http://www.JewishWo rldReview. com | Westerners opposed to the application of
the Islamic law (the Shari’a) watch with dismay as it goes from strength to
strength in their countries – harems increasingly accepted, a church leader
endorsing Islamic law, a judge referring to the Koran, clandestine Muslim
courts meting out justice. What can be done to stop the progress of this
medieval legal system so deeply at odds with modern life, one that oppresses
women and turns non-Muslims into second-class citizens?

A first step is for Westerners to mount a united front against the Shari’a.
Facing near-unanimous hostility, Islamists back down. For one example, note
the retreat last week by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in
a dispute concerning guide dogs used by the blind.

Muslims traditionally consider dogs impure animals to be avoided, creating
an aversion that becomes problematic when Muslim store-owners or taxi
drivers deny service to blind Westerners relying on service dogs. I have
collected fifteen such cases on my weblog, at “Muslim Taxi Drivers vs.
Seeing-Eye <http://www.danielpi pes.org/blog/ 538> Dogs”: five from the
United States (New Orleans, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Brooksville, Fl.;
Everett, Wash.); four from Canada (Vancouver, twice in Edmonton, Fort
McMurray, Alberta
); three from the United Kingdom (Cambridge, twice in
London); two from Australia (Melbourne, Sydney); and one from Norway (Oslo).

News accounts quote Muslim cabbies rudely rejecting blind would-be
passengers, yelling at them, “No dog, No dog, Get out, get out”; “Get that
dog out of here”; and “No dogs, no dogs.” The blind find themselves
rejected, humiliated, abandoned, insulted, or even injured, left in the
rain, dropped in the middle of nowhere, made late for an appointment, or
caused to miss a flight.

Islamist organizations initially responded to this problem by supporting
anti-canine cabbies. The Muslim Association of Canada pointed out how
Muslims generally regard dog saliva as unclean. CAIR on one occasion echoed
this assertion, claiming that “the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual
purity needed for prayer.” On another, the head of CAIR, Nihad
<http://www.enquirer .com/editions/ 1999/04/03/ loc_cabbie. html> Awad, declared
that “People from the Middle East especially . have been indoctrinated with
a kind of fear of dogs” and justified a driver rejecting a guide dog on the
grounds that he “has a genuine fear and he acted in good faith. He acted in
accordance with his religious beliefs.”

However, when the police and the courts are called in, the legal rights of
the blind to their basic needs and their dignity almost always trump the
Muslim dislike for dogs. The Muslim proprietor or driver invariably finds
himself admonished, fined, re-educated, warned, or even jailed. The judge
who found a cabby’s behavior to be “a total disgrace” spoke for many.

CAIR, realizing that its approach had failed in the courts of both law and
of public opinion, suddenly and nimbly switched sides. In a cynical
maneuver, for example, it organized 300 cabbies in Minneapolis
<http://wcco. com/local/ muslim.cabbies. airport.2. 366172.html> to provide
free rides for participants at a National Federation of the Blind
conference. (Unconvinced by this obvious ploy, a federation official
responded: “We really are uncomfortable . with the offer of getting free
rides. We don’t think that solves anything. We believe the cabdrivers need
to realize that the law says they will not turn down a blind person.”) And,
finally, last week, the Canadian office of
<http://www.caircan. ca/itn_more. php?id=2961_ 0_2_0_C> CAIR issued a statement
urging Muslims to accommodate blind taxi passengers, quoting a board member
that “Islam allows for dogs to be used by the visually impaired.”

CAIR’s capitulation contains an important lesson: When Westerners broadly
agree on rejecting a specific Islamic law or tradition and unite against it,
Western Islamists must adjust to the majority’s will. Guide dogs for the
blind represent just one of many such consensus issues; others tend to
involve women, such as husbands beating wives
<http://www.danielpi pes.org/blog/ 205#Bouziane> , the burqa
<http://www.danielpi pes.org/article/ 4783> head coverings, female genital
<http://www.vdare. com/epstein/ 050414_mutilatio n.htm> mutilation, and “honor”
killings. Western unity can also compel Islamists to denounce their
preferred positions in areas such as slavery
<http://www.danielpi pes.org/blog/ 551> and Shar’i-compliant finances.

Other Islam-derived practices do not (yet) exist in the West but do prevail
in the Muslim world. These include punishing a woman for being raped
<http://www.nytimes. com/2007/ 12/18/world/ middleeast/ 18saudi.html> ,
exploiting children as suicide bombers, and executing offenders for such
crimes as converting
<http://www.time. com/time/ world/article/ 0,8599,1176969, 00.html> out of
Islam, adultery <http://www.meforum. org/article/ 1852> , having a child
<http://query. nytimes.com/ gst/fullpage. html?res= 9900E0D9153DF935 A1575AC0A965
9C8B63> out of wedlock, or witchcraft
<http://www.asianews .it/index. php?l=en& art=11536& size=A> . Western
solidarity can win concessions in these areas too.

If Westerners stick together, the Shari’a is doomed. If we do not, we are
doomed.

 

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