Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Combating Sharia With Islamic Tools

By Jamie Glazov 11/20/2007

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Hasan Mahmud, the Director of Sharia Law of the Muslim Canadian Congress. He played a vital role in the successful movement against the Toronto Sharia Court. The court had been established in 1991 (and functioning since then) with the blessing of Ontario law and was banned in 2003 when the Ontario Government enacted a new law banning all faith-courts. He has authored books, debates, 2 docu-dramas and a docu-movie on Sharia. He has also spoken on Sharia in various conferences in Europe and North America.

FP: Hasan Mahmud, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Mahmud: Thank you and Salam to all.

FP: You are a Muslim and not a very great fan of Sharia. Tell us why.

Mahmud: Because as a Muslim I want good for all humanity and because I have seen what Sharia contains and does to our women and non-Muslims. Human rights are more divine than scriptures and are not negotiable even in the name of God. Human rights are not to pass the test of scriptures; it is scriptures that have to pass the litmus test of human rights. Sharia fails there miserably, Muslim women are primary victims of Sharia, how can I be its fan? After all, people’s faith, life, right and dignity are not anybody’s toy to play with.

Examples of laws prove what Sharia actually is. Here is one from Law #344 of Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 – “Witness for a husband is not a condition to divorce his wife”. This law violates Sura Twalak verse 2 of the Qur’an that instructs to keep two witnesses of divorce. Another example is Law #914 C from Codified Islamic Law Vol 3 - Head of Islamic State cannot be charged for Hudood cases (murder, theft, robbery, adultery, drinking etc.). The same law is in Hanafi Law page 188 too. As a Muslim how can I not protest this is violation of justice? Can you imagine more than three thousand raped women were in prison for “illicit sex” for ten to fifteen years by Pakistan’s Hudood (Sharia) Ordinance #7 of 1979 amended by Law #20 of 1980 that says proof of adultery and (emphasis mine) rape is confession of the accused or eye-witness of four male adult Muslims (the women could not prove rapes by this “proof”)?

Can you imagine an Iranian woman appealing to the Sharia court to order her husband to beat her not everyday but once a week? Can you imagine many minor raped girls are publicly beaten by shoes and whips in Bangladesh by decree of informal Sharia Courts? Can you imagine hundreds of such cruelty is regularly reported in Muslim world but not a single of the world’s top Sharia-Bolsheviks is known to protest effectively? It is shocking to see tons of such unjust laws established as Allah’s Law.

It is shocking to see most of Sharia-supporters never read the laws and most of Sharia-leaders speak and write of justice but never show the laws. There was never any empirical study on the impact of Sharia on non-Muslims and Muslim women (more than half of world-Muslims), nor were they consulted to frame these laws. There is not a single female Sharia-Imam in Muslim history. The result was predictable. Sharia emerged not as a benign law book but malignant inspiration of creating a global Islami State which is diametrically opposite to the Islamic faith system. The West must realize any Sharia-supporter not only has to believe in a global Islamic state but also try for it. Supported by powerful, resourceful and cunning players it conquered most of Muslim-majority countries and now poses the deadliest cultural threat human civilization ever faced. The now defunct Canadian Sharia Court was its pinnacle of success in West. How many Americans know that the blueprint of American Sharia Court was created as early as in 1991by TAM (The American Muslims)?

Lest we forget the speed of a caravan is the speed of its weakest camel. Muslims will never progress if Muslims women don’t. On the other hand human civilization cannot progress if Muslims don’t.

FP: Can you talk a bit about Divine Law and Islamic State.

Mahmud: There is no “divine law” to run states. There are six thousand plus laws in Shafi’i Sharia, a similar number in Hanafi Sharia, about fifteen hundred in three volumes of Codified Islamic Law. But the Qur’an has only five or arguably seven social laws. The Hadises give us another few dozens, that’s it. Then where do the thousands of other laws came from? Surely from non-divine sources. Now, if you drop a drop of milk in a pond can you call it a pond of milk? Actually Sharia Laws were derived from at least eleven sources; of
those ten are human and worldly sources.

The presence of at least five major sets of Sharia laws conclusively proves they are not divine because God is one. Many Sharia laws are not only different from each other but also contradictory. Look at this - Maliki law punishes pregnant widows or unmarried women to death for illicit sex. So Amina Lawal Kurami in Nigeria and Zafran Bibi in Pakistan were sentenced to death for adultery by lower courts. But when international pressure mounted the supreme courts acquitted both of them by applying Hanafi law that says pregnancy is not proof enough for adultery. So, death in one law and complete acquittal in the other for the same “crime”! What type of divinity is this?

About an Islamic State it is enough to say that Islam’s business is not to create an “Islamic State” but a “State of Islam” (peace). The very concept of “Islamic State” is simply anti-Qur’anic - look at Ana’m 107:- “We made thee (The Prophet) not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs”. One of the main legacies of “Islamic Khelafat” is rampant killing of Muslims by Muslims, conspiracy, betrayal, power-struggle, war, battle, assassination, revolt, counter-revolt, harassing scholars and scientists and solid patriarchy. We have documents of Sharia court of Alexandria and Istanbul (Shikayat-E Dafteri) of past “Islamic States” – it is heartbreaking to see how “Islamic States” tortured Muslim women in the name of “Allah’s Law”. You can imagine the condition of nonMuslims therein. Human rights in present “Islamic States” is not encouraging either. Sadly, in the names of “Islamic State”, “Allah’s Law”, “Islamic Justice”, “Complete Code of Life” etc we Muslims are made to live in an unreal romantic world that costs us heavily. And most often we are driven by hate, not love. You should see the syllabus of Pakistan schools and even Al Azhar University. The amount of hate to nonMuslims taught to our kids in present “Islamic States” is dangerous.

