Sunday, August 12, 2012

Excusing Sharia

One of the most novel items in recent political party platforms is in section 7.06 of the Iowa GOP platform: “We oppose any effort to implement Islamic Shariah law in this country.”

Section 7.06 of the platform, which is available online at, raises one crucial question: Why is there a need now to say that Shariah law should be opposed? Because the fear of Shariah law is part of the aftermath of 9/11, and the extension to America of the fears about the Islamization of Europe. In short, Islamophobia.

This is an example of how unscrupulous atheists can be. Avalos acts as though Islam doesn’t pose a real threat to life and liberty. Instead, he trains his guns on Christianity, pretending that Christianity is more dangerous than Islam. 

As an atheist, Avalos can’t really believe that. Not in 2012. But he cynically plays the “Islamophobia” card.

Such values, as expressed elsewhere in the platform, include being against gay marriage and abortion — just like Shariah. So shouldn’t the GOP platform be for Shariah law? Silly question, I know.

Yes, it’s a silly question inasmuch as the GOP platform doesn’t propose the same penalties.

Some of the most feared aspects of Shariah also derive almost directly from biblical values and laws.

Consider Beck’s fear about “honor killings,” which can refer to the killing of a family member who leaves Islam or departs from some crucial Muslim custom. Beck, for one, seems mystified by how family members can do this to each other. The answer may be found in Deuteronomy 13:6-11 (RSV):

If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which neither you nor your fathers have known …” You shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him; but you shall kill him … You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God … And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

i) To say Sharia law derives this from Deuteronomy assumes that Muhammad or Muslim jurists modeled this on the OT. Does Avalos have any actual evidence for that claim?

ii) More to the point, Avalos is equivocating and prevaricating. In popular parlance, an “honor killing” involves executing a relative (usually a female) for shaming her kin even if the relative is innocent of wrongdoing. Indeed, even if the relative was the victim of the wrongdoing. That’s hardly comparable to the situation in Deut 13:6-11.

Of course, honor killings are not the norm among Muslims, especially in America.

i) Honor killings are illegal in America. So that’s a deterrent.

ii) Honor killings are underreported.

iii) As Muslim-Americans gain political clout, honor killings will proliferate.

At the same time, all Christian hermeneutics are ultimately faith-based. Therefore, Rushdoony’s faith-based claims about the applicability of biblical law today are no less valid than those of believers who disagree with him because, by definition, all faith-based claims are equally unverifiable.

i) That’s muddleheaded. Although the Bible is the object of Christian faith, that doesn’t mean the interpretation of Scripture is faith-based. All interpretations aren’t equally unverifiable. That’s self-refuting given the fact that Avalos must interpret the Bible to attack it.

ii) Moreover, to say a claim is faith-based doesn’t “by definition” mean it’s “unverifiable.” That’s Hector’s hostile, tendentious definition.

By his own admission, Avalos is a moral relativist, so it comes as no surprise that his so intellectually dishonest in his attacks on Christianity.


  1. It's crazy reading about Avalos in a blog like this. I actually had him as a prof at Iowa State for both New Testament and Old Testament.