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Archive for March, 2016

The Growing Conflict in America

Muslim Americans Living in a Secular Democracy and a Predominantly Christian Country

[A five-part series]

Part IV

 

Introduction

I will present information and data on the Muslim Brotherhood. The basic question of Part IV of this five-part series is as follows: Has the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated America with the goal of transforming the United States into an Islamic State? The answer, of course, is yes.

Earlier in this series I described the reality of the extant concept of “Civilization Jihad,” or how Radical Islam is subverting America without guns or bombs. If one is really interested in learning this in more detail, I’d like to direct your attention to four very good sources: (1) a DVD from 2012 titled, Jihad in America: The Grand Deception, and three books, (2) Stealth Jihad—How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs by Robert Spencer, (3) United States of Jihad by Peter Bergen and (4) While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within by Bruce Bawer.

What follows is: (1) a brief history of the Muslim Brotherhood, (2) description of the revealed plot to Islamitize America, and finally (3) what individuals and organizations are involved.

Brief History of the Muslim Brotherhood

The Society of the Muslim Brothers, also known as the Muslim Brotherhood, is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928. The organization gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups such as Hamas with its “model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work,” and in 2012 sponsored the elected political party in Egypt after the January Revolution in 2011.

 

However, it suffered from periodic government crackdowns for alleged terrorist activities, and as of 2015 is considered a terrorist organization by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

 

The Plot to Destroy America

 

The following material came from an online un-authored document of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, titled “FBI: Muslim Brotherhood deeply rooted inside U.S.” dated 2/21/2011.

 

According to the report, back in 2011 the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that the Muslim Brotherhood is deeply rooted inside the U.S. Accordingly, the House and Senate intelligence committees said they were probing the domestic security threat posed by the radical Muslim Brotherhood and, specifically, whether the Muslim Brotherhood operatives have penetrated the U.S. government.

As it turns out, federal court documents reveal that virtually every major Muslim organization in America is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. Such documents also showed that its U.S. network has raised millions of dollars for Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. According to veteran FBI agent John Guandolo, “The most important Islamic organizations in the United States are all controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. The U.S. Department of Justice has identified no fewer than 61 Muslim Brotherhood figures and entities operating within the U.S.”

 

How the Plot Became Known

 

“In August of 2004, an alert Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer observed a woman wearing traditional Islamic garb videotaping the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and conducted a traffic stop. The driver was Ismail Elbarasse, and he was detained on an outstanding material witness warrant issued in Chicago in connection with fundraising for Hamas.

 

The FBI’s Washington Field Office subsequently executed a search warrant on Elbarasse’s residence in Annandale, Virginia. In the basement of his home a hidden sub-basement was found; it revealed over 80 banker boxes of the archives of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.

 

One of the most important of these documents made public to date was entered into evidence during the Holy Land Foundation trial. It amounted to the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic plan for the United States and was entitled, “An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” The Explanatory Memorandum was written in 1991 by a member of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America and a senior Hamas leader named, Mohammed Akram.

 

It had been approved by the Brotherhood’s Shura Council and Organizational Conference and was meant for internal review by the Brothers’ leadership in Egypt. It was certainly not intended for public consumption, particularly in the targeted society: the United States. For these reasons, the memo constitutes a Rosetta stone for the Muslim Brotherhood, its goals, modus operandi and infrastructure in America.

 

It is arguably the single most important vehicle for understanding a secretive organization and should, therefore, be considered required reading for policy-makers and the public, alike.”

 

What Individuals and Organizations are involved in the Plot?

 

According to the FBI report, “American Muslim activists deny the Muslim Brotherhood operates inside America. Even Muslims who have attached themselves to the Republican Party have pooh-poohed the internal threat.” Many of the following organizations regularly use Islamophobia as their defense against any accusations that the following organizations are a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the FBI has overwhelming evidence of the underlying conspiracy to Islamize America.

 

Who Are These Organizations?

 

They include The Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, the umbrella

Organization for most of the Muslim Groups in the U.S. and Canada; The North American Islamic Trust, or NAIT, which holds title to most of the major mosques in America, including one in the Washington suburbs attended by both the Fort Hood terrorist and some of the 911 hijackers; and The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the largest Muslim-rights group in the country. All are funded by wealthy patrons in Saudi Arabia and other Mideast nations, according to sensitive embassy cables, tax records, bank wire transfers and other documents cited in the book, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” an expose of the Muslim Brotherhood and its American Front groups.

 

“Their names were entered into evidence as ‘co-conspirators during a federal trial which ended in 2008 with the convictions of several Muslim Brotherhood leaders on terrorism charges. The ‘list of un-indicted co-conspirators’ implicated these otherwise mainstream Muslim groups in a criminal scheme to funnel millions of dollars to Palestinian terrorists under the guise of charity.”

 

     According to the report by the FBI, “One secret document found during the raid of Elbarasse’s home laid bare the Brotherhood’s ambitious plans for a U.S. takeover that would replace the U.S. Constitution with Shariah, or Islamic law.”

