Sunday, September 4, 2011

New York Times: Americans Should Embrace Shariah Law

An op-ed piece titled "Don't Fear Islamic Law in America" appears in the New York Times. The column is written by Eliyahu Stern, Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual and Cultural History at Yale University. Professor Stern states, "Today, we need an Abrahamic ethic that welcomes Islam into the religious tapestry of American life."

Professor Stern goes on to say, "The crusade against Shariah undermines American democracy, ignores our country’s successful history of religious tolerance and assimilation, and creates a dangerous divide between America and its fastest-growing religious minority."

The New York Times editorial board, by publishing this column, endorses Professor Stern's premise - shariah law must be embraced by America.

First, I would like to briefly show how Professor Stern misunderstands Jewish law (Halacha) and projects that misunderstanding to support his premise that we should embrace shariah law, which calls for his own death as a Jew.

Second, I would like to present how Professor Stern makes a fatal assumption - that shariah compliant individuals easily and over time fully assimilate into non-Islamic societies.

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman in the New English Review regarding differences between Halacha and Sharia in an article,"Halacha, Sharia and the Religious Acceptance of Constitutional Governance", states:

"Simply stated, there is a basic Rabbinic principle that has operated since roughly the year 226 CE. That principle is known as Dina d’malchuta Dina; the law of the country is binding and, in certain cases, is to be preferred to Jewish law/Halacha.
Samuel, the leader of the Babylonian Jewish community in 241 CE, specifically imbued his community with the consciousness that one must be reconciled to changed circumstances regarding government, and that civil law is necessary for the functioning of the greater society. The result was an internal recognition of Judaism’s non-supercessionist and non-conversionary character. According to the Prophet Nehemiah, Jews should obey the laws of their rulers (Nehemiah 9:37)."

This Rabbinic principle is embedded in Christian principles and attributed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels, which reads, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

So both Jewish and Christian principles recognize "civil law is necessary for the functioning of the greater society."

Does shariah law have the same principle of "render unto Caesar"?

According to Rabbi Hausman, who is trained in both Halacha and studied doctrinal Islam as a graduate student in Egypt, the answer is no! Rabbi Hausman points out, "Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the direct word of Allah delivered to the last and greatest prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is immutable, perfect, unchangeable, static, and unchanging. What can’t be derived from the Qur’an may be gleaned from the Sunna, which relates how Muhammad conducted his life in practice, and is considered by Muslims to be immutable for all time."

Rabbi Hausman finds in shariah Islam: Religion is the State and the State is the Religion. Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Treaties, and Federal Statutes as "the supreme law of the land." This is compatible with both Jewish and Christian principles. TheSupremacy Clause flies in the face of shariah law.

Therefore Professor Stern's historical comparison of the treatment of Jews and Jewish law in America and shariah law is at best misleading and at worse patently false.

Now for the issue of assimilation.

Historically, have Christians, Jews and Muslims fully and completely assimilated into other societies? The answer is yes for Christians and Jews. We find that while Christians and Jews have been subjected to unspeakable persecution by a variety of societies from the time of Pharaoh, to ancient Rome, to Nazi Germany to Arab countries in the Middle East, they have worked to assimilate.

The opposite is true of those who adhere to shariah Islamic law. As shariah law spreads in non-Islamic societies it demands seperate but equal status. Additionally, in predominately shariah compliant nations Jews, Christians and all other non-believers are categorized as infidels, a term of derision. They are forced to assimilate or are persecuted. But what says this? The Qur'an, specifically the following verses 2:190-193:

[2:190] Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.
[2-191] And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
[2-192] And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
[2-193] Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

Fitnah refers to the First Islamic civil war, in 656–661 AD, a prolonged struggle for the caliphate after the 656 assassination of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan. The Second Fitna, or Second Islamic civil war, is usually identified as the 683–685 AD conflict among the Umayyads for control of the caliphate. The third one refers to the taifas in the end of the Caliph of Córdoba's rule.

Professor Stern misses the practical application of shariah Islam in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, etc. For Americans to embrace shariah law requires embracing Fitnah against America.

Professor Stern is asking Americans to sell the rope to shariah Islamists, that will be used to hang us.

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