Islamic Supremacism, sharia, and the danger it presents to Western society, culture and freedoms

Although the title relates the the USA it has relevance in Western society as a whole. We are seeing the results of sharia courts in the UK.    It is nothing more than a clash of cultures and the quicker we see this clearly the quicker we can look at real solutions for the problems it causes.

The featured image shows a sharia `council’ operating in Dallas (as reported by the Daily Caller) and they point out:

Recent news of an Islamic “sharia court” in the Dallas area raised alarms but once PolitiFact-TexasSnopes, and Dallas Morning News reporters accepted sharia judge assurances that the tribunal is essentially just mediating marital and contract disputes, alarm subsided.

However, since the Islamic Tribunal website announces that the Dallas sharia center is a model and will serve to “set a precedence (sic) that will be emulated and duplicated throughout the country,” Americans should persist in getting answers to some deeper questions before assenting to a sharia tribunal franchise.

As is illustrated in the UK and elsewhere sharia courts soon proliferate under the guise of being nothing more than mediating marital and contract disputes.  The UK experience is that this is nothing more than a cover for full blown sharia courts working in parallel to the national legal system with the goal of slowly introducing its laws into the national legal code.

Abed Awad is described as:

` an authority, if not the authority, on Islamic issues in American courts, attorney Abed Awad, an adjunct law professor at Rutgers law school in New Jersey and founder of the renowned blog which digests American cases involving Islamic law.’

I would advise that you read the whole interview as it is very enlightening not only on Sharia but on how Muslims think on this matter and their view of those that disagree with them.

Sharia and the Muslim

`Can you explain Shariah law to our readers?
Sharia is more than simply “law” in the prescriptive sense. It is also the methodology through which a jurist engages the foundational religious texts (Quran and Sunna) to ascertain divine will. As a jurist-made law, the outcome of this process of ascertaining divine will is called fiqh (positive law), which is the moral and legal anchor of a Muslim’s total existence. Everything from the way we eat, to how we treat animal and protect our environment, to the way we conduct commercial trade, the Sharia governs every aspect of an observant Muslim’s moral life.’

This is very enlightening: what is said and what is not said and it is obvious that it is for the

consumption of a non-Muslim American audience and has been crafted very carefully.  Although this video is about an hour long it illustrates the great lengths that are being made to convince us that Sharia is nothing more than Family Law.  Therefore we have nothing to worry about.

Now we can better understand his statement in the Huffington Post that Muslims will never be able to be American, unless we renounce our faith if they cannot practice sharia law.

Abed Awad (described as an authority, if not the authority, on Islamic issues in American courts) tells us that sharia is grounded and rooted in the foundational religious texts (Quran and Sunna)  and that the jurist engages with these foundational religious texts to ascertain divine will.  So the basis of sharia law are these foundational religious texts and that sharia is the moral and legal anchor of a Muslim’s total existence.

`According to Islamic law specialist Abed Awad, bans on sharia law are actually unconstitutional. Sharia law, like any foreign law or other religious law, is to be used as “parol evidence” or “extrinsic evidence” and provide cultural context for a ruling.’

Which is an interesting line of thought.  But what is really telling for me is the following:

`It is undermining the Muslim community around the country,” he said. “[These bans are] trying to make Muslims and sharia the subject of debate and that we, as Muslims in this country, are suspect, that we will never be able to be American, unless we renounce our faith.’ (emphasis mine).

So a Muslim who practices their faith will have sharia as the moral and legal anchor of their total existence.   The clear implication is that Muslims living in America (or anywhere else see Islam: a Nation within Nations – Islamic Supremacism) must put Islam first (it is a divine imperative) and being American (or British, or French or anything else) does not really come into it when it comes to how a true Muslim thinks and acts.  Sharia is all that matters and listening to the law of the land rather than sharia is unthinkable to a committed Muslim.

How can a Muslin consider obeying a secular law against sharia when sharia is the legal anchor of a Muslim’s total existence.  So if you ask a Muslim American (are they not just supposed to be Americans who happen to be Muslim?) to submit to the American  Constitution,  and its associated laws, over against sharia law he/she would be horrified because according to the definition laid out here (by the number one Muslim authority on sharia in the States) you are asking them to become apostates (and we should know what happens to apostles under sharia).