 

In the document in 1991 by another agent, Mohammed Akram Adlouni, the strategy paper described the group’s long-term goal of ‘sabotaging’ the U.S. system. It’s a blueprint for a stealth ‘grand jihad.’ Under the heading, ‘The role of the Muslim brother in North America,’ it states:

 

   “The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and ‘sabotaging its miserable house by the hands of the believer’s, so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

 

     Besides the few organizational fronts mentioned above there are many more Muslim organizations in America that are subversive and criminally dangerous. In addition to ISNA, NAIT and CAIR’s forerunner IAP, they include:

 

The International Institute for Islamic Thought, or IIIT, the largest Islamic think tank in America; The Muslims Students Association, or MSA, which actively recruits on college campuses across the country; The Figh Council of North America, which renders religious rulings, or fatwahs, based on Islamic law for Muslim Americans; and, The Islamic Circle of North America, or ICNA, which recently merged with the Muslim American Society, or MAS, another Brotherhood front organization based in the Washington suburbs. For years, politicians and journalists have described these organizations as “moderate.” Investigators now warn they are U.S. franchises of the radical Brotherhood, established with a markedly different purpose than what they publicly claim.

 

 

Overview of Organizations to be prosecuted

 

The most notorious Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States was the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation (HLF), formerly the largest Muslim charity in the country. In late 2008, HLF and its officers were convicted of financing Hamas and sentenced for up to 65 years in prison.

The alphabet soup below is a partial list of the Muslim Brotherhood front organizations and affiliates in the United States. The major ones are in bold-face. Those on the prosecutor’s list of unindicted co-conspirators of HLF to be prosecuted next are highlighted in yellow:

  • American Muslim Council (AMC) •  American Trust Publications (ATP) •  Americans for Constructive Engagement (AMCE) •  Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE) •  Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) •  Audio-Visual Center (AVC) •  Baitul Mal, Inc. (BMI) •  Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) •  Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) •  Foundation for International Development (FID) •  Holy Land Foundation (HLF) •  Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) •  Islamic Book Service (IBS) •  Islamic Centers Division (ICD) •  Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) •  Islamic Education Department (IED) •  Islamic Free Market Institute (IFMI) •  Islamic Housing Cooperative (IHC) •  Islamic Information Center (IIC). •  Islamic Medical Association (IMA) •  Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) •  Islamic Teaching Center (ITC) •  International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) •  Malaysian Islamic Study Group (MISG) •  Mercy International Association (MIA) •  Muslim American Society (MAS) •  Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) •  Muslim Businessmen Association (MBA) •  Muslim Communities Association (MCA) •  Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) •  Muslim Student Association (MSA) •  Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) •  North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) •  Occupied Land Fund (OLF) •  United Association for Studies and Research (UASR)

 

 

Other Documented Material

 

 

Here are some comments on the threats posed by the Muslim Brotherhood overseas as well as here in America.

 

In the book, While Europe Slept—How Radical Islam is destroying the West from Within, Bruce Bawer wrote that, “The struggle for the soul of Europe today is every bit as dire and consequential as it was in the 1930s. Then, in Weimar, Germany, the center did not hold, and the light of civilization nearly went out. Today the Continent has entered yet another ‘Weimar moment.’ Will Europeans rise to the challenge posed by Radical Islam, or will they cave in once again to the extremists?”

 

As it turns out, “As an American living in Europe since 1998, Bruce Bawer has seen this problem up close. Across the Continent—in Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and Stockholm—he encountered large, rapidly expanding Muslim enclaves in which women were oppressed and abused, homosexuals persecuted and killed, ‘infidels’ threatened and vilified, Jews demonized and attacked, barbaric traditions (such as stoning and forced marriage) widely practiced, and freedom of speech and religion firmly repudiated.”

 

Another author, Peter Bergen, in his book (United States of Jihad—Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists) took a panoramic look at “homegrown Islamist Terrorism from 9/11 to the present.” Among the perpetrators are Anwar al-Awlaki, the New-Mexico born radical cleric who became the first American citizen killed by a CIA drone and who mentored the Charlie Hebdo shooters; Samir Khan, whose Inspire website has rallied terrorists around the world, including the Tsarnaev brothers; and Omar Hammami, an Alabama native and hip-hop fan who became a fixture in al-Shabaab’s propaganda videos until fatally displeasing his superiors.”

 

The final set of comments I want to report on comes from Robert Spencer who wrote the book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs.

 

He says, “In this book, I offer evidence for the proposition that terror attacks involving bombings and shootings are not the sum total of terrorist aspirations, but are just one component of a larger initiative. The goal of that initiative is the imposition of Jihadists’ ideology over the world—over their fellow Muslims and non-Muslims alike. That ideology may be summed up by the phrase “radical Islam,” although the term is used in many different ways. Some use it to suggest that the core teachings of Islam are essentially peaceful and that it is only radicals—those who distort those teachings into “radical Islam”—who are responsible for violence committed in Islam’s name.

 

I am not using the phrase in that way. Rather, I have long contended that Islam is unique among the major world religions in having a developed doctrine, theology, and legal system mandating warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers. There is no orthodox sect or school of Islam that teaches that Muslims must co-exist peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis. I use the term “radical Islam” merely to distinguish those Muslims who are actively working to advance this subjugation from the many millions who are not, as well as to emphasize that the stealth jihad program is truly radical; it aims at nothing less than the transformation of American society and the imposition of Islamic law here, subjugating women and non-Muslims to the status of legal inferiors.

