Skip to comments.Is the U.S. Constitution “Sharia-Compliant?”
Posted on 10/19/2010 12:28:21 PM PDT by betty boop
Is the U.S. Constitution Sharia-Compliant?
By Jean F. Drew
Imam Feisal Abdel Rauf recently declared that the U.S. Constitution is Sharia-compliant.
Rauf is the Egyptian-born Muslim cleric who is spearheading the construction of Park51, originally named Cordoba House, a planned 13-story Islamic community center and mosque to be located just two blocks from the World Trade Center, the site of the most devastating attack on the American people in the history of our nation. He claims that Park51 is being built to promote greater cultural understanding and tolerance among the various religious communities in America.
In short, he holds himself out as a great champion of First Amendment religious liberty, a claim that he evidently hopes will assuage all fears that there is some nefarious purpose behind this mosque being built at this particular site, so fraught with agonizing memories of the September 11, 2001 Jihadi terrorist attack on America. More than 200 employees of the company I then worked for, based on the 87th floor of the WTCs South Tower, perished that day.
Maybe some wishful thinkers out there were placated by the Imams assurances of peaceful intent, which he tried to underscore by his suggestion that, in effect, Islamic sharia law is compatible with our system of individual liberty under equal laws and equal justice. That is, with our basic American rule of law, the Constitution. After all, why cant we all just get along? So the more clueless Americans out there are disposed to take the Imams statement in good faith, supposing him to have offered it in good faith.
But note Rauf didnt say that the U.S. Constitution is sharia-compatible or that sharia is compatible with it; he says it is sharia-compliant. That is, he posits sharia as the standard of law to which the Constitution must be brought into conformity. He wont say this out loud; but the logic of his statement speaks for itself. It would likely take a political revolution or a successful invasion of our country (militarily or demographically) to bring about this result. But Islam is patient, believing that Allah is on its side. So, unlike most Americans who want a quick fix for any and every problem or controversy Islam takes the long view.
As an aside, we should remember that throughout history, victorious Muslim invaders have had a practice of building mosques on the sites of their victories. This practice is both a victory yell and a signal to the rest of the world that were here, and were here to stay; well never retreat from here. The Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, for example, was erected on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, the place where the First and Second Temples are generally accepted to have stood.
We need to remember that historically, Islam has been a militant religion; it converts by the sword, not by (say) baptism. Also we need to recognize that Islam regards any territory it has invaded (either militarily or demographically) as its own forevermore. Even though Islam was driven out of Spain after many centuries of occupying it, the Islamic world still regards Spanish territory as its own. It simply needs to be reclaimed, and will be in Allahs own good time.
Indeed, Islam believes the same thing about human souls: Its a Hotel California kind of thing you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave. Once a Muslim, always a Muslim. The penalty for converting to another religion i.e., for committing apostasy is death.
So much for religious toleration! Of course the First Amendment cannot be compatible with such a view, let alone comply with it. By now we should begin to suspect that things may not be exactly as Imam Rauf has claimed them to be. To make this entirely clear, we need only consider what sharia is.
Fundamentally, sharia is devoted to personal status law, a set of regulations that pertains to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody. None of these are federal matters under the Constitution. In a nutshell, the Constitution is about securing and protecting the natural (inalienable) rights of all human individuals equally, under just and equal laws. These laws are not respecters of persons: It doesnt matter what gender you are, or your race, sexual orientation, religious persuasion, or economic status. Nor is the Constitution concerned with micromanaging personal moral and family life by means of religious authority and sanction.
Which is what sharia claims the authority to do.
Sharia means path in Arabic. What is meant by this is sharia guides all aspects of Muslim life including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and Sunna the sayings, practices, and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. Precedents and analogy applied by Muslim scholars are used to address new issues. The consensus of the Muslim community also plays a role in defining this theological manual.
Note that last statement the consensus of the Muslim community plays a definitional role. This evidently is the entire extent of sharias democratic bona fides. Unfortunately, there are many parts of the Muslim world today e.g., Afghanistan and North Africa that appear still mired in the mores and folkways of people living in the seventh century. How else is one to understand the very widespread practice of honor killings?
