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This prominent Islamic scholar also minced no words in discussing the Islamic obligation of charitable donations (zakat) and the Islamic prohibition of blasphemy, which are part of Sharia. He characterized charitable donations as “jihad with money, because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money.” As for criticisms of Islam or its prophet, he called for “an international resolution criminalizing any insult to any religion.” (Sources: BBC Panorama, and IslamOnline.net, respectively.)
These ideas do not seem to match up with the CAP authors’ assertion that Sharia is consistent with “the core values at the heart of America” – at least not the American core values that most of us were brought up to believe.
In sum, Qaradawi’s description of Sharia sounds much closer to the way that Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, one of CAP’s targets for condemnation, has described Sharia in its book “Sharia: The Threat To America”:
[A] “complete way of life” (social, cultural, military, religious, and political), governed from cradle to grave by Islamic law… Shariah is, moreover, a doctrine that mandates the rule of Allah over all aspects of society.
The Center for Security Policy book quoted Qaradawi as a source for its analysis of Sharia, in addition to quoting extensively from the Koran and other primary Islamic texts. The CAP authors avoided any mention of Qaradawi, and did not quote from the Koran or any other primary Islamic texts to support their thesis. Are they prepared to say that Qaradawi is not really a legitimate scholar of Islam venerated in the Muslim world after all? Even worse, do they think that Qaradawi’s views on Sharia are falsehoods, perhaps proving that he is somehow secretly part of the Islamophobic network whom they accuse of making things up about Sharia? Or are they simply hiding the truth, which is what truthophobes do?
The trouble with being a truthophobe is that you always have to worry about whether what you have said in the past will come back to haunt you. One of the authors of “Fear, Inc.” and the CAP Sharia report denying that Sharia had anything to do with political matters is Wajahat Ali. He must have forgotten what he wrote back in January 2009 concerning “political Islamists,” whom he said included the Muslim Brotherhood. Ali cited approvingly Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at Stanford University, who distinguished between “mainstream practicing Muslims” engaging in the political arena, voting like other Americans citizens based on their candidates respective platforms, and “political Islamists” who have “a passionate desire to implement sharia law.” Wajahat Ali went on to say that such political Islamists were not to be lumped together with violent groups such as al-Qaeda.
Whether he realized it or not, Ali was helping to make Frank Gaffney’s point that focusing too much attention on al-Qaeda distracts us from the broader efforts of political Islamists seeking to implement Sharia law through the existing system.
That’s not all. Back in March 2008, Ali interviewed Professor John L. Esposito regarding the results of a global Gallup poll of Muslims to determine their thoughts and attitudes on a wide range of subjects. While commenting on the relatively high education and income levels of “politically radicalized Muslims,” Ali remarked: “Islam must in some way inherently cause or inspire the violence, right?”
After Esposito rejected that theory, Ali nevertheless returned to this theme without ascribing it to any fringe group of so-called Islamophobes: “We see terrorists in Europe, in Latin America, in Asia, yet this overwhelming brand of suicide bombing and terror networking, if you will, runs rampant throughout Muslim regions. Isn’t this more proof of an inherently dangerous religion; that something exists within this religion that causes the violence?”
Perhaps the next report that the Center For American Progress puts out on their specter of a network of Islamophobes should include Ali himself as one of the so-called “validators” referred to in “Fear, Inc.”
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