Sharia Law – Theocracy or Democracy
Channel: Sherman Jackson
File Size: 56.49MB
Thanks. On behalf of the Muslim students awareness network and Islamic Society at Stanford University. I'd like to welcome you all to the second part of our annual Islamic awareness series, entitled, this year our jihad to reform the struggle to define our faith. First of all, we'd like to acknowledge and thank our co sponsors, the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, Dr. John Brockman, the Stanford Law School, the bounty program in Islamic Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, the Office of Religious Life, for free, the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Billy Achilles fun, and the Bank of International Center. Without their support, we would not have been
able to bring such amazing speakers to campus here. The title of today's talk is laying down the Sharia law, democracy or theocracy. Question one, Dr. Sam Jackson, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, we'll discuss whether
this Islamic legal system and code of conduct and religious practice is compatible at all in random such as schooling liberalism, democracy, secularism, and human rights. Too often, we have had this conception that all that is needed is to open the source text of Islam, and full fledged fully developed economic, social and political system pop out, ready to be implemented as Sharia law. Furthermore, the idea of the Sharia as a system in which the state has exclusive authority over the creation of a uniform legal food was not present in pre modern Western societies. And it is here that the Islamic legal tradition that originated in those societies can offer insights on issues
such as the relationship between the religious and political orders in the formation of public policy, in order for Muslim societies to define a democratic and pluralistic form of government, that at the same time is representative of their historical and social realities.
Before we get started, I have the great honor of introducing our speaker today, Professor Sarah Jackson received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Oriental Studies Islamic communities in 1990. Presently, he is a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies with a professor of law and professor of Afro American Studies at the University of Michigan. From 1987 to 89. He served as Executive Director for the Center of Arabic study abroad in Cairo, Egypt.
Professor Jackson has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University, and Maine State University. In addition to numerous articles on Islamic law, theology and history, he is the author of the following books, Islamic law and state, the constitutional jurisprudence should have been currently on the boundaries of theological currents in Islam, Abrahamic faiths, Africa, and most recently saw as a black American looking to birth the third resurrection. Professor Jackson is co founder of the song about the American Learning Institute for Muslims,
of primary instructor Haddix programs and a member of his board of trustees. He is also a former member of the State of North America, past president of the city of colors includes the issue of North America, and a past trustee of the North American Islamic trust. He is he's a thought after speaker and has lectured throughout the US and in numerous countries abroad. Please join me in welcoming.
Thank you very much for that very kind. Introduction. I do have something about the whole question begin with Dawn, I was standing there listening to all the things that my lecture is going to include. And I was wondering how you come on that before you actually heard my lecture.
I've had to make a sort of executive decision here as how to proceed. I have prepared a lecture. But I'm a bit afraid that if I don't do meaning that I might sort of float off into the ionosphere, and certainly check technicalities and issues that are germane to the field of Islamic studies but might not be quite that much interest to those of you who are here. So in lieu
that, what I'm going to try and do is simply talk to you. And what I hope will turn out to be an intelligent and
comprehensible form about the whole enterprise of Islam, Islamic law, and particularly the context of Muslims as they negotiate their place in the American project. And in that regard, I want to make it very clear that my primary concern here will be on this not the standard of law and the American state, and not, not the states of, of the of the Middle East, or the Muslim world. And I think that, obviously, there'll be any number of questions about the latter. Once I'm done, and I'll be more than happy to try and address them, to the extent that I that I can. Alright, so let me begin by saying the following. I want to contextualize my remarks this afternoon, by pointing to the
following observation, and I think it's very important for us to recognize this, but in order to arrive at the needed degree of objectivity, as we proceed to try and think both intelligently and fairly about the enterprise of the state of the world, and more specifically in the United States. And that observation has to do with the fact that the West has for some time now enjoyed a certain power of definition. But that is to say that it has succeeded at producing understandings of both itself, and others that the latter has felt compelled to somehow indulge more respond to. And in this sense, the West in general and the United States in particular, now, in particular, now, as the
leading sort of representative of the West, has found himself in a position where it has been able to play big brother, and by my brother, I'm not referring to the popular understanding of all well, where we generally think of the eradication of private space for what I'm talking about is the ability to sort of incentivize others into seeing the world in a manner that confirms us sensibilities, and interests. The theme I have in mind is sort of a crowning gesture of the entire book 1984, where the protagonist, Winston is put into a chair, and the official of the state holds up four fingers and says to Winstead, how many fingers am I holding up? And Winston says four. And
the state official says, No, I'm holding up five fingers, and then he tweaks the dialogue pane chair. And this continues all the way up to the point that once that finally explains that he's trying to see five fingers. Now a way in which this result is relevant to discussions on Islam, particularly in the West, is that Muslims
feel a certain pressure to try and prove that their religion is compatible with this for that real or a sensible, Western norm. And this often has the effect of putting us up putting us in a position where we're trying to speak across sort of conflicting values. When we're talking about Islam. We simply speak about the slab for which we sort of oscillate between speaking from the context of a medieval pre modern war and the modern war. And we oscillate between East and West, we oscillate between talking in terms of assimilation to the American project or participation in that. And the fact that this is almost
invariably a certain amount of abstraction.
