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06 August 2011

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Arun

So plainly Muslim Americans who are immigrants are in a sense political refugees from their native lands. Because in the 50+ OIC states, e.g., separation of religion and state is an accepted value by the majority only in a handful. Quite a few of them have an official ideology that democracy is against Islam.

It is good to know that these ideas are washed away by the oceans crossed to reach the US.

Adam L Silverman

Arun,

Aside from the fact that many here know, that the first caliph was chosen through nomination and election (from the Hadith of the Portico of the Banu Saqifa) and therefore democracy shouldn't be alien to Sunni Islam (at the least), I once had an acquaintance I know from grad school, now a naturalized Muslim American, who stated that the US was the true Dar al Islam because it allowed Muslims to be Muslims without interference from anyone else (the staten religious authorities, etc). I think that about sums it up for me.

Babak Makkinejad

Adam L Silverman:

The Tsar of Poland was an elected office; that did not make Poland a Democracy.

You might already know that in India, Muslims are not subject to interference from state religious authorities. And in matters of Personal Law – they follow the legal codes of their respective schools of Muslim Jurisprudence; the men can take more than one wife, inheritance is according to the Quranic stipulations etc.

What distinguishes US from India is lack of (Hindu) mob attacks on Muslims.

I think that there are some legal ideas in Islamic Law that American Law can benefit from by considering them.

I have in mind such things as the Right to Retribution, a.k.a. Victim's Rights; Corporeal Punishment in lieu of long prison sentences (e.g. cutting Off a Hand or a number of fingers in cases of Armed Robbery as opposed to the mandatory 15-year Federal sentence without the possibility of parole); and time-constrained marriage contracts that would help address the current practices of cohabitation in which the female is almost invariably the looser.


Bill H.

I cannot help but wonder about the validity of that poll. I wonder at the motivation of the Muslim response at condemning attacks on civilian populations, given that the only civilian populations suffering such "collateral damage" at this time are Muslim populations. I do not suggest that in any perjorative way, but think that is a completely natural response. It does make me question whether the response is an article of religious faith, or whether it is more a personal matter. If Catholic populations were suffering almost daily "collateral damage" in war, I suspect Catholics might weigh in with a higher percentage of condemnation of such attacks.

Charlie Wilson

"time-constrained marriage contracts"

Any chance of making this retroactive?

LeaNder

Babak, I don't see how the Tzar's annexation of Poland made him an elected official. Are you alluding to the constitution? But maybe I do not understand.

Besides I can see there is in fact occasionally a problem concerning the "victim's right", I don't see how you could you solve the problem with the cut off hands in cases of a wrongful conviction?

And as far as "time-constrained marriage" a wonderful practice to get around the prohibition of prostitution. No?

Arun

Adam,

Against your anecdote, I pose Syed Qutb, one of the intellectual fathers of al Qaeda, who also lived in America for a while.

Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayyid_Qutb

As to that "election and nomination" - the people were choosing between one of the Prophet's Companions, none of whom are around today. Also it did not set any precedent for the subsequent 1400 years.

Finally, the US can be dar-al-Islam only if it is ruled by Islam; otherwise, at best it is dar-al-Aman.

Anyway, please advocate Babak Makkinejad's excellent suggestions and we can get closer to that day.


Arun

The President's place of birth was a big issue until the President presented his birth certificate. After that the murmurings exist only in the fringes.

Why not get the fear of Sharia off the table as a means of drumming up anti-Muslim feelings by letting without opposition any state legislatures that want to, pass the symbolic law? Symbolic, because we are no where close to it having any practical meaning.

Do it, get it off the table, and then get to address the real problems of racial profiling, FBI snooping, hate crimes, etc?

par4

@Babak, The founding fathers specifically forbade cruel and unusual punishment. The last thing this generation of assholes needs is to think it's OK to mutilate criminals for property crimes.

J

The Tennessee State Representative Rep. Rick Womick (R-Dist. 34) that the NYTimes article cites as standing up in the Statehouse floor clanking pans warning his fellow Tennessee politicos about Sharia, here's his bio:
http://www.capitol.tn.gov/House/members/h34.html

Adam,

Can you please explain why the OU (Orthodox Union);, Jewish Theological Seminary of America & Rabbinical Assembly (both Conservative);, Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (all Reform);, and other prominent organizations within the American Jewish Communities haven't decried Yerushalami's anti-Sharia garbage? Does a-IPAC (an un-declared arm of the Israeli Government) also have a muzzle over American Jewish organizations as well as American politicians?

The only American Rabbis that have made their presence and voices known opposing the anti-Sharia nonsense, all happen to be anti-Zionist. Are we to then understand that the Zionist camp is therefore prejudice against Muslims, and the anti-Zionist are not?

