June 27, 2016

"Five myths about sharia."

From my UW Law colleague Asifa Quraishi-Landes in The Washington Post.

The myths are:
1. Sharia is “Islamic law"... 2. In Muslim countries, sharia is the law of the land.... 3. Sharia is anti-woman.... 4. Islam demands brutal punishments.... 5. Sharia is about conquest....
Debunkings at the link (which seems open to nonsubscribers, so don't skimp on doing the reading before opining — the idea is not to be ignorant). Key thought:
The human interpretation of sharia is called “fiqh,” or Islamic rules of right action, created by individual scholars based on the Koran and hadith (stories of the prophet Muhammad’s life). Fiqh literally means “understanding” — and its many different schools of thought illustrate that scholars knew they didn’t speak for God.
ADDED: Actually, the pay wall is a barrier. You could try getting in through private browsing. Anyway, I was looking at the comments over there. The top-rated one was:
That might be the most hilarious and absurd Islamic apologist statement I've ever heard... claiming that Sharia law and, thus Islam, is actually "feminist" because it allows women to orgasm during sex. I can't stop laughing. 
From Quraishi-Landes's text: "Fiqh scholars...  have concluded that women have the right to orgasm...."

183 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...the idea is not to be ignorant...

Well, that might be your idea...

Lauderdale Vet said...

That's nice.

What about this?

Inside Britain's Sharia courts: There are now EIGHTY-FIVE Islamic courts dispensing 'justice' across the UK.

rhhardin said...

The infidels find it threatening for some reason.

Rob said...

So this is a fiqh tale?

Michael K said...

"which seems open to nonsubscribers, "

Nope. I refuse to subscribe to these rags and thus am not interested.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Fiqh literally means “understanding” — and its many different schools of thought illustrate that scholars knew they didn’t speak for God.

I hope this is just bad writing on the part of the writer, and does not accurately reflect their ability to reason.

Michael K said...

"Inside Britain's Sharia courts: "

Who are you going to believe ? Me or your lying eyes?

rhhardin said...

Peace and understanding are two good islamic words to know.

MadisonMan said...

Written like a lawyer, I have to say.

It all depends on the meaning of 'is'.

The WaPo comment section does not approve.

rhhardin said...

I don't know what it means, but NYT "offer expires today" email always goes in the yahoo spam folder and WAPO ones don't. Yahoo's choice, not anything I set up.

David Begley said...

I got blocked as a non-subscriber to WaPo, but AA's points from the author look like spin. Of course sharia is Islamic. Just like ISIS is Islamic. Maybe sharia is not "the law of the land" in Muslim countries but it is very influential.

And how does he explain the religous police that roam the streets in Saudi Arabia?

The very nature of Mohammad's political-social system he called a religion is about conquest. He was a war lord! Swords were used to chop off heads. Not exactly Christ-like.

More spin from the Left to normalize Islam in the eyes of elites in the West.

Just check out the blog The Religion of Peace for the daily headcount of Islam.

Sebastian said...

"That’s why these movements look to legislate sharia — they want centralized laws for everything. But by using state power to force particular religious doctrines upon the public, they would essentially create Muslim theocracies, contrary to what existed for most of Muslim history." Wait. So there are in fact a bunch of Muslims who treat sharia as law and want to use state power to enforce their doctrines? But you are saying we shouldn't be concerned because they aren't following Islamic hostly properly?

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Well then, we all just need to submit to them and become happy too. So happy that for some reason we too will need to enslave the world and slaughter infidels in the most horrible of ways to get some relief from condemnation.

And those "Prayer" Towers are not praying to god over the loudspeakers. They are proclaiming that they have dominion over you and are threatening to kill you unless you submit to them.

Greg Hlatky said...

Now get your rosaries off my ovaries.

Mike Sylwester said...

When Muslim political movements, such as Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have looked to codify sharia in their countries, they have done so without any attention to the classical separation of fiqh and siyasa, instead continuing the legal centralization of the European nation-state. That’s why these movements look to legislate sharia — they want centralized laws for everything. But by using state power to force particular religious doctrines upon the public, they would essentially create Muslim theocracies, contrary to what existed for most of Muslim history.

Apparently, many Moslems think that sharia should be the law of the land.

However, Asifa Quraishi-Landes declares that it's a myth -- so there !!!

Alex said...

Has Ann ever acknowledged the existence of the UK Sharia courts? Or is "out of sight, out of mind" with her?

JAORE said...

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Kidsongs+Put+On+a+Happy+Face&&view=detail&mid=186B740EA08002FADB66186B740EA08002FADB66&FORM=VRDGAR

The Drill SGT said...

Sharia isn't the Law of the Land, just like the ten Commandments aren't either, but both provide the basic structure from which rulers codify the laws of the society.

gspencer said...

Myths about the Shariah,

and now for my next fairy tale,

EDH said...

Gaslighting

Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity.

Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

The term owes its origin to the 1938 play Gas Light and its film adaptations. The term has been used in clinical and research literature.

Paddy O said...

Islam is a lot like Christianity in having a number of different interpretations and priorities in different communities. I just taught a class on World Religions and it's striking how diverse assumptions are even within each community. That said, the rules for a particular sect in a religion aren't generally thought of as being just a flexible set of understanding. There are different sects because of the fights that take place over what the text "must mean."

What sharia means to a UW law prof is not universally shared, and in immigrant communities they tend to be more reflective of their home societies, which certainly are a lot more conservative on both interpretation and application.

His use of the term "myth" is misleading to say the least. But I guess it's shorter than saying "5 not universally accepted assumptions about sharia."

"It doesn’t come from the state, and it doesn’t even come in one book or a single collection of rules." This shows how the nuance isn't quite sufficient. The idea that sharia not coming from the state doesn't undermine the concept of sharia as law, it embeds sharia as being more powerful than the state and thus not subject to societal debate.

5 myths that depend on what the meaning of "is" is.

eric said...

Sometimes ideas are so absurd, you've got to be in academia to believe them.

coupe said...

Sharia has a chop-chop square in every city. I like it. Less crime.

Fernandinande said...

Taqiya.

The myths are:

The muslims who believe and follow the "myths" aren't muslims.

Mike Sylwester said...

While it’s true that many majority-Muslim societies have laws that treat women unfairly, many of these laws ... have no basis in fiqh. ... Fiqh scholars ... have concluded that women have the right to orgasm during sex ... Fiqh can also be interpreted as pro-choice ... Fiqh doctrine says a woman’s property, held exclusively in her name, cannot be appropriated by her husband, brother or father. ....

To be sure, there are patriarchal rules in fiqh, and many of these are legislated in modern Muslim-majority countries. For example, women in Iran can’t run for president or attend men’s soccer matches. But these rules are human interpretations, not sharia.


Anybody who believes the myth that Sharia is anti-woman needs to study up on fighs.

Larvell said...

So to summarize:

Things that are not anti-women: Sharia.

Things that are anti-women: Requiring abortion clinics to comply with health regulations.

Roughcoat said...

This like when I was kid and my older brother would punch me in the arm and I'd say "that hurts" and he'd say "that doesn't hurt!"

Just like that.

clint said...

Good grief.

"Myth #3: Sharia is anti-woman."

The author name-checks Ayaan Hirsi Ali, then waves a hand vaguely and doesn't address any of the serious issues Ayaan Hirsi Ali routinely raises.

I believe that Sharia is anti-woman because I've been told that under Shariah law, a woman who complains that she was raped will be punished, unless the rape was witnessed by four men. Is that a myth? -- No mention of it in this article. If it is a myth, perhaps someone should tell that Dutch woman who recently escaped Qatari "justice".

Alas, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, associate professor at UW, doesn't address this issue. Instead we learn that the man who controls the woman's property for her is supposed to treat her fairly. Which... is supposed to prove that Shariah is pro-women? Shall we make predictions about how women in this country would react to a proposal to institute *that* as the law of the land?


Perhaps someone could ask her about another potential Myth about Shariah. I've heard that under Shariah law homosexuality is punishable by death. Is that a myth as well? -- No idea. She only tells us: "...pundits argue that sharia prompted the killing of innocent dancers at a gay nightclub in Orlando..." and brackets it with phrases that strongly encourage the readers to roll their eyes at how silly that is. But she never mentions homosexuality again.

I have trouble seeing any of this essay as a serious attempt to persuade anyone who doesn't already agree with her conclusions.

tim in vermont said...

Hateful is as hateful does. I don't give a shit about high flown rhetoric, or whatever. Besides, we are not the ones he should be trying to convince.

