Sharia...Islam's Trojan Horse In America
The Arabic word "sharia" can be translated as "path" or "way". In an Islamic state, the Holy Law of Islam or sharia is the only system of law that exists. As noted authority on Islamic studies Bernard Lewis observes in his landmark book, "What Went Wrong", "There is only a single law, the law of sharia, accepted by Muslims as of divine origin and regulating all aspects of human life; civil, commercial, criminal, constitutional, as well as matters specifically concerned with religion in the limited, Christian sense of that word."
As Lewis points out, Islamic sharia law provides devout Muslims with an unambiguous, clearly delineated moral compass to guide their private and public conduct. Sharia also functions as a means of dispensing justice and regulating other aspects of Muslim life. It is probably inaccurate to refer to the concept as "sharia law" because to Muslims the words "sharia" and "law" are synonymous.
For over a thousand years, Islam provided Muslim countries with a universally accepted system of rules for the regulation of social and public life. Beginning in the eighteenth century at about the time of the French Revolution, and accelerating dramatically in the following two centuries, the European powers' political and economic dominance of most Muslim countries led to widespread secularization of many aspects of daily life in the Islamic world. Sharia became a rather diminished force in Muslim life due to the hegemony the West enjoyed over its Islamic territories and protectorates.
A resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism has caused the pendulum to abruptly swing in the opposite direction. With a few notable exceptions, modern Islamic states have become much more traditional, especially in terms of their renewed emphasis on the ancient principles embodied in sharia. As Islam continues to acquire a more significant presence in traditionally Christian states and other non-Islamic countries, sharia is assuming a pivotal role in the life of most Muslims regardless of their country of residence.
Why Sharia Is Dangerous For American Society
America is fighting a hazardous, multi-front war against Islamic terror and has committed nearly 200,000 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to win this struggle. There is a second front in the War On Terror and it lies squarely in the Nation's heartland. This home front battle is neither acknowledged nor formally enjoined, but is a pivotal theater of operations just the same.
Sharia in America should be a prime target in our battle to preserve security in the Nation's cities, towns and rural communities. When sharia is subjected to close examination, its threat to the United States becomes abundantly clear. While appearing to have served Islam comparatively well historically, sharia assumes dangerous and potentially destructive proportions when transplanted by Islamist expansionists to a predominately Christian nation such as the United States.*
Sharia is acquiring an under the radar presence in America by insinuating itself incrementally into our society. Employing a subtle process of gradualism, sharia is already making noticeable inroads across America. Using an effective strategy Islam first perfected in Canada, Britain, Australia and many European countries, "creeping sharia" now constitutes a serious threat to the U.S. for the following reasons:
- Sharia court decisions handed down to Muslims by their clerics are rarely compatible with Western societal traditions and established American principles of justice. If recognized by local authorities, formally constituted sharia courts in America would function as parallel systems of civil justice leading to a two-tiered legal structure. Complications resulting from such legal pluralism could threaten the authority and effectiveness of traditional secular justice, creating widespread confusion and demoralization in our courts and among the public at large. Conditions prevalent in much of Europe routinely lead to serious miscarriages of justice resulting from sharia's differing laws of evidence and its incompatibility with Western cultural values.
- Sharia offers a convenient infrastructure for sheltering a radical Islamic "Fifth Column" in America. In an attempt to expose this threat, the Mapping Sharia project conducted by SaneWorks is now locating and describing every mosque, madrasa and Islamic cultural center in the United States. Retired military intelligence officers directing this ambitious effort view the undertaking as the essential first step to discovering critical intelligence on U.S. based radical Islam. Respected authority on fighting Islamic terrorism Robert Spencer, estimates that as many as 130 million of the world's approximately 1.3 billion Muslims are radicalized, pro-terrorist extremists. Based on militant Islam's robust track record in violence, a sizable proportion of this sub group are likely to be actual terrorists. Transplanting Spencer's 1:10 ratio to the estimated 2,350,000 Muslims thought to reside in the U.S. suggests that approximately 235,000 radical Muslims may now be living in our midsts. In the unlikely event that estimates of radical Islam's presence in America have been over estimated by, say, a factor of ten, we still may be faced with nearly 25,000 Islamic radicals and terrorists ensconced in the heartland. Even this much smaller total would provide ample justification to document and observe this shadowy group of terrorists and fellow travelers.
