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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Why Jews Can’t Criticize Sharia Law


Cross-posted from:

by Prof. Marshall Breger

Similarities between Judaism and Islam are easy to see. Both are monotheistic religions for whom the Lord is One. Both are religions based on revelation. In both, law is central, and personal and social existence is governed by a divinely ordained legal system.

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There are also many obvious parallels between Judaism’s legal system, known as halacha, and the Islamic legal order of sharia. Both purport to instruct us in how to attend to every aspect of one’s life: one’s getting up and one’s going out, one’s sexual practice and one’s business practices. For some adherents of each, religious law also dictates political life, such as for whom to vote.
Despite this kinship, there are those in the Jewish community who would condemn Islam and sharia, arguing that, unlike Judaism, Islam is not worthy of the protections of American law.

David Yerushalmi, author of a model law banning sharia, argues that sharia differs from halacha because of its different “threat matrix.” Sharia, he tells us, requires faithful Muslims to impose Islamic law on the world “violently,” and its adherents should be charged with sedition against the United States. Rabbi Jon Hausman, a self-styled “warrior rabbi” from Massachusetts, tells us that in Judaism, unlike Islam, the law of the state is the law (in Aramaic, dina d’malchuta dina) so you don’t have to worry about such religious “imperialism.”

These commentators’ understanding of both sharia and halacha is markedly defective.

1. As Hausman surely knows, the reach of dina d’malchuta dina is debated among rabbinic commentators. Some limit the application of the Jewish legal system to property issues, others extend it to apply to all secular law that does not violate Jewish law. In any case, Hausman’s suggestion that halacha is a personal legal system—not relevant to civic life and politics—neglects both Jewish history and halacha itself. In Baghdad during the Middle Ages and in Poland during the time of the Council of the Four Lands, from the 16th to the 18th centuries, for instance, Jewish communities had their own courts, and Jewish law was enforced by secular authorities. And even today, thousands of Jews in both the United States and Israel look to rabbinic courts and halacha to resolve all manner of civil disputes.

While clearly some Muslims do view sharia as a hegemonic political force, the vast majority of Muslims, especially those living in the West, view sharia no differently from the way Jews view the halachic system: as an overarching guide to ordering one’s life. Muslim jurists have always drawn on sharia to mandate that fellow Muslims obey the laws of the land in matters that sharia does not prohibit. In numerous instances (see Koran 5:11), Muslims are told to “honor their contracts” and so to honor the “social contract” represented by the law of the land. The Fiqh Council of North America, the leading interpreter of Islamic law in the United States, ruled as recently as September 2011 that “there is no inherent conflict between the normative values of Islam and the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

2. Daniel Pipes recounts in a 2009 article an incident in England when the Indian Muslim owner of an old age home near Manchester proposed to switch to serving only halal food in the facility. After residents complained, the owner retracted the policy. To Pipes, the owner’s desire to remove pork from the menu, even though apparently not implemented, is proof that Islam wishes to impose itself on all around it. But is this drive for “imperium” the only explanation?

Indeed, Jewish law would have great sympathy for the position taken by the Indian entrepreneur. Though there are gray areas, Jewish law generally holds that one cannot benefit (or profit) from the sale of mixed milk and meat products. The legal compendium the Shulhan Aruch forbids Jews from selling non-kosher products on a regular basis (Yoreh De’ah 117.1). And anyone who has read Daphne Barak-Erez’s 2007 monograph Outlawed Pigs: Law, Religion, and Culture in Israel will appreciate the difficulties of commerce in pork products (or “white meat” as it is politely called) in Israel.

3. Critics of Islam make much of the Shiite legal doctrine of taqquia and the related concept of kitman, which allow one to dissemble or evade by misdirection in order to save a life or community from imminent destruction (see Koran 16:106). For these critics, the takeaway is that Muslims lie when it is in their interest, so we cannot trust their promises or make treaties with them.
But numerous Koranic references tell the believer to “mix not the truth with falsehood nor conceal the truth when you know what it is” (2:42). And further, “Conceal not [the truth]; for whomever conceals it is burdened with sin” (2:283).

