Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Sharia Reports a Threat to American Ideals - updated 6/12

Sheila Musaji

Posted Jun 12, 2011      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Sharia Reports a Threat to American Ideals

by Sheila Musaji

THE FIRST SHARIA REPORT - Sharia: The Threat To America

This week, a 177 page report was released by the Center for Security Policy titled Sharia: The Threat To America.  The Center for Security Policy was founded by Frank Gaffney who is also its’ director. 

The group putting this together call themselves Team BII and are identified in the document as:  Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin—US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.  Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster—US Army (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency.  Christine Brim—Chief Operating Officer, Center for Security Policy.  Ambassador Henry Cooper—former Chief Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative.  Stephen C. Coughlin, Esq. —Major (Res.) USA, former Senior Consultant, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Michael Del Rosso—Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute and Center for Security Policy.  Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.—former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting), President, Center for Security Policy.  John Guandolo—former Special Agent, Counter-Terrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Brian Kennedy—President, Claremont Institute.  Clare M. Lopez—Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy.  Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons—US Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.  Andrew C. McCarthy—former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney (Southern District of New York); Senior Fellow, National Review Institute; Contributing Editor, National Review.  Patrick Poole—Consultant to the military and law enforcement on antiterrorism issues.  Joseph E. Schmitz—former Inspector General, Department of Defense.  Tom Trento—Executive Director, Florida Security Council.  J. Michael Waller—Annenberg Professor of International Communication, Institute of World Politics, and Vice President for Information Operations, Center for Security Policy.  Diana West—author and columnist.  R. James Woolsey—former Director of Central Intelligence.  David Yerushalmi, Esq.—General Counsel to the Center for Security Policy.

A number of our elected officials have backed this report.  These folks are among those who have forgotten that they represent “we the people” and that includes American Muslims. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) both participated in the press conference announcing the reports release.  Who are these elected officials?

Rep. Michele Bachmann has said “not all cultures are equal, not all values are equal,” letting it be known that she thought that people of the Muslim faith had an inferior culture to that of the United States and the West.  She also called the American Muslims who came to pray at the Muslim Day of Prayer on Capitol Hill “terrorist sympathizers” and “Islamo-Fascist bastards”. 

Rep. Pete Hoekstra is the the guy who breached the security of a Congressional delegation’s trip to Iraq by broadcasting its whereabouts and itinerary on Twitter.  Hoekstra called for a boycott of mainstream Islamic organizations, although the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit seeks the cooperation of such organizations for homeland security.  As Steve Benen noted “When it comes to national security issues, Hoekstra has one of the more transparently ridiculous track records of any member of Congress in recent memory. We are, after all, talking about a partisan clown who held a press conference in 2006 to announce, “We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

This report attempts to make up (by its length, and by working in every possible conspiracy theory that has ever been suggested about Muslims into one document) for the fact that it is utter nonsense.  Daniel Luban points out about this report:

“Suggesting that sharia is “the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time”, the report offers far-reaching – and to critics, draconian – proposals for how to combat it.    These include banning Muslims who “espouse or support” sharia “from holding positions of trust in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States”. The report similarly recommends prosecuting those who espouse sharia for sedition, and banning immigration to the U.S. by those who adhere to sharia.    Few scholars of Islam would agree with the report’s conception of “sharia”. The word (typically translated as “the way”) is a broad term referring to Islamic religious precepts, and thus there are as many interpretations of sharia as there are interpretations of Islam.    Even moderate practitioners of Islam, like all religious believers, strive to adhere to their conception of what sharia requires. This does not, however, mean that they necessarily aim to impose sharia, much less a fundamentalist version of sharia, on others.”

