Several countries apply Shari'a today, and millions of Muslims around the world are uniting and recruiting and willing to die to get Shari'a applied in more countries. Here is why their efforts must be stopped:
11. Shari'a condones slavery.
Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora notes: "the Quran stipulated that female slaves might lawfully be enjoyed by their masters." Mohammad himself owned many slaves, some of whom he captured in wars of conquest and some he purchased. The names of forty slaves owned by Mohammad are recorded by Muslim chroniclers.
Islamic law (Sharia) contains elaborate regulations for slavery. A slave had no right to be heard in court (testimony was forbidden by slaves), slaves had no right to property, could marry only with the permission of the owner, and were considered to be chattel, that is the movable property, of the slave owner.
Muslim slave owners were specifically entitled by Sharia law to sexually exploit their slaves, including hiring them out as prostitutes. One reason why very little has been written about the Arab involvement in slavery is that traditional Islamic culture still condones slavery. The Sharia, the codified Islamic law which is based upon the teachings and example of Mohammad, contains explicit regulations for slavery. One of the primary principles of Islam is following the example of Mohammad.
Whatever Mohammad did, we must do, what he forbade, we must forbid, what he did not forbid, we may not forbid.
As Mohammad himself traded in slaves and owned slaves, accumulating multiple wives, even marrying a six year-old, and having concubines — slavery and the sexual exploitation of women is deeply ingrained in Islamic tradition.
Muslim nations had engaged in the slave trade for over 600 years before Europe became involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
THE RIGHTS OF SLAVES UNDER ISLAM
According to the Hughes Dictionary of Islam, slaves had few civil or legal rights. For example:
- Muslim men were allowed to have sex anytime with females slaves - Sura 4:3, 4:29, 33:49.
- Slaves are as helpless before their masters as idols are before God - Sura 16:77
- According to Islamic tradition, people at the time of their capture were either to be killed, or enslaved. Shows you that they were at the bottom of the barrel to start with.
- According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves were merchandise. The sales of slaves was in accordance with the sale of animals.
- Muhammad ordered that some slaves who were freed by their master be RE-ENSLAVED!
- It is permissible under Islamic law to whip slaves.
- According to Islam, a Muslim could not be put to death for murdering a slave. Ref. 2:178 and the Jalalayn confirm this.
- According to Islam, the testimony of slaves is not admissible in court. Ibn Timiyya and Bukhari state this.
- According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves cannot choose their own marriage mate. - Ibn Hazm, vol. 6, part 9.
- According to Islamic jurisprudence, slaves can be forced to marry who their masters want. - Malik ibn Anas, vol. 2, page 155.
Slavery continued in Islamic lands from about the beginning to this very day (read one man's recent experience escaping slavery in Sudan). Muslim rulers always found support in the Quran to call 'jihad', partly for booty, partly for the purpose of taking slaves.
As the Islamic empire disintegrated into smaller kingdoms, and each ruler was able to decide what Islam's theology really meant. Usually, he always found it in support of what he wanted to do. Their calls of jihad against their neighbors facilitated the taking of slaves for Islam. The Quran and Islamic jurisprudence support the taking of slaves, so, those petty Muslim rulers were following the Quran when they needed slaves.
WHO CAN BE MADE SLAVES UNDER ISLAM?
- Islam allows Muslims to make slaves out of anyone who is captured during war.
- Islam allows for the children of slaves to be raised as slaves.
- Like (a), Islam allows for Christians and Jews to be made into slaves if they are captured in war. After Muslim armies attacked and conquered Spain, they took thousands of slaves back to Damascus. The key prize was 1000 virgins as slaves.
- Christians and Jews, who had made a treaty with the ruling Muslims could be made into slaves if they did not pay the "protection" tax. This paying for 'protection' was just like paying a Mafia racketeer! This allowed Muslim rulers to extort money from non-Muslim people.
10. Shari'a commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.
In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging not only for illicit sex (see reason number 9 below), but also for drinking alcohol. In 2005, in Nigeria a Shari'a court ordered that a drinker should be caned eighty strokes. In 2005, in the Indonesian province of Aceh, fifteen men were caned in front of a mosque for gambling. This was done publicly so all could see and fear. Eleven others are scheduled to undergo the same penalty for gambling.
After going through two previous confusing stages before coming down hard on drinkers and gamblers, the Quran finally prohibits alcohol and gambling in Sura 5:90-91; they do not prescribe the punishment of flogging, but the hadith does.
A poor 'criminal' was brought to Muhammad who became angry: The Prophet felt it hard (was angry) and ordered all those who were present in the house, to beat him [the drinker dragged into Muhammad's presence].
(Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6774-6775)Thus, we see no offer of help for the alcoholic when he is dragged before Muhammad and his followers. Why does Muhammad not offer rehabilitation? Why does he immediately go to corporal punishment? The later classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith, so we do not need to examine them here.
9. Shari'a allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.
In 2004, Rania al-Baz, who had been beaten by her husband, made her ordeal public to raise awareness about violence suffered by women in the home in Saudi Arabia. Saudi television aired a talk show that discussed this issue. One of the guests was an Islamic scholar holding up sample rods that husbands may use to hit their wives.
The Quran says:
4:34 . . . If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of Allah], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. Allah is most high and great. (MAS Abdel Haleem, the Quran, Oxford UP, 2004)
The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws:
Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon 'Abdur Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, 'Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" (Bukhari)
This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his girl-bride, Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr:
Muslim no. 2127: 'He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain.'
It is claimed that Islamic societies have fewer incidents of fornication and adultery because of strict laws or customs, for example, women wearing veils over their faces or keeping separate from men in social settings. But these results of fewer incidents of sexual 'crimes' may have unanticipated negative effects in other areas, such as the oppression of women.