Again, we must look to Jewish law analogues. Even the Chofetz Chaim, the rabbinic scholar most associated with truth-telling, allows “white lies” when they will produce social and interpersonal peace. (No threat of imminent destruction is required.) Maimonides allows one to lie about one’s religion to save one’s own life. And does anyone remember the Marranos?

My point is not to analyze the nuances of halacha, let alone sharia, but rather to underscore the inconsistency of attacking Islam for activities that Jewish law and practice would also permit, or even require.

These broadside attacks on sharia are reminiscent of Jewish polemical literature after the rise of Islam in the seventh and eighth centuries designed to show Judaism as superior. Later scholars such as the Meiri, though, moved on from polemics to classify Islam as a monotheistic religion close to Judaism. While there are certainly fundamentalist interpretations of Islam that we rightfully find dangerous and deplorable, it is time that Jews in America go beyond “gotcha” polemics and stop treating sharia and Islam as illegitimate expressions of man’s search for the divine.

Marshall Breger is a professor of law at Catholic University.

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  1. Kevin Düwel

    March 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Though the analogy between sharia and halacha is revealing and should be told to more Jews and gentiles alike, the reservation many Americans have against sharia is not based on understanding, but misunderstanding. Showing the congruence between halacha and sharia is useful in explaining to Jews what sharia is, but it won’t be in convincing Jews to respect sharia if they don’t understand it first.

  2. Thurayya96

    March 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    An insightful article.

  3. Sarah

    March 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM

     One distinction that has proved useful for my study is the differentiation between shari’a and fiqh. The word shari’a is often used to describe what Islamic scholars devise in various realms, but in actuality they are essentially INTERPRETING the sacred law (shari’a), which is known as fiqh. Mainstream Islam distinguishes between fiqh (deep understanding, discernment), which refers to the inferences drawn by scholars; and shari’a, which refers to the principles that lie behind the fiqh. Scholars hope that fiqh (jurisprudence) and shari’a (law) are in harmony in any given case, but they cannot be sure (Souaiaia, 2005). Most of the times when we use the word shari’a, it is actually fiqh that we are referring to. While there is no contention on shari’a, there are differences of opinion on how to interpret the shari’a depending on the culture one lives in and other factors.

  4. Ismail

    March 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    “In both, law is central.” 
    —- This image of Islam being an essentially legalistic faith can be challnged.

    If we
    look at the Qur’an’s concern, we find that only about 500 of it’s 6000+ verses
    are to do with rules and regulations. The rest of the Qur’an is made up of
    statements of divine nature, God’s intervention in history, stories of the
    earlier prophets, spiritual lessons etc. In fact the implementable legislative
    verses of the Qur’an number no more than about 80. 

  5. Schvach Yid

    March 31, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    The major difference between Judaism and Islam in this matter, and the attendant fear that many in the West have of Islam, but evidently not of Judaism, concerns the threat of imposition. While we Jews are commanded in our Bible to serve as a ‘nation of priests’, we are not charged with the task of making the world Jewish. Halacha is not supposed to be the way of the world; it applies only to Jews, and a Jew, according to Halacha, is one born to a Jewish mother or one who has converted to Judaism under the auspices of a rabbinic court. In general, Halacha and the Jewish community shun and  dissuade potential converts to Judaism. If my understanding of Islam on this subject is correct, then all people are required to ‘revert’ to Islam, since, according to tafsir, all people are born Muslim (ie, ‘fitrah’) and therefor are required to live as Muslims regardless of our individual familial origins and upbringings. The second threat perceived by Westerners about Islam concerns violence. No one in the Western world fears Jews. Muslims and Sharia law are received in the West as another matter.