 

Those who are working to advance the subjugation of non-Muslims are not doing it solely by violent means. The common distinction between “radical” and “moderate” Muslims has generally been made between those who are engaged in blowing things up or are plotting to do so, and those who are not. However, the evidence presented in this book shows that the distinction ought to be placed elsewhere: between those Muslims who believe that Islamic law is the perfect system for human society and who are working by whatever means to impose that Islamic law, and those Muslims who support Western pluralistic governments and seek to live with non-Muslims as equals, under secular law, on an indefinite basis.

 

Those who are working to advance the hegemony of Islamic law do so in innumerable ways, including by introducing it, bit by bit, into American society and demanding that Americans accommodate it; by shouting down any and all who dare to discuss the supremacist impulse within traditional and mainstream Islam; and by engaging in efforts to transform and control Western economics.

 

The West today faces the threat of stealth jihadists. By using this term, I am not implying that they operate in secret; to the contrary, one of the key characteristics distinguishing them from their violent counterparts is that they carry out their business openly, carefully constructing a façade of moderation.

 

What is stealth about these operatives is their ultimate agenda—they are not seeking to protect Muslims’ “civil-rights” from the rampant “Islamophobia” that ostensibly plagues Western societies, as they claim. Rather, they are leading a full-scale effort to transform pluralistic societies into Islamic states, and to sweep away Western notions of legal equality, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and more.

 

The stealth jihadists have already made significant inroads into American life. They are well-funded, well-organized, and persistent. They will not be pacified by

negotiations, compromises, or concessions; they cannot be bought off. And every day they are advancing their agenda—while most Americans don’t even know they exist.

 

In his controversial book American Alone, Mark Steyn suggests that Europe is falling to the Islamic jihad and that only America will be left as a bulwark against Islamization. But it is unclear how much of a bulwark we will be if we allow our freedoms and way of life to be eroded in the name of “getting along.” That is exactly what is happening today. The stealth jihadists are working energetically to wear away the very fabric of American culture. It is happening right now under our noses.”

 

 

Final Comments

 

     I said before that ‘generally’ I really don’t put much stock in “conspiracy theories.” This is because conspiracy requires a lot of simultaneous effort on the part of a lot of people to keep nefarious activities secret or hidden. It also requires incredible effort to control people from talking or making secret activities public.

 

However, the conspiracy I’ve just described is for real. The evidence is far too overwhelming, and the intelligence community has been on this for more than a decade. And, as things go, the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood are clandestine, sinister, and pose a major threat to the safety and security of the United States. This is no joke; it is reality at its worst.

 

In addition to the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS continues to be the most visible threat globally. And on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 terrorism struck again, this time in Brussels. And today, Easter Sunday, 2016 a bomb exploded in a park in Pakistan that killed dozens of people, mostly women and children, and injured scores more. This latest terrorist attack was by an off-shoot of al-Qaeda.

The attack in Brussels was caused by ISIS. CNN news reported this story in the following way:

“ISIS claimed to strike yet again on European soil Tuesday, saying its “fighters” launched attacks on the airport and a subway station in Belgium’s capital that killed at least 31 people and wounded about 230 more.”

While jarring, the carnage wasn’t altogether surprising. Belgium has been going after terrorist threats for months, as illustrated by last week’s capture of Europe’s most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam, in a bloody raid in Brussels.”

“We feared terrorist attacks,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters Tuesday. “And that has now happened.”

“A Belgian government representative told CNN that 20 people died at the Maelbeek metro station and 130 were wounded, plus 10 more were killed and 100 wounded at Brussels’ international airport.”

The “working assumption” is that the attackers came from the same network behind November’s massacres in Paris, which left 130 dead, Belgian security sources said, while cautioning it is very early in the latest investigation.

“After Tuesday’s attacks, Belgian state broadcaster RTBF reported that Belgian authorities carried out midday raids in a search for people linked to the attacks. Several witnesses told CNN they’d seen police Special Forces combing through the northeast Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek, cordoning off a train station there.”

“Belgian authorities have given their U.S. counterparts pictures of three possible attack suspects, a U.S. law enforcement official said. None of the men who were shown pushing luggage carts has been identified by name, nor was it immediately known if any attackers are at large.” Subsequent to this report, six more arrests have occurred and a dragnet is underway to capture one of the bombers who got away.

I’d like to point out that Bruce Bawers’ book, “While Europe Slept—How Radical Islam is destroying the West from Within,” was published ten years ago in 2006. Although Bruce Bawer wasn’t trying to be an Edgar Cayce, isn’t it amazing how Bawer’s book is all coming true in 2016?

I nevertheless think the Islamic world has underestimated what people are willing to do to crush both ISIS and any sympathizing “civilization jihadists.” France, for example, has closed three Islamic mosques and actively now patrols Islamic communities. And that is only the beginning; Europe is beginning to finally wake up from its long sleep and take notice.

In Part V ahead, I will describe the steps I think the United States should take to eradicate the threat at home and a few suggestions as to what America can do in the Middle East and Africa to more forcefully eradicate and terminate the cancer known as ISIS and other malignant groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Growing Conflict in America: Muslim Americans Living in a Secular Democracy and a Predominantly Christian Country  Part III [A five-part series]

Introduction

In Part III, I will address whether Muslim Americans are moving to replace American Laws (The United States Constitution and all federal, state and local laws) with a foreign set of Muslim religious laws known as Sharia law?

