SHARIA LAW OR THE CONSTITUTION? AMERICA MUST CHOOSE
We tend to assume Islam deserves unquestioned First Amendment protection. But it is a totalitarian way of life with aggressive political goals, not just a religion. What is to be done?
The Founders who wrote the U.S. Constitution were very aware that the citizens of this nascent nation wanted the freedom to choose their own manner of worship. They made history by forbidding religious tests for public office in Article VI. They added the First Amendment to ensure that Americans would be protected from government interference in their spiritual affairs.
But a dilemma exists in our nation today concerning whether or how the First Amendment should properly be applied to Islam. This essay will show that the ultimate outcome of blanket protection for Islam in all its manifestations on the grounds of "religious freedom" would be the establishment of Islamic law and government, or Sharia, alongside or in place of civil law and government in this country.
As we will see, Sharia law is totalitarian in nature, providing no individual freedoms while virtually enslaving those who live under its authority. This is absolutely not what the Founders intended in creating the Bill of Rights.
First Amendment Protection
Ever since its ratification in 1791, the First Amendment protection from government control of the church and interference in the faith of individual citizens has been a cornerstone of the American way of life. Although the protections have been challenged and redefined through the years, and continue to be debated, overall they remain intact. What Thomas Jefferson called the "wall of separation between church and state" has become part of our political and cultural landscape.
Most Americans accept the notion that the Constitution allows them to worship any way they choose, period or to declare themselves atheists and not worship at all. Muslims who follow the teachings of the Koran, the Islamic holy book, have, therefore, enjoyed complete First Amendment protection like other faith, ever since the first Muslims arrived in America in the 19th century.
Case closed? No, because adherents of any doctrine, faith, or religion are still bound by the laws of the land. Citizens as well as visitors in America are required to obey all laws, regardless of any conflict with their individual beliefs or form of worship.
For example, religions that call for animal sacrifice or encourage sex with minors are not permitted to act out such rituals. While some Mormons may believe in polygamy, they are not allowed to practice it. Other practices such as the use of narcotics and mind-altering drugs are also deemed unlawful, religious justifications to the contrary notwithstanding.
To be a good American, one must accept these legal restrictions in the interest of public order, human dignity, and cultural consensus. People of faith can use their constitutional freedoms to try to change laws they may find objectionable due to conflicts with their faith. But meanwhile, no one is excused from obeying the law as it stands.
How Islam Differs
Where is the dividing line as far as Islam is concerned? That is now the burning question, and it may be literally a matter of survival for our way of life. We have taken for granted that Islam deserves the same constitutionally protected status afforded to Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other faiths. This is reasonable if one simply considers Islam a religion like any other.
After all, the president of the United States has stated that Islam is one of the "world's great religions" and "a religion of peace."1 Other world leaders have done the same. Muslims refer to Islam as their religion and have insisted on their unhindered right to practice it. Americans have been most accommodating in return. But therein lies a huge problem for the nation's future, because Islam is not just another religion. In its fullest form, Islam is a complete and totalitarian way of life.2
Theocracy and Totalitarianism
Islam does have a religious component, but it has many other components, which should not be entitled to the same level of constitutional protection. Islam is foremost a legal system, called Sharia law. Islam under Koranic doctrine also includes economic, financial, social, military, and governmental components, which do not coexist easily with non-Muslim beliefs and practices.
Nor does Islam recognize any separation of church and state. Islamic republics are dominated by spiritual leaders who oversee the strict adherence to Sharia law by the populace. In countries where Islamic enclaves or ghettos have emerged, such as France and Britain, local mullahs enforce Sharia law regardless of its conflict with national or state laws.
Sharia is Islam's core, not some radical variation.
Sharia law is the foundation of Islamic theocracy and totalitarianism. The establishment of global Sharia law is the goal of the adherents to authoritative Islam. The Koran is unequivocal in its directive to Muslims to establish a global Islamic state, or Caliphate, over which the Islamic messiah, or Mahdi, will rule with Sharia as the only law of the land.3 That is the intent of many influential Islamic elements in America. But it is the exact opposite of what the First Amendment was designed to protect.
Sharia is derived from multiple sources. The Koran, considered the "uncreated word of Allah" is the primary source of Sharia law. The Hadith (sayings and actions of Muhammad) is the second most important document in Sharia. Historic rulings by jurists and reasoning by analogy make up the other two, less-influential sources of Sharia.4 Together these constitute Islam's theological core, not some radical variationand they result in a totalitarian way of life for Muslim followers and non-Muslim subjects alike.
Death to Apostates
Sharia law is utterly inconsistent with American values, as it enslaves those under it and encourages or commands acts of violence and barbaric behavior. Sharia demands the death of those who renounce Islam.5 Honor killings, marital rape, female genital mutilation, and severing of hands and feet are but a few of the other components of Sharia.
