The word “slander” has a substantially different sense in sharia than in contemporary English usage. We use the word to indicate that you have said something that is substantially untrue about someone or something in such a way as to damage their reputation.
In sharia, the word translated as “slander” is the Arabic word ghiba. It means to say anything about someone that they do not like, even though it is true. This rule was given by Mohammed himself:
“Do you know what slander is? It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.” Someone asked, “What if he is as I say?” And he replied, “If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not, you have calumniated him.”
Note that, by definition, this kind of slander is true.
Whenever there is an act of war committed by radical jihadists against a Western target, we hear that it is wrong to “slander” Islam by suggesting that there was a connection between the jihadist act and the religion that preaches jihad.
The remark is not slander in the ordinary English sense of the word, but rather is ghiba: something that is true but offensive to hear.
When the word is translated this way, ordinary listeners will understand that the accusation being called “slander” is false.
In fact, what is really being said is that you shouldn’t speak this particular truth because some Muslims resent it.
Suggestions that you must not say true things that offend Muslims are a form of dawa, the call to Islam that by Islamic law must precede jihad.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, told a Toledo, Ohio, Muslim Arab Youth Association convention in 1995, “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through the sword, but through dawa.”
Accusations of slander work both to silence critics of Islam and to make the society submit to Islamic values. Even without knowing that they are obeying sharia, those silenced are being forced to comply with sharia’s definition of “slander.”
They are being subjugated to Islamic law without knowing it.
In addition to “slander,” Mohammed forbade “talebearing.”
“[T]alebearing… lies in divulging a secret, in revealing something confidential whose disclosure is resented. A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim to relate or prevents disobedience.”
The disclosure of any sensitive information to non-Muslims is forbidden, where sensitive means any information that puts Islam or a Muslim at a disadvantage.
Hence, a sharia-adherent Muslim risks eternal damnation if he discloses to a non-believer information that would cause the non-believer to question either Islam or a Muslim.
As a part of “civilization jihad,” the pre-violent stage of battlefield preparation preached by the Muslim Brotherhood in its Explanatory Memeorandum, it is perfectly fine to say untrue things that are helpful to the cause. This is called taqiyya, and is the subject of another of our backgrounders.
Slander in the sense of lying to damage the reputations of people who are not Muslims is not a problem under Mohammed’s definition, as it is only “your brothers” that you must not offend.
The resentment of Muslims is the factor to be considered, not the resentment of non-Muslims.
The insinuation of sharia and its adherents into America’s academic, banking and finance, government, intelligence, law enforcement and military institutions – as well as civil society more generally – is quite far advanced.
These adherents work to ensure that “slanderous” things are not said about Islam, or the acts of Muslims such as radical jihadists.
They move us to obey sharia without knowing it, which will make it easier for our society to be made to submit to it formally someday. We will already be used to the rules, because we will have been having them enforced upon us for a long time.
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