Khan-flict: Freedom Fighter Son, Sharia Supremacist Father
Ramadan saw the unanimous 1951 endorsement by 31 Pakistani jurists of the “Basic Principles of an Islamic Constitution” as properly enshrining the rights of non-Muslims in “every sphere.” He cited approvingly articles 7 and 11, which stated, respectively:
The citizens shall be entitled to all the rights conferred upon them by Islamic Law … All obligations assumed by the State, within the limits of the Sharia, towards the non-Muslims, shall be fully honored.
Predictably, Ramadan concluded:
[T]he only differentiation in political rights lies in the confinement of supreme authority to Muslim subjects … [T]he allegiance of subjects is twofold: that of Muslim subjects, which is established on the basis of their faith in the ideology of the State, and that of non-Muslim subjects, which is established on the covenant of dhimmah.
Notwithstanding the apologetic interpretations of devout, traditional Sharia supremacist Muslim religious scholars such as Said Ramadan -- or his modern lay acolyte, Khizr Khan -- an extensive and irrefragable doctrinal and historical record establishes the following: the “dhimmah” covenant, or pact, relegated non-Muslims to permanent, “sacralized” inferiority, insecurity, and debasement under the Sharia.
Shlomo Dov [S. D.] Goitein (d. 1985) was a historian of Muslim/non-Muslim relations whose seminal research findings were widely published, most notably in the monumental five-volume work A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (1967–1993). Goitein was professor emeritus of the Hebrew University and a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The New York Times obituary for Professor Goitein (published on February 10, 1985) noted, correctly, that his renowned (and prolific) writings on Islamic culture, and Muslim/non-Muslim relations, were “standard works for scholars in both fields.” Here is what Goitein wrote on the subject of non-Muslim dhimmis under Muslim rule -- that is, “the dhimmi covenant” -- circa 1970:
[A] great humanist and contemporary of the French Revolution, Wilhelm von Humboldt, defined as the best state one which is least felt and restricts itself to one task only: protection, protection against attack from outside and oppression from within … in general, taxation [by the Muslim government] was merciless, and a very large section of the population must have lived permanently at the starvation level.
From many Geniza letters one gets the impression that the poor were concerned more with getting money for the payment of their taxes than for food and clothing, for failure of payment usually induced cruel punishment. … [T]he Muslim state was quite the opposite of the ideals propagated by Wilhelm von Humboldt or the principles embedded in the constitution of the United States. An Islamic state was part of or coincided with dar al-Islam, the House of Islam. Its treasury was mal al-muslumin, the money of the Muslims.
Christians and Jews were not citizens of the state, not even second class citizens. They were outsiders under the protection of the Muslim state, a status characterized by the term dhimma, for which protection they had to pay a poll tax specific to them. They were also exposed to a great number of discriminatory and humiliating laws. . . . As it lies in the very nature of such restrictions, soon additional humiliations were added, and before the second century of Islam was out, a complete body of legislation in this matter was in existence. . . . In times and places in which they became too oppressive they lead to the dwindling or even complete extinction of the minorities.
Finally, Khizr Khan also opined gushingly on a seminal, if full-throated abrogation of U.S. and Western human rights law, published as “Human Rights in Islam.”
This compilation of conference proceedings included a keynote address titled, “The Nature of Islamic Law and the Concept of Human Rights,” by Mr. A.K. Brohi, former minister of legal and religious affairs, and jurist of the Supreme Court in Pakistan. Brohi declared plainly his -- and the Sharia’s -- unwavering support for full application of hadd punishments (death for apostasy, stoning to death for “adultery,” amputation for theft, lashing for alcohol consumption):
Divinely ordained punishments have to be inflicted and there is very little option for the judge called upon to impose Hadd if facts and circumstances are established that the Hadd in question has been transgressed to refuse to inflict the punishment. The Human duties and rights have been rigorously defined and their orderly enforcement is the duty of the whole of organized communities and the task is specifically entrusted to the law enforcement organs of the state.
The individual if necessary has to be sacrificed in order that the life of the organism be saved. Collectivity has a special sanctity attached to it in Islam.
Khizr Khan riveted upon Brohi’s speech in his review of “Human Rights in Islam” (see Book Review -- Human Rights in Islam, Texas International Law Journal, 1983; Volume 18, pp. 239-240), providing this effusive praise for the Pakistani jurist’s championing of brutal Sharia totalitarianism, unmollified:
The keynote speech of Dr. A.K. Brohi, former Pakistani Minister of Legal and Religious Affairs, is a hallmark in this book. It successfully explains the Islamic concepts of "right" and "just" in comparison to their Christian and Judaic counterparts. Brohi argues convincingly for the establishment of a moral value system before guarantees can be given for any kind of rights … the contribution made by Islam fourteen hundred years ago can be seen as representing the manifestation of the Divine Element that somehow will not let man devalue man.
It is indeed a tragic irony that Khizr Khan’s past apologetic promulgation of Sharia supremacism does more to negate his son’s ultimate sacrifice for true freedom than any utterance by any politician. If in the interim Khizr Khan came to view Sharia as the threat to U.S. liberties it remains, now that he is in the public spotlight he must reiterate such condemnation, without qualification.