Marriage and divorce are the most significant aspects of sharia, but criminal law is the most controversial. In sharia, there are categories of offenses: those that are prescribed a specific punishment in the Quran, known as hadd punishments, those that fall under a judges discretion, and those resolved through a tit-for-tat measure (i.e., blood money paid to the family of a murder victim). There are five hadd crimes: unlawful sexual intercourse (sex outside of marriage and adultery), false accusation of unlawful sexual intercourse, wine drinking (sometimes extended to include all alcohol drinking), theft, and highway robbery. Punishments for hadd offenses flogging, stoning, amputation, exile, or execution get a significant amount of media attention when they occur .
Despite official reluctance to use hadd punishments [in some Muslim countries], vigilante justice still takes place. Honor killings, murders committed in retaliation for bringing dishonor on ones family, are a worldwide problem. While precise statistics are scarce, the UN estimates thousands of women are killed annually in the name of family honor . Other practices that are woven into the sharia debate, such as female genital mutilation, adolescent marriages, polygamy, and gender-biased inheritance rules, elicit as much controversy. There is significant debate over what the Quran sanctions and what practices were pulled from local customs [that] predate Islam. Those [who] seek to eliminate or at least modify these controversial practices cite the religious tenet of tajdid. The concept is one of renewal, where Islamic society must be reformed constantly to keep it in its purest form. With the passage of time and changing circumstances since traditional classical jurisprudence was founded, peoples problems have changed and conversely, there must be new thought to address these changes and events, says Dr. Abdul Fatah Idris, head of the comparative jurisprudence department at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Though many scholars share this line of thought, there are those who consider the purest form of Islam to be the one practiced in the seventh century.
One thing is very clear about sharia: It does not afford equal protection of the law to women, nor to non-Muslims, nor to homosexual persons; and certainly not to slaves. Sharia still permits and even regulates human chattel slavery. How the federal Constitution can be made to comply with this situation without invalidating itself and thus the rule of law on which American jurisprudence depends remains a mystery.
[When] you accept Sharia as the [legal] code, you accept the whole notion of citizenship that comes with it. You divide society in two: the people of the [Koran] and the non-Muslims. Here you create a hierarchy of citizens: Christians, Jews, and traditional believers [i.e., Muslims]. The hierarchy is applied to power if you are Muslim you are more likely to have more legal rights under Sharia law than non-Muslims so the implications [of Sharia] go beyond the criminal code.
Speaking as an American woman, the most deeply shocking and offensive aspect of Islam has to do with customary relations between the sexes. A woman is not a person. She is the chattel of the male members of her family.
There is nothing in the Koran, the book of basic Islamic teachings, that permits or sanctions honor killings. However, the view of women as property with no rights of their own is deeply rooted in Islamic culture. Tahira Shahid Khan, a professor specializing in womens issues at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, wrote in Chained to Custom, a review of honor killings published in 1999:
Women are considered the property of the males in their family irrespective of their class, ethnic, or religious group. The owner of the property has the right to decide its fate. The concept of ownership has turned women into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold.
Honor killings are perpetrated for a wide range of offenses. Marital infidelity, pre-marital sex, flirting, or even failing to serve a meal on time can all be perceived as impugning the family honor.
Amnesty International has reported on one case in which a husband murdered his wife based on a dream that she had betrayed him. In Turkey, a young womans throat was slit in the town square because a love ballad had been dedicated to her over the radio.
In a society where most marriages are arranged by fathers and money is often exchanged, a womans desire to choose her own husband or to seek a divorce can be viewed as a major act of defiance that damages the honor of the man who negotiated the deal.
Even victims of rape are vulnerable. In a widely reported case in March of 1999, a 16-year-old mentally retarded girl who was raped in the Northwest Frontier province of Pakistan was turned over to her tribes judicial council. Even though the crime was reported to the police and the perpetrator was arrested, the Pathan tribesmen decided that she had brought shame to her tribe and she was killed in front of a tribal gathering.
The teenage brothers of victims are frequently directed to commit the murder because, as minors, they would be subject to considerably lighter sentencing if there is legal action. Typically, they would serve only three months to a year.
Officials often claim that nothing can be done to halt the practice because the concept of womens rights is not culturally relevant to deeply patriarchal societies.
Well, America is not a deeply patriarchal tribal society, and probably isnt interested in becoming one, in undergoing the sort of cultural devolution that would be required to produce such an exotic bloom on American soil.