- Sharia is particularly unfriendly to women and is front loaded to favor men in virtually every domestic dispute or civil disagreement. The fact that decisions by sharia courts located in the U.S. would only apply to Muslims does not mean there is no threat to the Nation as a whole. The experience of many European countries and our Canadian neighbors confirms that sharia quickly leads to complex legal and social problems when permitted a foothold in a host nation. This is especially true in matters relating to the fundamental rights of women now enjoyed by females in Western countries. For example, the British have discovered that sharia is being used by some Muslims as an expedient alternative to traditional British law. Since sharia is now allowed to operate with impunity in many larger English cities, sharia courts have begun granting divorces to Muslim men who refuse to complete a civil divorce and simply declare their marriages ended. The practice of polygamy common among many Muslims in Britain now threatens to complicate probating of wills, administering estates and managing pensions.
*In a recent survey, over 85 percent of Americans identified themselves as Christians. This means the US is actually more Christian than India is Hindu, than Israel is Jewish or than Japan is Buddhist.
Guarding Against Sharia's Creeping Gradualism
For the purposes of Sharia Alert, "gradualism" is defined as the process by which society's attitudes and institutions undergo slow, imperceptible alteration. Sharia's uninvited presence in America is already prompting such changes with alarming frequency. Due to its cumulative effect, this process represents a hidden threat to the survival of American democracy as it is presently constituted. Seven news making events recently garnering unusual attention in the media serve to clarify how gradualism is being carefully orchestrated by militant Muslim activists. The eighth item, actually an observation rather than an event, is perhaps the best example of gradualism due to its amazing subtlety.
The Gradualism Tour begins in a hot bed of Islam, Minneapolis, Minnesota where the infamous "Flying Imams" incident took place. In late November, 2006 at the sprawling Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport six, self-described imams* disrupted and delayed a US Airways departure by engaging in a series of well rehearsed, provocative acts. The incident began with the imams' ostentatiously loud praying in the departure area and quickly escalated. Rather than taking their assigned seats once on board, the activists dispersed without permission throughout the aircraft, replicating a seating pattern reminiscent to that used by the 9/11 Muslim execution teams. Two of the imams then requested heavy seat belt extenders reserved for obese passengers. Instead of using them for their intended purpose, the clerics quickly stashed the extenders under their seats. An Arabic speaking passenger became alarmed when he realized the disruptive Muslim's loud speech included angry denunciations of America and our foreign policy. Other passengers grew uneasy and began complaining to flight attendants. When the imams adamantly refused to curtail their bizarre behavior, they were taken into custody and escorted from the aircraft. Incredibly, the imams have since filed lawsuits against US Airways, the international airport and all passengers known to have lodged complaints with the air carrier.This is a prime example of a successful attempt by radical Muslims to publicly dramatize a component of sharia while creating fear among the traveling public. The "Flying Imams" affair appears to have been conceived and orchestrated by leading radical Islamic front groups including the infamous Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The imams' pending legal action against passengers who complained of their conduct serves as a powerful disincentive to anyone tempted to challenge future displays of such radicalism. This staged incident was a classic outing of sharia using a full court press. It qualifies as gradualism only because most Americans fail to realize they have been victimized by carefully planned non-lethal terrorism. In an effort to twist the sharia blade further, an imam from the Darul-Quba mosque in Minneapolis has asked the Metropolitan Airport Commission to install a special Muslim prayer room in the terminal. Airport administrators are seriously considering this request and have accepted an invitation to tour a nearby mosque.
*Compared to Christianity and Judaism, Islam sets the barrier to becoming an imam rather low. It is inaccurate to regard the "Flying Imams" as comparable to Catholic priests or Jewish rabbis. Any adult Muslim male can become an imam without complex credentialing or extensive higher education.
The scene changes from Minneapolis to little Carver Elementary School in Oak Park, California. When Carver Elementary recently absorbed nearly 100 mostly Somali Muslim students from a failed charter school, pork dishes were quickly dropped from the cafeteria menu, an Arabic language class was added to the curriculum and Muslim students were afforded 15 minutes of class time per day for Islamic prayers led by a staff member. This example of creeping sharia fits the gradualism template well due to the low profile it assumed in the public's consciousness. The Carver case is especially disconcerting because only 20 percent of its student body are Muslims. If the same privileges afforded to this Muslim minority were extended to a similar number of Catholic children at Carver, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect fish on Fridays, a Latin language class elective, special Lenten cafeteria menus and class time for Christian prayer. The official population profile at Carver Elementary lists Hispanic students as the largest minority group served, suggesting that over 20 percent of the student body are Catholic.
