Newsletter #72 – TN Imams and the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA)

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America website (AMJA) states that it is a non-profit organization,

“. . . established in response to the growing need of an Islamic jurisprudence specific to Muslims in the West. Its main goal is to uphold authentic standards using high academic standards, moderate approach and a rejection of extremism.”

The AMJA issues fatwas and “declarations” which are the “decisions and recommendations” intended to advise Muslims living in the West.  AMJA also hosts the annual Imams training conference.  (Yasir Qadhi, Memphis Islamic Center Imam, spoke at the 2012 AMJA Imams Conference in Los Angeles comparing Jewish and Islamic requirements for animal slaughter. )

The Muslim Observer notes that the list of AMJA scholars “stretches from Al-Azhar University to Virginia’s Open University, and back across the ocean to the professors at Saudi universities.” (plenty of fundamentalist sharia law to go around).

Here are some examples of AMJA fatwas posted at the website:

Building bridges with people of other religious communities

“To have shared religious services or the like would be crossing the lines. Also, we do not need to sanction their religion to show friendliness,…”

“It is important to understand that for a religious minority, the notions of “All religions are equal” or “Religions are different paths leading to the same end” are dangerous and their acceptance is a commitment of communal suicide. That is because there is always enormous pressure to assimilate into the mainstream.”

Dealing with non-Muslims

“AMJA asserts that dealing with non-Muslims who desire to live in peace with Muslims is based on justice and kindness. This covers many forms of dealings such as responding to their invitations, inviting them to Muslims homes, allowing them to enter mosques in order to introduce Islam to them and make it closer to their hearts, exchanging gifts with them in other than their religious celebrations….

AMJA asserts that participating in non-Muslim religious celebrations or congratulating them for these occasions is prohibited, as this implies endorsement for rituals and doctrines that are not part of the Islamic creed.”

Is Islam expandable enough to tolerate political parties

“Tenth: There is no problem in making alliances with moderate secular trends in the stage of pursuance of establishing the Islamic State, on condition that the subject of alliance is legal, and that it must not comprise any bindings that would harm the message of the religion, or that would tie the hands of the people who are involved in the Da`wa works and prevent them from spreading the truth and from marching towards the objective of establishing the Islamic State.”

Tennessee Imam and AMJA say halal products may not be necessary

Recommendations of AMJA’s 4th imams workshop –

“12. Kindness and justice are the basis for dealing with both Muslims and non-Muslims, and among them, the People of the Book have a special place. Examples of this can be found in Shari`ah—that their slaughtered meat is permissible for us and that their women are permissible for Muslim men to marry—two privileges other religions do not share.”

(note – “People of the book” refers to Jews.  This recommendation is AMJA’s ruling confirmed by Yasir Qadhi in his 2012 AMJA presentation that Muslims may purchase kosher meat and other kosher marked products.[1] So it seems that demands for halal food are made in pursuance of political objectives.)

Do not become “pleased with a legal system that does not come from allah” – the 22 page AMJA paper issued in Arabic has been translated into English and is consistent with the more abbreviated declaration from the AMJA 5th annual convention.  With regard to working as a police officer, the longer paper recognizes that this can be helpful to the Muslim community in some ways but cautions that they could potentially be “required to enforce laws contrary to the sharia…”

Perhaps Remziya Suleyman, head of the Muslim American Center for Outreach (ACO) who recently criticized  police and prosecutorial action against the Kurdish Pride Gang, whose brother recently graduated from the Police Academy, and who has been briefed by Tennessee imams on sharia, will explain to us what sharia laws are contrary to ours.

[1] But admits that the reverse does not apply because kosher standards are stricter than halal.