    • Shahriar Hussain

      March 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      Well, there need not be fear because a Muslim is forbidden to compel someone into Islam by force. Whether we believe one is born Muslim or not really isn’t relevant to a non-Muslim because if they don’t believe in Islam, then it really doesn’t matter. The duty of the Muslim is to deliver the message, because we believe we have the truth. The mentality in Islam is not “it’s your life so live however you want with limitless freedom and do as you please with absolutely no worries”. The mentality in Islam is that “this is the truth, we must let the non-Muslims know that this is the truth, it is a matter of salvation”. Ultimately, it’s up to them if they chose to accept or not. The Muslims mentality is not to make people Muslim, rather to spread the message of Islam. Whether someone is Muslim, or Jew, or Christian, or Atheist is in the hands of Allah. Yes we believe in what’s called Fitrah in Arabic, your natural disposition, and we believe the natural disposition is strict belief in The One and Only God and only Him alone, ie. a Muslim. 
      Muslim simply means someone who believes in God and all His Messengers including Muhammad, peace be upon them. Thus, Muslim is more of a “state” of being, rather than a category of something like race, gender, ethnicity. Anyone who believes in Allah and His last Messenger is a Muslim, whether they know it or not.

      • Lemme talk

        April 1, 2012 at 6:40 AM

        “Well, there need not be fear because a Muslim is forbidden to compel someone into Islam by force.”
        – really?? Then why is Hamza Kashgari being punished for ‘apostasy’ for writing of his doubts about Muhammad and Islam. Doesn’t ‘no compulsion in religion’ apply to atheists born to Muslim parents?

        I agree with Schvach Yid above about the threat of imposition associated with introducing Sharia in an American setting. Will the secular/doubting/atheist/agnostic American-born children of Muslim parents be able to ‘opt out’ of being governed by Sharia law if they do not actually believe in Islam? I imagine not.

        And more generally, look at  Muslim-majority countries where religious laws govern the personal affairs of Muslims. Non-believers from Muslim families cannot openly opt out of a religion in which they do not personally believe, and in fact have to abide by ‘Muslim Personal Law’ in all aspects of life. I know many aspects of life for Israeli Jews are governed by halakha as interpreted by the Orthodox Jewish rabbinate (notably marriages & divorce), but at least there is a strong secular movement to introduce a form of civil marriage which lets non-believing Jews to marry without the influence of religion. Can non-believing people from Muslim backgrounds opt out in such a way in a) Muslim-majority countries with Sharia or b) a hypothetical American Sharia system?

        I’d like your thoughts about whether secular people will be protected from the reach of Sharia.

        • Shahriar Hussain

          April 1, 2012 at 3:47 PM

          There is no such thing as secularism in Islam, and I’m glad there isn’t. One thing that should be noted is that Islam is not just a religion like the popular worldview of what a religion is; beliefs and rituals, Islam is actually everything, encompassing everything, all aspects, at all levels. The issue of apostates doesn’t have a clear punishment as far as I know. Out of anger, ofcourse Muslims will feel like to punish them with death for leaving the truth, for becoming a traitor to Muslims. Remember, Islam is also like a nation. Just like a traitor of a nation during battle, the nation will feel hostile towards that traitor, it’s the same deal with an apostate. He’s leaving Islam, he’s betraying a nation, not just a religion. If he knows he will get killed, he can just go to a land where there is no Sharia. Death penalty isn’t even the default punishment for apostasy anyway. The mentality is he has left truth for falsehood. And the job of parents is to educate their children, and bring them up as Muslims. The mentality isn’t “okay your free to do anything you wish and believe anything you wish”. The mentality is to teach them Islam and bring them up as Muslims and even after all that they wish to not believe, then it’s their problem, they can believe as they wish.

          In Muslim majority countries, there is no real Sharia first of all. Certain rules are abused, and certain other aren’t even enforced. Many rulers in Muslim countries have a “pick and chose” version of Islam, picking and choosing only the parts that are of benefit to them. For what reason is beyond my knowledge.

