Anna Kuta’s Shariah Law Op Ed on The Collegian website illustrates the exuberance of her deliberate ignorance and incoherent argumentation. Few, if any, of her assertions are found in legitimate peer-reviewed journals. As I do not have space to fully address Kuta’s dozen or more baseless allegations, this piece repudiates just two of her most deceptive assertions to illustrate her fundamentally flawed platform.
Kuta alleges, “Islamic law also teaches honor killings. Sura 6:151 says, “Do not kill the soul, which Allah forbids, except for a just cause.” What is the “just cause”?”
The verse states, “Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has forbidden: that you associate not anything as partner with Him and that you do good to parents, and that you kill not your children for fear of poverty…and that you approach not foul deeds, whether open or secret; and that you kill not the life which Allah has made sacred, save by right…”
Kuta ignores the verse’s numerous beautiful exhortations and somehow translates “save by right,” into a commandment to kill innocent women. The Qur’an defines “save by right” in 5:32, “We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”
In fact, the Qur’an considers life sacred and allows capital punishment only for convicted murderers and for those who create disorder in the land, i.e. violent rebellion and treason — just as the U.S. Constitution endorses. Kuta translated capital punishment for murder and treason into justification for killing innocent women — absolute dishonesty.
Kuta claims that the Qur’an has been abrogated, and thus, “There is no compulsion in religion,” (2:256) is void. Incorrectly defining who an idolator is, she cites 9:5 as an alleged example of religious compulsion. On the contrary, chapters eight and nine together guide Muslims to defend against those who launch preemptive attacks and break peace treaties. The Qur’an commands Muslims to give the invading army four months to retreat, forbidding Muslims from retaliating. Once those four months have ended, 9:5 commands Muslims to fight in defense of their sovereign nation — only against those who fight the Muslims first, no one else.
Far from abrogating 2:256, the Qur’an 9:5 goes to extensive lengths to maintain peace, remarkably giving an invading army the chance to retreat without consequence. After Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. launched a full scale retaliation. According to Kuta, this was wrong, because she objects to the Qur’an allowing a nation to defend itself when attacked preemptively. These two examples are just a small snapshot of the numerous deceptive measures Kuta employs.
That notwithstanding, she engages in open prejudice in claiming, “Muslims are [migrating] to America to change our laws.” In my Op Ed, as an American Muslim, I made clear that American Muslims do not want to impose Shariah Law, but are obliged to consider the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Without presenting a shred of evidence, Kuta inexorably demands that American Muslims stop trying to impose Shariah Law. Why?
Moreover, Muslims are not merely “immigrating here.” Muslims arrived on American shores from Africa as early as 900 C.E., centuries before Europeans. Even in contemporary times, countless Muslims are in America not just through immigration, but through birth and the conscious decision to revert to Islam.
If Kuta wishes to reply to this article, I welcome a live debate before the greater university community to address every allegation her Op Ed presents. Her fabricated and misquoted verses, and prejudice rhetoric are abhorrent to journalistic integrity. Likewise, I encourage everyone to read the Qur’an for themselves, in full, with an open mind. Find it online at http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/guide.htm?region=EN.
If she — or anyone — has the courage, I invite them to a public discussion on the Qur’an. I invite Kuta specifically because as a religion and news editor, I am sure she is more than qualified.