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Muslim Jurists of America Urge Hostility to U.S. Legal System

Clare Lopez

In a document recently discovered online by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and translated from the original Arabic into English by a colleague at Translating Jihad, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) declares that the only legitimate law according to Islam is sharia and urges American Muslims to nurture hostility towards U.S. law. The document, which was written in 2007 and presented at a 2008 Houston imams conference, makes clear that the AMJA’s ultimate goal, as described by scholar of Islam Andrew Bostom, “is nothing less than the eventual subversion of the American legal system” to Islamic law (sharia).

The AMJA’s website describes the annual Imams Conference as a “service to [the] Muslim community” that offers training to Muslim clerics working as a minority under “infidel” legal systems in North America. The goal is to provide guidance for these imams to pass on to their communities, especially those involved in the legal profession, on how to act overtly to present a façade of compliance with the existing legal system while feeling “hatred” in their hearts.

The paper specifically instructs these Muslim imams to encourage deception if necessary in order that Islamic law eventually will triumph over the laws to which they must temporarily feign allegiance (i.e., laws derived from the U.S. Constitution). The participation of Muslims -- whether clerics, ordinary lay persons or members of the American legal community -- in a non-Muslim legal system is described as temporary only and sanctioned by darura, the doctrine of necessity. This teaching position would seem to run awfully close to the legal definition of “sedition” or at the very least, “conspiracy to commit sedition” under the U.S. criminal code.

The AMJA’s online Fatwa service reflects the group’s sharia-adherent ideology with religious rulings posted on the website from its imam membership that sanction the death penalty by stoning for adultery, the killing of apostates and marital rape. It should be noted that the AMJA—whose stated purpose is to “clarify the rulings of the sharia which are relevant for those who live in America”—includes senior Muslim scholars who hold influential positions in Islamic Centers, mosques and universities across the U.S. Thus, the AMJA is an important professional organization for American Muslims involved in the legal field, and the fatwas issued by its members are considered authoritative.

Significantly, at least two members of the AMJA also hold or have held positions on the prestigious 18-member Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA): Muhammad Adam Alsheikh sits on the FCNA Executive Committee and Ahmad Al Soway’ey Shleibak has been a FCNA member in the past. The Fiqh Council (earlier the ‘ISNA Fiqh Committee’), is a listed affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood according to the Brotherhood’s own document.

The link between the AMJA and the Muslim Brotherhood should not be surprising, given the stated goal of each to implement Islamic law in place of currently-existing “infidel” law. Both organizations also speak in similar terms about the use of deception, guile and stealth to achieve their objectives, as is fully sanctioned under sharia.

Both the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliate, the AMJA, are engaged in ‘civilization jihad,’ as the Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America puts it. The purpose is to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within, incrementally, or by a strategy of “gradualism.” It would appear they are well along already.

Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).