, by MOHAMMAD YACOOB
Many anti-Muslim disinformation and misinformation experts in the United States have been advancing their agenda of Islamophobia by insinuating that the Shari’ah law will replace the American constitution and American laws. They are imploring the American presidential candidates to protect the constitution by repudiating Shari’ah law. These Islamphobics employ reckless methods targeting millions and millions of naïve Americans in belieiving that Muslims are using stealthy techniques and agendas with the express aim of “destroying Western civilization from within”. The anti-Shari’ah sentiments are now also being used by politicians in the political rhetorics to gain support of the common man in their efforts to gain more votes.
These Islamophobics are using all methods to convince the politicians and all other Americans that Islamic laws are hovering over them like clouds and that Shari’ah law is going to rain on them. The image is not farfetched or imaginary. Whenever Islamic law is mentioned, the image emerges that there is no room for forgiveness. This image was enhanced by the revolution in Iran in 1979. Many who opposed the Iranian revolution or supported the Shah met with harsh penalties and death. The new laws in Iran restricted the activities of the common man in Iran. This created the impression that Islamic Shari’ah only propagated and practised ‘Eye for an Eye’ and ‘Tooth for a Tooth’. This image was blown out of proportion by the mass media.
Then the incredible indelible images of 9/11 aerial suicides resulting in destruction of World Trade Centre in New York and damge to the Pentagon in Washinton D.C. put Muslims and their religion Islam in the limelight. Later the US attack on Afghanistan, invasion of Iraq and subsequent suicide bombings and killings of innocent Muslims by Talibans and Al-Qaeda terrorists kept on enhancing the image of Islam in the bad light. The Muslim terrorists, Muslim extreme fundamentalists, and religious fanatics are going in the Mosques and killing innocent Muslims. This is un-Islamic. On top of this, no Muslim country emphasises the role of mercy and fogiveness in Islam. Any talk of implementing Shari’ah in any country conjures up the image of: cutting hands, administering lashes or stoning adulterers to death.
The 9/11 era created new groups of anti-Muslim viruses and worms. They along with the Islamophobia practioners are advocating rejection of Shari’ah in America. They use the above mentioned three points: cutting hands, administering lashes or stoning adulterers to death, to attack Islam and Muslims. Reasonable people in America, including the Mayor of City of Irvine, California, have seen and argue that Islamic laws are based on justice and not for administering punishment.
Mr. Henry Qugley, Mayor of City of Irvine, California, wrote in Los Angeles Times:
“We in this country should take a lesson from the system of justice in Arabia and the Saudis’ execution of the assassin who killed King Faisal. The reason that crime is rampant in this country is because there is virtually no punishment for crime. We have a poor record of apprehending criminals. Crime rate will decrease when punishment becomes swift and sure. The severity of the punishment is not as important as the sureness of the penalty. Our courts should be mandated to move faster and to determine only if the person committed the crime. To return to King Faisal’s assassin, it was but a few months ago that the crime was committed – and they did not spend years arguing over psychiatric evaluation of why he did it. Evidence showed he did it and he paid for it; swift and sure.” (Henry Qugley, Los Angeles Times, Jul 14, 1975).
Now many States in the US have passed laws in the Assemblies of their respective States that Shari’ah laws should not be used to pass judgement in civil or criminal cases. Muslim organisations, Muslim Civil Rights Groups, Masajid, Shura Councils and individual Muslims are making efforts to convince that the information the Congressmen are getting about Shari’ah Laws are based on misinformation and disinformation, and that they are afraid of the Shari’ah law for wrong reasons.
The Congressmen are afraid of Shari’ah Laws and I know why.
I remember, in 1976, at a work place, a few friends were engaged in a casual conversation. The question of King Faisal’s assassination and cutting of hands in Saudi Arabia was brought up during this conversation. Some of the friends made very strong comments against the Islamic Penal Code and the Saudi government. One of our Muslim friends tried to explain the punishment given to thieves and spoke for a few minutes. In short, he said that a hungry man who stole a loaf of bread will not lose his hand, but a habitual thief will. After hearing this, Mr. Bill Wolfe, another friend, whose family is heavily involved in the California politics said in a loud voice, “No, No, we cannot have those Saudi laws in this country.” Then with a grin and a smile, he added, “If we implemented Saudi laws in this country, not a single Congressman will have two hands.”