Self-described “lawyer specializing in religious freedom,” Asma Uddin was recently afforded an opportunity to speak to the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). Due to a clerical error, a building grassroots movement called “Save The Persecuted Christians” (STPC) was listed in the NRB program as sponsoring Ms. Uddin’s panel discussion of interfaith dialogue and religious liberty, rather than the event that preceded it, a keynote address by Attorney General William Barr.
In his capacity as STPC’s president, Mr. Frank Gaffney used the occasion of his own remarks preceding the Attorney General’s to clarify that the organization was proud to sponsor Mr. Barr’s appearance and to champion the cause of persecuted Christians. He declared, however, that STPC does not sponsor Sharia supremacism, or its enablers and apologists. After all, an estimated 80% of anti-Christian persecution worldwide is perpetrated by Muslim Sharia-supremacists.
Mr. Gaffney warned that Ms. Uddin is one of them. He noted that given her dissembling about the true nature of Sharia, and her collaboration with Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), he had hoped she would not be included on the NRB program. And Gaffney urged the broadcasters not to construe her presence there as encouragement to feature on their air her dissembling (i.e., “takiya” in Islamic parlance) about the true totalitarian nature of Sharia and efforts by its adherents to impose it upon America.
Ms. Uddin took great umbrage at Mr. Gaffney’s comments, both on the occasion, and, especially, in a subsequent article. The latter decried Mr. Gaffney’s alleged “anti-Muslim advocacy,” which she further claimed was “what you do if you don’t care about religious liberty in America.”
Ms. Uddin doth protest (far) too much, methinks. (apologies to The Bard). Frank Gaffney was informed and righteous in challenging the likes of Asma Uddin. Here’s why.
Granting her contention she is “not affiliated (directly) with CAIR or the Muslim Brotherhood”—CAIR having been founded as the political wing of Hamas, which, per the Hamas Covenant is a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot—Uddin nonetheless just accepted CAIR’s sponsorship of her speaking event Tuesday, January 28, 2020, in Maryland. Moreover, Uddin’s calumny about “Gaffneyism” fuses so-called paranoid ideations regarding an “Islamic coup,” with bowdlerization of the Sharia’s living doctrinal and historical reality, past as prologue. For example, here is Uddin’s 2012 apologetic summary negation of the Sharia (curiously relegated to a footnote) that completely ignores its doubly totalitarian essence—promulgation of jihad war to submit mankind to its jurisdiction, with the resultant crushing of all basic liberties, including freedom of conscience, and speech, sanctioned discrimination against all non-Muslims, and Muslim women, and barbaric, dehumanizing punishments such as stoning for adultery, and mutilation for theft:
Sharia is the ideal law of God according to Islam. Muslims believe that the Islamic legal system is one that aims toward ideals of justice, fairness, and the good life. Sharia has tremendous diversity, as jurists and learned scholars figure out and articulate what that law is. Historically, Sharia served as a means for political dissent against arbitrary rule. It is not a monolithic doctrine of violence, as has been characterized in the recently introduced Tennessee bill that would criminalize practices of Sharia.
Uddin’s updated commentary on the Sharia from her 2019 book is equally disingenuous in its omissions, merely reiterating such bowdlerized apologetics: Sharia’s “divine message” blandly analogized to the miracle of rain water in the desert; “my (her) experience does not square with your (the non-Muslim reader’s?) idea of sharia”; “even in states where Muslims want a sharia-based legal code,…what they are asking for is justice and fairness.”
Worse still, Uddin remains utterly silent about clear, programmatic efforts by an authoritative, mainstream Muslim religious teaching organization—The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), broadly responsible for imam training in America—to promote traditionalist Sharia totalitarianism, contra her spraying of reckless charges of “conspiratorial, anti-Muslim Gaffneyism.” Indeed, Uddin extols a prominent avatar of AMJA’s clerical leadership, and messaging, Omar Suleiman (theirs is a mutual admiration), who gave a U.S. Congressional invocation May 9, 2019.