Nonie Darwish, a Muslim apostate (she converted to Christianity), has a challenge for Imam Rauf: She wants to know whether his claim that the Constitution is sharia-compliant is truthful or a fraud. And so she has compiled a little list of sharia practices, and invites the Imam to show in what way each is conversant with American constitutional jurisprudence. She indicates her list is not exhaustive it contains only 33 items out of the plethora of sharia practices. Here is Darwishs list:
1. Jihad [is] defined as to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion 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. A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking, and in some cases of rape.
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 must be killed immediately.
9. A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an [apostate] 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber, [which makes] 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.
12. Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for crimes of sin such as adultery.
13. Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply [with] Sharia if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their 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, the opposite is not true for Muslims.
15. A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.
16. Banks must be Sharia-compliant that is, they are forbidden to charge interest.
17. No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweeper or bathhouse attendant. A woman in a low-level job such as professional funeral mourner cannot keep custody of her children in the event her husband divorces her.
18. A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslim 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 [be] consummated at age 8 or 9.
21. Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husbands 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 community property between husband and wife and the husbands property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.
24. A woman inherits half what a man inherits.
25. A man has the right to have up to four wives and she has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.
26. The dowry is given in exchange for the womans sexual organs.
27. A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.
28. The testimony of a woman in court is [worth] half the value of a mans.
29. A woman loses custody of her children if she remarries.
30. To prove rape, a woman must have four male witnesses.
31. A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.
32. A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body, which is considered Awrah, a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face [to show] and some dont.
33. A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for a wife who kills her husband so caught, on the presumption that he could be married to the woman he was caught with.
The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammeds life. Now let the learned Imam Rauf tell us what part of the above is compliant with the U.S. constitution.
Of course, Ms. Darwish has gotten it backwards on Raufs suggestion, the Constitution is what complies with sharia, not the other way around.
Nonetheless it should be obvious that sharia and the Constitution cannot be reconciled. Sharia cannot be accommodated under the Constitution. So it becomes a matter of which legal system will win in the end.
I imagine that Imam Rauf is placing his bets on sharia law, not on the Constitution. I further imagine that his Park51 project is designed as a showcase and training center for the Islamic point of view, including sharia. Theres less religion here than there is activist, militant, hegemonic politics .
America would cease to be America, our Constitution would be utterly gutted, our greatest principles held in contempt, were Islamist culture to be established on our shores and most particularly the legal culture of sharia.
It would be the ultimate Death to America!
But isnt that what the jihadis usually say? And what they really want?
©2010, Jean F. Drew
Sharia is sedition.
I so agree.
The constitution and Sharia law are as compatible as oil and water. Actually, even less so. The foundational beliefs upon which is built are 180 degrees from one another.
There is plenty of pontification that con go on to ‘splain it (as the article does), but that is the bottom line.
I large muslim population population, once it reaches a certain critical mass, will result in civil war. Plain and simple. I mean actual bloodshed.
It will also almost certainly dwarf the original civil war. I do know that, in the original CW there were not a lot of religious zealots going around beheading people and otherwise mangling in the name of allah. Next time it will be very different.
Imam Feisal Abdel Rauf recently declared that the U.S. Constitution is Sharia-compliant.
Got it wrong again ASSCLOWN
We had better soon begin to stand against these muslim invaders or we will lose our Country.
We are in a two-front war for civilization.
on a quick skim thru, I think I saw 8 violations of the 1st Amendment, and that was just the freedom of Religion part.
As all the bullet points are an accurate description of islam, shariah is more a declaration of WAR, rather than compliance with out Constitution.
Screw ISLAM, and the CAMEL they ****ed on the way in
Thanks for the ping.
Which is why the usurper is ripping our Constitution to shreds daily.
Civilization is not sharia compliant.
Ping to read later
Catholics(illegal aliens) to the left of me, Moslems to the right and here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
Marx and Mohammed.
“The Constitution is Sharia compliant”? Who asked you and who cares? The question is, is Sharia law Constitutionally compliant? The answer, is no.
I agree with your reply. But let me clarify one thing— there are those who believe we have a “living Constitution” and to
them The Constitution means what their Judges (like Kagin— or
Breyer—or (that fug ugly old ACLU lib what’s her name) or even Phillips out in Riverside.To a too big portion of our Judiciary the Constitution does not mean what the terms used implies-but what they want us to believe it does.So the question of our Constitution being Shariah compliant depends entirely on who—or what you are speaking to-does it not?
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