William R. Cumming

In the long run it will be interesting to see how religion plays out world-wide over the rest of the century. Faith versus reason seems to still be in conflict in most of the world. Speaking of Sharia law why no analysis of what CANON Law influence there is on the 5 Catholic judges in SCOTUS? Or influence of the TORAH on the Jewish Associate Justices?
And of course think there are American Muslims who might well qualify for appointment to SCOTUS! But since you don't have to be a lawyer to be on SCOTUS why not just add one of the disciplines that might have merit as appointees? Perhaps an anthropologist? Perhaps an historian? Perhaps a scientist? Let's start packing the court with brainpower and not ideologues! Or did I mention a MORMON on the SCOTUS in the future?And of course defy anyone to tell me what this SCOTUS will do with National Security STATE issues as they start to arrive this term? Indefinite detention of American citizens wherever scooped up including in Continental USA seems likely ruling to me.

Adam L Silverman

Arun,

The first several presidents were all founders and framers, but we moved past that as well. I wasn't arguing that the historical reality of Muslim rule hasn't been some form of hereditary dynasty or whoever could grab power. I was trying to indicate that Islam is not inherently at odds with democracy.

Adam L Silverman

J,

The article clearly indicates that the ADL has come out in opposition. So there's one. I know the SPLC has, and since you seem to think its an Israeli asset, that's two. And here's the links to the reporting with all the other one's. Just because it doesn't get covered on cable news, doesn't mean it isn't happening.
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/04/28/3087191/anti-sharia-initiatives-stir-concerns-that-halacha-may-be-next
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2011/05/jewish_groups_oppose_anti-shar.php
http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/49526/jewish-groups-us-backing-sharia-law

Adam L Silverman

Arun,

Do you really want to hold up Qutb as the exemplar for all Muslims or all Muslims understanding of Islam? While he's had a tremendous influence, I think this does a disservice to the majority of Muslims.

Also, and trust me, we definitely do NOT want to see laws that are symbolic make it on the books. Bad, symbolic laws, rules, and regulations will eventually give someone the ability to turn them into really bad and no longer symbolic policy.

Adam L Silverman

BillH,

I'm not sure it matters where people learn to be compassionate or learn to empathize. For some it is definitely religion, but I think we all know lots of people whose religion has led them away from compassion and empathy, especially for those of faiths, sects, and/or denominations different from their own. If Muslims have learned, whatever the ultimate origin, that attacking civilians is never acceptable, then should we really care about where the lesson came from?

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Cumming,

Its a good question. I don't think anyone can expect justices and judges to be immune from their own beliefs, or lack thereof. I think what we hope for is the judicial equivalent of intersubjectivity - being self aware enough to recognize that one has biases and by recognizing them being able to work around them and see other, valid points of view.

As for your question about the security cases, this is what President Bush's (43) appointments were really about. He appointed justices that had a history of always siding with power, specifically that of the state and the largest of corporations, when either government lawyers, writing as legal academics/scholars, or on the federal bench. By putting them on the Court, to reinforce Justice Scalia's and especially Justice Thomas's almost sycophantic need to support power and authority, regardless of the facts, there was an attempt to pack the Court with as many justices as possible that would reinforce, uphold, and continue the policies that his administration put into place. The guy who blogs as Leo Straus at the Stiftung, who does a great job laying out the principles behind and of the neo-Conservatives, Strausians, and the (nihilistic) Movement, in his most recent post, has a great quote from John Ashcroft:
"Ashcroft told us over lunch not long after he stepped down from Attorney General that a presidential election is all that mattered because the people voted for him. Thus the president could ignore Congress. As a senator he understood and accepted that. A presidential re-election also meant approval of all of that president’s acts, even those still secret. Ashcroft is not alone in this view. It’s not atypical within the Movement." That can be found here, and I think it sums this up nicely:
http://www.stiftungleostrauss.com/bunker/?p=5562#more-5562

LeaNder

J, I could imagine that not many American Jewish institutions come out against David Yerushalmi, since they aren't even aware of him.

As I remember it some of his SANE US statements caused an uproar, which ultimately led him to close down the website to the public. But you can still subscribe.

http://www.saneworks.us/indexnew.php

This guy and his cooperators and their activities surely is worth a closer study. Are you aware that the SPLC is watching these type of people closely?

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/06/13/study-of-radicalization-in-mosques-reflects-anti-muslim-bias-of-co-autho/

I have been pondering about how to tell you, but the first time I came across suspicion against the SPLC was in 19th-century-conspiracy-lore-loving-circles on the post 911 US web. Which ultimately led me to subscribe to their Intelligence Report, which I then received free of charge even over here in Europe. You should take a closer look at their latest issue:

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report

Jihad Against Islam

J

Adam,

The problem is that the bedrock religious organizations of both 'Mainstream' Judaism and Christianity have not come out against the anti-Sharia garbage, and as long as they don't speak up, as long as they continue to sit on their hands in silence, we will continue to see the nonsense such as enacted in Oklahoma.

What is needed is the 'bedrock' American religious organs I.E., Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Assembly, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Hebrew Union College, Southern Baptist Convention, United Methodist, Trinity Lutheran, all American Catholic Archdiocese, all/every one of them come out and 'educate' their congregants.

Sadly, the weak whimpers of the ADL, SPLC, BJC, so-called opposition amounts to little more than 'token' resistance to the garbage, not real resistance.

