Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Anti-Sharia Republicans Still Don't Know What Sharia Is

By Adam Serwer | Posted 07/12/2011 at 10:30 AM

Justin Elliott interviews Bob Vander Plaats, the Iowa social conservative who authored the pledge that suggested black families were better off during slavery:

There's one section in the pledge that says the candidate has to reject -- the phrase used is "Sharia Islam" -- can you describe what you mean by that phrase and what you want the candidates to reject in that?

Well, Sharia Islam -- and I'm not an expert on Sharia Islam -- but I think just in the brief knowledge [I have] of Sharia Islam, one you can have multiple wives, and two is you can have temporary wives, and three is I think it disrespects women as a whole. And so we see Sharia Islam as being an issue. 

And you see that as something that is a dominant thing in Islamic cultures and societies, or more of a historical idea? 

No, there's a lot of American Muslims who reject Sharia. And we believe the president of the United States needs to be aware of some of the threats to our culture, and one of them is Sharia Islam in our opinion.

First of all, "Sharia Islam" is a nonsensical term, akin to "Halacha Judaism." Sharia refers to Islamic principles subject to wide interpretation, but since all observant Muslims adhere to what they consider to be Sharia the term makes no sense. This is why banning "Sharia Islam" would criminalize Muslims praying five times a day or following dietary restrictions, and it's not as though polygamy isn't already illegal in the United States. 

The term is not without "political use" though, since as the interview implies Americans have internalized enough about the inhumane religious laws in countries like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia that the term evokes something bad. The idea that a few million American Muslims are going to impose their religious beliefs in a mostly Christian country where the Christian Right has failed time and again to do so however, remains laughable. But even if Muslims were someday numerous enough and sufficiently committed to Taliban-style Islamic law to do so through the political process, a ban on sharia wouldn't save us.

What could survive any manner of demographic change however, is a commitment to a separation of Church and State that doesn't interfere with the rights of the faithful to adhere to their beliefs. Unfortunately, social conservatives' commitment to that principle begins and ends with Islam.

Stop Sharia law

Stop Sharia Law, Foreign Law from Entering American Courts

I wish the neocon gang spends their time in mitigating conflicts, their passion to do wrong if funneled to bring peace will produce great results. But it is about making money for them, peace will stop their income hate will augment their income. What a shame that the simpletons write them checks for creating chaos – Mike Ghouse


Shariah Law’s main “mouthpiece” and organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, has as its goal the downfall of the West and the establishment of a worldwide caliphate. Their motto is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Middle East analyst Marwan Muasher declared: “The Muslim Brotherhood has been used for a long time as a scare tactic.” Then he half-heartedly added: “That is not to say they don’t have designs.” This militant spokesperson oversees research for the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, funded by leftist multi-billionaire GEORGE SOROS, one of the leftist world’s most influential men, politically.

According to Frontpagemag.com: “Soros is waging his own personal ideological war against America by shoveling seemingly limitless funds into organizations giving life to his ‘progressive’ vision of social justice.”

“That vision, like the Muslim Brotherhood’s, identifies America and Israel as the ‘Great Satan’ and ‘Little Satan’ respectively, who must be demolished to pave the way for a purifying, redemptive utopia.”

“Soros and his spokesmen like Muasher see opportunity in the unrest roiling in the Middle East and North Africa – opportunity to support the enemy. The numerous ties of Soros and his Shadow Party cohorts have been documented; they include the master puppeteer’s own Open Society Institute and various anti-Western Islamist groups in the revolutions. It has been confirmed, for instance, that the International Crisis Group (ICG), led in part by Soros, has long petitioned for the Egyptian government to ‘normalize’ ties with the previously banned Brotherhood.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is gaining popularity by leaps and bounds in Egypt. Some say the election will show just exactly how strong they are in Egypt…..very strong!

With our heart and soul, we will stand against Mr. Soros, the Muslim Brotherhood and Shariah Law! This is literally a battle of survival for the integrity of the United States and our U.S. Constitution. But with the pro-Muslim leadership of Barack Hussein Obama, we must continue in this all-out war for the literal soul of America.

