Many anti-Muslim disinformation and misinformation experts in the United States have been advancing their agenda of Islamophobia by insinuating that the shariah law will replace the American constitution and American laws. They are imploring the American presidential candidates to protect the Constitution by repudiating Shariah law. These Islamophobics employ reckless methods targeting millions and millions of naive Americans in believing that Muslims are using stealthy techniques and agendas with the express aim of "destroying Western civilization from within". The anti-Shariah sentiments are now also being used by politicians in the political rhetoric to gain support of the common man in their efforts to get more votes.
These Islamophobics are using all methods to convince politicians and all other Americans that Islamic law is hovering over them like clouds and it is going to rain on them. The image is not far fetched or imaginary. Whenever Islamic law is mentioned, the image emerges that there is no room for forgiveness. This image was enhanced by the revolution in Iran in 1979. Many who opposed the Iranian revolution or supported the Shah met with harsh penalties and death. The new laws in Iran restricted the activities of the common man in Iran. This created the impression that Islamic Shariah only propagated and practiced 'Eye for an Eye' and 'Tooth for a Tooth'. This image was blown out of proportion by the mass media.
Arundhati Roy, winner of the Literary Booker Prize for her book, wrote about the global situation after the 911 suicidal attacks, bombing of Afghanistan and invasion of Iraq wherein she said that profiteers are taking war on terror to new heights. The American taxpayers have seen how billions and billions of dollars have been misappropriated and squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan by allocating additional funds and money to hire and maintain contractors at a very high and exorbitant price tag. The contractors became rich. Arundhati Roy says that they are at the same level as Al-Qaeda. She called them Al-Faida (The Profiteers) people. Al-Qaeda and Al-Faida are the two sides of the same coin.
The news media got involved in profiteering by excessive use of subtleties to hide their tabloid tendencies. In addition they engaged in extensive editing by adding subliminal messages to blame Muslim world and Islam for suicidal attacks rather than Muslim terrorists and their mentally deranged extremist cohorts for the tragedy of 911. On top of this the news media will sprinkle messages with euphemism.
If a staff writer of a news paper wrote that Muslims go to Mecca for praying at the Kaaba and perform Hajj pilgrimage, and Muhammad was born in Mecca in the same sentence, then this statement is sending a subliminal message that Muslims go to Mecca to celebrate Prophet Muhammad's birthday and/or to attend services in Kaaba built by Muhammad. These two facts are acceptable individually, but to put them together, out of context, is to follow the dictates of those who want to keep Americans in the dark. This is a sneaky and subtle method of presenting facts. The actual facts are that Kaaba was build by our Patriarch, Prophet Abraham, and that Muslims go to Mecca to perform Hajj to commemorate sacrifices made by Prophet Abraham.
Many newspapers that follow the journalistic ethics and discipline present balanced news. Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, wrote front page article about Jihad Turk with the headline "His name: Jihad. His message: peace". Duke Helfand wrote about Jihad Turk and said, "An American-born Muslim earnestly works to dispel stereotypes about his faith. U.S. Muslims are struggling mightily these days to win over a wary public. In Los Angeles, part of that task falls to the 38-year-old Turk, director of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Southern California, one of the region's most influential mosques. Jihad Turk -- clean-shaven and youthful -- is telling an interfaith audience that the prophet Muhammad traces his lineage to Abraham, the biblical patriarch. Turk explains to the crowd of mostly Christians and Jews that Muslims also revere Jesus and Moses as prophets, and that Islam cherishes life. Hafez Turk chose what he believed would be a noble name for his son -- Jihad -- long before the word entered the U.S. lexicon as an expression for "holy war," a meaning that Islamic scholars say has been distorted by extremists and the media." *
In the United States of America, the fundamentalists, conservatives and extremists are baptizing naive, innocent and decent Americans in the cesspools of ignorance. The Islamophobia practitioners are hatemongers, opportunists and al-Faida people. They are bad people. As a matter of fact, they are worse than bad people. No one has coined the word yet that describes them what they are. They present to the American people information about Islam that is prejudiced, tainted, wrong, inaccurate, exaggerated and sometimes imaginary and fabricated; their attitude is very dogmatic and most of the time hostile. Yes, their information about the Sharia law is imaginary and fabricated.
