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ICNA Mobilizes for the National Sharia Campaign

06 25 11




With the concept of Shariah cropping up in forums across the country, and states moving to ban courts altogether from the consideration or use of Shariah, the Islamic Circle of North America is taking action. The organization’s “Understanding Shariah” campaign is geared to tackle what can easily be labeled one of the most controversial and misunderstood issues in the nation today.


Launched in May 2011, the Understanding Shariah campaign is an educational initiative that hopes to “help the public understand Shariah and counter the rise of Islamophobia in America.” Naeem Baig, Executive Director of the ICNA Council for Social Justice hopes the campaign will further shift focus from the misnomer “Shariah law” and draw attention to what he feels is really at stake here—religious freedom. “[Because of the freedoms granted under the First Amendment] Jewish family law is acceptable in civil courts today,” says Baig. “Muslims are as American as any other faith group, and are deserving of these rights as well.”


ICNA is working on a comprehensive website to be launched as part of the campaign; the site will archive articles and references to Shariah, answer common questions on the topic and include specialized action alerts so individuals across the country can contribute to the campaign. The ICNA Shariah Council will also hold online lectures and open Q & A sessions to discuss what Shariah means, provide Imams with material for Friday sermons and pen rebuttals to hateful and misinformed reports on Shariah.


ICNA will also host educational seminars in major cities across the country, along with a daylong conference on Shariah in Washington, DC. Two special editions of Message Magazine will be dedicated to the campaign, and an estimated 200,000 copies of the magazine will be distributed nationwide. ICNA also hopes to create a public service announcement and documentary on Shariah, along with mobilizing its chapters will partner with various civic and faith based organizations, as well as local Islamic centers and national Muslim organizations to achieve these goals. The campaign is expected to last until the end of 2012.


A major objective of the campaign is to educate the “movers and shakers of society,” including senators, governors, assemblymen, professors and even high school teachers on the concept of Shariah. ICNA President Dr. Zahid Bukhari says by reaching out to these individuals, as well as print and electronic media outlets, the organization will be able to make a significant change in the understanding of Shariah amongst the American public. Organizers also hope the campaign will move people to see the anti-Shariah movement for what it is—“an attempt by Islamophobes to spread misinformation about Islam and target one religious community for cheap political gain.”


As Baig brings up, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain recently stated he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet—a comment that was met by the applause and enthusiasm of many. “Fear-mongering and hate-mongering are becoming the norm,” says Baig, “and it is alarming and disturbing on so many levels.” This, as Dr. Bukhari points out, is the perfect time for ICNA and other Muslim and faith based organizations to get involved. “Shariah continues to persist as a topic of debate in both state and national settings. This is the right time for us to discuss Shariah and educate the public on this matter.”


  • Muslimah


    Alhumdulillah, this is good! I recently married, Sharia (islamic marriage)without a legal license as the State of California does not recognize this practice, and although the mosque and/or Imam’s in the area, practice this law, it has not yet been legally introduced into the Mosque. I pray I am representing this correctly. However, this is good and I pray that Allah, bless you and all muslims with your efforts.

    Muslimah Jaavaid-Mu’Min

  • Emaduddin Miraj

    Thank you brothers about the artical and subject that you wrote. Allah J give you guy Ajrul Azim. I make dowa to Allah J to give you guys Tawfiq to explian the Sharia(Islamic Low). what real shariah mean.because of, misunderstaning of some people they indtroduce shariah differnt from which Allah J in Quran explain for us and also in Hadith Prophete Mohammad PBUH told us. please if is posssible send me tha copy of the magazin which you guys distrubuting in United Stat. My address is:
    Emaduddin Miraj
    from Toronto, Canada
    Jazakumullah ul khair

    your brother
    Emaduddin Miraj from Toronto, CA

  • I need your help: please consider signing the petition to stop “The Great Anti-Sharia Freakout” at If you’d like to learn more before signing, join the LinkedIn discussion for readers of the Economist Newsmagazine.



  • Jack Estes

    We have been warned that you would try this crap!! When you do you will open a hornet’s nest and I will be a hornet! We already have a set of laws here that are NOT based on religion. BACK OFF!!!
    If you don’t like our laws go back where you come from.

  • Azeem

    Jack Estes, are you related to Yusuf Estes? look him up.


    Dear Citizens of USA

    As we understood USA is a great country harmonized Democracy with its sense of seriousness.

    A democratic society should be patients enough to accept the right of citizen’s ideological movements if it is within the values & principles of the democracy.

