April 2nd, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Law expert explains Sharia and Islam

CNN's Soledad O'Brien sits down with Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, who describes the basics of Sharia law and the difference between Islam and Sharia law. O’Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt on “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door,” airing at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET April 2 on CNN.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Sharia

soundoff (345 Responses)
  1. READ and THINK

    An interesting read –

    "It Is The Shari’ah, Don’t You Know!"


    May 9, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  2. StUdEnT oF KnOwLeDgE

    Islam comes from the root word Salaam, which means peace. It also means submitting one's will to Allah(swt).The word Salaam is also an attribute of God .In this context, it means ‘TheGiverofPeace’. Muslims greet each other with Assalaamualaikum which translates to wishing peace for one another.Even when wronged, theGlorious Qur’an advises Muslims to struggle against the temptation for hostility: "And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best,when lo!he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend..."[Al- Qur’an41:34] TheQur’an refers to Paradise as the“abodeofpeace”.Thus peace is a goal that Muslims are required to strive for ,In their ownselves, in their families and in their communities. It is ironical therefore, that Islam Is perceived by many as being the motivation behind the want on killing of innocent people.

    While Islam in general is misunderstood in the western world, perhaps no other Islamic term evokes such strong reactions as the word Jihad. The word Jihad is mistranslated as “HolyWar”.The Arabic equivalent of “HolyWar” is HARB-U-MUQADASAH. This term is not found in any verse of the Qur’an. There is nothing in the Islamic sources that permit a Muslim to fightagainst non- Muslims solely on the basis that they are not Muslim.

    May 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  3. not a closet Christian

    Its a three book religion. cornie, hadirts, shreeeAH. all full of lies and half truths to distort every thing else.
    It does say after Jesus came all of Judeah was Christian or Jew. I guess the part about being Judeah is never read,
    that would mean that Isreal has a righ to exist.

    May 3, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  4. not a closet Christian

    MoHam had a taking cow. The cow told him and his sidekick, "hey! what do you expcet I am not designed for this go get the.....donkey. Yeah thats the ticket! Beat the crap out of the donkey."

    May 3, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  5. Flavius Iulius

    "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached" – Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos


    May 1, 2011 at 4:19 am |
  6. jesuit

    QUARAN 8:12 "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

    April 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Nada

      Jesuit you do not understand the Holy Quran.

      May 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  7. Pellucidrex

    The simple question is can a non Muslim person in Islamic country can have freedom of expression, freedom of religion and religious equality as a Muslim can have in non Muslim country? Almost all Muslim people want everybody and everything to be customised in terms of Islam. Have some respect for other people, society and religion.

    There were people living here before Islam came into existence , are living and will be living.

    April 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • jesuit

      QURAN 9:30 AND I SAY "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

      April 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  8. jesuit

    Quaran 4:95 islam the religion of peace? "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-" This passage criticizes "peaceful" Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah's eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that "Jihad" doesn't mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man's protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

    April 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  9. sa

    Every since 911. Everyone is an expert on Islam. They have never read the Quran, and obviously no idea how the religion even works. Except the taliking heads who are no more educated in the religion of Islam than they are. They quote things out of context in the Quran or hadiths and that don't even exist. The only muslims they know are the ones that flew in to twin towers. The only Muslim countries they know of are Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. This kind of takes us back to our puritan roots where they burned people being accused of being witches.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  10. Jeff

    If i was president for a day there would be no Islam.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  11. Dale

    I am a born-again Revivalist and spend much of my time in Muslim dominated areas in Africa. I can tell you from experience that while there are much touted tenets of Islam that is scary, the average Muslim is just like the average Chrisitan – they just want to get along in life. Few are radical.
    If you really want to be scared, think of this – Islam and Sharia Law is almost identical to the Old Law of Moses, just with a different God. Thank God for Grace.
    The Bible warns us in the last days of our one-world dominated enemy, and from the descriptions in Daniel and Revelations, it is not Islam. I'm more worried about the dead church than the Arabs. Just like David, his enemy was King Saul, a picture of the established church, not the Philistines.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  12. Larry

    I've really become disappointed in Soledad's "reporting". Over the past several months she's turned into a PC hack. This "story" is another example of political correctness run amok. Sharia Law? Sure, it's about everybody treating each other nicely, and women smiling at their kids, and people hugging, right? What about the stonings, the subjegation of women, etc.? Where is that story Soledad?

    April 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  13. Tobias

    OBrien is quite nieve, Many Radical Muslim clerick and leaders have made it clear that their intention is to destroy America, and replace not only Christianity, but all non Islamist religions, not just in America, but globally! Our nation, America, was created and based on one main religion, Christianity, with the tolerance to accept and allow all other religions to prosper here on our soil, Not to force any other religion to dominate over, or to replace Christianity or any religion with another! To that end, I and others will defend Americas right and freedoms against this radical Islamist/Muslim threat with the blast of a muzzle, if necessary, to the heads of every Muslim in America!

    April 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  14. DC

    I ask you, my Muslim brothers. Do you come here, to live in the United States to enjoy the freedom, made by Christian values? Why didn't you not stay in your country and enjoy the freedom and Muslim values? Our resentment to you is: we do not want you to poision the freedom of our culture, with the romantic ideas of a culture that you came here to escape. So back where you came from and rally in the streets with our muslim people, and shout out freedom there!

    April 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • oneuscitizen

      Amen to that!

      April 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Nada

      You can give this question to American people in Iraq and Afghan. In addition, for Jews in Palestine. what do they do ? are they enjoying in Muslims money and lands !!!

