Think Shariah Law is not Already Here?

I wonder just what percentage of the American citizenry has not even heard of Islamic shariah law, let alone is aware that it has  already infiltrated our system of justice.

About a year ago, I responded to an online poll concerning the latter.  Ignorantly, I joined about 65% of respondents who believed that shariah law was not present in American society.  Today, I know differently.  So if you are thinking something like ‘Preposterous!  Impossible!’ – think again.

Last October (2011),  a Halloween parade participant, dressed as a ‘zombie Muhammed’ and wearing a sign declaring, “Only Muhammed can rape America!”, was assaulted by an offended Muslim man.  It is reported that the Muslim attacker grabbed the costumed man, pulled his beard, choked him from behind & spun him around in an attempt to pull off the sign.  Now, in the U.S. legal system,  the assaulted parade-goer would be considered a victim.  The attacker, as defendant, would normally be the party jailed, fined, etc… or at least reprimanded!    Somehow, in this case, we find a complete reversal.

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that this case should have been judged purely as an assault incident.  An American citizen, exercising his free speech rights, was roughly man-handled because of that.  The attacker should have been judged to be the one in the wrong.

But the judge was a Muslim.

He dismissed the charges( filed by the police officers on the scene) against the Muslim attacker.

Judge Mark Martin informed the parade-goer that he was “way outside {his} boundaries of First Amendment rights.” Really?  Really?  That doesn’t even make sense.  Free speech is free speech.  Who sets up boundaries?  Decency, kindness or tolerance may indicate the use of tact or discretion, but such a choice is voluntary.  Sure, often it may be the wise choice, but even if so, again – voluntary, not a legal mandate.  Judge Martin accused the man of using his First Amendment rights to enrage Muslims, suggested he learn more about Islam before mocking it, slammed a Quran down & allowed the attacker defendant’s lawyer to tell him to read it.  Martin announced that he himself was a Muslim and was offended by the actions of the Halloween parade-goer.  Martin also introduced into the proceedings the fact that such actions, in many Arabic-speaking countries, are against the law and punishable by death.

So?  This is America, not an Arabic-speaking country.  Why would the judge even mention that?  Such a practice does not factor into Constitutional law.

So are you seeing that this case was made to be primarily about Islam?  Not Constitutional law, but Islamic practice and shariah law.  Which have no place in an American court room.

~~~

The Judicial Conduct Board issued a ‘ letter of caution’ to this judge, as a private rebuke, and closed the case.

~~~

Since then, the victim of the attack has been bombarded with threats of all kinds, from being shot, run down or hanged to…well, enough said.  Of these threats, 471 are reported as being verifiable.

(Source)

~~~

This is happening in America. This particular case occurred in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, but similar events have occurred throughout the nation.  I recently read that 53 court cases in 28 states have been tried according to shariah law.  American rights are trampled right here on our own soil, and some in our legal system allow it.  Don’t you see how insidious such patterns are?  And to what they are leading?  Nothing, at first, seems like it will really happen…then, one day, it has taken over.

Several days ago, Rep. Trent Franks (R) of Arizona, chairman of the House Constitution subcommittee, repeatedly questioned Tom Perez, the progressive who runs the Justice Department’s civil rights office, regarding their support of free speech – specifically, religious free speech.  Rep. Franks asked Mr. Perez four times if he could promise that this administration will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?”  Mr. Perez would not give a clear and simple answer.  He would not commit to protecting religious free speech.  Wonder why…..

Late last year, Perez had attended a meeting which included the leader of the Islamic Society of North America.  During that meeting, this leader called for “legal punishment of people who criticize Islamic texts that call for violence against non-Muslims and for the subordination of women to men.” Are you getting this?  Another Islamist at this meeting called for the Justice Department to “redefine religious free speech as illegal discrimination.”  It is reported that Mr. Perez said nothing in response, yet he complimented these Islamists on protesting airline security measures.  And he actually embraced the Islamic Society’s leader – that’s right, the man who wants to punish you and I for speaking out against Quranic instructions to harm us.

What’s wrong with this picture?

~

I usually try to look at a situation from the other’s perspective.  It helps to understand through empathy.  So, in a way, I don’t fault the upset & offended Muslim who assaulted the Muhammed-costumed man.  His core beliefs catapulted him into the fray, so to speak.  Perhaps he didn’t know we in America have no such beliefs.  It is not in our law, that we should kill the infidel! I’m not saying this Muslim should be allowed to continue such behavior, just that I can see how he would behave such a way in the first place.

And though we surely and absolutely have the right to free speech in America, I’m not so sure that I don’t agree with some of Judge Martin’s statements.  The judge issued a challenge to find anywhere in the Quran where it states that Muhammed rose from the dead, meaning, it doesn’t & he didn’t.  So ‘zombie Muhammed’ means what?  I don’t get it, myself.  And crudely ridiculing one’s beliefs, especially religious ones, helps how?  Though I am concerned about the death threats directed towards this man, I can see why Judge Martin called him a ‘doofus’ during the trial proceedings.

I could list other points of more-or-less agreement on my part, but bottom line, this issue is Constitutional.  It is a case of shariah law operating in a United States courtroom, if not overtly, then influentially.  It happened.

I repeat, it happened.

Wake up, people.

