Sooners Scared of Sharia

It’s just about the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen. Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to ban courts in the state from considering Islamic sharia law when considering cases. It also forbids courts to look to the legal precepts of other nations or consider international law when deciding cases.  Each of these provisions is so idiotic that I don’t even know where to start.

State Question 755 (ominously called the Save Our State Amendment) added this to the Oklahoma Constitution (italics mine):

The Courts…when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, the United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, the Oklahoma Statutes and rules promulgated pursuant thereto, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia Law, in making judicial decisions. The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international or Sharia Law. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.

This whole thing started because an Oklahoma state representative heard about a case in New Jersey where a trial judge ruled against a woman seeking a restraining order because her husband was acting on his religious beliefs. The trial judge was promptly reversed by an appellate court, but the matter did not even involved sharia. In the New Jersey case, the trial judge did not say that since sharia allows the husband to force himself on his wife, he is entitled to do so. The trial judge said that the man’s sincere religious belief prevented him from forming the necessary mens rea to constitute marital rape. The judge was wrong and justice prevailed.

Another sponsor of the measure fretted because England has embraced 85 sharia courts, “while Oklahoma is still able to defend itself against this sort of hideous invasion, we should do so.” The only problem is that England has not embraced 85 sharia courts. England has 85 sharia courts (or at least the Daily Mail tells us so), but that’s like saying Oklahoma has 111 Rotary Clubs. Has Oklahoma embraced the Rotary Clubs?  Are Oklahoma courts bound to consider the decisions of Rotary Clubs which have hideously invaded the state, unless a constitutional amendment is passed?

People can voluntarily be a part of any organization. The only thing the sharia courts offer that is different is a forum for alternative dispute resolution. ADR is an increasingly popular thing. The idea is that litigants can chose a mediator or arbitrator to help them settle their differences. This saves the courts time and the parties money. Often lots of money. If both of the litigants are Muslims, there is no reason they cannot choose to have a dispute abitrated by other Muslims. If it is a matter which requires court approval, they can then enter a consent order with the court. As long as the agreement between the parties is consistent with the law, the court will usually approve the order. That is what some courts in England have done with sharia court decisions.

But this is nothing new. Courts in both England and the United States have often approved consent orders that are the results of beth din rulings. A beth din is the equivalent of a sharia court for Orthodox Jews. If both parties are Orthodox Jews and want to have their dispute settled in accordance with Jewish law, they come before the beth din judges following accepted rules of legal procedure and the judges decide the case, which is then submitted to the state court, particularly in family law cases. Perhaps someone needs to amend the Oklahoma amendment to forbid the consideration of Jewish law, in case there is an invasion of Orthodox Jews into the Sooner State.

But here’s the kicker. Muslims who submit their disputes to a sharia court and Jews who submit their disputes to a beth din are only doing what Christians should have been doing. Most Christians ignore the first half of I Corinthians chapter 6. I’ll just quote the first verse to refresh your memory and you can go read the rest: “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?”

But what about this “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures” bit? This is very interesting. Let’s look at it in reverse order. What is another culture? Clearly for the authors of the proposal, it is any culture where Islam is the dominant religion. But that’s not what the amendment says. And what constitutes a “legal precept” of that culture?

But it’s that “other nations” bit that will cause an interesting problem. The whole idea of the common law and the rules by which it operates did not originate in the United States. They come from England, which is, according to my red passport, another nation. Having lived within it for over a decade, I can assure you that it is another culture as well. It is fortunate that Oklahoma, unlike its neighbors Texas and New Mexico, is not a community property state, because it would then be looking to the legal precepts of Spanish law as well. Nonetheless, it appears that the authors (and is must be said, 70% of Oklahoma voters) imagine that American law just sprang up sua sponte.

And finally there is that bit about international law. This is bizarre because regardless of the amendment, Oklahoma courts will have to consider international law. Treaties to which the United States is a party are the supreme law of the land. So says Article VI Section 1 of the US Constitution. Treaties to which the United States is not a party are irrelevant and would never be considered by a court in Oklahoma. The relevance of international law is a federal matter, because only the federal government has any legal interaction with other countries.

State Question 755 was written by ignorant people to be voted upon by ignorant people.  Somehow a lot of people see the words “Islam” or  “Muslim” and their brain function just shuts off. Muslims are bad, so if something is against Muslims it must be good. It doesn’t have to be good law or even make logical sense. It will probably do something to help stop the great Muslims invasion (they must be massed at Fort Smith and Siloam Springs just waiting to pour over the border) and that’s all that matters.

Lord, save us from ourselves.

Christians Charged for Knowing Too Much Islamic History

Here we go again. Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were sharing their faith with one of the guests in the hotel they run, the Bounty House Hotel in Liverpool. The guest was a Muslim woman. Seems they didn’t agree about Jesus or Muhammad. The guest was offended that they insisted Jesus is the Son of God and not a prophet of Islam.

In the course of the conversation, Ben Vogelenzang said that Muhammad was a warload. I teach about Islam for a living – been doing for six years – and I’d have to say that’s a reasonable observation based on the historical facts. It has nothing to do with whether or not he was a prophet. The story of Islam from the time of the Hijra until at least the conquest of Makkah (Mecca) by Muhammad’s army is one of battles fought and tribal groups subdued and the Arabian peninsula Islamified at the point of the sword. It is a legacy that Muhammad bequeathed to his successors as the spent the next 120 years doing the same thing through Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Clearly the Vogelenzangs’ guest was not well versed in Islamic history. Either that or the word “warlord” was not reverential enough for the false Prophet.

It didn’t help that Sharon Vogelenzang said that traditional Muslims dress for women is a form of bondage. This was just too much for their guest. Neither the guest nor the Merseyside Police think Sharon is entitled to express this opinion. It constitutes either harassment, alarm or distress in the wording of the statute. So does Ben’s enlightening the guest regarding her ignorance of history.

