Monday, June 05, 2023
Jul 30

Written by: Diana West
Monday, July 30, 2012 5:40 AM 

Saudi religious authorities decided it was a necessity to break Islamic law to permit infidel troops to defend "the Kingdom," and we call Saudi Arabia an ally. Osama bin Laden didn't agree it was a necessity, and declared war on America. But they all thought the Islamic law against infidels was swell.


Ruthfully Yours highlights an important article by Mark Durie discussing the Islamic "Law of Necsessity." In a nutshell, this law is an escape hatch for Muslims from any Islamic law that impractically or disadvantageously conflicts with circumstances. Such circumstances are the subject of much Islamic debate. In fact, it's probably true that the single most significant internal Islamic dispute is over what specific circumstances should trigger "law of necessity" exceptions to Islamic law -- not over the morality and import of the draconian legal code itself. It is in this practical -- in no way philosophical -- dispute where the West vainly seeks "moderates" and "allies." What our blind and willfully blind leaders find are temporary friendlies driven by expediency, not innate compatibility.


Because Islam's "Law of Necessity" fully permits Muslims to find creative ways to adapt when Sharia Law conflicts with practical life, the argument that societies are obliged to make concessions to privilege all the demands of strict Sharia Law is considerably weakened.

This is an Islamic argument, of course, that the West must reject or else fully enter the Islamic orbit. What's interesting here, however, is that Islam actually provides Muslims with a legal mechanism to accept the Western way without blowing up.


Islam Is a flexible religion: religious obligations allow exceptions, subject to circumstances. Muslim religious scholars balance countervailing obligations to determine when exceptions apply. Understanding such balancing of necessities in Islam is not only important for public policy, but also for understanding how an identical set of religious beliefs can be used to justify war or peace, terrorism or peaceful coexistence.

"Flexible" is not the word that comes to mind when I think of Islam, but it should. Maybe "slippery" is a better word. Indeed, as Durie writes, the Law of Necessity is the codification of the creed, "the ends justify the means." Citing the Olympics, which are running during Ramadan, Durie notes that many teams are not fasting according to religion exemption. ( Morocco, however, for example, is fasting). Optimum atheletic performance in most cases is considered a greater Islamic good than fastng atheletes. This instantly made me think of Afghanistan, where Ramadan-fasting Afghans have repeatedly killed Americans and other mainly-Christian forces for eating or drinking during the Muslim holiday. According to Durie's argument, had the Law of Necessity been invoked by Islamic authorities, a quick religious dispensation approving of Christians and others eating during the Muslim holiday from an imam or two (for whom US troops have built mosques) could have prevented this.

But such a ruling wasn't determined to serve Islamic ends. And our leaders didn't force the issue, or even understand the issue. I'm not suggesting our generals invoke Islamic law. They should have laid down our law -- stop shooting our troops for drinking water,  or else. Leave it to the Afghan elders to sort it out and preach it to the masses.

Durie notes that Muslim Brotherhood "spritual advisor" (read: jihad advisor) Yusuf al-Qaradawi "has written extensively about the jurisprudence of `balancing necessities.' He explains that interests and pros and cons of any deed must be balanced, one against each other and weighed carefully."

The results invariably deceive to the ignorant West, as, for example, when warpath-jihadists show support for a female political leader. It's not that Islam is coming around to a philospical acceptance of female equality, which is how the West will always see it. It's just a passing exception to Islam's repression of women as codified under Islamic law. Rather than reward a faux-change of heart by coddling Islam, the West should continue to press Islam to make similar exceptions, particularly where Western troops are concerned, and by Muslims living in the West itself.


The possibility of balancing necessities needs to be taken into account when organizations and governments are faced with demands that they make concessions for the sake of complying with Islamic Sharia Law. Because the Islamic "Law of Necessity" fully permits Muslims to find creative ways to adapt when Sharia law conflicts with practical life, the argument that societies are obliged to make concessions to privilege all the strict demands of Sharia Law is considerably weakened.

Non-Muslims in particular need to take balancing necessities into account.

Consider Sheikh Ahmed al-Mahlawi of Egypt who accepts that it is not a sin for Muslim religious scholars to see women in the streets with unveiled faces: the need for Muslim scholars to get around in public places outweighs the prohibition against men seeing women's unveiled faces. He boasted, all the same, that he had compelled a US consular official to wear the hijab [headscarf] when she met with him.

The Islamic rule of thumb here is if you can play 'em, play 'em. Durie notes:

If the U.S. official had been better informed, she might have asked that Sheikh al-Mahlawi take a more moderate, balanced approach.

She might have refused to submit to the hijab, pointing out that the Sheikh copes very well with looking at the unveiled faces of women whenever he goes into the street. ...

Oh, happy day. But no. We submit. Our female officials submit to hijabs -- a disgrace that speaks ill of our male officials as well -- because we do not establish conditions that make it an "necessity" for Islam to exempt its acolytes from dress codes when meeting women of  Christian, Jewish and other faiths. It's a power struggle, pure and simple, and we are losing. One way to begin winning again is to announce there will be no such meetings if the precondition is to cover our female officials.

Some Muslim governments would permit Islamic law to be hold such meetings about; others would not. But what's important to realize is that it is mainly over when and where to break the law is where Muslims differ -- not over the law itself.


Consider the difference in opinion between the Saudi leaders and Usama Bin Ladin concerning the presence of American soldiers in the Kingdom after the invasion of Kuwait. Bin Ladin opposed this infidel 'occupation'. In his 1996 fatwa declaring war on America he counted the presence of US soldiers as "one of the worst catastrophes to befall the Muslims" since the death of Muhammad.

Saudia Arabia's Grand Mufti and supreme religious authority Sheikh Ibn Baz, however, allowed American troops into Saudi Arabia, although in another fatwa he had stated that Christian servants could not be employed in Arabia:

"It is not allowed to have a non-Muslim maid. It is not allowed to have a non-Muslim male or a non-Muslim female servant, or a worker who is a non-Muslim for anyone living in the Arabian peninsula. This is because the Prophet Muhammad ordered the Jews and Christians to be expelled from that land. He ordered that only Muslims should be left there. He decreed upon his death that all polytheists must be expelled from this Peninsula. (Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women, p. 36 compiled by Abdul Malik Mujahid).

Both Usama Bin Ladin and the Saudi authorities agreed on the principle that infidels could not be permitted to live in Saudi Arabia. What they disagreed on was how to balance this against other requirements, such as the need to safeguard the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This difference was enough to trigger Bin Ladin's war on America.

What distinguishes a jihadi terrorist from a more peaceful Muslim, therefore, may not be any fundamental difference in belief, but, as in the West, merely in a given instance, how the religious legal principles of his faith should be applied.

But hand-in-glove, they all work to advance Islamic law.


<June 2023>
June, 2023
May, 2023
April, 2023
March, 2023
February, 2023
January, 2023
December, 2022
November, 2022
October, 2022
September, 2022
August, 2022
July, 2022
June, 2022
May, 2022
April, 2022
March, 2022
February, 2022
January, 2022
December, 2021
November, 2021
October, 2021
September, 2021
August, 2021
July, 2021
June, 2021
May, 2021
April, 2021
March, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West