EDITORIAL: A sharia charade?
Among that influential segment of the media that views itself as progressive, there has been little curiosity about “Ground Zero” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s keen interest in promoting sharia — Islamic law.
Neither have others in the progressive community — the ACLU leaps to mind — who are always quick to sound the klaxon and summon all hands to battle stations at the first note of a Christmas carol during public school “holiday season” festivities.
The usually adamantly secular progressives are willing to stick with the sharia-promoting imam against his doubters and critics because, we’d hazard the guess, he reflects their political propensity to blame America first, whatever the controversy. Imam Rauf allows, for example, that yes, 9/11 was a lamentable event. However, he hastens to add, America brought it upon itself.
Likewise he allows that yes, Osama bin Laden is a lamentable individual. However, he hastens to add, America brought him upon itself.
The secularists seem to have issued Imam Rauf a pass to advocate Islamic law without comment, never mind criticism. The pass gives him wide latitude to posture as an apostle of ecumenical, interfaith brotherhood. Only Fox News and certain right-wingers — quickly dismissed as Islamophobes — dare to give the imam any guff.
The imam, as we and many other of his critics have said, is constitutionally entitled to build his Islamic community center wherever he wishes, whether 60 feet or 600 feet from Ground Zero. But others are constitutionally entitled to question his agenda and to withhold their trust of him until he addresses certain issues without evasion.
Rauf’s “Sharia Index Project” seeks to rate the degree of adherence to Islamic law around the world. Rauf’s website notes the participation in this project of the Gallup poll takers, seemingly giving the project a scholarly, objective aura.
But the imam, judging by his own words on the subject, is more an advocate of sharia than an impartial researcher of it. He has observed that “an Islamic state” can be established in a democracy. He glosses over the reality as manifested in much of the Muslim world that an “Islamic state” is far more amenable to authoritarian government and compulsory religious observance than to the secular, multi-cultural arrangement that distinguishes America — Land of Liberty.
“The important issue,” he has proclaimed, “is to establish the general fundamentals of sharia that are required to govern.”
More impartial observers are notably less optimistic about the prospects of individual liberty, especially freedom of conscience, flourishing alongside the accommodation of sharia. The center-right but nonpartisan Center for Security Policy — a group including former generals and officials in defense, intelligence and law enforcement — has declared sharia inimical to constitutional principles Americans take for granted.
The center’s 177-page study is available on its Web site. The title sums up its conclusions: “Sharia: The New Threat to America.”
Editorial courtesy of The Trentonian, a Journal Register Co. newspaper.