Later in Part IV, I will discuss whether the Muslim Brotherhood has been trying to secretly infiltrate and replace the American government, our values of freedom and democracy, our legal system, our educational and cultural institutions, with their ultimate goal of converting America into an Islamic State. In Part V ahead, I will discuss what can be done about it.

The Major Question

     Is there a plot among Muslim Americans to replace American Laws (The United States Constitution and all federal, state, and local laws) with a foreign set of Muslim Religious laws known as Sharia law?

The logical answer shouldn’t surprise you. The answer is yes and no. The vast majority of Muslim Americans is moderate and they resent jihadist extremists hijacking the religion of Islam. They are loyal to the United States and relish the idea they are American citizens. This schism between moderate Muslims and fundamentalist radical jihadists is based on a number of factors, the most important of which is differing interpretations of the Quran and the Hadith.

But there are other differences such as education, employment and literacy rates in the Islamic world. Particularly in the Muslim world, the sociological side of religious fanaticism or jihadist global movements reflects the fact that low literacy rates, low educational levels, and high unemployment gives rise to such extremism. Ever since the Ottoman Empire centuries ago down-played the importance of education and learning, millions upon millions of Muslims over the millennial have suffered the consequences.

Why is there a “yes” answer to this question? It is because there has been for many years a plot (more to be explained in Part IV on this topic) to overthrow the United States slowly, by infiltrating our government, social institutions, and replacing our laws. What laws? They want to do away with the United States Constitution and all state and local laws and replace them with Sharia law.

This treasonous, poisonous promotion of a secret plan has as its purpose to islamatize all of American society. It originally comes from a group known as the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization has a long history going back to 1928. The plan then was to take over Egypt, assassinate its leaders and establish a worldwide Caliphate, a fundamentalist throwback to the medieval dark ages.

America became a target of this rabid ideology back in 1991 with the Muslim Brotherhood’s original document that laid out their long-range plan to slowly and surreptiously take over the United States of America and all other countries in the western world.

The title of this document was, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for Group in North America.” This secret plan was based on the concept of a “civilization Jihad.” Like I said earlier—a lot more information will be presented later in Part IV.

For now I’m going to give my cyberspace reader an overview of what Sharia Law is and the extent to which a fundamentalist approach to a legal system is an abomination all around the world unworthy of any respect. The attempt to implement this type of law to dominate the entire world will ultimately push forces here and abroad faster and faster toward the inevitability of all-out war.

In Part I of this series I reported on the goals laid down more than a thousand years. In 1000 A.D. much or most of the Holy Land was still populated by Christians. However, a local Muslim leader named Hakim persecuted Christians and Jews. In 1009 A.D. he ordered the destruction of the rebuilt church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. As a result, the Christian population began to shrink under Hakim’s tyrannical rule. The goals of this tyrant continue to the present time; the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to dominate the entire with just one religion—Islam.

What is Sharia Law?

          Sharia, Islamic sharia or Islamic Law is the basic Islamic legal system  derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The term sharia comes from the Arabic language term sharīʿah, which means a body of moral and religious law derived from religious prophecy, as opposed to human legislation.   

           Religious faith is only a part of Islam. The rest is a socially engineered society with its own laws and customs that seriously conflict with American law. Islam has the Qur’an and the Hadith that provides the governing charter, complete with laws, punishment, and social behavior for its people in addition to its religious teachings.

Islamophobia is a two-edge phenomena or a two-edged sword in the United States. On the one hand it is a legitimate concern of moderate Muslim Americans who pose no threat to the United States or democracy.

On the other hand, it is often simply used to counter all criticism of the religion of Islam. Those Muslims in the United States who use Islamophobia as a smokescreen may be hiding a covert agenda, i.e., to eventually destroy America from within using a “Civilization Jihad.” A Civilization Jihad is a pre-violent form of jihad that is a dangerous long-term threat for non-Muslims. Ultimately, Islam is more than a religion; it is a total way of life. Among those who want to destroy America internally with a “Civilization Jihad” they will use our own freedoms and laws against us. They do this by screaming Islamophobia because they are trying to hide their real agenda in being here in America in the first place. Besides infiltration of American institutions, the cornerstone of their plot is tied to slowly and surreptiously replacing our laws with Sharia Law.

Sharia deals with many topics, including crime, politics, marriage contracts, trade regulations, religious prescriptions, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting.

Adherence to sharia has served as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim faith historically. In its strictest definition, sharia is considered in Islam as the infallible law of God.

There are two primary sources of sharia: the Quran, and the Hadiths (opinions and life example of Muhammad). For topics and issues not directly addressed in these primary sources, sharia is derived. The derivation differs between the various sects of Islam (Sunni and Shia are the majority), and various jurisprudence schools such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali and Jafari.

The sharia in these schools is derived hierarchically using one or more of the following guidelines: Ijma (usually the consensus of Muhammad’s companions), Qiyas (analogy derived from the primary sources), Istihsan (ruling that serves the interest of Islam at the discretion of Islamic jurists) and Urf (customs).

Sharia is a significant source of legislation in many Muslim countries where some countries apply a majority or some of the sharia code, and these include Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen and Mauritania.

In these countries, sharia-prescribed punishments such as beheading, flogging and stoning continue to be practiced judicially or extra-judicially. There has been controversy over what some perceive as a movement by various Islamist groups to introduce and implement sharia throughout the world, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare.

Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia, Africa and Europe recognize parts of sharia and accept it as the law on divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population. In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.

The concept of crime, judicial process, justice and punishment embodied in sharia is different from that of secular law. The differences between sharia and secular law have led to an ongoing controversy as to whether sharia is compatible with secular forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women’s rights.

Jan Otto writes that moderate Muslims and puritan Muslims differ in their interpretation of the objectives of sharia. Moderate Muslims consider sharia to be a flexible code of law, where technicalities of its wording cannot subvert sharia’s objectives to “help Muslims in their quest for submission, humility, gratitude before God, and a quest for Godliness.”

In contrast, according to Otto, puritan Muslims believe that sharia is a strict, complete and exact set of rules that one must submit to by strict compliance, because it is only “through meticulous obedience, Muslims will avoid punishment of God in after-life and will enter heaven” which is the ultimate objective, and it does not matter if some sharia “law is harsh or that its application results in social suffering, this perception is considered delusional.”

Most Muslim-majority countries incorporate sharia at some level in their legal framework, with many calling it the highest law or the source of law of the land in their constitution. Most use sharia for personal law (marriage, divorce, domestic violence, child support, family law, inheritance and such matters).

Elements of sharia are present, to varying extents, in the criminal justice system of many Muslim-majority countries: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan and Mauritania. The application of Sharia law in Indonesia depends on the area one lives.

Most Muslim-majority countries with sharia-prescribed hudud punishments in their legal code do not prescribe it routinely, and use other punishments instead. The harshest sharia penalties such as stoning, beheading and the death penalty are enforced with varying levels of consistency.

Since 1970s, most Muslim-majority countries have faced vociferous demands from their religious groups and political parties for immediate adoption of sharia as the sole or at least primary legal framework. Some moderates and liberal scholars within these Muslim countries have argued for limited expansion of sharia.

With the growing Muslim immigrant communities in Europe, there have been reports in some media of “no-go zones” being established where sharia law reigns supreme. However, there is no evidence of the existence of “no-go zones,” and these allegations are sourced from anti-immigrant groups falsely equating low-income neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by immigrants as “no-go zones.”

The Sharia Court System

Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences from other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law. Sharia courts traditionally do not rely on lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves. Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system. There is no pre-trial discovery process, and no cross-examination of witnesses. Unlike common law, judges’ verdicts do not set binding precedents under the principle of stare decisis, and unlike civil law, sharia is left to the interpretation in each case and has no formally codified universal statutes.

The rules of evidence in sharia courts also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony. Witnesses, in a sharia court system, must be faithful— that is, Muslim.

Male Muslim witnesses are deemed more reliable than female Muslim witnesses, and non-Muslim witnesses considered unreliable and receive no priority in a sharia court.  In civil cases, a Muslim woman witness is considered half the worth and reliability than a Muslim man witness. In criminal cases, women witnesses are unacceptable in stricter, traditional interpretations of sharia, such as those found in Hanbali madhhab.

Criminal cases

A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of Muslim witnesses are the main evidence admissible, in sharia courts, for hudud crimes, i.e., the religious crimes of adultery, fornication, rape, accusing someone of illicit sex but failing to prove it, apostasy, drinking intoxicants and theft.

Testimony must be from at least two free Muslim male witnesses, or one Muslim male and two Muslim females, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character. Testimony to establish the crime of adultery, fornication or rape must be from four Muslim male witnesses, with some allowing substitution of up to three male with six female witnesses; however, at least one must be a Muslim male.

Forensic evidence (i.e., fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA and other circumstantial evidence) is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.

Muslim jurists have debated whether and when coerced confession and coerced witnesses are acceptable. The majority opinion of jurists in the Hanafi madhhab, for example, ruled that torture to get evidence is acceptable and such evidence is valid, but a 17th-century text by Hanafi jurist Muhammad Shaykhzade argued that coerced confession should be invalid; Shaykhzade acknowledged that beating to get confession has been authorized in fatwas by many Islamic jurists.

Discrimination in Sentencing

There is blatant discrimination in sentencing or compensation in Islamic Courts. Sharia courts treat women and men as unequal, with Muslim woman’s life and blood-money compensation sentence as half as that of a Muslim man’s life.

Sharia also treats Muslims and non-Muslims as unequal in the sentencing process. Human Rights Watch and United States’ Religious Freedom Report note that in sharia courts of Saudi Arabia, “The calculation of accidental death or injury compensation is discriminatory. In the event a court renders a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who is a Jewish or Christian male, the plaintiff is only entitled to receive 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive; all other non-Muslims [Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Atheists] are only entitled to receive one-sixteenth of the amount a male Muslim would receive.”

Saudi Arabia follows Hanbali sharia, whose historic jurisprudence texts considered a Christian or Jew life as half the worth of a Muslim. Jurists of other schools of law in Islam have ruled differently. For example, Shafi’i sharia considers a Christian or Jew life as a third the worth of a Muslim, and Maliki’s sharia considers it worth half.

The legal schools of Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i Sunni Islam as well as those of Twelver Shia Islam have considered the life of polytheists and atheists as one-fifteenth the value of a Muslim during sentencing.

