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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. Val

    Islam aims to make everyone who is not a Muslim a Dhimmitude, and pay the Jizya.
    TERMS:
    DHIMMITUDE and JIZYA. Under Sharia you cannot do anything, you will be treated badly.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvTElEQICeI

    April 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Alan Hodges

      Why are people suddenly deficating videos here of their favorite kook? Shouldn't be long before Beck or Limbaugh start making angry porcine appearances. Just amazing what people will believe

      April 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • BG

      pssst.. Alan –

      Two e's in defecate. When you get the little squiggly line under a word, right click your mouse for the Word Press spelling correction suggestions.

      That way you don't look quite the fool. Seems you need all the credibility you can muster.

      April 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • LOL!

      BG, you're hilarious!!

      April 12, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  2. sherase

    you should correct your knowledge about islam read about it you`ll find that islam always tolerate othere religions , our prophete said i have my religion and you have yours everyone is free to have his own belief nobody force you to be a muslim we respect other religions and beliefs ,islam is a message of love , love god love our prophete and love each other no difference between peoples

    April 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  3. Mike

    "It can't happen, it won't happen".....one answer for you Mr. Harvard .......WWI, WWII, Communism, Nazi's, and Islam.

    When you fail to remember the past, you are condemned to repeat it!!!!

    April 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  4. Flipper

    Why does CNN routinely goes out of its way to defend Islam, the Ground Zero tribute mosque, and sharia "law?" Maybe a small group of fundamentalists Christians should slam an Arabic airliner into the Kaaba. Perhaps then Christianity would get some love from CNN and the Left.

    April 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      CNN does it because of ratings. Yearly they are getting the "clocks cleaned"' by foxnews. It appears that their choice or path to get viewers back is to continue to offer stories that cause massive web site movement. Put out a bunch of pro islam stories and you get threads that have over a thousand hits.

      To day five more people were killed in afganistan because of the Koran burning. Because this is a negative Islamic story it does not appear we will be getting updates on that.

      In the end CNN would rather post negative stories about Christianity because it is not a insitution that the press can not control.

      April 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • BG

      @ MMR

      "five more people were killed in afganistan because of the Koran burning."

      No, Mark. You need to keep some perspective. More people were killed (and will likely be killed in the future) because the Muslims doing the killing are stark, raving, bug-eyed, open-mouthed, teeth-baring insane. Sure, let's give some credit to the obvious socio-economic and physical factors. For whatever reasons, they're probably a half-starved, dehydrated, shot-up gang, fueled only by their last gasp of mob emotion. (There's the requisite pc mitigation, should you require it.) But, this particular burned Koran was just a convenient reason to act on the insanity which would have happened regardless. You can't lay it all at the feet of one 60 year old man exercising his American right to protest something. With apologies to Billy Joel; we didn't start the fire, it was always burning, since the world was turning.

      Eventually this is all going to come to a head and we might all be forced to stare into the abyss. You might want to pray to the deity of your choice that humanity chooses reality over prophecy.

      April 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  5. Dinah

    CNN – oh nothing wrong with Sharia Law – America should not be afraid of it. Are you asleep or what, Sharia Law is exactly what is uprising in the middle east, by our dear friend Ahmandinijad in Iran. He has made a video and it is wide spread that Sharia Law will be the law of the entire Middle East soon coming to Israel and the West. He is the same person that calls "America the Great Satan". There is a call right now for the third Infidata against Israel first. This man is a mad man equivalent to Hitler. Wake up America – and stop the political correctness, unless you agree with suicide bombers, burying woman up to their necks and stoning them. Wake up America!

    April 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Sharia law is already implemented in America.
      – criminals go to jail for committing crimes = thats sharia
      – murdereres get the electric chair = thats sharia
      – traffic violations (even if you did not harm anyone) result in penalties = thats sharia
      – robbery, murder, ra pe are punishable by law = thats sharia

      It would be interesting if America IMPLEMENTED CHRISTIAN LAW INSTEAD!!
      all crimes are forgiven because Jesus already died for your sins
      BUT UNFORTUNATELY, AMERICA CHOOSES THE SHARIA PATH INSTEAD

      April 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • BG

      Pat Condell tells us of the latest Islamic Sharia activity in Britain. 85 Sharia courts now operating in England, unannounced to the public by the British government.

      This should be a wake-up call for Americans. Tell your legislators. Now. Tell them that your vote depends upon their action (or inaction.)

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=winu_C_X5mw&w=640&h=390]

      April 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • BG

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BrueU4xd2w&w=640&h=390]

      April 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • jedi

      @(B)iraq Hussein Osama

      "BUT UNFORTUNATELY, AMERICA CHOOSES THE SHARIA PATH INSTEAD"

      If you dubbed US Law as "SHARIA PATH" then this so-called "SHARIA PATH" also allowed people to burn the quran and hadith, and anyone can use the quran and hadith as cleaning application after using t0ilet, where no one can be found guilty of doing so, as long as the Hadith and Quran belongs to them. 😀

      April 3, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  6. GSNP

    So WHY did CAIR sue Oklahoma where 70% of people voted against Sharia Law in their state statues?