We have made a very patriotic, serious decision to bring this fight to America! The Bill which outlaws foreign law from our U.S. Court system (H.R. 973) only has 56 co-sponsors. WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE OTHER 379 House Representatives in this fight?

Do you know where your Representative stands in this very important piece of legislation? You need to find out! And quickly.

What is H.R. 973? This is a simple, short bill designed to protect Americans from being forced under laws which we did not enact, but were enacted by foreign powers or foreign peoples. The motivation for this bill is primarily that the sponsors do not want judges to use Shariah law, but this bill would apply to any foreign law which judges might use to subvert the Constitution or the will of the people of the United States. We are a sovereign nation.

You can also CLICK HERE to send a FREE message directly to YOUR U.S. Representative and Senators!

Part of the bill reads:

‘In any court created by or under article III of the Constitution of the United States, no justice, judge, or other judicial official shall decide any issue in a case before that court in whole or in part on the authority of foreign law, except to the extent the Constitution or an Act of Congress requires the consideration of that foreign law.’

However, It is still in the Subcommittee of the U.S. Constitution and has been since March 9th – almost 4 months ago! This bill is too important to stay in a Committee for that long!

With your help we can expand this intensive NATIONAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN to put the other 379 House Members and U.S. Senators “ON NOTICE” that they should support this Bill, before too many cities include foreign law and Shariah Law in their judicial system!

We urgently need your help today?

Since this is an all-out war for the very soul of America, a national media campaign is necessary to get this important bill passed. Our immediate plans include:

  • Create ads that will tell people what their Member of Congress is doing on this vital bill
  • Create and run television ads in key areas, as well as satellite ads
  • Run urgent campaigns on FACEBOOK and GOOGLE
  • Keep up the pressure via our critical and massive Congressional faxing efforts

U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) introduced H.R. 973 which outlaws foreign law from our U.S. Court system. She had 56 co-sponsors. Why aren’t more Congressmen committing to this very important bill? That’s why we must fax them to let them know how patriotic Americans truly feel. Let’s fax our Congressmen to raise our voice of support.

You can also CLICK HERE to send a FREE message directly to YOUR U.S. Representative and Senators!

We must not let radical Islam penetrate our legal system!

According to Shariah Law, their law supersedes any Constitutional Law!

Little-by-little, Shariah Law is infiltrating the United States that you and I once knew. Our founding fathers of our U.S. Constitution would rise up in rebellion to what is going on, even in our own court system where some places have already “embraced” Shariah Law in various degrees.

I am NOT against Muslims! I am not against the right of any religion to practice their religion in the United States. Freedom of religion is one of the chief cornerstones of our republic and democracy. However, when a religion goes against our sovereign Constitution, then it must be thought of as sedition; and that religion must be limited.

One of the objectives of Shariah Law is to make sure they take over every aspect and area of life in a country: political, military, religion, everyday life. That is the ultimate goal of Shariah Law—to CONTROL every area of your life.

That is only one of the dangers of Shariah Law infiltrating our Justice system.

Governmental appointees of Shariah-compliant Muslims are drastically on the increase. In fact, it is in epidemic proportions. Do you want Shariah Law to replace our United States Constitution? Of course not. Then we must continue to fax every Member of the United States Congress to keep the pressure on!

You can also CLICK HERE to send a FREE message directly to YOUR U.S. Representative and Senators!

Conservatives, such as you, oppose a dual legal system in the United States that would weaken the U.S. Constitution (NO FOREIGN LAWS!) Of course Liberals are the first to line up to oppose almost anything that Conservatives are for. In the United States, most feminists, gays, liberal professors and atheists line up to support Islam and Shariah Law. Ironically, according to Shariah Muslim Law, these are the very first groups that will be beheaded, hung or stoned to death in a radical Muslim takeover.

The liberal media helps to foment public opinion in the wrong way. Has the liberal media given any space to the long-range bad effects of Shariah Law?