Support and Opposition

A 2013 survey based on interviews of 38,000 Muslims, randomly selected from urban and rural parts in 39 countries using area probability designs, by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that support for making sharia the official law of the land is very high in many Muslim-majority countries: Afghanistan (99%), Iraq (91%), Niger (86%), Malaysia (86%), Pakistan (84%), Morocco (83%), Bangladesh (82%), Egypt (74%), Indonesia (72%), Jordan (71%), Uganda (66%), Ethiopia (65%), Mali (63%), Ghana (58%), and Tunisia (56%). In Muslim regions of Southern-Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the support is less than 50%: Russia (42%), Kyrgyzstan (35%), Tajikistan (27%), Kosovo (20%), Albania (12%), Turkey (12%), and Azerbaijan (8%).

     In Muslim-majority countries and among Muslims who say sharia should be the law of the land, a percentage between 74% (Egypt) and 19% (Kazakhstan) want sharia law to apply to non-Muslims as well.

A 2008 YouGov poll in the United Kingdom found 40% of Muslim students interviewed wanted sharia in British law.

Since the 1970s, the Islamist movements have become prominent; their goals are the establishment of Islamic states and sharia not just within their own borders; their means are political in nature.

The Islamist power base is the millions of poor, particularly urban poor moving into the cities from the countryside. They are not international in nature (one exception being the Muslim Brotherhood). Their rhetoric opposes western culture and western power. Political groups wishing to return to more traditional Islamic values are the source of threat to Turkey’s secular government. These movements can be considered neo-Sharism.

Extremism

Fundamentalists, wishing to return to basic Islamic religious values and law, have in some instances imposed harsh sharia punishments for crimes, curtailed civil rights and violated human rights. Extremists have used the Quran and their own particular version of sharia to justify acts of war and terror against Muslim as well as non-Muslim individuals and governments, using alternate, conflicting interpretations of sharia and their notions of jihad.

The sharia basis of arguments of those advocating terrorism, however, remain controversial. Some scholars state that Islamic law prohibits the killing of civilian non-combatants; in contrast, others interpret Islamic law differently, concluding that all means are legitimate to reach their aims, including targeting Muslim non-combatants and the mass killing of non-Muslim civilians, in order to universalize Islam.

Islam, in these interpretations, “does not make target differences between militaries and civilians but between Muslims and unbelievers. Therefore it is legitimated to spill civilians’ blood.”  Other scholars of Islam interpret sharia differently, stating, according to Engeland-Nourai, “attacking innocent people is not courageous; it is stupid and will be punished on the Day of Judgment […]. It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom; it is courageous to defend one and not to attack.”

Opposition

In the post-9/11 non-Muslim Western world, Sharia has been called a source of “hysteria,” “more controversial than ever,” the one aspect of Islam that inspires “particular dread.”

On the internet, “dozens of self-styled `counter-jihadists`” emerged to campaign against Sharia law, describing it in strict interpretations resembling those of Salafi Muslims. Several years after 9/11, fear of Sharia law and of “the ideology of extremism” among Muslims reportedly spread to mainstream conservative Republicans in the United States.

As of 2014 seven states in the US have “banned Sharia law,” or passed some kind of ballot measure that “prohibits the states courts from considering foreign, international or religious law.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won ovations calling for a federal ban on Sharia law. In 2015, the governor of Louisiana (Bobby Jindal) warned of the danger of purported “no-go zones” in European cities allegedly operating under Sharia Law and where local laws are not applicable.

The issue of “liberty versus Sharia” was called a “momentous civilizational debate” in at least one conservative editorial page. In 2008 in Britain, the future Prime Minister (David Cameron) declared his opposition to “any expansion of Sharia law in the UK.” In Germany, in 2014, the Interior Minister (Thomas de Maizière) told a newspaper (Bild), “Sharia law is not tolerated on German soil.”

Compatibility with Democracy

Ali Khan states that “constitutional orders founded on the principles of sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall.” Other scholars say sharia is not compatible with democracy, particularly where the country’s constitution demands separation of religion and the democratic state.

In Muslim nations, sharia has wide support with some exceptions.  Courts in non-Muslim majority nations have generally ruled against the implementation of sharia, both in jurisprudence and within a community context, based on sharia’s religious background.

For example, in 1998 the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned and dissolved Turkey’s Refah Party on the grounds that “Democracy is the antithesis of Sharia,” the latter of which Refah sought to introduce.

On appeal by Refah, the European Court of Human Rights determined that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy.” Refah’s sharia-based notion of a “plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion” was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would “do away with the State’s role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms” and “infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy.”

Human rights

Several major, predominantly Muslim countries have criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries.

Iran declared in the UN assembly that UDHR was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law. Islamic scholars and Islamist political parties consider ‘universal human rights’ arguments as imposition of a non-Muslim culture on Muslim people, a disrespect of customary cultural practices and of Islam. In 1990, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a group representing all Muslim majority nations, met in Cairo to respond to the UDHR, then adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

“Ann Elizabeth Mayer points to notable absences from the Cairo Declaration: provisions for democratic principles, protection for religious freedom, freedom of association and freedom of the press, as well as equality in rights and equal protection under the law. Article 24 of the Cairo declaration states that “all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic sharia.

In 2009, the journal Free Inquiry summarized the criticism of the Cairo Declaration in an editorial: “We are deeply concerned with the changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by a coalition of Islamic states within the United Nations that wishes to prohibit any criticism of religion and would thus protect Islam’s limited view of human rights.”

