Radio hosts and right-wing extremists unfairly define Sharia

Last month, Sarah Palin made a joint appearance in Denver with retired Gen. William Boykin, who believes Islam shouldn’t be given the same first-amendment protections as other religions.

Palin came and went, and most major local media didn’t mention Boykin’s anti-Islamic views, which would surely have been reported if Boykin had made similar attacks on Christianity or Judaism.

It’s the kind of omission you might try to forget about and move on, even though it’s classic religious bigotry.

But I listen to a lot of talk radio, and ideas like Boykin’s ooze out all the time.

I know if I were a Muslim, I’d be scared. As a matter of fact, I’m not a Muslim, and I’m scared.

On the radio, the argument reflects what Boykin writes in a Colordo Christian University essay, that the “Koran is unequivocal in its directive to Muslims to establish a global Islamic state…with Sharia as the only law of the land.”

Sharia, Boykin argues, echoing what you hear on talk radio, “demands death for those who renounce Islam” as well as “marital rape, female genital mutilation, and severing of hands and feet.”

This leads people like Denver Post columnist John Andrews to ask, “Can a good Muslim be a good American? …the answer is not so simple.”

So I interviewed an expert on Islam, to offer a countervailing view.

“The Taliban takes one bit of the Sharia, the harsh and literal interpretation, and leaves out the most important part, the compassion,” Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and author of Journey into America, told me. “In Islam, god in the Koran has 99 attributes, 99 names, and the two names that god uses all the time to define himself, and we use to define god, are compassion and mercy. So god’s justice reflects god’s compassion and mercy, which the Taliban overlook in their interpretation.”

Ahmed said that some literalists, like the Taliban, interpret Sharia exactly as written in the Koran, but the vast majority of Muslims believe Sharia should not be interpreted literally.

He cited the example of stoning to death, which he says was inherited from the Judeo-Christian tradition, like other brutal laws in the Sharia. 

“Do Christians go around stoning adulterers and so on?” he asked. “They don’t. They don’t use the literal interpretation of the Bible for their law.”

Some Muslim groups, like the Taliban, do rely on the literal interpretation, he says, but this is mostly “tribal.”

 “If you look around the Muslim world, you will see that there is no question of stoning in countries that are on the path to modernity, countries like Malaysia, Egypt, or Indonesia, even Pakistan and Bangladesh. By and large, you will not get people advocating the stoning of women or the chopping off of hands. You will not get that.”

“If you took a vote in the vast majority of the Muslim world, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, and they have a population of 90 to 98 percent Muslim, and if you took a vote on the Sharia, they would overwhelmingly turn it down,” he said.

He told me journalists aren’t reporting enough about Sharia, so the hate-filled and inaccurate statements of talk-show hosts and right-wing extremists like Boykin are defining the term, unfairly, for Americans.

“If journalists take this on, you will see others jumping up and saying it’s time to call a halt to this,” he said. “It’s not being American at all, in terms of the religious pluralism that is at the heart of the American character.”

One Response to “Radio hosts and right-wing extremists unfairly define Sharia”

  1. Anastasia Beavenhouser II Says:

    Seems the IDIOT author of this blog didn’t bother do his research! Of course Akbar Ahmed is going to say they are “compassionate”! They are encouraged to lie, among other things, in order to spread Islam. First, nameless IDIOT, you haven’t taken the time to read the Koran or you would have known this Muslim leaders words to be false and second, but most important….the US CONSTITUTION AND SHARIA LAW CANNOT CO-EXIST! Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult…It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination! The system is outlined within the Koran. Yes, everyone in America has the right to freedom of religion, but Islam is not a religion. Religious faith is only a part of Islam. The rest is a socially engineered society with its own laws and customs that seriously conflict with American law. We must recognize that religion is only one aspect of Islam‘s Koran. The rest of this charter advances ideas, social behavior, and laws that are in direct conflict with American and western laws and values. Teddy Roosevelt once said that to live in America, immigrants must have undivided loyalty to America and to no one else. How is that possible for Muslims who swear loyalty to Islam where their governing laws are found in the Qur‘an?

    What legitimate religion would demand that its members either kill or convert people of other faiths? What legitimate religion is intent on imposing its own laws on the rest of the entire world? If Islam were just about praying to Allah and worshiping Mohammed and nothing more, we would not be having a problem with Islamism and Islamic terrorists. Islam has a global mission to take over and run the world according to Islamic Shariah law. How can we call that a religion?

    What legitimate religion in this country comes with its own civil laws that take precedence over national, state, and local laws? No, Islam is not a religion. It is a governing doctrine that not only dictates religious beliefs, but also social behavior that includes laws, penalties and punishments, not by God, but by people if the laws are not obeyed. Islam is a form of government, not a religion. It does not belong here. We already have government under our Constitution (sort of).

    As Muslims build their mega-Mosques in our nation – financed by Saudi Arabia – they laugh at the stupid Americans who are selling out their fellow citizens by allowing Islam to take over our country a little bit at a time. It is the same method used over decades by the Marxist Progressives who now have control of our government – take away our liberties one little piece at a time until full control and submission is achieved.

    It is sad you talk of freedom and defend a system that will strip you of every freedom you seem to enjoy! It is IDIOTS such as yourself that are contributing to the destruction of our nation and once it does fall, pat yourself on the back for not standing for your Constitution, but for a way of life that goes against the very foundation our nation stand upon!

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