The report manages to work in the anti-Muslim memes of “stealth jihad” p.12, contributing to charity as something subversive p.16, Muslim “demographic jihad” p.127, Sharia as some sort of disease that Muslims spread by their very presence p.130, etc.  This report joins the What Everyone Knows School of Islam which repeats the same old claims over and over:

“everyone knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are inherently violent.  Everyone also knows that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that they are not a part of our American heritage, that they are all militant,  that Islam makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West,  that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, and an “evil encroaching on the United States”, and not a religion.  Everyone knows that this is a Christian nation, which everyone knows the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law, and by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers.  Everyone knows that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution.  Everyone knows that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.  Their goal is world domination under a Caliphate.  They don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.  Everyone knows the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, that Allah is a moon god.  The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

The report released right in the middle of the Cordoba House/Park51 controversy, and starring many of the same characters just adds to the anti-Muslim bigotry being stirred up.  The hate campaign that has been waged against Islam and Muslims by a certain extremist segment of the American population has seen no parallel since the anti-Semitic hate campaign against Jews in Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  This hate campaign is evil, but it has been extremely successful.  American Muslims have become “the other”, not to be trusted, not good Americans.

This looks like a think tank product, but the only thought that went into it was bigotry and a determination to prove a pre-determined point of view.  They have styled themselved team BII, referencing a 1976 Reagan era analysis of the Soviet Union as a continuing threat to the U.S.  BII has simply replaced Islam with Communism to keep alive the dream of eternal war. 

As Frank Woodward points out: “The fact that Washington’s foreign policy establishment won’t take the report seriously is beside the point since Islamophobia needs neither the consent nor the interest of the establishment or the mainstream media in order to continue its advance across America.”

I will leave it to Islamic scholars to tear apart the scholarship of this attack on Sharia.  I will stick to simply looking at the individuals and organizations involved with the production of this report.


Ret. Gen. William Boykin said in an interview: “What we are not seeing first and foremost is the fact that Islam is not a religion. It is a totalitarian way of life. There is a religious component. But we still treat it as a first amendment issue when in fact it is a totalitarian way of life.  And when you think Islam you need to think Sharia law. Sharia law is the law that subjugates women, that cuts off the hand of the thief, that beheads the adulteress, that’s sharia law, and that’s what Islam is. It is a legal system more than anything else, with a religious component. And people simply do not understand that. And consequently, Skip, we still treat it as a first amendment issue.  ...  And we continue to categorize them as extremists or radicals or people who are not following the dictates of Islam, well the reality is they are following the dictates of Islam and all we’re doing is playing their game of propaganda when we refuse to acknowledge that they are terrorists, they are Jihadists, they’re Muslims, they’re Islamists, and they want to destroy our constitution and replace it with Sharia law.”  Boykin said Islam “is not a religion,” Boykin told Human Events. Extending First Amendment protection to Muslims, he added, was a “fundamental mistake.”

Stephen Coughlin  Fox News reported that “Stephen Coughlin was fired from his job at the Pentagon after a confrontation with one of the deputy defense secretary’s aides, which ended with Coughlin being called, “a Christian zealot with a pen.”  He was a speaker at the controversial CPAC event “Jihad: The Political Third Rail,”  sponsored by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. 

