Karen Lugo

Glenn Beck talks about a spooky alliance between Islamists and leftists. Newt Gingrich calls sharia law abhorrent and urges the western world to ban it. Bill O’Reilly says that sharia law allows for things that most Americans think are illegal. Sean Hannity challenges Imam Rauf’s agenda of imposing sharia law on America. Are conservatives erecting a sharia bogeyman -- or is there a real threat?

There is an easy answer that does not require historical knowledge, political insight or religious study. It is possible to know if sharia is a threat to American culture by looking at the amount of sharia influence accepted in Europe. As Europeans have been swallowing bits and pieces of sharia cultural codes, they have normalized enough sharia practice for Americans to assess whether the same process is occurring here.

First, civilizational jihad operates by stealth. Islamists are not going to announce that there is a plan to subtly and incrementally inject sharia-compliant practices into western culture. The concessions Europeans have made resulted from coordinated public relations campaigns that cornered the culture into caving or being called intolerant. Thus, a seemingly innocuous accommodation like serving halal (Muslim approved) foods in public school cafeterias – as part of a year-round, daily regime – becomes a soothing matter of kindness and tolerance and is not honestly recognized as preferring one group’s socio-religious demands. Since sharia touches every area of a practicing Muslim’s life -- personal, social, familial, political, and legal -- there are many more such demands to be made of compliant communities.

For example, many French are outraged by the closure of streets in districts of Paris and Marseille for Friday prayers. As Muslims barricade the streets, they block traffic for curb-to-curb prayers in defiance of laws in this strictly secular society. Police are nearby, now to keep this new order. This practice started on the sidewalks as a demand for larger state-funded mosques and now spreads by sections of streets. This creeping expansion of turf is an instructive metaphor for western culture’s initial willingness to compromise and ultimate inability to draw a line. The west’s lack of cultural identity is allowing what cannot be accomplished at the ballot box to be accomplished by multicultural coercion.

Currently, there are hundreds of Muslim enclaves in France where sharia practices dominate and the French sense of “liberte, egalite, or fraternite” do not penetrate.

Karen Lugo

Karen Lugo is the Founder of the Libertas-West Project and a co-director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.