Several of the groups represented there will be familiar to Gates of Vienna readers: Actions Sita, Riposte Laïque, the French Defence League, and the English Defence League. Not least among them is the Alliance to Stop Sharia, which has been instrumental in shifting the focus of the European Counterjihad from Islam as a religion to the evils of sharia law.
Resisting Islamization means resisting the encroachment of sharia in our countries. Opposing sharia doesn’t have to involve religion — sharia, as law, is already inimical to constitutional law in all Western countries. There’s no need to argue that Mohammed wasn’t the messenger of Allah. It doesn’t matter whether or not the Koran was dictated to him by the Archangel Gabriel. We don’t need to concern ourselves with the word of Allah to decide that Islamic law is against the basic legal codes of every Western country.
Virtually anyone who opposes Islamization is familiar with the outlines of sharia:
It makes women into second-class citizens.
It also insists that they be stoned to death for adultery.
It prescribes amputation for theft.
It demands the death penalty for leaving Islam, and even for “insulting the prophet”.
It includes many other practices that would be considered barbaric in any civilized country.
All of the above is true, and items like these are the important talking points that we should emphasize in our work as anti-sharia activists. But it’s also useful to understand sharia in greater depth.
Where does sharia come from? And how may we infidels learn more about it so we can understand it properly, cite it correctly, and argue effectively against liberals and Muslims who gloss over its true nature?
First of all: concerning sharia, do not believe what is written or spoken by Muslims when it is intended for non-Muslims. What is written about Islam for an infidel audience is different from what Muslims teach members of their own faith.
To learn about Islamic law, what we read must have these characteristics:
1. It must be written by a Muslim.
2. The author must be recognized within the Muslim community as an expert on Islamic law.
3. The work must be intended for a Muslim audience.
This is not as difficult as it seems. Despite what Muslim spokesmen would like you to believe, it isn’t necessary to know Arabic, since four-fifths of the world’s Muslims don’t understand Arabic. Many authoritative books on Islamic law that are intended for a Muslim audience are written in English.
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Sharia is included in the constitutions of almost all Muslim-majority countries. These countries pay lip-service to “human rights”, but to Muslims the term does not mean what it does to most Westerners. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The constitutions of Islamic countries — if they mention human rights at all — reference the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which is a formal legal instrument promulgated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on behalf of OIC member states in 1990. It was formally served to the United Nations in 1993.
To get an idea of what the Cairo Declaration is about, take a look at Article 2 (my emphasis):
Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it without a Shari’ah-prescribed reason.
In other words: Muslims may cause bodily harm to others without violating their victims’ human rights, provided that their acts are justified under sharia.
Article 19 tells us:
All individuals are equal before the law, without distinction between the ruler and the ruled. [...] There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Shari’ah.
In other words: all punishment of criminals must be according to Islamic law. This means that adulterous women must be stoned. Blasphemers and homosexuals must be killed. Thieves must have their hands cut off. And so on.
To make sure that there is no doubt about the primacy of sharia, we learn in Articles 24 and 25 that:
All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.
The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.
So now we know that the signatories of the Cairo Declaration proclaim their absolute adherence to sharia. When Islam dominates in a nation, sharia becomes the law of the land.
It’s clear that Muslim countries base their legal systems on sharia. But what exactly is sharia? And how do we find out about it?
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There are four schools of Islamic jurisprudence in Sunni Islam: Hanbali, Hanafi, Shafi’ite, and Maliki. These four disciplines are in broad general agreement concerning the most important tenets of Islamic law, and differ only in the details. Shi’ites have their own version of sharia, which also agrees with its Sunni counterparts in most instances.
Numerous treatises on Islamic law in English have been published by these schools. One of the most useful and authoritative is a Shafi’ite manual by the 14th-century scholar Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper, commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English. It is useful because it is comprehensive, clearly written, and well-arranged. It is authoritative because all major Sunni Muslim governments cite it as such, and it has been officially approved by al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most prestigious and widely-respected source of Islamic scholarship in the world.