When the terror attacks in the name of Islam stop, then I am quite sure that everybody else will calm down. Until then, not interested in reading justifications for the religion that cannot get along with the others, anymore than I wanted to read Bill Ayers' screed justifying terrorism in the New York Times on Sept 11, 2001.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/11/books/no-regrets-for-love-explosives-memoir-sorts-war-protester-talks-life-with.html?pagewanted=all

Hot link but I thought you might like to read the real link above.

tim in vermont said...

Funny the kind of shit "perfessers" write.

mtrobertslaw said...

A centrally-controlled legal system that regulates every aspect of life. I would think that the progressive left would find this notion attractive.

tim in vermont said...


Trying to pretend that Islam is part of the Enlightenment rather than its sworn enemy is going to prove a pretty tall order.

Bay Area Guy said...

Hysterical.

Every once in a while I see a story of gays being beheaded in some Middle Eastern Muslim country, without much scholarly or lawyerly interpretation of the Sharia justice system.

Owen said...

"While it's true…" "To be sure,…" The rhetorical structure of the article is defensive and begins by conceding a lot of ground. The old jujitsu, I guess. I am not persuaded. Two examples.
(1) sharia is not civil law? It depends how you see it. It operates in the same social space, a space we call secular. If it does not present itself as a competing system of laws governing every subject, that's because it has become Sharia 2.0, a set of rules inside or coexisting with the Western body of law. For me the crunch point is where the two worlds intersect, e.g. domestic violence or FGM. Do we apply the statutes adopted by the infidel legislature? Or do we back away because the imam of the Muslim community tells us that this is a privileged space?
(2) The fifth point (about promising to abide by the strictures of the host society). What about taqiyya? It is OK to lie to the infidel in order to avoid persecution and prepare for further advances. That may sound paranoid but I would like to hear it discussed; it is a deep strategic concept of obvious relevance.

J. Farmer said...

If you just concede that god doesn't write books, you can easily avoid all of this legalistic lawyering of the almighty.

Drago said...

Mitt Romney once had a binder of resumes of female candidates for executive level positions.

Plus, the crusades.

So, you know, all same-same.

damikesc said...

Fiqh rules might obligate a devout Muslim to pray, but it’s not the job of a Muslim ruler to enforce that obligation.

Seems that an awful lot of Muslim leaders don't subscribe to her theory. Given that they do not do so, I'm not sure how her column is beneficial.

But by using state power to force particular religious doctrines upon the public, they would essentially create Muslim theocracies, contrary to what existed for most of Muslim history.

I guess those attacks on Christians that caused the Crusades were just Muslims not getting it.

Fiqh scholars, for instance, have concluded that women have the right to orgasm during sex and to fight in combat.

Not sure what gives "fiqh" the power to determine if women can orgasm or not. Most faiths don't try and legislate that. But since there is no expressed right to orgasm in other faiths, I guess Islam is more tolerant of women. It's news to women in those countries, though.

Fiqh can also be interpreted as pro-choice, with certain scholars positing that although abortion is forbidden, first-trimester abortions are not punishable.

Intriguing definition of "pro choice". I bet if that law passed here, it wouldn't be called "pro choice".

In the same way that the Ku Klux Klan’s tactics are a poor representation of Christian practice (despite its claims to be a Christian organization), the Islamic State is the worst place to look to understand what sharia says about punishment and the treatment of innocents and prisoners.

We can just look at ALL of the Islamic countries and how they handle it. It wasn't Arabia that sentenced a woman for adultery who had been raped, after all. But, again, No True Muslim, amirite?

Yes, corporal punishment for extramarital sex is Koranic in origin, but it comes with an extremely high evidentiary burden of proof: four eye-witnesses.

Four WOMEN eyewitnesses? Well, if they want to equal ONE man, yes.

But no such duty exists. The Koran repeatedly commands Muslims to keep promises and uphold covenants.

"Ix-nay on the aqqiyah-tay, guys. For realz"

Drago said...

J farmer knows how to "appropriately" muddy the waters!

Hagar said...

Now all she has to do is convince the followers of "Radical Islam" of all this.

BTW, on the subject of "anti-woman," if I understand it correctly, it is mostly women who insist on "female genital mutilation," vide Hirsi Ali's grandmother arranging to have it done to her granddaughters over their parents' objections.
Likewise, from what I have read, it seems to have been the women of the Han Chinese who insisted on footbinding, etc.

Jim said...

Islam needs a Reformation. the only problem is, they tend to kill any muslim advocating for a reformation. It is a cult, quite happy to recreate the 9th century.
Enlightenment? Science? sorry, against the rules. "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra

LakeLevel said...

Ann: "so don't skimp on doing the reading before opining — the idea is not to be ignorant"

You make a might big assumption, that I'll be less ignorant after reading the Washington Post.

Curious George said...

This is awesome news for the gay dude they gave a "flying lesson" too. Well, if they hadn't stoned him to death when he survived it would have been.

Curious George said...

One Myth About Curious George Regarding Asifa Quraishi-Landes

That he gives a shit about her explanation of Sharia Law.

Leora said...

I am really impressed by blaming an impulse to theocracy on Western colonialism. My understanding from World History was that the Caliphate derived its legitimacy from descent from the religion's founder. The Shia-Sunni split is the result of a disagreement about succession. I agree that Shariah like Talmudic Law is a codification of interpretations, however it seems delusional to insist that there isn't a substantial movement to coerce governments to impose it with secular authority.

Todd said...

Islam can fairly be described as feminist.

We have always been at war with eastasia.

Fiqh scholars, for instance, have concluded that women have the right to orgasm during sex...

That is some good freedoms you got there gals just don't get behind a steering wheel or leave the house without a man!

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx

Peter said...

Let us then consider the constitution of our ally, Pakistan:


Islam shall be the State religion of Pakistan.

Steps shall be taken to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually and
collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam and to provide facilities whereby they may be enabled to understand the meaning of life according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

2. The State shall endeavour, as respects the Muslims of Pakistan,-
a.
to make the teaching of the Holy Quran and Islamiat compulsory, to
encourage and facilitate the learning of Arabic language and to secure
correct and exact printing and publishing of the Holy Quran;
b.
to promote unity and the observance of the Islamic moral standards;
and
c.
to secure the proper organisation of zakat ushr, auqaf and mosque.


The Federal Shariat Court

1. There shall be constituted for the purposes of this Chapter a Court to be called the Federal Shariat Court.

Structure of the court
2. The Court shall consist of not more than eight Muslim Judges, including the
Chief Justice, to be appointed by the President in accordance with Article
175A.

3. The Chief Justice shall be a person who is, or has been, or is qualified to be,
a Judge of the Supreme Court or who is or has been a permanent Judge of a High Court.

3A.
Of the Judges, not more than four shall be persons each one of whom is, or
has been, or is qualified to be, a Judge of a High Court and not more than three shall be Ulema having at least fifteen years experience in Islamic law,
research or instruction.

Gusty Winds said...

Wow. What a bunch of lawyerly disingenuous apologetic bullshit.

Why not also address what Sharia IS, rather that work your way around the truth trying to apologize stating what it isn't.

Patrick said...

"Fiqh literally means “understanding” — and its many different schools of thought illustrate that scholars knew they didn’t speak for God."

It does make things a bit difficult when done of those found the opining think it's important to back up their opinions with brutal attacks against those who aren't quite on board. Those guys really seem to believe they do speak for God.

Rick said...

The first sentence:

Clearly, Americans fear sharia, Islam’s legal framework.

Americans oppose sharia, they don't "fear" it. So we immediately understand this law professor misinterprets reality to denigrate Americans and establish her own moral superiority.

Although the Constitution expressly forbids a religious test for would-be leaders of the nation, then-presidential candidate Ben Carson said last year that he’d oppose any Muslim White House aspirant who was “not willing to reject sharia.”

Is it possible the law professor cannot distinguish between a legal "test" which disqualifies someone from the ballot and a political preference by voters inexactly referred to as a "test"? Would we see this argument used to denigrate people who claim Ted Cruz (insert other example here) is too religious for them?

I'm not thinking highly of UW Law at this point.

The rest seems to argue that since she doesn't believe Sharia means X it does not even though hundreds of millions of others disagree with her. Further she seems to believe opposition can only be based on this legalistic reasoning rather than how adherents interpret and use sharia. Both beliefs are ridiculous.

Owen said...

