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Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah

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In the past couple of years, a group of conservative pundits, analysts and bloggers have identified Shariah, or Islamic religious law, as a growing threat to the United States. These pundits and analysts argue that the steady adoption of Shariah’s tenets is a strategy extremists are using to transform the United States into an Islamic state.

A number of state and national politicians have adopted this interpretation and 13 states are now considering the adoption of legislation forbidding Shariah. A bill in the Tennessee State Senate, for example, would make adherence to Shariah punishable by 15 years in jail. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has called for “a federal law that says Shariah law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States.”

Unfortunately, overnight people have become “experts” on Shariah and have begun writing policy papers, books, lobbying, legislating and attacking Shariah at all levels. There are even several groups that have begun “No Shariah” campaigns.

The main purpose behind their agenda is to generate Islamophobia and the perception that Islam and Muslims shouldn’t be part of the American Society. But what is quite amazing is that the vast majority who argue against Shariah know very little or nothing of what it is, its definition, its scope or even the processes of implementation.

ICNA has taken up the challenge of dispelling the myths about Shariah Law and communicating the truth to the American public and has launched a campaign under the theme: Defending Religious Freedom — Understanding Shariah

During this campaign ICNA will present the facts about Shariah and will have an open dialogue and discussion with American brothers and sisters. And, hopes for a lively and highly civil engagement based on facts, not on myths, bigotry and discrimination.

As President John F. Kennedy once said:

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people”.


  • Eric

    It is a fact, not a myth, that Sharia Law is counter to the U.S.Constitution. Sharia is Islamic law, monotheistic, with no separation between mosque and state. Enjoy America’s freedom of religion and realize the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution over Sharia. Sharia governs every aspect of life for a Muslim, not just religion. It isn’t freedom of religion ICNA falsely claims to defend but rather the cloaked effort to usurp the U.S. Constitution with Sharia.

  • Alan

    You are a bunch of hypocrites! No they are not those fat animals from the Nile river, they are hippos.

    Defending religious freedom only for Moslems?

    What about the religious freedom of Christian minorities in places like Indonesia, Pakistan,Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran etc.?

  • Chris

    Before there can be an honest discussion of Sharia Law, readers should consult the most complete concise sourcebook for Sharia Law — ‘Umdat al-Salik, or Reliance of the Traveler, compiled by Ahmad ibn Niqib al-Misri (d. 1368). This “classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law” was translated into English by Nuh Ha Mim Keller in 1991. The 1,200 page volume has been certified by Al-Azhar University (Egypt) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (USA). While the volume represents the Shafi’i School of jurisprudence, it is identical with 75 percent of the other three Sunni Schools of Islamic law. Most of this manual can be accessed on-line at: . In particular, read sections a1.4 about good and evil, sections m10.12 and m5.0 about wives’ obligations, and sections o9.1 to o9.9 about Jihad against non-Muslims.

  • However Sharia is interpreted, it is undoubtedly a religious institution. And by that definition alone, it has no part to play in the U.S. government.

    Recent laws forbidding Shariah therefore have no practical benefit whatsoever: government promotion of Shariah law is already forbidden by the 1st Amendment, just as government promotion of Christian beliefs is forbidden.

    The effect of these laws, then, are purely inflammatory, and encourage religious hatred and demagoguery.

  • Pingback: Explaining Shariah (or not) « coming of age()

  • Qasim Sheikh

    It is funny when the far right wants to ban Sharia law and it actually practices Sharia law. Islam doesn’t permit abortion, gay marriage or pornography.

    The Republican party wants to ban abortion, gay marriage and pornography. Hence the most Sharia compliant organization in America is the Republican party.

    We should also anti-Sharia Law promoters, why do they practice Sharia Law more actively than American Muslims.

    According to Sharia Law, Muslims must march to end abortion, ban gay marriage and ban pornography.

    The radical Christian right is making sure it practices Sharia law more passionately than any American Muslim.