Every Counterjihad activist should acquire a copy of Reliance of the Traveller (it’s easy: see Amazon). Read it, study it, make notes in the margins, and fill it with color-coded bookmarks. In a debate, if you know this material thoroughly, you will be able to neutralize the tendentious nonsense put out by Islam-apologists. They will have no argument left except to call you a racist.
All Islamic law is derived ultimately from the Koran, or from the sunna of the prophet (the authenticated hadith [sayings] and the deeds of the prophet). Based on these sources, any given human activity is either prohibited, permitted, or mandatory. Behavior is mandatory or forbidden based on edicts in the Koran, or the prophet’s instructions as recorded in the hadith. An act is permitted if it took place in the presence of the prophet without causing his disapproval. This last point is key, because extrapolating from such permitted activities has allowed Islamic law to expand to cover every variety of human activity. A lot of effort goes into constructing modern-day fatwas that make further extrapolations, because such things as airplanes, electric can-openers, and penicillin did not exist in Mohammed’s time, and Islamic scholars must painstakingly construct analogies based on existing law to determine precisely how they are to be treated.
Reliance of the Traveller contains an exhaustive compilation of scholarly analysis based on the Koran and the sunna to provide guidance for the ulema (scholars of the law). A devout Muslim who seeks legal advice on virtually any topic will find it in Reliance.
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The two most important principles to remember when studying sharia are scholarly consensus and the doctrine of abrogation. The first is relatively easy to make sense of: when all the major classical interpreters of law agreed on a point, it became fixed in sharia for all time, and cannot be amended. When a text on Islamic law asserts that a legal interpretation enjoys the agreement of the scholars, it means there is no opening for dispute. These decisions were made over a thousand years ago, and are considered immutable.
Abrogation is a little trickier. If the Koran contradicts itself on any given topic — which it does in numerous instances — which verse is decisive? The answer seems simple enough: the decisive verses are those which were revealed later. The tricky part is deciding which passage is in fact later, since the Koran was not compiled in chronological order.
Fortunately for the ulema, there is a consensus of the scholars about the order of revelation in the Koran, with only a few minor disagreements. This makes abrogated verses fairly easy to determine. As it happens, the most bellicose and violent verses are found in the final parts of the Koran, and supersede the milder verses.
So what is the Koranic basis for the doctrine of abrogation?
It is a Koran which We have divided into parts from time to time, in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: We have Revealed it by stages. (Koran 17:106)
Concerning this verse, the Koran commentator Yusuf Ali says:
"The marvel is that these parts, revealed at different times and in different circumstances, should fit together so closely and consistently as they do. All revelation is progressive. The previous revelations were also progressive. Each of them marked a stage in the world’s spiritual history. Man’s mind does not take in more than his spiritual state will have prepared him for. Allah’s revelation comes as a light to illuminate our difficulties and show us the way in actual situations that arise."
This is another verse covering the same subject:
"When We substitute one revelation for another — and Allah knows best what He reveals in stages — They say, “Thou art but a forger”: But most of them understand not. (Koran 16:101)"
And once again, a comment by Yusuf Ali:
"The doctrine of progressive revelation from age to age and time to time does not mean that Allah’s fundamental Law changes. It is not fair to charge a Prophet of Allah with forgery because the Message, as revealed to him, is in a different form from that revealed before, when the core of the Truth is the same, for it comes from Allah."
The final Koranic verse on progressive revelation:
"None of Our revelations do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but we substitute something better or similar; knowest thou not that Allah hath power over all things?" (Koran 2:106)
Armed with this brief lesson, we can take a look at an example of how abrogation operates in practice. One of the verses that is most commonly quoted by Muslims to infidels is this one:
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold." (Koran 2:256)
Ah yes: “no compulsion in religion”; we’ve all heard that one. But Sura 2 is in an early section of the Koran. Sura 9 — the “Sura of the Sword” — has the final say on such matters:
"Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (Koran 9:5)
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Koran 9:29)
This is the last word on how an observant Muslim must treat the unbelievers.
All that soft, gentle, no-compulsion-in-religion stuff has been abrogated. Any Muslim who cites it to you as authoritative law is either ignorant or lying.
So why would a good Muslim lie? Doesn’t Allah hate a liar?
