Fighting for sharia 28

We must remind ourselves: What was the invasion of Iraq for?

We’re not talking about pretexts to urge other states into coalition with US forces, such as the need to eliminate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.

And we’re not changing our mind about the invasion: we’re glad that the tyrant was toppled from power and executed.

But wasn’t there a supreme, highly desirable, worth-sacrificing-lives-for, aim of the war?

We seem to remember that it had to do with changing the Ba’athist tyranny into a Western-style democratic state and Western ally.

Somehow, along the way, that aim has been forgotten, changed, or discarded.

Sure, there have been elections in Iraq: people voted, and there is a parliament of representatives. But the rooting of democracy requires much more than that.

For one thing, in our sort of democracy the law treats all sane adults equally.

Islamic law, sharia, forbids equal treatment. It rates  women as “half a man” in matters of testimony and inheritance. Women have no right to keep their children if their husbands divorce them.

Sharia is not merely incompatible with Western liberal-democratic values, it contradicts them.

While US law enshrines the principle of tolerance, sharia enjoins intolerance (glaring example: apostasy from Islam is punishable by death).

US  law forbids cruel punishment, but sharia amputates limbs and executes by stoning.

So why hasn’t the US, having won the war, insisted on a constitution for Iraq that would ensure justice, as Americans understand it, for all Iraqis?

Instead, Iraq has a new constitution that makes sharia the law of the land.

Who wrote it? Who with this single act rendered the war, so costly in blood and treasure, ultimately pointless?

We have wondered who it was, and now we know. We can identify the architect of Iraq’s constitution.

Believe us or believe us not, it is an American orthodox Jew.

His name is Noah Feldman. And he came to the task under the auspices of Elena Kagan.

His Wikipedia entry informs us:

Noah Feldman grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the Maimonides School. He graduated from Harvard College in 1992 and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a D.Phil in Islamic Thought in 1994. Upon his return from Oxford, he received his J.D., in 1997, from Yale Law School, where he was the book review editor of the Yale Law Journal. He later served as a law clerk for Associate Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2001, he joined the faculty of New York University Law School, leaving for Harvard in 2007. In 2008, he was appointed the Bemis Professor of International Law.

He was appointed to his professorship of Internationa Law at Harvard by Elena Kagan (sworn in today as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court), who was then Dean of Harvard Law School.

Christine Brim at Big Peace tells the story:

With Kagan’s direction, Harvard’s Islamic Legal Studies Program developed a mission statement dedicated “to promote a deep appreciation of Islamic law as one of the world’s major legal systems.”  …

Her chief staff at the Islamic Legal Studies Program aggressively expanded non-critical studies of Shariah law

When Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal offered … $20 million to the Islamic Legal Studies Program in December 2005 – Kagan accepted it; after all, the Saudi royal family had funded the program since its inception, to establish the moral and legal equivalency between Shariah law and U.S. Constitutional law.  …

Kagan not only promoted the interests of the Saudis at Harvard, she also protected them when she became Solicitor General:

A suit [was] filed by thousands of 9/11 family members that traced funding for the 19 hijackers to certain Saudi royals, along with banks, corporations and Islamic charities. Kagan, as Obama’s Solicitor General, said in her brief “that the princes are immune from petitioners’ claims” and that the families’ claims …  fell “outside the scope” of the legal parameters for suing foreign governments or leaders.

She appointed Noah Feldman because his admiration for sharia chimed with her own:

In December, 2006, Kagan hired Noah Feldman, architect of Iraq’s Constitution requiring Shariah, as a star faculty member at Harvard Law School. On March 16, 2008, Feldman published his controversial article “Why Shariah” in the New York Times Magazine, which promoted “Islamists” – the Muslim Brotherhood – as a progressive democratic party, and promoted Shariah as a model not just for Muslim-majority countries but for all: “In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world…” The article was adapted from his book The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, which was published in late March, 2008.

On September 16, 2008, Kagan whole-heartedly endorsed Feldman’s promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood and Shariah by honoring him with the endowed Bemis Chair in International Law. Feldman’s speech on receiving the award was revealing: he advocated for an international, “outward interpretation” of the Constitution that could “require the U.S. to confer rights on citizens of other nations” …

As to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist worldwide political organization that Feldman and Kagan support? Their motto is as revealing as Feldman’s speech:

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Given that slogan, you could well ask if Feldman really meant the Muslim Brotherhood when he wrote about “Islamists” in the book which Kagan so admired that she gave him an endowed chair. And he anticipated that question; in the second footnote in his book he states, “Throughout this book, when I refer to Islamists or Islamism, I have in mind mainstream Sunni Muslim activists loosely aligned with the ideology of the transnational Muslim Brotherhood (MB)…the Brotherhood broadly embraces electoral politics, but without eschewing the use of violence in some circumstances, notably against those whom it defines as invaders in Iraq and Palestine.” …

There can be little doubt that Elena Kagan was the moving spirit behind the Iraqi constitution that Noah Feldman wrote. Christine Brim gives further evidence:

On May 1, 2007, Kagan initiated a lecture series on Shariah Law, named for Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri, a legal scholar who had drafted constitutions throughout the Middle East between the 1930s and 1960s. There are literally dozens of legal reformers throughout the Muslim world that she could have chosen; but she chose al-Sanhuri.

Sanhuri’s entire career was dedicated to making sure that the civil and criminal legal codes throughout the Middle East were Shariah-compliant. He drafted the laws that ensured Shariah law took precedence over secular laws. As much as any single individual, he was responsible for the legal drafting for the “Constitutionalization” of Shariah in previously secular Muslim-majority nations in the 20th century, in concert with the political pressure for Shariah by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the financial pressure for Shariah by the Saudi Royal Family.

Kagan consistently used her position at Harvard to promote and legitimate the introduction of Shariah provisions into national constitutions, and indeed into Supreme Courts of other nations.

The example given is Pakistan, where her influence is having “dire consequences”. Christine Brim describes them in her article, which needs to be read in full.

It ends with a warning:

Elena Kagan is fifty years old. She could easily serve to the age of eighty or longer. Her confirmation to the Supreme Court will begin a thirty-years legal war to protect the Constitution against Shariah.