Archive for Sharia Law

The Ultimate Obama-Islam-Sharia-Agenda 21-Immigration-Debt Conspiracy

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by loonwatch

(h/t: criticaldragon)

The Ultimate Obama-Islam-Sharia-Agenda 21-Immigration-Debt Conspiracy

by Brian Tashman, (RightWingWatch.org0

The number of right-wing conspiracy theories relating to President Obama, IslamSharia Law,immigrationAgenda 21 and the debt seems to be growing exponentially…but finally now there is one conspiracy theory that brings them all together.

Avi Lipkin, who on speaking tours in churches and synagogues across America says he learned secret information from his wife, whom he claims is an Israel intelligence officer. On Crosstalk with Vic Eliason of VCY America, Lipkin maintained that Obama is a Saudi plant who is out to destroy Israel and the United States:

Lipkin: Obama was made a Muslim man in Indonesia by age 11. He said, ‘I’ve got health care problems, I got economic problems in America, Muslims in Egypt and Muslims in the Muslim world, be patient, I will show you when the time comes what I am going to do to Israel.’ My wife picked up other broadcasts, for example the Saudis were saying, ‘we will have a Muslim in the White House in 2008.’ The Saudis also said, ‘Obama has three tasks: task number 1 is to destroy the Shiite threat in Iran, task number 2 is to destroy the Jewish threat Israel, task number 3 is to destroy the great Christian Satan America and turn America into a Muslim country.’

Surely you’ve heard that one before. But, you may not have known that Obama will destroy America by supporting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in order to collapse the region’s economy after the group persecutes the country’s Christians, leading to a wave of Muslim immigration to the United States. Obama will then settle the “50-100 million” Muslim immigrants on “lands confiscated by Agenda 21,” the sustainable development initiative, and bring about Sharia law in the U.S.

Obama also built up the national debt to a point where the U.S. will need a bailout from Saudi Arabia, who will grant it with the condition that “America will surrender its Christianity.” Lipkin explains that God sent the Muslim immigrants to the U.S. to be “hunters” of Jews and Christians, forcing them to leave the U.S. and move to Israel:

Lipkin: The Muslim Brotherhood is going to end up either killing, converting to Islam or expelling the remaining Christians of Egypt. When the Christians of Egypt are gone, the economy of Egypt is gone. When the economy of Egypt is gone, the 76 Muslims who remain are going to starve to death. What do people do when they starve? They leave. Where do they go to? America. Who’s going to bring them in? Obama. Where is he going to settle them? In the lands confiscated by Agenda 21.

Lipkin: America will be Muslim by 2016. 2016 is the eighth year of President Obama, meaning he is going to bring in 50-100 million Muslims because it is inevitable that all these Islamic countries cannot rule, they don’t know how to rule themselves, they are completely inept, and after they kill all the Christians that remain there will not be any economy left so you’re going to have overnight 50-100 million Muslims coming in. You cannot put them in American cities, you have got to create entire new areas populated in the United States and Canada with these Muslims.

Eliason: Where Sharia law holds forth?

Lipkin: Yes! So you have Agenda 21, you have Sharia law, by the way I’m going to throw out a real wildcard now. You have all those people who talk about the American debt being insolvable, where are you going to get $14 trillion from? The answer is very simple, you don’t think the Saudis have $14 trillion in cash? They’ll give you the cash and they will say ‘we own you now, we’re going to take over America.’ And Americans will say, ‘if we don’t do this we’re going to lose our economy and we’re going to lose our dollar and everything.’ The American economic problem is not a problem if the Saudis come in and bring in their cash. The problem here is America will surrender its Christianity.

Lipkin: If and when a war breaks out in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors then you will see 10, 20, 30 million, maybe more, 40, 50 million Muslims, some of them are going to rise up in a 9/11 type terrorist attacks and they are not afraid to die, they cherish death, and American law enforcement with all the best of intentions will not be capable of dealing with this. They are not going to kill 10 million, they are going to kill some and a lot of Jews and Christians are going to go into hiding and eventually a lot of them will eventually leave the United States and coming to Israel so I see this as a spatula, they leave by God, you have the hunters and these hunters are going to be the Muslims. I believe America will come out of this mess but it’s going to be a very rough time, weeks, months, before the situation is brought under control. The more Muslims you have in America the more capable they will be to wreak havoc on Jews and Christians.

Ad criticizing Muslim chaplain at WFU draws fire

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Imam Khalid Griggs

Imam Khalid Griggs

Usually, this type of rhetoric, slandering a religious leader and saying he is ideologically aligned with AlQaeda terrorists is reserved for web sites like JihadWatch.

Ad criticizing Muslim chaplain at WFU draws fire

By: LISA O’DONNELL | Winston-Salem Journal, Published: May 21, 2012, Updated: May 22, 2012 – 12:09 AM

An alumnus from Wake Forest University who took out an advertisement in Monday’s Winston-Salem Journal criticizing Imam Khalid Griggs, a university chaplain, said he did so as a way of pushing his alma mater into playing host to a debate on Shariah law.

In the ad, which ran the day of Wake Forest’s graduation, Donald Woodsmall claims that Griggs is a “Shariah supremacist who believes that everyone should live under Islamic Shariah law, with Islamic law replacing all man-made laws, including the U.S. Constitution.”

Griggs did not return emails and a phone call. Brett Eaton, a spokesman for Wake Forest, said the university would not comment on the ad.

Woodsmall, a 1977 graduate of Wake Forest, is a businessman who lives near Charlottesville, Va. He has criticized the university’s decision in 2010 to hire Griggs. Griggs is also the imam of the Community Mosque on Waughtown Street.

For the past several months, Woodsmall has tried to get President Nathan Hatch to consent to a symposium on Shariah law, the moral code and religious law of Islam. Woodsmall believes Muslims who adhere to Shariah are a threat to national security.

His correspondences with Hatch have also included accusations that Griggs is following the ideology of the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center.

Hatch has declined the requests for a symposium.

Woodsmall said Tuesday that he doesn’t want to get Griggs fired.

“If Wake Forest believes I’m wrong, then let’s have a symposium or debate. My goal is to educate as many people as possible, at Wake Forest and beyond, what Shariah law is and why it’s a threat to America,” Woodsmall said. “I think it’s of national importance, not just to Wake Forest but to a nation.”

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group based in Washington, called the ad a “bizarro, anti-Shariah diatribe,” of the type becoming more common since the controversy over Park 51, the so-called ground zero mosque, in New York.

Hooper criticized the Journal for running the ad.

“This is the kind of language reserved for Internet hate sites,” Hooper said. “It’s a big concern that a reputable newspaper would publish that kind of unanswered hate without giving the person targeted some kind of opportunity to respond or challenge whether it should even be published. They hope that if they throw enough mud against the wall, some of it will stick, and Muslims deal with that tactic everyday in America.”

Jeffrey Green, the Journal’s president and publisher, said: “We treated this ad the same way we do political advertising. The ad was the opinion of the individual that bought the space. He paid for it and signed his name to it.”

Woodsmall has started a Facebook page titled Alumni for a Shariah-Free Wake Forest. As of late Monday night, it had 44 “likes.”

Kamal Saleem Uncovers Plot to Use Roe v. Wade to Bring in Sharia Law

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by loonwatch

Add one more to the loony anti-Muslim conspiracy bucket:

Kamal Saleem Uncovers Plot to Use Roe v. Wade to Bring in Sharia Law

by Brian Tashman, Right Wing Watch

At last week’s Awakening 2012 conference, phony “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem not only detailed a treacherous scheme by President Obama to use immigration reform to legalize terrorism, but also uncovered a liberal plot to use the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade to “bring Sharia law liberally in our face.” Responding to co-panelist Frank Gaffney’s specious allegation that there have been anywhere between fifty to seventy instances where American judges used Sharia law to decide cases, Saleem blamed the Religious Right’s most hated ruling on the supposed proliferation of Sharia law in America.

Watch:


Here’s a picture, I’m going to draw it very simply. What they’re trying to integrate into our laws is Roe v. Wade, Roe v. Wade. When they put this Islamic clause, we tracked fifty and now I’m going like there’s seventy, wow, when they establish this what happened is, they will be able to bring Sharia law liberally in our face. That’s why he said fight against those—any court that allows it we need to demonstrate outside and say no Sharia law but our constitution.

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.

Newt Gingrich: I’d Support A Muslim Running For President Only If They’d Commit To ‘Give Up Sharia’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Newt Gingrich who has been on a racist role, calling the president of the USA the “greatest food stamp” president, and implying that Blacks are more prone to “food stamps” than other groups is also displaying his bigotry towards Muslims and Islam again. He wants any future Muslim presidential candidate to be given a “sharia test.”

Newt Gingrich: I’d Support A Muslim Running For President Only If They’d Commit To ‘Give Up Sharia’


Newt Gingrich told a South Carolina town hall audience on Tuesday that he would be open to seeing a Muslim-American run for president, as long as the candidate denounced Sharia law and didn’t seek to impose his or her views on others.

At a town hall meeting in West Columbia, S.C., a man asked Gingrich if he would ever “support a Muslim-American running for president.”

“Would you endorse…a Muslim-American, [who] could possibly be running for president, given that we had a woman running for president in Hillary Clinton, and we had a Jewish-American, in Joe Lieberman, running for vice president?” he asked.

“A truly modern person who happened to worship Allah would not be a threat,” Gingrich replied. “A person who belonged to any kind of belief in Sharia, any kind of effort to impose that on the rest of us, would be a mortal threat.”

In the past, Gingrich has repeatedly decried Sharia, a legal code derived from Islam, and called for a federal law to pre-emptively bar its use in any U.S. courts. He didn’t soften his position on Tuesday, saying his support would be contingent on a candidate’s willingness to denounce Sharia.

