Who is Afraid of Shariah?

There is a lot of confusion about the Sharia Law.
Here is a wonderful article about it by Sumbul Ali Karamali.

Hasn’t the whole notion of shariah in America gotten a bit out of control? No, it hasn’t — it’s gotten hugely, obscenely, ignorantly out of control.
How many of those anti-Islam protesters holding “NO SHARIA LAW” signs (as if anyone were advocating shariah law in the U.S.) actually know what the word means? I’d say, oh, none. Roughly.

Shariah (also spelled shari’ah or sharia or shari’a) is the Arabic word for “the road to the watering place.” In a religious context, it means “the righteous path.” Loosely, it can mean simply, “Islam.”

There are six principles of shariah.

They are derived from the Qur’an, which Muslims believe is the word of God.
All Islamic religious rules must be in line with these six principles of shariah.

Aha! The six principles must be about killing infidels, veiling women, stoning people for adultery, honor killings and female genital cutting, right? Nope.

Here they are, the six principles of shariah:

1. The right to the protection of life.
2. The right to the protection of family.
3. The right to the protection of education.
4. The right to the protection of religion.
5. The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
6. The right to the protection of human dignity.

Well, bless me, as a pledge-of-allegiance-reciting, California-raised Muslim girl, these six principles sound a lot like those espoused in my very own Constitution of the United States.

Except that these were developed over a thousand years ago.

This is the core of shariah — these six principles. The term “shariah law” is a misnomer, because shariah is not law, but a set of principles. To Muslims, it’s the general term for “the way of God.”

But how do we know what the way of God is? Early Muslims looked to the Qur’an and the words of the Prophet Muhammad to figure this out. They filled books of interpretive writings (called fiqh) about how to act in accordance with the way of God. They rarely agreed — the fiqh is not just one rule, but many differing opinions and contradictory rules and scholarly debates.

Sometimes, shariah also refers to the whole body of Islamic texts, which includes the Qur’an, the sayings of the Prophet, and the books of interpretive literature written by medieval Muslim scholars. The first two are considered divine. The interpretive literature, the fiqh, is not.

The fiqh was meant to develop and change according to the time and place — it has internal methodologies for that to happen. It is not static, but flexible. No religion gets to be 1400 years old and the second largest in the world unless it’s flexible and adaptable.

The Qur’an is old. The fiqh books of jurisprudence are old. To modern eyes, they can look just as outdated as other ancient texts, including the Bible and Torah. That’s why, just like the Bible and the Torah, the Islamic texts must be read in their historical context.

Assuming all Muslims follow medieval Islamic rules today is like assuming that all Catholics follow 9th century canon law. Islam, like Christianity, has changed many times over the centuries, and it continues to change. Focusing only on the nutcases who advocate a return to medieval times is ignoring the vast majority of modern Muslims.

For example, stoning for adultery is a punishment that appears in fiqh, as well as early Judaic law. But it does not appear in the Qur’an. In Islam, therefore, stoning was a result of cultural norms imposed on the religious texts. Moreover, in the fiqh, though the punishment for adultery was stoning, adultery was made such a fantastically difficult crime to prove that the punishment was impossible to apply. Historically, stoning was very rarely implemented in the Islamic world, which is ironic, since today the Saudi and Iranian governments apply it as though they’d never heard of the strict Islamic constraints on it.

The vast majority of Muslims today do not believe in stoning people for adultery, and many are working hard to eradicate it. Stoning is horrific and has no place in our world. The miniscule percentage of Muslims who advocate it are imposing the medieval penalty while
ignoring all the myriad limitations meant to make it inapplicable.

As for other scary stories attributed to shari’a, like honor killings, veiling of women, and female genital cutting, these are cultural practices and not Islamic. They are practiced by non-Muslims of certain cultures as well as Muslims.

Shari’a is a set of religious principles and is not the law of the land anywhere in the world.
The 50-some Muslim-majority countries are all constitutional states and nearly all of them have civil codes (many of these based on the French system). Being Muslim does not require a governmental imposition of something called “shari’a law,” any more than being a Christian
requires the implementation of “Biblical law” (though there are, of course, a tiny minority of both Christians and Muslims who do advocate such things, including Sarah Palin).

