Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sharia Law: Coming to a Western Nation Near You?

The advent of Sharia (Islamic) law in the West is of major concern these days, especially in the wake of the news that it has been officially adopted in Britain. If Sharia law can be implemented in the UK, then why not in Europe or the U.S.?

My latest Campus Watch column, which is posted at Frontpage Magazine, examines the efforts of certain high profile players in the field of Middle East studies to make Sharia law more palatable to Western sensibilities. For what purpose? You decide.
Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) will be hosting a conference on October 23 that asks the loaded question: "Is There a Role for Shari'ah in Modern States?"

The Saudi-funded ACMCU and its founding director, John Esposito, one of the foremost apologists for radical Islam in the academic field of Middle East studies, have certainly been doing their bit to make the idea more palatable.

The Saudi prince for whom ACMCU was named has been pumping millions of dollars into Middle East studies at Georgetown, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and beyond, and as the case of Esposito demonstrates, it magnifies the voices of scholars with a decidedly uncritical bent. As a result, ACMCU analysis regarding Sharia (or Islamic) law tends to focus not on its injustices (amputation, stoning, hanging, honor killing, punishment for blasphemy, execution of apostates, persecution of non-Muslims, sanctioned wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and so on), but rather on repackaging it in ways that will appeal to Western sensibilities. The concept of a more "moderate" version of Sharia law that is compatible with democracy is at the forefront of this effort.

While it's difficult to predict exactly what will take place at the upcoming ACMCU conference, the fact that Esposito will present the opening remarks provides considerable insight into the politics of the event.
Continue reading "Sharia Law: Coming to a Western Nation Near You?"

Update: Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo (a voice in the wilderness on this issue and others) has introduced the Jihad Prevention Act, which focuses specifically on stopping the spread of Sharia law in the U.S. Kathy Shaidle reports.

7 Comments:

Blogger joe six-pack said...

As long as British law trumps Islamic law when they conflict (I would expect this a great deal) the version of Sharia law that would then be enforced must be Apostate. Far too much difference will exist between the British version and 'authentic' Islamic law to be anything else.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Moderate Sharia Law? NOT !!

Saturday, September 27, 2008 5:55:00 AM  
Blogger Yankee Doodle said...

"As long as British law trumps Islamic law when they conflict (I would expect this a great deal) the version of Sharia law that would then be enforced must be Apostate."

It doesn't, and besides, even if it did, it's still another big straw on the camel's back.

"Moderate sharia" is like "moderate pregnancy" -- ?

Saturday, September 27, 2008 5:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cinnamon, You conveniently leave out the fact that the UK has allowed civil cases to be arbitrated in rabbinical court for years - which is how Muslims were able to argue for their own religious arbitration courts. While the Sharia law is clearly further from British justice code, allowing either is dangerous. Here in America, there is a clear separation of church and state (which the right wing would like to undo - as long as it's Christianity that is allowed to rule us).

Fundamentalists of all stripes can be oppressive, sexist and dangerous .

The real “Jihad Prevention Act” is our constitution. No theocracy, whatever your religious beliefs.


From the Weekly Standard:

"What to make of this development? In my judgment, the issue is significant—but is also rather complex, and shouldn’t be oversimplified. The proclamation that Britain has “adopted Islamic law” is plainly inaccurate. Sharia only governs where both parties agree to its implementation. It won’t subsume British law unless there is a specific contract or agreement to apply sharia in civil disputes rather than British law: thus the sharia courts’ classification as arbitration tribunals (a form of what is called “alternative dispute resolution”). A basic freedom of contract issue about whether a form of religious law should apply in place of secular law arises whenever a religion has specific rules for civil life, and two devout adherents to that faith enter into an agreement. For this reason, the Times notes that Britain also has Jewish beth din courts that “operate under the same provision in the Arbitration Act and resolve civil cases, ranging from divorce to business disputes.” These sharia courts are not designed to apply criminal law: we will not suddenly see amputations and beheadings in Britain."


JTA, Jewish & Israel News:

"Sharia courts operating in Britain:

Civil courts based on Islamic law have been operating in Britain for more than a year.

British Muslims have followed the Jewish example of operating a rabbinical court, or bet din, based on the country's arbitration law."

Monday, September 29, 2008 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia praise Congressman Tancredo's initiative. We advocated similar measures in the past and fully support "Gihad Prevention Act"

"Any person from a country where a substantial part of the population is pro-Sharia should not be allowed in the West, not only as an immigrant, but even as a visitor with a few exceptions, i.e., political asylum or as a diplomat etc. ... Every legal immigrant should be allowed to stay only if he/she did not display desire to establish a Sharia state in a host country. Any naturalized citizen who displays a desire to establish a Sharia state in a host country should have his/her citizenship revoked and promptly deported. I think the latter two groups is where the real danger lies." Linda Ahmed, FrontPage Magazine, July 24, 2008

"Anyone who proclaims Islamic extremist views should be tried for sedition, since we are at war with radical Islam, or at the very least, promptly deported." Khalim Massoud, FrontPage Magazine, September 9, 2008

http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/09/tancredo-proposes-anti-sharia-measure.html

Monday, September 29, 2008 2:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

kwktiAdding to what anonymous said about this non-issue is that one of the officials on the sharia court or rather panel is a lawyer to advise the court when its decisions contradict English Common Law which they may not. The Times was dead wrong by stating that these panels will hear divorce cases as they are not allowed to arbitrate thses because the authority granted is to deal only with civil cases and only if both parties agree to binding arbitration. No divorce, no criminal torts and no non-Muslim can be forced into arbitration.

In the US we have rabbinical courts and panels that are also recognized as binding concerning civil matters for a variety or religious and professional groups. A more broader discussion comes from Joshua Rozenberg of The Telegraph who is considered their legal reporter.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/lawreports/joshuarozenberg/2957692/What-can-sharia-courts-do-in-Britain.html

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 5:00:00 AM  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

My link keeps breaking but the article is from The Telegraph on Sept. 18, 2008 by Joshua Rozenberg entitled "What can sharia courts do in Britain?"

But I do need to respond to the comment that the right wing is all for ending the practice of seperation of Church and State when most often they simply want to be recognized as having the rights that any majority would have in a representative democracy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 5:11:00 AM  

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