“I think it would depend entirely on whether they would commit in public to give up Sharia,” he said, referencing his support for the bill and drawing cheers from listeners at the event. “If they’re a modern person integrated into the modern world, and they’re prepared to recognize all religions, that’s one thing. On the other hand, if they’re the Saudis, who demand that we respect them while they refuse to allow either a Jew or a Christian to worship in Saudi Arabia, that’s something different.”

He pointed to an acquaintance as an example of a “truly modern” Muslim.

“We have a friend in Arizona who serves in the U.S. Navy, who’s a medical doctor, who’s Muslim — but he’s a totally modern person, trying to find ways to bring Islam into modernity,” Gingrich said.

Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said he wouldn’t be comfortableappointing a Muslim to a judgeship or cabinet position. He later apologized.

Court: Oklahoma Ban on Islamic Law Unconstitutional

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by loonwatch

Muneer Awad is seen in this Nov. 2010 photo by Jim Beckel.   Read more: http://newsok.com/court-oklahoma-ban-on-islamic-law-unconstitutional/article/3639122#ixzz1j5mvtpPF

For those who don’t know, the Constitution is the law of the land. Just making sure!

Court: Oklahoma ban on Islamic law unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An amendment that would ban Oklahoma courts from considering international or Islamic law discriminates against religions and a Muslim community leader has the right to challenge its constitutionality, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

The court in Denver upheld U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange‘s order blocking implementation of the amendment shortly after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters in November 2010.

Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block the law from taking effect, arguing that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights.

The amendment read, in part: “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”

Backers argued that the amendment intended to ban all religious laws, that Islamic law was merely named as an example and that it wasn’t meant as a specific attack on Muslims. The court disagreed.

“That argument conflicts with the amendment’s plain language, which mentions Sharia law in two places,” the appeals court opinion said.

The court also noted that the backers of the amendment admitted they did not know of any instance when an Oklahoma court applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other countries.

Awad argued that the ban on Islamic law would likely affect every aspect of his life as well as the execution of his will after his death. The appeals court pointed out that Awad made a “strong showing” of potential harm.

“When the law that voters wish to enact is likely unconstitutional, their interests do not outweigh Mr. Awad’s in having his constitutional rights protected,” the court said.

The Dangers Of Gingrich’s War Against Islam

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Gingrich reasserts his commitment to the Sharia Hysteria and now suggests “a federal law that says ‘no court, anywhere in the United States, under any circumstances, is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.”

The Dangers Of Gingrich’s War Against Islam

By Eli Clifton

Washington Post columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson examines Newt Gingrich’s history of anti-Muslim fear-bating and concludes that “those views demonstrate a disturbing tendency: the passionate embrace of shallow ideas.” But Gerson fails to acknowledge that Gingrich’s “shallow ideas” are more than just rhetoric. Gingrich has a plan to put them into action.

Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute last year, Gingrich told the audience:

It’s time we had a national debate on this. And one of the things I’m going to suggest today is a federal law that says ‘no court, anywhere in the United States, under any circumstances, is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.’ Period.

Watch it:

And Gingrich’s 2010 documentary, “America At Risk: The War With No Name,” portrays a disturbing vision of the world in which the U.S. and its western allies are at war with Islam. “This war will go on until either the entire world either embraces Islam or submits to Islamic rule,” says historian Bernard Lewis, while appearing in the film.

Further exemplifying his anti-Muslim sentiments, In an interview last week, Gingrich explained that the Palestinians are an “invented people,” a statement effectively denying the right of Palestinians to a state. Such a position would end U.S. support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and rejects the policy positions of the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations.

Gerson’s effort to flag Gingrich’s anti-Sharia rhetoric as “simplistic” is a welcome pushback against the growing Islamophobia in the far-right. (We addressed this problem in our recent report “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America.”) But Gerson fails to acknowledge the potential domestic and foreign policy implications of Gingrich’s anti-Muslim statements.

Cain: Majority of US Muslims Share Extremist Views

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by loonwatch
Only if you stayed making pizza...Only if you stayed making pizza…

A brief look into the inanities of Herman Cain. Take a look!

March of 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate “Resents” Muslim-Americans

… Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?

Cain: “No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempted to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. … The question that was asked that ‘raised some questions’ and, as my grandfather said, ‘I does not care, I feel the way I feel.’ …

May of 2011: Cain Continues Walk-Back of Muslim Comments

“I immediately said, without thinking, ‘No, I would not be comfortable.’ I did not say that I would not have [Muslims] in my cabinet. If you look at my career, I have hired good people regardless of race, religion, sex gender, orientation and this kind of thing.”

June of 2011: Herman Cain Would Require Muslim Appointees To Take A Special Loyalty Oath

BECK: So wait a minute. Are you saying that Muslims have to prove their, that there has to be some loyalty proof?

CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.

BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?

CAIN: Nope, I wouldn’t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know that there are some Muslims who talk about, “but we are a peaceful religion.” And I’m sure that there are some peace-loving Muslims.

July of 2011: Herman Cain: Americans Can Stop Mosques

“So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque…” Wallace began.

“Yes, they have the right to do that,” Cain said.

July of 2011 Part II: Herman Cain Issues Apology After Meeting With Muslim Leaders

On Wednesday, Cain met with four Muslim leaders in Sterling, Va. He said in a statement later he was “truly sorry” for comments that may have “betrayed” his commitment to the Constitution and the religious freedom it guarantees.

He also acknowledged that Muslims, “like all Americans,” have the right to practice freely their faith and that most Muslim Americans are peaceful and patriotic.

October of 2011: Herman Cain Defends His Sharia Conspiracy: ‘Call Me Crazy’

CAIN: Call me crazy. … Some people would infuse Sharia Law in our courts system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. … American laws in American courts, period.

AMANPOUR: American laws are in American courts. So the people of this country should be safe for the moment.

Now Cain gives us another quote for November:

I have had one very well-known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views

I wonder who it was who told you. Maybe, Zuhdi Jasser, who was a star witness in the Peter King Trials?

Cain: Majority of US Muslims share extremist views

Herman Cain said that he believes a majority of American Muslims share extremist views in an interview published on Monday.

In an interview that included a few eyebrow-raising comments, Cain’s exchange about American Muslims may get the most attention.

“I have had one very well-known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views,” Cain said in an interview with GQ.

Asked if he thought this individual — whom Cain would only identify as “a very prominent voice in the Muslim community” — was right, Cain said that although he found it hard to believe, ultimately he trusted his adviser.

“Yes, because of the respect that I have for this individual. Because when he told me this, he said he wouldn’t want to be quoted or identified as having said that,” Cain said.

In March, Cain made waves when he said that if he were elected, he would not feel “comfortable” in appointing Muslims to his Cabinet.

The interview — which included questions from GQ‘s food critic — also touched on some of the culinary themes that have permeated the Republican nominating contest. Cain famously described himself as not the flavor of the week or month after his rise to the top of the polls, joking that instead he was Häagen-Dazs’s black walnut, a flavor that “tastes good all the time.”

The GQ writers challenged Cain to assign flavors to his competitors and Cain obliged, labeling Mitt Romney plain vanilla and Texas Gov. Rick Perry rocky road. He was then asked what flavor Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) would be:

“Michele Bachmann … I’m not going to say it. I’m not going to say it,” Cain said.

But pressed by his interviewers, Cain relented, saying that Bachmann would be “tutti-frutti.”

“I know I’m going to get in trouble,” Cain said.

The interview was conducted at Capitol Hill pizzeria Seventh Hill, and Cain — the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza — was asked what he could tell about a man from the toppings he ordered.

“The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is,” Cain responded. Pressed, he laughingly elaborated that “the more manly man is not afraid of abundance” and that a pizza piled high with vegetables was “a sissy pizza.”

The GQ comments were the latest in a string of questionable jokes and comments that might have derailed other candidates. Cain acknowledged as much, asking the GQ writers, “That probably wasn’t politically correct, was it?” at the conclusion of the interview.

At last week’s Republican presidential debate, Cain referred to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as “Princess Nancy,” but walked back the name almost immediately after the debate.

So far, Cain’s candid remarks and allegations of sexual harassment that have surfaced in recent weeks have done little to ding his popularity. A pair of polls released Monday from NBC and Battleground both show Cain still leading the Republican field.

Update: Herman Cain was talking about the other Muslims: spokesman

It turns out, when Herman Cain said the majority of Muslim Americans hold extremist views, he didn’t mean “Americans” as in Americans. Not at all. What he really meant, his campaign spokesman has clarified, was Muslims from some other country.

Cain just shut up!

Update II:  We just can’t keep up with Herman Cain’s fails; check out the latest:

Herman Cain: Thank God My Arab Doctor Wasn’t Muslim!

Lou Ann Zelenik and her Sharia Conference gets turned down by 20 hotels

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by loonwatch
Cornerstone ChurchCornerstone Church

Action works against Islamophobes!: LoonWatch’s call to Action against Islamophobes.

Update: Geller withdrew from the “Shariah Conference,” (read below) and she also just withdrew from the Tea Party Convention in Florida. She is claiming victim status.

 

Madison church to host anti-Shariah conference

Written by Scott Broden

MURFREESBORO — Former congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik said Monday she has found a place to hold a freedom conference after getting turned down by 20 hotels.

Cornerstone Church in the Madison community on Nashville’s northeast side agreed to hold the event, “The Constitution or Sharia Conference.” The event will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 11.

“There was no room in the inn for freedom, but pastor Maury Davis of Cornerstone Church opened his doors for free speech,” said Zelenik, who lost the 2010 Republican primary to U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin.

However, headliner Pamela Geller, who runs the Atlas Shrugs anti-Islam blog, has bowed out because the event is no longer at a secular venue.

