The Corner

On Blasphemy, Why Not Enhance American National Security by Speaking Honestly About Sharia?

Thomas Farr asserts that the U.S. State Department-sponsored constitution of Afghanistan “guarantee[d] ‘a civil society free of oppression, atrocity, discrimination and violence, [and] . . . protection of human rights, and dignity.’” That summary would be comically incomplete if the persecution this constitution has led to were not so severe … and so predictable.

What is guaranteed by Afghanistan’s constitution – and Iraq’s, which the State Department also helped birth – is sharia. Expressly.

I, along with a few other alleged Islamophobes, complained loudly and repeatedly about this back when the State Department was working its magic. (See, e.g., here, here, and – on Iraq’s new constitution, here.) “Shush,” we were told, “sharia and liberty, including religious liberty, are perfectly compatible. And besides, we have all these pretty tropes in there about ‘protection of human rights and dignity.’” But those tropes were just for show, inserted so “Islamic democracy” promoters could pat themselves on the back for the great progress they were making.

I’ve summarized the Afghan constitution the State Department helped write a few times. For example, here:

To grasp [that the new Afghanistan is a sharia state, not a real democracy], one need only read the first three articles of its constitution:

1. Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary, and indivisible state.

2. The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam. Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.

3. In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.

I put that last part in italics to highlight the naivete, at best, of those who took seriously the blather about “human rights” and “freedom from oppression” that Mr. Farr quotes – including U.S. officials like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her spokesman, Sean McCormack, who purported to be shocked by the apostasy prosecutions since “freedom of worship [and] freedom of expression … are bedrock principles of democracy … that are enshrined in the Afghan constitution.” Quite obviously, article 3 of the Afghan constitution clearly nullifies anything contradictory of sharia that purports to be law in Afghanistan. Period.

My summary of the Afghan constitution continued:

… The articles creating the Afghan judiciary make higher education in Islamic jurisprudence a sufficient qualification to sit on the Afghan Supreme Court. Judges are expressly required to take an oath, “In the name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate,” to “support justice and righteousness in accord with the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” When there is no provision of law that seems to control a controversy, Article 130 directs that decisions be in accordance with “the Hanafi jurisprudence” of sharia.

Moreover, consistent with the Muslim Brotherhood’s blueprint for society (highly influential in Sunni Islamic countries and consonant with the transnational-progressive bent of the State Department), the constitution obliges the Afghan government to “create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice” (which, naturally, includes free universal health care). It commands that the Afghan flag be inscribed, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His prophet, and Allah is Great [i.e., Allahu Akbar].” The state is instructed to “devise and implement a unified educational curriculum based on the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam” and to “develop the curriculum of religious subjects on the basis of the Islamic sects existing in Afghanistan.” In addition, the constitution requires the Afghan government to ensure that the family, “a fundamental unit of society,” is supported in the upbringing of children by “the elimination of traditions contrary to the principles of the sacred religion of Islam.” Those contrary traditions include Western Judeo-Christian principles.

Was that what you figured we were doing when you heard we were “promoting democracy”?

Moreover, as I elaborated here back in 2011, when, under the same constitution, the new Afghanistan put yet another former Muslim on capital trial for apostasy:

Under the construction of sharia adopted by the Afghan constitution (namely Hanafi, one of Islam’s classical schools of jurisprudence), apostasy is the gravest offense a Muslim can commit. It is considered treason from the Muslim ummah. The penalty for that is death.

This is the dictate of Mohammed himself. One relevant hadith (from the authoritative Bukhari collection, No. 9.83.17) quotes the prophet as follows: “A Muslim . . . may not be killed except for three reasons: as punishment for murder, for adultery, or for apostasy.” It is true that the hadith says “may,” not “must,” and there is in fact some squabbling among sharia scholars about whether ostracism could be a sufficient sentence, at least if the apostasy is kept secret. Alas, the “may” hadith is not the prophet’s only directive on the matter. There is also No. 9.84.57: “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” That is fairly clear, wouldn’t you say? And as a result, mainstream Islamic scholarship holds that apostasy, certainly once it is publicly revealed, warrants the death penalty.

Mr. Farr’s conclusion that “[u]ntil we become more effective in advancing religious freedom abroad, our own security will remain at risk,” is awfully reminiscent of the second Bush inaugural’s dreamy rhetoric about how “[t]he survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.” For my money, our security would be dramatically improved by ending the politically correct suppression of inquiry into sharia, coming to grips with what it actually says, ceasing to pretend it is compatible with liberty, and marginalizing its promoters. We might also start pressuring Muslim countries to repeal its oppressive provisions — that might be a tad better for our security than helping write the oppressive provisions into their foundational law.


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