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ADAMS: Harry Potter and Sharia law

Honor killings may not be on the big screen, but a celebrity angle is getting them big coverage

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Sometimes, only a celebrity angle can get the public to pay attention to what's important. The Harry Potter actress who suddenly became subject to Sharia law may be the source of such a moment when the public pays enough attention to create a sea change in national opinion.

On July 2, CNN reported, "The father and brother of a Harry Potter actress will appear in court later this month in Manchester, England, on charges of threatening to kill the young star." The family is Muslim, and the suspected motives are clear - Afshan Azad, who played Harry's classmate Padma Patil in the popular movies - was dating a Hindu.

Popular publications including Entertainment Weekly, People and US Weekly are all covering this disturbing but not unprecedented case, bringing a horrifying fact of life in Europe and across the world to the attention of people who don't immerse themselves in news and politics.

Though the assault on Miss Azad by her father and brother is in the spotlight, such cases are hardly new. Last year in Ohio, teenager Rifqa Bary ran away, claiming her parents threatened to kill her because she had converted to Christianity. The drama received a blip of press coverage, and she remains a ward of the state. Also last year, in Arizona, a Muslim father murdered his daughter by running over her for being too Western.

One of the most horrific and notorious instance of Islamic "honor killing" in recent memory in the United States occurred in Buffalo, N.Y., in February, 2009. The founder of Bridges TV, a television station whose stated purpose was to show a more tolerant and positive view of Muslims and Islam, beheaded his wife. Muzzammil Hassan murdered her in the facilities of the TV station.

In a 2004 press release, Hassan stated, "Every day on television we are barraged by stories of a Muslim extremist, militant, terrorist, or insurgent, but the stories that are missing are the countless stories of Muslim tolerance, progress, diversity, service and excellence that Bridges TV hopes to tell."

While Miss Azad's case is receiving more attention than most of its predecessors, almost all of the reporting is missing a key component - the Islamic doctrinal basis for these horrific attacks on and murders of females by males within Muslim families for leaving Islam and/or not being "Islamic enough." These attacks are neither accident nor aberration.

According to Islamic doctrine, adherents are in a state of perpetual and universal conflict and war with nonbelievers.

According to "Reliance of the Traveller," the definitive book of Sharia law, leaving Islam (apostasy) requires a death sentence: "When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed."

Behavior considered "un-Islamic" is also cause for execution, according to Sharia law: "Someone raised among Muslims who denies the obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, the pilgrimage, or the unlawfulness of wine and adultery, or denies something else upon which there is scholarly consensus and which is known as being of the religion thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir) and is executed for his unbelief."

Islamic doctrine and law allow murder of family members and non-Muslims (kafirs).

"Reliance of the Traveller" on killing:

"The following are not subject to retaliation: a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim ... a Jewish or Christian subject of the Islamic state for killing an apostate from Islam (because a subject of the state is under its protection, while killing an apostate from Islam is without consequences) ... a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring."

The multitudes of Harry Potter fans are likely now to do some reading on the subject of Islam, perhaps researching the doctrine of Islam - Koran, Sira, Hadith or even Sharia law. They will not likely be pleased with what they discover.

The barbaric assault against Miss Azad by her father and brother should be a catalyst for millions of Harry Potter fans across the world who know nothing about Islam to learn about this cruel and oppressive ideology.

The early communist Leon Trotsky famously said, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." The observation is accurate, as is this modernization: "You may not be interested in Islam, but Islam is interested in you."

D.L. Adams is contributing editor at Family Security Matters and New English Review.

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