Of course not! That’s one of the reasons why this national media campaign to create ads that will tell people what their Member of Congress is doing on this bill is so important. We want to create and run ads in key areas, as well as satellite ads. There will be campaigns on FACEBOOK and GOOGLE. Of course, with your help today, we will keep up the pressure via our critical and massive Congressional faxing efforts! We need your help today!

The biggest threat to you and me is right here in the United States. Under the auspices of being “politically correct” and taking in “the poor, huddled masses,” we have thrown the door wide open to radical Islam. Shariah is not complete until it controls every single area of our society. In Shariah Law, our United States Constitution would be finished. Women’s rights would be a thing of the past.

And George Soros, and his kind, will have won their victory! But we will not ever let that happen!

In every way possible, Shariah Law will not stop at your street-corner. It will try to come inside your very household. And we must do all we possibly can to stop Shariah law IN ITS TRACKS before it invades ALL of the United States of America!!

Shariah Law is trying to overtake our U.S. Judicial System and must be stopped! H.R. 973 passage will prevent foreign law in our federal court system. We must fax NOW!

The bottom line: If we do not stop the growth of Shariah now, we will not be able to stop it later! Your faxes today will assist us in this all-out war for the very soul of America!

Help us this very moment to NOTIFY every Member of Congress to Co-Sponsor H.R. 973 right away; and to help get this important bill out of Subcommittee!


Tony Adkins

Conservative Action Alerts

P. S. Please help us to STOP SHARIAH LAW in the United States by faxing every single Member of the United States Congress to Co-Sponsor H.R. 973! I know you do not want our country being taken over by a foreign, radical religious set of laws; or even by extremists like George Soros!

You can also CLICK HERE to send a FREE message directly to YOUR U.S. Representative and Senators!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sharia Politics - My random thoughts

Sharia law like any law is mis-implemented from time to time; innocent people get on the electric chair or the lethal injection in our own US of A.   In at least 3 out of 56 Muslim majority nations, wrong people get stoned to death for adultery or blasphemy. It is neither our laws nor Sharia that is wrong; it is the mis-application to suit the ones in power that is wrong.

Parents are not to abuse Children, yet, incest and beating of innocent children continues.  The men who beat their wives violently are Muslim, Christian, Jews, Hindus… and every one, it is not the Christian or Islam thing – it is the precisely because they did not get their own religion to guide them, even if they wear a loud label of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or any religion or tradition and even if they go the Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Temple… you see them in all groups.

Qur’aan is a binary book, everything is addressed in pairs - when it talks about male, it is followed by the word female, day follows night, and life follows death. Traditionally Quraanic interpretations have been done my men, like in all other religions. Thank God, women contributions are pouring in and bringing a balance to the meaning of the words in Qur’aan.

Sharia interpretations have been men-appeasing and justice busting in some, but not all the cases. A very small percent of Muslim women endure the non-sense of men's Sharia misapplication - while women across the world be it in America or Arabia, Chile or China,  Native American or African are mistreated in jobs, harassment continues unabated, violence, rape... all of these are shameful acts that few men have stood up against. We need the majority to speak up.  

Great example is the interpretation of the word Daraba, which suited the men “to discipline the woman if she does not remain faithful to you” to “separation” by Dr Leila Bakhtiar that most people are subscribing to now, which was covered very well in the www.Quraanconference.com . Michelle Bachman talks about obedience to husband, rather than partnership. More women in America are violently killed by their spouse than anywhere else in the world; does that make Christian faith bad? Heck no.

Men in power and some Qazi’s are usually rigid when it comes to punishing others. They do not see the essence of Sharia; Justice. If the Sharia laws are turned over to Regular attorneys and let there be arguments and discussions, it will serve justice. There is no stoning to death in Qur’aan... There is no triple Talaq in Qur’aan as it is practiced; the men have allowed it to happen in three to four nations out of 56 Muslim majority nations.

We all, Muslims or not, have a stake in creating just societies and we need to speak up and thank God, in democracies we can do that. Unfortunately the kings and dictators care less about religion and more about saving their tail...

