Notwithstanding his war-hero son’s genuinely patriotic example, Khizr M. Khan has published papers supporting the supremacy of Islamic law over “man-made” Western law — including the very Constitution he championed in his Democratic National Convention speech attacking GOP presidential nod Donald Trump.
In 1983, for example, Khan wrote a glowing review of a book compiled from a seminar held in Kuwait called “Human Rights In Islam” in which he singles out for praise the keynote address of fellow Pakistani Allah K. Brohi, a pro-jihad Islamic jurist who was one of the closest advisers to late Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia ul-Haq, the father of the Taliban movement.
Khan speaks admiringly of Brohi’s interpretation of human rights, even though it included the right to kill and mutilate those who violate Islamic laws and even the right of men to “beat” wives who act “unseemly.”
As Pakistani minister of law and religious affairs, Brohi helped create hundreds of jihadi incubators called madrassas and restored Sharia punishments, such as amputations for theft and demands that rape victims produce four male witnesses or face adultery charges. He also made insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad a crime punishable by death. To speed the Islamization of Pakistan, he and Zia issued a law that required judges to consult mullahs on every judicial decision for Sharia compliance.
Khan, who says he immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 to escape Pakistan’s “military rule,” nonetheless spoke admiringly of Brohi in his review of his speech. He praised his remarks even though Brohi advocated for the enforcement of the medieval Sharia punishments, known as “hudood” (singular “hadd”), that were later adopted and carried out with brutal efficiency by the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.
“Divinely ordained punishments have to be inflicted,” Brohi asserted, “and there is very little option for the judge called upon to impose Hadd, if facts and circumstances are established that the Hadd in question has been transgressed, to refuse to impose the punishment.”
Of course, such cruel and unusual Sharia punishments, ranging from stonings and floggings to beheadings, would be a flagrant violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Western society is built on individualism and secularism, concepts enshrined in the Constitution. But Brohi scoffs at them, arguing, “The individual has to be sacrificed. Collectivity has a special sanctity attached to it in Islam.”
Brohi goes on to argue that human rights bestowed by Islam include the right of men to “beat” their wives.
“The best statement of the human rights is also to be found in the address delivered by the prophet [Muhammad] so often described as his last address,” Brohi said, quoting: “ ‘You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and to beat them but not with severity.’ ”
In his book review, Khan takes no issue with Brohi’s shocking interpretation of human rights. In fact, he claims Brohi “successfully” explains them and argues his points “convincingly.” (The review, which lists Khan as “director” of an Islamic center in Houston, was published in the Texas International Law Journal.)
“The keynote speech of Dr. A.K. Brohi, former Pakistani minister of legal and religious affairs, is a hallmark in this book,” Khan writes. “It successfully explains the Islamic concepts of ‘right’ and ‘just’ in comparison to their Christian and Judaic counterparts.”
Adds Khan: “Brohi argues convincingly for the establishment of a moral value system before guarantees can be given for any kind of rights. To illustrate the point he notes, ‘There is no such thing as human right in the abstract.’”
In context, Khan concurs that human rights can only be guaranteed through the establishment of Sharia’s moral and legal code.
Khan provides his own advocacy for Sharia law in a separate academic paper titled “Juristic Classification of Islamic Law,” which he also wrote in 1983, while studying in Saudi Arabia.
“The invariable and basic rules of Islamic law are only those prescribed in the Shari’ah,” Khan writes. “All other juridical works… must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah.”
He explains that Sharia is derived from the Quran and Sunnah, and that the Quran “is the absolute authority from which springs the very conception of legality and every legal obligation.”
Khan then notes that Quranic law includes “constitutional law.”
“Family law is laid down in 70 injunctions; civil law in another 70; penal law in 30; jurisdiction and procedure in 13; constitutional law in 10; international relations in 25; and economic and financial order in 10,” he said.
Khan defers to an early Islamic jurist who ruled: “For every issue concerning a Muslim, either there is a binding text (of the Shariah) that rules it, or there is a guidance that may indicate the way to truth. If there is a text, then the Muslim has to follow it.”
A devout Muslim, Khan also cites two notorious Muslim Brotherhood radicals as scholarly sources — Muhammad Hamidullah and Said Ramadan, whom he “gratefully acknowledged.”
Though described by the Clinton camp and media as a “Pakistani-American lawyer,” less known is Khan’s an acknowledged expert on Sharia law doctrine. His 13-page article, which was published in the Houston Journal of International Law, has been cited in dozens of Islamic law articles and has been used in college syllabi for Islamic law courses as recently as 2013.
By comparison, his expertise in American constitutional law is barely evident. In fact, there appears to be few if any legal citations in federal or state court records for Khan, who describes himself on his business website (removed Tuesday from the Internet) as “attorney at law.”
Even so, Khan questioned Trump’s understanding of the Constitution, calling him “ignorant” and suggesting that if he had studied it he would never propose imposing a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to protect the nation from ISIS and other terrorist infiltrators.
“Let me ask you: have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy,” a visibly angry Khan bellowed, while waving a pamphlet version in the air.
It’s not immediately clear if Khan has ever repudiated his earlier support for the anti-Constitutional principles of Sharia law. Searches turn up no subsequent writings or statements to that effect. Attempts to reach Khan by phone and email were unsuccessful.
For now, the most patriotic Muslim in America, according to media myth-making, remains Khizr Muazzam Khan, the father of a fallen American soldier who claims to hold the Constitution so dear he keeps a copy in his breast pocket.
But what does he really believe? His Islamist writings offer a window into his ideological thinking — and the view is a contradictory and highly disturbing one, especially in light of the fanfare he has received.
Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.
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