How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sharia?


“Sharia-compliant Islam is ascendant.” So writes the incomparable Andrew C. McCarthy in his foreword to Andrew Bostom’s timely new book, Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism. And “Western elites have abandoned the field – or better, put it up for sale to Islamic activists and their apologists.” This leaves Bostom as “one of the precious few who dare” to put their considerable scholarly energies into exposing sharia for what it truly is.

Dr. Andrew Bostom, Associate Professor of Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital, has published articles and commentary on Islam here on FrontPage and in the Washington Times, National Review, American Thinker, and elsewhere in print and online. Bostom is the author of two essential, extraordinary, and meticulously documented works of scholarship, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History (about which I interviewed him here and here for FrontPage). Now he has built upon and transcended those books with his newest and most important work thus far.

Sharia Versus Freedom is a sobering collection of Bostom’s recent essays elucidating what is arguably the most threatening ideology of our time. His distinctive erudition is on full display in this impossibly encyclopedic work. Allow me to break the book down to present an idea of the depth and breadth of its wide-ranging contents:

To paraphrase Julius Caesar about Gaul, this book is divided into four parts. First comes “Sharia Without Camouflage,” in which Bostom addresses the disturbing global trends of encroaching sharia, thanks in no small part to our academic and media elites’ “mindslaughter,” or willful denial. The trends include attempts to undermine Western systems of legal justice, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s full-court press to get the West to adopt an Islamic blasphemy law, and our own willful blindness to the threat.

The next section is called “Sharia-Compliant Jihad and Jew-Hatred,” which is fairly self-explanatory but also broader than one might expect. It includes compelling chapters with such titles as “Jihad in Europe,” “Hindus, Jews, and Jihad Terror in Mumbai,” “Lara Logan’s Rape and Egyptian Muslim Jew-Hatred,” “Hitler, Jihad, and Nazism,” and “Understanding the Jihad Against Israel and America.” In this section Bostom also takes to task such public figures as Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, law professor Alan Dershowitz, and even columnist Charles Krauthammer for their ignorance about Islam. He assaults the myth of Cordoban ecumenism in a chapter about the attempt to raise a mosque near the World Trade Center. He takes on our Afghanistan strategy in “The Postmodern COINage of a Failed Policy,” and even female genital mutilation in Indonesia.

Part 3, “Islam, Sharia, and the Treason of the Intellectuals,” concerns the West’s “moral and intellectual decay, and capitulation to the Ur Fascism of the Islamic Jihad.” Again, there is a broad range of fascinating chapter topics: “Cartoonish Dhimmitude in America,” “Qaradawi, the ‘Arab Spring,’ and the Treason of the Intellectuals,” “Sharia at Harvard?” and “Diversity Perversity,” among many others.

In the fourth and final part, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sharia?” Bostom writes on such topics as “An Encyclopedic Antidote to Islamic Indoctrination in Public Schools” and “Mosques as Barracks in America.” There are brief chapters on “empowered apostates” Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, on the issue of Osama bin Laden’s sea-burial ceremony, on the First Amendment and sharia in Dearborn. In the fascinating closing chapter, “Whittaker Chambers, Communism, and Islam,” Bostom explores how “Chambers’s witness-martyrdom in the struggle against Communism” can be “applied to the threat of resurgent Islamic totalitarianism,” and the insights we in the West can glean from his apostasy.

Along the way, the book presents us with studies of sharia by leading scholars of Islam; the acknowledgement by academic apologists of contemporary sharia’s global surge; an abundance of recent polling data from Muslim nations and immigrant communities in the West confirming the swelling tide of Islamic law; the assertions of contemporary Muslim intellectuals about the incompatibility of sharia and Western concepts of universal human rights; and the overt dissemination of sharia-based legal systems by authoritative, mainstream Islamic religious and political organizations.

Additional material includes the aforementioned Andrew McCarthy foreword; an interview with Bostom; his own 48-page introduction, in which he addresses “the deleterious legacy of Islamic confusion [that scholar] Bernard Lewis has bequeathed to Western policymaking elites”; and even a 12-page essay on the book’s cover art. The tome closes with a wealth of detailed notes (more than 160 pages worth). Bostom can’t ever be accused of shortchanging his readers.

Open the book to virtually any page, begin reading, and even if you’ve been studying Islamic totalitarianism and keeping abreast of it for years, as most FrontPage readers have, you will learn something new.

Bostom concludes one section of the book by quoting Whittaker Chambers’ famed autobiography about the Red Menace, and highlighting its relevance to the challenge facing us today from Islam: “It is part of the failure of the West,” Chambers begins,

to understand that it is at grips with an enemy having no moral viewpoint in common with itself, that two irreconcilable viewpoints and standards of judgment, two irreconcilable moralities, proceeding from two irreconcilable readings of man’s fate and future are involved, and hence their conflict is irrepressible.