In view of the conditions inside the Islamic Republic of Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Syria, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we should expect that at the top of their human rights agenda would be to rectify the legal inequality of women, the suppression of political dissent, the curtailment of free expression, the persecution of ethnic minorities and religious dissenters — in short, protecting their citizens from egregious human rights violations. Instead, they are worrying about protecting Islam.”

  1. Patrick Glenn states that sharia is structured around the concept of mutual obligations of a collective, and it considers individual human rights as potentially disruptive and unnecessary to its revealed code of mutual obligations. In giving priority to this religious collective rather than individual liberty, the Islamic law justifies the formal inequality of individuals (women, non-Islamic people). Bassam Tibi states that sharia framework and human rights are incompatible. Abdel al-Hakeem Carney, in contrast, states that sharia is misunderstood from a failure to distinguish sharia from siyasah (politics).

Freedom of Speech

Blasphemy in Islam is any form of cursing, questioning or annoying God, Muhammad, or anything considered sacred in Islam. The sharia of various Islamic schools of jurisprudence specify different punishment for blasphemy against Islam, by Muslims and non-Muslims, ranging from imprisonment, fines, flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading. In some cases, sharia allows non-Muslims to escape death by converting and becoming a devout follower of Islam.

Blasphemy, as interpreted under sharia, is controversial. Muslim nations have petitioned the United Nations to limit “freedom of speech” because “unrestricted and disrespectful opinion against Islam creates hatred.”

Other nations, in contrast, consider blasphemy laws as violation of “freedom of speech,” stating that freedom of expression is essential to empowering both Muslims and non-Muslims, and point to the abuse of blasphemy laws, where hundreds, often members of religious minorities, are being lynched, killed and incarcerated in Muslim nations, on flimsy accusations of insulting Islam.

Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

      According to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights,     every human has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change their religion or belief. Sharia has been criticized for not recognizing this human right. According to scholars of Islamic law, the applicable rules for religious conversion under sharia are as follows:

  • If a person converts to Islam, or is born and raised as a Muslim, then he or she will have full rights of citizenship in an Islamic state.
  • Leaving Islam is a sin and a religious crime. Once any man or woman is officially classified as Muslim, because of birth or religious conversion, he or she will be subject to the death penalty if he or she becomes an apostate, that is, abandons his or her faith in Islam in order to become an atheist, agnostic or to convert to another religion. Before executing the death penalty, sharia demands that the individual be offered one chance to return to Islam.
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is not a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), he or she can live in an Islamic state by accepting to be a dhimmi, or under a special permission called aman. As a dhimmi or under aman, he or she will suffer certain limitations of rights as a subject of an Islamic state, and will not enjoy complete legal equality with Muslims.
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), sharia demands that he or she should be offered the choice to convert to Islam and become a Muslim; if he or she rejects the offer, he or she may become a dhimmi. Failure to pay the tax may lead the non-Muslim to be enslaved, killed or ransomed if captured.

According to sharia theory, conversion of disbelievers and non-Muslims to Islam is encouraged as a religious duty for all Muslims, and leaving Islam (apostasy), expressing contempt for Islam (blasphemy) and religious conversion of Muslims is prohibited.  Not all Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation of sharia theory. In practice, as of 2011, 20 Islamic nations had laws declaring apostasy from Islam as illegal and a criminal offense. Such laws are incompatible with the UDHR’s requirement of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

In another 2013 report based on international survey of religious attitudes, more than 50% of Muslim population in 6 out of 49 Islamic countries supported death penalty for any Muslim who leaves Islam (apostasy). However, it is also shown that the majority of Muslims in the 43 nations surveyed did not agree with this interpretation of sharia.

Some scholars claim sharia allows religious freedom because a Sharia’s verse teaches, “there is no compulsion in religion.” Other scholars claim sharia recognizes only one proper religion, considers apostasy as sin punishable with death, and members of other religions as kafir (infidel); or hold that sharia’s demands that all apostates and kafir must be put to death, enslaved or be ransomed.

Yet other scholars suggest that sharia’s has become a product of human interpretation and inevitably leads to disagreements about the “precise contents of the Sharia.” In the end, then, what is being applied is not sharia, but what a particular group of clerics and government decide is sharia.

It is these differing interpretations of sharia that explain why many Islamic countries have laws that restrict and criminalize apostasy, proselytism and their citizens’ freedom of conscience and religion.

LGBT rights

LGBT in Islam

Homosexual intercourse is illegal under sharia law, though the prescribed penalties differ from one school of jurisprudence to another. For example, some Muslim-majority countries impose the death penalty for acts perceived as sodomy and homosexual activities: Iran, Saudi Arabia, and in other Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and the Indonesian province of Aceh, same-sex sexual acts are illegal, and LGBT people regularly face violence and discrimination.

Women Rights

Domestic Violence

Many scholars say Sharia encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife. Other scholars claim wife beating, for nashizah, is not consistent with modern perspectives of the Quran.

One of the verses of the Quran relating to permissibility of domestic violence is Surah 4:34. In deference to Surah 4:34, many nations with Sharia law have refused to consider or prosecute cases of domestic abuse. Sharia has been criticized for ignoring women’s rights in domestic abuse cases. Musawah, CEDAW, KAFA and other organizations have proposed ways to modify Sharia-inspired laws to improve women’s rights in Islamic nations, including women’s rights in domestic abuse cases.

