Pastor Terry Jones, the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has been sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court. Also sentenced along with Rev. Jones were Mark Basseley Youssef, the maker of the notorious Mohammed movie, and six other U.S.-based Egyptian Christians, including a woman who converted from Islam to Christianity.
Everyone should note that this judicial farce was composed and performed in glorious utopia of post-revolutionary Egypt, the Jewel of the Arab Spring, the new democratic heartland of the recently freed Arab world, a land ruled with justice and mercy by none other than President Mohamed Morsi of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the darling of President Barack Hussein Obama.
The charge against the eight defendants, which carries a death sentence under Egyptian law, was “harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam, and spreading false information”.
Anyone who is familiar with shariah will recognize the above as ghiba, or slander, under Islamic law. Insulting Islam or the prophet is a form of ghiba, and is punishable by death.
To better understand what this means in an Islamic context, I’ll resort, as I often do, to ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper. It is commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English.
My citations are from the Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994) of “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller.
When the Muslim Brotherhood talking heads on TV tell us that there is no single version of shariah, but lots of different versions, they are engaging in sacred misdirection (kitman) — a perfectly lawful action under shariah. In actuality, Al-Misri’s codification is officially considered an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law, because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar; it is the closest equivalent to the Vatican that can be found in Islam.
Let’s take a quick look at what “slander” means to a devout Muslim. The following is from Reliance of the Traveller, book R. “Holding one’s tongue”, Section 2.0, “Slander (Ghiba), r2.1 (page 730):
Slander and talebearing are two of the ugliest and most frequently met with qualities among men, few people being safe from them. I have begun with them because of the widespread need to warn people of them.
Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike…
As for talebearing… it consists of quoting someone’s words to another in a way that worsens relations between them.
This is not the common Western understanding of slander. According to the Islamic definition, to slander someone is to say something about him that he would not like.
Continuing with “Evidence of Prohibition”, r2.4:
The above define slander and talebearing. As for the ruling on them, it is that they are unlawful by consensus…of Muslims.
This means that the legal ruling is absolute.
On page 732, the words of Mohammed:
|(2)||“Do you know what slander is?” They answered, “Allah and His messenger know best.” He said, “It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.” (r2.6)|
|(3)||The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He does not betray him, lie to him, or hang back from coming to his aid. All of the Muslim is inviolable to his fellow Muslim: his reputation, his property, his blood. (r2.6)|
So if I say something about Islam that is true, but Muslims do not want anybody to know, I am still guilty of slander under Islam. This is a vastly different understanding of slander from anything Westerners are used to.
This is why the simple act of quoting from the Koran or the hadith can be considered slander against Islam — provided that a non-Muslim is the one who does the quoting.
The heart of the matter lies in “Talebearing (Namima)”, r3.0 and r3.1 (page 740):
In fact, talebearing is not limited to that, but rather consists of revealing anything whose disclosure is resented… The reality of talebearing lies in divulging a secret, in revealing something confidential whose disclosure is resented. A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim…
This bears no resemblance to our understanding of what slander or defamation mean. It is fundamentally different. And it is obligatory. No matter what kind of Muslim you may be, you are in theory beholden to this rule.
By allowing Muslim moderates and cultural experts to tell us what we are allowed to know, and then parroting it back to each other, we have submitted to Islamic law.
Defamation against Islam — slander, ghiba — is considered an act of apostasy. Consulting Book O, “Justice”, in Reliance of the Traveller, we learn that the following acts are considered “leaving Islam” (o8.7):
Among the things that entail apostasy from Islam… are: …
(4) to revile Allah or his messenger… (5) to deny the existence of Allah… (6) to be sarcastic about Allah’s name… […] (15) to hold that any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent… (16) to revile the religion of Islam… […] (19) to be sarcastic about any ruling of the sacred law… (20) or to deny that Allah intended the prophet’s message… to be the religion followed by the entire world…
So what is the penalty for non-Muslims who commit any of these crimes? To start with, look at what happens to dhimmis, those who have submitted to Muslims and become non-Muslim subjects — Ahl al-Dhimma — of the Muslim state. Once again, from Reliance of the Traveller, Book O, o11.10:
The agreement [with the dhimmi] is also violated… if one of the subject people… (5) …mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam.
And o11.11 says:
When a subject’s agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between the four alternatives mentioned above in connection with prisoners of war (o9.14)
What do prisoners of war have to do with non-Muslims who commit slander? A look at o9.14 clarifies the meaning: Anyone who has dhimmi status is a prisoner of war in a state of abeyance. If he breaches the dhimmi contract, he reverts to the status of a prisoner of war. This is very important: a dhimmi is not just a second-class citizen, he is a prisoner of war who is in a state of abeyance.
The text from book O, “Justice”, section 9, “Jihad”, “Rules of Warfare”, o9.14:
When an adult male is taken captive [the women and children are made slaves], the caliph… considers the interests… of Islam and the Muslims… and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy.
Thus a dhimmi who slanders Islam reverts to the status of a prisoner of war, and the treatment of prisoners of war is mandated by o9.14 as described above. But none of this applies to us, does it? It could not possibly happen in 21st-century America…
Or could it?
It just happened to Terry Jones. He can thank the Lord that he lives in Florida, which will not extradite him to Egypt so that the sentence against him can be executed. But he would be well-advised not to book a Nile cruise anytime soon.
The language in Reliance is clear: it attempts to make defamation of Islam a crime, with “defamation” being defined by Islam. It aims to deny non-Muslims the right to talk about Islam. This is not defamation as understood in Western terms. “Defamation” under Western law still allows for freedom of speech, unless speech is taken to the extreme of incitement to violence.
But when Muslims accuse someone of defamation, they mean that he does not have the right to talk about Islam. Period.
And our governments are beginning to enforce their version of defamation. The Istanbul Process, the noble endeavor on which our illustrious Secretary of State is so keen, plans to implement shariah in America in incremental fashion.
Under the Istanbul Process, “freedom of expression” will in future be defined by Islamic law. To understand what “freedom of expression” means under the influence of “defamation of Islam”, take a look at the “About OIC” webpage for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation:
Under the Charter, the Organization aims, inter alia, to… Protect and defend the true image of Islam, to combat defamation of Islam and encourage dialogue among civilizations and religions; …
And what is meant by “defamation” here?
Why, “slander and talebearing”, exactly as described above!
In other words, defaming Islam “means to mention anything concerning a [Muslim] person that he would dislike” or “quoting someone’s words to another in a way that worsens relations between them.”
We cannot come to grips with what slander means under Islamic law until we understand what can and cannot be permitted. Under Islamic law, it is entirely possible that if someone says something that is demonstrably true, but is not something that benefits Islam, that person can be judged guilty under the Islamic concept of slander.
This is how Terry Jones “slandered” Islam. This is why he was condemned to death.
And this is the future of America if Hillary Rodham Clinton and the OIC have their way.