Qanta A. Ahmed, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, says “There’s no reason we [Muslims] should object to Congress investigating Islamist radicalism.” That’s heartwarming news, but the problem is none of the Islamic theology he cites supports his claim.
Mr. Ahmed bases his claims on the notion that Muslims have a duty to the societies in which they live, and he quotes the Koran in order to make his point.
Similar to the Christian obligation to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” the Quran and the derived corpus of Islamic jurisprudence support Muslims’ engagement with those to whom power is entrusted. Chapter 4, verse 59 of the Quran reads: “Verily, Allah commands you to give over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice.”
This is a neat trick, but it’s a trick, nonetheless. It hinges upon the definition of that entitlement. As Mr. Ahmed must surely know, the only people entitled to the trust of Muslims are other Muslims. Aside from practicing Taqiyah, the tactical deception that allows Muslims to simulate submission to the authority of Kafirs, it is forbidden to accept the authority of any system of law or governance outside of Islam.
Mr. Ahmed continues taking liberty with the language, saying,
Muslims are instructed: “Let there be one community of you, calling good and commanding right and forbidding wrong” (3:110). Another instructs: “Believers, the men and the women, are friends of one another; they command right, and forbid wrong” (9:71). Impartiality is critical to fulfilling this duty. As it is written: “And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice” (5:8).
This is nothing short of intentional misrepresentation. Yes, Muslims are instructed to be one community, to befriend each other and to be impartial in their dealings, but that implies the exact opposite of what Mr. Ahmed says. Every verse he quotes is intended for exclusively for Muslims in their dealings with other Muslims. They have no application outside the Dar al Islam.
Likewise this, also supplied by Mr. Ahmed:
The holy texts of Islam emphasize that one’s greatest allegiance should be to justice—superseding family and co-religionist ties. “Be strict in observing justice, and be witness for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against your parents or kindred,” the Quran says in chapter 4, verse 36.
But again, he obscures the fact that justice is defined within the narrow context of Islam, which requires the harshest penalties for defaming or slandering Islam, even if in doing so, one speaks the truth. This particular verse refers to legal cases in which one is called to testify within an Islamic system. It has nothing whatsoever to do with suggesting that a Muslim should testify against another Muslim in a Kafir’s court. There is nothing in the Koran or in Shariah that condones that.
Even in his summation, in which Mr. Ahmed recounts an anecdote from the Hadith, Mr. Ahmed implies that Muslims’ attempts to correct other Muslims are on parity with Muslims giving other Muslims over to an extra-Islamic legal system. There is no such parity. There are no conditions under which Islamic theology accepts the subordination of a Muslim to un-Islamic authority. The law is very clear in this, so much so, that it even requires the faithful to reserve the common greeting, “salaam aleykum” for Muslims alone, since Allah’s peace should not be wished upon unbelievers.
I join Mr. Ahmed in his call for Muslims to provide no sanctuary for terrorists who try to hide among them, but I cannot sit silent while he distorts the essential nature of Islam in order to do it. The nature of Islam is part of the problem, like it or not, and if we expect to defend ourselves, we need to acknowlege that fact.