~~~


Safeguard your Independence Days !

I wasn’t necessarily planning to publish a Fourth of July piece today.  I’m working on something else, almost done, and thought I’d finish that instead.  But then I got this Independence Day email from ACT! for America.  Included in it is a link to a video recorded at a recent Arab Festival held in Dearborn, Michigan.  The description of what transpired at the Festival was a bit incredulous – do these kinds of things really happen here?  In America?  Worse, a previous email explained that such incidents have occurred before.  So I watched the video a couple of hours ago.

Now, I’m not totally naive’…not anymore.  But to actually see & hear what I saw & heard in this video has sealed the deal for me.  Though I have read about, and believe that free speech is and has always been under assault in America (and elsewhere in this world), and that certain elements of Islam are a real danger to our freedom, period!…actually witnessing such an event is very sobering, and finalizing.

A group of Christians at this festival were being assaulted by a crowd of Muslims.  The Muslims involved appeared to me to be mainly younger, even adolescent.  They were throwing water bottles and other ‘projectiles’ at the Christians.  I watched the video three times, carefully. I did not see one Christian retaliate in any way.  Some were carrying signs declaring basic Biblical messages and Scriptures.  Whenever the camera caught any of the signs in its range, they were always still being held up as normal, not skewed about or at an angle, because their bearers had not let go to throw objects at the Muslim assailants.  Christian hands remained on the signs at all times, as best I could tell. 

My point is, the Christians were being ‘attacked’, and did not attack back.  As best I could tell.

The outcome of this incident?  A police officer threatened to cite the Christians for disorderly conduct, if they did not leave.  He added that they were creating a disturbance, and said to the Christian man who was questioning the officers’ handling of this situation “I mean, look at your people…”  HUH???  HIS PEOPLE, in that particular shot, were just standing there.

This incident could be considered and analyzed from a few different perspectives, but my perspective here is the American one.  Americans were threatened with the loss of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech because a group of Muslims, who were not being peaceful nor allowing freedom of speech, created a small riot.  No one stood up to them.

Maybe it didn’t seem like a big deal to that police officer.  Maybe escalating violence was prevented because of his actions.  Maybe the Christians could’ve gone about spreading the Gospel in a different way – I don’t know if Jesus would’ve shown up at an Arab Festival with a crowd carrying ‘religious’ signs…but none of these surmisings are the point.  

American rights were trampled on and denied.  Because of certain & specific Muslims.  In a nutshell, people, there you have it.  And certain  American law enforcement let it happen. 

…and I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if this situation was reversed, and Christians were pelting Muslims with water bottles and such?  I think we know.

 *** 

 

ACT! for America reminds us through this video, “how fragile liberty is.”  I have thought that myself lately.   The more I learn of government, the more I see how easily things could turn.  So we need to become even more aware, more concerned about safeguarding our freedoms here in America.  And more than ever, ‘We the People’ need to vote more carefully, and put into office men & women who love & will truly uphold our grand and powerful Constitution. 

