Dans un article récent, j’ai fait valoir que la mosquée «Ground Zero» est contre-productive pour l’islam. Le lendemain (le 5 août), le journal égyptien Al Masry Al Youm rapportait qu’Al Azhar – l’une des plus hautes autorités de l’islam sunnite – est du même avis.
The thrust of Smith’s argument is that sharia is a “hopelessly abstract concept” and “a highly idealized version of reality that has little basis in fact”; that sharia is “a catchall phrase for legal principles that have rarely, if ever, existed in actual Muslim societies”; and that “the notion that something called ‘sharia’ was widely imposed throughout the lands of Islam is an Orientalist fantasy.”
In a recent article, I argued that the Ground Zero mosque is counterproductive to Islam. The following day, on August 5th, the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that none other than Al Azhar — one of Sunni Islam’s most authoritative institutions — agrees.
While vexing to many, the mega mosque set to be built two blocks from Ground Zero has produced one interesting but unintended consequence: like the 9/11 strikes a decade before it, the “9/11 mosque” is also creating a stir, is making people think and talk — about Islam.
That France is moving toward banning the burqa is a positive development on several fronts: For starters, while many are the arguments against the burqa — it is anachronistic, misogynistic, etc. — the fact is there have been many instances worldwide where criminals and Islamic terrorists have facilitated their activities by concealing their identities via the burqa (which, we are reminded, was originally designed for female “modesty”).
A recent episode of the popular Arabic show al-Sharia wa al-Haya (Law and Life), which airs weekly on Al Jazeera and features renowned Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, addressed the important yet little known Muslim concept of taysir (pronounced “tey-seer”).
Uncovering the truth is always a convoluted affair when it comes to the Middle East. Consider the case of the Egyptian Nagla Iman. Is she a Muslim woman who advocates the sexual harassment of Jewish women, or a Christian woman, who advocates human rights — especially for fellow women of all faiths?
Depending on whether Islamists address Americans or fellow Muslims, the same exact words they use often relay diametrically opposed meanings. One example: when Americans hear Muslims evoke “justice,” the former envision Western-style justice, whereas Muslims naturally have Sharia law justice in mind.
Such were the words that opened my testimony to Congress. One year later, none other than President Obama’s top counter-terror adviser, John Brennan, has come to to personify the approach I warned against, that is, the misguided phenomenon of westernizing Islamic concepts.
The Obama administration has just announced its intent to ban all words that allude to Islam from important national security documents. Put differently, the Obama administration has just announced its intent to ban all knowledge and context necessary to confront and defeat radical Islam (news much welcomed by Islamist organizations like CAIR).