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For the past month-and-a-half, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee (ISM) has been sponsoring a program attempting to whitewash the effect that Sharia law, if implemented, would have on American society. Teaching the courses was Zulfiqar Ali Shah, an individual tied to various radical Muslim groups, including a Hamas charity. Does the ISM really believe that a known extremist can put a good face on Sharia, and what does this say about those who advocate for Sharia?
Sharia or Islamic law is the legal code which determines how Muslims lead their lives – for many, every aspect of their lives. Like any judicial code, it is subject to interpretation. It could deal with simple matters, such as how one makes monetary investments, or it could be used towards the most horrific practices of barbarity, as seen in numerous areas throughout the Muslim world.
Zulfiqar Ali Shah is the Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee (ISM), located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born in Pakistan, he obtained his Masters degree in Sharia law from Islamic University in Islamabad. He is what is known as a “Sharia scholar.” In fact, he is the former President of the now-defunct Sharia Scholars Association of North America (SSANA).
As such, one would think that Shah would be the perfect person to discuss the benefits – if there are any – that Sharia law can bring to Americans.
From October through November, 2010, that was Shah’s goal, in a six-week course that he led held at the Men’s Masjid of ISM, entitled ‘Is Islamic Shari’ah a Threat to America?’ However, when one looks at Shah’s background, one might not only view Sharia law as a threat, but they may view Shah as a threat, as well.
Prior to his employment at ISM, Shah was involved with a variety of Muslim extremist groups. One of them was the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American arm of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan.
Shortly before till shortly after the September 11th attacks, ICNA was using the web to urge its followers to give “material support” to groups connected to al-Qaeda. Attached to this call for material support was a link to the main website that was raising funds and recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Qoqaz.net, a.k.a. Jihad in Chechnya. Also, on this same web page were links to the official websites of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban.
Shah was the National President (Ameer) of ICNA, while this was going on.
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