    In this base we feel that the outright call for BACK OFF is utterly UN-DEMOCRATIC & UN-CIVILIZED.

  • Stop Sharia

    I’m Muslim and DO NOT WANT SHARIA HERE. That is why I left Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. God Bless America, where the constitution is number one. We are not talking about the “sharia” of praying and fasting, we are talking here about the gender discrimination (2 women to 1 man witness BS) We are talking about signing your daughters sex right off with money called (nikah) Nope, Dont want that crap here. I left that back in Pakistan. Do you know that nearly every Imam in USA is tellling women not to call Police when there is domestic violence. DV should not be resolved be any Imam. Only the police!

  • Jilbab

    @StopSharia, I am sure you are such a great Muslim leader that every Imam in USA (more than 2,000) exclusively confides with you what they are telling women.

    I am also confident that your love of Islam and Sharia is so great that you have more education on Sharia than those who have spent lifetimes studying it. Thus you are well qualified to pass judgement on what is Sharia and what is not and also Nikah and other Gender issues.

    From here on, you are our source of guidance O great scholar of sharia. Please come out of your anonymity and just tell us what to call you.

  • The Tenth Crusades are here!
    Islam is NOT a religion. It is a totalitarian political ideology with religious trappings. It hides behind “religion” as it pursues its political agenda – Shariah to replace YOUR government and every government it touches. Islam is undeserving of “freedom of religion” protections afforded to actual religions in this country.
    Islam is based on the writings of a minor desert chieftain pedophile that exhorts it followers to see violence as the solution to most every eventuality.

  • Stoney Gardener

    Sharia= Misery & Death. Muslims come here to Escape that Crap! Unless they’ve come here to try to take our Freedom & our Constitution. Sharia & The Constitution cannot live in the same Space. We’ll have no part of it! Your Muslim President will pay for his TREASON!

  • Ahmed

    Bullshit! We don’t want Shariat in America. We are happy with American laws that give us as Muslims equality. You guys are the ones who need to get on with the program. You want Shariat, move to Saudi Arabia where they won’t even give you citizenship EVER. You guys are sick and other Muslims should shun you and keep you at an arm’s length. That is the only way. If I see you at my mosque, I am coming over to give you a tongue lashing. You’d better watch. Khuda Hafiz.

  • US

    “Fear-mongering and hate-mongering are becoming the norm,” says Baig, “and it is alarming and disturbing on so many levels.” This, as Dr. Bukhari points out, is the perfect time for ICNA and other Muslim and faith based organizations to get involved. “Shariah continues to persist as a topic of debate in both state and national settings. This is the right time for us to discuss Shariah and educate the public on this matter.”

  • b a

    10)Adam ignored God’s command in the Quran, but Eve is blamed to enticing him in the ahadith-just like bible(in order for you to believe that woman is evil).
    11)Eve was made out of adam’s rib (not in quran, but found in hadith and bible; calling women crooked like a rib)
    12) Woman is considered half a witness (not in quran, only in hadtih and has the prophet stating degrading comments to women-‘You lack of common sense (in) that the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man, that is the proof of your lack of common sense. And you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan during the menstrual days) you do not observe fast; that is your failing in religion.’ (Muslim 31) Menses is a physical condition , it’s not failing, not a lack of belief or faith.
    13) Cutting of hands in quran (5:38) metaphorically and the same words for cutting are used in other parts of the quran metaphorically (Qata-Yad) but in hadith it is used literally and mentions times when prophet ordered peoples hands to be chopped off. The quran states the punishment should be proportionate to the crime (42:40)
    14)Calling halaal food haraam/ghair-zabiha. Quran doesn’t use the word zabiha (man-made term) Quran specifically states what is halaal for you and what is not. Many other verses you know about.
    15) sharia’ law is not in quran (man-made laws with punishments that were deemed fit at that time by the present rulers, cultures, kingdom and these punishments are not found in quran.)
    16) Hadith state that black magic took over the prophet and that is why surah naas was declared. No mention of black magic controlling the prophet (pbuh)in the Quran. It is a superstition created to invoke fear in the weak believers. How can the greatest prophet/man in the world be ‘Possessed’. Allah protected him from so much and HE would allow this?

    All of the above examples are found in bukhari, tirmizi, abu dawud, malik, Muslim, etc. Unfortunately there are hundreds more.

