Parsing the Tennessee Sharia Bill

First it was Oklahoma and the Save Our State amendment. Then there was the more subtly worded South Carolina Senate Bill 444 and Georgia’s House Bill 45.  Oklahoma, South Carolina and Georgia (and there are probably other states at this point) are trying to prevent the courts of their states applying sharia law. A pointless vote-getter. And a legislator can hardly vote against these ridiculous measures without then being accused of supporting jihad.

Now it is Tennessee and Senate Bill 1028. And once again, it is legislators who know nothing about the thing they are trying to legislate against, but this time with a new twist. Tennessee is doing something different. SB 1028 makes it a felony to support sharia. And it’s not subtle about it at all. Muddled and unconstitutional, but not subtle.

Tennessee needs to be saved from the perils of sharia law on the verge of engulfing the state. Apparently. After all the bill starts off with “The threat from terrorism continues to plague the United States generally and Tennessee in particular.” Tennessee is plagued with the threat from terrorism. In particular. No doubt. Not since the Battle of Stone’s River has sponsoring Senator Bill Ketron’s home of Murfreesboro been under such a siege.

By paragraph 3 we learn that “sharia is based historically and  traditionally on a full corpus of law and jurisprudence termed fiqh and usul al-fiqh, respectively, dealing with all aspects of a sharia-adherent’s personal and social life and political society.” So sharia deals with all aspects of a “sharia-adherent’s” personal and social life. The other name for a “sharia-adherent” is “Muslim”. Just so we are sure of how comprehensively the bill defines “sharia-adherent”, in paragraph 2,  it is described as a “legal-political-military doctrine and system adhered to, or minimally advocated by, tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of its followers around the world.”

And all of them want to plague Tennessee with terrorism and overthrow the government.

“The knowing adherence to sharia and to foreign sharia authorities constitutes a conspiracy…” (Paragraph 11)  “The knowing adherence to sharia and to foreign sharia authorities is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the United States government and the government of this state through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions by the likely use of imminent criminal violence and terrorism with the aim of imposing sharia on the people of this state.” (Paragraph 13)

Nowhere in the bill is “foreign sharia authority” defined. However sharia is defined as “any rule, precept, instruction, or edict arising directly from the extant rulings of any of the authoritative schools of Islamic jurisprudence of Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Ja’afariya, or Salafi”.  This is the equivalent of saying “any interpretation of the Bible by any pastor or Bible teacher, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist…”

So being a Muslim constitutes a conspiracy and is prima facie evidence of that conspiracy to overthrow the US government – and of course the government of the plagued state of Tennessee – by criminal violence and terrorism. But I am curious about this “likely use” of imminent violence. Is the violence likely or imminent? If it is imminent isn’t it a bit more that likely? But when it comes to Muslims, who has time to worry about things like this? Tennessee is in the midst of a plague, after all. (Evidence of the plague usually takes the form of, “I hear told someone even saw a woman wrapped in one of them funny scarf thangs at the Family Dollar in Smyrna t’other day. Sakes alive! She might’a had a bomb under that thang.”)

I could parse out all the statements in the thirteen paragraphs of findings that, if enacted, the Tennessee General Assembly will have found to be true about sharia and sharia-adherents, but because they are repetitive while also managing to be occasionally contradictory, it would take more space than you have patience. If you are a member of the Tennessee General Assembly and voting for this bill, things like repetition, contradiction and violation of the First Amendment aren’t going to stand in your way.

I will, however, point out that in paragraph 9, there is a reference to the “jihad groups identified by the federal government as designated terrorist organizations pursuant to § 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act”. On the other hand, the bulk of the bill sets out procedures for the Tennessee Attorney General to designate “sharia organizations” so that anyone who is associated with them can be prosecuted and liable for all sorts of civil causes of action. If the federal government has already designated jihad groups – a task for which they expend considerable federal tax dollars on extensive covert operations – why does the Tennessee AG need to do the same? And if the members of these organizations are already subject to federal law, why does Tennessee need to step in?

Now I wish this was just a looney bill introduced by a lone ranger legislator. Every legislature gets some of those every session. Those sorts of bills grab a newspaper headline and then die quietly in committee without a hearing. Unfortunately in this case, there are three Senate co-sponsors, the chairs of the Education, Transportation and Judiciary committees, the last of which has the bill under consideration. Ketron is the GOP Caucus Chair. And like the legislation in the other states, it has a companion bill in the other chamber, in this case sponsored by Rep. Judd Matheny. It has twelve co-sponsors, including the chair the State and Local Government committee.

And finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the goofiest bit of legislative drafting I’ve seen in a long, long time. It goes back to that definition of sharia. “‘Sharia’ means the set of rules, precepts, instructions, or edicts which are said to emanate directly or indirectly from the god of Allah…” The god of Allah? What is the god of Allah? “The god Allah” maybe. I can allow that some people think that Allah, as worshipped in Islam, is a different god than God as worshipped in Christianity, rather than just a erroneous understanding of God. And I understand that most American Christians are completely clueless that Arab Christians call God “Allah” because that’s the Arabic word for God. And most are Islamo-illiterate enough that they don’t know that Muhammad came up with Islam after lots of contact with Judaism and Christianity and in essence derived his idea of God from them and his intent was to worship the God of Abraham. But “god of Allah”? Is this the god that this Allah putatively worships? Who knows? Probably not even the real author of this legislation, David Yerushalmi, a self-proclaimed expert on Islamic law.

Yerushalmi has contended in the press that the bill does not prevent Muslims from practicing their religion – you know, that old First Amendment thing. This only raises the question of why this legislation was so appalling poorly drafted – so vague and contradictory – even if the intent is supposed to be more narrow.

Just like there is no case of sharia having been applied by any judge in any court in the US, there is no instance in which Tennessee, its government or Constitution, or Ellie May down at the Family Dollar have been harmed by sharia-adherent jihadists or could be harmed in such a way that having the state attorney general proscribe anyone or any group would make any difference whatsoever.

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.

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.

Iran Codifies the Death Penalty for Christians

Even though it has been ignored by almost all of the mainstream media, The Daily Telegraph has an article about the new Iranian law that codifies the death penalty for any male who converts from Islam to another faith. Women who dare to commit such a heinous crime are lucky. They will only get life in prison.

The article focuses on Rashin Soodmand, the daughter of pastor Hossein Soodmand, the last man to be hanged for converting to Christianity. She now lives in the UK. Her brother Ramtin is still in Iran and now in jail. Even though he was never a Muslim, he may be one of the first to die under the new law.

Read this article.

The Latest Excuse for Terrorism

I think anyone would have to admit it was a mild response, by radical Islamic standards. The house and office of Martin Rynja, the UK publisher of The Jewel of Medina has been firebombed. The book, which has already been pulled by Random House in the US, tells the story of Muhammad and Aisha. Aisha was the wife he married when she was nine years old.

Of course there have been the usual fatwas calling for the death of the author, in this case Sherry Jones, but these seem to apply to anyone connected with publishing the book as well. It’s a good excuse to authorise the killing of as many infidels as possible. London-based radical cleric Anjem Choudhary is promising more attacks if the publication of the book goes ahead.

I’m not saying I support the publication of the book. Publishing any literature describing the sexual relationship between a nine-year-old and anyone should be in violation of all sorts of obscenity laws. But that’s not the problem for radical Muslim clerics. The forced marriage of pre-pubescent girls is not uncommon in the countries and cultures in which they were born. No, it’s that whole insult to Muhammad thing.

It’s not insulting to say that he had sex with a nine-year-old – that’s history. It seems it’s just insulting for an non-Muslim to write about him or for someone to novelise him. Apparently the book even tries to put a positive spin on this love story. You’d think the clerics would love that.

Fatwa Rules Paedophilia Preferable to Christianity

Following up on the the previous story, I was looking to see what other WordPress bloggers might have said about the kidnapping, forced conversion and forced marriage of the Younis sisters. That’s where I found Blogging for a free world referring to information from Minorities Concern of Pakistan.

Even though the legal marriage age in Pakistan is 16 for females, this was negated by a fatwa – a decree issued by religious leaders – which justified it. It was worth it to them that the girls be kidnapped, sold as property, and then sexually abused in order to effect their conversion to Islam.

Reports indicate exactly what has happened to Saba Younis, the elder sister. After Muhammad Arif Bajwa kidnapped the girls at gunpoint, he sold them to Falak Sher Gill. Gill then gave Saba to his son, Muhammad Amjid. To whom Anila has been given seems to be unknown at this point.

