Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fear of Shariah law spreading

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 7:49 a.m.

When the Florida Senate failed to take a vote, proposed legislation to ban the use of foreign laws in state courts died.
The bill had passed the House easily, and the Senate sponsor plans to reintroduce it next year.
The question is why?
The answer seems to be fear that the Shariah law -- the Islamic law used in some Muslim countries -- will spread to the United States.
The legislation made no mention of Shariah law. The bill simply said state courts could not use foreign law when rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution would be violated. And foreign laws were only banned in domestic cases, such as divorce and child custody.
The ban would not have applied to businesses, or for that matter, criminal cases
But, while Shariah law was not mentioned in the bill it was obviously the target.
Some supporters of the legislation warned that, without such bans, the spread of Shariah law could signal a slow Islamic takeover of the world.
Others say, the rights of American women would be threatened if Shariah law was used in the courts.
Perhaps the best response to this legislation, and these fears, came from Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who said, "You might as well pass legislation to ban unicorns."
Opposition to the legislation also came from the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group dedicated to defending the rights of Jews and others, as well as fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice.
In this case that prejudice comes in the form of anti-Muslim.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, has said the only goal is to make sure only U.S. laws are used in state courts.
That begs the question of what other law would be used?
While judges have cited foreign laws as one of the precedents in a ruling, the rulings themselves have to be ground in federal or state law -- American law.
It is possible for Shariah law to be used informally in a family court case, such as divorce or child custody.
In those cases, the two people involved, and their lawyers, try to reach an agreement to present to the judge to avoid going to trial. That agreement can cover such things as how assets are divided, and who has custody of any children and visitation rights.
And, if a trial is to be avoided, the agreement must be made voluntarily by both people.
It is conceivable that the man and woman in the case could use Shariah law to reach a settlement.
Or they could use Jewish law.
Or they could use no law at all to decide what they think is best of themselves and their children.
But in any of these cases, the agreement will have to go before a Florida judge who is responsible, among other things, to make sure there are no violations of state law or constitutional rights.
As long as no laws are violated, how that agreement is reached is up to the two people involved in reaching it.
If the Legislature were to pass legislation banning the use of foreign laws, the result would be, as Hooper said, as effective as a ban unicorns.
Such a law would not be able to prevent two people from using Shariah law to reach an agreement on, say, custody of their children since that is not done in a courtroom.
And as long as the agreement conforms to American law, the judge can be expected to approve it.
The only thing this legislation would do is to demonstrate that at least some of our legislators are prejudiced.
That is not the kind of signal Florida should be sending to the rest of the world. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sharia Symposium: fear, phobias and facts

The name Sharia produces fears and anxieties and gratuitous malice towards fellow Americans. Our mission at America Together Foundation is to work for a society where no one has to live in discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other.

What frightens Americans about Sharia?
Guest speaker will lay out the fears and phobias that Americans hear in their daily lives.

What are your concerns?
Experts on Constitution law and the legislative process will explain what it takes to introduce a Sharia bill in the house, senate and the process it has to go through to the final approval by the president.

What is it really?
Nation’s most recognized Scholar Imams will explain.  

Your Questions
Your questions will be addressed by the Sharia and Anti-Sharia experts in the Q&A session.  
We will boldly face the issues that pit one American against the other.  

It is just not Sharia; we have programs lined up about issues that divide us. As responsible citizens, it is our obligation to find sustainable solutions for a secure and prosperous America.

America Together Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to live in anxiety, apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.

Location and speaker names will be released soon.  


