What are you infidels so alarmed about, anyway? “People are so scared of sharia law, it is crazy,” says comedian Regan, who is described as a “former member of S.O.A.,” a music group he co-founded. The site doesn’t explain that S.O.A. stands for Slaves of Allah. “I don’t even understand why you [sic] scared. Sharia law is actually a beautiful thing.” He is wearing a t-shirt exclaiming “Haram! Haram!” Haram, of course, is anything forbidden under sharia. Spoken word artist Amir Sulaiman asserts that “Sharia law is just to protect the sacred things, and the most sacred thing that God created is the human being, so it’s to protect the human being’s right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” He seems to be confusing sharia with the Declaration of Independence. Islam values none of those concepts as Americans understand them.
The “Ask a Muslim” website calls Islam the “most misunderstood religion on the globe.” They don’t explain why that is: that they are trying to put a happy face on Islam while global jihad is inconveniently exposing it for the supremacist political ideology it is. They also don’t address why Islam is supposedly so dang difficult to understand despite the fact that after the 9/11 attacks, more non-Muslims than ever before have studied Islam to understand the religious motives of those who declared war on us. And yet we continue to be told by condescending apologists, including the speakers in this video series who treat their viewers like children, that we don’t understand the true Koran or the complexities of sharia, and that our concerns and criticisms stem from irrational fear. The problem always seems to lie with us. No other religion seems to be so intellectually impenetrable – not even Zen Buddhism.
It will be interesting to see what questions arise in subsequent episodes. But one remark unintentionally speaks volumes already. Dr. Jamillah Karim, assistant professor of religious studies at Spelman College, says in episode one, “We believe that the prophet Muhammad was the best human being, so we want to follow his model in every way.” And therein lies the contradiction: that we are expected to be reassured about a religion whose role model is a warlord who tortured, enslaved and slaughtered all who stood in his way, who advocated the genocide of Jews, who consummated his marriage with a nine-year-old, who ordered the stoning of adulterers, and who commanded that all must submit to Islam or die. Somehow I doubt that “Ask a Muslim” will honestly address that topic.
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