In contravention of the statutory law, a Pakistani court has previously approved of the marriage of a 12-year-old because it ruled that Islam allows a female to marry if she has reached puberty. However, in that case it appears that the girl wanted to marry. Of course in that case, both parties were Muslim.

It now appears that special rules apply if the girl is a Christian and doesn’t consent. Puberty need not be an issue.

Remember to file this under “All religions and cultures are equal.”

The Cost of Multicultural Accommodation

Any Muslims dealing in either drugs or explosives will not have to worry about being sniffed out by police canine units. There will have to be exceptional circumstances – apparently above those that normally justify sniffer dogs – to search the property of a Muslim if the owner objects. That’s because not only do the police have to bend over backwards to avoid offending terrorists, but also because it takes a lot of effort to put special bootees on the dog.

That’s right. Dogs used in searching Muslim premises will now have to wear bootees so the dog itself does not touch anything belonging to a Muslim police suspect. This would obviously include their bombs. This does make sense if you think about it. After all, the bombs are being used for religious purposes. What will Allah think if they have been touched by a dog? Could this reduce the number of virgins to be enjoyed by the suicide bomber if he allows defiled bombs to blow up infidels?

But you want to really upset the Muslim community? Do what Tayside Police have done, and feature a puppy on a postcard. Because there is a puppy sitting on a police hat in an advertisement about the Scottish force’s new non-emergency phone number, Dundee shopkeepers of that religious persuasion (and there would seem to be a significant number) are refusing to display it.

There is no actual dog present on the postcard to touch the actual property of an Muslim, so there is no chance of actually defiling anything. I think there is a lesson in this for the BBC, ITV, and other broadcasters. They will need to avoid any programmes that feature dogs. It’s a good thing they haven’t been showing sheepdog trials and they will need to cut coverage of Crufts. I don’t know how Birmingham City Council, which governs one of the largest Muslims communities in Britain, has allowed the world’s largest dog show on it’s property (it’s one of the two shareholders of the NEC Arena) without Muslims staging a protest, picketing and threatening to kill everyone inside.

This is not absurd. The question is where do you draw the line of multiculturalism? Where is the limit of accommodation? For the Government of the Day, it is clearly more important than the protection of the realm. As I noted yesterday, for the Cheshire education authority, it is important enough to force children into idolatrous worship.

Today’s absurdities become tomorrow’s realities. We have seen this over and over.

I haven’t yet touched on this week’s statement by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, that aspects of Sharia law should be adopted in Britain. This follows the advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year. Some people will say that since Beth Din courts are allowed by Orthodox Jews, why shouldn’t Sharia courts be allowed. Well, Sharia courts are already allowed – just not enforceable under English law. Orthodox Jews also have no agenda of bringing all of Britain under the 613 mitzvahs.

With all this accommodation, you would think that Muslims make up a significant minority in this country. Is it right that everything should be changed for 2%-3% of the population and that we should live in fear of whether or not we keep them happy? But it’s not even 2% of the population that are the issue. It is a much smaller minority – a minority within the minority. As reported in the Telegraph:

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar and a practising Muslim, said that allowing sharia in parts of the UK would be divisive.

He said: “This would create a two-tier society. It is highly retrograde. It will segregate and alienate the Muslim community from the rest of British society.

“The majority of British Muslims want to live only under British law and they would reject anything that means they are treated differently.

So why are we toeing a line continually re-drawn by radical Muslims? Have they already won the war on terrorism and we are afraid to challenge them? Are we really ruled by a bunch of lily-livered liberal multiculturalist sycophants? Do I even need to ask these rhetorical questions?

The Price of Honour

Rand Abdel-Qader

This is the face of Islam. She’s dead. Daddy did it.

Rand Abdel-Qader was 17. She had a crush on a British soldier. She met him when she was a volunteer on a project. There was no actual relationship between the two of them. She hadn’t even seen him since January, but her dad found out in mid-March that she had been seen talking to him. One of her friends told him.

No doubt feeling fatherly concern, he asked her if it was true that she had met the soldier. Then, as fathers do (at least in certain cultures that are, of course, equal to all other cultures) he began to beat her savagely. But sometimes a good beating just isn’t enough.

