Llewelyn Rockwell, paleo-libertarian supporter of sharia in America

Daniel S. writes:

You would think that an anarcho-libertarian would be opposed to the centralized, statist legal system that is Islamic shariah law, but ranking anarcho-capitalist Lew Rockwell has no problem with shariah coming to the West. For him the shariah is little more than a personal moral code. The real enemy, is as always, is the “state.”

February 24, 2011
Worried About Muslims Practicing Their Faith?
Posted by Lew Rockwell on February 24, 2011 02:01 PM

Then, notes Gawker, you may want to move to Tennessee, where state reps want to make it a felony to follow Sharia law. That legal system calls for, among other practices: giving money to the poor, not gambling, not eating pork or shellfish, staying sober, not charging interest on loans, and dressing modestly. I might add, on the next to the last point, that Islamic bankers seem far less dangerous to me than the fractional-reserve wild men of the West.

LA replies:

Like any New York Times liberal, like, say, Thomas Friedman, Rockwell is an insane ideologue—only more insane, and more consciously malevolent. He sees only his ideology, and all of reality that does not fit into his ideology, he either ignores or fits into his ideology. His ideology tells him that the enlarged modern state is the source of all evil, from which it follows that anything that is not the enlarged modern state is good, or at least not bad. Therefore Islam is not bad, and sharia is not bad. Rockwell is helped to this conclusion by his other, corollary ideology, anti-Americanism, which tells him that anything that threatens America (the land of the enlarged modern state) is good, or least not bad.

Thus Rockwell benignly characterizes sharia as mandating “giving money to the poor, not gambling, not eating pork or shellfish, staying sober … ”

For a fuller discussion of what sharia really entails, see Andrew Bostom’s article at American Thinker on Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Here Bostom is discussing the New York Times’ designated Islam expert, Notre Dame Professor Imad Shahin:

Acknowledging that Qaradawi has openly endorsed violence against both Israeli Jews, and American troops in Iraq, Shahin, unmasking his own jihadist mindset, stated, “You call it violence; I call it resistance.” Earlier at Qaradawi’s own website, Islam Online, Professor Shahin decried as the “dismantling of Islam … tearing Islam apart from within,” the suggestion that Islam’s Sharia-based “hadd” punishments might be abrogated. Shahin argued that these punishments were intrinsic and essential to Islam, concluding,

The marginalization of certain aspects of Shari`ah can have grave consequences in the future … Should Shari`ah be twisted to suit societal behavior or should it be the guide for it?

What are the so-called “hadd” punishments condoned by Shahin, and the “pluralistic” modernist he champions, Qaradawi? Defined by the Muslim prophet Muhammad either in the Koran, or the hadith (the canonical collections of Muhammad’s deeds and pronouncements), these draconian punishments include: (lethal) stoning for adultery; death for apostasy; death for highway robbery, when accompanied by murder of the robbery victim; for simple highway robbery, the loss of hands and feet; for simple theft, cutting off of the right hand; for “fornication,” a hundred lashes; for drinking wine, eighty lashes. Muhammad Abu Zahra (d. 1974), was a prominent member of Al-Azhar’s Academy of Islamic Research, Professor of Islamic Law at Cairo University, and prolific author. These extracts from Abu Zahra’s “Punishment in Islam,” featured in the seminal 935 pp. Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, September 1968, provide the mainstream institutional Islamic context for the contemporary views expressed by Shahin and Qaradawi:

The hadd punishments being prescribed for the protection of society, their execution is tantamount to an act of worship and equivalent to a holy war [jihad] in the cause of Allah. To purge the community of pernicious elements is a sort of holy war to safeguard religion and morals … Hadd punishments are imposed by Allah as [a] deterrent from his prohibitions and the omission of His commandments.

[end of Bostom article excerpt]

Such is the religion and the religious law that Llewelyn Rockwell, apostle of liberty, wants to bring to America and give complete freedom to expand its influence and power over us. Of course Rockwell’s real guiding star is not liberty, but hate—hatred of America, and the desire to bring it down.

- end of initial entry -

David A. writes:

I was a Lew Rockwell-reading libertarian during the turn-of-the-century years, and I think I even discovered your writing through a link from his site.

I had just begun a more thorough reading of history that would culminate in my departure from libertarianism some years later.

I don’t wish to compare myself to Augustine too much, but like his disappointment upon meeting the Manichean leader Faustus of Mileve, I think seeing Rockwell on Bill Moyers’ show, March 7, 2003, was the spark that became a flame as I matured over the next few years.

He looked and acted like a fanatic, not smiling in any convincing way, far less the cultured raconteur that I had expected. I was truly disappointed and began looking hard at just what had attracted me to a rootless, asocial value system. I came to realize in time that liberty was only one of several social goods.

February 26

John McNeil writes:

David A.’s experience resonates with mine, although I became a reader of LewRockwell.com a few months after 9/11, and didn’t really secede from the Anarcho-Capitalist realm until I realized how important immigration was, roughly in 2005, and was turned off by snarky comments made by him, Anthony Gregory, and Fred Reed characterizing opponents of illegal immigration in a negative light; I vaguely recall Reed calling us “Aryan Paladins” which instantly discredited us as Nazis. Then William Norman Grigg entered the fray, playing up the neo-Nazi angle, and I just about had enough.

I must say, however, I forever remain grateful to Lew for making me aware of the neocons and their negative influence on American foreign policy. It was thanks to Lew that I broke free from the right-wing Pax-Americana mentality, and only LRC could do it. Pat Buchanan’s racialism made me very uncomfortable at the time (and no doubt I would have been spooked by your writings had I been acquainted with your work in 2002), and so I wasn’t receptive to the paleocon message, which was the only other voice opposed to the neocon war fever.

While LRC ignores the big picture, I think they do a service in helping to deconstruct certain ideas of the Establishment that are easier to fight. Same for the Ron Paul movement. While I would love it if the majority of conservatives would become VFR-style traditionalists overnight, I think it’s part of a long journey, and the libertarian/anarcho-capitalist world is a good stepping stone. Besides, I think many people who come to libertarianism out of opposition to mainstream conservatism/neoconservatism end up seeing the moral void that makes up the libertarian movement. I remember many Ron Paul supporters over at RonPaulForums becoming frustrated with libertarian fundamentalists defending illegal immigration, or saying how we must fight it through property rights, or other such nonsense.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 25, 2011 04:25 PM | Send

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