Next, a side trip to nearby Dearborn, Michigan where the University of Michigan announced in July, 2007 that it had authorized over $25,000 in public funds to retrofit two student restrooms with so-called "foot washing stations" for its Muslim student minority. Although only 11 percent of the institution's incoming freshmen class identified themselves as Muslims in a 2004 survey (37 percent said they were Catholic), the university is bending to unyielding pressure from the local chapter of the radical Muslim Student Association (MSA) to install the special foot bathing facilities. A MSA spokesman stated that all students would be welcome to use the baths, although it remains unclear why non-Muslims would feel inclined or comfortable in doing so. Similar Muslim foot baths are either planned or already in place on several American college campuses including the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, Washington University and Cal State at Fullerton.
In August, 2007 an almost subliminal fear of sharia surfaced in far off Anchorage, Alaska when, in a meticulously crafted press release, the city's Superintendent of Schools announced that two Muslim feast celebrations were being added to the district's list of days on which school athletic events would be banned. This knee jerk nod to political correctness appears particularily odd, given the fact that Anchorage's harsh climate does not exactly make it a sanctuary city for itinerant Muslims. Demographics for this remote oil town suggest that, on a good day, fewer than one percent of Anchorage's population are Muslims. It appears that school administrators yielded to a nagging sense of fear by decreeing that future athletic events would no longer take place on Eid, the last day of Ramadan. If the 9/11 suicide bombers had all been Scientologists, would founder Ron Hubbard's birthday have been declared a "no sports day"?
In early October, 2007 the Oak Lawn, Illinois School Board decided it would continue to observe Halloween and Christmas in its facilities, but only on the condition that Ramadan also be celebrated. This seemingly odd decision was the resulted from a contentious meeting during which Christian parents nearly found themselves steamrollered by a lone militant Muslim mother who began the dispute by insisting that her children be sequestered from non-Muslim students at lunch during the Ramadan fast. A Catholic mother attending the rancorous session observed that she would never dream of asking her children to be separated from their classmates on Ash Wednesday or every Friday of Lent when her children are not allowed to eat meat. Once again, a small minority of Muslims quickly achieved special concessions because the Christian majority were too timid to request similar privileges. Cowed by the ACLU and a nagging fear of Islam, another tax supported school district caved when faced with a taste of Muslim militancy.
Given its location only a few miles from New York City's "Ground Zero", the Empire State Building's October 10, 2007 decision to mark the end of Ramadan by illuminating the skyscraper with green lights comes as a direct affront to all Americans. In 1976, the 1,400 foot tower glowed with red, white and blue lights in observance of America's Bicentennial. A press release issued by the building's management was quick to point out that the skyscraper is also illuminated for Hanukkah and Christmas. True, but Jews and Christians did not fly planes filled with unsuspecting passengers into the Twin Towers. Islam clearly does not deserve to be honored by this revered American landmark, an historic structure that many believe was actually an alternate target for the 9/11 terrorists.
Finally, the above example of "subliminal sharia" was recently discovered during a Transcontinental Flight. While leafing through the air carrier's glossy magazine, a traveler noticed two prominent, full-page ads for the airline's VISA credit card promotion. The first ad featured three exotic travel destinations in full color with a huge mosque dominating the center of the page. The location of this presumably tourist worthy edifice remains unclear, but it does not appear to be in Spain. It is likely situated in the Middle East, a region hardly conducive to visits by American tourists. Near the center of the magazine, a companion ad appeared depicting various friends the supposed new VISA card holder might chose as a traveling companion. A young woman apparently clad in a hijab smiles back from a captivating photo in the center of the page. Closer examination discloses that the hijab wearing girl is actually sporting a beach towel wrapped around her head and shoulders in classic Muslim style.
It seems unlikely that these high profile Islamic icons were featured purely by chance. An "Islam comfort theme" appears to have been cleverly designed into the glossy layouts. Perhaps a Muslim in the ad agency's creative department or the Bank of America's* marketing division was instrumental in inserting the pro-Islam images into the layouts. Political correctness could have prevented other decision makers in the approval process from speaking out against what appear to be off target choices of material. In the worst case scenario, this may well have been a carefully executed effort to help soften Islam's image among the American traveling public.