With the help of her brothers (like father, like sons) he held her down with his foot on her throat until she stopped breathing. What a nice daddy. He didn’t want her to feel the pain as he then began to cut at her body with a knife. It’s hard to say what actually killed her – whether it was being stamped on, suffocated, or stabbed repeatedly all over her body.

And it’s not like there was a post-mortem. She was wrapped up and tossed in a grave without any mourning, because she had brought shame on the family. It was a family funeral. Her uncles showed up to spit on her body before it was covered with dirt.

Daddy was arrested. He was released after two hours because it was an honour killing. Sgt Ali Jabbar of Basra police said: “Not much can be done when we have an ‘honour killing’. You are in a Muslim society and women should live under religious laws.”

It would be terrible enough if this were an exceptional story. The only reason it is news is because it is the first case known to involve a British soldier in Iraq (if “involve” is even the right word). There were 47 honour killings just in Basra last year. That’s 47 other girls, just like Rand, just in one city, just in one year.

The Cost of Coffee in Saudi Arabia

An American businesswoman is fearing for her life after she was arrested for having a coffee with a male workmate in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia.

Yara, a 37-year-old mother-of-three, said she was strip searched and forced to sign false confessions while in custody. A judge then told her she would “burn in hell” before she was released on Feb 4.

I don’t like to meta-blog, but I’m a bit short on time, due to marking exams. However, the full story is worth a read.

Sharia Justice

A Saudi man was rendered impotent by a witch. We know this because the witch, Fawza Falih, admitted it. She was beaten before she confessed, but as any good CIA agent working in the war against terror knows, sometimes you have to use a little force to get the truth. Falih was beaten so badly that she had to be hospitalised.

And sometime it takes a while for criminals such as Falih to finally admit their crimes. She was held by the religious police for 35 days.

She didn’t exactly sign the confession, as she is illiterate. But there’s no denying her fingerprint is on it, and there’s no reason to believe that someone who has been beaten would have their finger forceably inked onto something they can’t read. Why should the religious police even read your confession to you before putting your fingerprint on it? They are the religious police after all. If you can’t trust them, who can you trust? And if you confess, why do you need to have your lawyers in the courtroom or present evidence of your innocence? Isn’t the claim of impotence by a man proof enough?

It’s a mere technicality that witchcraft isn’t a crime under Saudi law. She was sentenced to death anyway.

She managed to appeal and the appeals court overturned the verdict, saying she couldn’t be sentenced to death solely on the evidence of a retracted confession. Appellate decisions don’t carry a lot of weight in Saudi law. The trial court reversed the appeals court. It sentenced her to death on a “discretionary” basis, as this was in the “public interest”. There is no right of appeal from this second sentencing. Only the King can intervene and commute it.

There’s not a lot of international pressure on King Abdullah. It seems many countries used up their political capital last year when they persuaded the King to pardon a girl who was sentenced to lashes for getting herelf gang-raped. So Fawza Falih may die, but Saudi Arabia will remain a key ally of the West.

Anglicans (and the Government) Want Sharia For Britain

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes that Islamic Sharia is not only more appropriate in some areas of the law, but that it is inevitable that it will be incorporated into British law. Rowan Williams says the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams said the idea that “there’s one law for everybody”under a single sovereign was “a bit of a danger”. A danger to whom? To those who opposed Sharia? He says that officially incorporating Sharia law would improve community relations. Now there’s accommodation.

But wait a minute. Dr Williams is a little behind the times. As I mentioned last week, ministers (without the consent of Parliament) have already legalised polygamy. This has been done specifically to accomodate Islamic law, which allows for up to four wives. So if they are going to allow for Sharia marriage, why not Sharia divorce?

Thus, Gordon Brown’s response to Dr Williams that he “believes that British laws should be based on British values” is not paticularly credible. Rather he’s saying what non-Muslim voters want to hear, while doing what Muslims want him to do.

UPDATE: A lady in the Question Time audience raised the same point about the legalised polygamy, and the Cabinet Minister on the panel was unaware of this and had not even read newspaper reports. It was the Opposition shadow minister who was aware that this additional benefits arrangement for husbands with more than one wife was a coordinated effort between four Government departments – departments represented at the Cabinet table.