AMJA maintains the organization was, “…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…” With regard to the Sharia, specifically, AMJA’s stated purpose is to “clarify the rulings of the sharia which are relevant for those who live in America.” AMJA is well-accepted by the mainstream American Muslim community. The Islamic scholars affiliated with this group maintain influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States, and beyond, extending “from Al-Azhar University to Virginia’s Open University, and back across the ocean to the professors at Saudi universities.”
Despite this mainstream Muslim acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its annual American conferences to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates (here; here; here; here), “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”: here; here), or adulterers (by stoning to death, here), and condone (here) marital rape, and female genital mutilation/ “circumcision” (here; here; here). Even more concerning, another Arabic-language fatwa from AMJA’s Dr. Salah Al-Sawy leaves open the possibility for offensive jihad against America and the West, as soon as Muslims are strong enough to wage it. When asked whether “the Islamic missionary effort in the West … [was] to the point where it could take advantage of offensive jihad,” Al-Sawy ruled:
The Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time. With our current capabilities, we are aspiring toward defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation. Allah Almighty knows best.
It is also of grave concern that AMJA, as an American organization, offers only grudging and conditional support to the fundamental notions of acquiring citizenship in, and swearing allegiance to, the U.S. and our Sharia-antithetical governing legal system. Responding to the query: “Is acquiring an American citizenship lawful or prohibited?” AMJA’s Al-Sawy issued fatwa #77223:
As for optionally obtaining citizenship of a non-Muslim country it is definitely prohibited without a doubt, moreover it could be a form of apostasy or main means leading to apostasy because willingly accepting the laws of disbelievers and obeying it without any valid excuse or enforcement, or ignorance is considered a nullifier to Tawheed and Islam, as long as the proof has been established upon this person and the matter and its consequences are as I clarified. As for obtaining citizenships in light of circumstances of Muslims today who are residing outside the lands of Islam — on the condition that they do not accept indefinitely the law and legislation of that country and being indefinite belonging to the nation of the non-Muslim country so that they become loyal to all their allies and an enemy to all their enemies — and obtaining the citizenship is considered a required means in order to organize the affairs of Muslims who already live there while ensuring fulfilling vows and agreements between them and host countries, and exists due to urgent necessities and needs and this Muslim kept his loyalty to Allaah and His Messenger, then it would not be farfetched to say that it would be permissible.
Most ominously, AMJA’s 2007 paper “A study on working in the Judicial Field”, acknowledges the existence of many Muslims under ‘infidel’ legal systems, and invoking the Islamic doctrine of darura—necessity—provides guidelines describing how they should behave under these systems, as a contingency, until, eventually, they are in a position to subsume the American legal system within a Sharia-based governing system. Key points which confirm this goal of progressive transformation, include:
–The document’s opening rejection of even “colonial remnants” of non-Muslim, secular legal systems in Islamdom: …that many Muslim lands have been occupied by foreign powers, and have had foreign judicial systems imposed on them which are secular and which disallow the Sharia from being used in court, or only allow it to be used for personal and family issues.
–Reiterating the doctrinal basis for why non-Islamic legal systems are ultimately unacceptable: Various sources in the Qur’an and hadith attest to the fact that making it permissible to rule by other than that which Allah sent down is disbelief in Allah (kufr) and outside the pale of Islam… [Q]uotes from ancient and modern imams are sufficient to establish that governing by other than that which Allah sent down is major disbelief in Allah (kufr kabir), and departure from Islam.
–Elucidating the role of Muslims serving as judges in non-Muslim (including US) legal systems: Muslims should be forbidden from being employed as judges in infidel countries or those ruled by man-made law, except in certain limited cases where they can rule by the judgments of Allah.. That he [the judge] understand the Sharia in such a manner as to be able to rule by it in every case brought before him, or at least as close as he’s able to from the cases brought before him. He also must in his heart hate the man-made law… He must also do everything in his power to enact laws that allow the Muslims to practice their Sharia. He must keep it in his mind that he was not permitted to take this job except to serve Islam and Muslims. He must also choose the judicial profession which is closest to the Sharia…That he judge by the rulings of the Sharia as much as possible, even if by a ruse.