As an example of shared stakes in the world, take a look at the comment in face book from a Jewish friend Paul Goldstein – “Since Sharia, to my understanding, is similar to Halacha in Judaism, it might be helpful to consider its application within secular democracies as is Halacha. To take the U.S. as an example, there exist Jewish religious courts within sizable Orthodox communities such as New York. These courts are purely voluntary for all concerned; rabbis and religious scholars are the "judges" who decide cases, and litigants can be represented by lawyers familiar with Jewish law. There is no way to enforce the religious court decisions through the regular civil courts; enforcement is only through respect of community mores, community pressure, and maintaining one's standing as an honorable member of the religious community.”
Sharia counseling in the US is indeed voluntary. The decisions are not legally binding, but morally binding. Those couples, who want to be religiously right, prefer religious guidance. It's almost like sitting with friends or going to marriage counselor. It's to maintain one's standing as an honorable member of the religious community.

If the Republican Right wingers can come out clean and say – no one has a bloody right to tell a woman or a man, what to wear, eat, worship, believe or think, and then we can look forward to a positive change.  They are no different than the Bin Laden kind who believed in imposing his understanding of religion on others. Is the right wing Christians any different?
# # #
Our first task is to communicate a comprehensive outline of knowledge to those who are attacking Sharia. The traditional Imam explanations give strength but are deficient in communicating with non-Muslims. Americans have to relate with each instance to understand it. God has blessed me and several other non-bearded, suit and jeans wearing Muslims in public, who can bridge that gap in communicating.

# # #

We should expect every Muslim to know about his or her religion. The religion was completed and perfected while the prophet was alive. In his last speech he left the book for us, each Muslim to live by it. Prophet Muhammad did not assign any one, not one single person to interpret the religion for us. The Shia denomination of Muslims believes that Prophet had said to follow his progeny and we respect their belief, it works for them.  We are accountable on the Day of Judgment and not even the Prophet will do favors. We had the time to be right and the only thing we have on that day is our deeds, the good things we have done to fellow beings and environment in preserving God’s creation.   
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No Mufti, no Imam, no Khalifa is needed for Muslims.  You are individually responsible for your actions. When we began life in the United States… each one learned the religion on his own like Prophet wanted us to. Talk to the people who have been here from the sixties. The clergy in every religion including Islam have made the religion dependent on them, it is their job security.  Neither Jesus likes the clergy nor did Muhammad like it – if it becomes a profession. Clergy in every religion fall in the same proportions of good, ugly and greedy.
# # #
Mother Teresa once said if you want to make peace, go talk with your enemies, you don’t make peace with friends and scholars. Hazrat Ali has also said something to that effect. A Chinese saying goes, if you want to eliminate your enemy, understand them and make friends, then you are free and they are free, if you fight head on, the battle continues. In light of these, I am pleased to carry the dialogue with my friends.
To be effective, we will have input from Imams, Scholars, Shari experts, non-Muslims, lay persons and others. We will encourage everyone to place his or her cards on the table so we can deal with the issue comprehensively.

 I have been reaching out to ISNA, ICNA, CAIR and others, if they cannot do it, I am planning to pick the slack and just organize it. If you recall last year Qur’aan and the Prophet were attacked by Pastor Robert Jeffress, no Muslim Organization took it up. Thank God with the help of 10 Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, and elected Reps (Lon Burnam) who read the so called troubled verses from Qur’aan to the audience, while the 5 Muslims; Imam Zia Sheikh, Imam Shakoor, Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Ahmadi Muslim and myself either confirmed their understanding or corrected the misunderstanding. Today, those Pastors from Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Methodist…. will correct any misquotes from Qur’aan. All the details are at

We are all in this together and find solutions.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies. His work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net and his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sharia solutions initiatives

Great initiative, it is fairly close to the Sharia conference I have been planning, indeed, I had sent the initial plan to Imam Mujahid along with a large group of Muslims leadership in the US. Glad to see this coming through. Together, we can reach out and allay the Sharia Phobia among the right wing Americans, and hope to assure the Moderate Americans, the majority that the Sharia law portrayed by them does exist in 3 out of the 56 Muslim Majority nations, but will never make it among Muslims living in other nations, and certainly not in America. Muslim Americans are not asking or want that part of the mis-applied  Sharia. Please refer to the article on the left panel.

