Saturday, 14 August 2010

Those Pesky "Scholars"

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America is a non-profit organisation that aims to issue and clarify sharia rulings based on questions submitted to the organisation by lay Muslims.

Given that Islam is unquestionably a Religion of Peace (*snicker*), one would think that this prestigious centre for Islamic scholars - who have devoted their lives to the study of Islam and its sacred texts - would be a place to witness the peaceful, tolerant teachings of "mainstream Islam".

Instead, many of the fatwas issued on the group's website espouse so-called "radical Islam", and succeed in furthering the cause of said "radical Islam" in America.

Advocacy of sharia law (in all it glory) can be found all over the website, including open acceptance of its brutal "hudud" punishments. These include the ruling that "repentance does not lift up the set punishment for cursing and insulting the Prophet, i.e. execution." Regarding, apostasy away from Islam, the site says:

As for the Shari`ah ruling, it is punishment of killing for the man with the grand Four Fiqh Shari`ah scholars, and the same with the woman with the major Shari`ah scholars, and she is jailed with Al-Hanafiyyah scholars, as the prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said: 'Whoever [sic] a Muslim changes his/her religion, kill him/her', and his saying: 'A Muslim`s blood, who testifies that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is not made permissible except by three reasons: the life for the life; the married adulterer and the [sic] that who abandons his/her religion'. "

During a fairly brief search I also found the undeniably sexist command that "if a woman’s face is pretty, attracts men and thus causes temptation, then she is required to cover her face." AJMA have also been relatively consistent in advising Muslims not to join or cooperate with the Western military and law enforcement. Egyptian cleric Khatem al-Hajj also wrote on the website that non-Muslim countries "are subject to man-made laws, which Islamic law [shari'a] does not recognize, either fully or in part" - a definitive roadblock on the path to successful Muslim integration in the West.

Why does this keep happening? Why do Muslim scholars, who have spent so long studying Islam, keep "misunderstanding" their faith's peaceful teachings, and disseminating them, to widespread acceptance, among the ordinary people of their communities? After all, AJMA's isn't the only site like this. There is also Islam Q & A, a mainstream Muslim website that provides fatwas intended, in its own words, to "teach and familiarize Muslims with various aspects of their religion", via "only authentic, scholarly sources based on the Quran and sunnah, and other reliable contemporary scholarly opinions." It has in the past endorsed jihad against unbelievers, hatred of unbelievers, the veiling of women, and the murder of homosexuals, among a host of other things.

Then there is Islam Online, a massively popular site co-founded by a supporter of suicide bombing, which has posted incendiary Qur'an-inspired antisemitism as well as justification of the sharia death penalty for apostasy.

Meanwhile, the website of the British Islamic Sharia Council (a terrifying title if ever I heard one) states unreservedly that anyone - including moderate Muslims - who dares to suggest that sharia law is barbaric or out-of-date in the modern world is an unbeliever and will burn in Hell for all eternity.

All of this "extremist" material is freely and openly available, without restrictions, to any Muslim with the will to find it. As President Obama heaps ridiculously lavish and unwarranted praise upon the Muslim world to mark the start of Ramadan, he would do well to remember this fact.

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