Leora @ 11:36:

"I am really impressed by blaming an impulse to theocracy on Western colonialism. My understanding from World History was that the Caliphate derived its legitimacy from descent from the religion's founder. The Shia-Sunni split is the result of a disagreement about succession. I agree that Shariah like Talmudic Law is a codification of interpretations, however it seems delusional to insist that there isn't a substantial movement to coerce governments to impose it with secular authority."

Brilliant.

The Drill SGT said...

The UW Law Professor in question has two legal specialties:

Teaching Areas:
Constitutional Law
Islamic Law

Not Law in Muslim majority countries, but rather Islamic Law. What is Islamic Law other than a codification of the Sharia principles? Unless it's the Sharia principles as enumerated in the Figh, then codified into a legal code, but I see that as a distinction without much difference.



Rick said...

Michael K said...
"which seems open to nonsubscribers, "

Nope. I refuse to subscribe to these rags and thus am not interested.


Open it into a new incognito tab.

FullMoon said...

Whenever the phrases "Many scholars interpret", or "Many scholars believe..." are used, it means the vast majority of people believe otherwise..

boycat said...

Yah my first go-to for the truth always consists of Islamic leftard Obama voters with degrees from Berkeley, Columbia, and Harvard who manage to get their stuff published in WAPO as "opinion."

Gusty Winds said...

Although it might seem anti-woman, I can say it isn't because I escaped and am fortunate enough to teach law at the University of Wisconsin.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, or the some of the unfair, medieval practices below:

• Testimony of a woman before a judge is worth half that of a man.

• Women are to receive just one half the inheritance of a male.

dbp said...

What, no bullshit tag?

Gusty Winds said...

Hey when is the Madison City Council going to adopt Sharia as a local governing ordinance?

I would encourage them to do so. It would demonstrate to everyone that Madison is tolerant and open minded.

Todd said...

Gusty Winds said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Although it might seem anti-woman, I can say it isn't because I escaped and am fortunate enough to teach law at the University of Wisconsin.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, or the some of the unfair, medieval practices below:

• Testimony of a woman before a judge is worth half that of a man.

• Women are to receive just one half the inheritance of a male.
6/27/16, 11:47 AM


Why focus on the negative? They are specifically allowed to orgasm during sex! Be a "glass half full", not a "glass half empty".

David Begley said...

I certainly hope Asifa reads these comments. He might learn something.

Gusty Winds said...

Stupid places like Madison and UW will bend over backwards to soften and 'try to understand' sharia, but then pitch a bitch if anyone suggests Western law is based on the Ten Commandments.

We're doomed. Seriously.

If that article is what is being pumped out of UW, it's all going down the shitter.

Gahrie said...

@Althouse:

Ask your law colleague if the Koran, Hadith and Sura give Muslims permission, nay instruct them. to lie to unbelievers if it would advance the cause of Islam.

Then go ask a religions professor about the fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam over the role of religion in the state and society.

Then go ask a history professor about the history of Islam.

Comanche Voter said...

I got blocked as a non subscriber as well. But anytime I read some piece dispelling the "myths" about this or that, I can see the wheels spinning


Good King Barack assures us that the ISIS (or pardon me ISIL or Daesh--since he refuses to speak the word "ISIS") beheaders are following a perverted version of Islam. They are not "true Muslims". Well that's a comfort to know as they slice your head off--or shoot you in a bathroom stall in Orlando. Glad to know that it wasn't a true Muslim who did that to you.

Now if our host's UW law school colleague would kindly go preach this hokum to some radical Islamists and get them to understand the error of their ways, that might be useful. But until moderate Muslims manage to corral the violent ones in their midst, don't try to blow smoke up my teepee.

Darrell said...

In other words, your pal is a f'ing liar. A f'ing liar with a purpose. He'd be set on fire in his own despicable country.

Jack Wayne said...

More to the point it would be interesting to find out from Althouse if her colleague is full of shit - I.E. She uses her Muslim beliefs to shade her teaching of the law. I don't expect to find out though. Professional courtesy and all that.

Richard said...

When I use a word,” Asifa Quraishi-Landes said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

David Begley said...

Asifa is a woman. I didn't recognize gender by her name. Sorry. Below from UW web site.

"Asifa Quraishi-Landes specializes in comparative Islamic and U.S.constitutional law, with a current focus on modern Islamic constitutional theory. She is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar and 2012 Guggenheim Fellow."

Why does Wisconsin need someone to study and write about modern Islamic constitutional theory? Not likely her work will be influential in Syria or UAE.

Hagar said...

The Sultan of Brunei recently sent a Boeing 787 with an all-woman flight crew into Saudi Arabia.
Major Mariam al-Mansouri is a F-16 pilot for the United Arab Emirates.

We need to see more of this, where "moderate" Moslems show up the tribalist bedouin of the House of Saud.

The Chinese government require all grocery stores to also carry tobacco and alcohol products. The purpose of this is to undermine "Radical Islam" in their western territories by making the storekeepers in the villages, who usually also are the "leading citizens," choose between their livelyhood or observing "strict" intepretations of the Koran.

Darrell said...

In other words, your pal is a f'ing liar. A f'ing liar with a purpose. She'd be set on fire in her own despicable country.

Correction.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Maybe somebody's putting together the five myths about mythology.

Gusty Winds said...

modern Islamic constitutional theory.

Oh give me a break.

Jim said...

dbp said...
What, no bullshit tag?
Exactly

Seriously. I'm not a 'scholar', but I can tell when someone is trying to blow smoke up my rear end. But then not being a 'scholar' I couldn't possibly understand all the nuances of her argument.
if it smells like BS, it probably is.
But lets keep Christianity out of Universities. Islam, of course, gets a pass. because, um, racism or something.

mccullough said...

The Grand Mufti of Madison

J. Farmer said...

Islam was founded by a conqueror intent on building a powerful civilization from the ground up. Christianity was founded by a radical apocalyptic preacher who was not that concerned with politics or material conditions more broadly because he believed in the imminent return of god. These are obviously going to result in profound doctrinal differences.

Laslo Spatula said...

Five Myths about Shania.

1. Shania (Twain) Needs to Know Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under.
This is strictly contextual, and not demanded of all Shania comes into contact with.

2. Shania (Twain) is Not Perfect.
In 2009, Twain was reported as having the Perfect Face. The BBC reported on a study, led by the University of Toronto and the University of California, San Diego, which appeared in the journal Vision Research.

3. Shania (Twain) Disapproves of Idolatry.
On June 2, 2011, Twain received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her star is the 2,442nd Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Category of Recording.

4. Shania (Twain) Disapproves of Idolatry but only in Canada.
In 2003, Twain was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

5. Shania (Twain) is not allowed to Orgasm.
Shania is free to orgasm, as often as she wishes, with whoever she wishes, with whatever implements she deems necessary. Because: Shania.

I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

Women are to receive just one half the inheritance of a male.

This was also old Norwegian law and observed in rural areas right up into the early 20th century. It actually makes sense - in a subsistence farm economy.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

When the terror attacks in the name of Islam stop, then I am quite sure that everybody else will calm down.

Exactly.

How does it go? "Muslims fear backlash from tomorrows terror attack?"

The vast majority of people in the U.S. have never even heard of "Sharia." They may have heard about cutting off a thief's hand. But the actual concept of Sharia? Nope, haven't heard of it, don't care.

Bombing the Boston Marathon, ISIS killing Christians, 49 people killed and another 51 people shot in an Orlando nightclub? They have heard about that.

William said...

We're endebted to the good professor for enlightening the ignorant and bigoted readers of the WP about their misconceptions of Sharia Law. But shouldn't her proper audience be those citizens and governments of Islamic lands who completely misconstrue the true nature of Sharia Law.........Assimilation is a dynamic process. It's fair enough to say that the established citizens should become more tolerant of the ways of the newcomer. But it's also fair to say that the newcomers should adapt to the customs of their new home. There's something in your face about some of this. The moral imperative is for us to tolerate rather than for them to adapt.......The hijab is unflattering and uncomfortable. I don't especially blame the women who wear such garments. Perhaps they're pressured by relatives into wearing such garb, but the fact that they wear such outfits is more indicative of their inflexibility than our intolerance.

William said...

I am glad that read that women under Sharia are entitled to orgasms, but as a practical matter how does a woman who has had her clitoris and labia amputated achieve such a state. Also what's the position of the Koran on women faking orgasms. Have the mullahs ever ruled on this.

Sebastian said...

Sharia isn't law like jihad isn't holy war.

buwaya said...