As for Islam being a political system, there is nothing in the Qur’an about an “Islamic state,” and the Prophet himself never tried to implement an “Islamic state,” despite hysterical accusations to the contrary. Those under his leadership practiced a variety of religions.

Traditionally, in the Islamic world, the institutions that governed were always separate from the institutions that developed religion. In fact, they often checked and balanced one another. Although no civilization has been free from all conflict, every Islamic empire was a multi-religious, multicultural empire, in which religious minorities were governed by their own laws.

The term “Islam as a religion and a state” really only became popular in the 1920s, as a reaction to Western colonization of the Muslim world.
In fact, Islam contains plenty of concepts consistent with modern democracy — for example, shura (consultation) and aqd (a contract between the governed and the governing). In other words, Muslims can be perfectly comfortable in America, following state and federal laws.

The Qur’an contains many verses advocating religious tolerance, too, though the anti-Islam protesters won’t believe it. The Qur’an says that: God could have made everyone into one people, but elected not to (11:118); God made us into different nations and tribes so that we can learn from one another (49:13); there is no compulsion in religion(2:256); and that we should say, “to you your religion, to me mine”(109:6).

The only verses about fighting in the Qur’an refer specifically to the polytheistic Arab tribes who were trying to kill the Prophet in the 7th century.
So the Islamophobes who look in the Qur’an for the fighting verses and assume that these verses refer to them personally are simply being narcissistic. Contrary to counting Jews and Christians as “infidels,” the Qur’an repeatedly commands particular respect of Jews and Christians. It is established in Islam that you don’t need to be Muslim to go to heaven.

Repeating a lie over and over again doesn’t make it true; but it certainly results in people believing the lie. That’s what the Islam-haters are counting on. That, and the ignorance about Islamic tenets.

So the best thing to do is find out what Islam really is about. Talk to a Muslim in person. Read an introduction to Islam (try a fun one like mine). Read Loonwatch to read about the holes in the anti-Islamic rhetoric. Or take a look at the University of Georgia’s informational website on Islam, for some quick answers and further reading. If you read the anti-Islam fear-mongering websites, all you’ll learn will be tall tales.

Bigotry may be a human tendency, but America has never stood for bigotry. I believe in an America that stands for pluralism and multicultural understanding. The hysteria and hate toward Muslims – resulting in several acts of violence against Muslims, such as stabbing and arson -is un-American. We must stop it, and the first step is understanding and education.

A Saint or A Beast ?

JIMMY Savile sexually assaulted a dying child at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The BBC pervert’s sickening crime was revealed in a shocking report by police and the NSPCC.

He abused the terminally ill 11-year-old on a visit to the famous children’s hospital in London. The victim confided in a relative before dying.

NSPCC chiefs said Savile was the worst sex offender the charity had known. He used his celebrity status to get away with hundreds of crimes at hospitals, schools and the BBC.
Evil Savile “groomed a nation” during a 54-year campaign of sex crimes that claimed at least 450 victims, police said yesterday.

The report detailed how the Radio 1 DJ and Jim’ll Fix It host used his position as a BBC star to prey on vulnerable children — and fool the country into thinking he was a loveable national treasure.
And it told how police and prosecutors missed SEVEN chances to bring him to justice before he died in 2011 aged 84.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer admitted Savile could have been charged with offences against three victims in 2009 if their allegations had been taken more seriously.

One victim was persuaded by The Sun to go to police after contacting us in 2007 — but cops told her lawyers would “make mincemeat of her in a big London court”.

Ex-beauty queen Jill Ferguson, now 62, who was assaulted in 1970, said Sussex Police also warned “her name would be all over the papers”.

Yesterday’s report, produced jointly by the police and NSPCC, reveals 214 criminal offences — including 34 rapes and 126 indecent acts — have been recorded against Savile across 28 police force areas.

Savile assaulted 50 victims in 13 NHS hospitals and a private hospice. He targeted a further 33 people on BBC premises, and 14 in schools. His youngest victim was a boy who was sexually abused at the age of just EIGHT.

Sick Savile also abused a terminally ill child aged 11 or 12 during a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital. The child, who later died, confided in a relative who only came forward after the Savile scandal broke last autumn.
And a boy aged ten was seriously sexually assaulted in a hotel after asking Savile for his autograph.

