Send your regards to Ken Falk at the ACLU of Indiana for succeeding in implementing Sharia law at our federal prisons. Yep, the Obama administration won't appeal the lawsuit he brought on behalf of the American Taliban, John Walker Lindh, to impose Sharia law at our federal prisons. After all, it wouldn't be fair to let all Muslim inmates gather daily together for group prayers. “We think the judge’s decision is correct and now it is final,” said Ken Falk, Lindh’s attorney and legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, “and it will allow Mr. Lindh and other Muslim prisoners to practice their religion.”
Lindh is the California native who was captured in Afghanistan fighting in combat alongside Taliban soldiers against American soldiers. As to the American soldiers Lindh helped kill and maim, Falk could care less. As long as Lindh gets to gather all of his fellow Muslim inmates together for a daily prayer to avoid committing a sin against Allah, that's all that matters. Never mind that an imam testified on behalf of the government that there is no such mandatory requirement that group prayer be practiced to avoid committing a sin in the practice of Islam. Lindh wasn't satisfied with prison rules that allowed him and his fellow Muslim inmates to pray together as a group only once a week like other religious groups.
What does this suit have to do with Shariah law, Gary?
It is Muslim practice to pray five times a day (individually or in groups); that's one of the "Five Pillars" of Islam.
"Community" or "congregational" prayer replaces the noonday prayer (one of the five), and takes place, usually, in a mosque.
What Lindh has requested is in no way a traditional Islamic practice and is not specified in any of the myriad extant versions of Shariah law.
Shari'ah in the prisons?
Interesting concept. But here's the problem. And this is from someone with a PhD centered in Islamic Studies:
Shari'ah (way, path, road in Arabic) has a number of components. Its core is theocratic, that is, those revelations found in the Qur'an that are legalistic. There are about 600 verses that could be considered legalistic with only about 80 specific ones. Thus the Shari'ah also draws from the ahadith (sing. hadith) that are reports of the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, that is, what he said or did or allowed to be said or done in his presence. The idea here is that Muhammad, being a prophet of God, was most familiar with God's intentions as to how a person should behave himself.
Another component of the Shari'ah are the decisions of religious scholars/jurists made by interpreting the above sources and applying them to the circumstances before them. For the majority of Muslims, the Sunni-s, this ijtihad (original jurisprudence) was stopped in the 10th cen. CE and after that only applied interpretations of these original decisions allowed. For the Shi'ah jurisprudence never stopped and also includes the ahadith of twelve Imams.*
But a fairly large part of the Shari'ah, and something that I think allowed Islam to quickly expand** in the first century and half of its existence, is local tradition modified by and modifying the other parts of the Shari'ah. Thus the Shari'ah in one area is not necessarily the same Shari'ah one would find elsewhere. The result of this can be seen in the extreme example of the various ways adultery is punished in different Islamic countries.
So knowing this, my questions for those calling for the application of the Shari'ah ANYWHERE are:
And who gets to decide?
*This is another lecture.
**By around 710 CE areas under Islamic control stretched from the Pillars of Hercules to the banks of the Indus River.
It is Muslim practice to pray five times a day (individually or in groups)."
The operative word their is "or." They are permitted to pray five times a day individually as they please. The prison officials only limited their ability to pray in groups to once a week. That is not a violation of Islam. This clown Walker Lindh made up some sect that he claims allows him only to pray in groups. That's BS, and every Muslim knows that. They're doing nothing but making a mockery of our judicial system, just like Maj. Hassan is doing in that military tribunal that can't seem to figure out how to bring him to justice years after he slaughtered 13 of his fellow solidiers at Ft. Hood. The only thing they've figured out there is that a military judge showed bias because he ordered Hassan to shave his beard in accordance with military rules since he is, after all, still a member of the military, even if he did commit an unforgivable act of terrorism against his fellow soldiers.
Why did you headline your post "Sharia Law Will Rule Federal Prisons"?
According to Islamic practice -- and, your comment, above, Shariah law has nothing to do either with Lindh's request or the decision to grant it.
The point, Ellen, is that the prison officials had a uniform policy that respected the rights of inmates to practice their religion. Special rules are being forced on the prison officials that give no consideration to the burden imposed on them to have to monitor what is taking place during these daily group prayer meetings--a privilege that isn't offered to any other religious groups. My use of Sharia law is the insistence of some who practice this religion that their rules trump the laws and rules that our civil justice system has put in place. Any time those rules are being abrogated when the enforcement of those rules don't interfere with the exercise of one's religion, that is wrong. That is what is happening here.
Let me repeat Ellen's comment, Gary:
"Shariah law has nothing to do either with Lindh's request or the decision to grant it."
Lindh isn't playing the "Islam" trump card in this, because there is no Islamic requirement for daily communal prayer.
He's playing the "I can ask for something outrageous because I'm famous" card, and the federal prison system caved.
All of this has nothing whatever to do with Shariah law, and your headline is misleading at best.
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