  • Emaan

    Salaam, I do not have a problem with Sharia IF IT IS BASED UPON THE HOLY QUR’AN, which present-day Sharia is not. This is the reason why people want to escape places that have a so-called sharia law. Present-day sharia is largely based upon stupid and cruel man-made ahaddith, not Qur’an. Whenever man tries to improve upon what Allah has sent there is bound to be problems. At present, there is no such thing as an Islamic state or country anywhere in the world. This, as I see it, is why there is such a phobia concerning sharia; the rulings are not truly Islamic. As just one example, there is no injunction for stoning anywhere in the Qur’an. The only time it is mentioned in the Qur’an is in reference to the practices of unrighteous people. Sharia needs a serious revising before it can be respected and accepted.

  • akw

    There is not going to be sharia law in the US. Period. Sharia law, democracy and equal rights are not compatible.
    It has nothing to do with so-called Ismamophobia.”

    “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qu’ran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
    —Omar Ahmed CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) Founding Chairman

    “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”
    —-Hassan al Banna, (1906 – 1949) teacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood

    “The Ikhwan (Muslims Brothers) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
    — by Mohamed Akram, May 19, 1991, Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America

    “Islamic Holy war against followers of other religions, such as Jews, is required unless they convert to Islam or pay the poll tax.”
    —- Al-Amili Shia Muslim who wrote Jami-i-Abbasi. He died in 1622 CE.

  • akw

    “Islam has a total organization of life that is completely different from ours; it embraces simply everything. There is a very marked subordination of woman to man; there is a very tightly knit criminal law, indeed, a law regulating all areas of life, that is opposed to our modern ideas about society. One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”
    —-Pope Benedict XVI
    “One day, millions of [Muslim] men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”
    –— Houari (Mohamed) Boumedienne, President of Algeria, 1965 – 1978, in a 1974 speech at the UN
    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia [rabies] in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. …The fact that in Mohammedan law [sharia] every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities—but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”
    —Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Prime Minister
    “During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier and the Polish king, the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors; and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today nobody can find in them any “social values” whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influence. There are such “social values” today in Europe, America, and Australia only because during those thousand years the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do – that is, to beat back the Moslem invader.”
    —Teddy Roosevelt (1858 -1919) Twenty-sixth President of the United States

  • zk

    @akw please provide references for your quotes. Most of those are plain lies associated with those people. Rest are taken out of context.

    This is the exact misinformation and fear mongering that ICNA is concerned with.

  • D.A.

    Unfortunately a lot of these comments are the very epitome of the misunderstanding of Shariah. Please realize that ICNA’s campaign is about spreading the *understanding of Shariah*, not *Shariah* itself.

  • USA

    We’ve all heard one side of the story – the side that attacks Shariah. Fine, now let’s hear the other side of the story for a change. We have brains, don’t we? Let’s hear both sides. And then, let us judge.

  • Brandon

    will someone please tell me if you condemn amputation for punishment of thieves… I think thats a difficult topic for Americans to handle. Any answers would be helpful, I’m writing a paper on religious conflicts in Orange County, CA. Any thing i could read that could explain the modern muslim american point of view? thanks in advance.

  • syed ahmed

    am also confident that your love of Islam and Sharia is so great that you have more education on Sharia than those who have spent lifetimes studying it. Thus you are well qualified to pass judgement on what is Sharia and what is not and also Nikah and other Gender issues.
    From here on, you are our source of guidance O great scholar of sharia. Please come out of your anonymity and just tell us what to call you.

  • vin Ienco

    sharia is a barbaric law for barbaric ppl. the real human race, doesn’t want it , doesn’t need it. for those of you that know nothing about sharia. read about it, not a propaganda site like this one . amputation for thieves, death for homosexuals, death for ppl who have sex before marriage, whipping for drinkers and gamblers. let them keep it in iran, aceh indonesia and so on. civilized ppl dont want it

  • ezat

    Whats astonishing is how many people hate Sharia without learning first what it consists of. Most Islamophobes only understand what they hear about Islam and Sharia, not by what they explored on their own by readings. Hating Muslims in this country is so normal these days.

  • Edward Barnes

    The constitution of the United states has no shariah law in it. So, know it or not, matters not. even if people like it, still matters not

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  • etka777

    Jewish family law protects constituents it does not seek to maim girls (circumcision of clitoris) it does not encourage stoning or hanging Islam has a lot to learn from Judaism before the have the gall to compare themselves to Judaism. In fact judaism is the only religion that does not and did not ever force people to convert or face death. Learn .