Police Commander Peter Spindler, head of Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree probe into Savile, said: “This whole sordid affair demonstrates the tragic consequences of what happens when vulnerability aligns with power.
“Savile exploited his position to abuse others and we must learn the lessons to ensure this never happens again.
“No one person or organisation is responsible for his criminality other than Savile himself. He groomed a nation.”

Detective Superintendent David Gray, author of the Giving Victims A Voice report, said: “In my opinion, he spent every minute of every day thinking about it.

“Every opportunity that has come along, he has taken it because he was programmed to react that way. I have read hundreds of victims’ accounts, and the sheer scale and the severity of his offending is appalling.”
Savile’s crimes spanned the period from 1955 to 2009, covering his entire career on BBC TV and radio.
Police said he used Jim’ll Fix It “as a vehicle” to target child viewers after they sent him letters asking for their dreams to come true on the show. He abused one dying youngster, aged between 13 and 16, at the Wheatfield Hospice in Leeds.

While volunteering as a porter in NHS hospitals, Savile attacked 22 victims at Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, and a further 16 at Leeds General Infirmary.

Four offences are recorded at psychiatric hospitals, including one in 1991 at high-security Broadmoor, Berks — where he even had a set of keys and a flat. Another took place at secure Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside, back in 1971.

The report says Savile used his “celebrity status” to become accepted at the hospitals and gain access to vulnerable children and adults. He also preyed on girls at Duncroft approved school in Surrey. Three-quarters of Savile’s 450 victims were children at the time, mostly girls.

His oldest accuser was 47. His crimes peaked between 1966 and 1976, when he was in his 40s.
Seven allegations were made to police from the 1980s to 2008, but led to nothing, the report said.
In the 1980s, a woman said she was assaulted in a caravan at BBC TV Centre in West London. No trace of a police file has been found and the investigating officer is now dead.

In 2003, a woman said she was groped on Top of the Pops in 1973. A crime report was created but she did not want to proceed unless other women came forward. The matter was left on file.

In 2007, an indecent assault on a girl under 16 at Duncroft in the 1970s was reported.

A similar incident at Stoke Mandeville in 1973 was also reported to cops, as was a 1970s attempt to engage a young girl in a sex act at Duncroft.

Police were also told of an indecent assault on a woman in Savile’s caravan in Sussex in 1970, but the victim was reluctant to back a prosecution.

In 2008, an allegation was made involving abuse of a ten-year-old boy at Jersey’s notorious Haut de la Garenne children’s home in the 70s.

Savile denied ever having been there and no evidence was found to proceed with a case.
But The Sun published a snap showing Savile at the home, and the report says that “strongly concludes he had visited the location”. As the police report was being released, the Crown Prosecution Service published a review of its decision not to prosecute Savile in 2009.

Mr Starmer apologised for the “shortcomings” of the CPS, and said he wanted the case to be “a watershed moment”.

The CPS report also acknowledged The Sun’s efforts to bring Savile to justice. It says Jill Ferguson’s case might never have come to light without The Sun. Sussex Police admitted they had failed her.
It happened at the same time as lying Savile was fighting The Sun over articles linking him to abuse at Haut de la Garenne.

David Cameron’s spokesman said the PM wanted “every institution involved” to get to the bottom of what had happened with Savile. NSPCC director Peter Watt said the DJ was the most prolific sex offender the organisation had come across in its 129-year history.

News reports about Savile triggered a surge in abuse victims coming forward.
The NSPCC helpline took 5,000 calls involving unrelated cases in October, and Mr Watt said 800 extra kids had been protected from abuse thanks to him being exposed.

Police are now investigating whether Savile was part of an “informal network” of paedophiles.
Savile’s nephew Roger Foster, a family spokesman, said: “We will have to sit down and read the report, see what it says, and then decide what to do as a family.”

Coutesy: The Sun

Quick Answers

Teacher, “Millie, give me a sentence starting with I ”
Millie, “I is…”
Interrupting the student Teacher says, “No, Millie… Always say, “I am”
Millie, “All right… I am the ninth letter of the alphabet”

Teacher, “Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?”
Simon, “No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook”

Teacher, “Clyde, your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s… Did you copy his?”
Clyde, “No, sir. It is the same dog”