J

Adam,

Frank Gaffney's The Center For Security Policy, has as its 'legal adviser' anti-Sharia advocate David Yerushalmi. Tikkun Olam referred to Yerushalmi as a devout Jewish Fascist.

Also it appear that Gaffney/Yerushalmi have a website exclusively devoted to their anti-Sharia campaign http://shariahthethreat.org/
Yerushalim also had a diatribe that is posted on YouTube presenting HIS view of Sharia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Euv1HqZcKl0

What puzzles me, is where is their (Gaffney/Yerushalmi) funding/money coming from? Notice how Gaffney's suits appear to be expensive in nature. Where is their money coming from? I'm talking about their apparent big money backing. Any ideas?

Adam L Silverman

J,

I once worked for a neo-Con (didn't know he was a neo-Con when I took the position) who was attempting to out Gaffney Gaffney. They share a publicist and travel in the same circles. From listening to him rant and rave, my understanding is that the money comes from a variety of conservative and neo-conservative donor sources. Mostly American, some Israeli. Given more recent connections being made with neo-fascists and neo-authoritarians in Europe and other places, my guess is some of the money is coming from them too. One of the biggest donors that my former boss used to brag about was one of the bankrollers for Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, though which one specifically I do not know. To be honest, the people that are the best at tracking the funding for this stuff, because that's what they do, are SPLC. Rightwingwatch isn't far behind.

J

Adam, Colonel,

Slightly off-topic. I just found out something I didn't know regarding the Islamophobia frequent opine contributor to the JPost Caroline Glick. Did you know that she served as an officer in the IDF? Chicago born, and served in a foreign military as opposed to our nation's military. No wonder her viewpoint appears skewed more than not.

And to think Ms. Glick is Frank Gaffney's CSP'S Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs. She seems to fit right in to the whose who among NEOCONs and Tikkun Olam labeled Jewish Fascists like Mr. Yerushalami circles.

http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/staff.xml
http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/1190.xml
http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/1192.xml

William R. Cumming

Dr. Siverman! You should know I largely agree with your post. But it is not just Republicans that don't Read or understand our Constitution. I was once treated to a lecture by Sandy Berger (who pled guilty to stealing government docs post employment) stating to a room full of people that the President could do anything he wanted to do. He was Deputy National Security Advisor at that time.
SCOTUS and it membership should be of interest to all. If the President is re-elected he could get two more appointments perhaps more. I am predicting a Senate loss by the DEMS in 2012 so that confirmation will be a tricky path.
That said the National Security of our nation and its preservation as a democracy is not a simple task. My problem is that agreeing with you it seems that few SCOTUS member know exactly where to draw the line between STATE SECURITY and the rights of the individual. This line drawing was never even discussed in the appointment of any of the 9 current Justices and it is extremely uncertain where each will draw that line.
Justice Hugo Black became regarded as a radical judge on the left. His crime was strict construction of the Constitution. This for him was not a simple idom. His belief that the founders language "Congress shall make no law" meant exactly that. Unfortunately his personal notes on cases and the court were destroyed by orders in his will. But he and Justice Jackson seem to me to have had the best grip on preservation of a democracy and not allowing a king to be created in the position of the Presidency.

So this will be an interesting time to watch as SCOTUS plays out its role.

Personally I believe the Bible, old and new testament, the TORAH, and the Quran have much to teach mankind. But not at the point of a sword.

Babak Makkinejad

par4:

So, in cases of Armed Robbery during which no one is harmed, you support putting a person or persons behind bars for 15 years. To you, that is not cruel and unusal punishment?

Well, let us run an experiment: the judge can offer a choice of 15 years in jail with no possibility of parole or amputation of 3 fingers.

LeNder:

The Polish Tsar was elected by the Polish Nobles - who destroyed independent Poland by doggedly preserving their priviledges until Tsar of Russia became also the Tsar of Poland.


I do not see any new problems introduced by Contractual Termed Marriages that does not already exist in the United States in the Domestic Partnership Ordonances and Laws.

The problem of mistakes exists in all systems of Law; a US Federal Judge once observed that he believed 3 to 5 percent of prisoners in US were innocent. So you lock up a fellow for 30 years and then it turns out that he was innocent. Then what (has happened numerous time in US).

Fred

We already have a version of Sharia Law:
http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_18627338

Perhaps Governor Perry is not running for President, only Pontifex Maximus?
Nice company he keeps:
"...John Hagee, the pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, asked attendees to pray for Perry "who has had the courage, today, to call for this time of fasting and prayer just as Abraham Lincoln did in the darkest days of the Civil War."..."

Yes, pray God will do something about predatory capitalist on Wall$treet, now backed by the S&P downgrading US Treasury securities, since the Republicans in Congress - along with their political opponents the Democrats, won't.

J

Colonel,

On a related topic, what course of action should our nation's Intelligence and Law Enforcement entities take in order to successfully combat the very evident 'steering' of anti-Islam extreme right wing/fascist organization that is taking place by the Israeli Government's Intellgence Arm their Mossad?

They (Mossad) penetrate, they then assist in manufacturing carnage, and then they back away and try to cover their tracks. They are doing this both here in our U.S. and in Europe.

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