Why Islamic Law is the Antithesis of Equal Justice
Posted by paulipoldie on October 8, 2009
by Sultan Knish
In Sudan a dozen women were sentenced to be flogged for wearing pants. Some of them were Christian, but that has never really mattered, as the essential premise of Islamic law is that it is inherently superior to every other law. Naturally no men have ever been sentenced for wearing pants. That is a law that applies only to women, because there is a fundamental difference between Islamic law and Western law, not simply in morality or structure– but in equality. A Muslim man will never be sentenced to be flogged for wearing pants, just as a Muslim Imam will never be tried for blasphemy no matter how many ugly things he says about Hindusim, Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism. Blasphemy is a charge that is meaningful only in relation to the doctrine that is at the heart of Islamic law, that is Islam itself. Islamic law is law made by Muslim men for the benefit of Muslim men, and the detriment of everyone else. It is the product of an inherently unequal system, designed to perpetuate that system. Under it non-Muslims are inferior to Muslims because by rejecting the “truth” of Islam, they cast doubts about their moral fitness. A non-Muslim is an infidel who drinks alcohol, eats pork and has forbidden sexual relations. As far as Islamic law is concerned he is already of poor moral character and a criminal. Women are inferior to men, as they are lower in status than men. When Mohammed declared, or was said to declare in Islamic scripture, that, “I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women”, he was articulating the top down theology of a cult that defined sinfulness in terms of position of tribal power. Therefore in the Mohammedan vision of hell, the underworld was to be populated mostly by women for their ingratitude to their husbands, who under Islam were also their masters. And slaves are defined as moral to the degree that they serve their masters. Under the circular logic of Islam, women are second class citizens because they are untrustworthy, and untrustworthy because they are second class citizens. This makes women automatically suspect of all sorts of things. It is why a woman who was raped is more at fault than the man who raped her. In the Islamic worldview, which is itself a carryover of Bedouin tribalism, a rapist has taken someone else’s property. By contrast the woman who was raped was careless with the property of her husband or her father. Whether the woman had consensual sex or was raped does not matter very much, because in either case she is only property that was damaged. Not a human being. The honor killing is simply a male relative or spouse destroying what Islamic tribalism considers to be “damaged property”. Her consent is not considered significant, because Islamic law does not take the agency of a woman seriously, or treat her as competent to make decision on the level of a man in the first place. It is why the woman is always at fault. While Western jurisprudence considers diminished capacity to be an extenuating circumstance, Islamic jurisprudence considers it to be a statement of guilt. That is because Western jurisprudence presumes innocence, while Islamic jurisprudence presumes guilt. The lower the role, the more readily the presumption of guilt is applied. Since Islam treats all people as inherently sinful, and therefore perpetually guilty, the higher the form of awareness, the more likely the Muslim is to avoid sin. A Muslim mam has more agency than a woman, and is more likely to do the right thing. A Muslim woman is considered to have less agency, which is why she must have a husband to master her, and why Islam considers her more likely to be at fault. Like slaves, women can only demonstrate their worth through submission to their masters. Muslim men in turn can only demonstrate their worth through submission to the will of Allah as expressed by the Imams. Since the core of Islamic law is held by Arab Muslims, they effectively serve as superior to non-Arab Muslims. And throughout it all, one thing is missing. Equality under the law and equal justice for all. If there is one thing that is innate to the functioning of a democratic society, it is that every person is legally equal under the law. It is also why Islamic Law or Sharia, is incompatible with a democratic society, because Islamic law presumes the inequality of everyone who is not a Muslim male as a given. Defenders of Sharia have tried to get around this by pointing to the things that Islamic law did not take away from women and non-Muslims while willfully ignoring the things that it did take away. This is a basic reality that Westerners have been kept deliberately ignorant of. Yet the moment a Western tourist sets foot in a Muslim country, she has left a system where she is legally the equal of anyone else, and entered a system in which she is dramatically unequal. A woman or any non-Muslim who enters a Muslim country is now under the power of a legal system that considers her or him inferior in morals, in character and in testimony. At the heart of the problem are the fundamentally different realities at the heart of law in a democratic nation and within Islam. Citizens of First World nations see the legal system as part of a social contract with a government of their choice. The law is the expression of the wishes and values of the citizenry. And it treats everyone as inherently equal under the law because otherwise fairness becomes impossible. By contrast Islamic law is not part of any social contract, it is a decree of the Prophet and the various Muslim figures throughout the ages who have interpreted his sayings. It is not part of a bottom up civil society, it is a strictly top down series of clauses that mixes tribal customs, stolen scraps of other religions, with the determined will of a ruthless, though illiterate, warlord. Islam does not recognize human equality. It is premised on human inequality. Women cannot be subject to the same laws as men, just as Mohammed was not subject to the same laws as men. Indeed the Koran records that Mohammed explicitly had the law rewritten on his behalf when he desired something, such as Zaynab, who happened to be married to his adopted son. A minor matter for the Prophet. The Koran also limited the number of permissible wives to four. This did not stop Mohammed from marrying as many as fifteen women. Muslims do not see the contradiction in any of this, because there is no premise of equality under Islamic law. You are only as “equal” as your spiritual standing within the Ummah permits. There is no “I” in Islam, except in the alphabetical sense. Islam means participation in the Ummah, the dead Mohammed’s “Kingdom of Heaven” on earth, as exemplified by the Muslim community as a whole, to be ideally expressed as the Caliphate that everyone from Al Queda on down to a hundred different regional ethnic terrorist groups such as Hamas, Abu Sayyaf, Hizbullah, the Taliban, Al-Ummah, Al-Faran and numerous others. What they all have in common is the mandate to enforce Islamic law as the only and absolute law, without any compromise, while scourging away any traces of Western law or culture whose pernicious individualism threatens the essential premise of the Ummah. The suicide bomber best expresses the contempt that Islam has for the individual, whose life is better off sacrificed, often unnecessarily, simply to prove the willingness of Muslim believers to kill in the name of Islamic rule. There can be no middle ground of compromise between Islamic law and civil law, because Sharia is not legal, it is religious. There can be no concession to the rights of the individual, because Islam does not recognize the worth of individuals or their power to make law, rather than be subject to it. It is why Islamic law is the antithesis of equal justice under the law, and the two of them cannot co-exist side by side. If Western nations admit Sharia, then they are admitting to a state of inequality under the law. And that will be Islam’s greatest triumph over the freedom of the individual and the equality of man.