Whereby we end up talking about an Islam that is not really real in terms of the way that it's concretize on the ground, in the life of any particular community. But it's sort of an abstraction that hovers somewhere over over the Atlantic. And this makes Islam a very sort of
elastic construct, that can be stretched in many different directions and outputs, many, many different possibilities emerge, some of them being justifiable or defensible, others lesser
what I want to do is to break out of these liminal spaces and talk about this in the very concrete context of America, that is to say, I want to plant my feet firmly in America and speak about the whole enterprise of Hamas.
Some kind of SLAM can come to terms with the American project.
Now, I want to say that this is not a blind capitulation to the dollar in order. In fact, what's most important about this particular approach, at least in my mind, is that it assumes that Muslims are possessed of agency, that awesome community in America is not simply some kind of empty vessel into which this sort of pre mixed effluvium called a slab is poured, and then sort of a quickened into this prefabricated Muslim community. On the contrary, Muslims in America are possessed of agency, and a way that Islam comes out looking more dependent on the kinds of choices that Muslims in America made. And part of the importance of these kinds of exchanges is that they are very
fundamentally informed the kinds of discussions that will go into the kinds of choices that Muslims will make, I want to make it clear as I proceed, that what is ultimately because in America will depend on time. And so there's a certain amount of sort of
the sort of theoretical dimension to what I want to say, because in terms of what Islam actually comes out to be, there's a ton of elements that cannot be ignored. Now, I'm gonna proceed on the basis of four basic questions. One, the legitimacy, Muslims living in a non Muslim democracy, to the legitimacy of Muslims being loyal to a Muslim democracy. Three, the question of Muslim Solidarity was the government and the people of a non Muslim democracy and for the legitimacy of Muslims sharing goals with the peoples and the government, a non Muslim democracy. Now, the question of Muslim Revenant? Is it a real sense of the leading question here that informs all of the other
questions, because after all, if it is not legitimate for Muslims to live in a non Muslim democracy, then of course, everything else that they say about loyalty, about solidarity, that cetera, is sort of a makeshift holding pattern that they will stick to only as long as they feel necessary or necessary, based on the level of power or the kind of situatedness that they come into, at which time, they may very well discard this particular approach. And so if we can establish the legitimacy of Muslims living in a non Muslim democracy, then of course, the kinds of answers that they prefer to questions having to do with loyalty, and solidarity can be invested with a summons, credibility.
we have heard, I think, many sort of warnings about the extent to which Muslims are given to the tendency to sort of tell American society at large, whatever it wants to hear, with regard to what Islam is and what it represents. And I think that the first thing that we need to understand about this or to consider about this, is that most of the focus in what has been said about critics are the Muslim voice in America has been based on an analysis of immigrant communities in America. In fact, there is a reading assumption, to the effect that all we need to do is look at the immigrant community. And that will tell us all in everything we need to know about Islam, and the
possibilities of Islam. And I think that it's important to stop and know here
that there is perhaps a difference between how an immigrant community and Muslims who come from other lands have sort of come to their articulations of Islam, the relationship between Islam and the American state, and how that indigenous community would do the same thing. In other words, questions of loyalty, question of solidarity, questions of empathy, will be very different for an indigenous Muslim community than as a community that is born in this country that emerges out of the great people of this country that has a history in this country, and those who come to this country from another land. And the point that we made here is not to get indigenous again.
