November 12, 2010
They Call the Win Sharia
On November 2nd, voters in Oklahoma overwhelming approved State Question 755, an amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that proponents (and voters!) hope will restrict the state courts to deciding cases based upon the traditional authorities, constitutions and legislation, and not mucking about with "international law" (whatever that means) and sharia law (we all know what that means!)
Here is the operative part of the rewrite that the amendment evidently requires, once it's finally upheld by the courts:
C. The Courts provided for in subsection A of this section, when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, the United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, the Oklahoma Statutes and rules promulgated pursuant thereto, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia Law, in making judicial decisions. The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international or Sharia Law. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.
Sounds pretty straightforward and obvious, right? But it appears it is not; judges in Europe and at least one judge in New Jersey have already denied women their inalienable rights to equal protection under the law if those women happen to be Moslem. Moslem women -- but not Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist men and women -- have been shunted into the bowels of the perverted, vile, anti-American, anti-Western sharia system of (in)justice:
Sharia law is a legal code drawn from dictates and rules laid out in the Koran. In fact, Britain has 85 Sharia courts. Some are reporting that Muslim women who are being abused or raped by their husbands are turned away from British civil courts and are being directed to Sharia courts, which are often run by a local mosque and supervised by an Imam.
An equally troubling, but domestic, case of Sharia law superseding a domestic civil law, is the case of a New Jersey Muslim woman filing for a restraining order from her abusive husband. The judge denied the restraining order on the grounds that her husband “was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.”
Plainly put, the judge ruled that the woman could be raped and tortured because the rapist was her husband and his religious beliefs give him the right to rape and abuse. Sadly, this woman had to live in this torment for more than one year before the case was overturned.
But yesterday, the director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muneer Awad, filed suit in federal court to declare State Question 755 unconstitutional. Let me briefly address the claim and why it's ludicrous. Bear in mind that I am not a lawyer... I just play one in cheap rip-off video games. I can only speak from the common, lay understanding of rights and liberties that emerges from living in a free society all my life.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the cause of action Awad claims in his lawsuit:
The suit, filed by Muneer Awad, director of the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, asks the federal district court to block officials from certifying the referendum. Mr. Awad says the measure violates the First Amendment, which protects "free exercise" of religion and prohibits official "establishment of religion." A hearing was set for Monday.
The complaint alleges Oklahoma has singled out Islam for "profound stigma," consigning Muslims such as Mr. Awad "to an ineffectual position within the political community...."
University of Oklahoma law professor Joseph Thai said that earlier this year, the state legislature commissioned "a monument to the laws of another religion"--the Ten Commandments--for the state Capitol.
"Oklahoma's apparent approval of the legal traditions of a majority religion and attempt to suppress the legal traditions of a minority religion" may conflict with the Constitution's requirement that government treat all religions equally, Mr. Thai said.
He said the new state law may forbid Oklahoma judges from citing the Ten Commandments, because they are "international in origin."
These arguments are lame, to say the least.
First, the Oklahoma ballot measure did not come as a bolt from the blue, singling out Islamic (sharia) law just to offend Moslems. As it happens, sharia and the entire regime of putative "international law" are the only two widespread, competing judicial systems that meet the following conditions:
- Each constitutes the primary judicial system in many different countries and cultures.
- Each has very broad support from legal intellectuals and judges worldwide.
- Each alternative legal system proselytizes Western and American legal systems and attempts to colonize them.
- Each is part of a conspiratorial effort to supplant and replace our own judicial system.
- And each is utterly antithetical to Western and American legal traditions, constitutions, and legislation, offering none of the protections and recognizing none of the rights inherent in our own domestic legal system.
Given all that, it's perfectly reasonable to single out international and sharia law; it's not a sign of anti-Islamic bigotry, it's the recognition that those two movements directly threaten the American way of life and judicial system.
Second, the international-law amendment clearly doesn't violate the First-Amendment guarantee that Congress (and state legislatures) "shall make no law... prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]." How could it, when it neither prescribes nor proscribes any religious activity other than imposing Islamic law, willy-nilly, upon a population that has loudly and emphatically objected to it?