          And second, if the law of the land is Shariah, how can you opt-out? Can I opt out of the American justice system? I don’t believe in it, it’s not fair, so I don’t want it. There is no choice in that. 
          The point is, Sharia isn’t going to be forced on any non-Muslim, it’s only for Muslims. People learn about Islam on their own and become Muslims and then want Sharia. Nobodies forcing them to convert to Islam, they’re converting due to knowledge and education. If somebody leaves, then they leave, and they can go to a land where there is no Sharia if they’re so scared that they’re going to get their head cut off. Many people apostatized during Muhammad PBUH’s time, only to return back to Islam. Some may have got killed, some may not have. Regardless, that really doesn’t have anything to do with whether Islam is the truth or not.

          If your a sincere person and all you have is doubts about Islam, or the existence of God, that doesn’t necessarily make you an apostate. Having doubts is part of belief, people will doubt things no matter what it is. An apostate is someone who leaves Islam, starts to slander Islam, slander Allah, slander Muhammad PBUH, or any Prophet, obviously provoking Muslims (more often than not, they know they are provoking Muslims), thus making themselves an enemy. 

          People have a common misunderstanding that in Islam, if you break a law, that’s it, punishment punishment punishment. But that’s actually not the case. In Islam, if someone breaks a law (doubtful, homosexual feelings, adultery, some kind of addiction, etc), the first attitude is to help them. Even if a Muslim did feel like they were agnostic, there’s no such thing as punishment right there for being agnostic. They would be given help (at least they’re supposed to). 
          Many of these agnostic/atheist/secular/doubtful Muslims (as you speak of) who are scared to come open about themselves are only scared due to their own ignorance and lack of knowledge of Islam. Due to being conditioned with a culturalized version of Islam where all you get is punishment for doing something wrong, which is really not how it is in Islam.

          Discussions of truth and falsehood are more than welcome in Islam, and as a matter of fact encouraged by The Qur’an. Muslims are open to these discussions and debates, so from my perspective, an agnost/atheist/secular/doubtful should rather be ready to have open positive discussion rather then feel like they will get their head cut off.

        • Shahriar Hussain

          April 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

          Also, many of Muhammad’s, Peace be upon him, close family members did not embrace Islam. Muhammad PBUH never killed them. He patiently stood by them till their death trying to teach them Islam, such as Abu Talib. Abu Talib, though did not believe, did not have hostile attitudes towards Muslims. Another uncle of Muhammad’s on the other hand, Abu Lahab, was very very hostile towards the Muslims and Muhammad PBUH, and had all the hostile of hostile characteristics of a hater, phobic, an apostate, etc.

          Who’s really an apostate and who’s not an apostate is something that can be debatable. And only Allah will really know, because it’s a matter of what’s in one’s heart.

          Everything which I have said thus far is only according to whatever much I know, and I may be wrong and need correction. So if any other Muslim who’s more knowledgeable feels necessary, please correct any mistakes I might have said.

          • Lemme talk

            April 2, 2012 at 4:51 AM

              “The point is, Sharia isn’t going to be forced on any non-Muslim, it’s
            only for Muslims. People learn about Islam on their own and become
            Muslims and then want Sharia. Nobodies forcing them to convert to Islam,
            they’re converting due to knowledge and education.”

            That is clearly not the case. The majority of the world’s 1.6 billion
            Muslims have never converted to the religion. They just happen to have
            been born to Muslim parents and are automatically classified as part of
            the faith/ummah from the day they are BORN (maybe an attempt by religious Muslims to inflate their
            numbers, who knows). If the majority of these 1.6 billion people were
            educated and converting to Islam in adulthood, when they are better able
            to critique and analyze the texts/beliefs/different viewpoints to
            independently come to the conclusion that Islam is for them, then maybe
            you would have a case of saying Muslims are converting due to knowledge/education. (In fact, look at the the countries where there are large/majority populations of Muslims and then look at the illiteracy/education figures for these countries, e.g. South Asia, Africa, Indonesia etc…how can you possible argue that the 1.6 billion ‘Muslims’ in the world have converted due to education when large percentages of these so called Muslims are not even able to read or write, never mind interpreting the complexities of religious text).

            You, like many religious Muslims seem to not be keen on “culturalized version of Islam,” but that is what Islam is, a culture where belief in the Quran is not even necessary. Like I said before, the majority of the world’s Muslims have never converted to the religion, nor do they practice it (even in Muslim majority countries, do the majority of adult Muslims believe, perform ALL 5 prayers everyday or even fast all days of Ramadan. I doubt it). Considering that being Muslim is about ‘submitting fully to Allah’ and some scholars say that missing prayers is enough to take one out of Islam, surely that would mean the vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion ‘Muslims’ ain’t even Muslim!! Anyway I’m just saying, that when you consider that most Muslims have only been born into it (so never took the choice to convert to Islam) and/or don’t practice the religion, you can see that they are only Muslim in a cultural sense. It is ridiculously easy to be Muslim (and considered ‘Muslim’ by religious Muslims) without even believing in any of it!! One only has to be born to Muslim parents or be an ethnicity that has become synonymous with being Muslim (for example, being of Pakistani descent is enough to make you Muslim in the eyes of other Muslims) or have an Arabic-derived last name. In fact, just even being from a certain country is enough to make you Muslim in the eyes of religious Muslims and non-Muslims, that’s why Veena Malik, Fareed Zakaria, Suleiman the Magnificent, Akbar, the people of the Syrian uprising, the Palestinian cause vis a vis Israel, have all been referred to as Muslim/Islamic people/movements despite not actually knowing their beliefs.

            You’re saying that “Sharia isn’t going to be forced on any non-Muslim, it’s
            only for Muslims” but my point is, how do you even begin to determine whether someone is Muslim when the vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims aren’t even really Muslim in a religious sense (they are only cultural Muslims as they have NEVER chosen Islam through conversion, nor do they practice the faith through regular prayers/fasting/keeping of beard or hijab). Contrast this with the strict Quranic definition of Muslim (one who has submitted to the will of Allah) and you can see that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims do not meet this definition through either free choice of religion (through conversion) or even practice.

            Yet if religious Muslims had their way, Sharia would be forced on all of these cultural/non-practicing ‘Muslims’ in the Muslim world. So in fact, they DO want to force Sharia onto non-Muslims as the majority of the world’s population of Muslims do not fit the Quranic definition of having submitted to Allah. They have only been born to Muslim parents and/or do not practice. So yes, Sharia is very much a system which is imposed on non-believers.

          • Shahriar Hussain

            April 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM

            I did not say that the majority of people who are Muslim converted to Islam. The majority of them are born Muslim, obviously. Just like how the majority of Americans are born American, and not immigrants. 
            I said, the people who are converting to Islam are accepting it by learning it and being educated on it, not by being forced to convert. No Muslim is out there forcing others to be Muslim. You went on to argue something totally different from what I said.

            Second, you claim by your “since this, therefore that” logic that makes you conclude that the majority of Muslims aren’t Muslim. Issues aren’t always black and white like math and physics, each situation has it’s own circumstances. Indeed a Muslim is someone who submits to the will of Allah, but what actually makes someone a Muslim is this testimony of belief: “There is no god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the last and final Messenger and slave of God.”
            So therefore, the majority of those people you claim aren’t Muslim, indeed are Muslim.

            Scholars say the one who does not pray at all has gone beyond the pale of Islam, that is true. In practice, they have gone out of Islam. But that person may still believe in Allah and his last Messenger, so in belief they’d still be Muslim.

            Those majority will definitely say they are Muslim. Actually being Muslim and putting it into practice a issue on it own, and it’s an issue we Muslims will have to sort out. The reason why most of them aren’t practicing is due to the fact of their own ignorance of it. But everything that is wrong with Muslims, such as not knowing their own religion, illiteracy, etc, are internal problems that we as Muslims will be working on.

