Last week, Awadh Binhazim, a Vanderbilt University Muslim chaplain, publicly acknowledged that Islamic law requires the death penalty for homosexuals.

Binhazim is caught in a tough situation. As he says, “I don’t have a choice as a Muslim to accept or reject teachings.” But then he tries to distinguish between sharia law, which is practiced in a number of countries, and “Islamic law.” He claims there is a difference between “Muslim law and Islamic law” and that while some countries practice the former, there are none that adhere to the latter. His explanation is something of a diversion since he later admits that that under Islamic law, the death penalty is required for homosexual behavior.

I’m hesitant to make too much of the comment without further explication by the chaplain. In this instance, Islamic Law is similar to the Law of Moses, which also requires the same punishment for certain behaviors such as homosexuality, apostasy, and adultery. Aside from some nutty Christian Reconstructionists, though, I don’t know of any Jewish or Christian groups that believe the Mosaic law should be reinstituted as a form of civil law.

The question that Binhazim should have been asked was whether he believes Islamic law should be the the law of the land in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. His answer to that question would have been much more revealing.

Donald Sensing , a alumnus of Vanderbilt Divinity School, notes that a Christian or Jew who claimed that homosexual behavior was an “abomination” would be censured by the school. That is unquestionable, though the double standard exemption for Islam is nothing new in academia. But Sensing also raises a more intriguing point:

The whole forum lasted about 80 minutes. The co-speaker, Army Reserve Capt. Cox, is a Muslim convert. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, testified to Congress this week that the Defense Dept.’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be revoked and that gays should be allowed to serve openly. A good question for Capt. Cox would be, “As a Muslim officer, do you accept Islam’s doctrine that homosexuality is an abomination?” There is no possible answer for him but yes, since textual literalism is a basic tenet of Islam. Then, “If you were directed by your superior commanders to participate in and publicly support a gay rights event, similar to such events already held by the military for ethnic minorities, would you comply?”

How should Muslim chaplains (and Jewish and Christian ones for that matter) react in such a circumstance?

(Via: Instapundit )

Articles by Joe Carter

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