There is still time.  There really is….

******

Below, ACT for America’s Independence Day message – 

 {Today}… America celebrates the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and its 236th year as an independent nation.
This remarkable document, along with other “founding documents” such as the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and, of course, the Constitution, stands as a testimony to the uniqueness of America“American Exceptionalism.”
It is this exceptionalism that has been the magnet for countless immigrants from every corner of the world.
It is this exceptionalism that has undergirded a rugged dedication to freedom.
It is this exceptionalism that has helped America overcome even its greatest flaws, such as slavery.

The ACT! for America motto is “Rising in defense of our security, our liberty and our values.”

In other words, rising in defense of American exceptionalism.

***

Freedom of speech is under assault by the forces of radical Islam, from the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, to the halls of the United Nations, where the Organization of Islamic Cooperation continues to press for a resolution that would be incompatible with our first amendment.
Freedom of speech is under assault by government officials, such as those in Dearborn, who in the past have arrested Christians for exercising their rights, and by police officers this year who threatened to arrest, not the Muslims assaulting the Christians, but the Christians who were being assaulted.
Freedom of speech is under assault by the enablers of radical Islam, those pied pipers of political correctness who generally refuse to debate the facts and the issues, instead resorting to name calling and other propaganda techniques to suppress any and all critique of radical Islam.

…ACT! for America…continue{s} to stand firm in the defense of our security, our liberty and our values.

******

Please join with them!

Serpent in the Arab Spring?

Have the Islamists won after all?

I accuse myself of being a Pollyanna.  Call it faith, hope, or positive thinking, but sometimes I still wonder if I’m just an ostrich with my head buried in the sand.  I hear the suggestions, predictions & innuendos, but I don’t let them penetrate.  Forging (or floundering!) blindly ahead, I walk smack into that proverbial brick wall.  They told me it was there, but I barely considered that it might really be there.  On the other hand, “Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger…as the Lord’s servant?”  (Isaiah 42: 19)

We were warned. Many suggested that the Arab uprisings for freedom may really be the result of seeds carefully sown by Islamic radicals, a power ploy.  ‘Once governments are destabilized, then toppled, we’ll move in for the kill’ – that kind of scheme…well, that made sense.  After all, we are talking about the Middle East.  Yet, though such manipulations may very well have taken place,  they could just as well have been part of the tool God used to bring about such regime-shaking revolution.  He intervenes in the affairs of men.  To everything there is a time and season…

So, for a brief while we were in limbo.  Who started all this?  With what motives?  Exactly who are the players?  Then, there is an accusation that the United States was involved in stirring up the dissension, planning to remain stand-offish, let chaos ensue and then, let radicals rule.  I forget what our purpose for supposedly pulling all this off is.  (I read this accusation in a comment on a site I don’t usually visit, and I haven’t been able to figure out which one it was.)  It is true that the United States did not rush in, boots-on-the-ground with a long-term strategy!  but my understanding was/is that Iraq and AfPak were enough already…

Libyan rebels

A Washington Times editorial advocating more active U.S. involvement in Libya, points to the damaging potential of a ‘U.S. leadership vacuum’, and states that the Obama administration has ‘subtly promoted’ the rise of Islamist parties there by not supporting the more pro-Western ones. This analysis certainly seems to partially mirror the above accusation.  Whatever the reason for a lesser American presence in regards to today’s Libya, that void does allow for another presence to occupy.  “The working assumption should be that every faction will seek opportunities to expand their power and increase their influence over whatever system emerges.” concludes the Times editorial.  In this scenario, the “the Islamists will play to win.”  Though I myself have read previous rebuttals to such intent, downplaying ambitions & plans, specifically Muslim Brotherhood-related, my skepticism has remained. The rebuttals seemed too white-washed. “Islamists are more than willing to dupe credulous westerners by telling them what they are eager to hear”, advises the Times,and Raymond Ibrahim, Islam specialist, writer for Jihad Watch and on his own site ‘pundicity’, adds

Raymond Ibrahim

“…conniving Islamists who spoon-feed the world what it wants to hear.”  

