Imagine Dodger Stadium full of loud and whooping fans cheering on, not baseball, but your weekly stoning and flogging of adulterers, thieves and other errant citizens of southern California.
This is America under Islamic law, or Shari'a, a system that everyone should fear. Or so, Alan Kornman, director of the United American Committee (UAC) thinks. He continues to fundraise for a freeway billboard in Florida stating, "Shari'a Is Hate," to educate America before it's too late.
As Kornman argues, "under Shari'a law if you are accused of stealing, a hand and foot from opposite sides are amputated. If you are caught having an affair, the woman is stoned to death and the man is given 80 lashes. If you change religions, you can be charged under apostasy laws and given the death sentence by a legal Sharia court."
The implementation of Shari'a is much more subtle than the quotation from Kornman suggests, however.
Through Shari'a, Islamists govern the private lives of individuals as well as regulate the social, political, and economic aspects of society. Islamism crosses national borders, with the final goal of asserting the Muslim ummah globally, with all non-Muslims as second class citizens. It is a totalitarian ideology, and Islamists do want to make Europe and the US Islamist states.
Don't wait for floggings in your local neighborhood. Consider the following incidences:
1. Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis refusing fares where would-be passengers are carrying alcohol because it is a sin to drink in Islam.
This first example exemplifies the lack of tolerance Islamists have for non-Muslims. It is one thing to believe drinking is a sin; it's quite another to enforce your opinion on others. Muslims aren't alone in this belief. Consider Mormons, who don't drink coffee because of the caffeine. The problem is the belief that you have the right to impose your opinion on people of a different faith, or no faith at all.
The Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC), possibly fearing charges of discrimination, tried to compromise and approached Kahlid Elmasry of the Muslim American Society, who sided with the cabbies: "it is expressly stated transportation of alcohol for Muslims is against the Islamic faith, and therefore forbidden."
But this is not an Islamic country. The Constitution governs us, not Shari'a. Therefore, Elmasry's defense of the cabbies' position reinforced their notion that Islamic law trumps American secular law. In a later lawsuit, the cabbies lost and intend to appeal.
2. Niqabi fails to reveal face for ID purposes.
The second example concerns Muslim women and modesty. While there is no specific definition of what modesty entails in the Quran, Islamists increasingly demand the niqab, which covers a woman's body, hair, and her face. Islamists refuse to concede that the niqab is not a requirement of Islam, but greatly debated among Muslims. Yet, when Americans raise security concerns, Islamists call them racist.
Consider, Sultana Freeman, a niqabi in Florida. She refused to remove her veil for picture identification purposes at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) citing modesty. In reality, she mocks any reasonable person's definition of modesty since ID pictures have nothing to do with attraction and sexuality, completely ignoring Florida's right to identify its citizenry for the sake of public safety. Such blind adherence to Shari'a rather than the laws of the state exemplifies the disdain Islamists have for non-Muslims wherever they may live as well as common sense.
3. Polygamy in America
Imams in the United States are obligated to perform their duties within the limits of American secular law. Yet, some Imams, like Siraj Wahhaj, prefer to ignore American law where it conflicts with Islamic law. Wahhaj stated in Paul Barrett's 2007 book American Islam that, "If a man can have a hundred girlfriends, and it's legal, I don't say you can't have more than one wife."
Rather than explain what is wrong with men having multiple relationships, Wahhaj greenlights it under the guise of polygamy despite American law against it. This is because he only sees relationships from a usurious male perspective when he should be teaching men to see women as equals and partners. Moreover, he ignores a woman's perspective entirely. Subsequent wives have no legal rights. Family problems, domestic abuse, combined with economic dependency, forces women to remain silent when issues arise.
Wahhaj also ignores the criminal fraud behind polygamy as well. The UK and Canada, like the US, face welfare fraud every time polygamous marriages are made. Subsequent wives live in a marital household, yet can file for welfare as single women because they failure to register the marriage. The failure to register is not an accident. Polygamous couples know that if they file they will be arrested for violating local bigamy laws. Second, these couples realize the financial advantages given current welfare policy. Such fraud is occurring in the thousands and is a burden to all taxpayers.
It is time for policymakers to realize that Sharia is a system of hate and must not gain any influence in American society. It denigrates women, non-Muslims and the US Constitution. Policymakers must define the limits of religious accommodation in light of the Islamist agenda. Otherwise, democracy and true tolerance will be mere words with no meaning as Islamism spreads in the West. The UAC billboard is a good start in bringing the danger of Sharia to the nation's attention.
Supna Zaidi is editor-in-chief of Muslim World Today and assistant director of Islamist Watch at the Middle East Forum.