M.  Basheer Ahmed, M.D.,
& Mike Ghouse

Friday, March 16, 2012

Abe Foxman: Shout Down The Sharia Myth Makers

(Community Matters)
“The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years.”
- proud & appreciative of Abe and ADL
Op-Ed: Shout down the Sharia myth makers
By Abraham H. Foxman · August 10, 2011
NEW YORK (JTA) — The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years. The notion that Islam is insidiously making inroads in the United States through the application of religious law is seeping into the mainstream, with even some presidential candidates voicing fears about the supposed threat of Sharia to our way of life and as many as 13 states considering or having already passed bills that would prohibit the application of Sharia law.
Louisiana and Tennessee were among the first to approve such measures. The bills were based on model legislation issued by the American Public Policy Alliance, an unabashedly anti-Muslim advocacy group that defends the legislation as seeking to “protect American citizens’ constitutional rights against the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, especially Islamic Sharia Law.”
When the legislation was introduced in the Tennessee state Senate in early 2010, the bill defined Sharia as a “legal political military doctrine and system adhered to, or minimally advocated by, tens of millions of not hundreds of millions of its followers around the world.” In defense of the bill, state Sen. Bill Ketron said it “deals solely with a single part of Sharia that is strictly political in nature,” and “in no way inserts itself into the religious laws of Islam.”
The language was nearly identical to that of similar bills considered in other states, some of which were thinly disguised in terms of protecting against “the application of foreign law.”
All of this anti-Sharia activity has come despite the complete absence of evidence of the unconstitutional application of foreign or religious law in our judicial system. It has also come with a great deal of political handwringing — and myth making — about the threat of Sharia overtaking this country. This has led, in turn, to a false perception among a growing number of Americans that Sharia is a very real threat to our way of life and constitutional freedoms.
In fact, these legislative efforts are the proverbial solution in search of a problem. The separation of church and state embodied in U.S. and state constitutions prohibits our courts from applying or considering religious law in any way that would constitute government advancement of or entanglement with religious law.
But the anti-Sharia bills are more than a matter of unnecessary public policy. These measures are, at their core, predicated on prejudice and ignorance. They constitute a form of camouflaged bigotry that enables their proponents to advance an idea that finds fault with the Muslim faith and paints all Muslim Americans as foreigners and anti-American crusaders.
It is true that Sharia is being used elsewhere around the world in dangerous ways. While Sharia law can address many daily public and private concerns, it is nonetheless subject to radical interpretation by individuals or groups who subscribe to a more puritanical form of Islamic jurisprudence. Some individuals try to interpret Sharia law for their own radical agendas. It raises more serious concerns when it comes to implementing Sharia law in its entirety, as can be seen with the examples of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Taliban. But that certainly doesn’t apply to America, where concerns about a “creeping Sharia law” are the stuff of pure paranoia.
If the hysteria over Sharia law continues to percolate through our political and social discourse, there is bound to be unintended consequences.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in an uncertain economy with millions of Americans still out of work, we also face the prospect of a political season in which more political candidates may be tempted to invoke this mythological threat in an effort to pander to bigotry and fear, and to score political points.
We stand at a crossroads in American society. We have the option of heading down a path toward a greater tolerance of anti-Muslim xenophobia and fear of the “stranger in our midst,” or we can rededicate ourselves to the ideal of an America that is open and welcoming to immigrants as well as minority groups who have been here for decades. Let us hope that the better nature of America will enable us to proceed down the second path and reject those who seek to divide us for political gain, or those who wish to stereotype and scapegoat an entire people because of their religious faith.
We should never diminish the very real threat of terrorism motivated by Islamist fundamentalism coming again to our shores. But as responsible, free-thinking Americans we must be careful to distinguish between the true threats to our freedoms, and identifying their sources, and those who loudly declaim against phantom threats that don’t really exist.
Abraham H. Foxman is national director of the Anti-Defamation League and author most recently of “Jews & Money: The Story of a Stereotype.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sharia articles first week of March 2012

‘Anti-Sharia' Bill Blasted as Unconstitutional, Prejudicial

Councilman Bill Peduto blasted the bill, which would prohibit "the application of foreign law which would impair constitutional rights." He said it is based on an "anti-Sharia law" bill that was struck down by federal courts in Oklahoma.
"The bill that is being considered by Pennsylvania State Legislature caters to bigotry and prejudice," said Peduto. "Its basis is unconstitutional. It goes against the wishes of our founding fathers."

Minn. Shari`ah Bill Dropped, Muslims Happy

MINNEAPOLIS – Facing a strong Muslim opposition, a Republican lawmaker has withdrawn plans for introducing a bill to ban Islamic Shari`ah in the mid-western state of Minnesota, a move that pleased the Muslim minority."It was never my intent to introduce legislation that was being targeted to any one group," Republican State Senator Dave Thompson said, CBS Minnesota reported on Monday, March 5.
. . .

A misguided Minnesota anti-sharia bill

Whether wittingly or not, Thompson found himself caught up in the anti-Muslim antics of David Yerushalmi, a nationally known anti-Muslim activist. He was the force behind the deluge of bills introduced in more than 20 states last year opposing Islamic religious law known as sharia, which guides Muslim behavior, actions and spiritual life.

. . . .

