- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A prominent Muslim feminist and author penned an op-ed criticizing CNN political commentator Sally Kohn, arguing that her recent defense of Sharia law as moderate is an “offensive” and “dangerous” affront to progressive Muslims.

Ms. Kohn, who is openly gay, made headlines last week after she claimed “many progressive Muslims” supported Sharia law. She followed up in a CNN column explaining that there are progressive interpretations as well as more “fundamentalist conservative” interpretations of Sharia, which can be both personal and political.

“Sadly, the fact that there are many interpretations of Sharia, just as there are many interpretations of Jewish and Christian moral codes, gets lost in the weeds of right-wing generalizations and fear-mongering,” Ms. Kohn wrote.

Ms. Raza, president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow and author of “Their Jihad, Not My Jihad,” wrote that Ms. Kohn’s position is “a danger to those of us reformist Muslims on the front lines.”

“In using her voice to propagate this liberal apologist position, she is doing a great disservice to progressive reform-minded Muslims like myself,” Ms. Raza argued. “Her words are an affront to me, a female Muslim activist, as I have made it my life’s mission to educate others on this topic and to wrestle back my religion from the clutches of extremists who wish to make sharia the law of the land.”

She called Sharia an anti-women, anti-Semitic, homophobic distortion of Islamic law that would have gay individuals like Ms. Kohn killed, jailed or persecuted.

“As a woman, and as someone who enjoys the freedoms and liberties that are systematically assaulted by sharia law, Sally Kohn needs to think twice before defending this oppressive, perverse practice,” Ms. Raza wrote.

“Sharia is practiced in most parts of the Muslim world, often on the whims of dictators and male religious bullies and it is entirely man-made,” she continued. “This homophobic, anti-woman, repressive sharia is no longer confined to the mosque or to majority Muslim nations.

“This is why in the Muslim Reform Movement declaration, we (Muslims) make it very clear that we do not need or want institutionalized laws, a parallel legal system or sharia in the West. Religion is, and should be, a personal relationship between ourselves and our maker. Ms. Kohn, if you believe in separation of religion and state/law, then you must be against sharia law,” Ms. Raza argued.

“I don’t believe that Ms. Kohn has malicious intentions, but her misguided comments are a danger to those of us reformist Muslims on the front lines — battling to save our religion from extremists. Words are powerful — so Sally, I beg you and others to stop defending the indefensible and to stand with us, not them.”

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