Sharia Adultery and Double Jeopardy

Another one for the all-religions-are-equal file, from The Daily Telegraph:

Two Iranian sisters convicted of adultery face being stoned to death after the supreme court upheld death sentences against them, Iranian media have reported.

The two sisters were found guilty of adultery – a capital crime in Iran – after the husband of one of the pair presented a video showing them in the company of other men while he was away.

The penal court of Teheran province had already sentenced the sisters, identified only as Zohreh, 27, and Azar, to stoning, the newspaper said.

The Etemad newspaper quoted Jabbar Solati, their lawyer, as saying that the sisters had initially been tried for “illegal relations” and had received 99 lashes. However, they were convicted of “adultery” in a second trial for the same incident.

The pair admitted they were in the video but argued there was no adultery as no scene on the video showed them engaged in a sexual act.

So in case you were wondering how sharia works, you can be tried and punished twice for the same incident.  And adultery? Nothing to do with sex. That’s when you are seen with your sister with men in a place public enough that you can be caught on video.

What They’re Fighting For

I’ve been thinking about writing about something since I commented on Matt’s blog. Now having come across something else on Steve’s blog, especially as I am not a regular reader of The Independent, I am compelled to spout off.

I have much more of a problem with the war in Afghanistan than I do with the war in Iraq. Or perhaps I should phrase it more accurately: I have a bigger problem with propping up an Islamofascist regime where Christianity is illegal and evangelism or conversion (along with many other things) is punishable by death, than I do with propping up a regime that still has the potential for being an almost secular Muslim state where Christianity can still be practiced. As hope fades for the latter, my supports fades as well.

In the wake of 9/11 we (America and all our sympathetically outraged friends) needed some place to attack. You just can’t let something like that go unpunished. Even if you can’t find the actual culprits – or they deprived you of the right to string them up by killing themselves – somebody has to pay. The Taliban government of Afghanistan never attacked the US. It did allow the mostly Saudi-funded mostly Saudi terrorists a place to train, or at best didn’t actively get rid of them. However, it wasn’t a strategic ally of the US like other places they trained, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And never mind that the US Government funded the Taliban to push out the Soviets in the first place. No, Afghanistan drew the short straw.

And how dare the Taliban not give up power and walk away when they were told to do so by the US Government. Don’t they know that all countries are ultimately subject to the sovereignty of the United States, as there is no corner of the global that is outside “American interests”. Not that the US really wanted them to walk away. They needed to do some killing. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, and all that.

Even though the US wouldn’t have taken on the 6th most populous country in the world – and a nookular power to boot – the military dictator of Pakistan quickly made sure he was on the right side of the Administration. The Wahabist absolutist monarchy of Saudi Arabia, with criminal law and social policies virtually the same as Afghanistan under the Taliban, knew that oil is a much more important export than heroin so they were safe. No matter that they actually provided the funding for extreme Islam around the world. Yep, Afghanistan definitely drew the short straw.

It seems to me that the case of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh is being a bit misrepresented in the headlines. He hasn’t been sentenced to death for just downloading and reading an article on women’s rights. No, he actually gave copies of it to other people. Islam respects the freedom of conscience. Kambaksh is allow to think whatever he likes. His truly fatal error was in telling someone else what he thought. That cannot be tolerated in liberated Afghanistan.

And that’s what US, British, and a handful of other forces are fighting to preserve. Not the democratic freedoms of the US or Britain or anywhere else. Not your freedom of speech. Not your freedom of the press. Not your freedom of religion. And certainly not anyone else’s. Aren’t you proud?

Polygamy Legalised

Polygamy has been legalised in the UK.

While there has been no formal legislation and bigamy is a crime, Government ministers have decided that husbands of multiple wives can now claim extra welfare benefits. They have to have married the extra wives in a country that allows polygamy. In effect, sharia trumps Parliament.

In addition to extra income support, husbands with multiple wives can also get additional housing benefit, as well as council tax benefit. The is despite the 1988 Immigration Act, which a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions acknowledged to the Sunday Telegraph, “generally prevents a man from bringing a second or subsequent wife with him to this country if another woman is already living as his wife in the UK”. But as the newpaper also discovered:

“Entry clearance may not be withheld from a second wife where the husband has divorced his previous wife and the divorce is thought to be one of convenience,” an immigration rulebook advises. “This is so, even if the husband is still living with the previous wife and to issue the entry clearance would lead to the formation of a polygamous household.”