“While I have nothing against speaking in a church per se, I refuse to have my message driven from the public square,” she wrote in an email.

Geller and Zelenik referred to Hutton Hotel’s decision last week to cancel booking for the event in Nashville, citing safety concerns.

“It was a poor decision by Hutton Hotel when they changed their story three times from what they initially told me,” Zelenik said. “Our goal is to expose and disclose the differences between Constitutional and Shariah law. Our conference recognizes the freedoms of all Americans, including Muslim women, because they have equal protection under our Constitutional law. I reject Islamic Shariah for any woman.”

Zelenik also criticized Islamic Center of Murfreesboro member Saleh Sbenaty, who described the conference as “hate speech.”

“Hate speech for what?” she said. “Does he hate our Constitution or does he hate Shariah law? I wonder how he would feel in Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Iran with constitutional law competing with Shariah? Anyone who would try to bring in constitutional law in these countries would be imprisoned and/or put to death.”

Sbenaty, who works as a 19-year professor at MTSU in the Engineering Technology Department, said he referred to the gathering as a hate group because he’s concerned with the reputations of the speakers Zelenik has invited.

“I’d like to ask her does she want to associate herself with those who inspired Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 93 people in Norway?” Sbenaty asked. “In his manifesto of more than 1,5,00 pages, he was inspired by the people she invited to this conference. He mentioned Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Why would we need these people who are coming here to town to preach hate?”

Events such as these can hurt tourism, Sbenaty added.

“Why would you want to bring in people who would damage the reputation of Nashville and Murfreesboro?” he asked. “It’s ironic that she is damaging our community in the name of freedom.”

Sbenaty said there’s always a small sect in any religious group that’s dangerous and can commit tragic acts in the name of their religion.

“Extremists can interpret any religion they way they want,” said Sbenaty, noting that he grew up in Damascus, Syria, with Christian and Jewish friends before becoming a U.S. citizen after moving to Tennessee in 1982. “This is my country. This is where I want to live. This is a country that is founded on freedom, and it’s founded on equality. It’s not founded on bigotry.”

The Rev. Maury Davis of Cornerstone said he agreed to host the conference because he wants to learn more about Shariah law and its impact on American culture. Earlier this year, the church hosted a speech by Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who is highly critical of Islam.

He said speakers will not be allowed to promote hatred toward Muslims.

“I am not going to have any hate speech,” Davis said. “And I define hate speech as inciting people to hurt people or mistreat people.”

Tickets to the conference are $20 and can be purchased at shariafreeusa.com.

Muslim Scholars Issue Fatwa Declaring No Conflict Between Islamic Law And U.S. Constitution

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by loonwatch
President Obama hosts Iftar dinner at White House for American Muslims during Ramadan.President Obama hosts Iftar dinner at White House for American Muslims during Ramadan.
http://www.5min.com/Video/Study-Muslim-Americans-Experience-a-Mixed-Bag-517153474

Muslim Scholars Issue Fatwa Declaring No Conflict Between Islamic Law And U.S. Constitution

Islamic scholars tired of conservative charges that Muslims in the United States constitute a radical fifth column bent on subverting American values and obligated by their religion to launch jihadist terror attacks are fighting back by issuing a fatwa.

The Islamic religious ruling, a “Resolution On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans,” is a response to what its authors call “erroneous perceptions and Islamophobic propaganda” that has built up for a decade following the 9/11 attacks and subsequent terrorist plots by adherents of al-Qaida and other extremist groups. It was issued in Virginia late last month by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), a group of Islamic scholars who meet several times a year to draft opinions on issues of concern to American Muslims.

“As a body of Islamic scholars, we the members of FCNA believe that it is false and misleading to suggest that there is a contradiction between being faithful Muslims committed to God (Allah) and being loyal American citizens,” the fatwa declared.

“Islamic teachings require respect of the laws of the land where Muslims live as minorities, including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so long as there is no conflict with Muslims’ obligation for obedience to God. We do not see any such conflict with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The primacy of obedience to God is a commonly held position of many practicing Jews and Christians as well.”

Muslims make up less than 1 percent of the nation, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, yet the fast-growing community has been a constant target of right-wing groups. From protests against the so-called “ground zero mosque,” to efforts in more than a dozen states to ban Sharia lawin courts, to recent Capitol Hill hearings on Islamic radicalization that brought comparisons to McCarthyism, Muslims have had to assert their loyalty.

And that troubles members of the Los Angeles Police Department, who in recent years have been at the forefront in building bridges to the Muslims in order to combat radicalization and enlist the community in the fight against terrorism.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and other law enforcement officials will attend a meeting Thursday at the Islamic Center of Reseda to talk about the new fatwa as part of his department’s Muslim Community Forum. Muzammil Siddiqi, director of religious affairs of The Islamic Society of Orange County and the president of the Fiqh Council of North America, will be on hand to discuss the origins of the fatwa.

For many non-Muslims, perhaps the best-known fatwa was the one against authorSalman Rushdie for his book ”The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared it blasphemous and called for Rushdie’s death.

This new decree might face a warmer welcome.

“We’re always fighting two sides of extremism. There’s the violent ideological side and the neo-conservative side that is creating hate campaigns against American Muslims …which is a bunch of BS,” said Michael Downing, commander of the LAPD’s Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau. “The majority of American Muslims are as patriotic as you and I. This declaration says it is not a conflict to be a faithful Muslim and loyal American.”
http://www.5min.com/Video/Muslim-Event-Condemns-Terrorism-517166793

Don’t Fear Islamic Law in America

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by loonwatch

By ELIYAHU STERN

MORE than a dozen American states are considering outlawing aspects of Shariah law. Some of these efforts would curtail Muslims from settling disputes over dietary laws and marriage through religious arbitration, while others would go even further in stigmatizing Islamic life: a bill recently passed by the Tennessee General Assembly equates Shariah with a set of rules that promote “the destruction of the national existence of the United States.”

Supporters of these bills contend that such measures are needed to protect the country against homegrown terrorism and safeguard its Judeo-Christian values. The Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has said that “Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.”

This is exactly wrong. The crusade against Shariah undermines American democracy, ignores our country’s successful history of religious tolerance and assimilation, and creates a dangerous divide between America and its fastest-growing religious minority.

The suggestion that Shariah threatens American security is disturbingly reminiscent of the accusation, in 19th-century Europe, that Jewish religious law was seditious. In 1807, Napoleon convened an assembly of rabbinic authorities to address the question of whether Jewish law prevented Jews from being loyal citizens of the republic. (They said that it did not.)

Fear that Jewish law bred disloyalty was not limited to political elites; leading European philosophers also entertained the idea. Kant argued that the particularistic nature of “Jewish legislation” made Jews “hostile to all other peoples.” And Hegel contended that Jewish dietary rules and other Mosaic laws barred Jews from identifying with their fellow Prussians and called into question their ability to be civil servants.

The German philosopher Bruno Bauer offered Jews a bargain: renounce Jewish law and be granted full legal rights. He insisted that, otherwise, laws prohibiting work on the Sabbath made it impossible for Jews to be true citizens. (Bauer conveniently ignored the fact that many fully observant Jews violated the Sabbath to fight in the Prussian wars against Napoleon.)

During that era, Christianity was seen as either a universally valid basis of the state or a faith that harmoniously coexisted with the secular law of the land. Conversely, Judaism was seen as a competing legal system — making Jews at best an unassimilable minority, at worst a fifth column. It was not until the late 19th century that all Jews were granted full citizenship in Western Europe (and even then it was short lived).

Most Americans today would be appalled if Muslims suffered from legally sanctioned discrimination as Jews once did in Europe. Still, there are signs that many Americans view Muslims in this country as disloyal. A recent Gallup poll found that only 56 percent of Protestants think that Muslims are loyal Americans.

This suspicion and mistrust is no doubt fueled by the notion that American Muslims are akin to certain extreme Muslim groups in the Middle East and in Europe. But American Muslims are a different story. They are natural candidates for assimilation. They are demographically the youngest religious group in America, and most of their parents don’t even come from the Middle East (the majority have roots in Southeast Asia). A recent Pew Research Center poll found that Muslim Americans exhibit the highest level of integration among major American religious groups, expressing greater degrees of tolerance toward people of other faiths than do Protestants, Catholics or Jews.

Given time, American Muslims, like all other religious minorities before them, will adjust their legal and theological traditions, if necessary, to accord with American values.

America’s exceptionalism has always been its ability to transform itself — economically, culturally and religiously. In the 20th century, we thrived by promoting a Judeo-Christian ethic, respecting differences and accentuating commonalities among Jews, Catholics and Protestants. Today, we need an Abrahamic ethic that welcomes Islam into the religious tapestry of American life.

Anti-Shariah legislation fosters a hostile environment that will stymie the growth of America’s tolerant strand of Islam. The continuation of America’s pluralistic religious tradition depends on the ability to distinguish between punishing groups that support terror and blaming terrorist activities on a faith that represents roughly a quarter of the world’s population.

Eliyahu Stern, an assistant professor of religious studies and history at Yale, is the author of the forthcoming “The Genius: Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism.”

(source: The New York Times)

‘Sharia Law’ Laws

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2011 by loonwatch

By: Steve Lehto

A legislator in Michigan has decided to jump on the anti-Sharia bandwagon and has proposed legislation to protect us from Sharia law. Tennessee has proposed such a law, and Oklahoma has passed one (although it was later struck down by a court and presumably will be tied up in the courts for a while). While this appears to be a trend, it is confounding.

First, here is Rep. Dave Agema, quoted in the Detroit News: “Our law is our law. I don’t like foreign entities telling us what to do.” His bill, he says, will prevent anyone “who tries to shove any foreign law down our throats.”

