Thursday, October 14, 2010

Recommended Reading

A few weeks back I posted an article at Huffington Post about the rampant scare-mongering on the Right about the supposed-rise of Sharia law in America.  The piece got some decent pub across the web, and even led to my being on the receiving end of my very first hate blog, for which I'm quite justifiably proud.  Well, in the interim the scare-mongering has continued unabated, and this time one of my fave authors, Reza Aslan, has chimed in with a piece that covers a lot of the same ground I did, but with far more eloquence and effectiveness than I could ever muster.  Go read it.


Erin said...

Wow. This line (in the hate blog) cracks me up: " ...a sojourn in Saudi Arabia, doing what, he does not say." Sounds almost as nefarious as Obama's childhood years in Indonesia. ;-)

Zaki said...

Yeah, that gave me a chuckle. I suppose the guy would be disappointed to know that I was watching three-year old American cartoons and playing with He-Man toys.

joemet said...

Reza makes some good points. Unfortunately, he's not immune from sounding a little off or generalizing. Somewhere I read and then followed up on another reader’s note somewhere that Reza appeared on NPR's NewsHour to discuss the Park51 situation (link to transcript below).
He responded to another panelist who suggested that, given that Park51 was all about getting along and understanding, it was a good moment for the Park51 promoters to consider moving the project some short distance away as a gesture of good faith and as a nod to NY public opinion. To that, Reza said: "...we do not in this country hold our constitutional rights hostage to people's sensitivities, regardless of what those sensitivities are."
But, of course, in the case of the Florida pastor, this is exactly what the President, his top general in Afghanistan, and others were suggesting that Terry Jones must do. Why? To spare the sensitivities of some 1.5 billion Muslims who even the Park51 imam claimed would react badly should a few Korans be burned at some obscure church somewhere in America. Some Muslim world leaders warned, too, of threats to World Peace, no less.
Sometimes, I wonder about Reza's motives. He has even bashed Zudhi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy for drawing attention to the ideological divide within the American Muslim community.
I do agree with Aslan that it is ridiculous to be worrying about Sharia Law becoming mainstream any time soon. However, when he says "no judge in the United States has cited Sharia in any legal case, and that no Muslim organization has called for its imposition in America,..." - I wonder where he's been. Technically, I don't know of any "Sharia" statutes on the books of American law, but a judge in New Jersey recently ruled in favor of a Muslim man in a domestic case (where his former wife had charged him with domestic rape, alleged to have occurred while they were married) where the man claimed that Islam mandated that a wife must submit to sex with her husband whenever he desired it (whether she wanted to or not). In other words, the judge essentially ignored US (local or otherwise) statutes against domestic rape and ruled based on what the Koran says about relationships between a man and his wife. She was married to this guy and, well, it was her religion too so"deal with it" I guess was the message.
Fortunately, the ruling was overturned by an appeals court.
As far as Muslim Organizations calling for a Sharia takeover of American jurisprudence, the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders have been quite vocal, here and abroad, in their desire to make that transition a reality.

The Newshour link: