they aren’t anymore, are they?”)
    and: “In 2010,a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.”
    Now what does the Pentagon have to do with geological discovery?
    It’s no secret, if you pay any kind of attention, that Earth’s population is growing at a rapid rate while her resources are dwindling exponentially. As far as i know there are only two ways to obtain anything. You either pay for it, or you steal it at the end of a gun. Whats true of the micro is also true of the macro. These wars are not about naked aggression, bringing democracy, or any other noble effort. No, sadly, they are about the second oldest profession in the world, being greedy. Yes, to some it is a full time job, a profession if you will, and with the help of the Supreme Court, the modern day money changers have hammered the final nail in our coffin.

  4. Nice article – very measured. Shows that the true hysterical religious extremists are those hating Muslims with impunity.

    The same Americans who are claiming Sharia law is taking over the USA are the same people who are in favor of church and state mixing. This reveals a second mistake, because they don’t realize that once you allow church and state to mix, a church different than yours could (in theory) take over.

    To keep both areas doing what they do best, it is best to keep them separate. I believe anyone should be able to worship how they feel or not at all (as I choose.) But I think it’s great there are laws beyond any religion that bind us together. Without those laws as an enforced civic common bond between us, we may as well go back to the crusades and be at each others throats all the time.

    No thanks. Peace.

  5. When did the advance of totalitarian Islam into Europe’s heartland begin?

    Click my name and read my piece “A Mosque in Munich: The Rise of the Moslem Brotherhood in Europe.” It’s an eye opener.

  6. I liked the article, but unfortunately stonings and public hangings are quite common in Iran. I have several Iranian friends who say that both are prevalent and popular forms of punishment. You might want to check with Amnesty International about this. I also know several people from Pakistan who say that honor killings are also very common in their country. These are usually carried out by stoning or gun shots to the head. Do I believe these types of punishments will be coming to America anytime soon? No. But, remember, Texas still executes about 2 prisoners a week. Are we any better?

  7. “Sharia makes stoning extremely unlikely to carry out.”But even so, if a person DOES commit adultery, why is this punishment still acceptable?I dont see the excuse, its mideaval and outdated.

    And Im against sharia, not cause Im on the conservatives side, but basically, cause Im against any religius law.

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