    Moreover, Jews have Halakha Law which is almost the same as Sharia Law.

    Here is the most important part of Sharia Law – you have to obey the laws and respect the customs of the country you live in.

    For example, Islam allows polygamy but polygamy is banned in America. Per Sharia law, an Imam in an American mosque must abide by the American law and only perform a wedding ceremony after a couple have received the marriage license from the local county office!

    So Sharia law actually forces American Muslims to obey the American constitution and local laws even more passionately!

    Republicans should focus on recruiting American Muslims as voters as Republican Social Values against gay marriage and against abortion are basically the foundation of Sharia Law.

  • sister

    Guest. I think this is confusing to a new Muslim even an American Muslim that has been kind of poorly educated and only self taught. I have been a practing Muslim since 1995 married to a Muslim, and been communities were education is not set up, people stay to them selves or in their small groups. I have been in 4 communities. It makes being Muslim very difficult when one has no true understanding of Islam except the Quran and books that don’t always help one to understand the text and meaning of the Quran. Left on ones own, interpation can and will be misunderstood.

  • Kristopher Schroder

    Sharia Law Also permits Death bye Stoning of Women that are raped,with out a trial, It also Allows what The Call Honor Killing, If a father believes His Daughter has MisBehaved, WE Put One Such Man In Jail for That Crime!!!

  • Richrd

    The quran claims that there is “no mystery not revealed in the quran”.
    This makes it impossible to acknowledge anything revealed by others. Thats why the claims by muslims that all inventions were made by them.
    Moreover, they also claim that there is no need for any further enlightenment, because they believe that everything is already being revealed by the quran.
    Even when people are not taking aim at extremism, many people still view religion in general, and Islam in particular, as a corrupting influence rather than
    one which grants people a sense of peace and direction in the world. That is why Reza Aslan has come out to defend Islam against the media’s assault. read more details.

  • Sharie Babcock Miller

    But that would go against American law, so that would make it against Sharia Law. Sharia Law states that you must obey the laws and respect the customs of the country you are in.

  • Actully, that isn’t true in the way that you present it. Not by a long shot.

  • Tracy Sutton



    TAQIYYA■ is defined as dissimulation about ones Muslim identity. It comes from the verse in the Quran that says, “Let believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful – he that does has nothing to hope for from Allah – except in self-defense(illaa an-tattaqu minhum tuqah) (Surah 3:28). This “self-defense” justifies dissimulation. Islamic Sharia Law provides, “When it is possible to achieve an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it ispermissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible, and lying isobligatory if the goal is obligatory.” (Reliance of the Traveler, Para r8.2) Examples include lying to protect Islam or a Muslim.


    TAWRIYA■ is defined as concealing, and it could be called “creative lying”. It is OK to break the intent of the oath, as long as you don’t break the letter of the oath. (Reliance of the Traveler, sections o19.1 and o19.5) How does this work? Suppose someone protests that Surah 1 of the Quran demeans Christians and Jews, because it is a supplication Muslims make to Allah seventeen times a day to keep them from the path of “those with whom God is angry” and “those who have lost their way”. A Muslim might respond, “Surah 1 never mentions Jews or Christians.” He is practicing tawriya, because while Surah 1 does not mention Jews and Christians by name, but he knows full-well that the words “those” refer to Jews and Christians.

    Another example would be when a Muslim responds to your greeting of “Merry Christmas!” He might say, “I wish you the best.” In your mind, you think he has returned a Christmas greeting. In actuality, he has expressed his wish for you to convert to Islam; he wishes the best for you which, in his view, is becoming a Muslim.


    KITMAN■ is characterized by someone telling only part of the truth. The most common example of this is when a Muslim says thatjihad really refers to an internal, spiritual struggle. He is not telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, as witnesses are sworn to do in U.S. courts. Often, kitman results in a gross distortion of the truth. In the example given, the Quran uses jihadand its derivatives 59 times. Of those, only 16 (27%) could be considered “internal” with no object as the target of the struggle based on the context of the surah.