A lot of this is missing the point -
Analyzing interpretations of Sharia, or finding some school of interpretation of Sharia that may cause less friction, is not addressing the core of the problem in any way.
The problem goes much deeper than text, even in the case of Islam where the text is so important. The problem occurs even in places where Islam is not strictly observed, or full of folk traditions.
Most Muslim-anyone else interfaces are bloody, because the unique nature of Muslim societies as predators on their neighbors, which is not determined by the academic climate among the local Muslim religious authorities.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I ran across the word "fiqh: once before:

http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/12/13/tape.transcript/

UBL = Osama bin Laden (The official U.S. government spelling of his name is Usama)

The following transcript of a videotape of Osama bin Laden talking with others, translated from Arabic into English, was issued by the U.S. Department of Defense. CNN spells the al Qaeda leader's name Osama bin Laden, but the Defense Department spelling -- Usama bin Laden -- is retained. He is identified as UBL in the transcript.

UBL: (...Inaudible...) when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse. This is only one goal; those who want people to worship the lord of the people, without following that doctrine, will be following the doctrine of Muhammad, peace be upon him. (UBL quotes several short and incomplete Hadith verses, as follows): "I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad." "Some people may ask: why do you want to fight us?" "There is an association between those who say: I believe in one god and Muhammad is his prophet, and those who don't (...inaudible...) "Those who do not follow the true fiqh. The fiqh of Muhammad, the real fiqh. They are just accepting what is being said at face value."

UBL: Those youth who conducted the operations did not accept any fiqh in the popular terms, but they accepted the fiqh that the prophet Muhammad brought.


The operation he's talking about is the September 11, 2001 attacks. So fiqh seems to mean law/doctrine/teaching. Osama bin Laden was claiming that what he taught was the correct fiqh - the one that Muhammad brought.



They may disagree as to what it is, but from this it would seem that

Sammy Finkelman said...

....there is, or is supposed to be, only one fiqh.

Rusty said...

And yet, professor, the rank and file Muslim seems not to have gotten the memo.
If it's all the same to you, I'm going to proceed as if the gun is loaded.
Just common sense, no?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I though the first rule of Fiqh Club was that you don't talk about Fiqh Club.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"Fiqh literally means “understanding” — and its many different schools of thought illustrate that scholars knew they didn’t speak for God."

Osama bin Laden claimed that the popular fiqh (in which it is safe to stay murdering many innoent beings unproviked is forbidden) was wrong, and he had the true fiqh.

Sammy Finkelman said...

All of the Islamic motivated terrorists attacs have been committed, almst to the last man or woman, by what could be called "born again Muslims" or converts.

Gusty Winds said...

Many Westerners see Muslim women’s headcover as a kind of oppression

Ummm....that's because it is. Like an Amish prayer cap. Kind of outdated. And weird.

Sammy Finkelman said...

It seems to me that people shouldn't be agreeing with Osama bin Laden that he has the true fiqh. Especially since it is not really historical Islam.

But we should be going after any teachers like that.

TreeJoe said...

Enlightening. And would this female professor be entitled to publish this Op-Ed in any major publication in any of the top 10 most populous islamic countries, without fear for her life?

She is, after all, publishing her own interpretation of Islam and how it governs Islamic law. Is she free to do such in most of those countries?

That would also be enlightening.

David said...

There is a theory vs. practice issue lurking here. I'm not well informed enough to understand and articulate it and the article does not help me in that respect. Law apart, as cultures the Muslim nations in the Middle East are a mess. Law can't operate if culture does not allow it.

mockturtle said...

Robert Spencer is a scholar of the Quran and an intelligent, able critic of Islam. His daily news roundup, Jihad Watch is well worth reading. BTW, he has been banned from speaking in the UK, although that may change now. He appears on Fox once in a while.

Phil said...

The first rule of Fiqh Club, is you never tell the infidel the truth about Fiqh Club.

The second rul of Fiqh Club, is you never tell the infidel the truth about Fiqh Club.

Nonapod said...

It sounds like she is trying to offer some sort of alternative interpretation of Sharia, while at the same time chastising non Islamic people for misinterpreting this interpretation that is clearly not being followed in Muslim dominated counties that practice Sharia jurisprudence. It one thing to offer an alternative interpretation, but it's quite another to ignore reality.

Ken B said...

Your colleague is a liar. She wrote this:

"Yes, corporal punishment for extramarital sex is Koranic in origin, but it comes with an extremely high evidentiary burden of proof: four eye-witnesses."

This is false. Four eye witnesses, counting a woman as half a witness and the victim as no witness at all, are required to prove *rape*. Many women have been punished by Sharia courts for extra-marital sex after they were raped and could not provide the requisite number of witnesses.

J. Farmer said...

This is just another iteration of adopting a very broad liberal interpretation of a religious text and then accusing all the people who actually take it really serious of having an "unsophisticated" understanding of the religion.

mockturtle said...

Like the scholar Zakaria interviewed on CNN's Why Do They Hate Us?. She presented, in all seriousness, the 'fact' that true interpretation of the term 'virgins', as in the promise of 72 virgins to jihadis, is 'raisins'. Yes, raisins. These poor saps are blowing themselves up for RAISINS!

Ipso Fatso said...

Fiqh you.

Bill Peschel said...

I wonder how Quraishi-Landes would interpret this passage from the Quran site she links to throughout her post:

http://quran.com/9/5-15

"Sahih International [BTW, the source of the English interpretation]

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."

Another translator, Dr. Ghali, changes "polytheists" to "associators" which I guess broadens the scope of the prohibition to include Christians and Jews.

Of course, once you learn the prayers, hold to them faithfully, and pay the Zakah (charity to the poor), you'll be allowed to live. But we're not supposed to be worried about that nowadays, right?

Curious George said...

What's scary is not that Asifa Quraishi-Landes wrote it, but the Washington Post printed it.

hombre said...

Islam and jihad
8) The principle of al-Taqiyya



"Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible...and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory."

-- Abu Hammid Ghazali

With the admission that Muslims may lie under many circumstances, trusting a Muslim involves a higher than average degree of risk. We'll get into that later, but recognize that statements like the following only affirm that impression:

"It is not mandatory to practice it (al-Taqiyya) at all times; on the contrary, it is permissible, and sometimes necessary, to abandon it (al-Taqiyya) altogether; as in the case where revealing the truth will further the cause of the religion, and provide a direct service to Islam;"

- al-Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Mudhaffar

In other words, 'You don't have to lie all the time; it's okay, and even useful, to sometimes tell the truth'.

Comments are from two Islamic scholars. More at: http://www.provethebible.net/T2-Hist/Islam-8-al-Taqiyya.htm; And see: http://thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx.

"According to Shari'a—the body of legal rulings that defines how a Muslim should behave in all circumstances—deception is not only permitted in certain situations but may be deemed obligatory in others."
http://www.meforum.org/2538/taqiyya-islam-rules-of-war.

But we can believe what this guy says about Sharia Law. He's a Law Prof and colleague of Ann's. Forget what we have seen. The Islamic State is not Islamic at all and the Taliban and the Saudis were/are not following Sharia Law. Lol.

Disinformation for dupes.

R. Chatt said...

see wiki on:

The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo, Egypt, in 1990,[1] which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic sharia as its sole source. CDHRI declares its purpose to be "general guidance for Member States [of the OIC] in the field of human rights".

Various Muslim countries had criticized the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for its failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries.[2] In 1981, Said Rajaie-Khorassani—the post-revolutionary Iranian representative to the UN—articulated the position of his country regarding the UDHR, by saying that it was a relativistic "secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing Islamic law.[3]

The Declaration starts by saying "All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity" (but not equal "human rights") etc.

R. Chatt said...

Mohammed had between 9 -11 wives, depending on what the definition of marriage is, so definitely he was pro-woman.

mockturtle said...

In Islam, Christians are considered 'polytheists' because of the Trinity doctrine.

Unknown said...

"What's scary is not that Asifa Quraishi-Landes wrote it, but the Washington Post printed it."

And Althouse blogged about the article and actually admitted that the author is her UW Law colleague, oh the nerve, how dare she!

Michael K said...

"Many women have been punished by Sharia courts for extra-marital sex after they were raped and could not provide the requisite number of witnesses."

A woman got 200 lashes after a gang rape when she could get no one to be a witness for her.

After the sentences were handed down following the rape in 2006, which included lenient custodial sentences for the men guilty of the violent crime, the woman’s lawyer appealed to the Saudi General Court. But instead of choosing to overturn the punishments for being the victim of a crime, the court more than doubled her sentence. At the same time, they also roughly doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, according to Saudi news outlets.

