Subject: Christianity and Islam Part 12 – Freedom, Sharia Law and the Cross
Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.”
Presidential candidate Ben Carson was heavily criticized late last year for his statement “If a Muslim is not willing to reject sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran — I would not support a Muslim for president.” Our last two Presidents (Bush and Obama) have encouraged us to embrace Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance. President Obama has said: “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
Dr. Carson and our former presidents can’t both be right. Maybe we should consult experts for the answer. Professors Emir and Ergun Caner are former Sunni Muslims who converted to Christianity. Both hold PhD’s (one in history, one in theology) and are co-authors of the best-selling books “Unveiling Islam: An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs” and “More Than a Prophet: an Insider’s Response to Muslim Beliefs About Jesus and Christianity”. Both men are academics and are uniquely qualified to help us understand why Dr. Carson is correct in speaking out against America adopting sharia law. In their past interview with Dr. John Ankerberg, they explain why they rejected sharia law and embraced Jesus Christ.
Dr. Emir Caner: “Sharia literally means a clear path. It comes from the Qur’an, chapter 45 and verse 18, where you’re given a clear path. That path is not a democratic path; it’s a path given to you. There’s no vote taken. So sharia is very undemocratic. It is something given to you in stone. So, for example, in America it would go against the Constitution. It would go against Article 1, with freedom of speech. It would go against Article 14 where women are considered half the witness of men, or Article 8 where there’s cruel and unusual punishment because you have the cutting off of hands. So sharia is completely foreign to much of the Western atmosphere.
Sharia is based on two things: one, the precepts of the Qur’an; and two, the example of the prophet. He’s the excellent exemplar and so the Hadith codifies Muhammad’s life. Islam is a cradle-to-grave religion, it’s 24/7. It involves everything from your dress and your modesty, to how you spend your money, to whom you marry, and everything in between. It is the pure lifestyle of Islam, and it demands everything from dietary habits, to those who blaspheme the prophet to be penalized and perhaps put to death. It really does take everything into your life.”
Dr. Ergun Caner: “Sharia is a legal system that has two levels. They have Dar Al-Islam, which is the house of Islam, and those are the legal rulings that deal with Muslims. But if you’re a nonbeliever, if you’re an infidel, then there’s Dar Al-Harb, which is the house of war. In a country that has sharia law, an infidel is allowed to live there, but they have to follow rules and are a second-class citizens. There’s no question. You have to pay the tax; you can’t hold office; you are not equal to the Muslim.”
Dr. Emir Caner: “The entire base of Western society is based on four freedoms, but the greatest of the freedoms is religious freedom. And we hold it dear, and not simply being in the American Constitution, but being biblical. In Islam, though, Muhammad said in Bukhari’s Hadith, volume 9, number 57, if a Muslim changes his Islamic religion, kill him. In places across the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, if someone denies Islam who was a Muslim, he or she is put to death. It is so not only anti-Western, but it is against everything that the United Nations itself has held.”
Dr. Ergun Caner: “That’s why most of us see the spread of sharia law as one of the most dangerous things we’ve faced. There is no individual rights. If you have violated Pakistan 295c, or blasphemed the prophet, within 24 hours you are put to death. The appeals process is nil.”
Dr. Emir Caner: “I left Islam and embraced Christianity for freedom – not politically, but spiritually in Christ.
You really have two options. Either Christianity is true or Islam is true. Both cannot be. Either Jesus died on the cross or He didn’t die on the cross. Either Jesus was raised from the dead or He wasn’t raised from the dead. But you have to choose. You have to choose whether you’re going to live under the oppression of a ritualistic system based in Islamic sharia law or whether you’re going to be based in the freedom of the resurrection of Christ where Jesus said He has come to ‘give life and give life more abundantly.’”