So, Agema is proposing a state law to keep “foreign entities” from “telling us what to do.” I presume he is being colloquial; who cares if they try and “tell us” what to do? We don’t have to listen, do we? Presumably, he is suggesting that there is some way that they can force us into doing something we don’t want to, unless there is a law preventing it. So he has proposed his bill, which will presumably protect us from this ominous threat.

Too bad he hasn’t read our Constitution. I’m not talking about the Constitution of the State of Michigan; I’m talking about the big kahuna: The Constitution of the United States. Article VI reads in part:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. [Emphasis added.]

Forgive my italicizing; the drafters of the Constitution didn’t feel the need to italicize the important parts of the document because they thought later generations would read it carefully for themselves.

So, what Dave Agema has missed — and the others who are trying to pass these stupid laws — is that when it comes to the law, the Constitution already trumps whatever a “foreign entity tell[s] us” to do. (See italicized portions above.)

Don’t get me wrong; I know that some people have heard of Sharia law being applied by parties willingly to their own disputes. That is, both sides to a dispute have decided to use Sharia law as a guide for settling their dispute. While you might not want it applied to your dispute, who cares how other people settle their disputes?

You may not know this, but across America everyday litigants choose to step outside the court system and let arbitrators decide their disputes for them. In these arbitrations, different rules are often applied. Rules of evidence are modified, juries are not used and appeals are barred. To a lawyer, those three things alone are enough to cause nightmares. Yet it is perfectly legal because the parties have agreed to resolve their dispute in that manner.

There have also been the oddball resolutions where parties have agreed to settle their disputes with a coin toss. Frankly, if I had to choose between Sharia law and a coin toss, I’d go with Sharia law. Does that mean we should outlaw the coin toss? Quick! Mr. Agema — I have another law I need you to work on!

The strange thing is that the law would be legally meaningless if passed. The Constitution is already the supreme law of the land; another legislative statement affirming the Constitution’s supremacy would not change or add anything. What is upsetting is that everyone knows these laws are simply being passed as anti-Muslim statements. After all, they serve no legitimate purpose.

Frank Gaffney’s Latest Conspiracy: Herman Cain Met with the Muslim Brotherhood

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

Frank GaffneyFrank Gaffney

By Scott Keyes on Aug 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, CO.

Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain met with Muslim leaders outside Washington, DC in a laudable attempt to make amends for the Islamophobic positions that had come to characterize his candidacy. Cain had previously declared he will not appoint Muslims in his administration — he later backtracked and said he would only require a special loyalty oath from Muslim appointees — and argued that Americans have the right to ban mosques.

However, not everyone was pleased with the former pizza executive’s recent move.

Last weekend, ThinkProgress spoke with Frank Gaffney, a conservative conspiracy theorist who nevertheless enjoys outsized influence on the right. The Center for Security Policy president had a unique take on the matter: Herman Cain had actually been meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to Gaffney, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, where Cain met with Muslim leaders last Wednesday, is “a prominent Muslim Brotherhood apparatus in Washington DC.” The Center’s Imam, Mohamed Magid, is actually, says Gaffney, “the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States”:

KEYES: Where would you say Herman Cain’s at now?

GAFFNEY: I only saw one press report of it, and it sounded as if some of what you just described was said by people, Muslim Brotherhood people frankly, with whom he was meeting rather than the candidate himself. […]

KEYES: Those were Muslim Brotherhood people that he was meeting with?

GAFFNEY: Oh yeah. The ADAMS Center is a prominent Muslim Brotherhood apparatus in Washington DC. It’s one of the most aggressive proponents of its agenda in the city. […] Specifically, meeting with Mohamed Magid who is the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States, who happens also to be the Imam at the ADAMS Center. It’s one of those things, it’s a very problematic departure from what I think had been a generally sensible… I don’t agree everything he has said and some of the positions he has taken, but I think generally speaking he’s been forthright in raising a concern that I think is warranted. And if in fact he’s now changed his position in ways that are being reported, that’s even more troubling than if he was spending time with Muslim Brothers.

Watch it:

Such a charge would be shocking, were it not made by a man who says the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the federal government and CIA chief David Petraeus is submissive to Sharia law.

Cain joins a long list of prominent figures that Gaffney accuses of working with the Muslim Brotherhood, including CPACGrover NorquistDavid Petraeus, the federal government, and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

Despite Gaffney’s outlandish beliefs, he remains an extraordinarily influential figure on the right. Members of Congress regularly appear on his radio show, Secure Freedom Radio. He is anadvisor and close friend to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. And along with a small group of like-minded conservatives, Gaffney has turned Islamophobia into an industry.

With his latest accusation against Herman Cain, Gaffney is well on his way to becoming the 2011 version of Rudy Giuliani. Gaffney’s every utterance now boils down to “a noun, a verb, and ‘Muslim Brotherhood.’”

Florida pastor Terry Jones returning to Michigan to protest Islam

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2011 by loonwatch

Someone should tell pastor Terry Jones that all Arabs are not Muslims and all Muslims are not Arabs.

Florida pastor Terry Jones returning to Michigan to protest Islam

Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor from Florida, is to lead a three-hour rally against Islam today at Dearborn City Hall followed by a 2-mile walk to the Arab International Festival, where he will further speak out. The three-day festival is the largest outdoor gathering of Arab Americans in the U.S. and is held in Dearborn, known for its sizable Muslim population.

Jones, who led a rally at City Hall in April, gained worldwide attention for his threats to burn the Quran last year on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He didn’t go through with it, but he led a Quran-burning in Florida in March. He tried to protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn in April, but a jury ruled he would likely breach the peace, thwarting his plans. Jones has appealed that decision, which was criticized by the ACLU and some constitutional law experts as an infringement of his free-speech rights.

Jones said the decision was an example of sharia, or Islamic law, coming to America, which he said is a growing threat. Today, Jones plans to speak out against sharia again as part of a five-point plan he said will help fight Islam. One point calls for the “monitoring of all mosques to assure that they are places of worship and not of Islamic propaganda.”

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly Jr. has said repeatedly that the city has never implemented sharia.

In a letter sent this week to residents, O’Reilly said Jones and his supporters “are coming here to promote the concept that Islam is a false faith and that Muslims by teaching and nature are violent. We know that there is no substance to their message — their goal is to promote fear and hatred in others.”

Referring to Jones supporters, O’Reilly said he is urging the public to “ignore them and their empty words. Their goal is to bait and anger us so that they can then misrepresent who we are in order to serve their personal agenda.

“Debating them and confronting them at this event or in our city can produce no positive result for us.”

Contact Niraj Warikoo: 313-223-4792 or nwarikoo@freepress.com

Salon.com: Arabic for right-wingers

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2011 by loonwatch

Salon.com: Arabic for right-wingers

BY JUSTIN ELLIOTT

In ominous tones, Islamophobes toss around terms like “taqiyya” and “Shariah.” Do they even know what they mean?

In a now infamous column, the writer Eliana Benador argued this week that Anthony Weiner (who is a Jew) may have converted to Islam but was hiding it from the world in accordance with the practice of “taqiyya.”

“It is also important, when looking at this situation, to remember that observant Muslims practice taqiyya, an element of sharia that states there is a legal right and duty to distort the truth to promote the cause of Islam,” Benador wrote.

In invoking the Arabic term “taqiyya,” Benador exemplified a practice we’ve noticed in the past few years. It’s become common for right-wing writers and even politicians to matter-of-factly toss around Arabic terminology when warning of the Muslim threat to America. These references, often made in ominous tones, are almost always without context.

So we thought it would be useful to hear explanations of terms like “taqiyya” from an expert. John Esposito, university professor at Georgetown and author of “What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam,” was kind enough to explain six of the more common Islamic terms we’ve been hearing. Esposito wrote the “What it actually means” items below, following my introductions.

– – – – – – – – – –

The term: dhimmi

How it’s used: As a pejorative for non-Muslims who fail to understand — and unwittingly aid, or even appease — the Islamic menace

Example: “These dhimmi effetes at the Times think their toe licking will save them. They will be the first ones with their heads on the chopping block.” — the blogger Pamela Geller

What it actually means: “Protected people.” The dhimmi were non-Muslims living under Muslim rule who paid a special tax and in return were permitted to practice their own religion, be led by their religious leaders and be guided by their own religious laws and customs. This treatment was very advanced at the time. No such tolerance existed in Christendom where Jews, Muslims and Christians who did not accept the authority of the pope were persecuted, forced to convert or expelled.

However progressive this policy may have been in the past, it would amount to second-class citizenship for non-Muslims today. Therefore, some insist that non-Muslims must be given full citizenship rights because of the Quran’s emphasis on the equality of all humanity. This need for reinterpretation can be seen in the increased incidents of discrimination and violence against non-Muslims in countries like Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

– – – – – – – – – –

The term: jihad

How it’s used: As casual shorthand for Muslims’ war against the West

Example: “Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence. But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Sharia.” — Newt Gingrich

What it actually means: Literally, “struggle” or “exertion” in the path of God, following God’s Will. It is a concept with multiple meanings, used and abused throughout Islamic history. The importance of jihad is rooted in the Quran’s command to struggle in the path of God and in the example of the Prophet Muhammad and his early Companions. The two broad meanings of jihad, nonviolent and violent, are contrasted in a well-known Prophetic tradition. “Greater” jihad is the struggle within oneself to live a righteous life and submit oneself to God’s will. “Lesser” jihad is the defense of Islam and the Muslim community.

Jihad as struggle pertains to the difficulty and complexity of living a good life: struggling against the evil in oneself — to be virtuous and moral, making a serious effort to do good works and help to reform society. Depending on the circumstances in which one lives, it also can mean fighting injustice and oppression, spreading and defending Islam, and creating a just society through preaching, teaching and, if necessary, armed struggle or holy war. A radicalized violent minority combines militancy with messianic visions to inspire and mobilize an army of God whose jihad they believe will liberate Muslims at home and abroad.

