(Continued from page 3) American Fiqh
State House and White House is not so clear; but based on their words elsewhere, it probably sounds like this : We are the leaders of six million American Muslims. We tell them all where to put their money, even tell them how to vote. We can make them loyal supporters of the American System both here and abroad, and help you fight its enemies. What is that worth to you?
If you are not worried yet, think again. The system of American Fiqh sets no meaningful limits upon its bosses. This is probably no accident. There is no provision for straightening an out-of-line leader, there isn't even a clear line. In their scheme, the American ulema can get away with suspending Islamic rules out of expediency, or whim. Scholars from abroad can't restrain them, because the outsiders have no authority here. Non-scholars have it even worse. They might know Islam, but without a degree in Islam from Saudi U. or Temple, they waste their breath. In the end, the only thing that restrains the advocates of American Fiqh is their promise not to betray Islam--but given the temptations they face, that is not enough.
Will American Fiqh keep its promise, for example, if tough kafir negotiators push bribes with one hand, and threats with the other? What will happen when a Steven Emerson demands the silencing of Muslims who peaceably call for the re-establishment of the Islamic State? There may come a day, God forbid, when we understand, all too late, that the "old" Shari'ah rules that we blamed for our difficulties were, in fact, our safeguards and shields.
For now though, American Fiqh is a minority view, even among ulema. Every panel took sharp criticism from the audience for watering down Islam. At one point during the political participation session, a commentator compared them to garbage men so used to their trade that they were no longer aware of the stink. Such rejection, however, does not seem to faze them. They win, you see, so long as their ideas can be counted as one set of Islamic opinions among other Islamic