Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ahmadi Muslim leader claims Ben Carson’s words “intolerant and wrong,” dissembles about political aspects of Sharia - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

Still more deceptions and half-truths from the smug and disingenuous Islamic supremacist Qasim Rashid. My remarks are interspersed below.

Qasim Rashid

“Make No Mistake, Ben Carson’s Comments About A Muslim President Were Intolerant, And Wrong,” by Qasim Rashid, Daily Caller, September 21, 2015:
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation … I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Replace “Muslim” with Catholic, or Jew, or woman — and ask if you feel any differently about the above statement. Because historically speaking, each of these demographics have had to suffer through this exact form of public discrimination, and in each case the intolerant voice ended up on the wrong side of history. Thus, hopefully you understand why it is unacceptable for GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson to promote such narrow-mindedness against American Muslims.
“Historically speaking, each of these demographics have had to suffer through this exact form of public discrimination…” Actually not. Neither Catholics or Jews had ever carried out a terrorist attack that killed several thousand Americans and that was justified by its perpetrators by reference to the texts and teachings of their religion. Neither Catholics nor Jews had leaders who triumphantly boasted of their imminent conquest of the U.S. Neither Catholics or Jews had terror organizations that issued repeated calls for believers in the U.S. to murder American officials and ordinary citizens. Neither Catholicism nor Judaism contains a supremacist component that requires believers to work for the imposition of Catholic or Jewish law on a non-believing populace.

In sum, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about a Muslim President, in light of the political aspects of Sharia, which are authoritarian and supremacist. To liken this concern to nativist paranoia and hostility to Catholics and Jews is a cheap rhetorical trick that ignores the reality of jihad terror and the justifiable response to it among non-Muslims.
Dr. Carson provided the above response when he was asked whether Islam is consistent with the United States Constitution. Let’s pause. Dr. Carson is not a Muslim, let alone an Islamic theologian. Likewise, Dr. Carson is not a lawyer, let alone a Constitutional scholar. With two strikes against him, the safe bet would’ve been to recite the First Amendment protection of religious freedom, and likewise America’s strong commitment to a separation of religion and state. One need not be an Islamic scholar or a Constitutional scholar to provide this basic answer.
I have refuted Qasim Rashid’s lies many times — see here for all the links — and all Rashid, a supremely arrogant and hateful man, ever says in response that he won’t respond to anything but a peer-reviewed academic article, as if his Daily Caller dawah were peer-reviewed. And here again his first impulse to refute Carson is not to prove him wrong with any evidence, but to impugn his knowledge of Islam and the Constitution. Ad hominem attacks seem to be the only tool in Rashid’s box.
But with two strikes already against him, Dr. Carson struck out when he instead advocated against a Muslim becoming President because of their faith. Dr. Carson did not hold fast to foundational Constitutional principles, but instead demonstrated his ignorance of both Islam and the Constitution.
Of course, the Constitution is explicitly clear in Article VI, paragraph 3 that, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” America’s founding fathers sought to escape religious persecution, not create a nation with more religious discrimination. None other than George Washington wrote, in a letter, that he would welcome “Mahometans” to his estate, provided they were “good workers.” Thomas Jefferson likewise incessantly demanded recognition of equal religious freedoms and rights of the “Mahamdan, the Jew, and the pagan.” American history records that Benjamin Rush, the Pennsylvania signer of the Declaration of Independence and friend of Adams and Jefferson, applauded Islam, asserting that he would “rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles.”
America’s founders saw no conflict between Islam and the United States Constitution. Who then, is Dr. Carson to disagree?
Surprise: Rashid is not being quite honest here. He doesn’t mention that Thomas Jefferson met with Tripoli’s envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, and then reported to Congress: “The ambassador answered us that [the right to seize American ships and enslave their crews] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.” Does Rashid think that Jefferson reported this approvingly?

In any case, the problem with a Muslim President is not religious, it’s political. Islam has a political aspect that is supremacist and authoritarian, as is obvious from the nature of Sharia states around the world (cf. Saudi Arabia and Iran). That was what Carson was concerned about it. Rashid is, probably intentionally, obfuscating the issue.
And should Dr. Carson study the Qur’an, he would discover that Islam does not specify any specific form of government, other than a beneficent government based on absolute justice. In 4:59 God declares, “Allah commands you to give over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that when you judge between men you judge with justice.” This is a critical point. Dr. Carson should take note that the Qur’an commands that justice — not religion, gender, or race — is the standard by which a government must run. In complete cohesion to this Qur’anic teaching, the United States Constitution likewise seeks to rule with justice and rejects religion, gender, or race as the determinative factor to govern. Accordingly, the U.S. Constitution is in fact the most Shariah compliant Constitution in existence today.
This is more cheap rhetorical sleight of hand. The U.S. Constitution is not at all Sharia-compliant, because it allows for the freedom of speech and equality of rights of all before the law, rather than providing penalties for blasphemy and institutionalizing discrimination against women and non-Muslims. Also, “justice” in an Islamic context means Islamic law, which is considered the law of Allah, and therefore perfect and valid for all time. The Qur’an says: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision” (33:36). That rules out the idea of elected officials legislating, except within the context of acceptance of Sharia. For Allah “makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule” (18:26). Indeed, “whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed is among the disbelievers” (5:44).

Rashid then goes on to proselytize for his Ahmadi faith, without bothering to tell his readers that his is a minuscule sect among Muslims, constituting less than two percent of Muslims worldwide and despised and persecuted as heretical in Pakistan and Indonesia. He sets it forth as if it were mainstream Islam, thereby lulling Americans into complacency and furthering their ignorance of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. With his steady stream of misleading, deceptive dawah pieces, Rashid is apparently determined to ensure that those who are persecuting his people in Pakistan and Indonesia have a free hand to implement their agenda here in the U.S.

Robert Spencer


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