FP: The violence in Muslim societies has deep roots in Islamic scriptures. Hindus, Jews and Christians have come out of their scriptural violence. Their methods have obviously not worked for Muslims. Why?

Mahmud: The violence of suicide-bombing, beheading, the present form of Jihad etc. occupies the world’s media and mind. But the systemic cold violence (that hardly sheds blood) of scripture destroys more human lives. See, the Atharbaveda of Sonaton religion still contains "verses" of burning widows alive with dead husbands; the Old Testament chapter Deuteronomy still contains verses of terrible violence. As it will be self-betraying to say the Qur’an does not have violent verses, as we don’t have to be apologetic for that, as the Qur’an addressed real life and as there was violence in reality, the Qur’an encouraged past Muslims by particular violent verses that are absolutely irrelevant today. I firmly believe that as none can answer all questions of any religion we must stop questioning if a path to peace is available and established. About violent verses we apply the magic word that lead us to peace today - “Matter of Past”, period.

Our path of coming out of scriptural violence is different due to many complex reasons including changed global environment, past legacy, colonial effect, issues like Palestine-Israel, Middle Eastern kings, Middle East policy of the West, failed secular democracy in almost all Muslim majority countries, profuse finance to establish Sharia in Muslim world, pretty successful lobbywork in the West (specially in Europe) to penetrate Sharia, etc. Our failure is Himalayan when we legitimize wife-beating “with tooth brush”. But some Western irresponsible media-people and writers are no less on the other side. What we need is criticism to correct, not to punish. Fanning the fire may be enjoyable but there is danger in it.

The personal behavior of the Prophet is erroneously included as essential and eternal part of Islam. Unfortunately lots of violence is recorded in Hadises (Prophet’s Examples). As it takes more to lead people by message of love, many clergies take the easier route of using hateful Hadises to control the Muslim mass who are ignorant but emotional, poor but honest and illiterate but simple. Surprisingly, there is a Sharia law that says a Muslim becomes apostate if s/he denies any of the Hadises. Then the law of death to apostates is to follow. It is extremely difficult to break this taboo. We try to educate Muslims of their right to totally or partially accept or discard any book other than the Qur’an and still remain Muslims.

The most difficult hurdle is our Sharia-leaders. When we struggled against the Canadian Sharia Court they called us apostates. While we are trying to come out of scriptural violence the father of modern political Islam Maolana Mawdudi proposes that creating Hindu-State in India is permissible even if Muslims are ill-treated, war-prisoners can be killed or “given in somebody else’s possession by sale….handed over individual Muslims as slaves” and sex with war-captives is permissible (Munir Commission Report page 225, Tafhimul Quran 47:4 and Chapter 4, p. 340). When we claim the Qur’an is against slavery the chief Saudi educationist says slavery is “an integral part of Islam” and we know nothing about Islam (WorldNet daily 10 Nov 2003). These are resourceful and powerful people – you may imagine what our kids are learning from such leaders of Sharia-Islam.

FP: What way do you see out of these chains that Islam is imprisoned by some Muslim leaders? Can it be done with Islamic tools?

Mahmud: Yes, indeed. With Islamic documents and case-history we can undo many Sharia Laws. Creating one single crack on Sharia in believers’ minds is the first step and we can do it with Islamic tools. Humankind is basically curious. When Muslims will find out the rest, Political Islam will be crippled. This is a battle of ideas, guns and cannons will make it only worse. Lest we forget man never committed cruelty so completely and so cheerfully as when he did it to please his god – (Pascal). Historically god’s soldiers never listened to call of humanity; they worship through violence.

So, to be acceptable to Muslim-mass an Islamic tool has no substitute. A scholar is no scholar if he reads a thousand books but cannot harvest human welfare from them. We do have lots of Islamic scholars who developed the Islamic method of coming out of violence. Unless that is done Muslims in particular and humankind in general will continue to suffer in this respect. We can discuss it more effectively with detailed Islamic mechanism and dynamics with a Sharia-leader. We tried a lot but they don’t come. The palace of Sharia can be smashed by one single stroke of Sura Anam 48:-“We send the messengers only to give good news and to warn”. We have great Islamic tool to refute Sharia-documents and prove that Islam is a personal religion; separation of religion from state-machine is its essence.

FP: Your brave and noble struggle in fighting against Sharia has obviously come at a great personal cost. Can you talk a bit about it? How much have you had to fear for your personal safety?

Mahmud: I am only trying to encourage human rights in Muslim society by Islamic tools. My book, drama and movie on Sharia are doing well. Honestly, I don’t care much about my safety – what has to be done has to be done. We are in a mess today because maybe our forefathers cared for their safety a little too much. Yes, Muslim Canadian Congress received many threats. When we were struggling against the Canadian Sharia Court I also received personal threats from the world’s most powerful Sharia-supporters - the Canadian Intelligence has a file on it. When I discussed it with my wife she told me “You are doing the right thing – don’t submit to any threat
no matter what”. Isn’t it superb from a busy professional who maintains Islamic Hijab, member of mosque and was a voluntary teacher of Islamic school? Honestly, I don’t care much about my safety – what has to be done has to be done for our next generations. We are in a mess today because maybe our forefathers cared for their safety a little too much.

FP: Hasan Mahmud, thank you for joining us.

Mahmud: Thanks and Salam to all.

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at

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