Sharia Versus Freedom in America

Yesterday July 4th, Independence Day, celebrated American liberty. Consistent with that spirit of hard won freedom, new polling data reveal non-Muslim Americans are increasingly cognizant of the threat Sharia, Islam’s totalitarian religio-political “law,” poses to their basic liberties, and overwhelmingly, they reject its encroachment in the US.

Opinion Savvy polled a random sample of 803 registered voters—98.2% non-Muslim, and 1.8% Muslim (with age, race, gender, political affiliation, and region propensity score-weighted to reduce biases)—June 19 to June 20, 2016, and asked, “Do you believe that the United States government should screen, or actively identify individuals entering the United States who support Sharia law?”  Seventy-one percent affirmed, “Yes, supporters of Sharia should be identified before they are admitted into the US.” As a follow-up, the group answering “yes,” was asked, “Once identified, do you believe that individuals who support the practice of Sharia law should be admitted into the United States?” Eighty percent responded, “No, supporters of Sharia should not be admitted into the US.” Moreover, the very next query, which addressed foreign visitors, elicited an even more emphatic demand for fidelity to bedrock first amendment US Constitutional principles. It asked: “Do you believe that the United States government should require all foreign individuals entering the United States to affirm that they will uphold the principles of the constitution, such as freedom of religion and speech, above all personal ideologies for the duration of their stay in the country?” Seventy-eight percent of the sample insisted, “Yes, visitors to the US should be required to agree to uphold the constitution, regardless of their personal ideology, as a condition of their visit.”

The unblinkered assessment of Sharia validates its broadly shared rejection by non-Muslim Americans, but also illustrates how countervailing increased US Muslim Sharia support represents a dangerous trend.

The Sharia, Islam’s canon law is traceable to Koranic verses and edicts (45:18, 42:13, 42:21, 5:48; 4:34, 5:33-34, 5:38, 8:12-14; 9:5, 9:29, 24:2-4), as further elaborated in the “hadith,” or traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and the earliest Muslim community, and codified into formal “legal” rulings by Islam’s greatest classical legists. Sharia is a retrogressive development compared with the evolution of clear distinctions between “ritual, the law, moral doctrine, good customs in society, etc.,” within Western European Christendom, and it is utterly incompatible with the conceptions of human rights enshrined in the US Bill of Rights. Liberty-crushing, and dehumanizing, Sharia sanctions: open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties — including freedom of conscience and speech — enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning to death for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption.

Compounding these fundamental freedom and dignity-abrogating iniquities, “matters of procedure” under Islamic law are antithetical to Western conceptions of the rule of law: “evidentiary proof,” is non-existent by Western legal standards, and the Sharia doctrine of siyasa (“government” or “administration”), grants wide latitude to the ruling elites, rendering permissible arbitrary threats, beatings, and imprisonments of defendants to extract “confessions,” particularly from “dubious” suspects. Clearly, Sharia “standards,” which do not even seek evidentiary legal truth, and allow threats, imprisonment, and beatings of defendants to obtain “confessions,” while sanctioning explicit, blatant legal discrimination against women and non-Muslims, are intellectually and morally inferior to the antithetical concepts which underpin Western law.

These profound threats to US constitutional liberties notwithstanding, polling data reveal an ominous—and growing—proportion of American Muslims wish to impose Sharia on America.

Wenzel Strategies during October 22 to 26, 2012, polled 600 US Muslims of high socio-economic status. When asked, “Do you believe that criticism of Islam or Muhammad should be permitted under the Constitution’s First Amendment?, 58% replied “no,” while only 42% affirmed this most basic manifestation of freedom of speech, i.e., to criticize religious, or any other dogma. Indeed, oblivious to US constitutional law, as opposed to Islam’s Sharia, a largely concordant 45% of respondents agreed “…that those who criticize or parody Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges,” while 38% did not, and 17% were “unsure”.  Moreover, fully 12% of this Muslim sample even admitted they believed in application of the draconian, Sharia-based punishment for the non-existent crime of “blasphemy” in the US code, answering affirmatively, “…that Americans who criticize or parody Islam should be put to death.” Three years later, in June of 2015, data from a survey of another 600 US Muslims conducted by the respected political pollster Kellyanne Conway revealed 51%, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Sharia.” (A “mere” 25% of those polled agreed that “violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad”)

 Why is Sharia supremacism—diametrically opposed to US Constitutional law—so alarmingly prevalent among US Muslims? The inescapable conclusion, validated in Senate Judiciary Committee testimony this week by Department of Homeland Security whistleblower Philip Haney, is that mainstream institutional Islam within the US inculcates this liberty-crushing mentality. Haney’s presentation mentioned in passing the mainstream Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, (AMJA). Well-accepted by the broader American Muslim community, the Islamic scholars affiliated with AMJA have attained influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States. AMJA scholars train American imams, and issue online “fatwas”, Islamic Sharia rulings, to guide individual Muslims. Should the mainstream AMJA accomplish its unabashed goal of implementing Sharia in North America, the organization has already issued, for example, a ruling which sanctions the killing of non-Muslim “blasphemers.”

Donald Trump’s rational call for a moratorium on Muslim immigration, especially from hotbeds of violent Sharia supremacism, must be viewed gimlet-eyed bearing in mind irrefragable data capturing US (here; here) and global Muslim attitudes, as well as the behavior of mainstream, institutional American Islam.

Forty years ago, Husayn al-Quwatli, director general of Dar al-Ifta, the center of spiritual authority for the Sunni community of Lebanon, and author of the treatise, “Islam, the State, and Secularism (1975)” candidly elucidated the Muslim Sharia supremacist mindset which perhaps best validates Trump’s moratorium, pending wrenching changes in such pervasive Muslim attitudes:

 The position of Islam is very clear on one point, namely that the true Muslim cannot take a disinterested position vis-à-vis the state. As a result, his position with regard to ruler and rule cannot be an indecisive one which is content with half solutions. Either the ruler is Muslim and the rule Islamic, then he will be content with the state and support it, or the ruler non-Muslim and the rule non-Islamic, then he rejects it, opposes it, and works to abolish it, gently or forcibly, openly or secretly.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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