After which Bostom asks, “Does twenty-first century America possess Chambers’s moral compass and fortitude to combat the modern scourge of ancient Islamic totalitarianism?”

Good question. The answer, of course, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, arming ourselves with the clear-eyed, irrefutable scholarship of Andrew Bostom’s Sharia Versus Freedom is a necessary step toward fully comprehending the worldwide rise of that modern scourge, and successfully vanquishing it.

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  • Chezwick

    We mustn't allow Muslims and their apologists to successfully bastardize the meaning of Sharia the way they have the word Jihad. We have to hammer home an indisputable reality over and over, that Sharia is defined by 1) the hudud punishments, i.e., stonings, amputations, the killing of apostates, etc., 2) the legal liabilities against women, as promulgated in Quran 2.228, 2.282, 4.11 and 4.34 and 3) the Jim Crow-like laws that discriminate against non-Muslims…(and we should draw constant parallels to Jim Crow, how non-Muslim men are forbidden to marry Muslim women, at the same time that Muslim men are free to marry non-Muslim women).

    Those in the public sphere who are courageous enough to do the bidding of the anti-Jihad can attack the core, the essence of Muhammad's religion…without ever uttering the word Islam. We only need to concentrate our efforts on discrediting SHARIA, trumpet its political essence, its barbarisms and injustices, and do our best to turn it into a dirty word.

    • twje

      Send all the moslims out of the country. the inly good muslims are ex muslims
      Deport all the muslims even if the yare US citizens. Strip them off the US citizenship.Otherwise the US is lost.

  • Mary Sue

    Sharia has to be outlawed right out of the starting gate. The left-leaning rights activists have to be made aware of the threat that Sharia poses to them.

    • curmudgeon

      there is nothing more useless than outlawing sharia. when muslim population reaches critical mass, the laws against sharia will be ignored, just like when liberals reached critical mass, the immigration laws were ignored. if we had deported our liberals, we would not be overrun with illegal aliens. if we deport our muslims, we will not have sharia. if we do not deport our muslims, we will have sharia. they are a package deal.

      • Mary Sue

        yeah but hell hath no fury like a drag queen denied "her" rights.

  • devdeep

    sharia is a farce

    • kafir4life

      It's actually islam that's the farce. Keep in mind the gutter cult of islam was invented by a pedophilic warlord (mohamat, the pig faced dog), who shat his most holy terror guide, the koran, in feces. It remains feces today and for all time. As does islam and muslims.

      allahu snackbar!

      • Guest

        Annad
        Islam is a religion concocted by the highway robber, What is more to add?

    • Gee

      No – it is an extreme danger to life on this planet – a farce it is not

  • Spider

    And what is the plan for disempowering the head Mu-slim Imam (aka – treasoness lying sack of pig feces) that is occupying the white house? I think this is our biggest problem right now.

  • curmudgeon

    "how to solve a problem like sharia". if you ask that question, you do not understand the problem. the problem is not sharia. the problem is muslims. allow muslims in your country, and you will certainly get sharia. keep muslims out of your county, and sharia is no threat. if you have already made the criminally stupid mistake of allowing muslims in your country, the ONLY thing that will save you from sharia is to send he muslim invaders home. all of them. imported and domestic. better if you also deport the traitors who allowed them in your country. no muslims, no sharia. it is that easy. instead, we have chosen to obey our traitorous "leaders", and pay heed to our poisonous media, and import those poor peaceful muslims, and sit idly while they achieve critical mass, then talk inanely about outlawing sharia. it would be as useful to outlaw fever as to outlaw sharia. both are just symptoms of disease, and anyone who even tries to outlaw either is just a fool.

    • Spider

      Good post curmudgeon – but as I said above we also have to worry about the Chief Sharia enabler we have in the white house.

      • kafir4life

        We just call him BO……or Stinky if you prefer……

  • Aterg

    All Sharia countries need a couple of generation of communism for them to truly respect and understand democracy. No Sharia law in any western country, or deportation of those that want it or insists on it or practice it secretly, honor killings, arranged marriages etc.

  • drbukk

    Why isn't the failure to defend free speech the cornerstone of our condemnation in the Benghazi situation? When Obama mentioned the video six times at the UN, this was a failure to defend our Constitution and worse, an implicit endorsement of the new law against insulting Mohammed. Romney pointed it out in his statement about Cairo, and it was called presumptuous, inappropriate and a gaffe.

  • Ghostwriter

    And also Sharia law is terrible toward women. They're not treated well at all.

  • JacksonPearson

    The sharia question can easily be answered with:
    Would people want to live in a house filled with deadly vipers?
    Because that's exactly what Islam and sharia law is all about.

    "Wherever Islam spreads, freedom dies."