* Is it only a coincidence that the Bank of America has rolled out a credit card with "training wheels" designed for illegal aliens lacking an authentic ID or a legitimate social security number?
When considering these recent examples of Sharia's gradual, often invisible subversion of American culture, it is important to note that most instances of this orchestrated process are never widely reported by the media. The majority of such incursions are barely noticed. This is probably no accident. Muslim proponents of sharia in America prefer reaching their goals in small increments.
Turncoat Aids al-Qaida From North Carolina Spider Hole
A notable exception to Islam's low profile methods of subversion now resides in the deep South. A 21-year old American dissident who calls himself Samir Khan operates a jihadist blog from his parent's home in North Carolina. While an apparent embarrassment to his mother and father, Khan is a serious threat to every loyal American. Samir spends each day ensconced in a spare bedroom, no doubt within arms reach of his childhood teddy bear and mom's good ol' home cookin'.
In 2001, the now scraggly bearded Khan converted to radical Islam after attending so called "summer camp" at a Queens mosque sponsored by the radical Islamic Organization of North America.
Khan's new mission in life is serving as an American-based relay station for the slick media productions violent Islamic groups around the world now produce in increasing quantities. Amazingly, Alexa.com rates Khan's hate blog among the top one percent of the estimated 100,000,000 web sites in the world. It now appears that success in the heady hate industry also has a pesky downside. The young Muslim radical now finds himself spending an increasing amount of his time fending off citizen patriots' efforts to shut down fascist Islamic web sites. Khan's hate America blog has inexplicably gone dark several times in the last few months.
The irony represented by Samir Khan's misguided effort is that he works daily to sabotage the only country in the world granting him the very freedom he is dedicated to destroying.
Samir Khan is a sick byproduct of Islam's perverse sharia system. His initial training in anti-American terrorism was provided under the auspices of an established New York City mosque. Is it possible to imagine a Catholic church training young parishioners to become teen terrorists?
Sharia Conflicts With Western Secular Law Traditions
Since sharia court decisions handed down to Muslims by clerics are rarely compatible with Western culture and American civil and criminal law, conflict is inevitable. What’s more, a potential for brutality exists within sharia dogma. Such punishments probably trace their origins to ancient customs once prevalent in Islam’s earliest host countries. Depending on the alleged offense and specific circumstances, beheading, hanging, amputation, stoning and lashing may be permissible under sharia.
While sharia courts operating under the authority of Muslim clerics in non-Islamic countries are considered unlikely to dispense such extreme forms of punishment, sharia is wisely regarded by Westerners with considerable suspicion and hostility. If Its potential for meting out brutal punishment were not enough, the fact that sharia nearly always favors men in matters of divorce, child custody, inheritance, infidelity and allegations of rape adds insult to injury. Sharia's dark side has lead the widespread opinion among Westerners that it is inimical to basic human rights. This is particularly true in terms of such rights applying to women, the gains acquired over the past hundred years through enlightened legislation and positive social change.
Foundation For Shadow Governments
Allowing sharia to become widely established among the estimated 2,350,000 Muslims currently residing in the United States would threaten all of America due to sharia’s ability to conceal an insidious, anti-democracy political agenda:Sharia Easily Politicized: In addition to dispensing discipline for various civil and domestic infractions, sharia can also function as the delivery system for the politicized Islam now used to control the Muslim world. If allowed to multiply with impunity, sharia courts in America could create a framework for establishing a dangerous, parallel power structure.The examples of sharia's growth through "gradualism" documented earlier confirm that the United States is not taking even the preliminary steps required to counter this threat.
Sharia Prepares For An Islamic Theocracy: Aside from being a likely violation of America’s established principle of maintaining a clear separation between church and state, allowing sharia courts to function with impunity in the U.S. could further radical Islam’s avowed goal of imposing an Islamic theocracy over our American democracy.
Wahhabism Holds Sway Over Most U.S. Mosques: The most extreme, violent and separatist version of Islam is Wahhabism, the official sect in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and landlord of approximately 80 percent of the estimated 1,200 mosques in the United States. Although 80 percent of Muslims in America are unlikely to be Wahhabis, the Saudi-based Wahhabi sect maintains a tight rein over most American mosques by controlling their property, buildings, appointment of imams, training of imams and content of preaching material. The FBI estimates that ten percent of the imams preaching in US based mosques openly support jihad as a instrument of terror against America and other Western interests. According terrorism authority Stephen Schwartz in his 2003 testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Wahhabi ideologues in Saudi Arabia correctly reasoned that America's Muslims and mosques were ideal springboards for establishing extremist political and social agendas. The primary Wahhabi goal is to advance its plan to wage a jihad against the entire non-Muslim world. The U.S. nows serves as a strategic outpost for implementing this violent struggle. The deep pocketed sect is now financing the construction of lavish mosques in America before Muslim congregations have even been located to fill the elaborate new structures. Islamic terrorism has moved "just in time" delivery to a new level.
