Why is the Daily Caller publishing this pro-Sharia nonsense? Robert Spencer takes it apart and shows just why it is so misleading and dangerous:
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"Daily Caller: 'The U.S. Constitution is in fact the most Shariah compliant constitution on Earth," by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, February 24, 2015:
Previously he has whitewashed Muhammad's support for torture and the reality of jihad violence and Sharia oppression; dissembled about the Qur'an's sanction of deception of unbelievers; lied about the presence of violent passages in the Qur'an; lied about the Qur'an's sanction of beating disobedient women; lied about the nature of Sharia; and called for limitations on the freedom of speech and expression to outlaw behavior and speech some Muslims may find offensive. When challenged about the "facts" he has presented, he (like virtually all other Islamic supremacists) responds with furious ad hominem contempt, but no substance.
Why does the Daily Caller, which is often otherwise sane, keep publishing this strutting, disingenuous puffball? One clue might be that its editorial page editor is Jordan Bloom, aka J. Arthur Bloom, former associate editor of The American Conservative, the anti-Semitic paleocon rag that enthusiastically pushes the concept of "Islamophobia," a neologism designed to defame foes of jihad terror and intimidate people into being afraid to oppose it. Bloom contemptuously wrote me out of the blue on Twitter a few months ago, sneeringly asking me if I wanted to write a piece about why we needed a new Crusade; when I responded offering to write a piece on why it mattered whether or not the Islamic State was Islamic, he did not respond. He tweeted this favorably about Rashid's piece here:
No doubt Bloom has no idea that Sharia in all its traditional formulations denies the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and equality of rights for women and non-Muslims — and that's probably because he is listening to the likes of Qasim Rashid.
One would think that even Bloom might stop and think for a moment, however — if the U.S. Constitution is so Sharia-compliant, why are Islamic jihadis waging jihad against the U.S.? Why do they never notice these extraordinary congruences, but it is left only to Qasim Rashid and his ilk to discover them? Or would Bloom say, a la Ron Paul, that they do realize that the U.S. Constitution is Sharia-compliant, but in waging jihad against the U.S. are simply reacting to "American imperialism"?
"Rush Limbaugh Should Read The Qur'an Like It Tells Him To, Maybe Just Once," by Qasim Rashid, Daily Caller, February 24, 2015:
The word read, iqra in Arabic, was the first one revealed of the Qur'an's 77,430 words.
Alternative translations of the iqra are recite, convey, or communicate. Likewise, the word Qur'an itself means the "oft-read" or the "oft-recited" book.
It should stand to reason, therefore, that the Qur'an cannot be understood without reading and reciting it often. It is no accident that the Qur'an additionally commands Muslims on dozens of occasions to ponder, reflect, investigate, and contemplate over its words — and to do so with a righteous intent.
So when Rush Limbaugh declared during his February 19th broadcast, "I've never read the Qur'an but," I knew whatever he said next would be devoid of any semblance to reality. Rush didn't disappoint and engaged in an inane tirade about the alleged evils of Shariah. I've written on Shariah before — and here are five things everyone should know about Shariah.
Unfortunately Limbaugh's fear-mongering contributes to the current trends of growing Islamophobia, anti-Muslim discrimination, and anti-Muslim violence in America. But imagine this for a moment. If your lawyer told you, "I've never read the U.S. Constitution but…," would you care to hear what he has to say? What if your doctor said, "I've never read a medical textbook but..," why would you go to him? (Could such individuals even claim they were actual lawyers or doctors?)
You wouldn't believe such pseudo-lawyers or doctors, and for good reason. Thus, don't believe such media pundits when learning about Islam.
As an American Muslim attorney I can say with conviction that the U.S. Constitution is in fact the most Shariah compliant constitution on Earth. I explain why in detail in my peer-reviewed journal article on Shariah, available here.
Well, there is a good argument against the validity of peer review as getting us any closer to the truth than we were already. In any case, Rashid's lengthy article there is an extended argument against anti-Sharia laws, claiming that they're in violation of the First Amendment's prohibition on infringing the free exercise thereof. I argue here that that is not the case — but of course, if Rashid responds at all (he has clammed up lately in the face of the growing mountain of evidence of his dishonesty), he will sneer that my article is not peer-reviewed and his is, as if that were an all-purpose excuse relieving him from the necessity of dealing with substantive objections to his thesis.
