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Bregar spouted the politically-correct line that Sharia law was no different from Jewish law or canon law, since it only dealt with personal and family relationships.
Sookhdeo quotes Yusuf al-Qaradawi to put the lie to this nonsense.
“Since Islam is a comprehensive system of ‘Idabah (worship) and Shariah (legislation), the acceptance of secularism… is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shariah is a downright apostasy,” Qaradawi says.
So should Americans be worried about Shariah creep – the gradual insinuation of Shariah law and things such as Shariah-compliant investment funds – into our society?
On this score, Patrick Sookhdeo is categorical.
Sharia law can “have no place within the public sphere; nor can the more political expressions of Islam that hide under a religious burqa.” While individual Muslims deserve the protections provided by law to all citizens, “Islam as an ideology needs to be challenged, not protected.” [p76]
His willingness to express this belief publicly has exposed Sookhdeo to the barbs of a variety of Muslim preachers of hate, who have tried to hound him into silence.
In a recent oped published in the Guardian newspaper, a British Shiite cleric named Mehdi Hasan urged the British military to terminate its contract with Sookhdeo to train officers in Islamic ideology before they deploy to Afghanistan.
Calling Sookhdeo an “anti-Islam propagandist,” he wondered why the UK and US governments have given Sookhdeo such influence. “Whatever happened to winning hearts and minds?” Hasan asked.
In Hasan’s own on-line sermons, his efforts to win hearts and minds are sure to raise the eyebrows of any honest viewer. In his effort to portray the superiority of Islam, he calls non-believers “animals” and “kaffar,” a term which has genocidal overtones.
Sookhdeo’s response repeats many of the arguments of this book. “Like any other ideology, Islam must be open to being critiqued, and where its political aspects appear to pose a challenge to fundamental Western values, these issues must be discussed openly and responsibly, without the debate being obscured by charges of ‘Islamophobia.'”
Sookhdeo has particularly harsh words for John O. Brennan, President Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor, for his attempt to interpret “jihad” as a purely spiritual concept.
Not only do the misconceptions of Brennan and those like him allow the Islamists to prevail as long as they do not explicitly embrace terrorism; it generates confusion about who the enemy actually is.
“What about the whole Islamist culture and ideology, which has the same long term goals as the terrorists, even though it does not always explicitly endorse terrorism?” Sookdheo writes. [p79] Those goals include “the peaceful or gradualist Islamization of all countries, through tactics that concentrate on every area of society, including the political, legal, social, media, and financial.”
Should we be worried about Islamist groups, or Islam itself?
Here, too, Sookhdeo invites us to open our eyes: “Policy makers try to minimize the problem of radical Islam by presenting it as having nothing to do with classical Islamic ideology, when in fact it has much to do with it,” he concludes.
In other words, Islam as it is currently preached is the problem, and it is up to Muslims themselves to wage the battle to reform their religion.
Until Islam becomes a faith like any other religion – and gives up its pretence to rule every aspect of society – it will remain a threat to our Western belief system and our freedoms.
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