Mike Ghouse
Muslims Together working for a cohesive America
Hate against Muslims is becoming lethal.

The Norway terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people, was influenced by    American anti-Sharia Islamophobes. He said that he was killing to stop a Sharia    takeover.

Breivik’s brand of hatred is based on intentional ignorance. The same ignorance is represented in the 49 bills in 25 states calling for a Sharia ban. Now a number of U.S. presidential hopefuls are calling for a federal  Sharia ban.

The major source of this ignorance and hate is the internet. Just Google the    word “Sharia” and see the search results in    images,    videos, and    articles. This is what the Norway terrorist quotes and this is what anti-Sharia    lawmakers cite.

We Muslims must tell our story.

Practicing Islam is practicing Sharia. Our month-long fasting, our prayers,    eating Halal and serving our communities are all Sharia. But that is not what    our neighbors know.Banning Sharia affects you and I in concrete ways. These bills will prevent    Muslims from being able to marry, divorce, inherit, bequeath, and finance according    to Sharia.

We cannot allow the criminalization of our faith, or for that matter, any faith    in our country. Freedom from state interference in religious practice is one of    the cornerstones of our nation. Anti-Sharia bills do just the opposite.

This ignorance will not die if we remain silent. It is crucial that we urgently    provide accurate information about Sharia. Even those who oppose these bills are    searching desperately for more information. Abraham Foxman, National Director    of the ADL, says that “People don’t know what Sharia means…”

Sound Vision is developing fresh information on Sharia to answer the critical    questions the public has on the topic. We plan to put this material on Sharia101.org,    to be launched this fall and updated regularly thereafter insha Allah.

Alhamdu lillah, so far we have written about 100 articles on Sharia, and filmed    professors from Harvard, Columbia, Duke, and other universities on different aspects    of Sharia, Jewish and Catholic laws, and freedom of religion in our country.

However, a great amount of work still needs to be done. We need to retain more    scholars, producers, and SEO experts. Sharia 101 requires retaining top-notch    experts who must be compensated for their time and effort.

Sound Vision has been serving the community for the last 23 years by producing    high quality Islamic information for Muslims and non-Muslims. This is our area    of expertise.

Please support this initiative during this blessed month of Ramadan through    your Zakat and Sadaqa. I urge you to consider giving $40, $80, $500, $1,000, $2,500,    $5,000 or whatever you can for the sake of our Deen.Your donations are Zakat-eligible and tax-deductible.

Donations are needed now to develop the content of our project before the presidential    campaign, in which a federal ban of Sharia is likely to be proposed.

We need to raise $480,000 for this project. So far we have raised $120,000. With Allah’s blessings and your support we will insha Allah be able to assist    our neighbors to understand Muslim perspectives on Sharia so that ignorance can    no longer be used as a weapon by hate-mongers to kill, attack our Masjids, or    criminalize the practice of Islam.

Thank you.
 May Allah reward you for your generosity.

Abdul Malik Mujahid

 P.S. Sound Vision is a tax deductible not for profit 501 (C) 3 organization. You    can learn more about our   Sharia101 project    here. p.s.s. We have already produced three brochures for non-Muslims about Sharia.    Please feel free to call to get copies for your friends or Masjids at 1-800-432-4262

Sharia Resources Available Now

These three brochures are available now for our neighbors providing some aspects    of Muslims perspectives on the Sharia debate. Order printed copies   here,   here, and   here or    Download free from the links below:

 Sharia American Muslims

Prophet Honored by Supreme Court

Sharia and Freedom of Religion

Sharia 101

What you can do against the anti-Sharia bills today!

What your Masjid can do?

What your interfaith partners can do?