–Deferring to non-Muslim, “man-made” law under the doctrine of necessity (darura): This situation can possibly be better understood by referring to the large institution set up to demand rights for Muslims and fight against anti-Muslim discrimination, CAIR. (Quotes from 2003 CAIR report on its efforts in the US, written by Arab Affairs Director Alaa Bayoumi) It is a principle of jurisprudence that a general and public need brings the status of necessity. Therefore every issue which is needed by the Muslim general public is necessary and permitted… If you were wronged and you demand your rights which are guaranteed by the Sharia, and you have no other recourse but to go to the man-made courts, and you have hatred in your heart for the courts, you are permitted to do so…To summarize the words of the scholars, it is permitted to seek recourse in man-made courts if…You are unable to reclaim your rights in any other way, because your adversary refuses to refer the case to the Sharia, or he refuses to execute the ruling of the Sharia.; At the time that you go to the court, you feel hatred for it in your heart.
Updated 2018 and 2019 pronouncements by AMJA, and one of its leading clerics, Hatem al-Haj, re-affirm their commitment to universal application of Sharia, including apostasy “punishment” (which remains lethal), accompanied by openly declaring “the right to seek some form of caliphate.”
Although Asma Uddin conveniently ignores the blatant Sharia supremacism of AMJA, her mutual admirer Omar Suleiman is an unabashed advocate of AMJA’s Salah al-Sawy and Hatem al-Haj, under whom, he “sought knowledge and studied.” (See, additionally, Suleiman in a pose with al-Sawa(a)y, “Omar Suleiman with Sheikh Dr. Salah al-Saaway,” 4/22/2013, noting, “After Allah, His Messenger, and my family, no one is more beloved to me than my teachers.”). Gushingly thankful for Suleiman’s “enthusiastic and sincere support,” Uddin’s October 28, 2019 post features an image of the good imam reading her 2019 book, with the following tribute, embedded:
“As the [Muslim] community grows in number and matures politically, it seeks to assert itself as a faith community not willing to relinquish its faith for insincere allyship, nor be bullied by right wing bigots. Asma Uddin perfectly articulates not only the way in which distortions of Islam have been weaponized against the Muslim community, but the way in which religious liberty can allow American Muslims to live out their faith in collective harmony”
Uddin ally and champion Omar Suleiman is an unequivocal Sharia supremacist. In addition to extolling his AMJA mentors, Suleiman has defended Sharia’s hadd punishments for adultery [stoning] and theft [amputation], advocated for both “societal Sharia” and a Caliphate, so that Sharia could “be applied in totality,” and even defended Muslim concubinage and sex-slavery (and see this compilation of video clips). He is also virulent Muslim Jew-hater, who proudly lauds Islam’s Antisemitic canon, in particular, the Koranic epithet (Koran 5:60) for Jews as “apes and pigs.”
Suleiman’s virulent canonical Islamic Jew-hatred was elaborated at length during a 5-part, nearly 6-hour 2012 lecture series, “Lost Chronicles of Bani Israel,” still available online. Referencing the Koranic narrative from sura 7 [7:163–7:166] about the Jews deceitfully laying out nets to avoid “Allah’s” prohibition against actually fishing on the Sabbath, and also citing Koran 5:60, Suleiman provides these details:
Allah says, ‘We told them to become apes,’ [7:166] Allah transformed them, this group of people that took that action into apes and pigs [5:60]…which means their external appearance became apes and pigs, and the idea here was that the people were trying to make Allah out to be a fool, but Allah instead transformed them into animals…The prophet [Muhammad] tells us that these people, which were a village, not the entire Bani Israel, this was a group of Bani Israel, that Allah, after he transformed them, they lived three days as an example to all other people. The older ones were transformed into apes.
