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Sharia’s Dominion

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Posted on February 3 2010 3:00 pm
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by Leslie S. Lebl

As American citizens and officials engage in a muddled public debate about how to deal with indicted Fort Hood murderer Malik Hasan and his ilk, they would do well to consult these two books, which examine the Islamic system in practice. A God Who Hates explores the nature of Islam, viewed through Wafa Sultan’s personal experiences growing up in Syria, working there as a doctor, and then immigrating to the United States, where she became a psychiatrist. Cruel and Usual Punishment, published early last year, is the second book by Nonie Darwish, the daughter of an Egyptian officer killed by the Israelis in the 1950s. Her first, Now They Call Me Infidel, offered extensive autobiographical detail; the more recent book is an in-depth probe of what she sees as key problematic aspects of Islam.

Both Sultan and Darwish document how traditional Islamic law, or sharia, underpins Islamic life. Darwish argues that under Islam’s golden period of conquest and imperial rule, sharia’s most important aspect was “total control of the large and diverse Muslim empire—everyone’s behavior, loyalty, mind and even soul.” The system was all-encompassing and punishments were strict, but the caliphs, or rulers, were exempt from penalty for theft, adultery, killing, or drinking; in addition, they alone could have an unlimited number of wives. Their subjects were not allowed to revolt against them unless the caliphs acted in an “un-Islamic” way. Indeed, the fate of the learned imams who had written the sharia law demonstrated the extent of the caliphs’ immunity: they all wound up imprisoned, punished, exiled, or poisoned.

Read more at FrontPage Magazine.

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