CBNNews.com - Sharia, or Islamic law, is gradually working its way into public life in Islamic and non-Islamic nations around the world.
What is it and what does sharia mean for Christians and others forced to abide by it?
Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Correspondent Gary Lane, followed by Pat Robertson's interview with Nonie Darwish, author of the book Cruel & Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law.
"Sharia law is a legal system on the teachings of the Qur'an, the Sunna and the Hadith of Mohammed applied into the community as the legal basis for life," Jeff Hammond, with Bless Indonesia, said.
Hammond is a Christian who has lived and worked in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, for 35 years. He says Indonesian Christians are concerned about creeping sharia law, now in place in half of the country's 32 provinces.
"It's going from one province to another, it's not something that's happening all at once, but step by step," Hammond said.
Cruel and Usual Punishment
For example: even Christian school girls are forced to cover their heads in Padang province. Elsewhere in Indonesia, children attending public schools are required to learn the Qur'an.
In Indonesia's Bandeh Aceh province, shariah police make nightly patrols to ensure that unmarried or non-related couples are not seen together in public.
"Christians are very concerned, not only because of what is happening here in Indonesia, they also see reports that are coming from other countries," Hammond explained.
In Islamic nations like Somalia, devotion to Sharia law caused vigilantes to behead a 25-year old aid worker for converting from Islam to Christianity.
In Iran, women are legally stoned to death for committing adultery.
In Afghanistan, prostitutes are executed for their behavior.
In Pakistan, the government apparently has accepted the imposition of sharia law in the Taliban controlled Swatt Valley of the northwest frontier province. It's a place where violators of sharia are often subjected to lashes.
Enforcement of Pakistan's blasphemy laws have led to the imprisonment of Christians, like 20-year old Sandal Bibi and her father Gul Sheer on charges of blasphemy against the Qur'an.
Ripping the West in Two
Author and lecturer Nonie Darwish says the goal of radical Islamists is to impose sharia law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty in two.
She recently authored the book, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law.
Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before emigrating to America in 1978, When she was eight years old, her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel. He was a high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza.
When he died, he was considered a "shahid," a martyr for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society.
But Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim culture and upbringing. She converted to Christianity after hearing a christian preacher on television.
in her latest book, Darwish warns about creeping sharia law - what it is, what it means, and how it is manifested in Islamic countries.
For the West, she says radical Islamists are working to impose sharia on the world. If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed.
*Originally aired February 18, 2009