Following a brief excursus on why it is inaccurate to refer to contemporary Jews as “sons of apes and pigs,” Suleiman references a hadith [cited by the great legist/philosopher Ibn Rushd, “Averroes”, and here] which illustrates yet another example of Jewish deceit, and the appropriate response of Muhammad’s youngest wife Aisha, who condemned her Jewish interlocutors as brethren of apes and pigs.
She [Aisha] called them brothers of apes and pigs—she didn’t call them the sons.
This usage, “brothers of apes and pigs,” Suleiman maintains, is appropriate for most Jews, given their inveterate Koranic predilection for deceit, endeavoring “to take Allah for a fool.” Indeed, according to the earliest sacralized, pious Muslim biography of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq just before subduing the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza, Islam’s prophet invoked this striking Koranic motif for the Jews debasement, addressing these Jews, with hateful disparagement, as “You brothers of apes” Ibn Ishaq’s account further maintains that, upon their surrender, Muhammad himself beheaded between 600 to 900 of the adult Jewish males of the Banu Qurayza, and enslaved their wives and children.
Ultimately, Omar Suleiman’s 2012 discourse on the Jews is open and blunt in directing his canonical Islamic Jew-hatred, especially the requisite “humiliation,” at the state of Israel, and all Jews who support its right to exist.
“We ask Allah to humiliate this Israel, the way that Allah humiliated Bani Israel…We ask Allah to humiliate those who occupy the ‘land of Filastin [‘Palestine’]’
The ongoing promulgation of Sharia supremacism, Islam’s general anti-“infidel” hatred, or specific canonical Islamic Jew-hatred, by AMJA/AMJA clerics, and/or like-minded, mainstream Muslim imams, notably, Omar Suleiman, is mirrored, sadly, in U.S. Muslim attitudes, as these data reveal:
–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”)
–Based on 3,600 interviews conducted by the ADL in the U.S. in January and February 2017, and another 1,500 interviews in October 2016, 34% of American Muslims hold extreme antisemitic views (believe >=6/11 Jew-hating stereotypes), vs. only 14% of the general non-Muslim U.S. population. This relative 2.4-fold increased rate of extreme Jew-hatred amongst U.S. Muslims is very consistent with ADL’s global data on Muslims, although the absolute rates are, thankfully, lower across all American religious groups.
Grotesquely consistent with her diatribe against Frank Gaffney for denouncing those Muslims who seek to actively impose, or enable Sharia totalitarianism in America, Asma Uddin’s 2019 book includes a rhetorical acid attack on the courageous Somali Muslim conscientious objector to Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She dismisses Ayaan’s firsthand accounts of actual Sharia-based practices and mores as “stories of female genital mutilation, child marriage, and honor killings purportedly justified on the basis of Islam.” Uddin then has the moral turpitude to compare Ayaan’s evidence–based, if searing revelations to the factitious anti-Catholic 1836 Maria Monk “Awful Disclosures”, before concluding, with transparent rancor, that “Hirsi Ali, as a former Muslim, provides the type of insider testimony that helps make the outsiders’ claims about Islam believable.” Given Asma Uddin’s fawning acceptance of the vicious Muslim Jew-hater Omar Sulieman’s endorsement of her book, one wonders whether Uddin is also angered by Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s brave, unmitigated denunciation of the canonical Islamic basis for the global scourge of extreme Muslim Jew-hatred.
Asma Uddin is most assuredly not the defender of religious liberty she claims to be. Her vicious, counterfactual attacks on intrepid opponents of Sharia supremacism, and canonical Islamic religious bigotry, conjoined to Uddin’s disingenuous Sharia apologetics, failure to repudiate overtly Sharia supremacist AMJA, and open support for Omar Suleiman, make plain she is a cynical, witting abettor of hateful, liberty-crushing Sharia totalitarianism