in immigrant communities, but to point to a nother range of possibilities in terms of what Islam can be in America, that is to say that people who are Muslims who are thoroughly committed to their religion can on a visceral and a very natural level, coming into a mindset where as Muslims, they feel a sense of solidarity, they feel a sense of belongingness, they feel that sense of empathy with the people of the society in which they live. In fact, I'm reminded of this regard of an incident that happened not long after 911, there was this big meeting in a church in Philadelphia, was sponsored by Tavis Smiley, it was called the state of black America. And this is, of course, shortly
after 911. And it was still allowed. So not 11 Mania in the air. And the moderator for this particular section, asked a question of the past on the stage. And he asked, What can we as Americans do to make Muslims feel more welcome in this country? And sort of before he can get the question now, fully, the Reverend Reverend Al Sharpton stopped him and said the following. Wait a minute, we want to get something straight.
Because we must not lose sight of the fact that the Muslim community is already welcomed among us. Because in the black community in America, there is not a person in this church. He said, who doesn't have a brother, or a father, or his son, a sister, a cousin, someone in their lives will either relate to them by close to them by some relationship, who's not a Muslim. All right. And so the very idea that there is this essential contradiction between Muslims
identifying and having a sense of solidarity with non Muslims in a society like America, I think that that notion must be must be challenged.
But this is not really the fundamental point I want to make here. So let me move on to that. There are some very influential people who have
in the academy,
who have put forth the view that if Muslims are to be true to their religion, it is impossible for them to coexist peacefully and anonymously with non Muslims. And I want to get this one name here so that it's established. And I'm not trying to, how should I put this, I'm not trying to call anyone out, as it were. But I do want to establish that I'm not making this up. And that there are actually works out there have been published that you can console and see what it is that I'm saying. And I'm talking here about Professor Patricia kromm Princeton University. In her latest book, she makes the claim essentially, that as I said, it is impossible. And by the way, for those of you who are
writing things, now, that book is called God's law.
She makes the claim that it is impossible for Muslims if they are going to be sincere to their religion, to live honestly
and peacefully with us. This is because she had according to her is nothing less than an institution of religious imperialism.
Right? And Muslims, all this, understand that it must have do that influence as a religious duty, and only after they have successfully fulfill that duty that Muslims can peacefully and in good conscience live in any society. Professor Cardinal goes on to make the point that this is again, a religious duty. And in this context, non Muslims need not be guilty of any hostility. I think the Muslims, in fact, and I'm quoting here, their very existence is a cause of war and the Pope. Now she goes on to point out that the bottom of the slide above please dichotomy.
Donal harbor dichotomy is a religious prescription for Muslims, that is to say that Muslims prescriptively divide the world into a abode of Islam. And the goal of all Muslims can live and a bowl of Islam. But the only action that the
legitimate for Muslims to assume visa vie and above before is one of hostility. Now, what I want to do
the implication of this, of course, is that Muslims who come to live in a non Muslim power can only adjust to their reality by relaxing their commitment to truths.
And this is one of the ideas that then there is some credence to the idea that when Muslims speak about peace about Tama about a pluralism about coexistence, this is really nothing more than a tactical maneuver. It's designed to sort of buy time, and to the point that society sort of falls asleep, and wakes up one morning to find themselves in front of this brand Muslim power that has that look, to show its real faith.
by the way, these are very serious people who are writing this, this is not popular literature as well. This is this is this comes from the highest echelons of Medicare.
Now, what I want to do is
call attention to the fact that there are many aspects of this common religious tradition that are the result of history and religion. And this becomes a very difficult thing for many of us to get our minds around. And at times, I wonder how much of this is indebted to the sort of
enlightenment or post enlightenment attitude that we have towards religion, and the context of which Islam become sort of the quintessential pre enlightenment religion, the religion in which people sort of still believe in that that stuff, still really believe literally, in the dictates
of revenue revelation. And for that reason, religion is the explanation for virtually everything that they do.
