Linda Sarsour Claims Sharia Never Imposed on Anyone. Really?

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In response to anti-Sharia law demonstrations held in cities across the U.S., Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour tweeted: “There is NOT ONE example of Muslims trying to impose Sharia on ANY ONE. No legislations. Anti-Muslim rallies playing on the gullible.”

Lest her memory fails her, here is a partial list of locations where Muslims — including entire Muslim countries — impose sharia law on others including in the United States:


  1. UK

    A student from Florida was brutally beaten in October of 2013 by a Muslim sharia patrol in London. The “crime” of the student, an American citizen who was in England to advance his studies, was drinking a beer on the street. The patrols that began appearing on London’s streets in 2011, are mainly followers of radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, whose goal is to enforce sharia law even in non-Muslim countries.

  2. Germany

    A sharia patrol roaming the streets of Wuppertal, Germany was caught telling those walking by not to engage in activities forbidden by sharia law (drinking alcohol, using drugs, gambling, listening to music, etc.). The patrol also handed out notices to passersby telling them the area was a “Sharia Controlled Zone.”

    Despite the fact that the group was dressed in bright orange vests labelled “Sharia Patrol,” the court decided the group had not violated Germany’s laws on uniforms and public gathering.

  3. Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia employs religious police, mutaween, officially tasked by the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. The force, which comprises of 3,500 officers and thousands of volunteers, is often accompanied by a police escort as its officers arrest those they deem to not be in compliance with sharia law.

    Infractions include: unrelated men and women socializing, homosexual activity, not being dressed according to Islamic dress codes, stores open during prayer times, consumption of alcohol or pork, etc. The religious police even stopped women in a park from using the swings, claiming “the swing could tempt passers-by to harass or attack them.”

  4. Iran

    Iran instituted morality police forces to enforce sharia law after the Islamic revolution. Women are routinely hauled off by the police for violating Iran’s strict codes of Islamic dress – long coats, head coverings and no makeup.

    Most recently, at least 20 citizens were lashed in a northern province for eating in public during Ramadan and 90 were arrested in Qazvin for breaking the Ramadan fast. According to the law, those who eat in public during Ramadan can be punished by 10-60 days in prison or 74 lashes.

  5. Sudan

    Women in Sudan are continually targeted by the police for violating sharia codes by wearing pants or not wearing a hijab. In a famous case, the police arrested a group of women who were dining at a popular restaurant while wearing pants. Those who pleaded guilty received “only” 10 lashes while others faced up to 40 lashes. Well-known female journalist Amira Osman Hamed also faced flogging for walking outside with her hair uncovered.

    Police in Sudan also take advantage of the country’s sharia modesty laws to arrest and rape female human rights activists.

  6. Indonesia

    Indonesia’s sharia blasphemy laws were recently responsible for taking down the Christian governor of Jakarta and sending him to prison for two years. Police officers also escorted members of the Islam Defenders Front when they raided shopping malls in the capital city to check whether employees were wearing Santa hats in December.

    Indonesia’s Aceh province is run by sharia law, where violators are routinely punished by public caning.

  7. Malaysia

    Religious police in Malaysia are employed to enforce the country’s sharia law. Those in Malaysia can be arrested for eating during Ramadan, being in close proximity with the opposite sex, etc.

  8. Afghanistan

    Afghanistan’s Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice was first instituted in 1992 and adopted by the Taliban when they took power in 1996. Although the committee was shut down when the Taliban was ousted, it was reinstated in 2003 by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. In 2006 the Karzai regime submitted draft legislation to create a new department (same name), under the Ministry for Haj and Religious Affairs.

  9. Tunisia

    Protesters in Tunisia recently held a demonstration demanding the right to eat and drink in public during Ramadan. Even though the constitution in Tunisia guarantees “freedom of belief and conscience,” those who eat in public during Ramadan are routinely arrested and sentenced to jail terms for “public indecency.”

  10. United States

    Even in the U.S., communities of Muslims with the help of police officers have enforced sharia laws, as in the case of Dearborn, Michigan, where when a group of Christians tried merely to hold up signs about Christianity at the 2012 Dearborn, Michigan Arab Festival. The Christians were viciously attacked, verbally and physically, and ultimately stoned.

    Despite losing two similar freedom of speech lawsuits in the past (one of which cost the City of Dearborn $100,000), the city refused to protect the sign-holders’ constitutional rights, claiming lack of manpower.

    According to the police chief, two police officers would have been needed to protect the Christians. The chief said this would be impossible, since there was a big crowd to watch. Ironically, there was no violence or threat of violence (hence no need for police presence or protection) at any other location at the festival except where the Christians were holding their signs.

    At the end of the video below, you will see the police threaten to arrest the Christians (who, incidentally, never retaliated toward the mob).





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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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