    April 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  7. Mohammad

    burn sharia and kuran and bible and torah
    burn them all and dont stop untiltheyareallgone

    April 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  8. Soren Kierkegaard

    People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

    April 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  9. Az Zaqqum

    Oh please! What's with the selective arabic? The word sharia is an arabic word. In English it means, Path to a watering hole. If you have indoor plumbing, you don't need it.
    And as sharia contradicts the quran, it's all shirk.
    Example. The quran says to pray twice a day, sharia says 5. Those who follow sharia are not real believers.

    April 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  10. Secular Heathen

    I think it's time for CNN to have reports about other crazy cults rather then Islam. Like Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Judaism, Scientology, Mormonism, Rastsforianism, etc... It will probaly take a few hundred years for the Koran to enter a civilized society without any radicals using violence taken it to far, like Christianity. They'll hopefully forget some of the passages (like followers of the Bible) to want to merge with the rest of the world.

    April 2, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • BG

      "It will probaly (sic) take a few hundred years for the Koran to enter a civilized society without any radicals using violence taken it to far, like Christianity."

      Only a few hundred years to go, eh? What a lovely, conflicted, optimistic and prejudiced comment. You are an absolute intellectual delight.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  11. Reality

    Some other elements of Sharia and Islam:

    o From- Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiography, "Infidel".

    "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circ-umcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hirsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."

    ref: Washington Post book review.

    four excerpts:

    "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly beaten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their screams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

    "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had castes. The Untouchable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were untouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were touchable: we touched them see? but also horrifying to think of yourself as untouchable, desp-icable to the human race."

    "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were killed by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exaggerating."

    "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Somalia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feudal mind-set based on tribal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hyprocricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

    April 2, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  12. Reality

    What has Sharia Law and Islam brought the global community? :

    The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

    ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

    and more recently

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

    20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

    21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

    22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

    April 2, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • chzwiz

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) – Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      You forgot the part about how she was rather small and frail for a 14 year old girl. It is stories like this that make my blood boil. I know I should be tolerant, but I believe this is a cult and we should all work to eliminate it everywhere it exists in the world.

      April 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • ya'akov

      you assume that all of these were Islamic jihadists but some of them (Moscow) were anti governmental rebel groups not affiliated with Islam

      April 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  13. Mr. Sniffles

    Sharia! They said the magic codeword! Time for all the loonies to panic!

    The terrorists won. al Qaeda won. Americans are terrified and responding wildly, which in turn will cause muslims to become terrified and respond wildly. The cycle of violence will go around and around, and things will get worse before they get better. What an idiot-fest! What an excellent example of why the history of the human race is the story of disaster following disaster.

    There will always be war and atrocity and cruelty and oppression. Humans just cannot transcend the traps.

    Don't forget to be afraid and angry. Make sure you stereotype and villify those you don't agree with. Get all your thoughts from some talking head somewhere. Whatever you do, don't actually use any critical thinking skills.

    April 2, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • BG

      @ Mr. Snifs

      "Whatever you do, don't actually use any critical thinking skills."

      Thanks for the fine example, Sniffles. Ad-homs are easy. However, dealing with the facts can be challenging, so don't strain yourself.

      "Americans are terrified and responding wildly, which in turn will cause muslims to become terrified and respond wildly."

      'Terrified' and 'Wildly' might be a bit of a stretch, hmm? But by all means, let's not offend the easily-upset muslims. How about we ask them our questions very gently and nicely? In a soft tone of voice? Or maybe we can submit our concerns to them in writing, and they can take their time to write us back.

      April 2, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      Rather funny to hear someone who spews nothing but ad hominems at me complain about ad hominems. Hypocrisy, thy name is BG.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • BG

      @ Sniffs

      I talk about facts, and you just give me an old, tired Pee-Wee Herman imitation.

      "I know you are, but what am I..."

      Lame, Sniffles. Lame.

      April 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Mairo

      Nice contribution Mr. Sniffles. Really good to see someone like you is out there, someone who has the ability to think for themselves instead of continually spouting garbage like a parrot.

      April 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  14. jedi

    Also Professor Feldman, you should also explained that most Muslim countries with Islam as a state religion or Islamic States, give special economic privileges to Muslim. You might as well stop sugar coating Sharia since it is segregated system and double standards practice by Islamist. You should also know that muslims persecute muslims due to different interpretation of Islam ,Sharia and fiqh(Islamic Jurisprudence). We don't need medieval law in 21st century

    April 2, 2011 at 3:07 am |
  15. jedi

    BTW professor feldman – Sharia is segregated system, albeit non-muslim are not obligated to most part of Sharia law and you people should also take note that, in the long run Muslims benefited from their system given that they are allowed to proselyte non-muslim, while non-muslim are prohibited to proselyte muslims. In addition non-muslim are prohibited to take muslim women as their spouse while Muslim men are allowed to take non-muslim women.