FRANK GAFFNEY, as the director of the Center for Security Policy who put together this group and issued this report requires special mention.  There really isn’t an Islamophobic controversy that Gaffney hasn’t been involved with:
- Gaffney is a “birther”.  He said in an article Another question yet to be resolved is whether Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States, a prerequisite pursuant to the U.S. Constitution. There is evidence Mr. Obama was born in Kenya rather than, as he claims, Hawaii. There is also a registration document for a school in Indonesia where the would-be president studied for four years, on which he was identified not only as a Muslim but as an Indonesian. If correct, the latter could give rise to another potential problem with respect to his eligibility to be president.  
- Gaffney smeared the names of two Muslim White House staffers and unfairly charged Grover Norquist with giving White House access to “radical Muslims.” 
- Gaffney commented in an article that Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court is part of a secret ploy to institute Sharia law in the United States. The article was accompanied by a photo of Elena Kagan in a turban.     
- Gaffney contended in a Washington Times editorial that the efforts to use non-interest measures to do banking transactions was a Muslim conspiracy to impose Islamic law on the United States. 
- Gaffney in the Wash. Times said It increasingly appears” Obama “will be embracing the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood. 
- Gaffney wrote an article titled Understanding Islam’s Threat to the U.S. Vital.  Note, he didn’t qualify Islam in any way. 
- After Pres. Obama’s Cairo Speech Gaffney said “there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”  He said “Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America’s first Muslim president.” (This article seems to have been removed from the web?)  However, there are many articles still existing that refer to Gaffney’s article including this one in the Washington Times.
- Gaffney used a fake quote from Abraham Lincoln to make his point in another article that objection to the war in Iraq was “treason”.  (This article has also been removed)  Glenn Greenwald’s article discussing this fake quote and Gaffney’s article is still online.
- Gaffney accused MPAC of being “pro-Hamas” and having a “Wahabi” ideology. And, he accused ISNA of supporting terrorism.
- Gaffney is one of the regular speakers at David Horowitz’ annual Islamo Fascism Awareness Week on college campuses. 
- When asked by MSNBC host David Shuster and Mother Jones’s David Corn for proof of Obama’s supposed willingness to submit to Sharia, Gaffney pointed to a secret “code” Obama is using — which apparently only he, al Qaeda, the Saudis, and the Taliban understand: CORN: Where in that speech does he say we’re going to submit to anybody?  GAFFNEY: “I think what he is using is code — … When he uses the word “respect,” in the context of a waist-bow to the king of Saudi Arabia, for example, and talks about respectful language, which is code for those who adhere to Sharia that we will submit to Sharia. We will submit to the kind of program.” 
- Gaffney said regarding the the U.S. Missile Defense Logo:  A just-unveiled symbolic action suggests, however, that something even more nefarious is afoot… Team Obama’s anti-anti-missile initiatives are not simply acts of unilateral disarmament of the sort to be expected from an Alinsky acolyte. They seem to fit an increasingly obvious and worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam and the theo-political-legal program the latter’s authorities call Shariah… the new MDA shield appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo… Watch this space as we identify and consider various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team.
-  Gaffney published an over the top Islamophobic rant calling the proposed Cordoba House/Park51 center “a durable, symbolic taunt by our enemies about their bloody victory”, which is “designed to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Shariah, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful and eroding resistence to their demands for separate and (for the moment, at least) equal treatment in America.”  He also uses all the tired cliches - taqiyya, stealth jihad, etc. 
- Gaffney regularly suggests that any opposition to his positions is taqiyya which we have dealt with previously.
- Gaffney said about the newly opened Zaytuna College “This is stealth jihad in the sense that it is about promoting in the United States incubators for sharia,” the religious law of Islam.”
- Gaffney made a web video in opposition to Park51 that says: “If we let them defile Ground Zero with a beachhead for sharia we will validate their sense of victory on 9/11 and encourage future attacks on America. No mosque at Ground Zero.” He also wrote that “the twin towers were destroyed on 9/11 by adherents to the barbaric, supremacist and totalitarian program authoritative Islam calls ‘Shariah.’”
- One of the anti-mosque rallies was sponsored by a group called The Coalition to Honor Ground Zero.  They sponsored one of the most hateful rallies against the Cordoba House/Park51 Center.  However, as Glenn Greenwald has reported “The group which sponsored this rally has a website—the repellently named—which is registered to The Center for Security Policy, the group of Frank Gaffney.”