Jewish Divorce Caught in Sharia Law Fight

Florida Bill Could Bar Orthodox Couples From Using Beth Din

The bill’s supporters acknowledge that their proposal is aimed at Muslims. But David Barkey, an Anti-Defamation League attorney specializing in church-state issues, said that the bill will affect Jews. Because only a man can grant his wife a Jewish divorce, or get, Barkey said, a beit din —singlular forbatei din — may be seen as violating state and federal equal protection principles, which bar discrimination based on gender.

Read more:
. . . . .

Citing 'Demonizing' Fliers, Muslims Want 'Anti-Sharia' Bill Pulled

Crying "sedition," one flier stated: "Our religious, political and peaceful way of life is under attack by Islam and Sharia law." The one-page leaflet was produced by a group called Students for the Constitution.
The measure, which would restrict foreign laws from being used in Florida courts, was also assailed by the Rev. Russell Meyer of the Florida Council of Churches, Apostolic Catholic Church Bishop Chuck Leigh and the Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson of the First United Church of Tampa.

“An attack on one religion is an attack on all," Meyer asserted.

. . . .

Religious leaders: Florida's anti-Sharia bills are "an attack on all religions"

Multi-denominational religious leaders and advocacy groups came together in Tampa to speak out against twin bills in the Florida House and Senate. The measures would ban Foreign Laws from use in Florida courtrooms. Speakers at the press conference this afternoon said the proposed law is an attack on religious freedom.

diabolic Western Myths about Sharia

Muhammad Yunus, co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009

A popular Australian website [Australian Islamist Monitor, Islam under Scrutiny]        summarily tables the key rulings of the Classical Islamic Sharia [Re. Sharia Law in brief] and concludes that it “can only generate brutality, hatred, and nothing but Islamic fascism.”   
The article refers to the popular perception among the Muslims of the Sharia Law being a ‘word of God’ and traces its origin to the era of the Prophet Muhammad and the first four Caliphs. Following a brief commentary on the four law schools, it enumerates the following common laws of Islamic Sharia “which are regularly practiced in Islamically ruled (Sharia-based) nations with some minor variations”:  

1- Jihad defined as “to war against all non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

2- A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

3- The head of an Islamic State (Caliph) cannot be charged, let alone be punished for serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape (Hudood cases) - Codified Islamic Law Vol 3 # 914C of and page 188 of Hedaya the Hanafi manual.

4- A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.

5- It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

7- The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.

8- A Muslim who leaves Islam (apostate) must be killed immediately.

9- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of : a) an apostasy b) an adulterer c) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable

10- A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave. Slavery still exists amongst Arab Muslims.

12- Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, for sins like killing, adultery, prostitutions; and other Quranic corporal punishments like: amputation of limbs (chopping hands and feet), floggings, beatings and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for the sins like: stealing, sexual promiscuity, robbery, burglary etc.

13- Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia (pay Zizzya: poll tax) if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their own religious scriptures, or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

14- It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, Muslims can curse, criticize or say anything derogatory they like to the religions of others.

15- A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

16- Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

17- No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

18- A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.

19- Homosexuality is punishable by death

20- There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.

21- Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

22- Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

23- There is no common property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

24- A woman inherits half what a man inherits. Sister gets half of what brother gets.

25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and wife has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.

26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

27- A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and also with women captured in battle (concubines), and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

28- The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man; that is, two women equal to one man.

29- A woman looses custody if she remarries.
30- A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

31- A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.

32- A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

33-It is obligatory for a Muslim to lie if the purpose is obligatory and is known as

Taqiyya (Islamic Deception). That means that for the sake of abiding with Islam’s commandments, such as jihad, a Muslim is obliged to lie and should not have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with this kind of lying.

Conclusion: The truth remains, scores of rulings of the Classical Sharia Law are in direct conflict with the Quranic paradigms. Hence a recent article posted on this website on the subject referenced below concludes: “It is time that the Muslim elite and leadership put their act together to achieve a gigantic paradigm leap - from the Classical Sharia Law of Islam to a Modern Islamic Law (Sharia), accommodating Western secular values - within the broader framework of the Qur’an. Their complacence and inaction may lend strong credence to Khaled Abou El Fadl’s agonizing concern: "Is it possible that the day will come when ours will be designated a "vanished civilization."

Ref: The Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law) is NOT a Word of God

 Epitome of Justice and Equity for a thousand years of Islamic civilization - now a threat to Islamic civilization and World peace, warranting an urgent paradigm shift in Islamic Juristic thoughts.

Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.