Generally, Shari'a restricts women's social mobility and rights, the more closely Shari'a is followed. For example, in conservative Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive cars.
In Iran, the law oppresses women. For example, women's testimony counts half that of men, and far more women than men are stoned to death for adultery.
8. Shari'a allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge — physical eye for physical eye.
In 2003, in Saudi Arabia a man had two teeth extracted under the law of retaliation.In 2003, a court in Pakistan sentenced a man to be blinded by acid after he carried out a similar attack on his fiancé. In 2005, an Iranian court orders a man's eye to be removed for throwing acid on another man and blinding him in both eyes.The Quran says:
5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Quran, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)
This passage allows for an indemnity or compensation instead of imposing the literal punishment of eye for an eye. No one should have a quarrel with this option. According to the hadith, the plaintiff also has the option to forgive, and this is legitimate, provided a judge oversees the process. The problem is the literal law of retaliation.
The hadith and later legal rulings demonstrate that this excessive option was actually carried out, as do the three modern examples linked above.
Islamic law calls all of humanity to march backwards 1,400 years BC (the law is based on the Torah) and to re-impose the old law of retaliation — literally, and the evidence suggest that the Torah never intended the law to be carried out literally.
7. Shari'a commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.
This punishment is prescribed in the Quran, the eternal word of Allah. It does not exist only in the fevered imagination of a violent and sick radical regime like the Taliban, which once ruled in Afghanistan. The Quran says:
5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done — a deterrent from Allah: Allah is almighty and wise.
5:39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)
At first glance, verse 39 seems to accept repentance before the thief's hand is cut off. But the hadith states emphatically that repentance is acceptable only after mutilation. Muhammad himself says that even if his own daughter, Fatima, were to steal and then intercede that her hand should not be cut off, he would still have to cut it off (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6788)
6. Shari'a commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.
In September 2003, Scotsman Sandy Mitchell faced crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He was beaten and tortured until he confessed to a crime he did not commit: a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. An article about it said of this punishment that it was the worst kind of execution and that two have been carried out in the last twenty years.
In 2002 Amnesty International reports that even though Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in October 1997, amputation is prescribed under both Hudud (punishments) and Qisas (law of retaliation).
AI has recorded thirty-three amputations and nine cross-amputations where the alternate hand or foot is mutilated. The Quran says:
5:33-34 Those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter...unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that Allah is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)
It may be difficult to accept, but the hadith says that Muhammad tortured these next people before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33-34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:
Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away...The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6802)
The next hadith reports that the renegades died from bleeding to death because Muhammad refused to cauterize their amputated limbs. Then the hadith after that one reports that the renegades were not given water, so they died of thirst. They probably died of both causes: thirst and loss of blood.
Islamic law says that these punishments are imposed for highway robbery, and in some cases crucifixion does not need a murder before it is imposed.
5. Shari'a commands that homosexuals must be executed.
In February 1998, the Taliban, who once ruled in Afghanistan, ordered a stone wall to be pushed over on top of 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.
On 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 a 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.
4. Shari'a 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 Quran says:
24:2 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. The classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.
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 reports: 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) The 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 Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.
3. Shari'a orders death for Muslim and possible death for non-Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even Shari'a itself.
In 1989, Iran's Supreme Leader issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote The Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel's role in inspiring the Quran.
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 Quran 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. The Muslims' ability to propagandize has not been curtailed. Opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech that may criticize Muhammad, the Quran, 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):
- Reviling Allah or his Messenger;
- being sarcastic about 'Allah's name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat';
- denying any verse of the Quran or 'anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it';
- holding that 'any of Allah's messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent';
- reviling the religion of Islam;
- being sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law;
- 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.
The non-Muslims living under Islamic rule are not allowed to do the following (p. 609, o11.10(1)-(5)):
- Commit adultery with a Muslim woman or marry her;
- conceal spies of hostile forces;
- lead a Muslim away from Islam;
- mention something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet...or Islam.
According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative, the punishments for violating these rules are as follows:
- release without paying anything, or
- 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, Shari'a — with its prescribed punishments for questioning Muhammad, the Quran, and the Shari'a itself — testifies to their weakness since Shari'a 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?
2. Shari'a orders apostates to be killed (an apostate is someone who leaves Islam).
In 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.
Apostates are those who leave Islam, like Salman Rushdie, whether they become atheists or convert to another religion. They are supposed to be killed according to the Quran, the hadith, and later legal rulings. See the previous point number 3 for acts that entail leaving Islam according to Islamic law.
Citing Quranic verses and hadith passages, Sayyid Maududi, a respected Islamic scholar, argues that Sura 9:11-12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death. Apostates should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed.
And the number one reason why Shari'a is bad for all societies...
1. Shari'a commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.
Muhammad is foundational to Islam, and he set the memetic code for Islam — waging war. In the ten years he lived in Medina from 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. Muhammad 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 ("protection" tax) on northern Christians and Jews.
Money flowed into the Islamic treasury.
What are some of the legalized rules of jihad found in the Quran, hadith, and classical legal opinions?
- Women and children are enslaved. They can either be sold, or the Muslims may 'marry' the women, since any previous marriages of slaves are automatically annulled upon their capture, according to Shari'a.
- Jihadists may have sex with slave women. Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, did this.
- Women and children must not be killed during war, unless this happens in a nighttime raid when visibility was low.
- Old men and monks could be killed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Civilian property may be confiscated.
- Civilian homes may be destroyed.
- Civilian fruit trees may be destroyed.
- Pagan Arabs had to convert or die. This does not allow for the freedom of religion or conscience.
- 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.