Ibrahim posits that we Westerners are being duped by the use of the “d” word – democracy – paired up with the Arab rebels, and assume it means to them what it means to us.  Well, to some of them, it does.  They, the liberals & secularists, are the ones who are concerned  about an Islamist, shariah law-producing takeover in these Middle Eastern countries that are supposedly being liberated.  And now that the Tunisian elections have produced an Islamist winning party…well…are we seeing the handwriting on the wall?  Tunisia, as it turns out, is the country least likely to have been influenced by Islamist parties, so, if they took the plunge…some predict that is evidence of “…the victory of Islamists in future elections in Egypt and Libya.”

There is an abundance of related material all over the net.  I could read nothing else but that, and end up with eyestrain every day.  Enough…I am sufficiently convinced that the Arab uprisings sparked, then fueled by long-denied personal liberty, dignity & freedom of choice (and whatever other propellants may have been present) is very much in danger of an Islamic hijacking. Eden was not without its serpent.  And though God created the Eden into which that reptile slithered, point is, He allowed it access.  We should not be surprised that it shows up in other potential Edens.

So where do we go from here?

Deep and fervent prayer should be the first step.  Much is at stake.

~~~~~~

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

James 5:16

 

Countering Extremism with a Different Kind of Weapon

From my last post:


This past July, I posted “Countering the Narrative in Extremism”,a piece about former Islamic extremist Maajid Nawaz, who today works ceaselessly to, as the title suggests, counter the teachings of radical Islam. For some reason, I pulled up that post a few days ago. As I re-read it, I felt impacted by Maajid’s mission more immediately, more here-and-now than I had when I wrote the post. In it, I quoted Nawaz as saying:


“There are people who are as frustrated as we are with extremism in their own country, in Pakistan. But they’ve never had anyone to articulate that frustration, to organize them and to help them work along those lines…That means work. It means we have to be in it for the long haul. And it means the solution isn’t going to come through bombs or through prison. It has to come through the ideas debate, which is by definition a long strategy.”


“…in it for the long haul”, “…by definition a long strategy.”  These are the phrases that caught my attention, and prompted an Internet search of Nawaz.

======

There is no doubt that my growing knowledge of Muslim history, radical Islamic intent, and its actions & very presence in America have had a more than sobering impact. I have become almost immobilized. I’ve been stopped short, assimilating & processing information of a sort that brings with it great threat. During this period, as fate – no, wait, that would be God! – would have it, three months of chronic computer woes have also stalled my normal life efforts. Very little visible progress has been made, in almost anything.


Almost.


The one topic that has claimed and retained my attention is the above-mentioned Maajid Nawaz, so I’m going forward with that -

~~~



We have been hearing alot these days about the ‘moderate’ Muslim. Does he/she even exist? I have watched myself gravitate to a position of doubt on that issue, based on my new-found slight understanding of Quranic doctrine. The awful, eventual implications of ‘no such thing as a moderate Muslim’ can almost not be borne. (Similar to trying to read the ‘curses’ portion of Deuteronomy 28. I am literally unable to read that all the way through. I cannot bear it.)


Intending to get a copy of the Qur’an, so I could see for myself exactly what is taught there, I mentioned that in a comment thread online. A man who had no hesitation in speaking his mind, and didn’t seem the type to back down from anything, warned me against that course of action. He had done so himself, and ended up destroying the volume. His word describing his perception of the evil he sensed emanating from it was ‘palpable’. Assuming his perceptions were accurate, being extremely sensitive in the spirit, I hesitated to follow through with my plan.


Instead, I pulled up some online excerpts. What I read seemed ‘off”. Though it was only a very small segment, there seemed no clarity of focus. I know enough about chapter arrangements in the Qur’an, along with changes/contradictions in instructions along the way, to pretty much table my original goal. In addition to being possibly dangerous for me, I can see it becoming way too confusing & time-consuming…


Now what?