As Louay Safi points outJohn Guandolo involved himself in the Rifqa Bary case and in an article published by CSP, uses misleading arguments to fault the FDLE and defend the fundamentalist Global Revolution Church. Guandolo accuses the FDLE investigators of negligence and willful blindness, and urge Florida Governor Charlie Crist to dismiss the current investigative team and appoint another one that will vindicate his version of the case.  ...  How do I know that Guandolo got his facts wrong? Well, he used, or rather distorted, my own writings on the issue of apostasy to advanced his prejudicial views on Islam and American Muslims. Guandolo proclaims that “a due diligence review would reveal the existence of authoritative Islamic Law” and found that “Islamic Law - which is real law - has requirements and rules as to how to deal with those who leave Islam.”    One crucial piece of evidence of his “due diligence review” comes from a book “Peace and the Limits of War.”  Guandolo writes: “In it, Mr. Safi notes that individual apostates cannot be killed for a ‘quiet desertion of personal Islamic duties,’ but can be put to death as ‘just punishment’ when the apostate deserts Islam publicly (p. 31).”    Speaking of negligence and willful blindness, it helps to reproduce the passage that preceded that selective quotations cited by Guandolo in its entirety: “When a group of Muslim individuals fortify themselves in an area of the Muslim territory and refuse to permit the application of certain fundamental Islamic principles or laws, such as the establishment of public prayer (salah al jama’ah), the payment of zakah, and the like, it is a case of apostasy, for which, the group is to be fought until its members cease their rebellion with respect to the law. It should be clear that apostates are to be fought not because they refuse to profess or practice Islam, but because they disobey the Islamic law. Therefore, nobody should be questioned or prosecuted for not fulfilling his personal duties toward Allah – for he is answerable to Allah, not to the Muslim community, insofar as his personal duties are concerned-as long as he fulfills his public duty.”    A fair reading of the above passage should lead to a conclusion quite contrary to the one Guandolo conveniently arrived at through the partial and incomplete quotation he cherry picked from the passage to advance his ideologically held position. Indeed, the above argument was made in the context of limiting the ground for war and rejecting the use of force against people on the basis of their personal beliefs. My more definitive statement on religious freedom and the notion of apostasy in Islam is provided in another article, “Apostasy and Religious Freedom,” that was published in the wake of the case of apostasy in Afghanistan in 2006.”

Andrew McCarthy said that the proposed Cordoba House/Park51 center was “Islamist supremacism” and that “well-meaning people would know that this is an affront to common sense.”  In an NRO interview with Andrew C. MCarthy. The first question is: “What do health-care reform and ‘the Grand Jihad’ have in common?” To which McCarthy replies: “They both enjoy the support of Islam and the Left.”  John Guardiano notes “McCarthy has written that “Islam is innately political,” and that “Islam and Communism are aligned… Both are diametrically opposed to the core assumptions of American constitutional democracy: individual liberty and free-market capitalism.”    He has called Islam’s legal code “totalitarian.” He rejects the concept of moderate Islam as an “invention” that “does not currently exist.” He declares, in the subtitle of his book, that Islam — not radical Islam, but Islam — is a fifth column political movement intent on “sabotaging” America.” 

Think Progress notes that:  “At an event on Capitol Hill, retired Lt. Gen. Soyster introduced the report by admitting, “I’m here out of ignorance. Three years ago I realized how little I knew about Islam.” Soyster said he “went to some classes,” and “the more I learned, the worse it got.” 

Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council planned a “free speech summit” featuring Geert Wilders. 

