Archive for Arizona

Anti-Sharia Bill Introduced in South Carolina

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by loonwatch

House bill: ‘In SC court, use S.C. law’

By GINA SMITH

A long list of S.C. lawmakers plans to send a message to Palmetto State courts: Don’t apply foreign laws here.

A proposed law, which a House panel will consider this month, is part of a growing movement in legislatures around the country.

Twenty other states are considering similar measures to ban judges from applying the laws of others nations, particularly in custody and marriage cases. Three states — Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona — already have added the laws to their books. Oklahoma put it in its state Constitution in 2010, a move now being challenged in federal court.

Proponents say the S.C. measure will ensure only U.S. and S.C. laws are applied in Palmetto State courtrooms, and foreign laws do not trump constitutional rights guaranteed to Americans.

Opponents say the proposal addresses a nonexistent issue and, while not specifically naming Islamic Sharia law, and smacks of anti-Islamic sentiment. They say such bills target the practice of Sharia, a wide-ranging group of Islamic religious codes and customs that, in some countries, are enforced as law.

While Sharia law provides followers of Islam guidelines on everything from crime to politics to hygiene and food, many Muslims also disagree on its interpretation.

State Rep. Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville, the bill’s sponsor, said she introduced the proposal after speaking with several family court judges around the state about problems with child-custody cases.

“I asked them if they had issues with custody cases decided outside of the country. They all said ‘Yes,’ ” Nanney said, adding one judge told her of a custody case brought before him that originally had been handled in Venezuela. The judge, who Nanney declined to name, said he struggled to find common ground between S.C. and Venezuelan laws, and how to apply them.

“It would simplify things to say, ‘We’re in a South Carolina court, and let’s use South Carolina law.’ It’s meant to help our judges not to be pushed and pressured and prodded to enforce other countries’ laws,” Nanney said.

Nanney said her bill does not target Sharia law or any other specific foreign code or law. Her proposal has 27 House co-sponsors, including House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, and 26 other Republicans, who control the General Assembly.

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate last year by another Greenville Republican, state Sen. Mike Fair. It failed to clear the subcommittee level.

Subcommittee members sent a letter to the state’s family court judges to gauge whether Sharia or other foreign laws were impacting S.C. custody and divorce cases.

“We heard no indication from any of the judges that there was a problem,” said state Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens.

Liberal groups, including the S.C. Progressive Network, say the proposal is a waste of legislative time.

“I’m much more concerned with laws being imposed by aliens from the Planet Oz,” said Brett Bursey, the group’s director. “A stealth-alien invasion of the minds of our legislators is the most plausible explanation for their obsession with fixing things that aren’t broken.”

At least one national group, the New Jersey-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which works to promote understanding of Islam, says the intent of the state proposals is devious.

“There’s no mistaking the intent of these bills. It’s to provide a mechanism for channeling and cultivating anti-Muslim sentiment,” said council attorney Gadier Abbas.

Recent versions of the bills — like South Carolina’s — do not specifically mention Sharia law, but the intent is clear, Abbas said.

“There are some misconceptions about Islam in the United States,” he said. “That, coupled with a very vocal and well-organized minority of organizations and figures that have had for their mission, for years now, to ensure Muslims are not treated as equals in the United States, is creating this new effort to bring inequality into the laws. It’s alarming.”

Abbas said there are no valid fears of foreign laws being applied in U.S. courtrooms. “Only if American law allows for it does religious tradition or foreign laws even come into play.”

But proponents of the legislation, including the American Public Policy Alliance, point to several court cases as proof that Sharia law is seeping into the U.S. court system.

In one 2009 example, a New Jersey judge denied a Muslim wife’s request for a restraining order after she claimed her husband repeatedly raped her. The court said the man thought it was his religious right to have nonconsensual sex with his wife and, therefore, he did not meet the criminal-intent standard needed to issue the restraining order.

An appellate court reversed the ruling in 2010, granting the restraining order.

In a 1996 case, a Maryland appellate court deferred to a Pakistani court in granting custody of a child to her father in Pakistan instead of her mother in Maryland. One factor mentioned in the ruling was an Islamic belief that a father gets preference in custody cases.

2012: Rick Perry Ally Wants to Bar Muslims from Naturalization

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will lead American in prayer this weekend. Find out who he'll be praying with.Texas Gov. Rick Perry will lead American in prayer this weekend. Find out who he’ll be praying with.

2012: Rick Perry Ally Wants to Bar Muslims from Naturalization

By 

This weekend, Gov. Rick Perry will host a mass Christian prayer rally in his home state of Texas. The principal sponsor of the rally, the American Family Association, has a truly vile record on immigration issues. The Association’s principal spokesperson on policy issues, Bryan Fischer, says that Muslims should be barred from becoming naturalized citizens because, he says, Islam requires Muslims to kill Christian Americans.

