In keeping with this mentality, the Sharia-Law.com website simply states, “Islamic law is about the Muslim religion, society, family and individual aspects of behavioral regulations. Also known as the Muslim law or Sharia.” (The word sharia in Arabic means “way” or “path.”) Sharia Law, then, is the comprehensive code of conduct, life, governance and religion for the committed Muslim, based on the teachings of the Quran and the example of Muhammad. And this means a different way of life.
To give this further context, many Americans are shocked to learn that fundamentalist Muslims commonly view our country as “the Great Satan.” On the one hand, our strong support of Israel causes us to be branded as the enemy. On the other hand, our worldliness and sensuality also cause us to be hated and despised by many in the Muslim world. By Islamic moral standards, the USA is the Great Satan and Europe is America’s closest ally in exporting godlessness.
This USA Today article, dating back to December 3, 1997, is worth quoting at length, as reporter Jack Kelley described an evening he spent with Islamic radicals in Egypt:
“As the night wears on, the militants grow more angry and more expressive. They turn their attention to the immorality of Westerners, whom they regularly refer to as ‘infidels.’ They cite figures on the divorce rate in the United States. They point to crime and drug use. They talk about America’s preoccupation with sex. ‘You will never find these things where true Islam exists,’ argues Ziad Ali, 34. ‘Islam is the only answer, not Christianity, not Judaism, not Buddha. Without it, America is going to hell.'"
“He points to a young Muslim woman outside the window below who is fully clothed from head to toe and even wearing gloves. Islamic practices vary from country to country but the norm is that women should cover their hair and bodies. . . . ‘That is how a woman must dress, not the way they dress in America, in Britain,’ Ali says. ‘In America, your women dress like harlots. They have no dignity. We want to change that here in Egypt so our harlots don’t go to hell.’”
This mentality is still common in countries like Libya and Egypt, both African nations with a long Islamic history, and both countries with a reemerging fundamentalist element. And that means the reemergence of Sharia Law. This really is no surprise.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.