Thursday, August 26, 2010


In a slow news cycle the controversy about the Park51 Islamic center rumbles on. Those who question the project are commonly said to be suffering from Islamophobia. Muslims and their defenders like this term because it suggests that any and all criticism of Islam and Muslims is irrational.

It seems that they never bother to ask about the origins of this neologism. "Islamophobia" is clearly cognate with "Homophobia." Neither is really a phobia--at least not necessarily--but never mind. There is an irony in Muslims seizing on a concept that was originally devised to protect a group of people who are condemned, in some cases lethally, under sharia law.

If Imam Abdul Rauf and his colleagues at the Park51 project were sincere in their effort to achieve harmony and reconciliation they would set aside a room for gay and lesbian Muslims in their center. Gay marriages could be solemnized there. I'm sure that Irshad Manji and other out Muslims would be glad to help out. Of course, this will never happen. Anything of this sort is contrary to sharia law, and sharia law is immutable,

European Muslims are by and large virulently antihomosexual. Mainstream US Muslims are said to be different. In this respect, as in others, they are not so different.

Btw, Imam Abdul Rauf says that the US already is sharia-compliant. Its principles of humanity and equity (sic) are said to be identical with ours. These seems odd, because I haven't noticed any adulterers being stoned in the country, not to mention unbelievers and apostates being beheaded and homosexuals placed where walls will fall on them.

Sharia is not simply some vague set of abstract principles as some now misleadingly assert. There is a broad consensus among the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence. While the main (Ja'fari) school of Shi'a law is different, it generally comes to the same results, which are based on the Qur'an and the hadith. This consensus is upheld by the ulama (body of Muslim jurists) in every country in which there are significant numbers of Muslims.

UPDATE (Aug. 26). We keep hearing from the PC establishment that controls most of our media that we mustn't have this debate because it is destroying our credibility in Muslim-majority countries. According to a story in today's NY Times that is not generally so. Many Muslims in other parts of the world are impressed by our free exercise of a spectrum of opinion. In their own countries their authoritarian government does not simply restrict itself to limiting the rights of the Christian and Jewish minorities, but prescribes w h i c h f o r m of Islam will be allowed. Once again our craven PC punditry is spreading misinformation.



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