– – – – – – – – – –

The term: taqiyya

How it’s used: As an explanation for why Muslims cannot be trusted — because their religion allows them to ethically practice deception

Example: “Thus it is reasonable to conclude that Keith Ellison’s deceitful pronouncements at Thursday’s Homeland Security Hearings, this past Thursday, and one day later on ‘Real Time With Bill Maher,’ are consistent with the Koranic doctrine of taqiyya, Islamic religious dissimulation.” — writer on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace site

What it actually means: Precautionary dissimulation of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution. Muslims recognize the personal duty of affirming right and forbidding wrong, but when confronted by an overwhelming injustice that threatens the well-being of an individual, this obligation can be fulfilled secretly in the heart rather than overtly. Among Shia Muslims, who from the death of the Prophet onward considered themselves subject to persistent religious persecution by the Sunni majority and the holders of political power, taqiyya permits not only passive or silent resistance, but also an active dissimulation of true beliefs when required to protect life, property and religion itself.

– – – – – – – – – –

The term: Shariah

How it’s used: To refer to a rigid set of Muslim laws that prescribe stoning for adulterous women, execution for homosexuals, etc.

Example: “We all know what shariah law does to women — women must wear burqas, women are subject to humiliation and into controlled marriages under Sharia law. We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas.” — Texas state Rep. Leo Berman

What it actually means: Historically, many Muslims and non-Muslims have come to confuse and use the terms “Shariah” and “Islamic law” interchangeably. Because the Quran is not a law book, early jurists used revelation as well as reason to create a body of laws to govern their societies. But, over time, these man-made laws came to be viewed as sacred and unchangeable. Muslims who want to see Shariah as a source of law in constitutions therefore have very different visions of how that would manifest. Though the definition of Shariah refers to the principles in the Quran and prophetic tradition, some expect full implementation of classical or medieval Islamic law; others want a more restricted approach, like prohibiting alcohol, requiring the head of state to be a Muslim, or creating Shariah courts to hear cases involving Muslim family law (marriage, divorce and inheritance). Still others simply want to ensure that no constitutional law violates the principles and values of Islam, as found in the Quran.

– – – – – – – – – –

The term: madrassa

How it’s used: To refer to a place where Muslim youth are indoctrinated into radicalism and, often, terror

Example: “I am very concerned that the school will be a madrassa, funded by taxpayer dollars. We will in effect be supporting the training of future terrorist cells.” — Opponent of a proposed Arabic-themed New York school

What it actually means: A place where teaching, studying and learning take place. In early centuries, “madrassa” came to refer to a school of higher studies (college or university) where Islamic sciences were taught. Today, the term is also often used more broadly. Like the term “school” in American English, it can refer, for example, to a university, seminary, college as well as primary or secondary school. In recent years, the term has taken on a negative connotation, and for some simplistically equated with militant madrassas or schools in Pakistan and elsewhere. While they certainly exist and are dangerous training grounds, they represent a relatively small number of the institutions/schools that are referred to as madrassas.

– – – – – – – – – –

The term: Allah

How it’s used: As a negatively charged byword for a special Islamic deity

Example: “The animals of Allah for whom any day is a great day for a massacre are drooling over the positive response that they are getting from New York City officials over a proposal to build a 13 story monument to the 9/11 Muslims who hijacked those 4 airliners.” –Tea Party activist Mark Williams

What it actually means: Arabic for “God” (the term is used by Muslims and Arab Christians for God but is also used in Arabic-influenced languages and thus by Turkish and Malaysian Christians and others). Muslims believe Allah is the same deity worshiped by Jews and Christians. The first verses of the Quran present the basic Muslim view of God: “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Sovereign of the Day of Judgment. Truly, it is You we worship and You whose aid we seek.” He is creator, sustainer, judge and ruler of the universe; all-powerful and all-merciful. Allah is described as the Merciful and Compassionate; every verse of the Quran begins with “In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.” Believed to have revealed himself to a long line of prophets (including the biblical prophets), to Moses, Jews (Torah) and Jesus (Gospels). As in Judaism and Christianity, God is also seen as the Just Judge who is to be obeyed and feared as well as loved.

MEQ Report Claims 81 Per Cent of US Mosques Promote “Violent Jihad”

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by loonwatch

A good article from Richard Bartholomew on a “recent” report by Middle East Quarterly (part of Daniel Pipes Middle East Forum) that 81% of US mosques promote violent jihad. This is the same number that Islamophobes have been promoting for years now.

The report is filled with methodological flaws.

MEQ Report Claims 81 Per Cent of US Mosques Promote “Violent Jihad”

by Richard Bartholomew

At the American Thinker and Big Peace, Andrew Bostom discusses  ”Sharia and Violence in American Mosques”, a new article  by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi published the Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2011, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 59-72). The somewhat inflammatory title is par for the course: Yerushalmi (perhaps best-known as Pamela Geller’s lawyer) is the brains behind the ideologically-driven “Mapping Shariah” project, which has a number of methodological problems that I outlined here. The paper is being published today; it appears that Bostom has been given an advance copy.

According to quotes in Bostom’s post (itself a diatribe entitled “Mosques as Barracks in America”), a number of US mosques were chosen at random,

(a) to observe and record 12 Sharia-adherent behaviors of the worshipers and the imam (or lay leader); (b) to observe whether the mosque contained the selected materials rated as moderate and severe; (c) to observe whether the mosque contained materials promoting, praising, or supporting violence or violent jihad; and (d) to observe whether the mosque contained materials indicating the mosque had invited guest speakers known to have promoted violent jihad.

Findings:

51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari’a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.

…The survey found a strong correlation between the presence of severe violence-promoting literature and mosques featuring written, audio, and video materials that actually promoted such acts. By promotion of jihad, the study included literature encouraging worshipers to engage in terrorist activity, to provide financial support to jihadists, and to promote the establishment of a caliphate in the United States. These materials also explicitly praised acts of terror against the West; praised symbols or role models of violent jihad; promoted the use of force, terror, war, and violence to implement the [strange gap here – RB] Sharia; emphasized the inferiority of non-Muslim life; promoted hatred and intolerance toward non-Muslims or notional Muslims; and endorsed inflammatory materials with anti-U.S. views… [O]f the 51 mosques that contained severe materials, 100 percent were led by imams who recommended that worshipers study texts that promote violence.

[M]osques containing violence positive materials were substantially more likely to include materials promoting financial support of terror than mosques that did not contain such texts. A disturbing 98 percent of mosques with severe texts included materials promoting financial support of terror. Those with only moderate rated materials on site were not markedly different, with 97 percent providing such materials.

These results were comparable when using other indicators of jihad promotion. Thus, 98 percent of mosques that contained severe-rated literature included materials promoting establishing an Islamic caliphate in the United States as did 97 percent of mosques containing only moderate rated materials.

Further details on methodology are provided in an Appendix, which has been posted on-line here. The list of “Sharia Adherent Behaviors” includes: “gender segregation during prayer service”, “alignment of men’s prayer lines”, the imam’s beard style, whether the imam has a head covering or not or is wearing Western-style clothing, and whether the imam wears a watch on his right wrist. Also significant is the percentage of men wearing beards or hats, whether boys have head-coverings, and whether girls and women are wearing hijabs or niqabs – “Non-Shari’a-adherent behavior”, we are told, “is to wear the modern hijab (a scarf that does not completely cover the hair) or to not wear any hair”.

For reasons that are not immediately clear, we then segue into the issue of violence, as the list continues:

If the surveyor found the Fiqh as-Sunna or Tafsir Ibn Kathir, but not more extreme materials, then the mosque was categorized as containing moderate-rated material. If the surveyor found the Riyadh as-Salaheen, works by Qutb or Mawdudi, or similar materials, then the mosque was categorized as containing severe-rated materials.

If the surveyor found no violence-positive materials or if the violence-positive materials constituted less than 10% of all available materials, then the mosque was categorized as containing no materials.

…Following the prayer service, the surveyor asked the following question: “Do you recommend the study of: (a) only the Quran and/or Sunna; (b) Tafsir Ibn Kathir; (c) Fiqh as-Sunna; (e) Reliance of the Traveller; or (f) the works of Qutb, such as Milestones, and Maududi, such as The Meaning of the Qur’an?”

If the imam or lay leader recommended studying any of the materials mentioned above except the Qur’an and/or Sunna, then the imam or lay leader was recorded as having recommended the study of texts promoting the rated material.

The “10%” principle here is a welcome nod towards proportionality, but it’s undermined by what follows. The Reliance of the Traveller and the Tafsir Ibn Kathirare both pre-modern compendiums of Islamic law; of course they contain some troubling material, like many other pre-modern texts. But they also contain a lot else: we need to understand why the imams recommend these texts, not just note that they do and therefore chalk up one more extremist. It’s also unclear whether the imams are being asked about their general recommendation practices in relation to these texts or whether they are simply advising the questioner.

Further:

If materials available on mosque premises promoted joining a known terrorist organization, such as “mujahideen” engaged in jihad abroad, then the mosque was recorded as having promoted joining a terrorist organization.

That may seems reasonable so far as it goes, but again it begs a lot of questions. Some general sympathy for a mujahideen group involved in military conflict in somewhere in central Asia is a very different proposition from supporting al-Qaeda, so we need more than just a broad-brush “terrorism” label if we are to understand what is going on and why. And we need to know more about how the materials are made available, and in what ways they are promoted. Are leaflets given out to attendees, or is “promotion” simply an obscure poster pinned to an unmoderated noticeboard somewhere on the premises? There’s scope for various interpretations there.