  • David. Thailand

    Seems to me almost every poster knows the solution on what should or must be done to stem the looming tidal wave of Sharia. But none of these 'solutions' allow for the fact that spineless 21st century Western liberal democracy is no match for the most dysfunctional ideology in the history of the world.

    The one thing that our civilisation has in common with every defunct civilisation, is that we believe we are too big to fail. And fail we will.

    While the West will not implode tomorrow or even in a decade, certainly by mid-century Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish state as Sharia legal floggings occur in at least one European capital.

  • Dean

    Most important about Andrew Bostom is that he didn’t appear in Anders Breivik’s manifesto. Had he we wouldn’t be hearing anything about him; he certainly would not have been interviewed by Lou Dobbs. Speaking of that interview, Andrew presented himself very well, he was well-spoken and scholarly, and his demeanor was in no way threatening; he certainly would be a poor choice as the hated poster child for the Muslim world’s Islamophobia campaign/Istanbul process.

    If Muslim spokespeople (CAIR & etc.) chose to attack such an unassuming mild-manner man as a hateful anti-Muslim Islamophobic bigot it would only spur interest in his work and their Islamic intentions. So I don’t expect them to do so. However, our friendly Muslim spokespeople need not risk such a venture; they have a compliant media, pandering politicians and a faithful academia to do their dirty work for them. I pray Mr. Bostom has the fortitude to withstand the dhimmi attacks that are sure to come his way.

  • ross1948

    We can see in Indonesia how people are fed up with the evils of shariah,
    http://rossrightangle.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/ac

    yet we allow its nonsense to spread in our residually civilised countries.
    Why should the intolerance shariah imposes on societies it controls now be extended to societies where its adherents are in a small minority?
    Western citizens MUST wake up and fight back!.

  • kanwi

    At least two simultaneous approaches are required in combating Sharia. Firstly undoing the cultural damage to date from liberalism of the last 30 years or so with a focus on the education system to re establish values lost. Secondly outlawing the preaching and incitement of values inconsistent with western society. Although this will include all religions and sects it is only Islam that will fall mostly foul of the law. All houses or worship need to be licensed to operate with stringent conditions attached to the license. Enforce the conditions with prosecutions, extradition, revoking of citizenship, visa, incarceration etc . This will encourage assimilation as opposed to integration and reciprocity as opposed to supremacy. If Muslims don’t want to adopt western values then they can go and live in a Sharia compliant country. Democracy is not free and guaranteed. It prevails based on mutual reciprocal values and exchanges of it’s citizens and representative government. …..Kanwi

  • Western Spirit

    I don't know if Obama is a closet Muslim or not. I think he is from his actions and non-actions. In any case how the hell did he become president—twice? Except from the country being blinded by the Left's foolishness, political correctness, and lies about their opposition.

    Obama Yo Mama is absolutely correct about keeping Sharia out by banning Moslims but how are we going to do that with the country blinded by lies and a president that is most likely one of them?

    The evil one is having the time of his life capsizing the world's lifeboat, Christian America. Without a place of refuge for the oppressed to go signals the beginning of the end.

    • curmudgeon

      the unfortunate truth is that it doesnt take a muslim in the white house to import muslims, and submit to islam. the muslim in the white house's predecessor, george w "islam is a religion of peace" bush was a great importer of muslims, even somoliam muslims (does anyone even remember our good friends the smolians murdering our peacekeepers and dragging their mutilated bodies through the streets?). when we have had a "republican" president that branded islam the religion of peace after a massive attack on our nation, refused to expel the enemy from our country, treasonously importred malicious murdeing muslims, even somolian murdering muslims, WHO NEEDS A MUSLIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE? we were doing as badly as we could with "republican" george w. (religion of peace) bush.

  • fanlad

    Europe is being over run and is capsizing as we speak. Have you been to France lately, or go ask the Scandinavian countries how the Muslim immigration is working out for them.

  • Frank Livingston

    I often hear those that do not know America’s history with Shariah/Islamic law say the reason why Muslims hate America is because we occupy the Middle East however, how would they explain this?
    Here is just part of a March 28, 1786, letter to John Jay, the United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Continental Congress, signed by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson concerning their conversation with the Tripoli ambassador. (Thomas Jefferson. "The Papers of Thomas Jefferson." Princeton Univ. Press. pp. 9:358.)
    As you read the letter keep asking yourself if you see any similarities between 1786 and today’s challenges with the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating our government. Here is a part of the 1786 letter from Adams and Jefferson:
    "The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged 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 musselman [muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
    I suggest you read the entire letter and keep asking yourself questions about what happened in 1786 (before this nation was formed) and what is happening now. Are we experiencing the development of a worldwide Caliphate mentioned by the Tripoli ambassador?
    The actual letter has been photocopied and it is here: http://memory.loc.gov/master/mss/mtj/mtj1/005/040

    The typed version is here: http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~argy