Right? I don't know how I've heard this from credible sources.
Someone told me that right after a seven second happen in seven, seven, I'm trying to be hidden. Okay. Seven is the bombing in in London,
a Prime Minister Tony Blair said to someone go out and get your coffee and
of course, it's supposed to explain why, why, why, why SEVEN, SEVEN happens and and the more I was addressing here is that part of this may be indebted to the idea that for for sort of pre pre enlightenment, religion, religion is the answer for everything. So if you want to know why Muslims are doing what they do, or why they believe what they believe, you need any consulting nothing more than that.
On this idea, I want to challenge and I want to challenge a fundamental
and I want to do so through a reading of one of the most authoritative jurists Muslim jurists from the classical Muslim tradition. This is a man by the name of Mr. White
He was a
a journalist of the shadow a School of Law, and he wrote a big 14 Volume overs on Islamic law. He was a major authority in the field, and his books are still held on to steam and Weaver with authority today.
And this book
is clear that the designation of Mullah with a slap above a piece is not a religious prescription, but rather an historical description. That is to say, it is not a prescription for how Muslims should look at the world. It is a description of how Muslims around the world to me that is to say that Muslims basically look out at the world and discover that the only places where they can live as communities in peace are places of waste, they have political
when they find themselves as minorities and non Muslim lands, they find it very difficult and by the lens to the pre modern world. Now, they find it very difficult to survive as communities. Now, where the distinction, Ebola, the Ebola piece comes back. And the proof of this is that
in saying that any time,
any time a Muslim
finds himself in a country where he or she is able to preserve their religion, and practice the basic rudiments of their religion, even if they are not able to spread their religion, their religion, by persuasion, or by the sword, the mere fact that they are able to practice the rudiments of their religion, renders that country and above themselves
renders the country an abode of Islam. And Mr. B goes on to say basically, that a Muslim should find his or herself in such a situation, in a non Muslim politic, where they are able to practice the fundamental tenants of their religion, then that Muslim should not migrate from their country, and ultimately gives the implication that the reason for this is that if he's able, or she's able to practice their religion, by leaving that country, that country would be less likely to be guided to the slab. All right, now, we don't need to overdose on some of the sort of medieval connotations of
5g here. But the real point for us to recognize is that clearly, the whole notion of Ebola
and Ebola of peace is based on historical reality, not on religious prescription. Right. And therefore, if Muslims should find themselves in a general sense, in position, or in a historical circumstance or context, where in which it is possible for them to practice their their religion, then certainly, if we apply the logic, that the render the place where they live, and
now, Muslims here in America,
have constitutional guarantees,
freedom of religion, and yeah.
While they may differ on our understandings, or interpretation of how that is often concretized, certainly the idea of overt religious persecution, but it's not one that sits well in the context of the American constitutional board. And here, again, we run into a problem that is oftentimes confronted when thinking about Islam.
When we think about Muslim communities, in non Muslim policies, the tendency is to assume this dog the reality of criminal narratives, in which religious persecution would probably be the norm. Rather than think about modern reality. A modern reality says that that is the United States when that is not the case. All right, and what am I trying to get us to do is to ground our understandings and thoughts about the sun, in the concrete balance in concrete reality, the United States, now
there are there are many in the candidate who would
sort of locate Islam in a particular time and place and in particular mindset. And then I'm drawing on there, that this Mindset by all Muslims to that particular kind of standard, and on the faculty kind of understanding Muslims who live in modern politics, like America can only do so if they're not really, really, really committed to Islam. But now, I'm gonna go on and be fair here, because this is not simply a tendency that we find in Muslims. Muslims are also known to carry out these kinds of ideas. And one of the major ideas the disregard that I think, doesn't want to compete most of ability to come to terms with their reality in the modern West, is this idea of
and have you made it? I do called Hacking meow can explain that in just a second. And this is a very, very well known idea in sort of
Muslim activist circles. It was popular popularized by the Egyptian ideologues say,
a little bit for him, the fact of standing among among you. Now basically, the idea of media says the following
like that, that part of what the Muslim testimony of faith entails is that God, and God alone is the repository of all fundamental rights and obligations. In that context, anyone who recognizes manmade rights and obligations, basically challenges God's right rightful monopoly over the hanging down of law. In other words, to the extent that Muslims recognize men may law and manmade policies, they are guilty of violating Islamic monotheism by attributing to someone other than God, the right to make laws to confer rights and impose of obligations now.