That'll teach 'em.

Michael K said...

"so definitely he was pro-woman."

Yes and he was pro-child as one of his wives was 6 years old.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Ken B said...6/27/16, 1:05 PM

Many women have been punished by Sharia courts for extra-marital sex after they were raped and could not provide the requisite number of witnesses.

This actually happens in a number of countries that have sharia courts with more power. The woman, by claiming rape, has admitted to the sex, but cannot prove rape.

Recently, the Netherlands claimed a diplomatic victory when a court in Qatar senetenced a Dutch woman who had been raped to time served and let her leave the country. The man who raped her was given lashes for extramarital sex. (I assume he confessed to the sex or there was DNA evidence)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/13/dutch-woman-qatar-rape-claim-to-be-deported

The 22-year-old was given a one-year suspended sentence, while man accused of attacking her was sentenced to 140 lashes

She was also fined 3,000 riyal (£600). The man, who was from Syria, was also convicted of drinking alcohol. He had claimed the sex was consensual, but that they had an argument, and that she had demanded money and tried to steal his watch and cellphone. I guess he wasn't too familiar with Islamic law, because he got himself lashes. The woman had apparently been given a spiked drink.

As you can see, they sometimes do find a way around sharia law. For instance, many Islamic countries have the death penalty for conversion from Islam. But this is almost never carried out (Although I think Iran and ISIS has done that)

What invariably happens in such cases, outside of Iran, is that the person in question is convinced to recant, or they make arrangements for him to leave the country.

Now people of course can take vigilante action. This happenesd to someone from Afghanistan who converted to Chrisianity. He fled the country trying to get to a family member in Germany, but was deported to Italy (the first safe country he reached)

However, he had no income in Italy, and no friends, and was not cut out to be pioneering immigrant, so he moved to Pakistan where he lived with his wife's family. He kept his conversion to Chrisianity a secret. However, in case he would have to flee again, he kept a record of all of this on a USB drive while pretending to be a non-observant Moslem, so that he could get asylum quickly again. He used to go to an Internet cafe to go on the Internet. However, one day, or maybe this was every day he went there, he left his USB stick behind, and it was read by a member of his wife's family. And they killed him.



jacksonjay said...

Sounds like the ignorant hillbillies at Althouse are unconvinced.

Sammy Finkelman said...

In that tape, Osama bin Laden admits that his fiqh is different than the usual fiqh.

Sammy Finkelman said...

There are bad things in Islamic law, like accepting blood money in lieu of punishment for murder, which the United states government has taken advantage of in Afghanistan and Iraq; there are things in culture that are not part of Islamic law, like female genital mutilation; there are things in culture, that when you get right down to it, are actually contrary to Islamic law, like honor killings, or the idea that you can rape women who underdress = dress like prostitutes; and there are things that only radical clerics claim are permissible or mandatory, like randomly killing people.

These different things shouldn't be confused.

Michael K said...

"There are bad things in Islamic law, "

No kidding. You make an eloquent apologist, Sammy.

damikesc said...

There are bad things in Islamic law, like accepting blood money in lieu of punishment for murder, which the United states government has taken advantage of in Afghanistan and Iraq; there are things in culture that are not part of Islamic law, like female genital mutilation; there are things in culture, that when you get right down to it, are actually contrary to Islamic law, like honor killings, or the idea that you can rape women who underdress = dress like prostitutes; and there are things that only radical clerics claim are permissible or mandatory, like randomly killing people.

These different things shouldn't be confused.


Muslims expend so little energy fighting them that they are clearly acceptable.

Christians didn't tolerate the clergy molestation scandal. Once it was learned about, Christians demanded fixes.

Muslims don't seem so keyed up about honor killings, or FGM, or...

damikesc said...

The option is for Islam to fix itself --- or have others force fixes on it. I don't think they'd like the latter.

Owen said...

Various commenters above (esp. Ken B at 1:05, who says: "Many women have been punished by Sharia courts for extra-marital sex after they were raped and could not provide the requisite number of witnesses."…

To me this means that if a woman claims she is raped (or is said to have been raped), the opening juridical position is, she is a slut and must prove otherwise, or else she will be punished. The necessary proof is 4 witnesses to her having been raped, rather than (by default) her having just engaged in sex.

If that's the wonderful fiqh position being touted by the good professor, I hardly think it helps with the Women = Equal argument.

Presumption of guilt, not innocence?
Overcome by 4+ witnesses?
If women, maybe their testimony only counts for half, so you need 8?

Feminism. It's a double-shot of bullshit here!

buwaya said...

"there are things in culture that are not part of Islamic law"

Absolutely true. There are a wide variety of customs and beliefs held by most Islamic peoples that are not part of, or are contrary to Islamic law as rigorously interpreted. Modern radical Islam is in part a purifying strain that intends to clear out a lot of this. The Taliban for instance campaigned against traditional Pathan pedophilia.
Or for that matter they would have been opposed to the Rotherham atrocities. It certainly isn't permissible to corrupt girls into prostitution even if they are infidels, and the perpetrators weren't exactly Islamically meticulous, being as they were heavy users of alcohol and narcotics (as per reports).
Nor is it permissible to throw grenades into public markets in Mindanao, or kidnap peaceful tourists and cut their heads off, or simply slaughter people with whom has a disagreement in a commercial transaction.
All of the above though are typical expressions of aggression, opportunistic raiding and piracy, of exploitative treatment of persons not under the protection of the Islamic community. This is the constant low-level friction that makes these people so hard to live with.

Mom2Es said...

"Ask your law colleague if the Koran, Hadith and Sura give Muslims permission, nay instruct them. to lie to unbelievers if it would advance the cause of Islam."

What purpose would that serve? She will just say "no" to advance the cause of Islam.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"There are bad things in Islamic law, "

No kidding. You make an eloquent apologist, Sammy.

Not everything that is wrong is actually Islamic. And some things can only be described as an Islamic heresy, which means it is new.

When I said that the United states government has taken advantage in Afghanistan and Iraq of the fact that instead of punishment, blood money can be offered to family members, I was referring to the fact that sometimes innocent people are killed in bombings.

The United States government considers this to be an accident of war, and/or the responsibility of the people who gave the U.S. government false or faulty information.

But it will sometimes offer "goodwill" payments, while not admitting to any kind of liability. The family members of the people killed, however, may take that as a full acknowledgement of guilt. (The family has the right to refuse.)

In Saudi Arabia when important people close to the government are involved, pressure is often put on the family members to accept the blood money.

And of course it's only a short step from blood money to honor killings, because what happens when the person entitled to receive the blood money (the closest male relatives) is also the murderer, or consents to the murder in advance??



Sammy Finkelman said...

Theer seems to be something new is some radical versions of Islamic law.

Killing innocent people is virtuous, if but only if you notify people via Facebook or in some oher similar public way, that you are acting as an agent of the caliph Baghdadi.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Owen said...6/27/16, 1:58 PM

Various commenters above (esp. Ken B at 1:05, who says: "Many women have been punished by Sharia courts for extra-marital sex after they were raped and could not provide the requisite number of witnesses."…

To me this means that if a woman claims she is raped (or is said to have been raped), the opening juridical position is, she is a slut and must prove otherwise, or else she will be punished. The necessary proof is 4 witnesses to her having been raped, rather than (by default) her having just engaged in sex.


This appears to be the situation in certain countries. I don't know hwo long these couts ahev been operating there - these are actually new developments - or how long this has been the opening judicial position.

I have a feeling things didn't work that way 1,000 years ago.

Gahrie said...

"Ask your law colleague if the Koran, Hadith and Sura give Muslims permission, nay instruct them. to lie to unbelievers if it would advance the cause of Islam."

What purpose would that serve? She will just say "no" to advance the cause of Islam.


That was more of a rhetorical question, similar to Althouse's musings in the post about political violence from the Left.

jdniner said...

IMO most western Muslims are a drop in the bucket in terms of weight and importance in Islamic affairs. Zuhdi Jasser though I have liked when I hear his reasoning.

2.2 Billion Christians via Google Search
1.6 Billion Muslims
KKK members about 3,000 according to SPLC
ISIS member at about 30,000
Surveys suggest 10 percent of Muslims support ISIS, so about 160 million supporters seems to be a conservative guess.

"Understanding" What does that means in regards to Israel? Scratch beyond the surface polite speech and the core seems pretty ugly when it is allowed to rear.

