Saturday, 18 April 2009

Top ten reasons why sharia (Islamic law) is bad for all societies. Part II (6-10)

Does Islam really practice human rights?

Continues from Part I

5. Islam commands that homosexuals must be executed.

In February 1998, the Taliban, who once ruled in
ordered a stone wall to be pushed over onto three men convicted of sodomy. Their lives were to be spared if they survived for 30 minutes and were still alive when the stones were removed.

In its 1991 Constitution, in Articles 108-113,
Iran adopted the punishment of execution for sodomy.

In April 2005,
a Kuwaiti cleric says homosexuals should be thrown off a mountain or stoned to death.

April 7, 2005,
it was reported that Saudi Arabia sentenced more than 100 men to prison or flogging for "gay conduct."

These homosexuals were lucky. Early Islam would have executed them, as these hadith demonstrate.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad’s punishment of homosexuals: …"
If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done" (Abu Dawud
no. 4447).

This hadith passage says that homosexuals should be
burned alive or have wall pushed on them:

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, "Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did." In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad’s chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

Though this punishment of a wall being toppled on them is extreme, the Taliban were merely following the origins of their religion.

In contrast, Jesus Christ
fulfills the severe Old Testament punishment for homosexuals (stoning), so the church now deals with this sin in a new way under the NEW Covenant—forgiveness and restoration.

If the reader would like to see the confusion in the Qur’an on the matter of homosexuality, the severity in the hadith, and excessive rulings of classical fiqh, they should see
the supporting article The article has links to many discussions on Islamic punishments of homosexuals (scroll down to "Supplemental material").

4. Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.


In 2001, Iranian officials
sentenced three men to flogging for illicit sex.

The Qur’an says:

The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s law]. (Hilali and Khan).

The additions in the brackets, though not original to the Arabic, have the support of the hadith. These command flogging only of unmarried fornicators: Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6831 and 6833. For many hadith dealing with fornication (and adultery, see below), go to the hadith collector and editor
Bukhari and scroll up and down to read them.

The classical legal rulings follow the Qur’an and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

According to
this report, in Iran a teenage boy broke his Ramadan fast, so a judge sentenced him to be lashed with eighty-five stripes. He died from the punishment. Though his sad case does not deal with fornication, it is cited here because it shows that lashing can be fatal.


In December 2004, Amnesty International

An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co-defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging. Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped.

She is to be buried up to her chest and stoned to death.

This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death:

And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her…(Muslim
no. 4206)

prophet prayed over her dead body and then buried her. Truthfully, though, how effective was the prayer when Muhammad and his community murdered her in cold blood? The rest of the hadith says that Muhammad told Khalid not to be too harsh, but the prophet’s words drip with irony. Perhaps Muhammad meant that Khalid should not have cursed her. However, if they really did not want to be harsh, they should have forgiven her and let her go to raise her child.

Later Islamic legal rulings follow the Qur’an and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

Here is the back-up article that supports this fourth reason.

3. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non-Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Qur’an and even sharia itself.

In 1989,
Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel’s role in inspiring the Qur’an. Now the extremists in the highest levels in Iran have recently
renewed the fatwa.

In 2005, The Muslim Council of Victoria, Australia, brought a lawsuit against two pastors for holding a conference and posting articles critiquing Islam. Three Muslims attended the conference and felt offended. The two pastors have been
convicted based on Australia’s vilification law. While on trial, one of them wanted to read from the Qur’an on domestic violence (see 9, above), but the lawyer representing the Council would not allow it. The pastors are appealing their conviction.

In 2005, British Muslims have been campaigning to pass a religious hate speech law in
England’s parliament. They have
succeeded. Their ability to propagandize has not been curtailed. Opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech that may criticize Muhammad, the Qur’an, and Islam.

Here are the classical legal rulings.

First, the Muslim
deserves death for doing any of the following (Reliance of the Traveler pp. 597-98, o8.7):
(1) Reviling Allah or his Messenger; (2) being sarcastic about "Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat"; (3) denying any verse of the Qur’an or "anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it"; (4) holding that "any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent"; (5) reviling the religion of Islam; (6) being sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law; (7) denying that Allah intended "the Prophet’s message . . . to be the religion followed by the entire world."