In other words, sham marriages aren’t okay, but sham divorces are. The divorced couple can continue to live together and continue to claim benefits as if they were married, while one of them is married to someone else, who is also living with them.

The Government is clearly willing to do what it has to do to appease Muslims, even if it means breaking the law.

Dangerous Reforms

The Saudis are planning to give women the right to drive cars. Is this really a good idea?

Clearly they missed the recent news that women (and gay men) are the worst drivers. I mean, I’m all for women having equal rights with men, but clearly when there is an issue of public safety perhaps there needs to be a little more care taken in all of this liberalism sweeping the Arabian peninsula.

Then there’s the moral implications: “Allowing women to drive will only bring sin,” a letter to Al-Watan newspaper declared last year. “The evils it would bring – mixing between the genders, temptations, and tarnishing the reputation of devout Muslim women – outweigh the benefits.”

Assassination and the Civilised World

They get their day of fame and then fade from memory. That’s the fate of attempted assassins. Get the job done and they are famous forever. Miss and they fade into oblivion.

I’m surprised that the parole of Sara Jane Moore is a top story right now on US news network websites.  I suppose it is the combination of a slow news day and the aftermath of the Benazir Bhutto assassination. I’d even forgotten her name until now. Moore took a shot at President Ford in 1975. She has been paroled at the age of 77. I’m guessing she’s given up the radical revolutionary politics that motivated her actions. She’s probably happy to fade into oblivion.

Squeaky Fromme, who had a pistol without a round in the chamber when she got close to Ford a couple of weeks before Moore, is 59 and still incarcerated. She waives her right to parole hearings. It’s probably for the best, since she hasn’t exactly been a model prisoner. She hit the prosecutor in the head with an apple at her sentencing hearing. She then attacked another inmate with a claw hammer. She then escaped from prison in West Virginia, apparently to try to meet up with Charles Manson, though this would not have been likely as he is in prison in California. She’s tucked away in Texas now. Fromme is now 59 years old.

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, is now allowed out of the mental hospital for a few days at a time to visit his parents. No word on whether he is still fixated on Jodie Foster, or whether Jodie’s coming out as a lesbian has finally convinced him to give up the dream. Maybe he be declared cured when he is in his seventies. He’s 52 now.

I think that’s all the presidential would-be assassins.  Deprived of freedom, tucked away, lives wasted, mostly forgotten. That’s the price of their actions.

Because of the proximity to the Bhutto assassination, I can’t help but make a connection. If any of them had been successful, it would have been a terrible day for America and a tragic loss to the First Families.  Nonetheless, I can’t imagine that there would have been rioting in the streets, banks robbed, untold numbers of deaths. Likewise if something were to happen to one of the current presidential candidates, it would be the top of the news for days, but the country would not unravel.

This is another juncture at which the politically correct idea that all cultures are equal falls apart. I have no problem making a moral judgment that the response to the Bhutto assassination in Pakistan is inferior to the response to an assassination in a Western country.  While I do not think it is the responsibility of the US to force the rest of the world into democracy, neither is it wrong to say that non-democratic states ruled by a combination of Sharia and tribal customs are inferior.

British Muslims Favour Killing Christians

The Sunday Telegraph has an important article today on the threat to Muslims who convert to Christianity in this county.

It’s the aspect of Islam that isn’t included in most school curricula. It doesn’t fit with the multi-cultural pan-religionism the Government (and all good liberal open-minded teachers) want to promote. The death penalty for apostates is a moderate Muslim view. This is not extremism.  This is not al-Qaeda and a few radical mosques.

Under the human rights pressure of international community, only seven countries have codified the death penalty. Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is currently considering legislation to make apostasy a capital crime. In most countries it is carried out by family and friends.

And yet a significant portion of British Muslims think that such behaviour is not merely right, but a religious obligation: a survey by the think-tank Policy Exchange, for instance, revealed that 36 per cent of young Muslims believe that those who leave Islam should be killed.

This should not come as a surprised because this is what Islam universally teaches.

Patrick Sookhdeo was born a Muslim, but later converted to Christianity. He is now international director of the Barnabas Fund, an organisation that aims to research and to ameliorate the conditions of Christians living in countries hostile to their religion.