The Vogelenzangs were interrogated twice by police before being charged. They have appeared in court and are now awaiting trial.

Rape Legalised in Afghanistan

The US-created regime in Afghanistan has passed legislation which allows some Afghanis to commit marital rape. Some women will only be able to get an education or even see a doctor if they get their husband’s permission. It only applies to the Shia population. Apparently, Sunni women will continue to have more rights.

The law was rushed through the Afghan parliament without the opportunity for much debate or amendment. The Afghanis won’t even let the United Nations see a copy of the actual bill. Opponents say that for Shi’ites it creates a situation worse than the Taliban.

This is the same US-created regime that outlaws Christianity. It appears that the US and its allies will allow the Afghans to do anything as long as they aren’t habouring terrorists training to bomb the US or its allies.

More Terrorism in London

I was going to blog about the Christians that beat up an imam, stole his copy of the Qur’an and laptop, and threatened to break his legs if he ever went back into the studio after the imam had an argument with Christians who called into his live TV show. Except of course that it didn’t happen. The only thing is that not surprisingly it happened the other way around, and it wasn’t in Pakistan or Afghanistan or Egypt or Turkey, it was in west London.

Rev. Noble Samuel of Asian Gospel Ministries International hosts the Asian Gospel Show on a satellite channel broadcast from Wembley. Several Muslim callers rang into the show in recent weeks trying to argue with him. He wouldn’t take the bait and said, “Those are your views and these are my views.” The callers got very aggressive.

It seems verbal aggression wasn’t enough for them. A car pulled in front of him and a man got out to ask directions in Urdu.  Rev. Samuel described what happened when he rolled down his window, “He put his hand into my window, which was half open, and grabbed my hair and opened the door. He started slapping my face and punching my neck. He was trying to smash my head on the steering wheel. Then he grabbed my cross and pulled it off and it fell on the floor. He was swearing. The other two men came from the car and took my laptop and Bible.” Then they warned him, “If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs.”

Rev. Samuel and his family are now in fear for their safety. The thugs that attacked him may not have blown up buildings or killed any one (that we know of) they are still terrorists.

Beating an Old Woman, Saudi Style

It’s time for another segment of “All Religions are Equal”.  In another case of moral outrage, two young men delivered bread to a 75-year-old woman. The Saudi religious police, ever eagle-eyed, spotted the men at the woman’s house and arrested her. Because the men are unrelated to her, she’s been sentences to 40 lashes, 4 months imprisonment, and then deportation, because she’s a Syrian citizen.

Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi tried to argue that one of the men, Fahd, was her son according to Islam because she had breast-fed him, but the court wasn’t buying it. I’m not sure I buy it either, as the man is 24 and she would have been a 50-year-old wet nurse.  But don’t worry, Fahd’s not getting off lightly. He’s getting 40 lashes and four months as well. His friend Hadian has fared even worse. He’s getting six months in prison to heal from 60 lashes.

That’s the Wahhabist approach to Sharia. These are the Muslims that are our allies.

It’s not like everyone in Saudi Arabia is happy about this. “It’s made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother,” Saudi women’s rights activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider told CNN. “Forty lashes — how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it.” That’s women’s rights activism in Saudi Arabia. It’ s not that Khamisa shouldn’t be beaten, but 40 lashes is too much. And as for the imprisonment, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Or I suppose in her case it should be “don’t take the bread if you can’t be locked up til you’re dead.”

But hey, they’ve got oil and we need it. And they are the good Muslims that are on our side, right? Who are we to say anything? We can’t make value judgements about their culture, after all.

Honest Hate

At least he’s honest. Anjem Choudary has been telling Muslims they shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas. “How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion Allah has an offspring? The very concept of Christmas contradicts and conflicts with the foundation of Islam.”

He sees that all this bunkum about worshipping the same God is as offensive to Islam as it is to Christianity. Either Jesus is the Son of God, the incarnation of Allah, or He is not. To say that the Babe in the manger is the Most Holy One is direct contradiction to the very essence of Islam.

So I don’t see why it is such big news that he is saying this. He’s just being a good Muslim.

Why didn’t it make bigger news when Choudary, who is the chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, praised the Mumbai attacks? Nobody seemed to notice when he called for the assassination of the Pope.  It is almost forgotten that he organised the demonstrations over the Muhammad cartoons, which included incitement to murder.

And why it is only mentioned in passing that his family is not supported by his legal work and he apparently isn’t well paid as Principal Lecturer at the London School of Shari’ah.  Perhaps he doesn’t have time for that with all of his preaching since he has to fill in for his mentor Omar Bakri Mohammed, who has been exiled from the UK. I’m just guessing that’s why they receive  £25,000 a year in state benefits.

It’s like, sure he is bigging up the deaths of 163 people in the name of Islam, but now he hates Christmas, too? Good grief. Why not actually expose that we are supporting the work of a domestic terrorist who doesn’t just hate Christmas. He hates us.

New Martyr Gayle Williams

Gayle Williams was working with handicapped children in Afghanistan. She was working there because she is a Christian. She wasn’t there to preach the Gospel – just to live it.

That was enough for Taliban leaders to order her murder. In the cowardly way of Islamist terrorists, two of them drove by on a motorcycle and shot her.

It is very unlikely that her murderers will be prosecuted. After all, preaching the Gospel is illegal in Afghanistan. Converting to Christianity can result in the death penalty. And this is from the regime that the US, UK and assorted allies put into power.

I have long suggested that the Western powers that are propping up the Karzi regime should refuse to support it until Afghanistan legalises and protects Christianity.

May the memory of the martyr Gayle be eternal.