If materials available on mosque premises indicated that speakers came to the mosque to raise money for specific terrorist organizations, then the mosque was recorded as having openly collected money at the mosque for a known terrorist organization.

…If any of the materials featured on mosque property promoted engaging in terrorist activity; promoted the financial support of terrorism or jihadists; promoted the use of force, terror, war, and violence to implement Shari‘a; promoted the idea that oppression and subversion of Islam should be changed by deed first, then by speech, then by faith; praised acts of terrorism against the West; or praised suicide bombers against Israelis, then the mosque was recorded as having promoted violent jihad.

This raises further questions: are we talking about organisations which are banned under US law, or organisations around which there are suspicions (reasonable or contrived) of links to terrorism?

We all know that some mosques in the USA and elsewhere promote radicalisation and extremism. We also know that others need to do more to ensure that radical elements do not gain a toe-hold. But this kind of inquisitorial and quantitative approach is of very limited value and is probably even misleading. If one wants to know whether a mosque “promotes jihad”, one needs to get a sense of the overall teaching and the general perspectives of those who attend. Simply totting up whether an undercover visitor can spot or elicit something troubling is an insufficient methodology. And what purpose is served by mixing all this in with a list “Sharia Adherent Behaviors”, other than to give Muslim cultural practices a sinister hue?

The Middle East Quarterly has a note on its peer-review process here. Previously, it rejected peer-review on the grounds that most specialists were not interested in “American interests” or were hostile to USA; however:

…In 2009, circumstances have begun to change. This journal finds itself part of a growing community of specialists not hostile to the United States and its allies. As other journals and organizations have joined our ranks, they increased the circle of those with professional and expert knowledge of the Middle East and created a larger pool of reviewers to engage in a constructive process of refereeing.

Tom Coburn: Norquist is “chief cleric of sharia tax law.”

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by loonwatch

What the hell does this even mean?

Tom Coburn: Norquist is “chief cleric of sharia tax law.”

by David Safier

Wow. I repeat. Wow.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) is so pissed at No New Taxes guru Grover Norquist, Coburn called the guy the “chief cleric of sharia tax law.”

I thought they reserved that kind of language for Democrats.

Do I sense trouble in paradise? Are some conservatives, even those with impeccable credentials,feeling the constraints of the ideological straitjackets put on them by the farther-than-far Right?

Coburn wants to get rid of a $5 billion ethanol subsidy. Norquist says that’s only OK if there are $5 billion in tax cuts to keep it revenue neutral. Which prompted Coburn to call Norquist the “chief cleric of sharia tax law.”

Look at this list of some of the other “renegades” wanting to break free of the No New Taxes shackles.

These include stalwart conservatives such as Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. And on the ethanol issue, Coburn has drawn support from the Heritage Foundation.

Fight among yourselves,guys. Play “More conservative than thou.” Keep up the good work.

Wajahat Ali: Understanding Sharia Law

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2011 by loonwatch
Wajahat Ali

Another great piece from Wajahat Ali.

Understanding Sharia Law

(Huffington Post)

In the past year, a group of conservative pundits and analysts have identified sharia, or Islamic religious law, as a growing threat to the United States. These pundits and analysts argue that the steady adoption of sharia’s tenets is a strategy extremists are using to transform the United States into an Islamic state.

A number of state and national politicians have adopted this interpretation and 13 states are now considering the adoption of legislation forbidding sharia. A bill in the Tennessee State Senate, for example, would make adherence to sharia punishable by 15 years in jail. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has called for “a federal law that says Sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States.”

The fullest articulation of this “sharia threat” argument, though, is in the September 2010 report, “Sharia: The Threat to America,” published by the conservative Center for Security Policy. The authors claim that their report is “concerned with the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time: the legal-political-military doctrine known within Islam as ‘Shariah.’” The report, according to its authors, is “designed to provide a comprehensive and articulate ‘second opinion’ on the official characterizations and assessments of this threat as put forth by the United States government.”

The report, and the broader argument, is plagued by a significant contradiction. In the CSP report’s introduction, the authors admit that Islamic moderates contest more conservative interpretations of sharia:

Sharia is the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle. On one side of the divide are Muslim reformers and authentic moderates … whose members embrace the Enlightenment’s veneration of reason and, in particular, its separation of the spiritual and secular realms. On this side of the divide, Sharia is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society.

The authors later assert, however, that there is “ultimately but one shariah. It is totalitarian in character, incompatible with our Constitution and a threat to freedom here and around the world.”

The initial concession that Muslims interpret sharia in different ways is accurate and of course contradicts the later assertion that sharia is totalitarian in nature.

But by defining sharia itself as the problem, and then asserting the authenticity of only the most extreme interpretations of sharia, the authors are effectively arguing that the internecine struggle within Islam should be ceded to extremists. They also cast suspicion upon all observant Muslims.

It’s important to understand that adopting such a flawed analysis would direct limited resources away from actual threats to the United States and bolster an anti-Muslim narrative that Islamist extremist groups find useful in recruiting.

It would also target and potentially alienate our best allies in the effort against radicalization: our fellow Americans who are Muslim. According to the “sharia threat” argument, all Muslims who practice any aspect of their faith are inherently suspect since sharia is primarily concerned with correct religious practice.

This brief will explain what sharia really is and demonstrate how a misrepresentation and misunderstanding of sharia — put forth in the CSP report and taken up by others — will both harm America’s national security interests and threaten our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

What is Sharia?

The CSP report defines sharia as a “legal-political-military doctrine.” But a Muslim would not recognize this definition — let alone a scholar of Islam and Muslim tradition. Muslim communities continue to internally debate how to practice Islam in the modern world even as they look to its general precepts as a guide to correct living and religious practice.

Most academics studying Islam and Muslim societies give a broad definition of sharia. This reflects Muslim scholars struggling for centuries over how best to understand and practice their faith.

But these specialists do agree on the following:

  • Sharia is not static. Its interpretations and applications have changed and continue to change over time.
  • There is no one thing called sharia. A variety of Muslim communities exist, and each understands sharia in its own way. No official document, such as the Ten Commandments, encapsulates sharia. It is the ideal law of God as interpreted by Muslim scholars over centuries aimed toward justice, fairness and mercy.
  • Sharia is overwhelmingly concerned with personal religious observance such as prayer and fasting, and not with national laws.

Any observant Muslim would consider him or herself a sharia adherent. It is impossible to find a Muslim who practices any ritual and does not believe himself or herself to be complying with sharia. Defining sharia as a threat, therefore, is the same thing as saying that all observant Muslims are a threat.

The CSP report authors — none of whom has any credentials in the study of Islam — concede this point in several places. In the introduction they say, “Shariah is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society.” Yet the rest of the report contradicts this point.

The authors, in attempting to show that sharia is a threat, construct a static, ahistorical and unscholarly interpretation of sharia that is divorced from traditional understandings and commentaries of the source texts.

The “sharia threat” argument is based on an extreme type of scripturalism where one pulls out verses from a sacred text and argues that believers will behave according to that text. But this argument ignores how believers themselves understand and interpret that text over time.

The equivalent would be saying that Jews stone disobedient sons to death (Deut. 21:18- 21) or that Christians slay all non-Christians (Luke 19:27). In a more secular context it is similar to arguing that the use of printed money in America is unconstitutional — ignoring the interpretative process of the Supreme Court.

In reality, sharia is personal religious law and moral guidance for the vast majority of Muslims. Muslim scholars historically agree on certain core values of sharia, which are theological and ethical and not political. Moreover, these core values are in harmony with the core values at the heart of America.

Muslims consider an interpretation of sharia to be valid so long as it protects and advocates for life, property, family, faith and intellect. Muslim tradition overwhelmingly accepts differences of opinion outside these core values, which is why sharia has survived for centuries as an ongoing series of conversations. Sharia has served Muslims who have lived in every society and in every corner of the planet, including many Americans who have lived in our country from before our independence down to the present day.

Recent statements from Muslim religious authorities, such as the 2004 Amman Message, show the dynamic, interpretive tradition of Islam in practice. In fact, the Amman Message is a sharia-based condemnation of violence. So if CSP wants Muslims to reject sharia they are effectively arguing Muslims should reject nonviolence.

The fact that the Amman Message is a sharia-based document shows the problem with the “sharia threat” argument: By criminalizing sharia they also criminalize the sharia-based message of nonviolence in the Amman document.

It is surprising that a group claiming to be invested in American national security would suggest that we make nonviolent engagement criminal.

Suspicion Based on Religious Misinterpretation

The CSP report’s contradictions can only be resolved through unconstitutional means. And the authors propose doing so with no sense of irony.

They argue that believing Muslims should have their free speech and freedom of religion rights restricted: “In keeping with Article VI of the Constitution, extend bans currently in effect that bar members of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan from holding positions of trust in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States to those who espouse or support Shariah.”

The authors have already conceded that even mainstream Muslims espouse sharia. So by the report’s own analysis, CSP are recommending that even mainstream American Muslims, who follow sharia in their personal lives, be prohibited from serving in the government or the armed forces.

The authors cite Quran verses that “are interpreted under Sharia to mean that anyone who does not accept Islam is unacceptable in the eyes of Allah and that he will send them to Hell,” concluding, “When it is said that Sharia is a supremacist program, this is one of the bases for it.”

It is no secret that many Christians interpret their own faith to mean that non-Christians are destined for Hell. Is this too a form of supremacism?

Many advocates of the “sharia threat” also refer to taqiyya, an Arabic word that means concealing one’s faith out of fear of death, to mean religiously justified lying. Not all Muslims subscribe to the theological concept of taqiyya, however. In fact, it is a minority opinion.