Enter Maajid Nawaz,‘Towards Political Engagement’,  and the Quilliam Foundation

======





“My doubts only grew and grew. The more talks I did, trying to ignore them, the more they grew. ” - Maajid Nawaz (link)


Arrested and imprisoned after 9/11, then Islamic extremist leader Maajid Nawaz found himself trying to re-convert cellmates who had fallen away from their former extremist beliefs. In the process of trying to talk others back into radicalism, Nawaz actually talked himself out of it. In the bowels of a Cairo dungeon, a new Maajid Nawaz was born. And leaving that dungeon marked the beginning of his new mission in life as well. Although he still needed to spend some more time sorting it all out, the dye had been cast.


Today, Nawaz holds a BA (Hons) from SOAS in Arabic and Law and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics (LSE), with modules in ‘Religion and Politics’ and ‘Conflict, Violence and Terrorism’. He serves as an ambassador for the global Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM).” He speaks internationally, from universities across Pakistan to addressing the US Senate in Washington DC, and regularly comments on national and international news and newspapers in his counter-extremism mission. He is a co-founder and Executive Director of Quilliam, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank. He has also founded Khudi, an organization and social movement that works to resist radicalism & promote democracy in Pakistan.


Can I get an ‘Amen’?!!

======



While a post 9/11 political prisoner, Maajid began to evaluate and study “traditional Islamic sciences.” Over time, he gained a new and unsettling perspective on the beliefs & political stance of the extremist party of which he was a member/leader, Hizbut-Tahrir. He finally realized that “the very scripture and principles used by the Party to make its analysis {resulting in a revolutionary call to a forceful overthrow of all regimes lacking Shari’ah legitimacy} do not actually support its call.” Rather, “the Party’s own principles result in the exact opposite conclusion.”


Oh.


Now, it should be made known that Hizb ut-Tahrir, founded in 1953, is a major player in British-based Islamic extremism. At least it was in 2007, according to a report in Foreign Affairs Journal. Having recently read up on some of their methods and teachings, and having found them to be exactly the same as the other Islamic ideologies I’ve come across, I think it can be concluded that Nawaz’s change of heart, and his reasons for it, would apply to any extremist group, anytime, anywhere. The arguments & explanations he has put forth since his conversion/reversion, countering extremism, should apply across the board.


Nawaz began posting & debating on his blog “Towards Political Engagement” in August 2007. As someone who is not Muslim, nor versed in the Qur’an, my first attempts at reading and understanding those dialogues required some effort! Even so, it was and is clear to me that Nawaz is very well-versed in the same, and amply capable of handling this mission he has taken upon himself. His skill in the details astounds me. As I continue to try to grasp the truths & principles he sets forth, and begin to occasionally succeed, my heart support of his call to re-educate and illuminate Islamic radicals (or any others!) becomes absolute. Gratitude to my God for planting such a man in such a place, at this volatile, crucial time in history, runs deep.

======





Martin Bright, of The Jewish Chronicle Online, praises Quilliam for having  “dissected the ideology of Islamism with impressive rigour and taken on its British apologists”, and for providing an intelligent and sober critique.(link)


The appointment of former Libyan jihadi Noman Benotman this past August, as a senior analyst at Quilliam, has “led to six prominent members of the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group renouncing violent jihad and the release {of} 600 former activists from prison.” (link)


Quilliam’s co-founder Ed Husain, another ex-Hizb ut-Tahrir member, considers the staff at this amazing think-tank to be the “most intelligent, brave, visionary and patriotic young people working in Britain — to counter the ideas that produce terrorism. ”   The placement of such an organization in Britain is strategically sound, according to Husain, because  “Britain remains vital to the Hizb, for it gives the group access to the global media and provides a fertile recruiting ground at mosques and universities.”  (Husain, Ed, The Islamist, Penguin, 2007, p.272)

======




Earlier in this post, I mentioned the ‘moderate Muslim’. I also mentioned my growing suspicions that there may be no such thing. According to some of the following comments made on Nawaz’s ‘early days’ blog, it appears my suspicions were perhaps wrong.




