Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Raymond Ibrahim, PJ Media: Does the Hijab Reflect “Adherence to Sharia Law”?


Does the Hijab Reflect “Adherence to Sharia Law”?

The recent outrage surrounding Jeanine Pirro’s remarks concerning the hijab is a reflection of the abysmal degree to which common sense is under assault in America.
Context: While discussing Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s anti-Israel remarks with Nancy Pelosi, Pirro said:
This is not who your party is. Your party is not anti-Israel. She is. Think about this, she’s not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democratic Party, so if it’s not rooted in the party, where is she getting it from? Think about it. Omar wears a hijab which according to the Quran 33:59 tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?
Common sense dictates that this is a fair question.  If Muslims meticulously follow the minor, “outer” things of Islam, including dress codes, logically speaking, does that not indicate that they likely also follow, or at the very least accept as legitimate, the major, “inner” themes of Islam—such as enmity for and deceit of the infidel, and (when capable) jihad?
Tawfik Hamid, a former aspiring terrorist, accurately observes that “the proliferation of the hijab is strongly correlated with increased terrorism…. Terrorism became much more frequent in such societies as Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, and the U.K. after the hijab became prevalent among Muslim women living in those communities.”
The reason for this correlation is clear: Islamic Sharia commands jihad (“terrorism”) against unbelievers no less than it commands Muslim women to don the hijab. Where one proliferates—evincing a societal adherence to Sharia—so too will the other naturally follow.
In other words, Muslims who adhere to non-problematic aspects of Islam also tend to adhere to problematic aspects of Islam.  Why? Because the selfsame source—Sharia—contains both “moderate” and “radical” teachings (distinctions that exist only in the Western mind).
In this regard, consider the findings of an important 2011 Arabic language article titled (in translation), “The Truth about the Moderate Muslim as Seen by the West and its Muslim Followers.” Its author, Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Khadr writes: 
Islamic researchers are agreed that what the West and its followers call “moderate Islam” and “moderate Muslims” is simply a slur against Islam and Muslims, a distortion of Islam…  They also see that the division of Islam into “moderate Islam” and “radical Islam” has no basis in Islam—neither in its doctrines and rulings, nor in its understandings or reality.

Khadr goes on to list all the many things true (“radical”) Muslims accept—including enmity for and jihad against non-Muslims, the execution of apostates and blasphemers, and men’s dominance over women.  Among his findings is this sentence: “Radicals embrace the wearing of hijabs and niqabs; moderates reject it.”
The correlation between outer signs of piety and inner radicalization are hardly limited to the hijab.  Consider the Muslim beard, which is the defining physical characteristic of observant Muslim men no less than the veil is for observant Muslim women. Because Muhammad wanted his male followers to look different from Christians and Jews, he ordered them to “trim closely the moustache and grow the beard.”  
At the same time, wherever one looks, Muslim men with mustache-less beards—such as ISIS members—are involved in “radical” activities.
In 2011, many popular Egyptian clerics (most deemed “radical” by Western standards) called on all men in Egypt to show their obedience to Islam by growing their beards.  Amr Adib, a secularized Egyptian personality mocked this call on his television show: “This is a great endeavor! After all, a man with a beard can never be a thug, can never rape a woman in the street, can never set a church on fire … and can never be dishonest!” 
His sarcastic point, not missed on his viewers, was that it is precisely those Muslims who follow the outer minutia of Islam who are most prone to engage in more “radical” activities, such as raping unveiled/infidel women, burning churches, and engaging in subversive tactics against the state.  Towards the end of the program, Adib spoke more seriously, saying this issue is not about growing a beard, but rather, “once you grow your beard, you give proof of your commitment and fealty to everything in Islam.”
Similarly, one can say that, once you don the hijab, “you give proof of your commitment and fealty to everything in Islam.” 
This is evident in that the reverse is also true: stripping off the hijab is one of the chief ways that nominal Muslim women living under Islamic rule celebrate their break from or defiance against Sharia.  Recall for instance the many Iranian women who during protests against the Islamist regime publicly stripped off their veils. As Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, once explained “the reason for the hijab is not based on safeguarding chastity or protecting the family, but rather, like all of its suppressive laws, it’s just another method to keep the Iranian people in line” with Sharia.
That “the reason for the hijab is not based on safeguarding chastity” and more about demonstrating conformity to Sharia can also be seen in the sex jihad phenomenon: the first thing young Muslim women did before traveling to Syria to provide lonely Islamic State fighters with “comfort” was to don the hijab: both deeds—dressing “modestly” but also effectively engaging in prostitution—were not seen as contradictory but rather proof that they were good Muslim women following the rules of Islam and making sacrifices to empower it.  
Does all this mean that a woman who wears a hijab is a clandestine ISIS member committed to the fall of America?  Of course not.  It simply means that, connecting the dots between outer and inner forms of Muslim piety, and raising it as a question, as Pirro did, is as commonsensical and prudent as complaining about it is not.
RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (Da Capo, 2018), Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery, 2013), and The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007).
Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times Syndicate, CNN, LA Times, Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, United Press International, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard; scholarly journals, including the Almanac of Islamism, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hoover Institution’s Strategika, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, and Middle East Review of International Affairs; and popular websites, including American Thinker, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Christian Post, Daily Caller, NewsMax, National Review Online, PJ Media, and World Magazine. He has contributed chapters to several anthologies and has been translated into dozens of languages.
Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, and NPR; he has done hundreds of radio interviews and some of his YouTube videos (here and here for example) have received over a million views each.
Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, has briefed governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts.
Ibrahim’s dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East—has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former. His interest in Islamic civilization was first piqued when he began visiting the Middle East as a child in the 1970s. Interacting and conversing with the locals throughout the decades has provided him with an intimate appreciation for that part of the world, complementing his academic training.
After a brief athletic career—including winning the 1993 NPC Los Angeles Bodybuilding Championship as a teenager—Raymond went on to receive his B.A. and M.A. (both in History, focusing on the ancient and medieval Near East, with dual-minors in Philosophy and Literature) from California State University, Fresno. There he studied closely with noted military-historian Victor Davis Hanson. He also took graduate courses at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies—including classes on the history, politics, and economics of the Arab world—and studied Medieval Islam and Semitic languages at Catholic University of America. His M.A. thesis examined an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on arcane Arabic and Greek texts.
Ibrahim’s resume includes serving as an Arabic language and regional specialist at the Near East Section of the Library of Congress, where he was often contacted by and provided information to defense and intelligence personnel involved in the fields of counterterrorism and area studies, as well as the Congressional Research Service; and serving as associate director of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia think tank.
He also often functions as a journalist and has been a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a CBN News analyst.  His knowledge of Arabic and familiarity with Middle Eastern sources have enabled him to offer breaking news.  Days before the Obama administration blamed an anti-Islamic movie for Muslim uprisings against a U.S. consul and an embassy in Libya and Egypt respectively, Ibrahim showed that the demonstrations were pre-planned and unrelated to the movie.  Similarly, he was first to expose an Arabic-language Saudi fatwa that called for the destruction of any Christian church found on the Arabian Peninsula.
Raymond Ibrahim is currently the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.