Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald comments on the slippery Sistani fatwa:
In the various Muslim websites of the “Ask Mr. Fatwa” or www.islam-online type, one of the Most Frequently Asked Questions from Muslims living in the Lands of the Infidels is: “Do I have to obey the laws of these Infidels”?
The answer given, very gingerly, is: “You may obey any laws of the Infidels that do not contradict Islam.”
The clear implication is that you have no duty to obey the laws of the Infidel nation-state in which you have been allowed to settle or in which you live, none at all, if those laws somehow are seen to contradict Islam.
And this, of course, is how those Muslim websites, in English, give advice now, after having become well aware that Infidels are monitoring them. Since all Muslim groups are keenly aware of the need to watch out for those pesky prying Infidels, they do not go on to spell out all the ways in which Infidel laws — manmade laws, laws that are made without reference to Allah, the sole source of authority, of legal and political and every other kind of legitimacy for a Believer — are flatly contradicted by the Shari’a.
Nor is it only a question of laws, of the kind that regulate some areas of behavior through norms and sanctions. Islam offers a Complete Regulation of Life. It goes far beyond what any non-Muslim legal system does.
Furthermore, outside the hearing and viewing of those Infidels, another attitude and other kinds of advice are given by at least some clerics. The hukm (not fatwa, I was recently reminded) against Rushdie is a clear call to commit murder, as a righteous and rewardable act, by a Muslim or Muslims in the Lands of the Infidels. That has the full weight of Muslim (Shi’a) authority.
Many Muslims appear to regard the Lands of the Infidels as, by right, theirs — they need only wait, and wait, for the right demographic changes. Bruce Bawer describes a Muslim cleric in Norway telling his followers that they could steal as they wished from the Infidels, for this was not theft — it was helping themselves to the Jizyah that they had every right to demand. That attitude, that it is licit, even admirable, to take the property, or have one’s way with the women, of the Infidels, is certainly reflected in the criminal statistics in every single European country, where Muslim crime kicks the beam. If 70% of the rapes in Scandinavian countries are committed by Muslims who make up 2-3% of the population, is one not entitled to draw certain conclusions? If 50% or more of the prisoners in France are Muslim when they make up 10% of the population, yet Islam supposedly offers them those family values and stability that Muslim groups like to talk about when pretending they have something, anything, in common with “conservatives” (see the sly appeal, for example, by the young Turk — not Young Turk– Mustafa Akyol), are we supposed not to notice?
What is most telling, what is most amazing, what must never be forgotten, about the Sistani fatwa is that Muslims living in the West are being told, in the view of uncomprehending and misreporting Infidels, by a cleric living in Iraq, that they may, that they should, obey the laws of Canada if they live in Canada, but only insofar as Muslim values are “not ridiculed.” This is really a milder, clever version of the statement to be found every day at Muslim websites in answer to queries from Muslims Who Want to Know: “You may obey the laws of the Infidel land in which you happen to live [seldom is the particular country specified — why should it be? What does that distinction matter to Muslims?] as long as those laws do not contradict Islam in any way.” Al-Sistani’s formulation — you should obey the local laws of the local Infidels [in this case those of Canada] “insofar as Islamic values are not ridiculed” is softer in expression, with possibly just a little leeway in that phrase “Islamic values” rather than the flat-out appeal to the Shari’a.
But here we are. 2006, and in Canada, some are pleased that a cleric who lists as “unclean” or “najis” at his official website “blood, spit, excrement, semen and Infidels” should be hailed for his “moderation” and his generous concession. How nice of him to tell Canadian Muslims who follow his views that they should, whenever “Islamic values are not ridiculed,” take the trouble to obey those Infidel laws, of that Infidel state of Canada.
No doubt Canadians should be grateful to Al-Sistani. How nice of him, and how nice of those Muslims in Canada who will heed him, and try to obey those laws — just so long, of course, “Islamic values are not ridiculed.” And that formulation, of course, depends on just how thin-skinned and quick to take offense Muslims are — we saw the mass riots and boycotts and threats of murdering every single Dane, the reaction to the publication of twelve largely anodyne cartoons. What else might be taken to offend or violate or “ridicule” Islamic values?
At least Sistani did not say, as Muslim clerics and individual Muslims have said (in Norway as mentioned above and elsewhere), that they are entitled to take property from the Infidels as Jizyah due them. At least he did not say they could do what they wished with those Western women, whose dress apparently makes some Muslims conclude that they deserve what they get (see the “Lebanese” — i.e. Lebanese Muslim — gang rapes in Sydney a few years ago).
Worse and still worse.