Volunteers for the project

Sharia project

Shari'a and Western Compliance

Article 22 of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam states:
  1. Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari'a
  2. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari'a.
This declaration - made by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and intended as an counter measure to the UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights - exposes the slippery slope on which Western societies tread when indulging Shari'a-based interpretations of rights and freedoms. If every such right and freedom is bounded by religious edict, then no such rights and freedoms will exist.
Accommodation without limit is in effect enslaving supplication. Any parent with a wayward histrionic child will know that. Churchill knew it. Even Roosevelt knew it. Certainly Lincoln and JFK knew it. Do our leaders (politicians, intellectuals and clergy) know it?
sharia1 islamic law 2
Apparently not. Many Western European countries (Holland, UK, France, Italy, Norway) have made allowances for these fundamental restrictions, the same restrictions that have produced deadly fatwas issued against those who propagate ideas hostile to Islam. Where does it end? Imams central to current Islamic orthodoxy (such as Qadi 'Iyad, who died in 1149) confirm that any Jew or Christian who reviles Mohammed, or commits blasphemy, should be burned or beheaded unless they convert.
Authorities in these same countries often inhibit the criticism of Islamic history and doctrine. One can easily exhibit, in the West's leading museums, Christ and Pope figures fornicating, or publish in our press cartoons of demonic Jews with Stars of David and skulls-caps feasting on Palestinian babies. Yet our media will not dare publish cartoons of Mohammed or demand an open, fear-free discussion of all the reasonable and varying interpretations of the Koran that stand as alternatives to the current immovable, literal and fundamentalist doctrine - to do so will engender an earthquake, as the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper found out.
To censor any criticism of Jihad, to disallow any open discussion thereof, is to accommodate fascist authoritarianism, anti-Semitism and anti-secularism. This supplication by its very nature is oppressive and dehumanizing. This is not what the French Revolution was about, nor the American Bill of Rights - never mind what brought Moses down from Mount Sinai.
If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that it is not pleasant for non-Muslims living in societies influenced by Sharia law. We see the ongoing burning of Coptic churches in Cairo, forced abductions and conversions of Coptic daughters, suicide bombings against the Baghdad Christian community, the de-Christianizing of Bethlehem, a simmering war on the Hindus in Kashmir, the illegality of bibles and crosses in Saudi Arabia, and Bahai's under enormous pressure in Iran. Our goal in the West should be to foster tolerance, not to make allowances for its erosion.
Until the Muslim world rejects its dominant fundamentalist ideology, until it allows a long overdue reformation in Islam, the hazards of Shari'a and the inviolability of Koranic law will remain an ominous threat to the West's ongoing freedoms, democracy and tolerance.

Leslie J. Sacks

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shariah foes seize on Perry's ties to Muslims

Shariah foes seize on Perry's ties to Muslims

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview Highlights on what Sharia Law is Andrea Elliott

On what Shariah law is
"Shariah literally means the way to the watering hole and is more commonly referred to as 'the way.' It is, most simply put, the law that guides Islamic beliefs and actions. But when Westerners think of a legal code, they tend to think of a fixed set of laws and Shariah is a lot more fluid than that, in part because there's no governing authoring in Islam. So while Islam's four major schools of law agree on many basic areas of Shariah, there are many areas that lack consensus and there's really a whole spectrum around the world in ways Muslims observe Shariah law. One of the key points is missing in this debate is that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries like the United States, there is broad agreement that Shariah requires them to abide by the laws of the land in exchange for the right to

"[Yerushalmi] really set out on what might seem like an impossible mission, which was to make this very arcane and complex subject of Shariah a focus of national scrutiny. This was a word that was not even part of our vernacular a few years ago. ... A lot of people would argue that what has come of this is not really a substantive debate about Shariah as much as a shouting match. It's a shouting match that involves really simple messages on both sides — 'Shariah is bad' or 'Shariah is a non-issue.' But the leaders of this campaign really talk about it in a most preemptive way than a prescriptive way. What they say they're doing is trying to prevent Shariah from having the kind of influence seen in Europe, particularly in England, where the Muslim community is far less integrated and where there are Shariah tribunals."