It is no wonder that critical investigation of the truth claims of Islam can never prevail in Islamic lands when the sword of Muhammad hangs over the scholars’ head.

non-Muslims living under Islamic rule are not allowed to do the following (p. 609, o11.10(1)-(5)):
(1) Commit adultery with a Muslim woman or marry her; (2) conceal spies of hostile forces; (3) lead a Muslim away from Islam; (4) mention something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet . . . or Islam.

According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative,
the punishments imposed on non-Muslims for violating these rules are as follows: (1) death, (2) enslavement, (3) release without paying anything, and (4) ransoming in exchange for money. These punishments also execute free speech—even repulsive speech—and freedom of religion or conscience.

Ultimately, censorship testifies to a lack of confidence in one’s position and message.
If the message of Islam were truly superior, one could trust in the power of truth. As it stands, sharia with its prescribed punishments for questioning Muhammad, the Qur’an, and sharia itself testifies to their weakness since sharia threatens those who dare to differ.

How confident was Muhammad (and today’s Muslims) in his message that he had to rely on violence and force to protect his message, besides reason and persuasive argumentation?

For the supporting article that analyzes the Qur’an and the hadith, both of which orders death to critics, click

2. Islam orders apostates to be killed.

Iran an academic was
condemned to death for criticizing clerical rule in Iran. The rulers assert that he was insulting Muhammad and Shi’ite laws. He was charged with apostasy.

This analysis tracks the application of apostasy laws around the world, citing many examples.

Apostates are those who leave Islam, like Salman Rushdie (see the linked article in no. three, above), whether they become atheists or convert to another religion. They are supposed to be killed according to the Qur’an, the hadith, and later legal rulings.

This hadith, representing many others, says that some
atheists were brought to Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin, and he burned them alive.

The news of this event reached Ibn Abbas [Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of traditions] who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Messenger forbad it, saying, ‘Do no punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah Messenger, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’" (Bukhari, Apostates, no. 6922;
online source)

Evidently, these atheists were once Muslims, but they no longer followed Muhammad’s way. The Islam of Ali and Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s family, would not tolerate freedom of religion, so Ali burned them alive (Ibn Abbas would have beheaded them).

See the previous reason no. three for acts that entail leaving Islam according to Islamic law.

Here are the articles that support reason no. two.

This is a short, but
full article on apostasy, citing Qur’anic verses and hadith passages. This older but still accurate dictionary has a brief entry on apostasy. Scroll down to "Apostasy from Islam."

mid-sized chapter on apostasy was written by an older generation Christian who knew Islam and Arabic thoroughly. It also analyzes some legal rulings in Islam on apostasy. This is a short section in an online book. It surveys the main ideas on apostasy. This short entry in the Index to Islam has a list of Qur’anic verses. This short article contrasts Islam's coercion of conscience with Christianity's freedom of conscience.

Finally, we let Muslims explain how apostates should be treated.

Maududi in
this booklet argues that Sura 9:11-12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death (scroll down to "The Proof in the Qur’an for the Commandment to Execute Apostates").

This website has
an overview of Islam on apostates. Apostates should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed. Women apostates may be killed according to some schools of law, or she may be imprisoned and whipped.

1. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.

Muhammad is foundational to Islam, and he set the genetic code for Islam, waging war. In the ten years that he lived in Medina from his Hijrah (Emigration) from Mecca in AD 622 to his death of a fever in AD 632, he either sent out or went out on seventy-four raids, expeditions, or full-scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to kill anyone who insulted him, to the Tabuk Crusades in late AD 630 against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a rumor that an army was mobilizing to invade Arabia, but the rumor was false, so his 30,000 jihadists returned home, but not before imposing a jizya tax on northern Christians and Jews.

Money flowed into the Islamic treasury. So why would Muhammad get a revelation to dry up this money flow?

What are some of the
legalized rules of jihad found in the Qur’an, hadith, and classical legal opinions?
Women and children are enslaved. They can either be sold, or the Muslims may "marry" the women, since their marriages are automatically annulled upon their capture.
Jihadists may rape these captured female prisoners of war. Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, did this, even though he was married to Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter. In the hadith, the prophet defended his son-in-law.
(3) Women and children must not be killed during war, unless this happens to polytheists in a nighttime raid when visibility was low. Whether polytheists or monotheists or fill-in-the-blank, this law is unjust.

