by Eileen F. Toplansky
How many more atrocities and assaults on our way of life will it take for people to understand that sharia is an existential threat to our freedoms and our civilization?
As sharia continues to make inroads in America and Europe, we should take heed of Ralph Waldo Emerson who once wrote:
"[w]e began well. No inquisition here. No kings, no nobles. No dominant church here, heresy has lost its terror."
If only that founding reality of the American experience were understood by those who foolishly claim tolerance and acceptance for sharia law in this country -- sadly, it is not.The fact is, sharia is well entrenched in the Middle East and creeping forward to the West. The charge of heresy is imposed on any who would counter its mandates. In the Muslim world, those who speak out for reformation have placed a bull's-eye on their chests. Consequently,
Iranian Kurdish prisoner Zeinab Jalalian was arrested on March 16, 2008 by the Iranian secret police. An Iranian court charged Jalalian with being a member of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), a banned Kurdish group, found her guilty and sentenced her to death. Based on her alleged membership of that Kurdistan political party, she was accused of fighting God (mohareb) and given the death penalty.Ayatollah Boroujerdi has spoken out against political Islam and [has] been [a] strong advocate of the separation of religion and state, for which Iran sentenced him to 11 years as an Iranian political prisoner.On September 23, 2014, Mohammad Mohavadi, prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court visited Ayatollah Boroujerdi in Ward 325 of Evin prison. Mohavadi informed him that the contents of Boroujerdi's book were 'heresy' against the leadership and insulted the Supreme Leader of Iran.Mohavadi continued that the punishment for these crimes is execution, and stated that all those who had a hand in publishing the book will also be killed. When Ayatollah Boroujerdi suggested an open, public debate with the Special Court regarding his views, Mohavadi announced that his office did not participate in debates, just trials and punishment [execution].
The arts are being crushed, too. Thus, "[a] Tehran Revolutionary Court has sentenced the poets Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi to 9 years and 6 months and 99 lashes, and 11 years and 99 lashes, respectively, on charges of 'insulting the sacred' for the social criticism expressed in their poetry." The flogging sentences were as a result "of their shaking hands with strangers (a person of the opposite sex who is not one’s immediate kin or spouse) [.]" Thus, "[t]hese sentences show that 'repression in Iran is intensifying,' said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 'Hardliners aren’t just going after political activists, they are determined to stamp out any social or cultural expression with which they disagree.'"
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was "arrested in 2012 and sentenced to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 1,000 lashes for 'insulting Islam through electronic channels.'" At the New Yorker, Robin Wright describes how the Saudi government "pulled a blogger named Raif Badawi from his jail cell in Jeddah, brought him to a square in front of a mosque, and administered the first phase—fifty lashes—of a public flogging."
His crime? -- "Badawi, . . . ran a Web site called Saudi Liberal Network, which dared to discuss the country’s rigid Islamic restrictions on culture. One post mocked the prohibition against observing Valentine’s Day, which, like all non-Muslim holidays, is banned in Saudi Arabia. (Even foreigners aren’t allowed to buy trees for Christmas.) Religious police, known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, have reportedly patrolled flower shops and chocolate shops to warn against selling items that commemorate an infidel celebration."
Badawi’s site, "which the government ordered taken down, often pressed the Saudi monarchy to show the same degree of religious tolerance that is customary in the West."
Suppression of expression is paramount in the Islamic world. Yet, in Europe, as affirmed by Giulio Meotti, creeping sharia has advanced steadily, too. European writers, artists and museum directors admit that they are accepting their dhimmi status by
- removing the art work "Persepolis" because it combines a Persian Islamic rug and a female head.
- veiling antique Roman statues in the Vatican to avoid offending Iran's visiting President Hassan Rouhani.
- censoring London's Mall Gallery exhibition titled "Passion for Freedom" because it shows a family of toy animals living in an enchanted valley while in the background another set of toy animals are dressed as ISIS, ready to invade the idyllic view. The installation entitled "ISIS Threatens Sylvania" was eliminated because of its alleged "inflammatory" content.
- withdrawing a portrait of the Prophet of Islam from the Victoria and Albert Museum of London because a group of Muslims protested.
- scrapping the dedication of a new section of the Louvre in Paris concerning the artistic heritage of Eastern Christians. Recall that Eastern Christians have been systematically decimated by the Islamic State but the Louvre caved to fear.
Although ". . . blasphemy as a criminal offence has for centuries generally been considered a relic of the past" this is no longer the case in Europe. Thus, "[i]n a largely godless society, few people take offense to blasphemous comments or acts. Christians do not descend upon alleged blasphemers with guns and knives, and publishers do not worry about 'offending Christians.'"
But a double standard is consistently maintained whenever Islam is invoked.
Robert Spencer in his booklet titled "The Muslim Brotherhood's Plan: Eliminating and Destroying Western Civilization from Within" quotes Muhammad Mahdi Othman 'Kef who made this bold announcement:
I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America, because Islam has logic and a mission. Thus, 'the Europeans and the Americans will come into the bosom of Islam out of conviction.'This stealth jihad has one irrevocable goal -- to eliminate Western civilization, mores, culture, and ideas.
Living under constant security watch, Ayaan Hirsi Ali dares to describe what the future holds for Muslim women. Instead of heeding her prescient words, she is prevented from speaking to college students to explain that "men such as Sayyid Qutb, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, or Osama bin Laden . . . claim that their vision, based on sharia law, is in all ways superior to the norms prevailing in the West." Ignored by far too many in the West is that "[i]n Saudi Arabia, a woman’s testimony is usually not accepted in criminal cases and is worth half a man’s testimony in civil cases." Also, "[i]n Iran, married women cannot leave the country without their husband’s permission. After a child is seven years old, custody of the child automatically goes to the father [.] A mother also loses custody of her young children if she remarries. In 2016, the chair of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology, an important advisory body, sanctioned 'light' wife-beating."
And while feminist academics in the West would be expected to highlight this abuse, "or at least to enable students to think through the consequences of implementing sharia measures such as we see in Iran and Saudi Arabia" such is not the case. Instead, "[i]t is striking how many American university professors and students reject any analysis of a real conflict between enlightened Western values and unreformed sharia, even as Western civilization is mocked and its many contributions to human freedom and gender equality cynically dismissed."
In fact, the left and the jihadist appear to be joined at the hip. This, despite recent reports in the international news media of gay men being jailed, murdered or tortured in the Russian republic of Chechnya, which is "a hotbed of Islamic honor killings, usually of young women, but of gay men as well."
Michael Lucas, founder of New York's largest gay adult film company, "referred to reports of gay men being murdered by relatives in Islamic honor killings in the Middle East, Europe, and at times the U.S." Lucas asserts that he is referring to the Muslim world when he uses the word barbarians. He emphasizes that
We will not be able to change them but we have to protect our world and our way of life as vigorously as they protect their way of life. And yes immigration is a problem. Yes, on the left this is a very unpopular opinion. If we are taking (refugees and immigrants) we should not take from the pool of people that is so hostile to us. You know, people, they’re saying on the left, well, bring them here and they will enjoy our freedom and they will embrace gays. No, stay there, learn how to love gays and then come here."How many more atrocities and assaults on our way of life will it take for people to understand that sharia is an existential threat to our freedoms and our civilization?
Eileen F. Toplansky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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