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Donald Trump vs. Sadiq Khan

Donald Trump is on the record calling for the ban of all Muslims entering the United States until U.S. representatives can figure out what is going on.  London’s new Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, says Trump is ignorant about Islam and assures that mainstream Islam and Western liberal values are compatible.

So what do the words “Muslim” and “mainstream Islam” mean to Trump and Khan?

While Trump has said that many of his Muslim friends agree with his plan to block all Muslims from entering the United States, Khan contends that mainstream Islam does not pose a threat to the West.

Although Khan is correct that the majority of Muslims are peaceful and not dangerous, the issue needs to be carefully examined to avoid confusion as there is a difference between Islam and Islamism.

Islamists follow Islamism.  They have an orthodox understanding of the Koran and believe that all of its verses apply in the 21st century. The Islamists have submitted to the teaching of the Islamic ideology and reject all other ideologies. This orthodox understanding breeds sharia. 

– amputation of the hands of thieves

– crucifixion

– stoning of adulterers

– flogging for drinking alcohol or fornication

– punishment for homosexuals      

– beating women to force them to have sex

– extorting tribute money from non-Muslims

– honor killing

A mainstream Muslim would reject the orthodox interpretation of Islam and would not adhere to the above commands. If a Muslim believes these practices should be implimented, then he or she is not a mainstream Muslim but rather is an Islamist. It is safe to say that most Westerners would agree that if someone believes in the implementation of these severe actions, they should not be welcome as a new member of a civilized society, as they could pose a threat to that society.

The question here is whether Khan believes in the validity of these verses in the 21st century.  Trump obviously assumes that Khan rejects these verses, as he told the media that there are always exceptions and he hoped that Khan would succeed.  But assuming mainstream Islam is compatible with Western values, and Muslims respect the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and federal law, such as the rights of non-Muslims, gays, and feminists, and also respect freedom of speech and freedom of religion, then nobody should block their entrance to the United States.

Ghasem Akbari is a certified Sharia lawyer and Islamic expert for the Supreme Court of Iran, and an adjunct professor of law at St. Mary’s University in the United States. He is also the author of two books and numerous articles. Maria Sliwa is an adjunct assistant professor of Media Law at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism @MariaSliwa

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