Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, of the "Ground Zero mosque", once again wrote a deeply inaccurate article reprimanding Americans for their supposedly "right-wing caricature" of Islamic law, sharia, which he insists is not a threat to American law. In his recent article "The silly American fear of sharia law", he denied that sharia is incompatible with US laws and the constitution. Oh, really?
Imam Rauf tries to blame sharia's amputation and stoning on Biblical Law:
"Sharia is not about amputations and stoning. These extreme punishments carry over from earlier, biblical law" and "Within the history of Islam, they have rarely occurred. What Islamic law does prescribe are the same do's [sic] and don'ts of the Ten Commandments."
Imam Rauf's article is, to say the least, misleading -- especially regarding the Ten Commandments. Sharia is not only incompatible with Western legal system but is the direct opposite of Western values; it has violated all ten of the Ten Commandments.
Islam was created 600 years after Christianity not to affirm the Bible, but to discredit it; not to co-exist with "the people of the book" -- Jews and Christians -- but to replace them. It is hard to read Islamic law books without concluding that Islamic values are essentially "a rebellion against the Ten Commandments."
Islam has little respect for human life -- of either Muslims or non-Muslims. To begin with, Islam violates the commandment "Thou shalt not murder." Sharia punishes sins against Allah, such as blasphemy and apostasy, with execution. This is while it prohibits prosecuting Muslims who kill apostates, and also parents and grandparents who kill their offspring. Allah commands Muslims to kill Allah's enemies, and in the process, kill and be killed in jihad if they are to be guaranteed heaven.
"Surely Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their belongings and in return has promised that they shall have Paradise.106 They fight in the Way of Allah, and slay and are slain. Such is the promise He has made incumbent upon Himself in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur'an.107 Who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice, then, in the bargain you have made with Him. That indeed is the mighty triumph." (9:111)
The concept of adultery and loyalty in marriage is totally different. Loyalty is expected from the woman under penalty of death, but men have a lot of room in that regard, the result of the rights of polygamy and temporary marriage for Muslim men. Thus, in Islam, the concept of marriage as a covenant of loyalty between one man and one woman does not exist.
In regards to stealing, let us not be fooled by Islam's barbaric punishment for stealing with amputation of limbs. Islam is serious about stealing only when a Muslim steals from other Muslims. Killing and stealing are even connected in Islam: after killing non-Muslims in jihad, Muslims are rewarded with their property, their homes, businesses, women, and children, all of which are regarded legitimate booty, or spoils of war. Some people claim this does not exist today, but just try telling that to Middle Eastern Christians and Jews who have been robbed of their property and their land, and whose homes have been taken by Muslims.
A leading imam and professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Yasir Qadhi has said, "Muslims have the right to take the property of filthy Christians and Jews." Qadhi has been described by the New York Times Magazine as "one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam."
Qadhi justifies stealing from Jews and Christians as "a means to establish monotheism on the land." He quotes Muhammad saying "I have been commanded to fight the people until they" convert and explains that "if they don't, their life and property are halal [free for the taking] to the Muslims."
In regard to truthfulness in sharia, again, as with stealing, Islam has many loopholes, and sharia clearly states that lying is an obligation under certain conditions, such as if it is for the benefit of Islam.
As to contentment and coveting thy neighbor's house and wife, Islam again uses coveting to lure Muslims to perform jihad.
The whole concept of jihad is a brazen violation of the Tenth Commandment: it means conquest over non-Muslims and taking what they have.
Islamic books tell us that Muhammad did not just covet the possessions of his non-Muslim enemies. When he desired the wife of his adopted son Ali, he had a revelation making it legitimate and holy for Ali to divorce his wife and Muhammad to marry her.
The Tenth Commandment -- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's -- is utterly alien to Islamic values; Islamic books are full of examples of stripping Allah's enemies of their possessions, homes, property, trading caravan goods, women, and children.
The American people are not at all silly for opposing sharia. Even the supposedly benign laws of sharia regarding marriage and divorce that Imam Rauf claims are a religious right, totally destroy a woman's right to divorce and retain custody of her children.
Accepting sharia in the US would totally change the Western concept of marriage by allowing polygamy, wife-beating, female genital mutilation, rape and marrying children.
Any legal system that governs a nation and that is being exported needs be scrutinized. Accepting a parallel legal system would effectively nullify actual freedom for many of the people possibly forced to use it, and be gross negligence against American citizens, their freedom, and above all the ability to receive equal justice under law.
Sharia is the reason there is a death warrant out on this author, and well as for Salman Rushdie and others, for free speech and apostasy, and why I am unable to visit my country of origin, Egypt, or any country where Muslims are in a majority.
No, Imam Rauf, fear of sharia is not "silly"; it is probably the most clear-eyed, desperately urgent fear that anyone who cares about freedom can have.
(Image source: Texas Attorney General's Office/Wikimedia Commons)
Nonie Darwish, born and raised in Egypt, is the author of "Wholly Different; Why I chose Biblical Values over Islamic Values"