This morning the Washington Post contains a story about the ongoing debate over the role of Islam in Iraq’s future government. It quotes Judith S. Yaphe, who is identified as “a senior research fellow at National Defense University and a former senior CIA Iraq analyst.” She says that Islam is “the first problem and a very big one.”
“‘I don’t know how flexible [the United States] will be,’ she said, but warned that there would be trouble if Congress insisted on separation of mosque and state.”
But then Yaphe says: “This is an Islamic state. You can have freedom of religion, because the Koran protects Christians and Jews, but 95 percent there are Muslim.”
Is Yaphe, to say nothing of her friends at the CIA, aware of what Islamic law actually says about the “protection” of Christians and Jews? It’s nothing like the Western understanding of freedom of religion. In Onward Muslim Soldiers I go straight to core texts of Islamic jurisprudence to show what “freedom of religion” means in the context of the Sharia. “The subject peoples,” according to a manual of Islamic law, must “pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)” and “are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); are not greeted with ‘as-Salamu ‘alaykum’ [the traditional Muslim greeting, ‘Peace be with you’]; must keep to the side of the street; may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed; are forbidden to openly display wine or pork . . . recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals or feastdays; and are forbidden to build new churches.” If they violate these terms, the law further stipulates that they can be killed or sold into slavery at the discretion of the Muslim leader. (See ‘Umdat al-Salik, o11.3, 5).
That’s an understanding of freedom of religion that’s compatible with or equivalent to Western secularism? Tell me another. (Thanks to “Allah.”)