Granted a lot of the problems with Islam is rooted in the cultures where it resides. But can those cultures adapt without violence? Can Islam truly modernize? It seems like a good litmus test would be to pass specific UN laws that codify protections for LGBT, Women, and children. With a minimum set of acceptable values? I'd wager that the backlash to such an effort would be huge.

So I think the professor is dreaming about an Islam that has never existed and will not exist for a long time.

See the Michael Totten blog for common sense about Islam that has a positive view of Islam. He gets it.

Michael K said...

"Modern radical Islam is in part a purifying strain that intends to clear out a lot of this. "

Yes, it is the "Reformation" like that occurred with Christianity but it is not making life easier for the rest of us, as "The Reformation" did. That eventually ended the religious wars in Europe with The Peace of Westphalia but the Islamic wars are raging and have been at varying levels since Mohammed died.

I am kind of a convert to David Goldman's theory that wars end when 30% of the population, usually meaning military age men, has been killed. He calls it, "The 30% Solution," and it sounds about right.

Nations do not fight to the death, but they frequently fight until their pool of prospective fighters has reached a point of practical exhaustion. In most cases, this involves reaching the 30% mark where casualties are concerned.

Of course, that did not apply to the Punic Wars but most wars do end.

Michael K said...

"See the Michael Totten blog for common sense about Islam that has a positive view of Islam."

I think Michael is more optimistic than I am but he knows many people there although they are probably heavily selected.

William Chadwick said...

For some mysterious reason, I was reminded of something that made the rounds of the pro-freedom blogosphere recently. It's a square panel divided into two rectangles: in the left hand rectangle there is a photo of a Muslim in the usual regalia holding up a sign that reads: "DEATH TO HOMOSEXUALS! NO FREE SPEECH! WOMEN STAY HOME AND SUBMIT TO THEIR HUSBANDS! DEATH TO AMERICA!" You know, the usual charming demands. I(n the right hand rectangle there is a photo of a young Western woman holding up a sign with an arrow pointing to the left. the sign saying "I'm a liberal and he really doesn't mean that." The panel's caption: "LIBERALS. THEY REALLY ARE RGAT STUPID."

rich hahn said...

How did someone with such failed logic ever get hired as a law professor?

I bet I know the answer.

Fabi said...

My, my, my, my, my, my Sha-ria!

Terry said...

Quraishi-Landes is not qualified to speak on this subject.
The article is mish-mash of wishful thinking (associate profs at the UW Law School have no authority to define what Sharia is and is not), and inappropriate comparisons ("In the same way that the Ku Klux Klan’s tactics are a poor representation of Christian practice (despite its claims to be a Christian organization), the Islamic State is the worst place to look to understand what sharia says about punishment and the treatment of innocents and prisoners.")
It is a waste of time to read it.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I think Islam is neutral to female genital mutilation, neither forbidding it nor requiring it. Honor killings can't be justified, but governments where it prevails seem to have trouble proceeding.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing

Jordan's Article 98 says he who commits a crime in a fit of fury caused by an unrightful and dangerous act on the part of the victim benefits from a reduction in penalty.[67] In Jordan six months is the usual penalty for murderers in honor killings, the murderer in honor killings are allowed to get off by Article 97 while the "fit of fury" in Article 98 is used to justify the defense for committing an honor killing, while the murderer can also justify the honor killing with Article 340.[68]

It seems like they've adopted the western "crime of passion" defense into their criminal code there in Jordan and "an unrightful...act on the part of the victim" is a special mitigating factor.

And Wikpedia also says that problems also come from the Napoleonic code, which permitted a man to murder his wife and her lover if caught in the act. This was repealed in France in 1975, and even in several Arab countries that had adopted this.

khesanh0802 said...

Sorry, Ann I could not make it through all of the piece. Though these myths may not be true in his interpretation of Islam they are being practiced by many others as their interpretation of Islam. I got incensed when the author blamed all this on colonialism and the "fact" that it caused enforcement of Islamic law by the state. We had a state sponsored church as a colony and one of the most important things we did was separate church and state. Maybe a lawyer can argue anything, but I am unwilling to accept your fellow professor's assertions because I can witness that they are not true with my own eyes.

gerry said...

I would encourage them to do so. It would demonstrate to everyone that Madison is tolerant and open minded.

And, it would clearly demonstrate that Madison-Americans do not fear sharia, unlike the rest of the white world.

LarsPorsena said...

He can elaborate on this theme after his sabbatical Iran.

Owen said...

Michael K @ 2:18: "...I am kind of a convert to David Goldman's theory that wars end when 30% of the population, usually meaning military age men, has been killed. He calls it, "The 30% Solution," and it sounds about right."

Sadly, I agree. Two reasons. One, just on the numbers, until you shift the center of mass, you haven't really gotten at the problem.

Second, once everybody in the system has seen the damage --every A has lost kin or friends in such appreciable numbers, and every B has seen the loss as well-- it doesn't really sink in. The overall population forms a kind of collective intelligence. Until the loss registers there, it doesn't have the same effect.

Rinse, repeat?

khesanh0802 said...

I made my comment before I read the other comments. Was ecstatic to see bull shit called from the top to the bottom mostly by quoting chapter and verse. Ann, I know your colleague will think we are a bunch of cretins but she better tighten up on her arguments if she wants to make full professor - well maybe not in Madison.

Hagar said...

Virgins or raisins.
This may be possible. I recently read a book by an English resident - and aficionado - of Yemen who said that "in the Arabic language every word means itself, its opposite, and a kind of camel." This is of course an exaggeration, but he did provide at least one word where this is indeed the case. Anyway, he says Arabic is full of words with entirely different meanings depending on context, which can be treacherous for non-native speakers. I would assume that since the written language omits vowels, written texts can give rise to even more misinterpretations.

Note also that when the Chinese and Japanese make treaties that they intend to live up to, they first agree that the English text shall be the definitive one for the same reason. Both languages are rather lyrical and susceptible to different interpretations depending on context and tone, and the pictorial writing systems make opportunities for more varied interpretations whether intentional or innocent.

tim in vermont said...

but she better tighten up on her arguments if she wants to make full professor

Why, she has the right identity status. Is there some other qualification she needs beyond that? Get used to it, those are the arguments, and they don't really give a flying fuck if you buy them or not because they have the votes. It's sort of like the Supreme Court, which could easily be replaced by some kind of possession arrow like they use in college basketball.

Anglelyne said...

Debunkings at the link (which seems open to nonsubscribers, so don't skimp on doing the reading before opining — the idea is not to be ignorant).

Well, I read it, and it's a mildly entertaining round of sub-mediocre lawyerly casuistry, even if we've read it all before. (Apologists of this type, whether the topic is sharia or something else, always attempt to explain away the existence or continuation of any less than admirable non-European practice or tradition by blaming it on Western intervention. In this case, the author wants us to believe that Islamic societies were models of "separation of mosque and state" before Western meddling.)

But it's all beside the point. As one commenter remarked, "sharia is as sharia does". The question of what sharia "really is" is no more pertinent to non-Muslims than arguments about what Islam "really is". The important question is, "What happens in Western societies when a critical mass of Muslims are allowed to live in them?"

Richard said...

"How did someone with such failed logic ever get hired as a law professor?"

It could be worse. She could have been a Republican./s

tim in vermont said...

this means that if a woman claims she is raped (or is said to have been raped), the opening juridical position is, she is a slut and must prove otherwise, or else she will be punished. The necessary proof is 4 witnesses to her having been raped, rather than (by default) her having just engaged in sex.

Hey, Juanita Broaddrick had 5 witnesses and still was branded a slut by Hillary's "Bimbo Eruption Squad."

Ken B said...

"Virgins or raisins.
This may be possible."

Indeed. This is part of a very controversial theory associated with a scholar named Luxenberg on the possible Syriac origins of the Koran. I have read some of his less technical stuff and it is very strong. But this theory is treated as apostasy in much of the Islamic world. Luxenberg is a pseudonym because he has received death threats. It is deeply dishonest for Althouse's colleague to present this theory as she does. It gets people killed.

Mark Caplan said...

The following is not a myth:

"Thousands mourn Amjad Sabri, renowned Sufi singer gunned down in Pakistan."

"Sabri was murdered because he was a blasphemer."

Details of the slaying can be found in the same newspaper telling us Sharia is benign, even enlightened.

Jonathan Graehl said...