Fischer has hosted a number of Republican presidential hopefuls, including Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty, on his powerful “policy” radio broadcast that is heard nationally. His tarring of all Muslims as destructive of America has not dissuaded Perry and others from seeking Fischer’s favor. For instance, this rant by Fischer was deemed beyond the pale by Republican leaders:

We allow unrestricted Muslim immigration into the United States. We are welcoming to our shores, welcoming to our borders, men who are determined to destroy us. They’ve said it themselves, it’s in their own writings, it’s in their own words; they’re out to eliminate and destroy western civilization. It’s just absolute folly to invite that kind of toxic cancer into our culture, but that’s what we’re doing every single day.

Fischer has said that Muslim immigrants are not protected by the First Amendment. Fisher says there should be  “no more mosques, period” because “each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.”

Fischer says that Muslim’s should be ineligible to enter the U.S. and that those who are already here should be deported:

[T]he most compassionate thing we can do for Americans is to bring a halt to the immigration of Muslims into the U.S. This will protect our national security and preserve our national identity, culture, ideals and values. Muslims, by custom and religion, are simply unwilling to integrate into cultures with Western values and it is folly to pretend otherwise. In fact, they remain dedicated to subjecting all of America to sharia law and are working ceaselessly until that day of Islamic imposition comes.

The most compassionate thing we can do for Muslims who have already immigrated here is to help repatriate them back to Muslim countries, where they can live in a culture which shares their values, a place where they can once again be at home, surrounded by people who cherish their deeply held ideals. Why force them to chafe against the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West?

In other words, simple Judeo-Christian compassion dictates a restriction and repatriation policy with regard to Muslim immigration into the U.S.

Fischer was a harsh critic of evangelicals who endorsed immigration reform as a way of showing compassion to the undocumented. Ladst year he wrote this in The Hill:

But upholding the law is not mistreatment. We do no wrong to the shoplifter by holding him accountable for his behavior. In fact, enforcing the law is the way government shows compassion for victims of crime. Compassion is misdirected if it is targeted toward lawbreakers rather than victims.

Where is the compassion for the residents of Arizona who are forced to cope with drug smuggling, drug-related violence, human trafficking, home invasions, kidnappings and $2.7 billion in annual costs imposed on them by illegals for education, welfare, law enforcement and healthcare?

There’s no way around the fact that my evangelical friends want to reward aliens who break the law.

We should instead deal with the 12 to 20 million illegals currently in the country through attrition, by making access to any taxpayer-funded resource — whether education, welfare or healthcare — contingent upon proof of legal residency.

Once illegals realize they will be sent home the moment they come to the attention of any government agency or any branch of law enforcement, they will immediately stop being a drain on taxpayer resources and will be the most law-abiding residents we have.

Rigorous use of the E-Verify system will dry up the job market for illegals, once again creating incentives for them to self-deport.

Enforcing our immigration policy need not break up families. The president sent spouses and children along when he deported the Russian spies, and we can do the same with every illegal alien. We do not want to separate husbands from wives, or children from parents, so our policy should be to repatriate entire families together to preserve family integrity.

If a member of a family has the legal right to remain in the U.S., he of course should be allowed to exercise that right. But then the family itself would be responsible for dissolving the family unit, not the United States.

The Word “Haboobs” Causing Chaos in Arizona?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

What is going on in Arizona? The word “Haboobs” is being criticized because it is Arabic? Ridiculous, I thought the objection might be that to some ears the word is close to a certain slang term referring to women’s breasts? That would be reason to keep the term, it would be great fodder for comedians or regular citizens playing off the term!

‘Haboobs’ Stir Critics in Arizona

(NYTimes)

PHOENIX — The massive dust storms that swept through central Arizona this month have stirred up not just clouds of sand but a debate over what to call them.

The blinding waves of brown particles, the most recent of which hit Phoenix on Monday, are caused by thunderstorms that emit gusts of wind, roiling the desert landscape. Use of the term “haboob,” which is what such storms have long been called in the Middle East, has rubbed some Arizona residents the wrong way.

“I am insulted that local TV news crews are now calling this kind of storm a haboob,” Don Yonts, a resident of Gilbert, Ariz., wrote to The Arizona Republic after a particularly fierce, mile-high dust storm swept through the state on July 5. “How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

Diane Robinson of Wickenburg, Ariz., agreed, saying the state’s dust storms are unique and ought to be labeled as such.

“Excuse me, Mr. Weatherman!” she said in a letter to the editor. “Who gave you the right to use the word ‘haboob’ in describing our recent dust storm? While you may think there are similarities, don’t forget that in these parts our dust is mixed with the whoop of the Indian’s dance, the progression of the cattle herd and warning of the rattlesnake as it lifts its head to strike.”

Dust storms are a regular summer phenomenon in Arizona, and the news media typically label them as nothing more than that. But the National Weather Service, in describing this month’s particularly thick storm, used the term haboob, which was widely picked up by the news media.

“Meteorologists in the Southwest have used the term for decades,” said Randy Cerveny, a climatologist at Arizona State University. “The media usually avoid it because they don’t think anyone will understand it.”

Not everyone was put out by the use of the term. David Wilson of Goodyear, Ariz., said those who wanted to avoid Arabic terms should steer clear of algebra, zero, pajamas and khaki, as well. “Let’s not become so ‘xenophobic’ that we forget to remember that we are citizens of the world, nor fail to recognize the contributions of all cultures to the richness of our language,” he wrote.

