Stephen Coughlin: The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Law, and the Death Sentence Against Terry Jones

“Shariah law is ultimately supposed to apply to the entire world.”

Major Stephen Coughlin (ret.) is perhaps the most knowledgeable non-Muslim expert on Islamic law in the United States. He was a researcher on the subject for the Joint Chiefs of Staff until a complaint from a Muslim advisor prompted the termination of his contract.

Last Saturday Vlad Tepes interviewed Maj. Coughlin about the recent death sentence by an Egyptian court against pastor Terry Jones and seven Egyptian Christians in the United States and Canada:

I used some of the same sources as Maj. Coughlin in my post last week about the Egyptian court’s decision. Excerpts from the relevant material, much of which was quoted in this video, is below the jump.

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.

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)

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 is obligatory. No matter what kind of Muslim you may be, you are in theory beholden to this rule.

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.

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; …

“Defamation” here means “slander and talebearing”, 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.”

8 thoughts on “Stephen Coughlin: The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Law, and the Death Sentence Against Terry Jones

  1. If Mr Obama and his gang don’t regard the murder by muslims of a US Ambassador as an act of war, and they aren’t prepared to protect their people in foreign lands, then I don’t expect them to be over concerned if a few civilians are murdered in the US by muslims.

  2. When I first began to seriously research Islam, I learned more from listening to one 20 minute talk by Stephen Coughlin than any other single source discussing Islam.

    I heard Stephen Coughlin define the single most important concept of Islam – abrogation – which sets in stone that later more violent pronouncements of Islam invalidate all earlier slightly more peaceful pronouncements of Islam.


  3. As you know, in the UK it is now law, upon punishment of imprisonment, that we are not able to criticise Islam, at all, let alone in the same manner as Judaism, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, or Pastafaranism.

    We dare not satire, poke fun, question, doubt, dispute, mock, query, interrogate, laugh at, ignore, reserve judgement, spoof, parody, or send up.

    And that is the end of our British humour (school boy though we may all be!).

    One Owen Jones, poster boy (and I do mean boy) of the left was so aggrieved at ‘Islamophobia’ in a recent column for ‘The Independent’ (not) newspaper, that he forgot that he, as a gay man, would be strung up in the Islamic world lest he desire so little of the fragrance of a man passing him on the stairs of his office.

    But try and suggest this, in comments to said column, and your advice will vanish. Faster than, well let’s say a gay man under Sharia law.

    The left hopes for a civil war. I think they may get one. But quite probably not the one they are dreaming of.

  4. Very informative post.
    Explains much of what has been puzzling me about muslim behaviour.

    The current state of affairs in the UK is horrendous.
    You need to insist on your right to personal freedom. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s the only way.

    I’m not so sure the European Left wants a civil war. The intellectual lefties have become part of the Establishment, working for the New World Order.
    I do feel though, that a major clean-up is on its way in Europe, and that we Europeans will once again be masters of our respective territories.


  5. Mr Dane I hope you are right but in England the night gets darker and darker and we hope that a metaphorical winter solstice will prove to be the low point after which the daylight will increase minute by minute until we are once again bathed in the sunshine of freedom and justice.

    I like to lay claim to Viking Danish dna so it is odd that, at the risk of offending you, I feel like King Alfred the Great who was driven to seek refuge in the marshes of Somerset in the 9th century where he brooded on and prayed as to how to defeat the great Danish heathen army under Guthrum. He did defeat him and had him agree to be baptised. So I am following his example and praying and brooding muchly and hoping for the same result against Marxism multicultural totalitarianism and Islam

    Not many English people realise that one of the recommendations of the Leveson ( Anglo-Saxon surname a corruption of Leofson – dear son ) Enquiry into press standards was to stop the press bashing muslims and asylum seekers. So if there is legislation to underpin any new controls on the press here then you will probably find that it insists on showing Islam only in a positive light. Well Lord Justice Leveson, I hope you fare well when Sharia law here is the norm.

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