Anyway, the main point here is that what Rashid does not do in that article, or even attempt to do, is show how the elements of Sharia that contradict Constitutional freedoms, such as its denial of freedom of speech and equality of rights for women and non-Muslims, can be reconciled with his claim that the Constitution is largely Sharia-compliant. Yet that is the key question. He speaks a great deal about religious freedom as prohibiting anti-Sharia laws, but says nothing about how Sharia mandates that non-Muslims live in a state of subordination (as per Qur'an 9:29), not enjoying equal rights, including religious freedom, with Muslims. Nor does he explain why the U.S. Constitution is more Sharia-compliant than that of Saudi Arabia or Iran or Pakistan — he dismisses all of those countries as violating the Qur'an, but quotes not the Qur'an or any Muslim scholars to establish this point, but only a PBS special whitewashing Islam. Peer-reviewed!
But here's the single biggest mistake nations like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, terrorist groups like ISIS and the Taliban, and anti-Islam extremists like Rush Limbaugh make when pretending to know what they're talking about when discussing Shariah: They do everything backwards.
Let me explain what that means.
The purpose of Shariah is not to enforce penal codes — it is to reform moral and spiritual behavior with love and logic. Moral and spiritual reformation can never occur through force, compulsion, or violence. This is why when Muslims finally gained power in the final years of Prophet Muhammad's life, God revealed "There shall be no compulsion in religion, the right has become distinct from the wrong." At that precise moment when Muslims finally had the physical ability to enforce Islam on non-Muslims, God revealed this commandment to show without question that religious compulsion has no place in Islam.
What Rashid doesn't tell you here is that Muslim scholars in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as well as those affiliated with the Islamic State and the Taliban, would agree with all this. They believe that what they are doing is reforming "moral and spiritual behavior with love and logic." They don't believe that they are applying undue "force, compulsion, or violence," but rather exactly the amount that Allah prescribes for certain infractions. Rashid is playing a shell game here, knowing that non-Muslim Westerners have one understanding of the salient words here, and that Islamic jihadists have quite another, but not bothering to inform his marks at the Daily Caller about that.
This principle could not be clearer. Unfortunately, it could not be more ignored by contemporary Mullahs and all too many Muslim majority nations. Thus, the oppression of conscience such extremist groups promote is not because of Islamic Shariah, but in spite of Islamic Shariah.
Prophet Muhammad himself was specifically forbidden from enforcing Shariah on anyone. The Qur'an repeatedly reminds him and all Muslims, "Admonish, therefore, for you are only an admonisher; You have no authority to compel them." (88:22-23). Commenting on this critical Shariah principle His Holiness the Khalifa of Islam Mirza Masroor Ahmad stated in a landmark address intellectually debunking ISIS ideology that, "It is never permissible, in any circumstance, to force another person to accept Islam or indeed any religion … All people are free to believe or not to believe. And so when Prophet Muhammad was permitted only to convey the message of Islam and nothing further — how then can the so-called Muslim leaders of today go beyond this and think they have more power, authority, or rights than the Prophet of Islam?"…
Remember Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, the journalists who were kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam — even though their conversions were obviously coerced, their captors made them say that they were converting freely, and the captors probably believed that themselves. After all, the journos could have chosen to be killed instead. If Rashid were remotely honest, he would deal with this phenomenon, explaining the different ideas of what exactly constitutes "compulsion," and then trying to establish that the Islamic State and other jihadis are still wrong on Islamic grounds.
There is one thing, however, on which Qasim Rashid and I agree 100%: people should read the Qur'an. Carefully and repeatedly. And strive to understand fully what it is saying, including in these verses, which Qasim Rashid will try to convince you mean approximately the opposite of their literal meaning — but unfortunately, jihadis disagree with him, and he is making no effort to convince them of the error of their understanding:
2:191-193: "And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah's; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers."
4:34: "Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for Allah's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; Allah is All-high, All-great."
4:89: "They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper."
5:33: "This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement."
5:38: "And the thief, male and female: cut off the hands of both, as a recompense for what they have earned, and a punishment exemplary from Allah; Allah is All-mighty, All-wise."
8:12: "When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, "˜I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers" hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!–
8:39: "Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah's entirely; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do."
8:60: "Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged."
9:5: "Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate."
9:29: "Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled."
9:111: "Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph."
9:123: "O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing."
47:4: "When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray."