Sunday, February 19, 2012

Muslim Secrets Are Safe for Now

This post has been revised since it was first published. 

The Oakland Press and the Dearborn Press & Guide are teaming up in a series of video reports entitled “Muslim Secrets.” The videos are being produced by Oakland Press reporter Aftab Borka, a journalist from Pakistan who has done reporting for CBS. The first video in the series, asks American Muslims , “Do Muslims want sharia law in America? ” But rather than giving answers, the report only moves along the “Islamization of knowledge” in America.

Borka interviews a handful of Muslims, some of them religious figures, some not, like an Oakland University student and the chief of oncology at Beaumont. None of the them actually answered the question, “do you want Sharia law in America?” Nor did any of them define what Sharia is to them.

Instead, Borka explains thus: “Not surprisingly, every Muslim interviewed for this report had a different and not-so-straight answer. All of them had a different interpretation of Sharia law.”

“Not surprisingly”? I think that’s surprising.  Especially the tidbit about his interviewees not giving straight answers. Have Borka’s Muslims got something to hide?  Isn’t this supposed to reveal the American Muslims’ attitude towards Sharia, straight from the horse’s mouth? This doesn’t bode well for unveiling “Muslim Secrets.”

Combine the not-so-straight answers with the one point on which Borka’s sources do all agree: “don’t believe what the opponents say,” and it leaves a reader no place to turn for the facts.

So, “to understand what Sharia law really means” in the context of all this muddy thinking, who better can Borka  turn to than one who preaches Sharia – our old friend Dawud Walid.

“Well,” explains, Walid:

Sharia and law will not necessarily be the best two phrases to conjoin or combine together. But Sharia simply means a path toward faithfulness of how a Muslim seeks to live a life holistically pleasing God. This ranges from our ritual worship to regulating how we are involved in ethical transaction of businesses.

Clear enough? Notice the way Walid’s “range” carefully avoids mention of those aspects of Sharia which cause Americans the greatest alarm: executions for leaving Islam, fatwas against non-Muslims who criticize Mohammed, honor killings, the Friday-after-mosque riots of violence against Christians, the reduction of women to chattels, the inferior status in Muslim lands of nonMuslims , and the endless slaughters wreaked by jihadis whose motivation – documented in miles of martyrdom videos – were, to use Walid’s euphemistic phrase, “to live a life holistically pleasing God” by slaughtering infidels.

Walid also hasn’t got a word to say about the political applications of Sharia, according to which Islam the religion and Islam the government power “conjoin” to rule absolutely in nations with Muslim majorities.

I have the feeling the people bringing us “Muslim Secrets” aren’t going to give us an honest answer to their own questions.

All that Borka tells us about Walid is that he’s “a well-known Muslim leader in southeast Michigan, and chairman of Council of American Islamic Relations.”  

Is that all?  Borka’s an experienced journalist and, even if he really didn’t know anything about Walid before, (which I can’t believe), an hour’s research would have confirmed a bucketful of facts about Dawud Walid that are directly relevant to the question “do you want Sharia in America?”

1. Walid’s organization, CAIR, is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwhan) and front organization for Hamas, and is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas-financing trial.

2. In 1998, CAIR’s national chairman, Omar Ahmad, told his Muslim listeners that

Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.

3. The Muslim Brotherhood’s/Ikhwan’s stated goal in North America

is kind of a grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions. [...] It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes.

4. Walid is a consistent supporter of Hamas, though he keeps his references to Hamas veiled, as in this speech in 2010:

Now how in the world can there be a realistic discussion about peace talks when the entity which represents the elected government of the Palestinian people during a fair election that was monitored by international inspectors, including former president Jimmy Carter is not at the peace table? *

5. When Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007, it promptly began imposing Sharia. (“Report: Hamas makes tactical retreat from Sharia-enforcing thuggery”).

6. Now that the Ikhwan has majority power in Egypt, it intends to impose Sharia on all Egyptians, including Christians.

Not only does Borka’s reporting utterly fail to look at all sides – citing not a single critic of Sharia while avoiding all substantive analysis of what it means – but Borka uses Walid, (or vice versa) to level the same old attacks against “random blogs” and, as Walid loves to repeat, “a ‘highly-funded, well-organized Islamophobia network’ for projecting a wrong perception since Sept. 11, 2001.”

Which is another fact Borka owed us that I left off my list above, that the Muslim Brotherhood, through its front group, the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), invented the concept of “Islamophobia” as a way “to silence critics of political Islam.”

As far as Walid will admit, no scholar of Islam anywhere in America has ever supported the adoption of the harsh principles of the Qu’ran in the United States. Ideas to the contrary have simply “been manufactured and projected by the Islamophobic industry in the United States of America.”

Walid’s ridiculous challenge to find five imams who are calling for chopping off hands in the USA is intended to misdirect readers away from the actual demands that CAIR and other Muslim groups are making all the time: primarily in the form of speech codes forbidding criticism of Islam and unwritten practices and policies that favor Muslims out of fear of being accused of anti-Muslim bias.

Walid, (and many of those “well-financed random blogs” like this one), are well aware that the capacity of Muslims to impose Sharia in a country where they are a minority is much different than in countries where Muslims are a majority.  As Andrew McCarthy observes:

Where Muslims are a tiny minority, and where countervailing cultural forces are robust enough and unapologetic enough to hem in Islam’s supremacist ambitions, Islam can be moderate and its adherents solid citizens. Where sharia is permitted to spread its wings, liberty is strangled. And where Muslims are a majority turned loose to enforce sharia, it is . . .  a “human-rights disaster.”

The relevant question, Do Muslims want Sharia in America?, is never answered.  Not even close.

*Walid loves to speak between the lines. In a portion of the Borka video not included in the published transcript, Borka narrates that Walid “is even against the death penalty in America.” When Borka asks Walid if he “personally believes that there is no place for these harsh (Saudi-style) punishments that we see around the world in America,” Walid doesn’t answer yes or no, detouring instead into an irrelevant  commentary about what he considers the “harsh punishment” of executing convicts in the United States “based on circumstantial evidence.”  I’ve never heard Walid  provide a straight answer to anything.

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