David Yerushalmi of SANE (Society of Americans for National Existence) that released a policy paper that in part stated: “Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US. Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People . . .  It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam.”  Yerushalmi said “On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful…At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Moslem in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country…”  He also said “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”  And, “Instead of a promise of victory, Sura 24:52 must be made ashes in the mouths of Muslims. A seemingly unending air control campaign over enemy territory is the way to continually remind the Muslims of their subordinate status and the impotence of Allah without becoming mired in the quagmire of counterinsurgency.”   Yerushalmi was a member of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition, which was instrumental in the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim smear campaign that brought down Debbie Almontaser, the founding principal of Khalil Gibran International Academy, a dual-language Arabic school in Brooklyn. Yerushalmi is also an attorney with the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is run by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.  Yerushalmi also published a racist article that, as Alex Kane points out “Yerushalmi has deleted as much evidence of the “On Race” article as he could; he removed it from the Internet Archive and the Google cache, and put his entire website behind a registration wall. But here’s a PDF that contains the full article, and it’s as ugly and twisted a piece of racism as anything I’ve ever seen. Yerushalmi opens by calling Islam “an evil religion,” and “blacks … the most murderous of peoples.”  Yerushalmi wrote“Islam was born in violence; it will die that way. Any wish to the contrary is sheer Pollyannaism. The same way the post World War II German youth were taught by their German teachers and political leaders to despise the fascism of their fathers, with strict laws extant still today restricting even speech that casts doubt on the Holocaust, so too must the Muslim youth be taught from the cradle to reject the religion of their forebears.”

The Center for Security Policy sponsors “Family Security Matters.” On August 3, 2007, Family Security Matters published an opinion piece by Philip Atkinson, which advocated for making George W. Bush president for life, because “the inadequacy of Democracy, rule by the majority, is undeniable.” Furthermore, after giving Atkinson’s interpretation of Julius Caesar’s treatment of Gaul, the article called for emptying Iraq of its Arabs:  If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestige while terrifying American enemies.  The website removed all articles by Atkinson and references to the writer the next day after complaints were received, but several bloggers found similar passages in other articles by means of Google Cache

Think Progress notes that due to:

“... some of the report’s broad and controversial claims about Islamic law, such as that all devout Muslims are duty-bound to wage jihad against unbelievers, ThinkProgress asked Gaffney how many actual Muslims or Islamic scholars he and his group had consulted with in writing the report. He could not name any, though he noted that he had consulted with various Muslims “over the years.”  So there you have it. A report on the threat posed by Islamic law to the United States, one of whose leaders admits to having started studying Islam only three years ago, whose authors admit consulting with no actual Muslims, produced by a think tank that has previously claimed that key members of the Obama administration are part of the Iran Lobby.”

Laura Rozen in a Politico article The Park51 money trail notes some interesting financial connections “Though it was not listed on the public tax reports filed by Horowitz’s Freedom Center, POLITICO has confirmed that the lion’s share of the $920,000 it provided over the past three years to Jihad Watch came from Chernick, whose husband, Aubrey Chernick, has a net worth of $750 million, as a result of his 2004 sale to IBM of a software company he created, and a security consulting firm he now owns.  ...  The David Horowitz Freedom Center had a budget of $4.5 million last year, according to its tax filings, of which $290,000 came from the conservative Bradley Foundation, which also gave $75,000 to the Center for Security Policy last year. Horowitz has received an average of $461,000 a year in salary and benefits over the past three years, while Spencer has pulled in an average of $140,000, according to the center’s IRS filings.”

UPDATE 3/31/2011

The Center for American Progress has just published a report UNDERSTANDING SHARIAH LAW:  Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking, by Wajahat Ali and Matthew Duss which provides more useful information on this topic.

This week, The Republican Jewish Coalition welcomed Frank Gaffney, who spoke on the Islamic political doctrine known as shariah, which some consider a threat to our government. **  Gaffney also appeared at a gathering in Sioux Falls along with state Sen. Dan Lederman (R-South Dakota), and Tom Trento to show the film Iranium and discuss the dangers of Sharia. **

UPDATE 6/12/2011

Justin Elliott at Salon has published an article Debunking the latest sharia scare which discusses the Florida case of “Sharia” in an American court in detail.

A SECOND SHARIA REPORT - Shariah Law and American State Courts

Gaffney and his CSP are obsessed with Sharia, and have released yet another report called Shariah Law and American State Courts.  Ed Brayton in an article The Fraudulent Sharia in American Courts “Study” has done an excellent job of debunking this report.  He says:

Let me make this as clear as I possibly can: This report is not merely badly researched and badly prepared, it is an outright fraud. No one who actually reads the rulings could reach anything but the opposite conclusion from the one they intend to foster. Nearly every single case they offer argues against their conclusion. Now let me prove that assertion.