(4) Old men and monks could be killed.
(5) A captured enemy of war could be killed, enslaved, ransomed for money or an exchange, freely released, or beaten.
One time Muhammad even
tortured a citizen of the city of Khaybar in order to extract information about where the wealth of the city was hidden
(6) Enemy men who converted could keep their property and small children. This law is so excessive that it amounts to forced conversion. Only the strongest of the strong could resist this coercion and remain a non-Muslim.
(7) Civilian property may be confiscated.
(8) Civilian homes may be destroyed.
(9) Civilian fruit trees may be destroyed.
(10) Pagan Arabs had to convert or die. This
does not allow for the freedom of religion or conscience.
(11) People
of the Book (Jews and Christians) had three options (Sura 9:29): fight and die; convert and pay a forced "charity" or zakat tax; or keep their Biblical faith and pay a jizya or poll tax.

The last two options mean that money flows into the Islamic treasury, so why would Muhammad receive a revelation to dry up this money flow?

jihad is aggressive, coercive, and excessive, and Allah never revealed to Muhammad to stop these practices.

For an analysis of the Christian Crusades and the Islamic Crusades, click
here. This article lays out a timeline for the Islamic Crusades, four centuries before the Europeans launched their own.

For the supporting article of reason no. one, please go
here. It also has a segment on the differences between jihad in Islam and the wars in the Old Testament. Another article on that topic can be read here. There are vast differences between Islam and Judaism on this topic.

Therefore, Islam is violent—unjustly and aggressively.


The nightmare must end. Sharia oppresses the citizens of Islamic countries. Islam must reform, but the legal hierarchy in Islamic nations will not do this because the judges and legal scholars understand the cost: many passages in the Qur’an and the hadith must be rejected, and this they cannot do. After all, the Qur’an came down directly from Allah through Gabriel, so says traditional theology. So how can Islam reform? But reform it must. It can start by rewriting classical fiqh (interpretations of law). Again, though, that would mean leaving behind the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example. How can the legal hierarchy in Islamic nations do this?

This unwillingness to reform, combined with whitewashing hard truths embedded in their religion, is deceptive at best and dangerous at worst. What happens when or if Islam gets a foothold in a new region on the basis of "peace and love," but later on, conservative and strict Muslims (not to mention nonviolent and violent fanatics) cite the numerous violent verses and passages in the Qur’an and in the hadith, in order to defend the infliction of a harsh laws like the ones outlined in this article?

Since Islamic law cannot be reformed without doing serious damage to original and authentic Islam—the one taught by Muhammad—then a second plan must be played out. Sharia must never spread around the world. At least that much is clear and achievable. The hard evidence in this article demonstrates beyond doubt that sharia does not benefit any society, for it contains too many harsh rules and punishments.

It is true that the western Enlightenment (1600-1800+) teaches
tolerance, but it also teaches critical thinking and reasoning. Sharia cannot stand up under scrutiny. It is intolerant and excessive, and Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics teaches the West that excess is never just.

Moreover, Christianity offers humans dignity. It treats their sins through spiritual transformation in accordance with Christ’s death on the Cross. No longer do we have to undergo the severe physical punishments outlined in the Old Testament, for such sins as adultery and homosexuality. Jesus Christ has
fulfilled that aspect (and many others) of this sacred text. He suffered the ultimate penalty in our stead. Now, under the New Covenant, the Church seeks (or should seek) sinners, not to punish them by hitting them with rocks or crushing them with stonewalls, but with the message of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. But if they refuse, then they are free to go their own way. That is the risk of freedom, but the Church should not persecute them by reinstituting the penalties in the Old Covenant.

In contrast, sharia ultimately degrades society and diminishes freedom. It does not promote human rights or simple justice. Islam would drag all of us backwards to a diluted old law,
enslaving us under judgment and severity.

Supplemental material:

One angle that promoters of Islamic law follow is to show the "horrible" life and crime rates in the
US (and the whole West) because western freedoms (supposedly) do not work. Then the promoters assert that sharia is the best solution.

