Is the Sharia a Threat to American Values?
The Blaze reported Wednesday that Collin County, Texas, District Judge Andrea Thompson “effectively denied [in March] a U.S. citizen,” a Muslim woman named Mariam Ayad, “her constitutionally protected due process rights, choosing instead to order her to appear before an Islamic tribunal where her testimony is considered inferior. And when her lawyers sounded the alarm — the judge doubled down.”
Mariam was attempting to exercise her legal right to a divorce last year when her husband, Ayad Hashim Latif, revealed that on the day of their wedding in 2008, she had signed an Islamic prenuptial agreement to have all matters regarding the marriage and divorce be decided according to sharia law.
According to court documents, Mariam claims that she was essentially hoodwinked and defrauded into signing the document. At the time, she believed she was signing two copies of a marriage acknowledgment form, which is customary in Muslim cultures.
What is Sharia Law?
“Sharia” is the Arabic term for Islamic law, and it literally translates as “a path to water where people can drink and seek nourishment.” It is a handbook of rules and regulations Muslims must observe in obedience to Allah. As I explain in my book slam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up, the problem with the sharia is that it is constructed on a three-fold inequality: the inequality between a man and a woman, the inequality between Muslim and non-Muslim and the inequality between freeman and slave.
It is based on a copious number of hard-to-memorize hadiths, which is why the fuqaha (the opinions and legal doctrines of jurists) enjoy an almost absolute authority over the faithful. As rule of law, the sharia regulates individual behavior both for the sovereign and the simple believer. It, in its all-embracing nature, categorizes ritual, state law, diet, ethics, and other forms of human conduct. Yet it is not an exclusive religious code from our Western understanding, since it also coordinates the demeanor in the secular sphere, such as economics and politics.
An extreme application of sharia law can be seen in the physical violation of women. While the raping of a woman is a crime in all countries, sharia courts in Islamic states, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya, allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim.
Naturally, there are no such provisions in the United States in which Muslims can settle legal disputes or contracts according to sharia provisions. Yet the aforementioned overtures decision of Judge Thompson shows how Islamists continue to insert themselves in key governmental and NGO positions getting the rule of law to favor them.
Like a Trojan horse, Islamists have been able to infiltrate, for example, the Western field of education, creating an environment of receptivity and understanding for the next generation of Americans to accept their sharia-based lifestyle. Saudi money has financed institutions alongside multitudes of other Islamic organizations across the world and within the United States. (Eighty percent of 1,200 mosques operating in the United States were built after 2003.) Qatar’s equal vision for America is being peddled through our children’s classrooms, targeting a pliable population with a long shelf life.
This has reciprocally occurred with the assistance of terror-linked NGOs, such as the Council for American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, which have bought off Washington influencers and think-tanks to have them capitulate to Islamic “needs” in our society.
For whatever reason, this nescience has convinced numerous Westerners to embrace Islam, failing to see it for what it truly is: a political entity with the global end to Islamize society:
“It is He [Allah] Who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may exalt it above every other religion. Allah suffices as witness.” —Sura 48, 28
In June 2015, the Center for Security Policy found that 51 percent of Muslims in the United States stated that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to sharia.” Their poll also showed that 20 percent of American Muslims believe that the “use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make sharia the law of the land;” 25 percent of them stated that violence is acceptable to punish those who offend Islam.
Over half of America’s Muslims believe that sharia should be the law of the land! A fourth of American Muslims condone violence for drawing a cartoon of Muhammad. This is the new jihad led by Islamists — while the term is interchangeable with the term Muslim, an Islamist is one who actively or passively supports Islamic nationalism and a sharia-based society, whether through political or violent means — in America.
Incompatibility of Sharia Law Coexisting with Western Laws
There numerous elements of the sharia that clash with American society or American values, such as the prohibition of the use of interest-bearing financial products. This is expressed in the refusal to use credit cards, take out auto loans, or have home mortgages with banks.
Jeffrey Bristol, in his 2018 article “Islamic Law Is Alive and Well in the U.S.,” explains how practically every religious group in America has had to accommodate U.S. law — and in numerous cases, the U.S. has adjusted to the beliefs of religious groups.
- In the Amish community, for example which follows their own law, called Ordnung, clashes between Amish and U.S. law. Notwithstanding the controversy, the Supreme Court in Wisconsin v Yoder (1972) upheld the right of Amish families in Wisconsin to remove their children from school after the eighth grade.
- American Jews who follow Halakha have courts and institutions that enforce it called the Beth Din. These courts have operated both formally and informally in conjunction with American society for as long as Jews have resided in the U.S.
It is true that the sharia is arbitrary, especially when there is no central authority to universally speak for Muslims. And we know how laws continue to change in the U.S. Yet American norms have a written Constitution as a point of reference. In the Islamic world the forging and/or enforcement of the sharia is left to an individual judge or a group of so-called scholars whose point of references are the Quran and the hadiths being free to create any law they see fit to ad hoc situations.
And this is what makes it incompatible with the rule of law in the West.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.