Although use of the term often brings smirks, Mr. Cerveny said the walls of dust could have serious consequences, toppling power lines and causing huge traffic accidents. Although ultradry conditions in the desert are considered one cause for the intensity of this year’s storms, Mr. Cerveny pointed to another possible factor: the housing bust that left developments half-finished and unmaintained, creating more desert dust to be stirred up.

Keith Olbermann: Pamela Geller the Worst Person in the World

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by loonwatch

Pamela Geller is called out by Keith Olbermann for fanning the flames of Muslim hatred, to an extent where it has now reached people protesting “Mooslim looking” Churches.

Muslim American community finds Arizona law “appalling”; LoonWatch agrees

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by loonwatch
The fight against illegals...The fight against illegals…

An op-ed in The Washington Post reads:

Arizona’s draconian new immigration law is an abomination — racist, arbitrary, oppressive, mean-spirited, unjust.  About the only hopeful thing that can be said is that the legislation, which Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday, goes so outrageously far that it may well be unconstitutional.

Brewer, who caved to xenophobic pressures that previous governors had the backbone to resist, should be ashamed of herself. The law requires police to question anyone they “reasonably suspect” of being an undocumented immigrant — a mandate for racial profiling on a massive scale. Legal immigrants will be required to carry papers proving that they have a right to be in the United States. Those without documentation can be charged with the crime of trespassing and jailed for up to six months…

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon — who wrote an op-ed in The Post calling proponents of the law “bitter, small-minded and full of hate” — hopes to file a lawsuit against the state…

How are police supposed to decide whom they “reasonably suspect” of being in the country illegally? Since the great majority of undocumented immigrants in Arizona are from Mexico, aggressive enforcement of the law would seem to require demanding identification from anybody who looks kind of Mexican. Or maybe just hassling those who look kind of Mexican and also kind of poor. Or maybe anyone who dares to visit the Mexican consulate.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued the following statement on behalf of Muslim Americans:

CAIR-AZ Condemns Signing of Anti-Immigrant Bill

(PHOENIX, AZ, 4/28/2010) — The Arizona chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) today expressed disappointment at the signing into law of Senate Bill 1070. CAIR-AZ and other civil liberties groups say the law legitimizes suspicion based on appearance and will result in racial profiling and discrimination.

“It’s natural for the Muslim community to find this new law appalling” says CAIR-AZ Chairman Anas Hlayhel. “The Quran instructs Muslims to stand up against injustice and racism, which this bill seems to advocate. No matter what good this bill claims to bring, we see that its harm will outweigh its good. We see it as a desperate attempt to legitimize racial profiling in order to hide the failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. It is a reminder of recent attempts to legitimize racial profiling at airports.”

Hlayhel said the new law is a major setback to civil rights accomplishments in America.

LoonWatch agrees.  By the passage of this discriminatory law, police are obligated to stop anyone whom they “reasonably suspect” of being an illegal immigrant.  Realistically, this means stopping anyone with brown skin, and Hispanics in particular.  The good people of Arizona have succumbed to the forces of intolerance, hatred, and xenophobia.  This law is quite simply un-American, and those who backed it don’t seem to believe in the ideals of this country.

Right-wingers in general and the anti-Islam camp in specific have pushed hard to legitimize racial profiling at airports, calling for all Arabs or Muslims to receive extra screening.  This campaign has met with considerable success, with very little uproar from the public.  Justifying racial profiling in one context legitimizes it in another; a bad precedent opens up pandora’s box.  Now we find the discussion moved from Arabs/Muslims to Hispanics, and who’s to say it will stop there?  Could police officers eventually be granted the right to randomly pull over black Americans driving through white neighborhoods?  Where do we stop?  If we tolerate discrimination against Arabs/Muslims and Hispanics, then it opens the door to discrimination against everyone that does not look exactly like the majoritorian group.

The right-wing fear factory has created this imaginary boogie man of so-called “stealth jihad”, claiming that “the other” is seconds away from overthrowing democratic rule and enacting a brutal interpretation of Sharia in North America and Europe.  Meanwhile, these right-wing fear-mongers are the ones hacking away at the roots of our democracy, pushing their hate-filled agenda in the shroud of rationalized legislation, justifying racial profiling, warrantless wiretapping, torture, the suspension of habeas corpus, secret prisons, targeted assassinations of citizens, and the pursuit of imperial conquest abroad.

Since the creation of our great nation-state, there has been an element in us that has said “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” and paradoxically another element that has called for some people to be considered only three-fifths human.  Throughout U.S. history, the country has wrestled between these two sides: the tolerance inherent in our nation’s ethos on the one hand, and the wretched flame of intolerance on the other.  It’s time for Americans of conscience everywhere to stand in solidarity for the ideal of tolerance, and against this repugnant law.  This nation was founded and built by immigrants (illegal ones at that).  While sensible immigration reform is something desirable, we cannot allow xenophobia to snuff out the country’s legacy of multiculturalism.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free…