The peerless Kamala reviews English-language Sharia manuals and shows how they're nothing like what Islamic apologists in the U.S. would like us to think: there's no significant variation in them at all, and they contain all the terrible aspects of Sharia that those apologists deny exist.
Silicon Valley Sharia Kamala December 27
Apple. Google. Facebook. Sharia?
And naively, one might expect Islam in Silicon Valley to share the same traits: an advanced, forward-thinking interpretation.
Presumably, the Muslim Community Association (MCA) of the San Francisco Bay Area would serve as the stewards of such a perspective. Billing itself as "one of the largest Muslim communities in the US," the MCA proudly proclaims that its members are "well-educated, well-traveled, and earn higher than average incomes in the San Francisco Bay Area." Even the mayor of Cupertino (Apple's hometown) recently visited an MCA Open House.
Yet the MCA's own web site makes it clear that Silicon Valley Islam is anything but innovative. Their online bookstore, which features a small but revealing set of "authentic" books about Islam, yields an interpretation of Islam that is draconian and unbending: an Islam dedicated to bringing Sharia to the world.
One book, Man-Made Laws vs. Shari'ah, by Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Salih al-Mahmood, makes the case that Sharia is the only acceptable set of laws for mankind, arguing that anyone that believes otherwise is a disbeliever.
Muslim apologists repeatedly tell non-Muslim audiences that Sharia is full of vague benefits, such as drivel about "the protection of human dignity," or the aim to "develop and sustain a moral and just society." Sharia supposedly "aims toward ideals of justice, fairness, and the good life." It's a "myth" that "The Shariah is repressive and against American values." It's "simply a set of rulings by which Muslims choose to draw closer to God."
These apologists never seem able to reference any actual documentation of the specific rules and details of Sharia. They cite Sharia's "tremendous diversity." According to liar Reza Aslan, Sharia is "understood in thousands of different ways." He's even so bold as to claim that "there's really no such thing as just Sharia." A US State Department spokeswoman, when asked about the steady march toward Sharia in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, responded that Sharia "has a broad application and is understood differently in different places and by different commentators.”
Sharia, you see, is so amorphous, so varied, so nuanced that it's just too difficult a task to even write it down.
Yet somehow, the MCA has no problem helping its members learn all about the specifics of Sharia.
Their online bookstore promotes precisely two books on Sharia. Each is filled with over 1000 pages of detailed rules and laws. Both books are written in clear, simple English, both translated from Arabic by Muslims. Both books take pride in their attention to accuracy, consistently citing the Qur'an and other authentic Islamic sources. And despite apologists' talk of diversity and justice for all, both books lay out a remarkably consistent, matter-of-fact – and ruthless – definition of Sharia.
The books are:
- Minhaj Al-Muslim, by Abu Bakr Jabir Al-Jaza'iry, and
- Reliance of the Traveller, by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri
- jihad as obligatory, perpetual warfare against non-Muslims until they convert, die, or submit to second-class status under Islam
- death for homosexuals
- death for those who leave Islam – where even mocking Islam constitutes apostasy
In case one thinks these few books might be anomalies scattered among an otherwise benign collection, it's important to note that the MCA online bookstore offers no books with an alternative perspective, no books peddling the sugar-coated view of Islam usually served up by apologists – nothing from Reza Aslan, Feisal Abdul Rauf, Sumbul Ali-Karamali, Karen Armstrong, or John Esposito.
The MCA web site also serves up a carefully curated collection of videos about Islam, featuring speakers who are on record encouraging Muslims to work to bring Islamic law – and Islamic dominance – to America.
Read on, to learn – with chilling, unmistakable clarity – just what that pledge entails.
Man-Made Laws vs. Shari'ah
Man-Made Laws vs. Shari'ah is a 384-page treatise about the "conditions and rulings" for "ruling by laws other than what Allah revealed." It was written in Arabic in 1999 and was translated to English in 2003 by Nasiruddin al-Khattab and published by the International Islamic Publishing House of Saudi Arabia. It is featured as one of only five books in the "Fiqh and Aqeedah" section of the MCA online bookstore. (The word Fiqh is often translated as "Islamic jurisprudence," and Aqeedah as "theology.")