Now we have complete clarity and can understand why sharia is central to a Muslim’s whole existence.  He or she cannot function without it because it is the basis of their total existence.  I am hammering this point because it is central to the whole issue (as Abed Awad himself points out with force).  To be a Muslim is to obey sharia (above everything else) with  your whole being, it is the core of your existence.  Sharia is a divine imperative that you cannot ignore if you hope to attain salvation according to the Koran.  To not practice it is to abandon your faith and that is apostasy (dealt with within sharia).

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

There is no doubt that Abed Awad has carefully considered what he would say in this and other interviews.  As I mentioned earlier this interview was for the consumption of non-Muslim Americans to ease their fears and suspicions re sharia.  It has been crafted masterfully.  Emphasising the essential nature of sharia (in effect sharia and the Muslim cannot be separated) so if you take away his right to practice sharia you are taking away his right to practice his religion. Since this is true it is unconstitutional. They are seeking to use the very freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution to implement sharia law in the US.

What is Sharia?

Abed Awad has put his case very clearly about the centrality of sharia to a Muslim because it is the divine will. When he describes what is contained in sharia he states:

`Everything from the way we eat, to how we treat animal and protect our environment, to the way we conduct commercial trade, the Sharia governs every aspect of an observant Muslim’s moral life.

This all seems so ordinary and harmless and this is how it is meant to be seen.  But the things that he does not mention as part of this governing every aspect of an observant Muslim’s moral life is striking, to say the least.  It is important that we do not latch on to the term moral life.  Sharia is not restricted to a Muslim’s moral life. It is law in the prescriptive sense as well as positive law, thus it is the moral and legal anchor of a Muslim’s total existence.  

So is sharia just about the type of benign things given as examples: food, how to treat animals,

ConstitutionDay1environment, how to do business etc?  All seems so politically correct does it not?  Terms coached in a way to resonate in the hearts and minds of reasonable people in the 21st century who are not from the Islamic tradition. Well-meaning and trusting people.  But did we get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on the nature and content of sharia law?

In the above picture, we see Abed Awad quietly doing the work of disarming influential Americans on the harmless nature of sharia law.  By softening sharia he disarms opposition to its implementation and inclusion in American law.  As we see sharia has already entered the American court system.

During his presentation at Saint Peter’s, Awad addressed a room full of students, faculty and administrators regarding the history of the diversity of religion in America and the interpretation of Islamic law in today’s court system. He not only shared a great deal of information about his area of expertise, but he also shared some fond memories from his days at Saint Peter’s.

We will look at this in detail in another post but some things come to mind:

  • Place of women in Islam and their rights
  • Treatment of children (especially young girls and child marriage)
  • Honour killings
  • Treatment of lawbreakers
  • Treatment of non-Muslims
  • Treatment of dissent in Islam –political, religious and legal (sharia)
  • View of democracy
  • View of other religions and cultural identities
  • View of individual freedom and liberties
  • View of the American Constitution (after all it is a Constitution that has at its CORE Judeo-Christian values)

These are just a few, but things that are important to us.

What sharia law actually means

The right wants to ban it in America, but do they even know what it is This is another interesting interview on this subject where he again seeks to convince us that sharia really does not have anything to do with anything outside matrimonial and financial disputes.  This piece is a gross failure of a journalist to act like a journalist.       What he should have said was:

Please in your own words give us the most positive spin on sharia law that you can.’  It is obvious that if pieces like this continue we will never know what it is.  The rhetoric and misinformation continues unabated. 

Go back to the sources and basis of sharia and ask the above questions and see if sharia is compatible to Western values and freedoms.

`Sharia is more than simply “law” in the prescriptive sense. It is also a methodology through which a jurist engages the religious texts to ascertain divine will. As a jurist-made law, the outcome of this process of ascertaining divine will is called fiqh (positive law), which is the moral and legal anchor of a Muslim’s total existence. Sharia governs every aspect of an observant Muslim’s life. The sharia juristic inquiry begins with the Quran and the Sunna. The Quran is the Muslim Holy Scripture — like the New Testament for Christians or the Old Testament for the Jews. The Sunna is essentially the prophetic example embodied in the sayings and conduct of the Prophet Mohammed.’

A couple of things shine through here.  The consistent claim that sharia is based (or rather is) on the core Islamic `rule books’.  The other consistent pattern is the attempt to convince America (and the world) that sharia law is some harmless set of religious laws that do not need to be feared.  This is a deception of the worst kind as we in the UK have found out to our great regret and shame when we allowed sharia law to operate within Muslim communities.  Learn from Europe’s mistakes.