Yes, the incredible indelible images of 911 aerial suicidal attacks resulting in destruction of World Trade Center in New York and damage to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. put Muslims and their religion Islam in the limelight. Later the US attack on Afghanistan, invasion of Iraq and subsequent suicide bombings and killings of innocent Muslims by Talibans and Al-Qaeda terrorists kept on enhancing the image of Islam in the bad light. On top of this, Muslim terrorists; Muslim extremists, loaded with twisted logic and interpretation of Islamic laws in their own chosen colors; and religious fanatics are going in Mosques & Masajid and killing innocent Muslims further enraging Muslims and people of other faith. The murders and killings, by Muslim terrorists, of any other human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim is haram (forbidden, unlawful, prohibited) and un-islamic. Based on the commentary and images of killings provided by the mass media, people around the world are listening to the mass media interpretations and are believing that those news items represent Islam. At the same time, no Muslim country emphasizes the role of mercy and forgiveness in Islam. Any talk of implementing Shariah in any country conjures up the image of: cutting hands, administering lashes or stoning adulterers to death.
The 911 era created new groups of anti-Muslim viruses and worms. They along with the Islamophobia practitioners are advocating rejection of Shariah in America. They use the above mentioned three punishments: cutting hands, administering lashes or stoning adulterers to death, to attack Islamic law and Muslims. Reasonable people in America have seen and argue that Islamic laws are based on justice and not for administering punishment, including the Mayor of City of Irvine, California.
Mr. Henry Qugley, Mayor of city of Irvine, California, wrote in Los Angeles Times:
"We in this country should take a lesson from the system of justice in Arabia and the Saudis' execution of the assassin who killed King Faisal. The reason that crime is rampant in this country is because there is virtually no punishment for crime. We have a poor record of apprehending criminals. Crime rate will decrease when punishment becomes swift and sure. The severity of the punishment is not as important as the sureness of the penalty. Our courts should be mandated to move faster and to determine only if the person committed the crime. To return to King Faisal's assassin, it was but a few months ago that the crime was committed - and they did not spend years arguing over psychiatric evaluation of why he did it. Evidence showed he did it and he paid for it; swift and sure." (Henry Qugley, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 1975).
Now many States in the US have passed laws in Assemblies of their respective States that Shariah laws should not be used to pass judgment in civil or criminal cases. Muslim organization, Muslim Civil Rights Groups, Masajid, Mosques, Shura Councils and individual Muslims are expending efforts to convince the American citizens that the information the Congressmen are getting about Shariah Laws are based on misinformation and disinformation, and that they are afraid of the Shariah law for wrong reasons.
The Congressmen are afraid of Shariah Laws and I know why.
I remember, in 1976, at my work place, a few friends were engaged in a casual conversation. The question of King Faisal's assassination and cutting of hands in Saudi Arabia was brought up during this conversation. Some of my engineer friends made very strong comments against the Islamic Penal Code and the Saudi government. One of the Muslim engineers tried to explain the punishment given to thieves and spoke for few minutes. In short, he said that a hungry man who steals a loaf of bread will not lose his hand, but a habitual thief will. After hearing this, Mr. Bill Wolfe, another friend and an engineer, whose family is heavily involved in California politics said in a loud voice, "No, No, we cannot have those Saudi laws in this country." Then with a grin and a smile, he added, "If we implemented Saudi laws in this country, not a single congressman will have two hands."
Mohammad Yacoob is a retired Industrial Engineer and Engineering Proposals Analyst who lives in Los Angeles, California.
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