Edward S. Beck: A Response to Prof. Eliyahu Stern’s NY Times Op-Ed on Not Fearing Sharia Law in America

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With all due respect to Yale Professor Eliyahu Stern’s expertise in Jewish Studies at Yale, his Op-Ed “Don’t Fear Islamic Law in America” merits public and critical criticism on several fronts, some of which are addressed here..

First, according to Prof. Philip Carl Salzman of McGill University, an anthropologist specializing in the Middle East “Stern is factually incorrect to say that ‘most [American Muslims] don’t even come from the [dangerous] Middle East (the majority have roots in Southeast Asia).’ Most American Muslims are Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, and Filipino? In fact up to a half are from the Middle East–Arabs, Persians, Turks, & Berbers–plus a quarter from South Asia, which is directly influenced by Saudi Arabia, and a quarter from mainly Black converts.”

Second, Jews never insisted in making Jewish law the law of the land in this country as Prof. Stern implies. Jews are instructed by the Torah to be good law-abiding citizens in the lands where they reside and observe Jewish law in their personal living practices to the best of their ability. Where state laws overrule religious laws, we are taught to obey those.

Third, this article further substantiates and fuels concern about the closing of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism with respect to the charge that studying contemporary Islamist anti-Semitism was considered politically incorrect. Fourth, Sharia laws dealing with honor killings, fatwas, dhimmitude and jihad are incompatible with the laws of this land and have proven seditious and unlawful.

Finally, Prof. Stern might have difficulty living in a country where Sharia law prevails.

( This piece represents solely the view of the author and no official position of SPME)

Edward S. Beck: A Response to Prof. Eliyahu Stern’s NY Times Op-Ed on Not Fearing Sharia Law in America

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Edward S. Beck

Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Contributing Faculty Member, Walden University






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