And more duty and those who subscribe to this notion
or innocence, aided by the fact that there was an extended, I mean, the whole idea of God being repository of ultimate value, right, that is central to the religion of Islam. And there is no, there's no justifiable cause for attacking or amount duty on that score. But to to move from there to the idea that any man made law, that is to recognize any man made law
is to be guilty of violating Islamic monotheism, that is a stretch. And I've worked just
fine by the power.
In classical Islamic law, classical jurists always recognize a certain amount of legal discretion that was recognized to whom the ruler can make laws that govern all kinds of things, from licensing medical doctors, to requiring
makers to certify their needs, to
issuing licenses for people who will learn to teach
the lessons, etc. I mean, all of these things were aspects of laws and rules, that Muslim rule has been handed down. And this was universally recognized as being a part of the rulers discretion. Now, these were men made laws. All right, the only criteria that they had to say was that they not in any way fundamentally violate the law of Islam. Outside of that, however, they recognize not only has been legitimate, but perfectly necessary, because Islamic law is not a law that has every single solitary detail, what we need to regulate, like, you're not gonna find speed limits in the workplace.
And, of course, the ruler would have to come and implement some kind of rule that would regulate that reality. This was a part of classical this lab, man made to be sure, but in no way, a violation of that, right. Oh, Napoli over law, in fact, that one jurist who actually championed the idea that what we need is to promote greater greater discretionary powers to the rule, not in order to undermine the law, but actually to add to the efficacy of the law. And here we're talking about not so called
sort of liberal thinkers, now we're talking about jurists who are at the heart of the American Islamic legal tradition. In fact, some people who may habitually think of today as being as being puritanical,
even Taymiyah, for example, and his students, in real time and Dosia championed the idea of giving discretionary powers to the ruler in order to add to the efficacy of Islamic law, and in order to be able to realize justice, in instances where the actual dictates of the mangos of Islamic law seems to fall short.
So to give you an example of what I'm talking about, even the payment of dosi and says that this is rather disturbing, so just hold on to your seats, but it's his example not mine.
If a man
mutilates his wife's genitals
we're not talking about circumcision here.
But if a man mutilates his wife's genitals
Then it becomes illegal for him to divorce.
And if he shouldn't divorce, either because he wants to or because she wants to, then he remains financially responsible for her up until her death.
All right. Now this was clearly a violation of the letter of the law that he would find in any manual of Islamic law.
Even claiming those he insisted that the rule will be given this kind of discretionary power in order to be able to affect justice, in those instances, whereby, and literal application of the law would lead to injustice. And he and his teacher in a media are explicit in saying that any place we find justice, that has to be considered an application of asylum law. Now, my point here is not to argue, you know, for the substance of these deductions on the part of these jurists in 72 question, however, the whole idea that anytime that Muslims recognize a man made law, or a man made conjunction, they are somehow guilty of engaging in acts of shepherd or a violation of Muslim
monotheism. Now, there are all kinds of other examples of this, that we could, that we could point to Muslims. And this is another problem that we find in work such as those of safe political, and others is the following.
There's a fundamental difference, because what we have to consider here is the time period in which we exist. And we happen to be on the tail end of the government in the Muslim world, that says a lot of Islamic thought come out of the post colonial mode of thinking, that is to say, when Muslims were trying to sort of reposition themselves in such a way that they could reclaim rights and positions that they thought had been lost to them. All right. And part of that was to attack and to criticize the prevailing.
