Islam is like any totalitarian dictatorship. It has little time and even less respect for women who are not accorded equal rights nor dignity with men. Its oppressive ideology has brought pain, deprivation, even death to countless women–much as did medieval Christianity in its march to suppress women by threatening them with the claim of being witches (so that male doctors would be in a position to take over midwifery). Non-Muslims in Islamic countries face persecution, intimidation, even torture and death. Sharia law has wedged itself into the UK where women are daily pressured into service of men and not protected by the civil courts (http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/new-report-sharia-law-in-britain-a-threat-to-one-law-for-all-and-equal-rights/). The courts in the UK have caved into male Muslim pressure to allow Muslims to go to Sharia courts, but as Women’s rights campaigner Yasmin Rehman said: “We Muslims have been a part of the UK for many, many years but the generations before me did not feel the need for or call for segregation in the way that is being demanded now. At the beginning of my career as a women’s rights advocate there was no need to apply for a certificate of Khula in divorce cases. Muslim women are now being told that divorces under the English legal system are not valued or recognised without a certificate of Khula – and should they remarry without this they will be committing Zina – a ‘crime’ punishable by death in many Muslim countries. This is not a view shared by all Islamic scholars but a view that is being pushed through the Islamic councils and tribunals across the UK.”
The infection of Islam has spread rapidly from the UK and Europe and now is implanted in the free soil of the USA. Luqman Abdul Haqq (Kenny Gamble, the author of such hit songs as “Love Train” and “Me and Mrs. Jones”), boasts of his affiliation with the National Ummah Movement which seeks to establish sovereign Islamic enclaves ruled by sharia (Islamic) law within major cities throughout the U.S.A. now that he has converted to Islam (there are many sites giving this information, but it began with http://thelastcrusade.org/tag/luqman-abdul-haqq/ which is a far-right Christian group working for international war to embrace the Christian religion). The movement was started by Jamil al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown), who is now serving a life sentence at a maximum security prison for killing two police officers in Atlanta. He collect $1.6 billion through Universal Company, a so-called “charitable organization,” which he formed in 1993 by pledging to clean up a plighted area of South Philadelphia, but told others that his real intention was to create a Muslim enclave exclusively for Muslims and Sharia law. The 800 block of South 15th Street now contains the United Muslim Masjid (see: http://www.ummonline.org/history.html), an Islamic center, and a madrassah (charter school). All of these organizations have been created and sustained by Gamble’s enterprise. Everywhere males and females of all ages wear traditional Muslim attire, and the masjid is directly across from Kenny’s house and security guards on the corners in kufis (this has been seen as a polarizing effect among the community; http://www.phillymag.com/articles/features_king_kenny/page6). It is an armed camp of zealots more violence prone than evangelical extremists crusading in Nigeria or Uganda for their brand of intolerant Christianity. (cf. http://wthrockmorton.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/anti-homosexuality-bill-2009.pdf and the evangelical mind at http://www.publiceye.org/publications/globalizing-the-culture-wars/scott-lively-quotes.php)
Some of the Ummah mosques maintain armed militias. Others provide training in martial arts and guerilla warfare (much of this “information” comes from radical pro-Israeli groups, including Daniel Pipes who writes for the MSF; http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3283; cf. http://www.danielpipes.org/article/77). Almost all operate beneath the radar of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. On October 28, 2009, the FBI raided a warehouse and two houses in Detroit and arrested eleven Ummah members on charges of mail fraud, the illegal possession of firearms, trafficking in stolen goods, and altering vehicle identification numbers. In the course of the raid on the warehouse, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the ringleader of the group, opened fire on the federal agents and was killed in the ensuing gunfight. (Cf. http://michiganmessenger.com/tag/luqman-ameen-abdullah; cp. http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/labels/Luqman-Amin-Abdullah.html; the radical Muslims have/had no time for Obama, claiming that the President was worse than an infidel; the criminal complaint against Luqman Amin Abdullah is at http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2009-10-27-Luqman-Abdullah-Complaint.pdf and is the full court record.)