According to the translator's foreword, "ruling by something other than that which Allah (the Exalted) has revealed is the most obvious deviation from the way of Islam which the ummah is experiencing on a very wide scale." (The word "ummah" is often defined as the worldwide community of Muslims.) He laments that "most Muslims do not realize the seriousness of this situation" because of the "widespread" view that Islam "is simply the matter of what is in the heart, and if a person believes in his heart then nothing can put him beyond the pale of Islam, no matter what he does."
The author will have none of that: "This is contrary to the view of the salaf and the scholars who followed in their footsteps." (The book's glossary defines "salaf" as "The pious predecessors.") The foreword continues, with emphasis added:
It is essential to clarify this serious issue for the ordinary Muslim, so that he may learn to judge any man-made law or system as a system of kufr [disbelief], so that he may know that the action of promulgating these legal systems constitutes major kufr, and accepting these systems and thinking that they are as good as, or better than, shari'ah, or that it is permissible to refer to them for judgement, constitutes major kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam.
Once this idea is clear in the minds of ordinary Muslims, then the Muslim ummah will not accept anything from their governments and rulers except shari'ah, to rule their lives, and they will realize that any other system or law is nothing more or less than kufr and a deviation from Islam.
As will be made clear below, accusing a Muslim of kufr (disbelief) is no small thing; under Sharia, it's an offense to be punished by death.
To justify his argument, the author cites dozens of verses from the Qur'an and many works of Islamic scholars.
Abdur-Rahmaan shows no signs of struggling with those "thousands" of interpretations of Sharia, or how to identify "legislative systems that go against the shari'ah." Sharia means nothing less than stoning, amputation, and polygamy. He includes an excerpt from one Shaykh Ash-Shanqeeti (pp. 340-341), with emphasis added:
But promulgating legislative systems that go against the shari'ah of the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and referring to them for judgement, constitutes kufr or disbelief in the Creator of the heavens and the earth, such as claiming that giving preference to males over females in matters of inheritance is not fair, and that they should be given equal shares; or claiming that plurality of marriage is oppression, or that divorce is unfair to women, or that stoning and amputation of hands, etc., are bestial acts which cannot be justifiably done to anyone, and so on.
Minhaj Al-Muslim, by Abu Bakr Jabir Al-Jaza'iry, is one of only 11 books in the top-level "Books" section of the MCA bookstore, featured next to books such as the Pocket Size Quran and Jimmy Carter's classic, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The bookstore's web page for the book describes Al-Jaza'iry as a "great scholar," summing up the book as "a comprehensive work" "comprising all that concerns a Muslim regarding creed, manners, providing direction for righteous character, acts of worship, and dealings with his colleagues."
Minhaj Al-Muslim was written (in Arabic) in 1964, and was translated into this English edition in 2001. The publisher translates the book's title as "The way of a Muslim." The book begins with the author's introduction, explaining why he wrote the book. While visiting Morocco to spread Islam, "the brothers asked me to compose a book for the righteous believing youth there as well as the Muslims in the general area, to serve as a law or a statute for them."
The author is proud of his work: "...it is a book which no Muslim house should be without." He's also quite sure of its authenticity: "I spared no effort in investigating and searching for the most sound opinion of the eminent scholars such as Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ash Shafi'i, and Ahmad..." (naming the Islamic scholars behind today's four major schools of Sunni jurisprudence). He continues, "I have not the least doubt that he who behaves in accordance with the rules of this Minhaj ... actually behaves in accordance with the Shari'ah of Allah the Almighty and with the guidance of His Messenger." (emphasis added)
Before diving into some detailed examples of the Sharia-compliant rules in this book, it's worth revisiting a few key facts:
- The MCA made the decision to feature this book on its own online bookstore. It's one of a select few "authentic" books on the site. If this book somehow represents – to borrow a favorite phrase from author Robert Spencer – a "misunderstanding of Islam," then an obvious question arises: why did the MCA choose to highlight it? And moreover, if this book is some kind of "misunderstanding," how exactly is it incorrect? Where is a book on Sharia that isn't a misunderstanding?
- The MCA decided to feature yet another book, Man-Made Laws vs. Shari'ah, which, as explained above, makes clear that any law inconsistent with Sharia – even opposition to stoning or hand amputation – is a "deviation from Islam." If this book is a "misunderstanding" as well, why too is it among the short list of books on the MCA online bookstore?