And what you'll find in all these words, is a very virulent attack on Muslim rulers who refuse to apply Islamic law. And that in itself, is it's fair enough.
I mean, just how we feel when the government tries not to apply the Constitution. It's the same sort of sentiment.
The problem, however, is that oftentimes these books are read with a sort of a false transfer ability than that that is to say that we assume that that which applies, but could theoretically be applied to a Muslim politic, that does not apply Islamic law applies equally to the politics that does not apply.
And the same way that Muslims should compose a Muslim polity that does not apply Islamic law, they should oppose a topic that does not apply some cloth. This is very problematic. And this was never the opinion for the attitude of pre modern jurists, pre modern jurors recognize non Muslim policies as legitimate, and the law of non Muslim politics as legitimate. And to make a very long story short, this is very easily identified in the principle of what is called expert territoriality. And then, without getting too technical here extraterritoriality produced institutions and Islamic law that are standard features in the manuals of Islamic law, that granted for example, merchants from
non Muslim countries who were traveling in Islamic lands and exemptions from Islamic law. All right, and, and allow for them to have their cases try according to the law of their own land. So if you are a musician
and you got into a dispute with a gentleman merchant, right, Islamic law will allow Italian law to adjudicate this dispute between the two of you, as opposed to impose Islamic law. All right, I mean, this was this was the attitude. Clearly they understood that that is their law. That is a legitimate law and we will see
Like I was failing in this particular incident. And the point that I'm making here, again, is the idea that a Muslims attitude towards a Muslim state that aligns God's law is not transferable to a non Muslim state that does not have Islamic law. In fact, I want to sort of backtrack, and then in a sense, and, and locate what is really at the heart of the sort of exaggerated opposition to everything that can be identified as, as as manmade law, because in the modern Muslim psyche, manmade law is has come to constitute an anathema when you hear that there's a very sort of sharp visceral reaction, because it's understood to be not only a violation of what a flaunting of God's
cart the reason for that is this, as I said, in pre modern times, Muslims are comfortable with a modicum of discretionary powers in the hands of a man. What happened is that
when modern Muslim states came into being, the state assumed a monopoly over the law. And when that monopoly over the law, it sort of from a Muslim perspective, from the perspective of Muslim activists, it abused that legal authority in an effort to supplant Islamic law with laws of foreign foreign art. It's in that context, that math name gets equated with a disregard for a contempt for God call.
In pre modern times, men may not have that connotation. And this is part of what we must be very careful about when we're trying to talk about this man. Because if we're not careful about the space in which we happen to be, we can equate men men, for example, with contempt for Islamic law, even in a place like America, where that is, I hope, clearly an implication. All right. Now, this raises
another very important issue, and there are only a few others that I want to get to that I think is very important to understand. And that is this, we tend to think of Islamic law,
as purely a matter of Muslim interpretation of Islamic scripture,
what renders something is planning is whether or not we can find some prescription or injunction that urges or requires of Muslims that they pursue. A second thing
is we want to know about the compatibility between Islam and democracy, for example.
What we look for is what where does n require Muslims to establish democracy?
And then the Muslims are sort of unable to show where the
dictates democracy, or whereas spontaneous reading of the format will lead to support for democracy, then the attitude is that you see, you see, it's not enough to really support democracy. And when Muslims say that they're just telling you what you want to hear. All right. Now, what I want to
what I want to try and convey to you is the fatwa
from its conception,
Islamic law has always included a reflex that said, that in society, that is pre Muslim society, that may be any number of ways of doing things, values and institutions that are perfectly fine. And what what we as Muslim jurists will do is process these on the God of Scripture. And anything that we find that is compatible with that, that is to say, does not violate that, we will then we ascribe with this lens.
In other words, non Muslim institutions can become Islamic ones, by a simple act of describing them with us.