I read it. Was I supposed to believe it? Why the discussion of non-islamic parent-child marriage when we all know the real trouble the more tribal societies have is with widespread first-cousin marriage and the predictably resulting lower IQ and higher health costs and higher crime.

Typo ('Including more woman-affirming interpretations')?:

"In instances where there is a fiqh origin for modern legislation, that legislation often cherry-picks certain rules, *including more woman-affirming interpretations*. And on a range of issues, Islam can fairly be described as feminist. Fiqh scholars, for instance, have concluded that women have the right to orgasm during sex and to fight in combat."


Jonathan Graehl said...

Read some of the comments here. What a deeply dishonest (by omission) "5 myths" parsing we've just read. And for what?

jacksonjay said...

but she better tighten up on her arguments if she wants to make full professor

That colored woman over at Harvard (used to be at Harvard) made prof and them some by arguing that Aunt Bea and Pappaw said they wuz Injuns cause they had high cheek bones. So, I'm not so sure that tight-assed arguments are the standard in them thar law schools.

Peter said...

'Rusty' said, "the rank and file Muslim seems not to have gotten the memo."

Indeed, she seems to be arguing that what she means by "Sharia" is is the sort of religious law that is not binding on anyone who does not wish to be bound by it (e.g., as Catholic canon law does not threaten non-Catholics).

Yet indeed, somehow "the rank and file Muslim seems not to have gotten the memo" indeed. At best, her private interpretation seems Quixotic and deeply ahistorical, as Muslim-majority nations (with the notable exception of Turkey) have invariably used what she calls "scripturally derived religious legal doctrine" as the basis for the law of the land, applied to Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

She's insisting on her own private vocabulary, the "A word means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less" argument made by Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland. "I call this a flower, you call it a handgun, how could you possibly feel threatened by this flower that I hold in my hand?" In her own words,

"A much-cited 2013 Pew poll reported that a strong majority of Muslims around the world favor making sharia the “official law of the land” in their countries. This was alarming news for many, especially when followed by further statistics supporting things like hand amputation and stoning as criminal punishment. But does a Muslim desire for sharia necessarily mean “sharia legislation”? Does public support for sharia have to mean Muslim theocracy? The answer is “yes” if sharia is defined as scripturally derived religious legal doctrine. But that is a very narrow definition of religious law, and it is an especially inappropriate way to understand sharia." -- Asifa Quraishi-Landes

( http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2652896 )

Hagar said...

The article is weak tea. It does not matter so much that comfortably well-off Moslems have more benign interpretations of the Islamic scriptures; what does matter is that those with the most brutal interpretations are trying to kill, not just us, but everybdy around them that do not bow down to them - regardless of nominal faith associations.

Mike Sylwester said...

Rick at 11:42 AM

I'm not thinking highly of UW Law at this point.

The primary hiring consideration was that more faculty members should be Moslems.

Mike Sylwester said...

dbp at 11:48 AM

What, no bullshit tag?

Professional courtesy.

Earnest Prole said...

This is not the Sharia you’re looking for. Move along.

mockturtle said...

comfortably well-off Moslems have more benign interpretations of the Islamic scriptures

Osama Bin Laden was very comfortably well off, as were most of the 9/11 perpetrators.

mockturtle said...

And the Wahabbi Saudis are pretty well off.

Ann Althouse said...

"What, no bullshit tag?"

There is no "bullshit" tag, only a "civility bullshit" tag. That is used only for bullshit about civility (based on my contention that calls for civility are always bullshit). That tag could have just been "civility," but I intruded my opinion on it. It's not a tag for bullshit. It's as if I had made my "law" tag "law bullshit."

Hagar said...

Bin Laden and his al Qaeda could be compared to some of our student rebels, sons and daughters of our affluent governing classes imagining themselves to be fighting the good fight.
But bin Laden was separated from his money and sidelined, and the movement passed on to al Zarqawi and his compadres - an entirely different class of people.

Stretching it further - the Saudi princelings and our dot.com billionaires?

Sammy Finkelman said...

The virgin-raisin difference has to do with whether the current text of the Koran is erroneous. It is certainly true that the text of the Koran was only fixed in 903 CE, and some old buildings/mosques have different from the current versions of some Koranic verses engraved on them, and there are/were old Koran manuscripts found in Yemen with different versions of the text, but to mention this, is, to say the least, highly sensitive. To Moslems, the Koran is supposed to be the word of God.

It is quite possible maybe that "virgin" wasn't meant, but "raisin" wasn't either. I'd have to study the arguments more. My suspicion is that modern westerners want to make more dfferences than there really are, and are looking for things to tear the text apart, and combine that with idiosyncratic theories as to who wrote it and when.

geoffb said...

"Five myths about sharia".

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" .

So only one more to go, right?

Mike Sylwester said...

The Drill Sergeant

Teaching Areas:
Constitutional Law
Islamic Law


Would the University of Wisconsin Law School ever hire the following kind of professor?

Teaching Areas:
Constitutional Law
Catholic Church Canonical Law

JAORE said...

I suspect our POTUS would have received highest marks in her classroom.

mockturtle said...

OK, if virgins are really raisins, what are these boys? Dates?


(QUR’AN 76:19): “There will circulate among them young boys made eternal. When you see them, you would think them as beautiful as scattered pearls.”

Big Mike said...

I get the Post on Sundays, and started to read this article. I didn't get far. When Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes started off by claiming that we "fear" shariah I was already put off. Madam Professor Quraishi-Landes, as long as we Americans bitterly cling to our guns, we ain't 'fraid of nuthin'.

By the time I got to the end of part two of her her five-part exegesis the thought had crossed my mind that this article could be for real but probably was a bowl full of lies.

At any rate, the problem for Professor Quraishi-Landes is not to explain all this to us, but rather to explain it to the young, devout Muslim men who throw gay men off tall buildings and stone them if they're still twitching after they hit the ground, all in the name of shariah.

Rusty said...

Sammy.
Give it a rest.
We are going to be at war with Islam for the next 100 years. It's time for our political leaders to acknowledge that radical Islam isn't our fault and westernciv.org. is worth fighting for.

Rick said...

Mike Sylwester said...
Would the University of Wisconsin Law School ever hire the following kind of professor?

Teaching Areas:
Constitutional Law
Catholic Church Canonical Law


I don't know about UWL specifically but it would much surprise me if there weren't many Professors of Catholic Law in America. But I very much doubt those professors are advocates in the same way. This seems similar to Grievance Studies Departments whereby Black, Women, Gay Studies Professors are extreme advocates for their groups but Whiteness Studies are an attack on theirs.

Matthew Henry said...

I was wondering if others actually looked up the passages the author linked to in the Koran? This is the link for where she dismissed the authoritarian attitude toward women and she pointed out that they were to be "protectors" of them. http://quran.com/4/34

mockturtle said...

@Matthew Henry

Wow! I have all your commentaries! ;-) And they are the best!

buwaya said...

Canon law is not applicable to civil matters, being the law merely of the administration of the Catholic Church. Only occasionally, and only in very limited matters has it been enforceable in some civil jurisdictions, and normally only because there was some civil law in parallel - see the Inquisition.
Its not Sharia, which covers or professes to cover all civil matters.

buwaya said...

And there are indeed professors of Canon law in America.

http://canonlaw.cua.edu/
http://www.clsa.org/

Earnest Prole said...

Thanks for this — I was thinking just the other day that the alloy of Islamic fundamentalism and lawyerly sophistry was not as strong as it could be.

Clyde said...

Good news: Muslim women have the right to orgasm. Bad news: Female genital mutilation makes that much less likely.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

No true Muslim, or no true sharia-er?

Michael K said...

"The virgin-raisin difference has to do with whether the current text of the Koran is erroneous. "

Sammy, as someone else has pointed out, it is time for a rest. I don't follow Patterico anymore and thought I had escaped your foot long comments.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that the subject of Islam violence bothers me is the same one that causes me to question whether or not the religion is susceptible to a reformation bring it out of the 7th Century. The Protestant Reformation happened in response to a number of nterrelated factors. One was the corruption of the Roman Catholc Church. But also important was the invention of the printing press. All of a seen, the masses could read the Bible, and, low and behold, it turned out that the Roman Catholc Church had grafted a whole bunch of, sometimes self-serving, material on top of their scriptures. Indeed, they had even somewhat rewritten parts of those scriptures (like essentially writing out the prohibition against idolatry from the Ten Commandments). A lot of the Reformation revolved around rejecting Roman Catholic Sacred Traditions, and going back to the strict teachings of the Bible. That is the basis of much of the purification and reformation - returning (or finding) a much more literal, biblical, interpretation of Christianity.