Personal Status Laws and Child Marriage

Sharia is the basis for personal status laws in most Islamic majority nations. These personal status laws determine rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce and child custody. A 2011 UNICEF report concludes that Sharia law provisions are discriminatory against women from a human rights perspective. In legal proceedings under Sharia law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s before a court.

Except for Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain which allow child marriages, the civil code in Islamic majority countries do not allow child marriage of girls. However, with Sharia personal status laws, Sharia courts in all these nations have the power to override the civil code. The religious courts permit girls less than 18 years old to marry. As of 2011, child marriages are common in a few Middle Eastern countries, accounting for 1 in 6 all marriages in Egypt and 1 in 3 marriages in Yemen. UNICEF and other studies state that the top five nations in the world with highest observed child marriage rates — Niger (75%), Chad (72%), Mali (71%), Bangladesh (64%), Guinea (63%) — are Islamic-majority countries where the personal laws for Muslims are sharia-based.

Rape is considered a crime in all countries, but Sharia courts in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia in some cases allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim, while in other cases the victim who complains is often prosecuted with the crime of Zina (adultery).

Women’s Right to Property and Consent

Sharia grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Quran. A woman’s inheritance is unequal and less than a man’s, and dependent on many factors. For instance, a daughter’s inheritance is usually half that of her brother’s.

Until the 20th century, Islamic law granted Muslim women certain legal rights such as the right to own property, received as Mahr (bride price) at her marriage. However, Islamic law does not grant non-Muslim women the same legal rights as the few it did grant Muslim women.

Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and slave women, between free women and slave women, between Believers and non-Believers, as well as their unequal rights. Sharia authorized the institution of slavery, using the words abd (slave) and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum (“that which your right hand owns”) to refer to women slaves seized as captives of war. Under Islamic law, Muslim men could have sexual relations with female captives and slaves without her consent.

Slave women under sharia did not have a right to own property, to move freely, or to possess the right of consent. Sharia, in Islam’s history, provided a religious foundation for enslaving non-Muslim women (and men), but nevertheless encouraged the manumission of slaves. However, manumission required that the non-Muslim slave first convert to Islam. A non-Muslim slave woman who bore children to her Muslim master became legally free upon her master’s death, and her children were presumed to be Muslims like their father, in Africa and elsewhere.

Starting with the 20th century, Western legal systems evolved to expand women’s rights, but women’s rights under Islamic law have remained tied to the Quran, hadiths and their fundamentalist interpretation as sharia by Islamic jurists.

Parallels with Western Legal Systems

Elements of Islamic law have influenced Western legal systems. As example, the influence of Islam on the development of an international law of the sea can be discerned alongside that of the Roman influence.

Makdisi states Islamic law also influenced the legal scholastic system of the West. The study of legal text and degrees have parallels between Islamic studies of sharia and the Western system of legal studies; for example, the status of faqih (meaning “master of law”), mufti (meaning “professor of legal opinions”) and mudarris (meaning “teacher”) were later translated into Latin as magister, professor and doctor, respectively.

There are differences between Islamic and Western legal systems. For example, sharia classically recognizes only natural persons, and never developed the concept of a legal person, or corporation, i.e., a legal entity that limits the liabilities of its managers, shareholders, and employees; exists beyond the lifetimes of its founders; and that can own assets, sign contracts, and appear in court through representatives.

Interest prohibitions imposed secondary costs by discouraging record keeping and delaying the introduction of modern accounting. Such factors, according to Timur Kuran, have played a significant role in retarding economic development in the Middle East.

Final Comments 

Part III has dealt with the issue of Sharia Law, what it is all about and the threat it poses throughout the entire world, including its threat to the United States and all our institutions.

As I’ve said, it is a barbarian system of religious laws found as an integral part of the texts of the Koran. It is homophobic, misogynistic, chauvinistic, and a throw-back to medieval by-gone eras. What do I mean by using the term barbarian? Barbarian is defined as “a person in a savage, primitive state; uncivilized person. It is a person without culture, refinement or education; a philistine.” Sharia Law is an affront to a civilized world and a disgrace unto itself. World domination may be the goal of those supporting Sharia Law, but the tenacious nature of all other peoples on earth who are in opposition to Sharia Law, may lead us down the unfortunate path to nuclear war.

Civilization Jihad (i.e., internal threats) is as much a threat to the American people as actual attacks on our mainland by radical Islamic jihadists. Both republican lawmakers and democratic lawmakers have been extremely slow in discerning threats to the American people.

In Part IV ahead I will answer the following questions: Has the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated America with the goal of transforming the United States into an Islamic State? How will they attempt to achieve their goal?

Part V will lay out a plan to deal with these concerns. In the meantime a federal law must be passed by the Congress of the United States to disallow any foreign law to influence American life. This includes Sharia law. It must be recognized that the implementation of Sharia Law emanating from Islamic religious texts is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state.

One way of measuring this possible threat to our country is to look at the percentage of Muslim Americans who would like to adopt Sharia law in place of our country’s system of laws in a democratic country.

At the present time, 51% of Muslim Americans, according to the Galestone Institute (an international policy council), want or would prefer they be governed by Sharia Law. Remember the idea of what American citizenship is all about. As I reported in Part II of this series—I leave you again with this:

The Standard for Being an American

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”                                                                                    Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

 

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