Christians Agree: America is a Muslim Country
Fundamentalist Christians are quick to claim that the United States was founded on Christian principles. For one piece of evidence, they point to the Declaration of Independence. The very first sentence of our founding document states, in part:
…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…
The very next sentence says:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Hot damn! God is mentioned in the first sentence and then again in the second! That settles it!
The problem here is that the god is completely undefined. Intentionally so, because that defers to the personal beliefs of each citizen. The founders were not about to set forth in this document a declaration of what the citizens believed or should believe.
If they had meant the Christian God, they would have said “the Christian God”. Instead, they wrote “their Creator” and “Nature’s God”. “Their Creator” is the creator of the individual’s choice—the creator within that individual’s personally-held beliefs.
The phrase “Nature’s God” certainly doesn’t sound like Yahweh to me. It actually sounds pagan. How do we know they weren’t referring to an Earth deity? In fact, for all we know, they were referring to the Great Green Arkleseizure.
Well Since You Mentioned It…
The fundamentalist Christians have entered the Declaration of Independence into evidence. That means it’s fair game to further examine this document for clues. In fact, let’s take another look at that second sentence, specifically:
…with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
“Unalienable Rights”. That’s an interesting concept. Where did it come from? The phrase is more commonly referred to as “inalienable rights”, about which Wikipedia says:
The idea that certain rights are inalienable was found in early Islamic law and jurisprudence, which denied a ruler “the right to take away from his subjects certain rights which inhere in his or her person as a human being.” [emphasis added]
That’s right. This most basic of concepts, declared as “self-evident” in our founding document, is based on Islamic law!
Let’s read a little further in that same Wikipedia paragraph:
These ideas may have influenced John Locke’s concept of inalienable rights through his attendance of lectures given by Edward Pococke, a professor of Arabic studies.
There you have the direct line of descent. From Islamic law to John Locke to the Declaration of Independence. It can’t be any clearer.
The next paragraph elaborates:
In 17th-century England, philosopher John Locke discussed natural rights in his work, and identified them as being “life, liberty, and estate (or property)”, and argued that such fundamental rights could not be surrendered in the social contract.
In an early draft of the Declaration, Jefferson originally wrote “life, liberty, and property”. This was a direct incorporation of John Locke’s writings. Jefferson expanded the concept in the final draft into “the pursuit of happiness”, but its roots are unmistakable.
Therefore, by using the fundies’ very own logic of citing the Declaration of Independence as proof, we are forced to conclude that America isn’t a Christian country, it’s a Muslim country!
But wait! There’s more!
Many American Laws are Based on Islamic Law
America’s Islamic heritage is far greater than a few concepts mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Much of American law has been derived from English common law. Much of English common law has been derived from Islamic law.
The Wikipedia entry on Sharia has numerous examples. Here are just a few:
It has been suggested that several fundamental English common law institutions may have been derived or adapted from similar legal institutions in Islamic law and jurisprudence, and introduced to England after the Norman conquest of England by the Normans, who conquered and inherited the Islamic legal administration of the Emirate of Sicily, and also by Crusaders during the Crusades.
According to Professor John Makdisi, the “royal English contract protected by the action of debt is identified with the Islamic Aqd, the English assize of novel disseisin is identified with the Islamic Istihqaq, and the English jury is identified with the Islamic Lafif.”… These influences have led some scholars to suggest that Islamic law may have laid the foundations for “the common law as an integrated whole”. [emphasis added]
The section on English common law concludes with:
Other likely influences of Islamic law on English common law include the concepts of a passive judge, impartial judge, res judicata, the judge as a blank slate, individual self-definition, justice rather than morality, the law above the state, individualism, freedom of contract, privilege against self-incrimination, fairness over truth, individual autonomy, untrained and transitory decision making, overlap in testimonial and adjudicative tasks, appeal, dissent, day in court, prosecution for perjury, oral testimony, and the judge as a moderator, supervisor, announcer and enforcer rather than an adjudicator.
The article then lists numerous additional concepts that American common law grabbed from Islam. Here’s a big one:
Similarities between Islamic law and the common law of the United States have also been noted, particularly in regards to Constitutional law.
Want more? How about the effect of Islamic law on property law? Or civil law? (See the wikipedia article for long lists of both.)
Need even more proof? How about one of our most cherished of all principles:
Another influence of Islamic law on the civil law tradition was the presumption of innocence, which was introduced to Europe by Louis IX of France soon after he returned from Palestine during the Crusades. Prior to this, European legal procedure consisted of either trial by combat or trial by ordeal. In contrast, Islamic law was based on the presumption of innocence from its beginning…. [emphasis added]
Is America based upon Christian principles? There are probably some enshrined within our foundation. But as I have clearly shown, much of America’s founding is based upon, and owes a debt of gratitude to, the enlightened civilizations of the Muslims.
A Christian country? Maybe in parts. A Muslim country? Yes, very much so.