The educational elite still remains unmoved by the prospect of radical Islamic Shariah law even as manifestations of it pop up in the United States. For example, recently, Middle East experts from the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment, along with two graduate students, agreed that in dealing with Islamic states, the U. S. should ignore Shariah but hold the nations to universal standards such as respect for women.
“United States policy should not pass judgment on Shariah,” Eric Trager, a doctoral candidate from the University of Pennsylvania, said at the May 7, 2012 conference at the Reserve Officer’s Association. “No one died and made us Mufti.” Trager is also an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) which cosponsored the conference at the ROA.
He holds out hope that the United States can engage in constructive agreements with the new Egyptian government. “We should talk to them about stabilizing the Sinai,” he said, “but not about counterrorism.”
“They have a different idea of terrorism.” Yes they do.
Trager and other panelists, such a Princeton doctoral candidate Samuel Helfont, urged the creation of “red lines” with such Islamic states over issues such as “rights of women.” Nevertheless, separating the abuse of the female population from Shariah may be a nearly impossible task.
“When Christians and Buddhists and atheists, and whoever, commit crimes, they are considered illegal and immoral in their own countries and their own religions,” Cynthia Farahat pointed out in an appearance at the National Press Club. “When that happens in Islamic states, it’s considered moral and legal.”
Farahat knows whereof she speaks. She co-founded the Liberal Egyptian Party. Currently, she is a fellow at the Center for Security Policy (CSP), which sponsored her appearance at the Press Club.
“I have never in 30 years in a Muslim country, heard a Friday sermon where the Shia said, honor killing is against our religion,’” Noni Darwish remembered in that same press club conference. Like Farahat, she is both a native of Egypt and a fellow at the CSP.
“Many, many women flee to America and to Europe to escape Shariah,” Darwish said. “I am one of them.”
“But it followed us here.” Indeed, Karen Lugo, of the who teaches law at Chapman University, warned the crowd that the United States may soon contain the “embedded communities,” increasingly common in Europe, in which it is difficult to enforce the laws of the country.
Moreover, some European countries are experiencing an increase in polygamy, Lugo noted, which does occur in the U. S. as well. In countries governed by Shariah, Darwish noted, “the marriage contract asks the husband to list wife number one, wife number two and wife number three, if any.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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