The website for the report includes a state-by-state database of all the rulings they allege show that American courts are enforcing Sharia law. The very first one I looked at, naturally, was from Michigan. It was a divorce and property division case involving two Muslim citizens of India living in Michigan.

In April 2008, the husband went to India and performed what is known as the “triple talaq” in Islamic law, which allows a man (but not the woman, of course) to divorce his wife merely by declaring that he wants to divorce her three times. The wife then filed for divorce in Michigan and the husband filed a motion to dismiss the case because, he claimed, they were already divorced under Indian law (and they were; talaq divorces are recognized as legal in India).

And here’s the important part: The ruling that they cite agreed with the wife. They refused to recognize the Indian talaq divorce specifically on the grounds that said divorce proceeding provided no due process for the wife:

Plaintiff did not enjoy the basic rudiments of due process in the instant Indian divorce. Further, she was not represented by an attorney and had no right to be present at the pronouncement. The divorce provided no opportunity for a hearing on the merits and it was not overseen by a court of law…

The Equal Protection Clauses of the United States and Michigan Constitutions provide that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the law. If the state distinguishes between persons, the distinctions must not be “`arbitrary or invidious.’” Wives have no right to pronounce the talaq. This distinction is arbitrary and invidious. To accord comity to a system that denies equal protection would ignore the rights of citizens and persons under the protection of Michigan’s laws.

Not only did the court not apply Sharia law, they explicitly rejected any such application and did so precisely on the grounds that doing so would violate the rights of the woman who filed the suit. And this is offered as evidence of creeping Sharia. That alone should give you some idea of the intellectual honesty of those who put out the report. But this is not an isolated example.

After the Michigan case I decided to start going through the list alphabetically to see if they get any better. So I looked at the case they cite from Arizona, which involves a fight over a debt incurred by the husband of a Syrian couple. He bought a half interest in a restaurant and a day care center and his partners ended up suing him over a debt allegedly owed; the issue in the case was whether the debt was community property, whether it attached only to him or to his wife as well.

The interest in the businesses was purchased before the couple came to the United States and the court concluded, therefore, that whether it was community property or not should be determined by the law of their native land, Syria. That, supposedly, is what makes this about “imposing Sharia law.” But here again, it shows the exact opposite. In fact, Syrian law differs depending on what religion you are. And this couple happens to be Catholic. Thus, the ruling says:

Consequently, Article 10 of Decree 60/L.R. of March 13, 1936, as amended by Decree 146/L.R. of 1938, which is still in effect, stipulates that Syrian and Lebanese members of recognized religious communities shall be subject to the legal system of their own personal status laws in matters of personal status and to the provisions of the Civil Code in matters that do not fall under the jurisdiction of that system.

According to Article 39 of the Law of Personal Status for the Catholic communities (Syrians and Lebanese), spouses may each keep ownership of movable and immovable properties. The Article reads as follows:

“Article 39 A married couple may each keep ownership of movable and immovable properties and the right to manage them, to benefit from them, and keep the proceeds of such worth unless they have agreed in writing to the contrary.” ...

Hence, it is obvious that the concept of community property as a result of marriage does not exist in Morocco or in Syria. Any community property must be designated as such by either one of the spouses at the time of purchasing any real property and registering the other party as co-owner. Without such registration neither the wife nor the husband has a claim against the other.

In conclusion, the wife in a Syrian Catholic marriage does not share her husband’s properties, nor does she have an ownership interest in her husband’s earnings unless he has specially registered part of his property to her in the public records.

There was no evidence that Zouheil did so here. Therefore, the note was Zouheil’s separate property unless it was transmuted to community property.

