On Friday, October 21st, the Miami, FL, Commission; the Monroe County, NY, Legislature; the Rochester, NY, Board of Education; and the Rochester, NY, City Council announced proclamations condemning hate speech against Muslims. These proclamations define neither hate speech nor the person or persons who will decide what constitutes hate speech. Far from benign calls to let peaceful Muslims go about their lives and prayers in peace, these proclamations represent a step towards elevating Shariah (Islamic law) over the Frist [sic, First] Amendment.
Why do I make this claim? Backtrack to 2012 and the aftermath of Benghazi, when President Obama told the UN, “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” The subtext of this statement was lost amidst several nods by Obama to the First Amendment later in his speech. The subtext was this: slander in Shariah is not telling lies that hurt someone’s reputation; rather, slander in Shariah is telling a truth or a lie which someone doesn’t want to be told. Slander in Shariah is thus defined by what the potentially aggrieved party wants or doesn’t want to hear, not by evidence.
For evidence of this, see Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. On page 730 of the English translation of this law manual – – which has been endorsed by the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Al-Azhar University, the premier authority in Sunni Islam – – slander is defined as follows: “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him.”
Also consider the authentic hadith (report on the words and/or behaviors of Muhammad, the founder of Islam) from Sunan Abu Dawud #4856: “The Prophet was asked: ‘Apostle of Allah! What is slander?’ He replied: ‘It is saying something about your brother which he would dislike.’ He was asked again: ‘Tell me how the matter stands if what I say about my brother is true.’ He replied: ‘If what you say of him is true, you have slandered him, and if what you say of him is not true, you have reviled him.”
Why is this important?
Let’s conduct a First Amendment test. In the following lines, I am going to make several statements about Islam. Making these statements without interference from the government is my First Amendment right. Indeed, I have the right to make these statements without providing support for them, but I’m going to provide the support just the same – because my definition of slander is the definition used in the West, not the Shariah definition. I will presume that the former still applies here in the US. The test is this: will I be condemned? Will the thought police show up at my door, as they’re already doing in other purportedly free countries like the UK and India under similar circumstances?
The potentially “slanderous” statements: Muhammad married a six-year old girl named Aisha and consummated the so-called marriage – meaning as far as I’m concerned that he raped her – when she was nine and he was 54. There is ample documentation for this in Islamic sources. Consider for instance this authentic hadith from Bukhari 7.62.88: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old….” There are no authoritative Muslim sources that dispute this.
Slander, continued: If it were a simple matter of anachronism, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. That was a long time ago. Lots of people did that, and so forth. The problem is not that the founder of Islam was a pedophile and rapist 1,400 years ago. The problem is that Muhammad’s example is normative for Muslims, today and forever. To understand why Muhammad is normative for Muslims today, consider as one example Qur’an 33:21: “We have indeed in the apostle of God a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in God and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of God” (translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, a Muslim). To understand why this will be so forever, consider this: Muslims believe the Qur’an is a literal copy of a book residing with Allah in Paradise since the beginning of time, immutable.
I’ll offer just a bit more slander, as defined under Shariah: Pedophilia is rampant in the Muslim world, evidence of the immutability of Muhammad’s example. This is why Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini lowered the marriageable age to nine when he took power in 1979 and called marriage to prepubescent girls a “divine blessing.” This is why Iraqi ‘Justice’ Minister Hassan al-Shimmari proposed in 2014 to lower the marriageable age to nine. This is why so many Afghani girls are married off and drop out of elementary school. This is why Saudi cleric Salih bin Fawzan issued a fatwa in 2011 against having any age minimum for marriage, the only requirement being that girls “are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.” This is why the former leader of the Orlando office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ahmad Saleem, tried to have sex with a 12-year-old girl in 2015.
Although I have no proof, I suspect that Saleem’s colleagues in CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial a few years back, are behind the proclamation process in Miami and Western New York State. It’s also a safe bet that more such proclamations will be forthcoming soon, courtesy of CAIR and clueless, complicit, and/or scared politicians. Perhaps politicians are clueless because CAIR is hiding its attacks on the First Amendment with side-by-side condemnations of violence against peaceful, innocent Muslims, which violence no decent person would condone.
I suspect there’s a fair bit of fear as well. According to the ABC report on Miami’s proclamation, Miami Commission Vice Chair Ken Russell said the proclamation is “not about courage as a politician, it’s simply heartfelt empathy for someone’s freedom to express their religion and not be persecuted for it. And to recognize it as a religion of love.” Russell and I agree on one thing: these resolutions are not about courage as a politician.
In the ABC Local 10 News report, another Florida CAIR official, Wilfredo Ruiz, said, “Resolutions like this really help foster a better environment, where the contributions of this [sic] many Muslims that have served and keep on serving our nation are protected, and we are embraced as another part of the American fabric.” Memo to Ruiz: promoting Shariah above the Constitution is not a good way to get non-Muslim Americans to embrace Muslims as part of the American fabric.
I’ll wrap up with a question for the politicians who were lulled into issuing these proclamations: Do you condemn me for stating facts? Do you condemn me for stating that I hate the fact that Islam promotes pedophilia? I slandered the prophet of Islam, according to the definition of Shariah. My respect is not for Shariah, but for the First Amendment. Is yours?
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