            Of course, most of these problems would be eliminated had not the Muslim lands be ruled by tyrant dictators, backed by Western elite. And these dictators don’t even rule by Islam.

          • Lemme Talk

            April 4, 2012 at 3:30 AM

            Why wasn’t my comment posted?

    • Sakina

      April 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      I do not fear because Allah is here within me.  I am however, wary of your culture because of it’s misuse and abuse of scripture.  Let go of the anger and only then can you see the light. 

      • therealex

        December 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        RE: “Well, there need not be fear because a Muslim is forbidden to compel someone into Islam by force.”

        You’re kidding, right? Islam was spread by the sword, as much or more than through voluntary conversion. Just like Christianity. And, direct from the Koran, the following verses cannot be ignored because they are still, to this day, used and referred to as being proper and righteous:

        Chapter 8, verse 9: Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

        Chapter 47, verse 4: So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds.

        • Mustafa

          April 8, 2013 at 6:55 AM

          quoting out of context. What fun. I’d include the bible verses and Old Testament stuff about slavery, killing the philistines and all those foreskin Samson got but that would be redundant. Do you see all the () you have going on there. That is interpretation of a translation which itself is an interpretation of the text. Who is the writer of this translation?
          Your verse quotes are wrong by the way. Copy and paste much?

  6. TrueBeliever

    April 4, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    The Jewish population knows little to nothing about their own religion, forget practicing it.  

  7. Shahriar Hussain

    April 15, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    The issue with atheists is they take everything, every last technical detail literally. You are getting into an argument over what things mean and what words mean and trying to define by Qur’an who is what, etc etc, as if every last technical detail is black and white, and every last technical detail must be black and white. Human beings aren’t math equations.

    I don’t even feel like explaining anything to you no longer because, like every other atheist I’ve spoken with, are quick to go and criticize not what the meaning of what I say, but criticize the literal meaning of every independent word I used in saying what I say. You guys even take speech and language as if they always have to be technically correct, every last word, every variable, every words independent meaning, as if it’s a physics equation. Go back and read over what I said like a normal person reading language, not like a mathematician solving a tedious calculus equation.

    When someone says “your cool”, do you argue with them? Do you say, no I am not cool because to be cool is a measurement of temperature which is lower in relation to a higher temperature, so therefor no I am not cool. Because that’s exactly what you sound like going into all that 1/2 Musilm, 1/4 Muslim, 1/16th Muslim nonsense, over being born Muslim. 

    Your knowledge of Islam, Muslims, Sharia is all the same typical garbage every other person has brought forth, and your arguments are just atheist rhetoric. 

    I want to opt out of secularism. I better be able to, or else your an intolerant. (And don’t go into some technical jargon over technical meanings and definitions. Interpret what I said as exactly what it means: I wan’t to opt out of secularism. Interpret it for it’s apparent meaning).

    And in a real Islamic government under Shariah, someone who wants to move out but can’t or doesn’t have the resources, the Khilafa will give them resources to move out. That’s something you probably don’t know about Shariah because you haven’t studied it, apart from (like I said) the garbage you hear about it. 

    • Lemme Talk

      April 17, 2012 at 9:37 AM

       “You keep bringing up “opt-out, opt-out”, how can you opt out of the law of the land? 
       If the law of the land is Shariah, obviously you can’t op out.”
      I think Muslims could let people opt out, if they just put more thought into it. Christian/Jewish/non-Muslim communities who hypothetically live in a Sharia would be able to govern their communities according to their own laws right? So why shouldn’t non-religious people be able to govern their own affairs according to their own laws (in this case, some sort of secular/civil law that is not based on any religion). All you would need to do is let people (even people born to Muslim families) openly state that they do not follow/believe in any religion, and thus they prefer to be governed according to non-religious/secular/civil law for the non-religious community. Basically you can treat non-believers/ex-muslims/apostates/agnostics/secular/atheists as just another non-Muslim community (the “non-religious” community) within a Sharia state and treat them as you would the Christians/Jews (jizya,  no military service). Of course you have to give people born to Muslim parents the freedom to proclaim their non-belief and not punish them for it.  Which I think is doubtful, given the tendency for Muslims to foam at the mouth when someone’s apostasy is under question (see the Hamza Kashgari case as an example).

      • Lemme Talk

        April 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM

        And no, I absolutely do not believe that someone can be  ‘born Muslim.’ Islam is NOT an ethnicity or race so one cannot be BORN a Muslim. (Never have I seen a newborn ‘Muslim baby’ come out of its mother’s vagina reciting the Shahadah in perfect arabic!!!)

         Islam is a set of beliefs and practices that one acquires later on in life, hopefully through education and freedom of choice. 

        • Shahriar Hussain

          April 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM

          Again, you take  born Muslim as if it’s a skin color. Being born Muslim means being born to Muslim parents, anybodywould know that and interpret it that way, so I don’t know why you even got into a whole argument over that.

        • Lemme Talk

          April 19, 2012 at 4:00 AM

          And in response to your comment below, why is there such a concept of a born Muslim in Islam?? 

          I thought the only distinction that matters in the Quran and in Islam is that of a believer (Muslim)and a non-believer (non-Muslim).

          Being a ‘born Muslim,’ is not the  same as a believer so why use the term??

          Being born to Muslim parents is no guarantee of believingin or practicing Islam, just as being born to non-Muslim parents is no guarantee of not believing in Islam.

          Or are people born to Muslim parents not allowed to admit their lack of believe in Islam openly??? Do they not have a choice about what they believe??
          Are compelled to believe and practice the religion of their Muslim ancestors?Religious Muslimswould prefer the pretenceof people born to Muslim parents masquerading as ‘Muslims’ rather than the truth! 

          ‘Born Muslim’ is a stupid term, with absolutely no meaning. Why don’t you just use the terms used in the Quran (believer and non-believers).

        • Frostonfire

          April 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM

          in islam we believe that any child born on this planet is born as a muslim,it is his parents who change his religion according to their  beliefs.

      • Shahriar Hussain

        April 17, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Sharia protects Judaism and Christianity because they believe in Musa PBUH and Jesus PBUH and have similar laws to Islam. Shariah protecting secularism is a fallacy because secularism is seperation of church and state. Seperation of church and state is a fallacy in Islam. You need to do more in depth studies in Islam to understand why it’s a fallacy.

      • Sakina

        April 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        Debate is healthy, but barbs “foam at the mouth” are rude.  Healthy conversations will help us all to be our personal best.

    • Sakina

      April 18, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Shariarbah, do not despair.  Be you.  Do not let “lemme talk’s” comments interfere withh your Divine purpose- as a guiding light.  I am grateful. 

  8. Shahriar Hussain

    April 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    And any Muslim will heavily challenge you in your idea that Islamic law has a threat of imposition on non-Muslims. It’s no where near to the truth, and you can believe otherwise all you want, your only fooling yourself. You don’t even know anything about legal processes either, but quick to jump to discussing “what’s the penalty, what’s the penalty”, without even knowing the entire Islamic legal system first.

  9. Shahriar Hussain

    April 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    And again, answer my question because you haven’t answered it. You keep bringing up “opt-out, opt-out”, how can you opt out of the law of the land? If the law of the land is Shariah, obviously you can’t op out. I do not want to follow the secular ideology or a secular law system. I demand that I must be able to opt out, because if I can’t, it’s imposition. By your logic, the law of every land is imposing on it’s citizens.

    Shariah isn’t a system which governs with the idea that 100% of the population is Muslim, therefore all legal rulings will be the same for everybody. 

