‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Imam: Americans ‘Silly’ to Fear Sharia Law

“American political structure is sharia-compliant.”

Feisal Abdul Rauf is a New York City imam most associated with the proposed construction of a mosque located at Ground Zero of the September 11 terror attack. In his latest piece for the New York Daily News, Rauf writes about “The silly American fear of sharia law.”

“Why… is the very idea of sharia so consistently vilified in our country?” Rauf asks. “Why is it used as a culture-war punching bag?”

He begins answering his own queries rightly pointing out that for one, because of the First Amendment, “America could never have state-sanctioned religious courts.” But then Rauf goes on to assert that Islamic laws are already operating in the U.S.:

When Muslim Americans are married according to Islamic law by a state-certified officiant of Muslim marriages, and receive in the process a civil certificate of marriage, they have, in effect, practiced Islamic law under official U.S. sanction.

Would the anti-sharia agitators keep Muslim Americans from marrying? Would they keep them from praying, distributing charity, fasting during Ramadan? For Muslim Americans already do all these things at the command of their law.

Rauf assures that “sharia is not about amputations and stoning,” and claims incidents that have occurred are “rare.” He then tries to draw parallels between sharia and “the same do’s and don’ts of the Ten Commandments” and Jesus’s obviously hyperbolic remarks about amputating the sinful parts of our bodies. This attempt at normalizing a barbaric system still practiced today continued, with plenty more laughable assertions:

Muslims the world over obey the law of the land they inhabit, whether that is Egypt, Israel or the United States.

All they perform of sharia in any land is what coheres with the law of that land — as surely Muslim marriage, prayer and philanthropy do with the laws of America.

According to Rauf, one of America’s Founding Fathers was sharia-compliant when he was writing our nation’s laws. Thomas Jefferson, he said, essentially took from Islamic law when he declared the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"Islamic law parses the pursuit of happiness into freedom of mind, religion, property, family and dignity. Jefferson would not object,” Rauf writes.

“Originally, it was the right to property, not the pursuit of happiness, that he wanted to guarantee all Americans,” he added.  “Contrary to the right-wing caricature, sharia does not presume to replace American law. It agrees with its underlying values and promotes them.”

Rauf says America should look to Israel as the model to follow for sharia compliance:

"Most Americans would be shocked to hear Israel imposes sharia law. But it does for some 60 years.” These are the words of Israeli writer Yossi Gurvitz, opening an article he wrote for +972, an online periodical.

He’s right — and it’s a fact that Americans who love Israel and hate sharia have to wrap their heads around.

In Israel, the family laws of several religions function within the larger framework of secular jurisprudence. Muslims marry according to the rules of Islamic law, as Jews do according to Jewish law, and Christians do according to Christian (canonical) law.

The religious courts belong to the Israeli court system. The Israeli government enforces their decisions. This is called legal pluralism — and Israelis inherit it from the Ottoman Empire…

The State of Israel does not protest against sharia. It clears a safe, protest-free path for sharia. If Israel can do it, why can’t America?

Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer responds:

This is disingenuous in the extreme. Israel may have Sharia courts for private arbitration matters, but that is a far cry from imposing Sharia as a whole upon the whole population. What’s more, Sharia courts that were supposed to be for marriage law and other private matters entered into voluntarily have massively overstepped their authority in Britain, with Sharia judges ruling according to Islamic law without regard for their responsibility to turn over cases that are matters of criminal law to the secular courts.

For a complete picture of who Rauf is, check out his entry at Discover the Networks. Not only was he behind the “Ground Zero Mosque,” he alleges the U.S. was an accessory to 9/11, made Osama bin Laden, and “has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims.”

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