THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume X, Issue # 246, September 26, 2008
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity
Home Page   Main Menu   Recent Articles   Site Map   Website Index   Issues & Controversies
  Cyberland University   Political Science, Philosophy, & History: Lectures   U.S. Constitution
  American Constitutional Law   American Constitutional System   American Political System
  Conservatism, Liberalism, & Radicalism   How America Goes to War
  World War IV: Islamist Terror War Against the U.S.A. & the West

SHARIA LAW: COMING TO A WESTERN NATION NEAR YOU?
By Cinnamon Stillwell

THE ISLAMIST PUSH FOR THE ADOPTION & IMPLEMENTATION OF ISLAMIC LAW IN WESTERN SOCIETIES:   WESTERN ACADEMIC APOLOGISTS FOR MILITANT ISLAM IGNORING OR COVERING UP THE INJUSTICES OF SHARIA LAW & FOCUSING ON REPACKAGING IT IN WAYS THAT WILL APPEAL TO WESTERN SENSIBILITIES -- MIDDLE EAST STUDIES PROFESSORS AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES SEEKING TO DOWNPLAY THE THREAT THAT SHARIA LAW POSES TO CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY -- INROADS OF ISLAMISM IN GREAT BRITAIN & THE INTRODUCTION SHARIA LAW THERE -- THE ROLE OF SAUDI FUNDING OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES PROGRAMS IN FURTHERING THE APPLICATION OF ISLAMIC LAW IN THE WEST
FULL STORY:   Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) will be hosting a conference on October 23, 2008, that asks the loaded question: "Is There a Role for Shari'a in Modern States?"

The Saudi-funded ACMCU and its Founding Director, John Esposito, one of the foremost apologists for radical Islam in the academic field of Middle East Studies, have certainly been doing their bit to make the idea more palatable.

The Saudi prince for whom ACMCU was named has been pumping millions of dollars into Middle East Studies Programs at Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and beyond -- and, as the case of Esposito demonstrates, it magnifies the voices of scholars with a decidedly uncritical bent. As a result, ACMCU analysis regarding Sharia (or Islamic) law tends to focus not on its injustices (amputation, stoning, hanging, honor killing, punishment for blasphemy, execution of apostates, persecution of non-Muslims, sanctioned wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and so on), but rather on repackaging it in ways that will appeal to Western sensibilities. The concept of a more "moderate" version of Sharia law that is compatible with constitutional democracy is at the forefront of this effort.

While it's difficult to predict exactly what will take place at the upcoming ACMCU conference, the fact that Esposito will present the opening remarks provides considerable insight into the politics of the event.

Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, a book co-authored by Esposito and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies Dalia Mogahed, has been widely criticized for its blatant inaccuracies and attempts to whitewash anti-Western and extremist sentiment in the Muslim world. Accordingly, Sharia law is framed in a non-threatening fashion. As Robert Satloff put it in the Weekly Standard:

    "Amazing as it sounds, according to Esposito and Mogahed, the proper term for a Muslim who hates America, wants to impose Sharia law, supports suicide bombing, and opposes equal rights for women but does not "completely" justify 9/11 is . . . 'moderate.'"

At the Newsweek/Washington Post "On Faith" blog earlier this year, Esposito referenced his book as a means of downplaying concerns over support for Sharia law in the Muslim world:

    " for many, any mention of Sharia is often equated facilely with Taliban-like laws. In fact, as the Gallup World Poll shows, majorities of mainstream Muslims (women as well as men) want some form of Sharia, religious values, as a source of law. This sentiment is not all that different from a majority of Americans who want to see the Bible as a source of legislation. (See: Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think)"

But comparing Sharia law under a dictatorial or clerical regime to biblical inspiration in a secular, constitutional democratic nation-state is like comparing apples and oranges. Yet, this is precisely the kind of moral equivalency one expects from Esposito at the ACMCU conference.

Providing further cause for concern, Keynote Speaker and Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman is a notorious champion of Sharia law. In a March, 2008, New York Times Magazine article on the subject, Feldman claimed:

    "In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world. Today, when we invoke the harsh punishments prescribed by Sharia for a handful of offenses, we rarely acknowledge the high standards of proof necessary for their implementation.

    " At its core, Sharia represents the idea that all human beings and all human governments are subject to justice under the law."

Reviewing Feldman's latest book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, Jonathan Schanzer elaborates on this disturbing thesis:

    "Feldman's central premise is that the scholars of early and medieval Islam were guardians of justice. These independent scholars, he argues, kept the all-powerful caliph in line by judiciously ensuring that his decrees were in accordance with Shari'a law. The proper application of Shari'a ensured fair governance. Thus, Feldman claims, resurrecting the scholarly class is needed today."

Yet, Feldman's book, Schanzer concludes, "fails to convince the informed reader that Islamic law and democracy are destined for marriage."

In an aptly titled piece on Feldman's scholarship, "Shilling for Sharia at Harvard," Hillel Stavis warns that "it can only be a matter of time before the professor, having asserted that Sharia law is desirable, will assure us that its introduction in the United States is inevitable."

Considering recent developments in Britain, the inevitability of Sharia law may not just be an abstraction. As reported last week by The Times Online:

    "Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

    "The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

    "Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court."

Melanie Phillips, writing for National Review Online, notes the role of Saudi funding and Middle East Studies in furthering this process:

Even thought itself is being Islamized, with academic objectivity in the teaching of Islam and Middle East Studies set aside in favour of indoctrination and propaganda. An as-yet-unpublished report by Professor Anthony Glees says that extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centers linked to British universities and backed by multi-million-pound donations from Saudi Arabia and Muslim organizations. Professor Glees says:

    "Britain's universities will have to generate two national cultures: one non-Muslim and largely secular, the other Muslim. We will have two identities, two sets of allegiance, and two legal and political systems."

Britain can serve as a cautionary tale for the West. Scholars who downplay the threats to constitutional democratic societies posed by the encroachments of Sharia law, and push a sanitized, idealized version thereof, may one day help usher in our worst nightmare.

Now there's a subject that would make for a truly groundbreaking Middle East Studies conference.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

The Fifth Column -- America's Internal Enemies:
Disloyalty, Subversion, Sedition, & Treason

Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

Counterterrorism & U.S. National Security

U.S. National Security Strategy



Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org.


The foregoing article by Cinnamon Stillwell was originally published in Front Page Magazine, September 25, 2008, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/article/1987)


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
September 26, 2008




Return to Top of Page

Go to the WEBSITE INDEX

Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Public Issues & Political Controversies


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA
Most Recent Articles


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Volume X, 2008


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Subject Matter Highlights


Return to POLITICAL EDUCATION Homepage

CONTACT & ACCESS INFORMATION




LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:

Africa: Black Africa * Africa: North Africa * American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control


This is not a commercial website. The sole purpose of the website is to share with interested persons information regarding civics, civic and social education, political science, government, politics, law, constitutional law and history, public policy, and political philosophy and history, as well as current and recent political developments, public issues, and political controversies.



POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS

POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE

Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.

Government, Politics, Public Policy, Legal Issues, Constitutional Law, Government & the Economy, Cultural Values, Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Military Defense & National Security, Geopolitics, Terrorism & Homeland Security, American National Interests, Political Systems & Processes, Political Institutions, Political Ideologies, & Political Philosophy

INDEX FOR THE ENTIRE WEBSITE

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis

Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

Conservative & Free-Market Analysis of Government, Politics & Public Policy, Covering Political, Legal, Constitutional, Economic, Cultural, Military, International, Strategic, & Geopolitical Issues


Conservative Government Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity