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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Victory for freedom: Florida moves to outlaw Sharia

From Jihad Watch:


Victory for freedom: Florida moves to outlaw Sharia
AP characteristically runs interference for the enemies of freedom, saying in its lede paragraph that the movement to outlaw Sharia is an "unwarranted campaign driven by fear of Muslims." In fact, it's perfectly warranted, since Sharia denies the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, and mandates discrimination against women and non-Muslims. Islamic supremacist groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and their useful idiots in the ACLU, as well as Islamic supremacist spokesmen such as Reza Aslan claim that such laws would infringe upon Muslims' First Amendment right to practice their religion.

However, that is plainly disingenuous. As Thomas Jefferson said, it doesn't matter whether my neighbor believes in one god or seventeen; it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. It is only when my neighbor believes that his god commands him to pick my pocket or break my leg that his beliefs become a matter of concern for those who do not share them. No one cares about individual Muslim religious practice or wants to restrict it. The purpose of this Florida law is not to stop Muslims from getting married in Islamic religious ceremonies and the like, but to stop the political and supremacist aspects of Islam that infringe upon the rights and freedoms of non-Muslims.

There is video circulating of an ambush interview I did last month at CPAC that touches on this very issue: the Leftist group that conducted it is claiming that I am inconsistent because I said that in a conflict between my faith and the laws of the land, I would choose my faith, and yet I take issue with Muslims making the same choice. In fact, there is no inconsistency in that at all. If I had said that I would choose my faith over the laws of the land and expect not to be prosecuted, that would be an inconsistency. Anytime the laws of the country conflict with religious law, the adherents of the religious law in question should expect to run afoul of the governing authorities, as Christian dissenters from the martyrs of ancient Rome to Martin Luther King can attest. The anomaly today is that Islamic supremacists want to introduce Sharia into American public life without any accountability for or even explanation of the aspects of Sharia that conflict with American Constitutional freedoms. It is a massive campaign to deceive the American people -- more on that here.

"Florida mulls outlawing Shariah, other foreign law," by Matt Sedensky for the Associated Press, March 2 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A measure to ban the use of foreign laws in domestic courtrooms is progressing in Florida's statehouse, one of dozens of similar efforts across the country that critics call an unwarranted campaign driven by fear of Muslims.
Forty such bills are being pursued in 24 states, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a movement opponents call a response to a made-up threat of Shariah law, the Islamic legal code that covers many areas of life. Backers of the bills say they fill a glaring hole in legal protections for Americans.

"There have been all sorts of wild accusations about what this bill does," said Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, who sponsored the Senate bill in Florida. "This is very clear, very simple: In American courts we need American laws and no other."

The Florida measure passed the House on Thursday 92-24. It awaits a full vote in the Senate.

If passed, Florida would join three other states — Louisiana, Arizona and Tennessee — in approving legislation curtailing the use of foreign laws. An Oklahoma ballot measure got 70 percent approval, but it goes a step further in specifically mentioning Sharia, the Islamic system of law. A federal court has blocked the measure's implementation until its constitutionality is determined.

The twin House and Senate bills in Florida make no mention of Shariah law or any other specific foreign system. The language of the legislation, in fact, seems innocuous, outlawing the use of foreign law only when it violates rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and only in certain domestic situations, such as divorces and child custody cases. It does not apply to businesses and says it shouldn't be construed to prohibit any religious organization from making judgments in "ecclesiastical matters."

But that's done little to quiet critics who see such legislation as right-wing fear mongering.

"It's a waste of time and irrelevant legislation," said Nezar Hamze, head of the Miami chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "But the motive behind it is very troubling."

It's a waste of time and irrelevant, and yet Hamas-linked CAIR is spending a great deal of time and money to stop it.

The most fervently outspoken supporters of such bills caution Shariah law could begin to spread outside of Muslim countries in a slow-speed Islamic takeover of the world. Others, seeking to appeal to the masses, say not outlawing Shariah jeopardizes the rights of American women.
Though Shariah law was an unrecognizable term to nearly every American just a few years ago, it has become much more mainstream. Dangers of Shariah have been aired on the campaign trail, in tea party rallies and on cable news.

One of the most persistent voices on the issue is David Yerushalmi, a Brooklyn lawyer who drafted model legislation on the foreign law issue and who has waged a quiet campaign to ensure Shariah is outlawed in the U.S.

Yerushalmi's views have made him a lightning rod; he even declines to say where in Florida he lived as a child because he has family that still calls it home and he says he fears for their safety. He disputes characterizations of him as a bigot.

Yerushalmi calls Shariah "an offensive foreign law" but he says even if critics are right, and that he and other proponents of such legislation are acting on prejudice, legislatures have nothing to lose by outlawing it.

"If you're right and Shariah is everything that is good and noble and doesn't have all the ugly things that we understand it to have," he said, then such legislation simply will have no effect on the public. He notes people found to have committed adultery can be stoned under Shariah law.

The Florida bills include passages from Yerushalmi's model legislation, which was written for a group called the American Public Policy Alliance. The leader of that organization, Stephen Gele, says there are egregious court cases that have shown Shariah is a threat in the U.S., with foreign judgments on divorces and child custody allowed to stand.

"It's probably a small percentage of a court's docket, but certainly if you're the woman who lost her child to Pakistan, it's important to you," he said, citing a case in which he said a mother lost custody because of a foreign ruling.

An estimated 1.3 million Americans identify as Muslim, according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, a respected count published by Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. That amounts to fewer than 1 percent of the population nationally. Florida has a similar share.

If passed, Hamze said, Florida's legislation would have virtually no effect because he says he's not aware of the issue ever coming up in a state courtroom. He believes the message, however, would be a harmful one....

In reality, a new study has found that Shariah has already been involved in court cases in 23 states. The American Freedom Law Center has some apposite comments: "Florida House Passes Anti-Sharia Bill," March 2:

Read the AP story about the Florida version of the American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) bill, which yesterday passed in the Florida House. In a word, ALAC simply prevents a state court judge from running amok and applying a foreign law, like sharia, that violates a party’s fundamental constitutional liberties.
Now, note the moans and groans from the “opponents of ALAC” claiming ALAC is unnecessary and a waste of time. Yet, when Congress passed the SPEECH Act of 2010 to do exactly what ALAC does but just for the First Amendment to prevent libel tourism (Muslims from Saudi Arabia were suing U.S. researchers, who found financial links between Saudi princes and the 9/11 mujahideen, in English courts to get easy defamation verdicts to frighten those who would research and write about the threat from sharia-inspired jihad) there was no such outcry.

During the congressional hearings for the SPEECH Act, documentation of the attempt to enforce these foreign defamation judgments in U.S. state courts as a cudgel against researchers and their free speech rights was presented. As a result, Congress passed the first true ALAC law, but with a focus only on the First Amendment. What ALAC does is extend this protection to Due Process and Equal Protection.

Posted by Robert on March 9, 2012 8:03 AM |

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