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A Dog Who Found the Master’s Leg: The 10 Most Braindead Statements In Defense of the 9/11 Mosque

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Posted on August 22 2010 9:00 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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6.Lee Smith at Tablet: Doesn’t Newt Gingrich Know That Sharia Means Nothing?

One of the key points that critics of the mosque have pushed is that Rauf supports Sharia. No true “moderate Muslim” can support the barbarous legal system which executes apostates.

Most mosque defenders have completely ignored this fact. (The majorities of leftists haven’t the foggiest idea what Sharia even is.) Here’s a stunning new approach from Lee Smith: Sharia is really nothing to worry about. It’s abstract and nobody knows what it actually means. It’s not a system of authoritarian slavery. Spare me:

In Washington, Newt Gingrich put a name to it in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute when he identified the problem as “sharia,” or what is commonly translated as Islamic law.

Stealthy jihadis and violent ones, said Gingrich, are “both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of sharia.” After quoting the Gettysburg Address, Gingrich concluded, “I would argue that the victory of sharia would clearly mean the end of the government Lincoln was describing.”

You’d think the party of Lincoln was made of stronger stuff, but many on the right have taken up the former Georgia congressman’s call to arms. Gingrich, wrote Andrew McCarthy on National Review Online, “has crystallized the essence of our national-security challenge. Henceforth, there should be no place to hide for any candidate, including any incumbent. The question will be: Where do you stand on sharia?”

By making sharia the focus of his fulminations, Gingrich has taken an almost hopelessly abstract concept and weighted it with an existential presence that it has never had in 1,400 years of Muslim history. Sharia is not a concrete legal code; it is the idealized notion of God’s law. Because there is no way to approach what is ostensibly divine except through human agency, sharia as such does not exist except as interpreted by human beings over the long course of Islamic history. The word “sharia” necessarily means many things to many people. Even though Islam is very simple in its basics, including conversion—you are a Muslim if you testify there is no God but God and Muhummad is the messenger of God—the faith comes with a fabulously esoteric scholarly tradition.

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