Well, yes, he does — unless it’s in a good cause. And a good cause is anything that serves the interests of Islam, as required by Islamic law with the consensus of the scholars.
For the details on such matters, see Reliance of the Traveller, Book R, “Holding One’s Tongue”, Section r8.2 “Permissible Lying”:
"This is an explicit statement that lying is sometimes permissible for a given interest."
This finding relies on Abu Hamid Ghazali, who was a pre-eminent Islamic legal jurist. In support of his assertion, Al-Misri quotes Ghazali in the same paragraph:
“…When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N: i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.”
In other words, a Muslim must lie if to do so is the only means to attain an obligatory end, that is, any end which is required by the law as determined from the Koran and the sunna.
Hmm… Subduing the infidel is obligatory, and it may be necessary to deceive him to achieve this end. Hence the lies.
Or it might be that misdirection will serve. Also found in Book R is “Giving a Misleading Impression” (r10.0), with a subsection entitled “An Alternative to Lying”:
"Scholars say that there is no harm… in giving a misleading impression if required by an interest countenanced by Sacred Law that is more important than not misleading the person being addressed, or if there is a pressing need which could not otherwise be fulfilled except through lying." (r10.3)
Now you know that the doctrines of taqiyya and kitman are not some racist slander made up out of thin air by us racist Islamophobes. They are in fact part of the body of Islamic law, as codified in treatises authenticated by the highest legal authorities in Islam.
Pulling the wool over the eyes of the kuffar is mandatory.
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What else can we learn about sharia from Reliance of the Traveller?
In Book O, Justice (o1.2), we discover that:
"The following are not subject to retaliation:
(2) a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim."
So when you kill a non-Muslim, there might well be a crime associated with it, but the killing itself is not murder.
(4) a father or mother… for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring…
Can you say “honor killing”?
Also in Book O (o8.0-8.1):
"Whoever Voluntarily Leaves Islam Is Killed."
"When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed."
Now we can make sense of what is happening to Christians in Afghanistan. We — the United States of America — wrote a constitution for Afghanistan which includes this:
Article 2 [Religions]:
(1) The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam.
Article 3 [Law and Religion]:
In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.
The “beliefs and provisions” of Islam require that any adult who converts out of Islam be killed.
The death sentences handed out to Christian converts in Afghanistan are legitimate, legal, and constitutional, according to a constitution that we wrote for the Afghans. Killing apostates does not even violate their human rights, because Afghanistan is a signatory of the Cairo Declaration, which states: “There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Shari’ah.”
The United Nations has recognized the Cairo Declaration as a valid instrument of international law.
The game is over, folks, and we lost. Those Christians on death row in Afghanistan have already had all the human rights they’re going to get.
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A common misconception among Westerners is that Muslims fight jihad against unbelievers in an attempt to convert them to Islam. This is not true: the goal of jihad is the imposition of sharia on the whole world.
Conversion is to be welcomed, but it is not the desired end. In his book Peace and the Limits of War — Transcending Classical Conception of Jihad, the Islamic scholar Louay M. Safi says this (p. 32):
"The war against the apostates is carried out not to force them to accept Islam, but to enforce the Islamic law and maintain order.
"This is why Muslims in the West are so eager to take offense and threaten and protest public symbols and make demands for cultural concessions: these are the outward signs of sharia law."
Halal meals in schools? Sharia.
No dogs in taxis? Sharia.
Separate sexes at the swimming pool? Sharia.
No crosses or crèches on display? Sharia.
No Mohammed cartoons? Sharia.
Interest-free mortgages? Sharia.
Prayer rooms in public buildings? Sharia.
No public eating during Ramadan? Sharia.
We’re halfway there. Oh yes, we still get to have our synagogues and churches, at least for a while longer. Our women can still walk around in provocative clothing like uncovered meat. We can still eat ham sandwiches — as long as it isn’t Ramadan, and there aren’t any Muslims around to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
By the time we wake up to what is happening, it will already be too late. Sharia will be the law of the land. We will have submitted.
We will then pay the jizya with our own hand, and feel ourselves subdued.