The charge of “taqqiya” is often deployed by “sharia threat” advocates when confronted with evidence that refutes their thesis. Under this methodology one cannot trust any practicing Muslim. Even if a Muslim preaches and practices nonviolence the CSP authors would say that person is either not a true Muslim or is practicing taqiyya.

They have, in fact, used this tactic against Muslim-American leaders who advocate strong civic engagement. Responding to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s assertion that the proposed Park 51 Islamic Center in New York would be a venue for interfaith dialogue, CSP’s Frank Gaffney wrote in The Washington Times: “To be sure, Imam Rauf is a skilled practitioner of the Sharia tradition of taqqiya, deception for the faith.”

While providing a mechanism for critics to ignore any disconfirming evidence, adopting such an interpretation of taqiyya would almost certainly result in every observant Muslim being branded a liar.

The authors of the CSP report are clearly aware of this, and they try to temper their conclusions: “This is not an argument for trusting or mistrusting someone in any particular instance,” they write. “It is, though, an argument for professionals to be aware of these facts, to realize that they are dealing with an enemy whose doctrine allows — and at times even requires — them not to disclose fully all that they know and deliberately to misstate that which they know to be the truth.”

In other words, all Muslims are suspect simply by virtue of being Muslims.

Biased Premises Lead to Bad Policy

The CSP report’s premise is that sharia is the problem and that observance of sharia results in extremism. The authors do not acknowledge that sharia is something the extremists are attempting to claim.

This purposeful misconstruction of the security issues America faces ignores multiple data points and turns all Muslims into traitors. According to a report from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 85 percent of all terrorist victims are Muslims. The Muslim community, therefore, has good reason to ally with American interests to defeat extremists. Those who assert the most extreme definition of sharia agree with the extremists’ definitions of Islam and help create an environment of alienation and distrust — which serves extremist interests, not American interests.

Adopting the CSP’s analysis — and the hysteria over the “sharia threat” that it is clearly intended to provoke — will prevent us from working with our natural allies and weaken our ability to protect ourselves. The war against extremism cannot be labeled as a war against Islam. Taking such a civilizational, apocalyptic view could well become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Further, we actually allow extremists to operate more freely without a clear identification of the threat and a consistent and constitutionally defensible system for recognizing and tracking extremists.

It is important to recognize that Muslims are in an ongoing conversation to define what their faith will look like. They have engaged in that conversation for centuries. But the challenge of faith and modernity is not unique to Muslims, and we cannot single them out for their beliefs.

Finally, it’s important to note that even if the most extreme interpretation of sharia were the correct one, there is no evidence that the U.S. legal system is in any danger of adopting tenets of sharia.

To put this in perspective, the extreme Christian right in America has been trying for decades to inscribe its view of America as a “Christian nation” into our laws. They have repeatedly failed in a country in which more than three-quarters of people identify as Christians.

It’s extremely unlikely that an extreme faction of American Muslims, a faith community that constitutes approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population, would have more success. We need to both respect constitutional freedoms and understand that the Constitution and our courts guarantee a separation between church and state.

The “sharia threat” argument is so irresponsible as to almost demand a comic response, were it not for the disastrous consequences of adopting it. It’s important that its claims be interrogated rigorously, in order to understand that they should not be taken seriously.

This article was co-written by Matthew Duss, National Security Editor at American Progress. It was first published at the Center for American Progress.

Matthew Duss is the National Security Editor at American Progress and Wajahat Ali is a Researcher for ThinkProgress.

Additional contributions from Hussein Rashid, associate editor, Religion Dispatches, and Haroon Moghul, executive director, The Maydan Institute.

Follow Wajahat Ali on Twitter: www.twitter.com/WajahatAli

Richard Silverstein: David Yerushalmi Threatens Defamation Lawsuit

Posted in Loon People, Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by loonwatch

Richard Silverstein takes David Yerushalmi to task. Yerushalmi threatened him with a lawsuit, it didn’t work out for old Yeru.

David Yerushalmi Threatens Defamation Lawsuit

by Richard Silverstein (TikkunOlam)

NOTE: I originally published this post in reply to a threat of a defamation lawsuit from David Yerushalmi.  I temporarily withdrew it in order to consult with counsel.  I post this now.

But before I do, since I wrote this, the Anti Defamation League, a group with whom I often disagree, has published a strong denunciation of Yerushalmi’s views under the headline “Extremism,” which is worth noting:

One of the driving forces behind Shari’a-related conspiracy theories and growing efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’a law in American courts is David Yerushalmi, an Arizona attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry.

…Yerushalmi has not only actively promoted his conspiratorial vision of Shari’a law, but has also sought to portray all Muslims as a threat. In one March 2006 article, for example, Yerushalmi even went so far as to claim that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”

That same year, Yerushalmi founded the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), a “think tank” that has published anti-Muslim, anti-immigration and anti-black materials, as well as New World Order-style conspiracy theories.

…Yerushalmi’s main instrument, SANE, is also openly hostile to undocumented migrants in the United States. It advocates somehow sealing all American borders and building “special criminal camps” to house undocumented migrants…

…Yerushalmi [has] defend[ed] people accused of anti-Semitism such as Mel Gibson and Pat Buchanan because they “have the potential to save the West from itself and from Islam.”

The statement doesn’t at all deal with Yerushalmi’s Kahane-like pro-settler views about Israel, which is understandable since the ADL’s difference with him on this subject might be more nuanced.  But such as it is, the statement should gain broad visibility and further reinforce Yerushalmi’s reputation as a far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim bigot.

My original post follows:

A short time ago I published a post about David Yerushalmi’s leadership of various state campaigns to ban Sharia law.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a few years you’ll remember back to 2007 when I wrote several posts about Yerushalmi’s leadership role in the campaign against New York’s Khalil Gibran Academy and the accompanying demonization and forced removal of principal Debbie Almontaser (which was later found wrongful by an EEOC ruling).  I reviewed his then publicly-accessible website, Saneworks, for the overtly racist rhetoric it contained.  I called him then a “Jewish white supremacist.”

Mother Jones recently published its own profile of Yerushalmi’s efforts to ban Sharia law and called him simply a “white supremacist.”  Apparently, he didn’t like that.  Didn’t like it one bit.  As a result he sent Mother Jones a message saying that he was compiling a record of the magazine’s coverage of him as part of a legal brief.  Not exactly a threat of a lawsuit, but not far from one.

To me he was far more explicit.  He sent this to a lawyer representing me in my current libel suit which will be heard in Los Angeles in the coming days:

I am reluctantly forced to revisit the statements your client, Richard Silverstein, has made about me on his blog. When he first attacked me personally and stated that I was a fascist, racist, and Kahanist, I ignored them, even as others of his ilk provided these baseless statements “legs” allowing countless more “eyes” the opportunity to read what your client understood and represented to be carefully calculated factual statements about me.  These statements are demonstrably false and your client made them knowing they were false or acting recklessly in this regard.  This recklessness I believe was established in his deposition testimony in the Neuwirth case.

I ignored these publications because your client uses this kind of ad hominem invective on a regular basis and I was just one of many people he attacked personally without any real factual basis.

Unfortunately, your client has republished the original articles via links in a most recent piece stating that I am a white supremacist. I might still have ignored this except for the fact that it has now concretely and specifically injured me in my legal profession in Arizona. I have now lost an African American client who was prepared to retain my firm but for your clients defamatory publications, because he could not afford to be associated with someone accused of such beliefs even though he knows I do not hold these beliefs. Much of his business is in public relations and this charge by your client was for him too much to sustain.

My staff and family have prevailed upon me to sue your client for defamation. Again, I am reluctant given the First Amendment issues, but I believe there is a strong basis to assert that his wholly unfounded, false, and defamatory statements, which have now led to concrete damages that I can measure minimally in excess of $100,000 suggests to me that my staff and family have the better argument.

The suit will be brought in Arizona.  An interesting and related case is Yetman v. English, 168 Ariz. 71, 811 P.2d 323 (1991).

I certainly understand your client will raise the standard First Amendment defenses: opinion, hyperbole, no actual malice.  If we get past these, your client will have the opportunity to test “truth” as a defense. It is to that end and to that purpose I am now drafting my complaint.

Your client may avoid the suit by deleting all articles published on his blog or other forum that refer to me in the defamatory ways described.

I am providing this to you confidentially.  If you client chooses to make this public, and he certainly may, this settlement offer is rescinded.

Thank you.

David Yerushalmi

Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C.:

Washington, D.C., New York, California & Arizona

I’ve debated how to address this threat and of course I’ve engaged pro bono legal case in the event he follows through on it.  But I will not be cowed by a bully.  I stand by the posts I’ve written by him.  I will not remove them.  I will gladly meet him in court or anywhere in defense of both my right to speak and publish, and the truth of the statements I’ve written about him.

David Yerushalmi is a fraud.  His claims about Islam are false, as anyone with any real knowledge of the religion will tell you.  His game is political opportunism to advance a strident right-wing anti-Muslim agenda.  An earlier iteration of his anti-jihad campaign involved a colleague, Dave Gaubatz, who did a “James O’Keefe” and infiltrated Virginia mosques posing as a new member.  They published their supposedly shocking accounts of radical jihadist activity which turned out to be “sky is falling” nonsense.  Gaubatz, for those of you who may not remember, was recently successfully sued for arranging for his son to pose as a CAIR intern, whereupon he stole internal organization documents for the purposes of discrediting CAIR.  The court ordered Gaubatz to return the documents.