    Another common form of kitman is to quote only the few peaceful passages from the Quran, knowing full-well that that passage was later abrogated by a more militant, contradictory verse. Here is an example:

    “There is no compulsion in religion” (Surah 2:256) Early Medina

    “Are they seeking a religion other than Allah’s, when every soul in the heavens and earth has submitted to Him, willingly or by compulsion?” (Surah 3:83 Later Medina)

    Another example:

    “Permission to take up arms is hereby given to those who are attacked, because they have been wronged.” (Surah 22:39) Late Mecca

    “When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere for them.” (Surah 9:5) Late Medina


    MURUNA■ means using “flexibility” to blend in with the enemy or the surroundings. The justification for this kind of deception is a somewhat bizarre interpretation of Surah 2:106, which says, “If we abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We will replace it by a better one or similar.” Thus, Muslims may forget some of the commands in the Quran, as long as they are pursuing a better command. Muslims striving to advance Islam, therefore, can deviate from their Islamic laws in order to cause non-Muslims to lower their guard and place their trust in their Muslim counterpart.

    At times, Muslims practice muruna in the same way a chameleon changes colors to avoid detection. Muslims will sometimes shave off their beards, wear western clothing, or even drink alcohol to blend in with non-Muslims. Nothing is more valuable these days to the Islamists than a blue-eyed Caucasian Muslim willing to engage in terrorism.

    Another common way of using muruna is for a Muslim to marry a non-Muslim or for A MUSLIM TO BEHAVE LIKE A NON-MUSLIM SO THEIR TRUE AGENDA WILL NOT BE SUSPECTED. The 9/11 hijackers visited strip clubs and bars during their off-times while taking classes in the U.S. to fly airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House. Many Americans believe Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, married Jewish Congressman Anthony Weiner at least in part to burnish her security credentials so she could infiltrate the highest levels of the Administration.

    The implications of these highly-honed tactics of deception could be enormous for unassuming Western societies. Twenty years ago, psychologist Paul Ekman wrote an insightful book, “Telling Lies”, which demonstrated that people give off recognizable clues when they are practicing deceit. Their consciences cause them, involuntarily, to sweat or raise their voices or make other recognizable gestures. However, Dr. Ekman’s research was exclusively with people from Western cultures. ●Muslims, on the other hand, show no discernible signs when they are being deceitful because there is no feeling of guilt [it is under holy honor such practices are carried out].● In their minds they are doing exactly what Allah wants them to do to advance Islam. Because any Western person who has raised children knows almost intuitively when someone is lying, so they assume they can do that in all cases. Unfortunately, those same Western people can be easily duped by Islamic deceit because there are no tell-tale signs in the deceiver.

    Hopefully, this article will be a wake-up call to the unsuspecting infidels. Trust but verify – as was an old American strategy in dealing with potentially hostile parties – is the way to go in dealing with Islamists.

  • Tracy Sutton

    Of COURSE, haha, you can’t post freely here, what was I thinking!? :D. Ah, to control every outlet and strangle the truth.

  • Huh? What about all the ‘honor killing’ Stateside on in the UK? Sharie Babcock Miller is believing a lie or forwarding a lie!

  • Jenny Rose

    You conveniently forgot to mention how sharia law was built on the tears, blood and pain of Muslim women and little girls. Honor killings, stoning and public floggings of women. Little girls forced to marry grown men, aka legalized pedophilia. (Do you have any idea or even care what sex does to a little 8 year old girl’s body and spirit?) No matter how hard you Islamic fundamentalists want it, these barbaric, demonic practices have no place in a civilized 21st country. Sharia law belongs to the Dark Ages.
    OH, never mind, you will never publish it. I just realized my comment has to be approved by Islamists. Ha, what a joke.