Where Do We Draw The Line On Sharia?
A few years ago, Omar Ahmad of the militant Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was quoted in the San Ramon Valley Herald as asserting that “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to other
faiths, but to become dominant.” The
late Palestinian-American philosopher Ismail Al-Faruqi wrote “The best of all
Islamic victories will be conquering America through its widespread conversion
Islamic scholar Homa Arjomand warns of the dangers to the West of a politicized Islam because it usually precedes the establishment of political power. He would surely regard fundamentalist statements such as those attributed to Ahmad and Al-Faruqi as expressions of a politicized Islam. They clearly call for Islam to become the dominant religious entity in the United States. As Arjomand warns, “This movement will do anything to penetrate the legal system, whether it uses a bad piece of legislation such as the 1991 Ontario Arbitration Act or by taking the law into its own hands."
Islam by its very nature does not distinguish
between religious, social and political spheres of life. Historical and contemporary
case studies all confirm that when Islam becomes the dominant religious force in
a country, it also becomes the dominant political force. We only need to examine the brutal, internecine struggle for power among Shiite and Sunni leaders in today's Iraq to observe political Islam exercising its deadly clout.
While Islam's adherents in America remain relatively small in number, their ranks are rapidly growing compared to the Nation's predominate religions. Three critical factors appear to be supporting this explosive growth rate:
1. FBI and ICE officials have confirmed that since 9/11, tens of thousands of non-Hispanic aliens have entered the country illegally, most via our porous southern border. Many of these “other than Hispanics” are known to be from Middle Eastern countries. This influx of illegals from terrorist controlled Muslim nations continues unabated and unquantified because Congress remains unwilling to fund a comprehensive program to enforce border security.2. The much higher Muslim birthrate also appears to be a contributing factor. The fact that some U.S. Muslims engage in the illegal practice of polygamy is believed to be a contributing factor behind the high birth rate among Muslims in America.
3. Conversion to Islam by persons already living in America appears to be on the rise. Most of these new Muslims come from disaffected members of minority groups, primarily African American and Hispanic. A large proportion of these conversions are taking place among prison populations. In fact, upwards of 15 percent of U.S. based Muslims may now reside in state and federal prisons.
Patrick Sookhdeo warns of the dangers to democracies when they allow Muslims to establish parallel legal systems within their borders. Conversely, Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, an attorney at an
Islamic university in the U.K.
is so bullish on sharia courts that he envisions a formal network of them in Britain within
the decade. Britain is
already discovering the downside of turning a blind eye to its Muslim
minority’s determined efforts to establish ad hoc sharia courts on a piecemeal basis. The U.K. Department of Inland Revenue has been petitioned by Muslim advocates to relax existing tax rules allowing only one wife for inheritance purposes. The clerics are asking that exceptions be made for Muslim estates so they may be divided tax-free among several wives.
Patrick Sookhdeo warns of the dangers to democracies when they allow Muslims to establish parallel legal systems within their borders. Conversely, Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, an attorney at an Islamic university in the U.K. is so bullish on sharia courts that he envisions a formal network of them in Britain within the decade. Britain is already discovering the downside of turning a blind eye to its Muslim minority’s determined efforts to establish ad hoc sharia courts on a piecemeal basis. The U.K. Department of Inland Revenue has been petitioned by Muslim advocates to relax existing tax rules allowing only one wife for inheritance purposes. The clerics are asking that exceptions be made for Muslim estates so they may be divided tax-free among several wives.
The fact that CAIR, the most influential and well funded Muslim advocacy
group in the US, believes the Qur'an should be America’s
highest authority and that Islam is the only accepted religion is the first shot across the bow in a struggle yet to be enjoined by most Americans. Allowing sharia courts to take root in the United States would
provide politicized, radical Islamists with a strategic foothold without firing a second shot. Sharia could then morph into a shadow Islamic government,
focusing initially on America’s
Muslims while serving as a beach head for a nationwide Islamic theocracy in waiting.