Yes, all that hand-chopping and stoning really isn't all that bad, if you look at it from the right perspective. Dalia Mogahed, you may recall, along with John Esposito cooked the data from a global survey of Muslim attitudes in order to increase the number of Muslim "moderates" -- classifying people as "moderate" who hate America, want to impose Sharia, and support suicide bombing. "Barack Obama adviser says Sharia Law is misunderstood," by Andrew Gilligan and Alex Spillius in the Telegraph, October 8 (thanks to Andrew Bostom):
President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, has provoked controversy by appearing on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Sharia Law.
Miss Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice".
Here's some gender justice straight out of the Koran. The Koran likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: "Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will" (2:223).
The Koran also declares that a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man: "Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her" (2:282).
It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice" (4:3).
It rules that a son's inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: "Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females" (4:11).
Worst of all, the Koran tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them" (4:34).
It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures "shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated" (65:4).
And here is some gender justice from the Hadith:
Muhammad said: "If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." -- Bukhari 4.54.460
And: "By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel's saddle." -- Ibn Majah 1854
The White House adviser made the remarks on a London-based TV discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.
The group believes in the non-violent destruction of Western democracy and the creation of an Islamic state under Sharia Law across the world.
Should an adviser to the President of the United States really have given her sanction to such a group? Apparently she has no problem with its goal:
Yes, and unfortunately, the chief misunderstanders of Islam are all those Muslims who somehow keep getting the crazy idea that their religion obliges them to wage war against unbelievers. But of course Mogahed didn't mean them -- rather, she meant those irritating non-Muslims who keep noticing that all these misunderstanders of Islam keep invoking Islamic texts to justify violence and supremacism.
Miss Mogahed appeared alongside Hizb ut Tahrir's national women's officer, Nazreen Nawaz.
During the 45-minute discussion, on the Islam Channel programme Muslimah Dilemma earlier this week, the two members of the group made repeated attacks on secular "man-made law" and the West's "lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism".
They called for Sharia Law to be "the source of legislation" and said that women should not be "permitted to hold a position of leadership in government".
Miss Mogahed made no challenge to these demands and said that "promiscuity" and the "breakdown of traditional values" were what Muslims admired least about the West.
She said: "I think the reason so many women support Sharia is because they have a very different understanding of sharia than the common perception in Western media.
"The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with sharia compliance.
"The portrayal of Sharia has been oversimplified in many cases."...
Miss Mogahed admitted that even many Muslims associated Sharia with "maximum criminal punishments" and "laws that... to many people seem unequal to women," but added: "Part of the reason that there is this perception of Sharia is because Sharia is not well understood and Islam as a faith is not well understood."
The video of the broadcast has now been prominently posted on the front page of Hizb ut Tahrir's website.
Miss Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and moved to America at the age of five, is the first veiled Muslim woman to serve in the White House. Her appointment was seen as a sign of the Obama administration's determination to reach out to the Muslim world.
She is also the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a project which aims to scientifically sample public opinion in the Muslim world.
During this week's broadcast, she described her White House role as "to convey... to the President and other public officials what it is Muslims want."
Not what America might want from Muslims -- i.e., respect for Constitutional pluralism and republican government.