      May 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  15. Qutaibah

    I am a muslim, a lucky man to be born a muslim. i just want to ask this:

    if islam is wrong and not valid, why we frequntly hear a rabbi or a priest turns into islam and never ever have we heared of one educated sunni muslim turns into something else?

    April 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Bayor

      Rabbi and priest turning to muslim .... are just false news your leaders feed you guys to keep you. I have seen the same method being used over and over again. Unfortunately I have a lot of muslims in my family that has completely embraced Jesus Christ. I am a christian as well. May be is high time you diffuse your mind and let God into your life.

      April 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Luke

      You believe the lies of your leaders as we do. No sober minded westerner would willingly give themselves over to peasent bondage.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • do soyosa

      priest turns to islam they only wanted to get married and have a family...
      friend of mine with islam family as he learn more in christianity he submmet his self to join christian (BORN AGAIN) after his family and all his islam friend learn all of them wanted to kill him... is this in your quran that one of your family submmet his self to christianity will be killed.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:54 am |
    • oneuscitizen

      They die in some sort of attack before they have the common sense to convert to a less violent or dangerous system of beliefs.

      April 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • jesuit

      ergun Caner!!!

      April 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Shawn

      Thats not true, I know Muslims that have converted to Christianity. They have done it after they moved to the States due to the harsh punishments I guess they what have received back in their homeland

      April 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Jibaro

      No religion have any validity whatsoever. You people began a genocide and all this stupidity will end up in a all out war between Muslims and no Muslims. Believe me we the non Muslim will prevail and at the end Islam will go to to hell!

      May 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  16. Chris

    I bet not many people are aware that the meaning of Islam is = Prayer = peace and purity.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • H. B.

      WRONG, pal. "Islam" means "submission." You are probably a Western convert. In which case you were converted to an "Islam" that doesn't exist and never did. They offer a "sweetened-up" version to get around our Western cultural values. And fools like you fall for it. You only listen to the preaching, and can't be bothered to study the texts of your OWN faith. But then most religious people are like that.

      But Islam USES this trait of intellectual laziness to convert people like you. THEY know you're a fake Muslim, because they made sure you were. Nevertheless, at any time it may suit them, they could turn on you as being a "false Muslim." In Islam, such a person is WORSE than any infidel, and the only way to deal with false Muslims is to subject them to extended and exquisite torture before killing them.

      I HAVE studied Islam – for over 17 years now. I know more about it than many Muslims do, and that's particularly true of the Western converts.

      Islam's prime directive is total conquest of the world and every human being on it – for Islam and Allah. By ANY means whatsoever, which includes genocides and nukes. No holds barred. They mean business about it. YOU, as a convert, will be "Muslim enough" to help them when they jihad to take over the country you're living in. They will keep you thinking you're really a Muslim, while there's still a possibility of USING you. After which, they can turn on you, as above stated.

      Do you know what a "dupe" is?

      April 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Jibaro

      A good Muslim is one that does not live. Did you understand?

      May 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  17. Hannah

    Why are my comments still awaiting moderation when many comments after mine have been posted? I didn't insult anyone. I didn't use profanity. This is not a balanced news story. It was the same tired politically correct narrative that we keep hearing and it's not true. Sharia is a problem and the sooner we in the west figure it out, the sooner we will be able to help Muslims understand they are free to practice whatever religious rituals they want, but keep their political and legal code out of our society. The problem is not Muslims, it is Islam. Islam is a horrid ideology. Talking heads in the west can't pick and choose the parts of the islamic narrative they like or want us to believe, and ignore the rest. Do you know why the Islamic world had to write their own "islamic declaration of human rights" rather than sign onto the UN declaration of human rights? Because they don't believe in FREEDOM OF RELIGION or FREEDOM OF SPEECH or EQUALITY. How is that compatible with our society? You probably won't post this comment either, but if it helps you stop posting such politically correct nonsense in the name of news it was worth writing this.

    April 24, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Retired Army in San Antonio

      It's a conspiracy.....the CNN monitors are against you.......

      April 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Rob

      My question to people who demonize Islam and Sharia law is one about the blatant hypocrasy. They (maybe not you) decry the absence of their fundamentalist God in the classroom, yelled at Americans as Secular Huminists, demand the right to put the 10 commandments in courtrooms, ban the use of tax money for legal medical procedures they oppose on singularly religious grounds, insist that store employees say merry CHRISTmas and so on and on, when it appears that those so-called "horrid" people are simply doing the same religious promoting when they insinuate sharia. How about getting both groups to cut it out.

      April 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  18. John

    I am not a religious scholar just a human being who found God this past October 15th 2010. I am a sinner but feel reconciled and at peace every time I try to bring Jesus into my life it feels as though he is killed. I try to hold onto the light and feel the end. I see all sides of the battle and just try to be one with the universe in this very difficult and troubling time. I am trapped but find serenity in nature and the light. I drink coffee and sometimes it tastes like tea, eat food and try and nourish myself in this artificial world. I reach out to every person I meet shaking their hands looking for contact. I am found and held in a moment that is beyond words. I continually went to Jesus and his wisdom told me to stay strong and find solace in evil as the world turns. I can bear his judgement and purge the evil within me to restore time. I had my head chopped off in hell, heaven and was returned to the land this past October 15th 2010. I am an orphan of time with two beautiful precious sons and I am filled with love. May you feel the pain and suffering as I do in my tears. My life is a reflection and mirror of the times and I yearn to be eternally free. Two energies black and white.

    April 24, 2011 at 5:10 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.