The details of Islamic law are readily available in English translation. The one most commonly used is entitled Reliance of the Traveler. Authenticated by Islamic scholars for English speakers, this reference outlines the incredibly abhorrent behavior demanded of the adherents of Islam.
When one reads, for example, that Muslim men are directed to beat their wives for rejecting sexual advances, it becomes obvious American values are in direct conflict with what Islamic law requires of its followers. Yet these inhumane practices are exactly what our government and courts have been dutifully protecting under the First Amendment.
The Constitution of the United States in Article VI declares itself "the supreme law of the land." No foreign laws can supersede our own Constitution and laws, nor can they be considered in the jurisprudence of courts at any level in America. Yet Judge Joseph Charles of the New Jersey family court denied a restraining order to a Muslim woman whose husband had serially raped and beaten her, because the judge determined that the Muslim man was acting under his beliefs (Sharia law) and not with criminal intent.7 Fortunately, this 2009 decision was overruled by an appellate court.
But Sharia law has nonetheless been considered in 17 court cases in 11 states.8 Sharia is creeping into our society just as it has in many European countriesand this must be stopped.
Numerous adherents of Islam in this country have espoused an anti-constitution position and a seditious agenda, explicitly and on the record. The ultimate goal of these individuals and groups is to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia law.
This conclusion is beyond dispute, since the guiding force behind the effort, the Muslim Brotherhood (called in Arabic the Ikwan), has been open about its intent for America. The Muslim Brotherhood began infiltrating the United States in the 1960s with the declared intent of destroying the existing political order and establishing Sharia law.
Goal: Destroy from Within
Incredible? It sounds that way, but leaders and known associates of this group have repeatedly announced their intentions for our future. As early as 1996, Abdurahman Alamoudi, one of the senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, made the statement that ".America will become an Islamic country," while speaking in Illinois at a meeting of the Islamic Association of Palestine.9
Mr. Alamoudi was one of the most respected Islamic leaders in the nation at the time, enjoying routine access to the Clinton White House. He was used regularly as an adviser to the president and was sent abroad frequently as a goodwill ambassador representing the United States government. Today Mr. Alamoudi is serving a 23-year sentence after being convicted on terrorism charges.
Other Islamic leaders, in openly making similar statements, have done so on the highest authority. For in a document placed in evidence by the prosecution at the U.S. v Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008, and stipulated as authentic by the defense, Muslim Brotherhood leaders officially declared:
The Ikhwan 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 own hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions.10
So there can be no doubt about the intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood in America: The United States Constitution is their targetand the First Amendment as currently interpreted is their protection. National headlines have repeatedly furnished us evidence of this cancer within, if we would but open our eyes.
Major Nidal Hassan screamed "Allahu Akbar" as he stormed through the Fort Hood Support Center killing and wounding his fellow soldiers and civilian employees at the U.S. Army post on Nov. 5, 2009.
Hassan was sworn to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, but on that day he was a Muslim following the dictates of the Koran, a fact our government's final report on that attack failed to mention. The report never mentioned his Islamic faith at all. Yet Hassan was an acting Muslim chaplain at the Army post, and in 2007 he had presented a 50-slide briefing to senior officers in which he made it very clear that his allegiance was to Sharia law and not the U.S. Constitution.
A similar incident occurred in 2003, when a Muslim soldier of the 101st Airmobile Division threw a fragmentary grenade into a tent and killed fellow soldiers just before the division entered Iraq. Again, this man's allegiance was not to the U.S. Constitution; rather, he was following Sharia law by obeying the Koranic command to commit jihad against infidels.11
Both of these home-grown jihadists, along with countless other American citizens who follow the violent directives of the Koran, were radicalized in Saudi-funded mosques across America where anti-American rhetoric is spewed freely and the establishment of Sharia law is advocated. Imam Faisal Rauf, the "Ground Zero Mosque" imam, has regularly called for the United States to allow the practice of Sharia, as have many other Islamic leaders.
Raise Awareness, Rethink Policy
What must we do to resist this avowed "grand jihad destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their own hands?" The first step is to raise public awareness. The next step, more difficult constitutionally but imperative for our self-preservation, is to rethink public policy.
Shouldn't Islamic leaders and imams be put on notice that when they advocate the imposition of Sharia in America, they will be investigated and prosecuted as appropriate? Shouldn't the mosques from which they preach this anti-constitutional rhetoric be similarly investigated and, if violations of law are found, be closed?
Shouldn't Muslims who reject Sharia be encouraged to speak out publicly and take a firm stand against it? Shouldn't those who advocate the imposition of Sharia in this country be treated like the KKK and other hate-crimes groupsand perhaps not even allowed to hold public office, serve in the military, or occupy positions of trust in the government?
Americans can no longer operate from a position of ignorance about Islam. It is the responsibility of every citizen to become informed on Islam in order to understand Sharia. Relying on political leaders, opinion elites, and the media to inform us is unfortunately not an option. When Americans realize the threat of Islamic law, they will certainly sense a call to action. Europe failed to answer that same call, and it may now be too late for them to reverse the inevitable Islamic domination of their continent.
