Shariah law advocate Linda Sarsour, who is also a leader in the "resistance" movement against President Donald Trump, invoked the Bible and Torah on Saturday to defend Islam.
On Saturday, demonstrators took to streets across the country in organized anti-Shariah law protests. Of course, they were met with counter protesters who called them racist and "Islamophobic." But Sarsour spent the day replying to people on Twitter who derided Shariah law as a system of law that oppresses women and homosexuals — two groups of people Sarsour vows to defend.
"If you are going to show me what Islam says about homosexuality, be fair & show me what bible & Torah say. STOP obsession w/ Islam," Sarsour tweeted Saturday afternoon.
Shariah law is an umbrella term that refers to Islamic law, which is typically imposed in Muslim-majority nations and addresses both civil and criminal law. The Arabic word is used to refer to religious law and in the Qur'an the word is used to mean "path."
But because she declares herself both a progressive who believes in both feminism and the LGBTQ community and Shariah, many claim Sarsour is a hypocrite, which is why she invoked the Bible and Torah in reference to homosexuality.
In reply, Sarsour typically accuses her critics of not reading the Qur'an to understand the Islamic view on issues such as homosexuality. But her decision to invoke the Torah, and more importantly the Bible, indicates that she, too, hasn't read them or doesn't truly understand what they say about issues like homosexuality.
In Islam, homosexuality is punishable by death, according to Islamic holy texts. The Islamic State, Saudi Arabia and other radical Islamic groups regularly execute accused gay people by stoning them to death or by throwing them off the roof of tall buildings.
The Torah, which means "teaching" in Hebrew and includes the first five books of the Bible — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — does, indeed, say in Leviticus chapter 18 that homosexuality is detestable and abhorrent. It also says in Leviticus chapter 20 that the penalty for homosexuality is death. But simply reading the verse that makes that statement and taking it as the Jewish or Christian perspective on homosexuality would be to grossly take the Scripture out of its context.
First, the 613 laws given to the Hebrews included in the Torah were specific to the Israelites as a group of people who made a covenant with God and they were specific to the time that they were given. So to apply the law thousands of years later is to do the Scriptures a massive disservice.
Second, according to Christianity, Jesus came to fulfill the laws found in the Torah. Not only that, but Jesus, in announcing his Kingdom, raised the standard by which people lived. The Torah said that homosexuality is a detestable sin against God, but Jesus — as per his reaction to the woman found in the midst of adultery in John chapter 8 — likely would have told a man or woman engaged in homosexuality to turn away from their sin and that they are forgiven. In short, Jesus used sacrificial love to confront sin — not death and condemnation.
Certainly, this differs from the reaction Islamic nations have and have had for more than a thousand years to issues like homosexuality.
And in reply to her tweet, this fact was made very clear by Twitter users:
The problem is not Islam. It is sharia law.— Ahlam Palestina (@AhlamPalestina) June 10, 2017
Are homosexuals being executed in Israel? It's almost like people are focusing on the MUSLIM countries which execute LGBT or imprison them.— Walshy (@Sam_Walshy) June 10, 2017
More pointless whataboutery from one of the worst crypto-misogynists on the internet. The difference is called the Enlightenment, Linda.— Travis Wester (@westerspace) June 10, 2017
Words vs Deeds. Being gay gets you chucked off buildings, then stoned under Sharia. Christianity- it means you might not get a cake baked. pic.twitter.com/DrLQulBvU7— Alpha Mike Foxtrot (@AlphaMikeFox2) June 10, 2017
Yes, and while you're at it...name the 13 Christian and Jewish countries that execute ppl for being gay. Oh wait...— Yasmine Mohammed (@ConfessionsExMu) June 10, 2017
Please tell me what Muslim country can I visit and still be openly bisexual and openly Atheist, all while walking around publicly uncovered?— SelmaWelma (@evilcheebs) June 10, 2017
In fairness, people aren't blowing themselves up and mowing pedestrians down in the name of the Torah or Jesus.— (((terry levine))) (@terry_levine) June 10, 2017
When Christians/Jews go into pubs to kill 100s of gays in the name of religion,then we'll talk about them. Now its Islam which is homophobic— Blasfemous Mohan (@FCPogba) June 10, 2017
It's not what Islam says, but what it does. Hanging, beating, imprisonment are standard punishments for gays men in Islamic states.— Charles Lambert (@charles_lambert) June 10, 2017
Rejecting Sharia Law is apostasy and punishment for apostasy in Islam is clear as sunny day in Miami South beach ;)— Soran (@sorandarbani) June 10, 2017
Trying to clean Islam in the dirt of Judaism and Christianity. It doesn't work.— Mads (@MMads2) June 10, 2017