Enacting Legislation At The State Level

In 2008, Gaffney and Yerushalmi set up meetings with high-level officials at the Treasury Department. The two men argued that the Islamic financial industry lacked transparency. But the briefings went nowhere, says Elliott, and they began looking for other avenues — just as the Tea Party movement was taking off.

New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her series "An Imam in America."
Enlarge The New York Times New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her series "An Imam in America."
The New York Times
New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her series "An Imam in America."

"Yerushalmi saw an opening there, in that people were calling for smaller government and greater state autonomy," says Elliott. "So he started to focus on state legislatures and began drafting the model legislation that would later sweep across the country."

By the summer of 2010, anti-Shariah laws were being introduced in several state legislatures. Louisiana, Arizona and Tennessee have all passed versions of a bill restricting judges from consulting Shariah or broader categories of religious, foreign or international laws. Voters in Oklahoma passed an amendment to the Constitution banning courts from considering Shariah.

"It's hard to say what the legal impact of these laws will be because the establishment clause of the Constitution prevents from the government from favoring or targeting one religion," says Elliott. "The Oklahoma amendment which singles out Shariah has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge pending the outcome of a lawsuit that argues that it infringes on religious freedom. But the three other laws that have passed are worded neutrally enough that they could withstand Constitutional scrutiny."

NPR Show - http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/139168699/whos-behind-the-movement-to-ban-shariah-law?ps=cprs

An antidote to the anti-shariah movement

David Yerushalmi's well documented efforts to establish an anti-shariah movement in the United States betrays the reality of what shariah is and how Muslims in America and around the world interpret it.

A recent article in the New York Times showcased the crusading efforts of Mr. David Yerushalmi, a 56 year old Hasidic Jew. His circle of support include like-minded prominent thought leaders and presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Pamela Geller, and Frank Gaffney - all alleged experts on culture, financial systems, history and religion.

Mr. Yerushalmi, who has been taught Arabic and shariah by two Islamic scholars whose identities he won’t reveal, argues that Islamic law, or shariah, ‘presents the greatest threat to American freedom since the cold war,’ where presumably the USA would eventually stand for the United States of Afghanistan.

Mr. Yerushalmi makes some interesting comments, and three of them require either additional elaborations or placing into context for a more informed understanding.

First, he states Islamic militants have not perverted Islam, but rather the Islamic doctrine seeks global hegemony and overseas Muslims support Islamic rule. It’s interesting to know he and his inner circle believe in something that we, Muslims, do not believe. Islamic militants have not only attempted to pervert the religion, but also hijack its core peaceful teaching with their diametrically opposite ideology of hate and murder.

It goes without saying that as Timothy McVeigh and Anders Behring Breivik (the so called ‘Christian terrorist’) did not represent Christian values, Tamil Tigers did not represent all Tamils, Ayuman Shinto did not represent all Japanese, the IRA did not represent all Catholics, and the late Osama Bin Ladin and his ilk neither represented Islamic values, Muslim culture nor an Arab outlook.

A sampling of the state of Muslims around the world shows that they are not at all homogeneous and their societies are in a state of flux. Most of the word’s internal conflicts are in Muslim majority countries, as can be seen with the brutality in Syria, Yemen, Libya, the change of leadership in Tunisia and Egypt, and the financial accommodations in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait. Also, extremists have killed far more Muslims than non-Muslims, as can be seen with the al-Shabaab Islamic movement contributing to the famine in Somalia. Finally, the brain drain from Muslim countries due to a lack of education, economic opportunities, repression and corruption, hardly foresees a desire to establish Islamic caliphate in the US.

Why doesn’t Mr. Yerushalmi not use examples of Muslims in Muslim majority countries like Malaysia (a multi-ethnic democracy) and Turkey (a democracy led by an Islamist party) instead of focusing on sensational headlines from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran? Because it’s easier to influence the masses, via a cooperating media, by presenting things out of context.

