The likelihood that this may someday happen is increased by the fact that Americans are so used to their liberties that they find it difficult to imagine that any but a few could really be serious about Sharia. But Sharia laws are not like the old “blue laws” in the U.S. which remained on the books long after the point where anyone enforced them or paid attention to them. Not only is Sharia law strictly enforced in many Muslim countries, but it is also widely supported. For example, the Pew Global Attitudes Survey of Pakistani Public Opinion conducted in 2009 found that 83 percent of Pakistanis favor stoning adulterers, 80 percent favor whippings and cutting off hands for thieves, and 78 percent favor death for those who leave Islam.
Muslims in non-Muslims countries are also expected to observe Sharia. In the U. K. there are already at least 85 Sharia courts operating alongside British courts. In France, Sharia is brutally enforced within the Muslim controlled neighborhoods known as les banlieus or, as the police call them, “no-go-zones.” In the U.S., Sharia law defenses are now being mounted in criminal cases. In a 2009 New Jersey case, a judge ruled that an abusive husband could not be found guilty of criminal intent because he had acted according to his Muslim beliefs (the ruling was overturned by an appellate court). Last year the Obama administration co-sponsored a U.N. resolution with Egypt urging member states to pass laws making criticism of Islam a crime. Currently, Molly Norris, the cartoonist who proposed the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” is in hiding as a result of death threats. She is guilty of violating Islamic blasphemy laws. Perhaps she didn’t realize that many aspects of Sharia law are binding for non-Muslims as well as for Muslims.
One of the paramount obligations of Sharia is jihad. The most authoritative Islamic guides define it, not as a “spiritual struggle,” but as “warfare to establish the religion.” Jihad is the duty of every Muslim; however it is acceptable to carry on jihad in non-violent ways such as through infiltration or by means of propaganda or political warfare, or merely by supporting those who wage active jihad.
The aim of jihad, in turn, is not so much to convert everyone to Islam, but to subject everyone to Allah’s law—that is, Sharia law. Since man-made laws are considered illicit, that means that democratic governments which rely on the consent of the governed are inherently invalid. Thus, by implication, Sharia law must eventually replace the U.S. Constitution.
Just last week the Center for Security Policy issued a 117 page report on the threat to America from Sharia. The authors of the report make the case that current policy makers have a poor understanding of Islam and Islamic law which causes them to focus almost exclusively on the threat from al Qaeda, and to ignore the much greater threat of stealth jihad carried out by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. The authors argue that, because of its totalitarian nature, the pursuit of Sharia in the United States “is tantamount to sedition.” They write:
[T]he obligation shariah demands of its followers…must be seen as an illegal effort to supplant our Constitution with another legal code, not a religious practice protected by that document.
The report, which was put together by a team of former high level security officials, provides a much needed challenge to official policy toward Islam. We are in a new Cold War says the report, and we might well lose it because political correctness prevents us from understanding or even naming the enemy. Sharia: The Threat to America is a well documented and penetrating analysis. If it has a drawback, it lies in the occasional suggestion that it might somehow be possible to separate Islamic faith from Islamic law. In any event, the report makes it clear that allowing Muslims the full and free exercise of their faith is a very tricky matter, and not at all the clear-cut proposition that defenders of the Ground Zero mosque suppose it to be.
It’s telling that the man behind the Ground Zero mosque—Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf—has made the advancement of Sharia law his main project. The supposedly moderate imam supports and defends a system that is at total odds with America’s Constitutional freedoms. Given the totalitarian nature of Sharia, any mosque presided over by Imam Rauf—whatever its location—should be suspect. If he wanted to build it in Buffalo or Boston, American citizens would still be justified in opposing it. After all, the multi-pronged 9/11 attacks were not just aimed at New York City. They were intended as an attack on America and its system of government. Imam Rauf may be personally inclined toward non-violence, but his ultimate aim seems to be not that different from the goals of the terrorists—namely, the imposition of Sharia law on the United States. In an April 24, 2009 Huffington Post essay entitled “What Shariah Law Is All About,” Rauf wrote, “What Muslims want is a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith.” What he advocates, in short, is a shariah compliant America. Currently, U.S. laws are very much in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith. Our judiciary would be well-advised to keep it that way.
William Kilpatrick’s articles have appeared in FrontPage Magazine, First Things, Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Jihad Watch, World, and Investor’s Business Daily.
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