    April 2, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • AnikinSki

      @jedi...You said and I quote, "In addition non-muslim are prohibited to take muslim women as their spouse"

      I think it's the muslim women who are prohibited to have a non-muslim spouse. There's a significant difference between the two cases. We (Christians) non-Muslims have freedom to chose to whom we spend our life with.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men because the children COULD end up NON-MUSLIM as a result. This could mean they could end up in Hell. This would be unacceptable per Islam to consign a yet unborn human being to the possibility of hell. Therefore, only men can marry non-Muslim women, because as a result, the father's religion (islam) is the likely religion of the child. If the non-Muslim woman insists on raising children as other than Muslim, then that marriage would not be acceptable to get into for a Muslim man.

      Its about saving people from ending up in hell. Ofcourse, you can't do much about your neighbor or your car mechanic, but you can sure as hell (no pun intended) do something about your yet unborn child. Give him/her the best chance to avoid hell, by being born Muslim, that is the logic behind Muslim women not being allowed to marry non_muslim men.

      April 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • jedi

      @ anikinski

      "We (Christians) non-Muslims have freedom to chose to whom we spend our life with"

      Not if you're living in a country where Sharia is enforce , where it forbid non-muslim men and muslim women from having rel@tionship. The only differences is where non-muslim men may not be punished for their relationship with Muslim women which also lead to s3xual inequality under Sharia Law.

      April 3, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  16. jedi

    Of course Muslim cannot enforce Sharia law in Europe, US or Canada "AT THE PRESENT" since their population are still in the minority until they shift the balance of population by immigration if the "free world" blindly followed their agenda owing to political correctness.

    April 2, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Jackie789

      what do you mean "OF COURSE"? there are functioning sharia courts in england at this very moment. strangely enough, the first people to suffer are women in abusive marriages! cases where men hit their wives would normally be handled by the police, now they are referred to a bunch of gross old muslim men running their own parallel caliphate that allow men to legally hit their wives under 4:34 of the koran. in place of jail time, now they get "counseling." and i'm sure the women don't feel intimidated or pressured at all.

      muslims had sharia courts in canada until 2005, when the government finally shut them down (the largest protesters were women's groups). judge richard nielsen in a florida circuit just recently agreed to settle a contract case by applying sharia court in a US courtroom.

      you better pull your head out of your rear end. sharia is alive and well, and they rely on uninformed people to let in creep in, and then feel powerless to stop it. everyone needs to wake up.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • BG

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2VkIu8TL_I&w=640&h=390]

      April 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  17. jedi

    Professor Feldman you need to do some facts check here : Majority of world Muslims wants to be governed by Sharia Law(http://www.gallup.com/press/109693/Islam-Democracy.aspx)

    April 2, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  18. jedi

    Sharia (partial or absolute enforcement) can have effects on non-muslims, if non-muslims portray Islam in a way that Muslim considered blasphemy which lead to persecution.

    April 2, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  19. BG

    Harvard? Nooo! Not - Harvard -

    http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/4932

    There's a link on the bottom "other items related to Harvard University."
    I scrutinize anything Islam-related coming from either Harvard or Columbia.

    April 2, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • Robert McKaffern

      BG, I often agree with your positions, but when the subject is Islam, you go all nutty like a Limbaugh or a Beck. The paranoid tone destroys your credibility, like listening to McCarthy growl about the infiltration of Communists into American society.

      April 2, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • BG

      @ Robert McK.

      Stick to the issue, Bob. Debate me with your facts, and not with your sparkling personality. Don't paint emphatic concern as 'paranoia' or I'll think that you're just being disparaging. Oh, wait...

      April 2, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  20. Secular Heathen

    I think it's time for CNN to have reports about other crazy cults rather then Islam. Like Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Judaism, Scientology, Mormonism, Rastsforianism, etc...

    April 2, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • BG

      Not about to happen. You have to understand who has been buying Time Warner (owns CNN) stock as to why CNN has been so obvious in painting Islam in a favorable light.

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2186027/posts

      I can't emphasis this enough, folks. Do the research for yourselves. Tell your friends and family members. Write your legislators. Don't let what is happening in England happen in America.

      creepingsharia.wordpress

      April 2, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      CNN is really so unpatriotic. Emerging American fascism needs a set of jews, and CNN is ruining the party. How civilized of them.

      April 2, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • M.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfEIGw8NtNA

      April 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
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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.