    • TrueBeliever

      April 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Then don’t go to a Muslim country. Take your complaining elsewhere. If you want to live amongst the Muslims, then live amongst them in peace, otherwise don’t bring your corruption and immoral values to further pollute our societies.

      • Shahriar Hussain

        April 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        You need to wake-up and learn and see the world if you want to bring up corruption and immoral values and whose polluting societies. And you even dare to claim that we Muslims are corrupting “your” Western land? England went into India to colonize it because it served Englands purposes, and once South Asians got angry enough to fight back, England left leaving the land partitioned into what is today 3 different countries. England, France, Spain, Netherlands, all sent settlers into North America when they damn knew the land was already settled by Native Aboriginal people. Yet the Europeans still came in and robbed the Aboriginals and settled themselves here and established their ways because it served their purposes. England interfered in the Middle East and established a mandate in Palestine pretty much allowing Isreal to force out Palestinian people and establish a zionist state, because it would serve their purposes. Today , the United States of America has transgressed into Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and soon Iran will get pulled in. USA is butting it’s head in Muslim land where Muslims in those countries do not want Western countries intruding in their land imposing what they think is right and how they think things should be.

        And yet you have the audacity to say that we Muslims are corrupting and polluting your societies? Western powers have always been the oppressors, aggressors, and transgressors, they have always gone into non Western land to interfere and intervene and to even establish Western ideologies because it served their purposes. 

        So damn right we Muslims will establish ourselves here, we will establish Islam here, we will establish Sharia over here in Western lands, and people will convert to Islam by the masses. We will do it because it will serve the purposes of Islam.

        So if anything, the West will get a taste of its own medicine.

        • TrueBeliever

          April 18, 2012 at 2:09 PM

          I was talking about the westerners, not us Muslims. 

          • Shahriar Hussain

            April 26, 2012 at 9:53 PM


          • TrueBeliever

            April 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

            There is no need. Alhamdulillah, all is forgiven.

        • Frostonfire

          April 20, 2012 at 2:27 AM

          dont forget the opium war, and if all that wasn’t enough now they have started psycollogical bullying using the media, to corner the muslimsand asking them to explain themselves again and again,if you don’t want sharia rule ,don’t go to a country that follows it!simple! frankly,i don’t think there’s any muslim country that follows 100% sharia…ALLAH knows best…

      • Sakina

        April 18, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        Dear True Beleiver, don’t be angry and impatient.  Be love and supporting and guiding.  Peace.

  10. Sakina

    April 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    stop thinking so much about what is and is not and let the peace into you.  in an ideal society, we would be given the freedom to pray 5 times a day and fast accordingly (which by the way many of us do despite all the obstacles).  to beleive is to strive with a pure heart.  how can you not see the threat of imposition in what you are doing?  To be a slave of Allah is to be pure of heart- really more so as Allah’s children; you may call him Adonai/ God/ The Creator. To discourage one from converting to Judaism is to be a pure child for it would be a going back, not a coming forth.  Go back to your roots so that you may come forth.  I have drank and smoked and wandered- thinking I was getting “high”- when actually, I was a falling child of God.  One cannot opt out of what Allah has defined. Maybe Muslim women wouldn’t suffer so much if non-believers would reflect on their actions.    hope this helps! love to all and may Allah always bless the whole world!

  11. Sakina

    April 18, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Dear Schvach Yid. I do not really know law this and law that, but I hear a lot of anger from you, which  does not scare me; it disappoints me.  Are you keeping Kosher?  Observing the Sabbath?  Adonai/ God/ Allah is all one continuum.  Moses didn’t make it to the Promised Land, his children did. Then Adonai sent us Jesus and then he sent us Mohammed.  Do you know the 23rd Psalm?  God’s children do not fear evil.  We fear offending God. 

  12. Sakina Berman

    April 19, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    hmm. my previous postings are not here/have been removed? will this show?

  13. X

    April 23, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Another in the long list of holier than thou far left extremist liberals.  If you want to drive a liberal crazy, you need but one word – just say “Israel”.

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