Why is the media carrying water for the most extreme and radical ideology on the face of the earth? Read my piece in today's Thinker.
The Huffington Post Whitewashes Shariah
Pamela Geller, American Thinker
Last November, the Huffington Post published a piece that so fully displays the Islamic supremacist/enemedia strategy to full-on whitewash Shariah and sell it to the American public, it is worth revisiting now -- especially since their agenda has advanced on all fronts since then, and the voices of truth are increasingly silenced, shut out of the public discourse.
Big broadcast news and print media offer Islamic supremacists and their leftist shills unfettered access to defame, lie about, smear and give misleading information about freedom’s fiercest defenders, without giving the victims of these vicious defamation campaigns the opportunity to rebut the false charges. This is twenty-first century Goebbels-style propaganda. Islamic supremacists and their useful idiots on the left are given enormous power, the kind of influence and access to deceive and mislead the American people that Nazi propagandists were given in Germany. The fact that people like Robert Spencer and me have any influence at all is a testament to the American people, who love freedom and seek out the truth.
And so we come to “Shariah Law: The Five Things Every Non-Muslim (and Muslim) Should Know,” published by Qasim Rashid in the HuffPo. Rashid first tells us that “Shariah is the law of the Qur’an and literally means ‘A path to life giving water.’ In fact, the word Yarrah (i.e. the root of the Hebrew word Torah) means precisely the same thing. Therefore, Shariah is actually ingrained in Abrahamic tradition.”
But my lawyer David Yerushalmi, who has represented me in numerous groundbreaking free speech cases, explains that Rashid is completely misrepresenting the Hebrew. According to Yerushalmi, Rashid’s “linking the Hebrew root Y-R-H to sharia is absurd. He is trying to link sharia as ‘the right path’ as in Islamic law to the Hebrew root for what is Torah. That is, the Hebrew root of Torah is H-R-H, meaning to instruct. A cognate of this is Y-R-H which is the root for shoot (as in shoot an arrow) or in some cases direct/instruct. But this has nothing to do with ‘the right path to the water’ because Y-R-H can also mean a bad instruction or a shot off target. The only possible comparison at the level of meaning between Sharia and a Hebrew word is to Halacha, which shares no etymological connection to sharia. It does have the same kind of meaning as in ‘the way’ and is the word for Jewish law. The point of all of this is that ‘scholarship’ on these matters by the Muslim Brotherhood and by leftists is almost always just wrong and bad.”
Of course, Rashid is implying that Shariah and Jewish law are essentially equivalent. That claim is a staple of the whitewashes of Shariah in the American media and courts. But Yerushalmi explains why the two are not equivalent here. He says that Shariah “is fundamentally and critically unlike Jewish law and any form of Christian canon or ecclesiastical law” primarily because “neither Jewish law nor Christian dogma permits the forceful imposition of a theocracy in lieu of representative government or the replacement of our constitution with theocratic legislation.”
Shariah does. But Rashid claims that “Shariah forbids that it be imposed on any unwilling person. Islam’s founder, Prophet Muhammad, demonstrated that Shariah may only be applied if people willingly apply it to themselves--never through forced government implementation.” Apparently he would have us believe that anyone can opt out at any time? A thief can decide that he isn’t willing to have his hand cut off? An adulteress can say, “No, thank you, I would prefer not to be stoned to death”? Can non-Muslims say, “I’d prefer not to be a dhimmi, and would like to have equal rights with the Muslims, please?”
Look at the two premier Sharia states in the world today: Saudi Arabia and Iran. Both are repressive, coercive, authoritarian regimes with dismal human rights records. Nor do the oppressed Shi’ite minority in Saudi Arabia or the oppressed Bahais in Iran ever get asked if they are willing for Shariah restrictions to imposed upon them. If they dare to complain, life gets even worse for them.
But Rashid insists that Shariah requires “absolute justice.” The trick here is that Shariah’s idea of justice and Western principles of justice are very different. Under Shariah, Muslims deny the freedom of speech, execute apostates from Islam, cut the clitorises, beat and honor-kill women, and deny basic rights to non-Muslims, and more -- and call it all justice.
He then goes on to say that Muslim do not want Shariah to rule America, Shariah is a personal relationship with God, and religion must not be a matter of the state? Then why is it that everywhere Shariah is in force now, and everywhere it has ever been adopted, it is a matter of the state, and covers every aspect of political life, not just one’s “personal relationship with God”? Qasim Rashid would have us believe that all the great Islamic empires of the Middle Ages, and Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Sudan all misunderstand Sharia as having something to do with the governance of the state, and not just with private religious matters.
And no Muslims want Shariah to rule America? Qasim Rashid didn’t check with Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram, who wrote in “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America“ the Brotherhood’s strategy document for the U.S., that the Muslim Brothers “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
But ignoring that, Rashid then claims that “if Shariah was banned, then American Muslims could not marry, inherit, write wills or choose to divorce per Islam’s guidelines. If similar restrictions were imposed for other faith groups, then no Minister could conduct a marriage ceremony, no Catholic Bishop could read the last rites and no Rabbi could perform circumcision on an infant male Jewish child--because these are all Judeo-Christian religious laws.”
This is a hysterical false charge. Anti-Shariah laws aren’t designed to restrict Muslims’ personal religious freedom. I don’t care if you worship a stone; just don’t stone me with it. The anti-Shariah laws are designed to restrict the political and supremacist aspects of Shariah -- the elements of Islamic law that are incompatible with our freedoms. That’s all.
Rashid keeps lying from there, claiming that “Shariah law champions absolute freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.” But just as Shariah offers a different understanding of “justice” from that which prevails in the West, so also it has a different understanding of what constitutes “oppression.” Under Shariah, the dhimmis -- Jews, Christians, and other “People of the Book” in the Islamic state -- are subjugated under the rule of the Muslims and denied basic rights. They have to pay a special tax (jizya) from which Muslims are exempt. Reliance of the Traveler, a manual of Islamic jurisprudence certified as “reliable” by Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, explains that non-Muslims are “forbidden to ring church bells or display crosses, recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays, and are forbidden to build new churches” - o.11.5 (6,7). They’re also forbidden to hold authority over Muslims, and so are relegated to the most menial jobs in society. If they complain about their lot or “insult” Islam or Muhammad, they can lawfully be killed.
Qasim Rashid calls this being able to “worship in peace and without oppression.”
Rashid then claims that oppressive Shariah states “have ignored the fundamental tenet of justice inherent in Shariah Law, and have instead used Shariah as an excuse to gain power and sanction religious extremism.” Rashid is forced to say this because Shariah states are so savage. But his argument falls on one key point: if there is no real “Shariah compliant” country in the world today, why are all those countries that claim to be implementing Shariah misinterpreting it in the same way? Shariah states today and throughout Islamic history have oppressed women and non-Muslims, executed heretics, apostates, blasphemers, gays, and others, and ruthlessly punished those who dared to speak out against all this. Those have been features of every single Shariah state that has ever existed.
But Qasim Rashid wants you to believe that they all got Shariah wrong. And at the PuffHo, there’s a sucker born every minute.