What is seldom told by radical Islamists is that not every Muslim (especially females) agree with nor willingly accept Sharia. While male Muslims argue that it is sacred (as many males do in other religions declare their sectarian laws superior), being revelations set forth in the Qur’an, and the sayings and example set by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah, many women and some Islamic scholars reject this and argue it developed over hundred of years while males jockeyed for superiority over and control of women. Attempts to impose Sharia have been accompanied by controversy (cf. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-18/malaysian-groups-condemn-caning-of-women-in-shariah-sex-case.html), violence (cf. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-18/malaysian-groups-condemn-caning-of-women-in-shariah-sex-case.html; Johannes Harnischfeger. Democratization and Islamic law: the Sharia conflict in Nigeria. Campus Verlag: 2008. p. 16 “When the Governor of Kaduna announced the introduction of Sharia, although non-Muslims form almost half of the population, violence erupted, leaving more than 1,000 people dead.” p. 189 “When a violent confrontation loomed in February 200, because the strong Christian minority in Kaduna was unwilling to accept the proposed Sharia law, the sultan and his delegation of 18 emirs went to see the governor and insisted on the passage of the bill. ), and even warfare (cf. Second Sudanese Civil War; http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/pdf/darfur_040707.pdf). It is commonly believed by many men and women (not all) that Sharia is a reflection of God’s will for humankind, and therefore is unchangeable and timeless–much in the same fashion as Roman Catholics see papal statements as infallible of issues of faith and morality–and yet go against many pronouncements. While Roman Catholics can ignore papal dictates that go against their personal beliefs or needs, Muslims who defy Sharia, especially in ultra-conservative Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, usually face mutilation and death not just from the local and political authorities, but also from their own families: spouses, children, parents, and relatives.
The Qur’an, which is among the least democratic text or any religion, states that Sharia is in truth a way to enchain and control personal thinking and the right of choice: “Then we put you on the (right) Way of religion you must follow that [Way], and do follow not the desires of those who know not [the true way].” (Qur’an 45:18) In this it is identical to many Christian Churches that argue there is no salvation outside of their particular cult. (Cf. Acts 2:22-37, 4:12; this crept backward into the revision of John 3:16, etc.)
While Sharia was not a significant force until the beginning of the nineteenth century, it grew rapidly as the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution introduced an era of European world hegemony that included the domination of most of the lands of Islam. This brought a new zeal among Muslims to purify their faith and expel the foreign “devils” from their land and among their people. The wide variety of forms of government, systems of law, attitudes toward modernity and interpretations of Sharia are a result of the ensuing drives for independence and modernity in the Muslim world. As radical Muslims gain increasing secular wealth and political power, as seen in Detroit and now Philadelphia, the cry is no longer for their own communities to be solely separated from the rest of the nation, but has transmogrified into a cry demanding the conversion of all non-Muslims with the same furor and intensity as the Muslim crusaders bellowed when on the warpath against those who refused to convert and worship their agricultural god Allah. What most western people forget, conveniently, is that Sharia expressly forbids a secular government, but like Sarah Palin and the Tea Baggers demand that the secular wall separating state from church be torn down–a cry already rising in secular Turkey. Fundamentalists Muslims wishing to return to basic religious values and law, have in some instances imposed harsh Sharia punishments for crimes, curtailed civil rights, and violated human rights with the same determination that fundamentalist, bible-toting Christians demand that their interpretation of the bible be followed by everyone–even nonbelievers. Sharia movements are most active in areas of the world where there was contact with Western colonial powers, and predominate in liberal France where religion-controlled women cover themselves in the burqa (which in many nations is blue, not black) either by women who are taught to look upon themselves as “spoiled meat” or by men who argue that it keeps women “modest”, or in The Netherlands where fanatics assassinate commentators in broad daylight. The cry for the murder of the Scandinavian cartoonists was but one more cry that Sharia be the law of the world, for true Muslims will never accept anyone who is not a Muslim, and Muslims will use Sharia to silence dissent and opposition.