- The MCA constitution requires its members "to recognize Islam as a total way of life." Its web site asserts that in Islam there is "no division between secular and sacred" and that "Shari'a should be taken seriously."
And now, on to some of Minhaj Al-Muslim's rules for this "total way of life."
Muslim apologists constantly tell gullible non-Muslims that jihad means "struggle," not holy war. Liar Reza Aslan tells us that "in its primary religious connotation (sometimes referred to as 'the greater jihad'), it means the struggle of the soul to overcome the sinful obstacles that keep a person from God." John Esposito similarly says that "Jihad in Islam means the struggle to be a good Muslim. That's its primary meaning in the Quran." Yasir Qadhi's #1 myth about Islam is that "The term 'jihad' signifies holy-war, 'killing the infidel', and political dominance." Rather, "the term ‘jihad’ means ‘struggle’, and signifies many things, including struggling internally to fight one’s desires and living a better, more righteous life."
Yet Minhaj introduces its section on Jihad with a different, simple definition: "The specific ruling of Jihad – which is fighting against the disbelievers and those who wage war against Islam – is that it is a collective compulsory duty." (Vol. 2, p. 165)
Four types of jihad are listed. The first: "Performing Jihad against disbelievers and those who wage war against the Muslims." Number two is jihad against "rebellious sinners," and number three is jihad against "Satan." Only the fourth type is "Jihad against one's self." While Minhaj acknowledges that this type "has even been called the greatest Jihad," this claim is accompanied by a footnote pointing out that "this is based on a weak Hadith [saying by or about Muhammad]..." (Vol. 2, p. 167)
In his fascinating book, Inside Jihad, former Egyptian Islamic Jihad member Tawfik Hamid explains the significance of this specific attribution:
Abu Bakr Al-Jazairy – a lecturer in the Nobel Prophetic Mosque in Saudi Arabia – wrote in his well-known, widely-distributed book, Minhaj Al-Muslim, that this hadith "...is based upon a weak Hadith..." As we can see, on the one hand Islamists show non-Muslims a peaceful Hadith to improve Islam's image, and on the other teach Muslims, that it is weak (and by implication, that Muslims should not follow it). In contrast, Islamists teach Muslims that the following hadith is sahih, or "strong,"accurate" and "authentic," and thus cannot be ignored:
I have been commanded to fight all mankind until they testify that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah... (Agreed upon) – Minhaj Al-Muslim, Vol 1, p. 402The phrase "agreed upon" at the end of the above hadith means that it is narrated as sahih by both Al-Buchary and Muslim, which communicates to Muslims that it is extremely powerful... In this case, Muslims are taught that the violent hadith is strong and the peaceful hadith is weak. This theological tactic deceives countless non-Muslims. (pp. 106-107)
Feisal Abdul-Rauf, of Ground Zero Mosque infamy, explains in his 2000 book, Islam: A Sacred Law, that a weak hadith "is a hadith against which serious doubts can be raised." (p. 151) Thus, the notion that self-Jihad is the "greatest Jihad" – a view Islamic spokesmen are always quick to espouse – is a dubious one.
When apologists do concede a martial element to Jihad, they almost always argue that Jihad is only allowed in self-defense. According to Esposito, "jihad also means the right, indeed the obligation, of a Muslim to defend himself, herself, Islam or the Muslim community. In that sense, it's a legitimate defense." Even the US Army buys this argument; in a handbook for its soldiers, definition of Jihad only mentions warfare as "the communal military defense of Islam and of Muslims when they are threatened or under attack."
Minhaj shatters this myth. Jihad must also include offensive warfare, to bring Islamic dominance around the world:
...it is incumbent upon the Muslims, whether they belong to one nation or separated nations that they make ready and prepare combative arms and ammunitions. It is also obligatory that they train some men in the disciplines of war and fighting as much as possible. This should not be merely for defending against the attacks of the enemy only. Rather, it should also be for performing battle expeditions in Allah's way in order to raise the Word of Allah, to spread justice, goodness, and mercy on the earth. (Vol. 2, pp. 174-175, emphasis added)
Guidelines are spelled out for offensive warfare: "Calling the disbelievers to the Path of Islam before declaring war against them and attacking them, or seeking their surrender with the condition that they pay the Jizyah (tax upon non-Muslims). If they refuse (these two options), then they should be fought (in war)." (Vol. 2, p. 180)
This is in fact a classical formulation of offensive warfare in Islam, justified by Muhammad's own words. Minhaj goes on to recount a hadith (saying) from a respected book of Hadith, known as Sahih Muslim, articulating this exact recipe.