The problem with suggesting this for Islam is that we see what a strict interpretation of the Quran means - we essentially see it in the Wahhabi Islam that is so quick to execute those engaged in sexual misconduct of most any kind, doesn't allow women to drive, and men to have up to four wives and innumerable concubines. Etc. That is because the Islam of Mohammad is a brutal, bloody, religion that preaches conversion by the sword and conquest. Contrast this to the Christianity of Jesus who preached turning the other cheek. Making things worse, many believe that the Bible was devinely inspired, but written by men. The Quran, on the other hand, is seen to be divinely written. A softening Islamic reformation would, essentially, require a softening of the strictures of the Quran. But getting back to basics means essentially stiffening them, not softening them. Maybe it will happen when the third world Islamic majority countries can join the rest of the world in the 21st Century. But a lot of the terrorists whom we have encountered waging jihad against the rest of us were reasonably well educated, and some, like OBL, were quite rich. And, it seems like the more that they went back to find their religious roots, the more extreme and militant their nterpretations of Islam.

buwaya puti said...

Its not some matter of virgins vs raisins that makes these people prone to kidnap tourists and cut their heads off. Those guys dont even understand Arabic, most of them.
They were also opportunistically doing the equivalent for hundreds of years before the current spate of fanatics.
They are simply prone to mistreat their neighbors whenever they get the urge and the opportunity. This is a deeper business than texts and laws.
And they are everyones neighbors now, which is the real source of modern troubles.

mockturtle said...

Genesis 16:12 [NAS] regarding Ishmael, the progenitor of the Arabs: "He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Ahhh! The old "No true Muslim argument.

Asifa Quraishi-Landes confidently asserts the correct understanding of Sharia. After each assertion come examples of interpretations and practices, often widely held amongst Muslim populations, that are not the "true" understanding.

Let him go to Syria and proclaim his views in the face of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A fit of fiqh, indeed.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

During the life of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam was but little concerned with civil government. There were no "nation states" in the area. Life and loyalty were about family, clan, and tribe.

Only after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, in the time of the Righteously Guided Caliphs, had Moslem Arab conquest spread enough to make the need for civil government apparent.

Muhammad being the last and final Prophet of God, there can be no "guidance" following his death which is not subject to the taint of human interpretation.

Moslem fundamentalists seek to create a civic government based on a system which had no need of one.

Darcy said...

See @Matthew Henry at 6:06 p.m.

Eye opener.

Big Mike said...

@Hammond, Asifa Quraishi-Landes is a "she," not a "he," and a very pretty one.

When she's not in her burka.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Let her go to Syria and proclaim her views in the face of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - sans burka.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Rusty said...6/27/16, 5:51 PM

Sammy.
Give it a rest.
We are going to be at war with Islam for the next 100 years.


This is a loss of historical perspective. You think that what's going on now has always gone on and will continue to go on. But that's not the way things are.

This may not go on for 100 years. I would hope this would come to an end a lot sooner. It's a new movement. And I stress again, the people committing these acts of terror, are, almost to a man, recent converts or "born again" Muslims.

Today's Wall Street Journal, Op-ed by Robert Pape and Walter Gunning:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/isis-and-the-culture-of-narcissism-1467069159

An examination by CPOST of Americans indicted for ISIS-related crimes from March 2014 to December 2015 reveals almost a quarter of those charged were recent converts to Islam. A further 23% did not identify as particularly religious, while at least 70% had no personal association with Iraq or Syria.

OK that sounds like slightly under 50%, but you read the biographies, and they never were, until later in life, anything like devout Moslems. They are all "born again"

It's time for our political leaders to acknowledge that radical Islam isn't our fault

Who said it was? Although it might be the fault of the Kaiser's Germany, like Russian Communism was. "The evil that men do lives after them..."

I see in the book "Hatred's Kingdom" by Dore Gold (Regnery Publishng, 2003) that something called the Ikhwan movement started around 1916. That's the year King Ibn Saud required all Bedouin tribes of Arabia to join the Ikhwan and pay him zakat, or else face conquest. (page 45)

and westernciv.org. is worth fighting for.

It is. But what do you want to fight? Islam, or radical Islam? I see you here you seem to be equating Islam with "radical Islam." This is like those anti-Communists who, so to speak, kept seeing "Reds under the bed" and wouldn't know a real Communist - a dangerous one - if they fell over him.

Now the truth is, it is indeed radical Islam, but some well entrenched clerics are part of it, and therefore they don't want anyone even saying radical Islam. They would like people to believe that the preachers of radical Islam have no standing at all. But radical Islam is entrenched in places and has money. People affiliated with radical Islam have been honored and treated as allies by our government.


Sammy Finkelman said...

buwaya puti said...

Its not some matter of virgins vs raisins that makes these people prone to kidnap tourists and cut their heads off. Those guys dont even understand Arabic, most of them.

That's right. This is an "explanation" from "outside" as to what motivates them.

The particulars of the heavenly reward may not be such a big thing, and besides it is enough for most of them, that this is what it is supposed to be that God wants.

And in reality, maybe many or most of them do not care about that, and even know it's not true, but, like Papew and Gunning wrote, they're just narcissists..

They were also opportunistically doing the equivalent for hundreds of years before the current spate of fanatics.

Always for loot.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Michael K said...6/27/16, 7:00 PM

I don't follow Patterico anymore and thought I had escaped your foot long comments.

Sorry to hear that. I don't want to chase anyone away.

"The virgin-raisin difference has to do with whether the current text of the Koran is erroneous. "

What's wrong with that? That's what it is. That's why it's such a problem raising that issue. Some others people discussed the raisins but didn't get to why it is a problem. It is not that words have different meanings, like Hagar said at 6/27/16, 2:51 PM. It's that it's a question of what word is there, or supposed to be there.

The argument for raisins is that virgins doesn't fit the context, which is plants. (I don't know if that's right about the context)

And you are right - this doesn't really matter. In any case, this seems to be a generalized description of the heavenly reward for people being given a reward and nobody would argue that that's not supposed to be best thing possible. It actually should be Moslems who most object to the meaning "virgins" because it makes them look crude.

Sammy Finkelman said...

jdniner said...6/27/16, 2:14 PM

"Understanding" What does that means in regards to Israel?

It is probably more difficult and dangerous in most of the Islamic world to dispute any claim of evil made against Israel, than it is to say that Mohammed was not a prophet, but none of these assertions are based on religious doctrine.

The religious claim is limited: basically that any territory once ruled by Moslems can never be ruled by non-Moslems. Of course, that should then apply also to Greece and Spain!!

There are also some negative religious statements about Jews and Judaism, although there may possibly be a stronger basis for positive feelins. Most of the claims are pure factual lies and claims of Israel doing harm.

Here's one that has a slight religious connection (a lie about Jews and Judaism, rather than aclaim about Islam) but it received such a poor reception in Europe that Abbas backed down. Would it taht they'd be forced to back down on every accusation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/world/middleeast/mahmoud-abbas-claims-rabbis-urged-israel-to-poison-palestinians-water.html

“Just a week ago, a week, a group of rabbis in Israel announced, in a clear announcement, demanding their government, to poison, to poison, the water of the Palestinians,” he said. “Is this not incitement? Is this not clear incitement, to the mass murder of the Palestinian people?”

Mr. Abbas was repeating a claim initially made on the website of an office of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Anadolu, the Turkish state-run news agency, repeated the claim on Sunday. It was echoed in The Gulf News, a daily newspaper in Dubai. The Anadolu article said that a Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, whom it called the “chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements,” had issued an “advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that news outlets had not been able to find a Rabbi Mlma or any listing for the council mentioned in the article.


Nobody beleived this. So it all went into the memory hole:

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.726989

In a statement, the PLO says it has become clear the accusations against the rabbis are 'baseless,' and the Palestinian president didn't intend to offend Jewish people

The Arabs ca make any claim they want, and if they don't fly, they can just pretend they didn't make them.

mikee said...

Just for a laugh, I googled "abortion and sharia law" and discovered that abortion is haram (forbidden) 120 days after conception, except for immediate physical danger to the mother's life.

Wonder if this will change the leftist's opinions of Islam. Nah, they're apparently fine with totalitarianism of almost any sort. Probably out of jealousy that they themselves aren't there yet, here.

Michael Edward McNeil said...

It wasn't the Catholic Church which declared that Christians are not bound by Old Testament Jewish law, but St. Paul.