But is this angle the best one, and does it account for all of the facts?

line graph on this short page at the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that violent crimes (e.g. homicide, rape, assaults, robbery) in America have decreased dramatically since 1994 to 2003. This line graph on another short page at the BJS also depicts a dramatic drop in property crime (burglary, theft, and car theft) from 1994, though the rate has leveled off since 2002.

But what is the point of placing these these two line graphs in this top ten list? To boast that
America has reached sinless perfection and has no room for improvement? No. Maybe the crime rate will increase (God forbid) in the next decade (or go down). The point is this: though many factors contribute to a drop in crime rates (and their rise), it is possible to see such a decrease without Islamic law. Sharia has nothing to do with the positive factors at work. This means, further, that Islamic law is therefore not needed to improve any society. Other, less brutal, means can be followed in order to lower crime and enhance the quality of life.

But what about Islamic societies? What do they look like under sharia?

Drinking alcohol (reason no. ten, above) during Umar’s reign (a companion of Muhammad who ruled as caliph from AD 634-644) became excessive. This was an ongoing problem in Islam; otherwise, the later judges in the classical period would not have been forced to rule on the problem or "crime." Thus, the Qur’anic verses forbidding alcohol were ineffective in the first generation of Muslims (Sura 5:90-91). What happens in the Islamic world today?

Are Islamic countries pure and pristine through and through? The answer to this rhetorical question is obvious. Alcohol and other intoxicants and gambling serve as test cases.

In 2003 a man was
accused in Saudi Arabia for smuggling alcohol. Assuming the accusation is true (and that is a big assumption in Saudi Arabia), does anyone of a sound and sober mind believe that he is the only one to do this? Surely other smugglers are at work, but they have not yet been caught. It may be true that Westerners buy a large quantity of this smuggled alcohol, but certainly some Muslims do too.

This webpage advertises an Egyptian casino in Cairo. This page advertises one too, with a fully stocked bar. This page also tells foreigners where to go for bars and pubs. Though these places are designed for foreigners, do all Egyptian Muslims avoid these establishments?

This article says that Bahrain, an island and independent state that is connected to Saudi Arabia by a bridge, provides a "breathing lung" for Saudis because this Islamic island allows the free flow of alcohol and a night life. The words "breathing lung" in Bahrain mean that Saudi Arabia suffocates people. On the weekends an average of 40,000 cars line up to cross the bridge.

This article discusses the smuggling of alcohol in Saudi Arabia and says: "Western analysts note that alcohol smuggling of the magnitude underway in Saudi Arabia -- perhaps tens of millions of dollars' worth of illegal merchandise annually -- would likely involve the complicity of Saudi customs agents and perhaps a higher-level patron."

This analysis (scroll down to section 2.5) reports: Three Muslims "were sentenced in June 2001 to 1,500 lashes each in addition to 15 years’ imprisonment. All were convicted on drug charges. The floggings are carried out at a rate of 50 lashes every six months for the whole duration of 15 years." Are these the only three men in Saudi Arabia to use drugs?

This article reveals how Iranians get around the official ban on alcohol, like beer and vodka and other intoxicants, like opium. A black market has sprung up—just like the one in America during Prohibition.

This article says that even though the Taliban, the former tyrants who ruled Afghanistan, outlawed the growth of poppies, which are the source of opium, the leaders of the Taliban may have profited from the drug trade. The new and democratic government has a hard time keeping this drug under control.

This article says that authorities in Turkey threaten to imprison online gamblers, and this page links to a report (scroll to the second one) that discusses how Turkey must deal with the problem of monetary interest, alcohol, and gambling. It is revealing to see how Muslim religious leaders try to squirm out of Qur’anic laws against interest, in order to help Islamic financial institutions make money.

The purpose of these links is not to condemn Islamic countries or to assert that the West is better than they are. Facts say that the West has many problems. Rather, the purpose is to demonstrate that Islamic countries have their share of problems, as well. This means that Islamic countries are also decadent. This means that Islamic punishments do not work entirely (except by scare tactics), but they can drive the sin or crime underground.

This parody offers comic relief on why sharia is "good" for society. Brilliant



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