Unsurprisingly, once one looks beyond the lying apologists for Islam, it's not difficult to find Muslims expressing this same view. This past March, as part of the blossoming "Arab Spring" in Egypt, a senior official from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad named Sheik Abdel Shehato was released from prison. In an interview with an Egyptian daily newspaper, he was asked, "If you rise to power in Egypt, will you launch a campaign of Islamic conquest?" His answer:
Of course we will launch a campaign of Islamic conquest, throughout the world. As soon as the Muslims and Islam control Egypt and implement the shari'a [there], we will turn to the neighboring regions, [such as] Libya [to the west] and Sudan to the south. All the Muslims in the world who wish to see the shari'a implemented worldwide will join the Egyptian army in order to form Islamic battalions, whose task will be to bring about the victory of [our] faith. We hope that, with Allah's help, Egypt will be the spark [that sets off this process]...
Apologists may reflexively label Sheikh Shehato an "extremist" who has "hijacked" or "misunderstood" his peaceful religion. But if that's the case, why again is the MCA promoting a book that advocates the same message? (And further, how exactly is this message incorrect?)
The importance of this point cannot be overstated. The West has formulated policy after policy, at immense cost in dollars and lives, all to try to assure Muslims that "we are not at war against Islam." As described above, even the US Army defines Jihad as only a defensive paradigm, framing current conflicts in this light: "Today radical Muslim groups consider Islam to be perpetually under attack by the 'secular West' – morally, spiritually, economically, politically and militarily." The implication is clear: if only we could convince Muslims that we aren't attacking Islam, then there could be peace. But according to Minhaj Al-Muslim, and the authentic Islamic sources it cites, this effort is futile: whether or not we're at war with Islam, Islam is at war with us – in a perpetual, religiously-motivated struggle to bring Islamic dominance everywhere in the world.
Dhimmis and other disbelievers
As Minhaj spells out, non-Muslims are to be given the choice to surrender to Islamic conquest and pay a tax known as the Jizya. This tax is part of a broader status of living as a non-Muslim under Islamic rule. Minhaj has a section dedicated to these rules, titled "The Agreement of Protection given to the Non-Muslim Subjects under the Islamic Government, and its Regulations." (Vol. 2, p. 182) (Such "Non-Muslim Subjects" are referred to as dhimmis in Arabic.)
Non-Muslims under Islamic rule are afforded neither the same rights nor the same respect as Muslims: "it is not permissible to stand for them, nor is it to precede them with the greetings of peace. Also, they should not be given seats of honor at gatherings." (Vol. 2, p. 183)
Non-Muslims are "forbidden" from "Constructing Churches or Synagogues, or renovating the demolished ones." (Vol. 2, p. 184) Is it any wonder that the recent deaths of dozens of Coptic Christians of Egypt resulted after Muslims rioted in response to church construction? Arab Spring indeed.
"Erecting the residence of non-Muslims above the homes of the Muslims" and "publicly drinking intoxicants or eating swine (pork) in front of the Muslims" are also prohibited. Non-Muslims "must conceal whatever things are forbidden to Muslims." (Vol. 2, p. 184)
The instructions get remarkably specific: "When walking along a path, the Muslim should make the non-Muslims walk along a narrow portion of the path." (Vol. 1, p. 227)
In a section on compensation for wrongful death ("blood money"), Minhaj gets right to the point: "If the victim was a non-Muslim under the protection of the Islamic State (Dhimmi), whether he was a Jew, a Christian, or of some other religion, his blood money is half the blood money of the Muslim," citing Muhammad's blunt statement that "The blood money of the disbeliever is half the blood money of the (Muslim) man." (Vol. 2, p. 493) Tawfik Hamid, talking about his own indoctrination into Islamic Jihad, described this Hadith as "the most dangerous quote... When you devalue the life of non-Muslims, that is the root cause of the problem. Terrorism is the last stop."
How many MCA members are reading Minhaj Al-Muslim and drawing the same conclusions?
There's much, much more. Read it all.