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After Backlash, Sally Kohn Doubles Down on Defense of Progressive Muslims and Sharia Law

About a week ago, CNN commentator Sally Kohn tweeted the following in response to Donald Trump‘s latest call for “ideological” screening of would-be Americans:

Trump had specifically mentioned Sharia law in his speech, which called for “extreme vetting” of anyone attempting to enter the United States.

Not long after, a sarcastic petition was launched by Change.org users who felt that Kohn, who is openly gay, should go try living under Sharia law for a week. Rather than let the petition get to her, Kohn has now doubled down on her stance.

Today, she released a column called, “Trump doesn’t understand what Sharia is.” Operating under the belief that “understanding the truth about Islam is the best way to fight extremism within it,” she explained what Sharia law really means and how a Muslim can be progressive and still adhere to it.

Here is the gist:

In short, there is a difference between personal, spiritual Sharia and the political incorporation of Sharia into law. And within both, there are progressive interpretations as well as more fundamentalist conservative interpretations. So the word Sharia doesn’t mean one thing.

She went on to explain that when translated from Arabic, the word “Sharia” means “the path,” and that it is a set of guidelines that is followed by every Muslim in some way or another and is open to interpretation. By that definition, thinking of Sharia only as a type of strict, cruel court in the Middle East is wrong when it could just as easily refer to the general rules followed by a family in suburban America.

Clearly, the piece functions equally as an explainer of Sharia and a retort to the backlash from this week.

[image via screengrab]

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