The measure doesn't tell Moslems how to exercise their religion; it only prevents them from foisting those religious precepts upon those of us who do not want to live under sharia.
And it clearly does not violate the First-Amendment guarantee that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion;" again, the measure does not set up any religion as the "First Church of America," or even the "Fundamental Church of Oklahoma."
Third, by contrast, forcing some plaintiffs and defendants into an alien and inferior (according to American standards of justice) legal system based entirely upon the professed religion of the judicial victim would patently violate the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee that, "No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
I believe these are all powerful arguments; and no opponent of State Question 755 that I've read has essayed to respond to them... other than to wave the magic "Islamophobia" card, as if it trumps all others in the deck.
The very fact that CAIR is suing to overturn the new law belies CAIR's claims that (a) no American Moslem wants to impose sharia in the United States, and (b) radical Islamism is a phony threat. If they had no desire to impose shaira -- why get so het up about a law preventing the imposition of sharia?
This lawsuit is another glaring example of Dawa, or "soft jihad," which only differs from its full-blown cousin by the fact that they avoid actually killing (for now) lawmakers or unfriendly judges:
Do we not finally comprehend, at some point in this crisis, that Moslem "outrage" is a calculated political tactic deliberately ginned up by Moslem leaders to pressure the West to make concession after concession? It is a form of Dawa, "soft jihad," playing upon our liberal guilt and conservative principles to gain for radical Islamism much of what they demand, without the radicals having to confront real armies that can actually obliterate them. When that revelation finally sinks in throughout the American people and their counterparts in the rest of the West, we shall abruptly find the bottom of our "sensitivity" to Moslems' perpeturally wounded feelings.
This lawsuit makes an excellent shibboleth, distinguishing between radical Islamists and their useful idiots on the one hand and real Americans on the other.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 12, 2010, at the time of 2:21 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/4666
The following hissed in response by: MikeR
Hmm. I'm a little confused by the presentation of the Oklahoma case. It sounds like the linked article is twisting what the judge did. From the brief description in the article, I wouldn't think that the judge ruled that "the woman could be raped and tortured because the rapist was her husband and his religious beliefs give him the right to rape and abuse." He was ruling on a case of a restraining order to her former husband, and saying that it wasn't needed, because the cause of the rapes while they were married no longer existed: Since they weren't married any more, the husband would no longer think that he has such rights. [I think. I looked at the link within the link, but didn't drill down to read all the details of the case.]
I don't think the judge was judging well; the former husband may well be presumed to be an abusive jerk who will probably continue to be abusive. But obviously the judge wasn't saying that people have the right to rape if their religion says so.
Imagine a case where Person A was abusing Person B because he's a Dodgers fan instead of rooting for the Orioles, and the judge denies the restraining order because Person B has since become a Dodgers fan too. Would we all be outraged because Baseball is being taken into account in our judicial system?
By the way, as an Orthodox Jew, I frequently have interesting issues with a lot of the anti-Sharia discussion (certainly not all). Recently there was a fuss that Harvard decided to have a women-only hour in their swimming pools, so Moslem women could swim with modesty. Outrage - Sharia law making its way into our American institutions.
Well, we have women-only (and men-only) hours at our local non-Orthodox Jewish Community Center, in deference to those of us who will only swim then. I think it's a beautiful thing for the JCC to do for us, and I'm grateful.
So to me, the question in the Harvard case is: Why are they doing it, and how did the process happen? Did a group of Moslems "demand their rights"? - Throw them out on their ear with contempt: There is no such right. Did a few Moslem ladies quietly and gently mention to Those In Charge that they can't swim when men are around, and TIC decided to find a way to help them? Much nicer, maybe wonderful. And yet, even there - how do TIC deal with the rest of their customers? Was there some way to make sure that (most of) the Harvard students are okay with sacrificing a couple of hours a week of swim schedule to help out their fellow students?
By the way, I hear Dennis Prager discuss this sometimes, concerning peanut-free schools. I feel about the same, though he tends to go overboard IMHO - if the allergic kids don't actually die, he has no problem.
Complicated world, and a little common sense and sensitivity together go a long way.
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