Our First Amendment was never meant to protect sedition or insurgency. It is time to stop applying it in this suicidal fashion. Even as you read this, law and policy in the United States are continuing to allow seditious insurgents hiding behind a nave misinterpretation of "religious freedom" to erode our values, undermine our liberties, and threaten our future. We must stop it nowbefore we are incapable of stopping it at all.
1 John Beverly, "Islam a Religion of Peace?", Christianity Today, January 7, 2002
2 Shariah the Threat to America, Center For Security Policy, 2010, p 37
3 Mark A. Gabriel, Islam and Terrorism, Charisma House, 2002, p 32
4 Shariah the Threat to America, p 37
5 Koran, Sura 4: 89, The Noble Quran
6 Reliance Of The Traveller, Amana Publications, 1991, p 541
7 Maxim Lott, "Shariah Law Comes to New Jersey", Fox News.com, August 5, 2010
8 John Bennett, "Sharia Law is Already Here", American Thinker Website, November 30, 2010
9 Shariah the Threat to America, p 17
10 Ibid, p 17
11 Ibid, p17
William G. Boykin retired from the U.S. Army in 2007 at the rank of Lieutenant General. He was an original member of the Army's Delta Force and a senior leader at the Pentagon during the Iraq War. He is the author of Never Surrender, a memoir, and heads Kingdom Warriors, a Christian ministry. This essay is adapted from his speech at the Western Conservative Summit on July 10, 2010. The author's opinions are not necessarily those of Centennial Institute or Colorado Christian University.
Centennial Institute sponsors research, events, and publications to enhance public understanding of the most important issues facing our state and nation. By proclaiming Truth, we aim to foster faith, family, and freedom, teach citizenship, and renew the spirit of 1776.
Voices of CCU
A CLASH OF LOYALTIES?
By John Andrews
John Andrews<http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/email/CR-dec-web-images/summit-ja-070910.jpg> Americans are a generous and fair-minded people. We want to give the other person the benefit of the doubt, especially when his or her beliefs may differ from our own. Our religious tolerance runs deep. So when the question is asked, "Can a good Muslim be a good American?" we are inclined to say, "Of course, why not?"
But if a good American is defined as one who gives highest earthly allegiance to the Constitution with all its rights, liberties, representative institutions, and limitations upon governmentand if a good Muslim is defined as one who gives highest earthly allegiance to the Koran with its absolutist code of Sharia law proclaimed as supreme above any civil lawthe answer is not so simple.
When you reason from those definitions, a clash of loyalties, potentially irreconcilable, becomes evident. It is such an uncomfortable line of reasoning to pursue that most Americans (including most American Muslims) simply do not pursue it.
In failing to think the matter through, howevereven in the decade since Muslim attackers carried out an act of holy war against the U. S. homeland on September 11, 2001, and with all the mounting evidence since thenwe have arguably placed our own survival as a free country in great danger.
William Boykin's essay in this issue of Centennial Review challenges you and me to think the matter through. Some may find his views unwelcome or offensive. But the concern he raises deserves careful consideration, especially coming from a man of the General's vast experience and distinguished service to our country. Potential violations of the Smith Act by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood cannot be ignored.
The Sharia Awareness Project, a campus lecture series, began when Centennial Institute opened its doors in 2009. Speakers have included John Guandolo, Brigitte Gabriel, Tawfik Hamid, Kamal Saleem, and Imam Karim Abuzaid, along with three lectures by Gen. Boykin. His warning here is the plea of a patriot; we should listen well.
CI Logo-CMYK.ai<http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/email/CI-Logo-CMYK_fmt.jpeg> John Andrews is a Principia College graduate, a U.S. Navy veteran, and former president of the Colorado Senate. Centennial Institute is the fourth think tank he has led.
CENTENNIAL REVIEW is published monthly by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. Designer, Danielle Hull. Illustrator, Benjamin Hummel. Subscriptions free upon request. Write to: Centennial Institute, 8787 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, CO 80226. Call 800.44.FAITH. Or visit us online at www.CentennialCCU.org.
andrews fml red09.tif<http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/email/CR-dec-web-images/andrews%20fml%20red09_fmt.jpeg> Please join the Centennial Institute today. As a Centennial donor, you can help us restore America's moral core and prepare tomorrow's leaders. Your gift is tax-deductible. Please use the envelope provided. Thank you for your support.
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"Fulfilling America's Promise"
Western Conservative Summit 2011
July 29-31, Denver Marriott City Center
Save the Date Plan to Attend
Centennial Institute's second annual rally on the right will be even bigger than in 2010. Pictured are some of the speakers we've begun inviting. Vote for your preference of speakers at WesternConservativeSummit.com. And watch this space in coming months for ticket information.
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Principled Ideas from the Centennial Institute Volume 2, Number 10 December 2010 Publisher, William L. Armstrong Editor, John Andrews