So once again, not only is this case not an example of a court “imposing Sharia law,” it is a perfect example of the contrary. The court explicitly refused to allow the case to be moved to Iran and did so because that country follows Islamic law, discriminates against Bah’ais and offers no due process.

The punchline to all of this is that each and every one of those first four examples was rated as “highly relevant” to the conclusion of the report. In fact, I think all of them are rated that way. And as you go down the list, you find the same exact thing again and again. The 5th case, and 2nd case from California, involves a woman demanding child support and alimony based on an alleged Islamic “Muta” marriage that was performed only by she and a man in their own apartment with no one else present and no marriage license. The court ruled that this was not a legal marriage at all—again, the exact opposite of what is implied. And it just goes on and on like this, each ruling not only not involving the imposition of Sharia law, but most of them involving the explicit rejection of Sharia law.

Here’s how the CSP sells this report before you read it:

These cases are the stories of Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah. When our courts then apply Shariah law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded.

The study’s findings suggest that Shariah law has entered into state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy. Some commentators have said there are no more than one or two cases of Shariah law in U.S. state court cases; yet we found 50 significant cases just from the small sample of appellate published cases.

Which might be relevant if most of those cases didn’t show the exact opposite of what you’re claiming here. This report is not just bad. It’s not just inaccurate. It’s an outright fraud.

This report was released at about the same time as the Mapping Sharia report, Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi which was published in the Middle East Quarterly Summer 2011 issue.  I have debunked this one in an article titled Mapping Sharia Project Goes Beyond Islamophobia to Raving, Paranoid, In(SANE)ity!.

A blog site supportive of Gaffney and Yerushalmi reports that: “The legal study was begun last year, but there will be more studies on this topic yet to come from the Center.  Those working on the current report include the Center’s general counsel, attorney David Yerushalmi, along with Center staff and volunteers from Act for America.  The synopsis of findings in the current report is apparently only a fraction of the number of times Shariah law has been used in our American court system.”

So, we have yet to hear the last from these folks - and they are working together with Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America.