“… admiration for your courage to research, think, and write so succinctly about classical Islamic sources and the Islamist ideological perversion of it.”


“… now I look forward to you refuting the other myths activist groups advocate to destroy our noble religion.”

“My brother, God bless you. You are with the silent majority of Muslims who are bullied by the literalist extremists who fail to understand context – you speak for Muslim masses.” 


“…{you} understand the manipulative (of text and current affairs) mindset of Islamist organisations.”


“Whilst others have gone down the path of using labels, half-cooked arguments, and distorted ‘facts’ (and all that through the mainstream media), you have at the very least adopted the approach of intellectual engagement. On this I commend you.”

======
 





At the outset of this post, I had not realized the Quilliam’s co-founder Ed Husain has, since September 2010, joined the US Council on Foreign Relations, as a Senior Fellow. I will end this post with Mr. Husain’s own words:


“The battle of ideas surges across the world today, and the United States of America is at the forefront of this struggle. The Council on Foreign Relations is ideally placed to help steer American debates, policy initiatives and find solutions to the complex problems of extremism, the prelude to terrorism.’

…the Axe to the Root…

These days, I find that so much of my reading revolves around Islamic ideology, Muslim history and other such topics. This isn’t just a casual interest. It may have started out as that, but the more I have learned, the less casual it has become. It is a, and my, growing concern that an unchecked Islamic ideology, allowed to gain increasing ground – both legally and physically – is perhaps THE most dangerous threat to American liberty today.


However, rather than approach this subject from one of the many, many fronts it presents to us, I’m going back in time to look for a place of beginning. The axe needs to be laid to the root of the tree.

In the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, the issue of Abraham’s childlessness came up in a conversation with the LORD. God had just told Abram that He was Abram’s ‘exceeding great reward’. I guess Abram was wondering exactly how that was going to pan out! because he asked the LORD, essentially, what are You going to give me then? (v.2)  Abram was concerned because, at that point, being childless, his heir would be a steward of his house, not his own son. It looked as if there would be no posterity, no lineage going forward for Abram.


God had other plans. Not only did He tell Abram that ‘…he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir’, but that those yet to be born as a result of the birth of his own son would be as great in number as the stars of heaven – if they could actually be numbered! (v.4,5)  Now that was some promise!


Scripture tells us that Abram ‘believed in the LORD’. (v.6)  But apparently not enough! Many of us know the story: Abram & his wife Sarai decided to try to move things along, since Sarai remained barren. At her suggestion - “…go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her” (Genesis 16:2), Abram boogied on into the maid Hagar’s tent, and, voila! we got Ishmael.  NOT the child of promise is the point here. This child was produced through human planning & effort.

Because none of us is ‘perfect’ in our own right, it might be understood how Abram & Sarai undertook to usher in God’s promise. Maybe they weren’t sure what to do or what not to do. I haven’t seen any specific instruction or prohibition from the LORD to them, up to this point. So, at age 86, Abram fathered the child Ishmael by his wife’s maid Hagar.


(As you might imagine, there was trouble in the henhouse, once Hagar conceived. She herself got ‘uppity’ (Gen.16:4), Sarai seems to be blaming Abram for this (v.5), (even though the manipulated mating was her idea), and Hagar (who may not have even had a choice in the matter!) ends up fleeing into the wilderness to escape the harsh treatment of her mistress.)


======




Fast forward:


Abram is now 99 years old. The LORD arrives for a chat. During this chat, major issues are introduced & clarified, and promises made. One of these promises - “Sarah thy wife (who was about 89, and for whom ‘it ceased to be…after the manner of women’ {Gen.18:11}) shall bear thee a son indeed…” (Genesis 17:19)  Now that is clear! No handmaidens, no surrogates! Sarah your wife!  Another issue made very clear at this time: “…as for Ishmael…I have blessed him…will make him fruitful…will multiply him exceedingly…BUT (caps mine) my covenant will I establish with Isaac.” (Gen.17:20,21)



The Covenant only comes through the promise of God. You cannot usher it in yourself.


======

======





…more to come…