Difference between Sharia and American law

`How is Shariah law different from American law? We need to keep in mind that the American system is a modern nation state legal system, which is a product of the post- Enlightenment revolution and transformations of Western societiesThe Sharia is a pre-Enlightenment legal system that served Muslim

communities for 1300 years efficiently and effectively. The objective social, political and economic historical context for each system must be considered to better understand their similarities and differences. I don’t think you have enough space in this interview to do this topic justice. However, the lively debates that are raging in the Arab world post the Arab Spring about the role of sharia in the modern nation state are fascinating. The modern manifestations of sharia are ongoing and evolving. Be that as it may, the American system is different in that the anchor for the Sharia is moral, while the anchor in the modern Western legal is the separation between the moral and the legal. In the end, both systems strive to discover the truth and dispense justice. Each system, however, tries to reach this ultimate objective via different path.

This section must be handled with clarity as it gets to the core of the issue. To a certain extent how he describes Western legal systems is correct:

`a modern nation state legal system, which is a product of the post- Enlightenment revolution and transformations of Western societies’.

But here again. he is choosing his words very cleverly with key words that will resonate in the hearts and minds of his target audience: post- Enlightenment revolution…transformations of Western societies.  This is very subtle as it is deftly taking us away from the roots of our legal system which is grounded in the Judeo-Christian culture and legal system  (although he does mention this elsewhere in interviews).  Much of which is still very much part of our legal system and culture.  The wording implies that the Judeo-Christian world and life view has little relevance to modern Western culture and legal systems therefore not even worth mentioning since we have cast it aside as part of this enlightenment.  He may or may not succeed in his objective.

`The Sharia is a pre-Enlightenment legal system that served Muslim communities for 1300 years efficiently and effectively.

He is highlighting here the difference between pre-Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment.  He is asking us to remember that sharia goes back 1300 years and has served Islam very well, it has been sufficient because it was efficient and effective (and continues to be so?) for Muslims since the beginning of Islam.  This again shows his subtle and very clever way of constructing his argument – he is indeed a very gifted lawyer and I would say politician.   So he lays out his cards very clearly that sharia is based on a religious and legal code that dates back at least 1300 years without significant development or change.

He has no choice but to admit this because he has already told us that sharia is grounded and rooted in the foundational religious texts (Quran and Sunna)  and that the jurist engages with these foundational religious texts to ascertain divine will.  Since he is probably the pre-eminent expert on sharia in the US we can accept his word for it.

This of course. sets alarm bells going off as we come to the correct conclusion that we are dealing with a 7th century religious and legal system which is mostly incompatible with Western cultural and legal systems.  It is something Western societies left behind a long time ago.

He seeks to silence the alarm bells with the following comment:

`the lively debates that are raging in the Arab world post the Arab Spring about the role of sharia in the modern nation state are fascinating

This is very clever indeed.  He is smoothing over our fears and concerns, and I would say down right alarm, by implying that there is some sort of debate going on within Islam about the modernisation of a 1,300 year old antiquated system that is not fit for purpose for our modern world.

Yet this is not happening in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey or the Gulf (the centre of Islam culture and thought).  Rather than a modernising effect we see a reaffirmation of the traditional Islamic position.  He finds it fascinating, I find it horrifying.

The question then is whether `western’ Muslims are going to lead the way?  Or will they follow the centre?  There seems to be no doubt they will follow the centre.  After all America Muslims are led by the Muslim Brotherhood and they are firmly in the traditionalist Islamic camp (I do not think there is such a thing as two differing schools of thought).  So where is this reforming movement that he clearly dangles before us to calm our fears?

We keep hearing from moderate Muslims that beating of wives, cutting off of hands, killing some one because they leave Islam, killing someone because of their sexuality, killing a woman for adultery, child marriages (as young as 9 years of age, or when the child reaches pubity), persecution and killing of non-Muslims.  Things all contained in these primary sources of authority that are quoted as forming the basis of the Muslims very being.  That these things have no place in a modern society and modern Islam.  When will we hear that these things were wrong then and are wrong now, or even that in no shape or form can they be relevant to a modern society that is based on rule of law (that everyone is protected under) and individuals freedom?  How can it be said when the Koran is seen as the eternal word and law of Allah, binding to all ages: efficient and effective according to Abed Awad.

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