So, for example, if you take some amid the symbol of Muslim societies, of course, I mean, the visual symbol is of course at the mosque with you have your
You're, you're home and you're, you're here, you're nice. And a rat that does not come from a cabana does not come from a practice of a profit center and have these types of things in, in medical homes Tina was the topic was, Muslims only found these in non Muslim lands, and we inscribe them with Islam, Mississippi. And they did this time and time again, with any number of legal institutions. All right. So what we're looking at is that Muslims may come to America, and they may find things in society, that beforehand did not put them that the practice of the Prophet did not put them, but which can certainly certainly
be processed in a manner that they can be inscribed, but is that necessary, they can become Islamic, not necessarily in the sense of being completely normative, or representative of an ideal, but certainly acceptable from the point of view of one who wants to live a life that is, that entails a serious commitment to religion. And so when we speak about Islamic Islamic law is not simply the dictates of the man and the Sunnah. And provenance that is place, or time has never been a source of Islamic law alone. And so when we talk about Islamic law in America, we should abandon this notion that what that entails is Muslims coming to America, and simply superimposing In other words,
American society ended up from the perspective of Islam has no legitimacy.
And a really, truly committed Muslim community will certainly want to do work for the American Water, taking the whole thing and why
wipe it out and replace it with an assignment. All right, this is none of the latest law. None of the way it's done, the clock has.
And this is, again, Islam, it's most of our classical discretion. And just give you one idea quickly.
That sort of underscores this fact.
If you go
to the table of contents, in any manual of Islamic law, classical Islamic law, you'll find all kinds of chapters. All right, chapters on
surety chapters on
deck for getting into chapters. ON TOUR LIVE,
you'll find all of these challenges.
The fact of the matter is that these chapters are not reflective of either the dictates of the Qur'an, all of a sudden, what we are reflected about is reality that was found in the last intuits, the Muslims came. All right, that reduce dispute situations that the Muslims then institutionalized invading Islamic law. So many of these institutions come from number of Muslim lands and non Muslim backgrounds. Some of them are accepted in total, some of them only after a certain amount of modification or adjustment. All right, but but this is the way typically that Islamic Law Group. Now,
this was a time when this was a numerical minority in these lands, in his book, conversion to Islam in the medieval period.
Richard bullet from Columbia University makes the point that the central lands of Islam did not become majority Muslims for centuries after the Congress.
Right? For centuries, Muslims were apolitical. That is to say they held power. But no America minority societies over which they assume rule well, majority non Muslim. All right. Now, think about the fact that all of the founders of the schools of Islamic law,
God during a period when Islam was a minority,
they all died in the third century of the Sun, which, according to Professor Bullock was before Muslim society became predominantly Muslim. And so what we're seeing here is an ability on the part of the staff to interact with non Muslim society in a manner that
recognizes that there may be any number of aspects of that social border, political or economic order that are perfectly legitimate from the perspective of Islam. And that can be adopted and inscribed with a legitimacy in Islam. Now, let me move on to very quickly the issue of loyalty. And here,
I've already alluded to the fact that we should not assume that whether or not Muslims are loyal to a party like America is based solely upon on religion. And I think this is something that we need to pay a special attention to, because what it does in a sense, is that it puts all the onus on the Muslim community, and assumes that behind you, or
let us assume assumes that the American state is conducting itself in an ideal fashion, or that the American social order is an ideal social order, I'm going to give you a sort of hypothetical that hopefully will aid us in how we think about this thing about the fall
It's, it's terrible.
You are a black American made me thirds,
you are driving on the back row of anywhere USA.
Your coverage that
you do not have a cell phone.
Therefore you have to get out of your car and his door to get help you get out of your car, you come upon a pack of
half these houses of American flags hanging outside
the other half.
Which of these houses do you love?
But the point that I'm being made here is
to ask this question to predominantly black American audiences or even audience audiences of color.
that the one on a flat?
All right. And the point that I'm making is that why is this not taken into consideration in terms of gauging whatever level of Aryan Nation that Muslims may have from the host polity? Why is religion, the only ingredient that's ever pointed to, you know, as an explanation for why Muslims may feel a degree of alienation? All right, I think this is a point that I mean, really calls out for, for some consideration. Now, two more points, and then we'll open for questions.
The other point is this. And then and this, I think, has a lot to do with a certain culture. And this is more so the case among immigrant Muslims, but there is an extent to which sort of by osmosis or inculturation, or even a number of indigenous Muslims have have adopted this. And this is this
classical or pre modern Islamic law
emerges out of what political theorists refer to as a, a weak state tradition.
