In FrontPage today I discuss how opposition to Sharia has suddenly become fashionable:
Victory is at hand! All the freedom-lovers who have been assailed for years with claims that their opposition to jihad mass murder, Islamic supremacism, and Islamically-justified wife-beating, female genital mutilation, honor killing, stoning for adultery, amputation for theft, devaluation of women’s testimony, and all the rest of it constituted “racism,” “bigotry,” and “hatred” can now come in from the cold. As hard as it is to believe, opposing jihad terror and Sharia are now “in.” Everybody’s getting in on it.
Fox News reported last week that
the Beverly Hills Hotel just lost two more big-name clients, Clive Davis and Jeffrey Katzenberg, because its owner is introducing an Islamic Shariah-based penal code in the oil-rich East Asian country of Brunei. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced last week that he would push ahead with the criminal code that would eventually include severing of limbs and death by stoning for people who are gay or commit adultery. The Sultan – through the Brunei Investment Agency – owns the Dorchester Collection luxury hotel chain, which manages the Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
Davis moved out of the hotel, and, according to Fox “the Feminist Majority Foundation also relocated its Global Women’s Rights Awards, co-chaired by Jay Leno and his wife Mavis, that had been scheduled for Monday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Leno and actress Frances Fisher joined protesters at the famous hotel speaking out against the Sultan.” Other “outraged stars” included Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne, Stephen Fry and Richard Branson.
It is great to see all these Hollywood celebrities coming out against Sharia, but the focus of their outrage is odd. The Sultan of Brunei didn’t invent stonings and amputations and systematic oppression of women, gays and non-Muslims. He is not implementing some eccentric form of Sharia that has never before been seen in the world. The form of Sharia he is implementing is essentially the same as that which has been in place for years in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan (mostly), and other areas of the Islamic world. So why all the outrage now? Have none of these stars ever stayed in a hotel owned by a Saudi prince or some other believer in Sharia? Are they unaware that Sharia is at the core of Islam and that it has been implemented for considerable periods in places other than Brunei?
Jay Leno’s wife Mavis said in 2011 that “the Qur’an is more liberal with women than the Bible.” How times have changed: now, just three years later, she is protesting against a ruler who is implementing its “liberal” provisions. This is just one symptom of the cognitive dissonance involved as these stars, who have never said a word about Sharia oppression of human rights, who wouldn’t dare make a movie dramatizing the oppression of women and gays under Sharia, and who aided and abetted the stigmatization of opposition to Sharia as “hatred” and “bigotry,” have now all come down with a case of “Islamophobia.”
Will they now come out for anti-Sharia laws and make wry, charming public service messages calling upon Americans to support them? Will they be drummed out of the trendy Left by their pro-Sharia peers, or is that trendy Leftist/Islamic alliance now crumbling? I expect that neither will happen; rather, in a week or so they will all go back to the Beverly Hills Hotel, with all forgotten and forgiven, just as the stonings and amputations in Brunei begin to increase in frequency.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama has spoken out on behalf of the abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria, and the cognitive dissonance is just as thick. Her husband, of course, has not said a word about the stated motives and goals of the abducting group, the Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram (“Western Education is Sinful” or “Books Bad”). What would the Obamas think if they knew that their opposition to Boko Haram could be construed as “Islamophobic”? For while Muslim leaders worldwide have recently rained down condemnations on Boko Haram and declared their abduction of the schoolgirls un-Islamic, the Qur’an does actually allow for the owning of sex slaves:
If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. (Qur’an 4:3)
And also prohibited to you are all married women except those your right hands possess. (Qur’an 4:24)
The mainstream Muslim commentary Tafsir al-Jalalayn explains that 4:3 tells Muslims to “marry only one, or, restrict yourself to what your right hands own, of slavegirls, since these do not have the same rights as wives.” The twentieth-century Qur’an commentator Maulana Bulandshahri explains the wisdom of this practice, and longs for the good old days:
None of the injunctions pertaining to slavery have been abrogated in the Shari’ah. The reason that the Muslims of today do not have slaves is because they do not engage in Jihad (religion war)….Muslims have been denied a great boon whereby every home could have had a slave.
But surely they are misunderstanding Islam, no? Arsalan Iftikhar, “an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and adjunct professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago,” tried to make a case for that last week when he published a piece in CNN entitled, “Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls.” He claimed that Boko Haram was misunderstanding Islam and misinterpreting the Qur’an, which, he said, categorically rejects “kidnapping young girls and threatening to sell them into sexual slavery.” He offered two verses to support this idea: one that says that “oppression is worse than murder” (2:191) and another declaring that nobody “shall force girls to commit prostitution” (24:33).
Neither of these, unfortunately, were precisely on point. “Oppression” is in the eye of the beholder; the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, thinks he is following the Qur’an’s dictates, and that that couldn’t possibly constitute oppression, no matter what. And these girls aren’t being forced into prostitution; they’re being sold off, as Iftikhar himself said in his piece, into forced marriages with Boko Haram members.
Iftikhar didn’t even mention the verses above (4:3, 4:24) and others that Muslims like Shekau point to in order to justify kidnapping young girls and selling them into sexual slavery – leaving the impression that his piece was intended to keep infidels complacent rather than to work toward genuine Islamic reform.
That makes his position, and that of Michelle Obama, extremely precarious, and vulnerable to anyone who is knowledgeable about the contents of the Qur’an. But no matter. For the moment, the First Lady, Jay Leno, Ellen and the rest are making opposition to Sharia in with the in-crowd – which is worth remembering when it turns cold for freedom again, as it certainly will.