“My concern is to look at institutional Islam: we see the example of the Middle East, where clearly Sharia is being sanctioned by the major religious teaching institutions,” he tells Newsmax TV’s John Bachman.
“The problem is that since so many of these [U.S.] imams are trained in the Middle East, we’re seeing institutional Islam in the United States wanting to have the same Sharia-guided principles govern the Muslim community in the United States.”
The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America is a mainstream group that provides training to imams in the U.S. and Canada. It provides online opinions — fatwas — on all kinds of religious and political issues for Muslims.
It’s not just about “piety of practice but also issues like what do you do with a blasphemer, someone who criticizes the religion or criticizes Mohammed?” says Bostom.
“What if a Muslim in North America wants to leave Islam and become an agnostic or convert to Christianity or some other religion? There’s the issue of female genital mutilation, which in certain schools of Islamic law, particularly the Shafi’i School, is something that is sanctioned.”
The answers provided for North American Muslims are the same as would be offered by imams in Saudi Arabia or Iran might answer them for North American Muslims, says Bostom, author of the new book “Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamist Totalitarianism.”.
So how can we stop the infiltration of Sharia?
“It’s just affirming our own principles,” he says. A recent survey of 600 high-achieving Muslim Americans showed that 60 percent favor the use of blasphemy law, Bostom says. That would mean people who criticize Islam or Mohammed would be punished.
“These are American Muslims who are actually quite successful,” he says. “So something’s wrong in the way that we are inculcating our own constitutional values. I don’t blame the Muslims. This is part of their tradition, and we’re not succeeding in making clear what our own principles are.”