The campaign to implant Shari'a into the West begins with demands that Muslims be granted special accommodations; then it escalates with attempts to apply Islamic law to non-Muslims. An article by Daniel Pipes shows that the second phase is well underway in the United Kingdom. The news items that he cites also illuminate the very different paths that lead to non-Muslims being governed by elements of Shari'a:
- The Muslim owner of the Queens Care Centre, a home for pensioners in northern England, recently switched to an all-halal menu, even though none of his clients or staff is Muslim. That meant no more ham sandwiches, bangers and mash, or sausage rolls for the residents. Hit with a wave of complaints from family members, the owner sheepishly reinstated the original cuisine.
- The Avon and Somerset police force, which protects areas of southwestern England, has begun to distribute hijabs adorned with the police emblem to female officers. As Pipes notes, "issuing hijabs as part of uniforms in Great Britain is nothing new. … What sets the Avon and Somerset hijabs apart … is their being intended not just for pious Muslim female staff but also for non-Muslim staff, in particular for their use upon entering mosques."
The first case involves the imposition of Islamic law by a Muslim holding power over non-Muslims; their ensuing subjugation is involuntary and wholly undesired. However, such heavy-handed attempts to compel adherence to Shari'a seldom enjoy success, even in countries that bask in multiculturalism. Simply put, denying the elderly their favorite meals — like refusing service to blind people with guide dogs or coercing first graders and dental patients into donning hijabs — makes for terrible press and angers the citizenry. Public outrage is a most effective tool for restraining blatantly intrusive forms of Islamism.
The second case exemplifies the more dangerous transmission route for Shari'a: voluntary dhimmitude. Whereas vulnerable retirees are easy prey for an Islamist bent on foisting his beliefs upon others, a police force is the very symbol of robust secular authority — or at least it should be. Imams have no power to dictate that female officers must cover their hair inside mosques. Yet as the actions of the Avon and Somerset constabulary show, such power is unneeded when ultra-PC leaders willingly prostrate themselves before Islamic cultural norms and pledge to adjust their behavior accordingly.
Brazen encroachments by Islamists, like those at the Queens Care Centre, can be useful because they provide vivid warnings of the Islamist agenda while often leaving little permanent damage. In contrast, the endless capitulations to Shari'a on the part of Western officials, frequently justified with highfalutin rhetoric about "openness" and "tolerance," have no silver lining; they serve only to enable new beachheads for the West's enemies, convincing them that total victory is nigh.