Dr. Ben Carson ignited a firestorm this week by suggesting a Muslim U.S. President would create conflict within our Constitutional form of government. People from both sides of the political isle railed against his bigoted and Muslim-phobic world view. Sadly, their hysterical shrieks revealed a frightening and potentially dangerous lack of study on their part.
African Muslim thinker and writer Nassim Kamdar writes in his book
Shariah-The Best Kept Secret...
"Parliamentary Democracy is theoretically a brilliant form of Government, but only to those who believe that man has the power to make his own laws (those who worship themselves) and actively promote that world view. A pre-requisite for it's establishment is rebellion to God and His exclusive authority." Kindle Location 96
Hamed is the resident theologian at the Islamic Studies Center in Dubai, UAE. Last month I had the privilege of attending Friday prayers, and enjoying a four hour lunch with Hamed. He invited me to ask any and all questions regarding Islam. At one point in our lunch I took out my Kindle and shared Nassim Kamdar's quote. I explained my understanding of the issue, and asked Hamed if he agreed. This is what he told me.
The Quran, the life of Muhammad the Prophet, and Shariah Law form the basis for Islamic faith and practice. They see Law as divinely inspired and revealed by Allah. The role of clerics, leaders, and courts is to apply the Shariah justly in a contemporary context. American Democracy is based upon laws passed by leaders elected by the populace. While American Democracy is "of the people, by the people, and for the people" Shariah is just the opposite. American Democracy is bottom up. Islam is definitely top down. The very thought that humans should create their own laws is offensive to the mind of a Muslim committed to the supreme revelation of Allah. How can humans create what Allah has already given?
I would encourage those who are angry with Dr. Carson to do some more studying. His comments were not offensive in there nature. They were simply challenging to those unaware of Islamic teaching. How could a devote Muslim, who believes one true Law was given by Allah, function in a Democratic system where men enforce man made laws? There is a built in philosophical juxtaposition.
Just to muddy the waters, I must add that I am challenged by the words of Hamed and Nassim as I watch America's elected officials passing laws that defy the historical teaching of the Old and New Testaments. American law is built on British Common Law that built on the Bible. What will American Christians do when their elected officials pass laws that conflict with their faith? That is another blog for another day!
As I continue to study the Quran and Shariah Law, I am persuaded that most political leaders in America do not yet understand the questions they are busy trying to answer. I write this as a committed follower of Jesus Christ who has a growing conviction that Christians and leaders in America need to understand Islam. It will be a key economic, sociological, and military topic for decades to come. We, the West, must be ready and willing to respectfully and knowledgeably engage it! If we do not, we will pay a terrible price for our ignorance!