You might think Islam in the Silicon Valley would be extra progressive and tolerant. In this prominent case of "one of the largest Muslim communities in the US," you'd think wrong.
Remember how often our comment-box apologists tell us they've never heard of the books discussed below, or that we're cherry-picking one or two titles to tar Islam with one broad brush. Is the MCA cherry-picking titles to give Islam a bad name? "Silicon Valley Sharia," by Kamala at WetPaint, December 27:
Apple. Google. Facebook. Sharia?
Silicon Valley has become synonymous with modernity and innovation.
And naively, one might expect Islam in Silicon Valley to share the same traits: an advanced, forward-thinking interpretation.
Presumably, the Muslim Community Association (MCA) of the San Francisco Bay Area would serve as the stewards of such a perspective. Billing itself as "one of the largest Muslim communities in the US," the MCA proudly proclaims that its members are "well-educated, well-traveled, and earn higher than average incomes in the San Francisco Bay Area." Even the mayor of Cupertino (Apple's hometown) recently visited an MCA Open House.
Yet the MCA's own web site makes it clear that Silicon Valley Islam is anything but innovative. Their online bookstore, which features a small but revealing set of "authentic" books about Islam, yields an interpretation of Islam that is draconian and unbending: an Islam dedicated to bringing Sharia to the world.
One book, Man-Made Laws vs. Shari'ah, by Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Salih al-Mahmood, makes the case that Sharia is the only acceptable set of laws for mankind, arguing that anyone that believes otherwise is a disbeliever.
Muslim apologists repeatedly tell non-Muslim audiences that Sharia is full of vague benefits, such as drivel about "the protection of human dignity," or the aim to "develop and sustain a moral and just society." Sharia supposedly "aims toward ideals of justice, fairness, and the good life." It's a "myth" that "The Shariah is repressive and against American values." It's "simply a set of rulings by which Muslims choose to draw closer to God."
There's not enough boldface font in the world for the next two paragraphs:
These apologists never seem able to reference any actual documentation of the specific rules and details of Sharia. They cite Sharia's "tremendous diversity." According to liar Reza Aslan, Sharia is "understood in thousands of different ways." He's even so bold as to claim that "there's really no such thing as just Sharia." A US State Department spokeswoman, when asked about the steady march toward Sharia in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, responded that Sharia "has a broad application and is understood differently in different places and by different commentators.”
Sharia, you see, is so amorphous, so varied, so nuanced that it's just too difficult a task to even write it down.
Indeed. The moment a concerned non-Muslim notices an unpleasant tenet of Sharia, Sharia becomes a shapeless jellyfish, impossible to be grasped, where no one can say. Really, how that is supposed to be reassuring does not make sense either: if we don't know what we're getting, why blindly accept an (allegedly) unknown quantity?
Yet somehow, the MCA has no problem helping its members learn all about the specifics of Sharia
Their online bookstore promotes precisely two books on Sharia. Each is filled with over 1000 pages of detailed rules and laws. Both books are written in clear, simple English, both translated from Arabic by Muslims. Both books take pride in their attention to accuracy, consistently citing the Qur'an and other authentic Islamic sources. And despite apologists' talk of diversity and justice for all, both books lay out a remarkably consistent, matter-of-fact – and ruthless – definition of Sharia.
The books are:
- Minhaj Al-Muslim, by Abu Bakr Jabir Al-Jaza'iry, and
- Reliance of the Traveller, by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri
Reliance of the Traveller, though it sounds like a country album or bluegrass standard, is actually certified by none other than Al-Azhar University as a reliable guide to the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence. There sure is a lot of "misunderstanding" of Islam going on in high places.
As will be covered in detail here, both books agree on the following, non-negotiable rules:
- jihad as obligatory, perpetual warfare against non-Muslims until they convert, die, or submit to second-class status under Islam
- death for homosexuals
- death for those who leave Islam – where even mocking Islam constitutes apostasy
Read it all. The scans of the texts themselves are particularly valuable.