The advance of the anti-Muslim movement across America, Paul Woodward
All Bigoted Islamophobic Roads Lead to Frank Gaffney, Richard Allen Smith
American Muslims must defend the Constitution of the United States , Sheila Musaji
America’s Ideals Are Being Challenged By Cordoba House Controversy, Sheila Musaji
Anti-Mosque Coalition’s Website Owned By Neo-Conservative Islamophobe Frank Gaffney, Alex Seitz-Wald
Apostasy and Freedom of Faith in Islam, Sheila Musaji
Michele Bachmann Endorses Call for Anti-Muslim Inquisition, Daniel Luban
Bent on Confusing the Public about Islam:  The Far Right Exploits Rifqa Bary’s Case to Distort Islam, Louay Safi
Center for Security Policy background
Conservatives Chew Up Their Own in Battle Over Islamic Community Center, Bill Berkowitz
Conservative Feud Grows Over Muslims White House Staffers, Shahed Amanullah
Henry Cooper background, Rightweb
Cordoba House:  Hope From the Ashes of Tragedy, Sheila Musaji
Cordoba House versus Team B:  Key to the Global 21st Century,  Dr. Robert D. Crane
Stephen Coughlin: Islamofascist Nonsense, Larry Johnson
Does the first amendment apply to Muslims?, John Guardiano
FBI Leaking To Neocon Conspiracy-Theorist Frank Gaffney?
For critics of Islam,“sharia” becomes shorthand for extremism, Michelle Boorstein
Forget ‘Ground Zero Mosque’, It’s the Great Sharia Conspiracy, Daniel Luban
Fox & Friends crops Rauf’s CFR comments to fearmonger about Sharia law, Justin Berrier
Fox Promotes NSS “Islamic Crescent Logo” Conspiracy Theory, Richard Bartholomew
Free-speech hero or an anti-Islamic publicity hound? Geert Wilders is coming to America., Mark Hosenball
Gaffney: The left and Islamists are both “advancing the takedown of America”,
Gaffney: The President ‘May Actually Still Be’ A Muslim
Frank Gaffney: At War with Islam
Frank Gaffney: Obama Duped America Like Hitler Duped Chamberlain
Gaffney’s Latest Nonsensical Theory: Obama May Use Libya Precedent To Order Military Strike On Israel 
Pete Hoekstra, Shameless Buffoon, Steve Benen
Hoekstra’s “epic grandstanding”, Jason Linkins
House Republicans pal around with anti-Muslim, anti-Black racist David Yerushalmi, Alex Kane
How Many Muslims Contributed To New Right-Wing ‘Team B’ Report On Islamic Sharia Law? None, Matt Duss
Is Sharia law reconcilable with modernity?, Sh. Ali Gomaa 
Islam and democracy - article collection
Islamic Law:  A Thematic Primer on Human Rights, Dr. Robert D. Crane Sharia and Jewish Halakha Arbitration Courts, (with a lengthy collection of articles) Sheila Musaji
Islamophobia Machine Targets American Muslims, Nihad Awad
Islamophobia no longer questioned - even by our elected representatives, Sheila Musaji
Israelis, McCain Neocons Behind Anti-Islam “Obsession” DVD, Kurt Nimmo
Media rife with anti-Muslim rhetoric in weeks leading up to 9-11 anniversary
The Misinformants: What ‘stealth jihad’ doesn’t mean, Lisa Miller
Mosque debate is not a distraction, Glenn Greenwald
MPAC’s Response to Frank Gaffney’s Slander 
NeoCons Make Unapologetic Call for McCarthyism against Muslims
Neoconservatives hate liberty as much as they love war, Glenn Greenwald
New Rainbow of Islamic Knowledge and Religious Diversity: Zaytuna College, Dr. Ibram Rogers 
The New Anti-Semitism: Recent attacks on Islam in the United States echo old slurs against Jews, Daniel Luban
Nuclear Security Summit Logo Is Proof of What?, Sheila Musaji
Obsession:  Deja Vu! Never Again?, Jeff Siddiqui
The Pathetic Desperation of the Anti-Kagan Campaign
Progressive radio show in NY serves up neocon moonshine about Islam, Philip Weiss
Review: Documentary “America at a Crossroads”, Rafia Zakaria
Right-Wing Nuts: “Obama is a Mooslim, Convert Mooslims”
The Right’s Anti-Islam Extremists, John Guardiano
On Team B-ing, Spencer Ackerman
Separation of church and state - article collection
Sharia - collection of articles
Specter Embraces Pipes Islamophobia, Richard Silverstein
Tennessee’s Anti-Muslim Bill is an American Disgrace, Daniel Tutt
The Terror Industry And Anti-Jihadism, Who Benefits?, Richard Silverstein
What Shariah Law Is All About, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Who’s Afraid of Shariah? , Sumbul ali-Karamali
Why the GOP embraced Islamophobia, Joe Conason
Woolsey’s World War IV Comments Reveal Truth About War on Iraq, Stan Moore
David Yerushalmi, Anti-Semitic White-Supremacist Orthodox Jew Tries To Ban Islam In US, Bruce Wilson
Yerushalmi: Devout Jewish Fascist, Richard Silverstein
Yerushalmi: House Republicans pal around with anti-Muslim, anti-Black racist David Yerushalmi, Alex Kane
Yerushalmi:  Neocon ‘Team B’ Author: ‘Islam Was Born In Violence; It Will Die That Way’
Yerushalmi: How Many Muslims Contributed To New Right-Wing ‘Team B’ Report On Islamic Sharia Law? None, Matt Duss



A lengthy collection of articles by Arabs and Muslims about the current wave of Islamophobia and anti-mosque hysteria (updated regularly)

Originally posted 9/17/2010