Even Yerushalmi’s name is fake.  His family birth name is Beychok, born of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to America.  To be clear, I’m not saying that Yerushalmi’s legal name isn’t that.  I’m talking about the underlying motivations regarding Jewish nationalist identity that are involved in such a name change.  Yerushalmi means “from Jerusalem.”  Yerushalmi is as much a resident of Jerusalem as I am.  He doesn’t live in Jerusalem nor do I.  Let me make clear that I have no problem with Jewisholim changing their name once they move to Israel, taking Hebrew names such as Yerushalmi.  But to do so when you live in America is pure preciousness.  He wants to tell you that he supports the settler concept of the eternal inviolability of Jerusalem as a Jewish city and capital.  He wants to tell you he believes in the whole nine yards of ultra-Orthodox extremism regarding God’s sacred gift of all of the Land of Israel to the entire Jewish people in perpetuity.

Yerushalmi denies he is a white Jewish supermacist, yet writes in his website and other online venues nonsense like this:

…Our constitutional republic was specifically designed to insulate our national leaders from the masses,democracy has seeped up through the cracks and corroded everything we once deemed sacred about our political order. Prior to the Civil War, the electorate, essentially white Christian men, had access to local government. It was here, where men shared an intimacy born of family ties, shared religious beliefs, and common cultural signposts, that representative government was meant to touch our daily lives. With the social and cultural revolution which followed the emancipation, man’s relationship to political order was radically nationalized and democratized.

And believe me, Yerushalmi doesn’t use the term “democratized” in a flattering way.  Here he clarifies that he isn’t opposed to the paternalistic democracy of the Founding Fathers in which selection of senators and even the president was not given directly to the people (or as he calls them, “the masses”):

The founding fathers themselves of course opposed “democracy” in its simple formand created a wonderfully elaborate system to shield government from mass democracy

Here he expounds on the perniciousness of:

Raw or radical democracy where all men and all ideas and all cultures are deemed equal and given equal voice. That is of course the agenda of the Left…

Yerushalmi of course opposes Israeli democracy as well, or at least the current version which accords rights to Israeli Palestinian citizens.  Larry Cohler Esses, in a series he wrote for Jewish Week on the Stop the Madrassa campaign led by Yerushalmi, noted that the latter called for Israel to “cast off the yoke of liberal democracy.”

It should be noted that Meir Kahane maintained precisely the same dismissive attitude toward Israeli democracy, saying that if given a choice between the latter and a Jewish state he would choose the latter.  In fact, Kahane was perfectly comfortable with a Jewish state that was not democratic.  It should come as no surprise that during a session in which he deposed me for the libel lawsuit I mentioned above, he revealingly referred to Kahane with the honorific, “the Rov” (or “Rabbi”), a traditional Jewish way by which yeshiva students refer to an honored teacher.

Cohler Esses also notes that Yerushalmi believes that left-wing Jews:

…Destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite…One must admit readily that the radical liberal Jew is a fact of the West and a destructive one. Indeed, Jews in the main have turned their backs on the belief in G-d and His commandments as a book of laws for a particular and chosen people.

Most Israelis are raging Leftists, and this includes the so-called nationalists who found a home in the ‘right-wing’ Likud political bloc or one of the other smaller and more marginal right wing parties.

What’s extraordinary here is that even the far-right secular nationalists of Likud come under withering condemnation.  The only true Jews and true Zionists can be the ultra-Orthodox like himself.

In a recent NPR interview, he either dissembles regarding his true views or he has radically reversed himself since he published earlier statements I’ve quoted previously in this blog.  Here are some of his earlier legislative proposals regarding Islam in American life:

…Islam requires all Muslims to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic with a political system based upon Shari’a.

…Adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People.

HEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED THAT: It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Shari’a.

The Congress of the United States of America shall declare the US at war with the Muslim Nation.

He has clearly soft-pedaled such extremist views in order to win acceptance for them in the context of this current anti-Muslim national legislative campaign.  But compare the following claim about his legislation (from the NPR interview) with the above views and judge for yourself whether this leopard has changed its spots:

The law does not even criminalize the absolute practice of Shariah. In fact, you could go to Times Square and you could print out: I advocate Shariah, I even advocate, in theory, jihad against America and my statute does not touch you. The statute says the attorney general simply designates someone who practices a Shariah with terrorism component.

Given what I quoted above, you tell me whether or not the following statement from the interview is a lie:

Q:…Is your view of the measure [the anti-Sharia law bill] motivated in part by a view that Islam is inherently violent and that its adherents are inherently predisposed to violence because of their commitment to religious Islam?

Mr. YERUSHALMI: No.

And in this statement, he doesn’t exactly lie, but he deliberately deceives the listener into believing in his pro-Muslim altruism, which is in truth anything but:

I have represented pro bono Muslim-Americans.

He is indeed representing, as far as I know, three Muslim-Americans who were allegedly legal clients of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  They are suing CAIR.  David Yerushalmi is on a political jihad against CAIR, which he views inaccurately as a pro-jihadi Muslim extremist organizations.  So yes, he’s representing a grand total of three Muslim-Americans in a single case, but only because he believes it will advance his own anti-Muslim political agenda.

Let’s examine this statement too in light of what I quoted above:

I have stated on the record, the pietistic worship of the divine through Islamic worship, Jewish worship, Christian worship, atheistic worship or humanistic, is protected and absolutely sacrosanct in our system.

How can you claim the above, when you’ve also called for the U.S. Congress to declare war “on the Muslim nation?”  There may be a poorly drawn distinction he is trying to make here between Islam as a religion and what he considers radical Islam which professes, again according to him, Islam as a political system.  But you’d have to forgive most lay people for missing that distinction and believing he’s at war with all Islam.

In the interview he also makes the statement:

I…certainly can’t be a white supremacist, only because I’m an orthodox Jew…

That’s why I called him a “Jewish white supremacist” since that conveys that he isn’t the same as Richard Butler or the Aryan Nation.  Nevertheless, his views, especially those regarding Islam, are not that dissimilar.  Yes, he’s dressed up his ideology (or should I say, theology) with a certain level of intellectual rigor lacking in most white supremacists.  But the fact that he is a racist cannot be denied without doing violence to the truth.

Of course a Jew can be a white supremacist if he denounces “liberal democracy,” disdains minorities, and believes in waging “war against Islam,” as he has said.

Let me also make absolutely clear, my quarrel with David Yerushalmi is purely political.  It is a quarrel among Jews about the meaning of Jewish identity and the role of Israel in Jewish life.  It is a battle over ideas.  If he wants to have such a battle in a courtroom or any other venue, I’m prepared.  Of course, Yerushalmi prefers to hold the battle in the courtroom because he doesn’t trust the rude democracy of the blogs and internet.  He knows his ideas will lose in a free and fair debate as our founding fathers envisioned.  So he resorts to legal threats.  It’s really a reverse form of the term beloved by far-right pro-Israel advocates like Alan Dershowitz, lawfare.  That is, it’s a form of political harrassment through abuse of the legal system to bring purely political arguments which should be resolved in the traditional American way such things are resolved; and instead attempting to bankrupt or otherwise intimidate the victim into silence.

Some people also call these legal actions SLAPP (Strategic Limitation Against Public Participation) suits which are often used by companies and other well-heeled individuals to limit discussion of issues sensitive to them.

The anti-jihadi lawyer’s claim of damage or losing business is a twisted version of what he attempts to do to his enemies.  He knows how difficult it is for an individual blogger to retain pro bono legal counsel and take the years that such cases can involve.  So he holds this over one’s head as a cudgel to stifle free speech and debate.  Well, not this blogger.  Not now.  Not ever.

Finally, I have no personal malice whatsoever against Yerushalmi.  I don’t know him personally.  I don’t want to know him personally.

NOTE: Yerushalmi has withdrawn his lawsuit threat in a note he sent to my counsel.

Rick Santorum: Sharia ‘is evil’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by loonwatch
‘Jihadism is evil and we need to say what it is,’ Rick Santorum said in New Hampshire. | AP Photo

Rick Santorum: Sharia ‘is evil’

DURHAM, N.H. — Rick Santorum on Friday asserted that Sharia law has no place in America.

“Jihadism is evil and we need to say what it is,” he said at the Strafford County Lincoln-Reagan dinner, remarks that show how the former Pennsylvania senator continues to establish himself as the candidate most-aligned with the Republican Party’s conservative base.

“We need to define it and say what it is. And it is evil. Sharia law is incompatible with American jurisprudence and our Constitution.”

Santorum, invoking New York Rep. Peter King’s hearing this week on the alleged radicalization of American Muslims, said that the “vast majority” of Muslims don’t want to it either.

“They left because of Sharia law,” he said, referring to why he believes Muslim immigrants left their home countries to come to the United States.

Santorum added, “Sharia law is not just a religious code. It is also a governmental code. It happens to be both religious in nature an origin, but it is a civil code. And it is incompatible with the civil code of the United States.”

The audience loudly applauded.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, warned about Sharia at CPAC last month, and his latest comments set up a stark contrast between his world view and President Obama’s efforts to court support in the Muslim world.

The question-and-answer session of the dinner turned into a wide-ranging discussion.

Santorum said the Democrats talk about entitlements the way dealers talk about drugs.

“Close your eyes, like you’re listening to a drug dealer outside a school yard,” he said. “They see entitlements as a way to make you dependent, weaker, less of a person than you are, drugging you into submission to a government who promises a high to take care of you.”

And Santorum took a swipe at public schools. “Just call them what they are. Public schools? That’s a nice way of putting it. These are government-run schools,” he said.

Santorum brought up the Head Start program, charging that the program is ineffective even as Democrats object strongly to congressional Republicans’ proposal to cut funding for it.

“They fund it more,” he said of Democrats. “Why? Because it brings more children into their domain. It brings more children out of the household … Their agenda is to socialize your children with the thinking they want in those children’s minds.”

Santroum, who home-schools his own seven children, said he supports voucher programs that would allow parents to send their children to private schools.

“I would support anything that gets the money in who should be in control — or who should be the object — of the education system in this country. And that is not the children but the parents. Because parents have the obligation to raise and educate their children.”