Second, according to his groups study, 82% of Imams in 100 Mosques surveyed in the US espouse and promote violence. Much like Peter King’s hearings concerning the radicalization of Muslims in America, there was no ‘smoking gun’ that appeared. We Muslims, would like the names of the 80% of imams so that they can be either ‘de-frocked’ or deported. The mosque, much like a church or synagogue, is a sanctuary to connect with God and find solace. Those that use the pulpit otherwise are "...buying the life of this world at the price of the hereafter" (Qur’an 2:86).

In the US, there are present Muslims from all 57 Muslim countries. American Muslims come in different colors, shapes, sizes and, yes, even ‘beliefs.’ There are different sects in Islam and represented in the US by mosques run by Sunnis, Shias, Sufis, and even Ahmadis and the Nation of Islam. Put three Muslims in a room and you’ll get four opinions.

Sarah Palin’s comment in the article, where she claims the downfall of America if shariah law is adopted, is consistent with her misinformed musings. America has outlasted socialism, fascism, racism and communism, and is much stronger with its checks and balances. The ‘over-accommodation’ of Muslims will not happen here and, more importantly, Muslims are not asking for over accommodation but only a level playing field where possible.

For example, Kosher law is well accepted in the US, including by the Muslims for food consumption. There are common areas between Jewish law and shariah law on food (kosher and halal), custody, divorce, and so on. But Muslims are simply not looking to overturn the US Constitution. As New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who recently nominated a Muslim judge to his state Superior Court put it, ”this Sharia law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies."

Third, the Islamic finance industry, via American banks offering funds, invests in companies deemed shariahcompliant, implying to some that these are companies whose primary business may be inconsistent with American values and principles. If we look at the six index providers, from S&P to Dow Jones Indexes, MSCI to FTSE, Russell to Thomson Reuters, they all have Islamic indexes from which such funds are launched.

But the largest companies in the today’s Islamic indexes include Microsoft, IBM, Pfizer, ExxonMobil, Google, and so on. Islamic equity investing is social-ethical investing, with an emphasis is on negative screening. This is where most of the money from Islamic funds is invested. And not one Islamic financial institution to date has been convicted of financing terrorism. Non-regulated moneychangers and charities are a different issue and must be scrutinized to the full extent of the law.

In fairness to Mr Yerushalmi, he asks a good question in the article, ‘what is shariah?’ Perhaps the best way to answer it is in the negative. It consists neither of a covert fifth column nor overt mass conversions and world domination. It’s about having the dignity to take care of one’s family, looking after one’s neighbours, and obeying the law of the land.

One simple test question will flush out its intent: What is the identity and ideology of those Muslims and non-Muslims that wish to establish perverted medieval laws in the US that oppress women, promote non-tolerance of other faiths and ethnicities, and by default think in terms of hate and violence? The answer is the discredited very few that are becoming smaller everyday because their message is failing the stress test of humanity.

Typically, the longest lines in most countries is at the US Embassy, because America provides not only economic opportunities regardless of race, creed or color, but also has all the virtues described in all the holy books - the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. The dollar bill is emblazoned with the words In God We Trust. Enough said.

Now, why would the hard working US Muslims want the USA to stand for the United Shariah of America? It’s in America that we have been born or raised, it’s America we want to make great once again, and it’s on American soil we want to be buried.

The Jewish and Catholic people (with allegations of a coup in US by the Pope via President Kennedy) have gone through what Muslims are now going through in the US, moments of mistrust and motives magnified by external events shown in real time.

Time has vindicated the Jews and Catholics and it will also vindicate the Muslims and people like Mr. Yerushalmi will have contributed to it.

Rushdi Siddiqui is the Global Head of Islamic Finance at Thomson Reuters. Recognised as a thought-leader in Islamic Finance, Rushdi was a key force in the creation of the Dow Jones Islamic Index, and is now a leading advocate of the convergence between Islamic Finance and the Halal industry. He writes here in his personal capacity.