While we've stated, I'm not talking about military power, all right. But I'm talking about states in which the state itself is not the focal point of people who primary identity.
In other words, pre modern states
are some of us. Over here, you have some the primary sense of loyalty to family tribe.
On the other hand, your primary public loyalties to religion set, even maybe School of Law. The state here is actually in the valley. And that's the lowest level of loyalty and sense of identity that people feel towards the outside.
I enjoyed the state.
My state is not the opposite.
They're the opposite. All right. You have no family here like family, and you know,
religion, maybe ethnic group or race here, and then the maximum sort of sense of identity. God well
to stay, that's better for America. All right. Now, the point that I'm trying to make here is that in coming out of a weak state tradition, all right, Muslims are still in a transitionary stage, where a Wednesday culture and forms there that sensibilities, about the degree of loyalty to give to anything, not simply the American state, but to any state. All right. And I know that there are some here who are winning it that that certainly can apply to the Muslim world, where most of them seem to be very loyal to their states. Wow, two things here, I would say, don't believe anything see, first. And then secondly,
Muslims identify with Muslim states, primarily as repositories of cultural and ethnic identity. That That isn't to say that, that, that, that to be an Egyptian, or to be an Indian, for example, is a Cultural Historical identity that precedes the state and transcends the state.
The state is held to be a sort of repository of that identity, and among races, that they identify with the state, in that state goes away, that's identified as Egyptians as Indians, etc, it is part of their ethnic identity, and it's on that basis that they identified with with the state. This is
a what you might want to call, you know, a certain gap. And that that's going to take a matter of time, before most of consulting emerged out this this weak state, a sort of mentality into a more strong state one, but here, I have just two little questions.
First, one of the issues and by the way, not only religious Muslims, but religious Christians in America have raised this point, Professor Steven Carter, for example, makes the point that one of the one of the issues that religion faces in America is that our thinking in America tends to begin with the state that the interests of the state and then to figure out somehow religion can be brought into conformity with the interests of the state. All right. Now, if that's the case, I think it's fair to ask the question.
Why religiously committed Muslims, or Christians for that matter what Jews for that matter, should not reserve their deepest religious commitments for something other than the state, given that the state is never going to prioritize a religion as a repository of values that, that inform and provide a basis for life. The second issue that I want to raise is this, let's suppose that Muslims emerge out of this weak state mentality, and they they arrive at a strong state political culture, that is to say that they identify with the state, and they don't look to the state
to do to provide him with and to to oversee a social political war, that is in conformity with their vision of
what would happen. If Muslims in America, for example, were to say, you know, what American state, we want to push for, for prosecution for adultery and fornication.
With that being looked upon as simply being purely a matter of Muslims pursuing legitimate interests. And by the way, if you will get this perspective of, of the black American community right now, for example, that's community where some upwards of 65% of children are born out of wedlock.
Would that be recognized as a legitimate aim? Or will this sort of be looked at as some sort of stuffy fifth column attempt to sort of impose the fettuccine out on society? And so the point that I'm making here is that, you know, the Muslims are to come into an identification with the American state. Then there are there are there are some, some some there's some give and take that has to be made on both sides. All right. Let me end by saying the following. I think that we are in a point in our history, where we are in desperate need of open, intelligent, honest and courageous discussions, debates and exchanges about the possibilities of America and the possibilities. Islam in America is
that we will not suffer from what the French intellectual diamond wars are refers to as the tyranny of the spectacle. The Tyranny of the spectacle, and when he's referring to is the fact that we end up in a society in which the images that are produced about a particular group, undermine our ability to actually encounter that group. In other words, I am talking to you face to face, I'm touching you, I'm exchanging with you. But rather than hear me, the image that is produced about me, comes between you and me, so that you can hear me and you can trust me, and therefore we cannot get beyond where we are right now. Of course, this is going to take a lot of courage, a lot of digging
deep. And I'm not making a political slogan here. But let me just end by saying, Yes, we can