He notes that “all four schools of Sunni law, as well as the Shia variety, call for the death penalty for apostates. Most Muslim scholars say that Muslim religious law – sharia – requires the death penalty for apostasy.

“In 2004, Prince Charles called a meeting of leading Muslims to discuss the issue,” adds Dr Sookhdeo. “I was there. All the Muslim leaders at that meeting agreed that the penalty in sharia is death. The hope was that they would issue a public declaration repudiating that doctrine, but not one of them did.”

Baying for Blood

It’s the story that just won’t go away. Officials have had to secretly move Gillian Gibbons from the jail in Khartoum where she was being held because of the threats to her life. As reported tonight by the Daily Telegraph:

Sheikh Abdul Jalil Karuri, a leading cleric, earlier whipped up a crowd attending Khartoum’s Martyr’s Mosque by telling them Gillian Gibbons had deliberately named her class’s teddy bear Mohammed “with the intention of insulting Islam.”

  huknife.jpg
Knife-wielding crowds protest in Khartoum

Later the protestors joined other worshippers to congregate in Martyrs Square, in the centre of the capital, where they chanted “Shame, shame on the UK”.

“Those who insult the Prophet of Islam should be punished with bullets,” the crowd shouted after Gibbons, 54, was jailed for 15 days on charges stemming from naming a teddy bear Mohammed.

Others shouted “execute her” before large crowds of people who had congregated outside the British embassy, some on horseback, dispersed peacefully.

This is a type of Islam that must be confronted. This is Jihad that must be met with Crusade. It is a clear and present danger. To continue to appease it is a foolish course of action. Unfortunately, the West does not have anything near the resolve imagined in the delusional minds of the sheiks, mullahs, and imams that whip up the frenzy.

With a post-Christian pan-religionist Europe, the only country with the ability to do anything is the US.  However, the US can’t do anything without being accused of imperialism. It also lacks the willpower to effect real change. After all, it overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan only to install another Islamist regime where Christianity is still outlawed.

This is one reason I do not support withdrawal of troops from Iraq. To leave Iraq is to give victory to the Islamist insurgency.  It is to make the world a less safe place.

Sharia Injustice

At least she avoided the lash. Ten more days in jail and Gillian Gibbons will be deported from Sudan.

The Sudanese still have a lot for which to answer. Any conviction was clearly bowing to Islamist pressure. I suppose you have to give them credit for guarding her transportation to and from the kangaroo court, so those who wanted her dead could not carry out their desires. Of course she’s still not out of the country.

The deportation is probably unnecessary after her ordeal. I’m sure she would be happy to skedaddle before the bounty on her head gets any bigger. After all, she’s part of the Western plot against Islam. It’s a common cause for middle-aged primary school teachers. And what could undermine the Islamic hegemony to a greater extent than naming a teddy after a 7th century travelling salesman turned relgious leader? What’s a mere war in Afghanistan or the struggle against the insurgency in Iraq or even the possibility of an attack on Iran when compared to a teddy named Muhammad?

Only One Option

In my previous post, I wondered what Islamist radicals would want to do with Gillian Gibbons, since the moderates wanted her to receive the maximum sentence allowed by law. It seems for some the law isn’t enough. Who needs the restraints of Sharia if there’s a killing to be had? As reported today:

A statement circulated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood – a multinational Sunni Islamist movement and the world’s most influential political Islamist group – also condemned her actions.

“We want to express our boiling anger and deep sorrow about this case caused by this British teacher,” it said.

“We want to tell you that the majority of Sudanese are Muslims so we love our Prophet Mohammed so much and we decry this careless way of dealing with our beloved Prophet.”

One of its authors, 27-year- old Elsheikh El Nour, added: “If she made an innocent mistake and did not mean Mohammed the Prophet (when naming the bear) there is no problem.

“But if she did mean Mohammed the Prophet, she must die.”

 Seems there’s no two ways about it. Name a bear after Muhammad: die. This isn’t from a purely Sudanese group. This is a multinational Islamist group.

Islamic Savages

Gillian Gibbons is now closer to getting a good beating for naming a teddy after the False Prophet Muhammad. She’s now been officially charged with insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs.

If the Sudanese government do not effect the release of Ms Gibbon, the British government should simply sever diplomatic relations with Khartoum. We have no business doing business with them.

As the BBC has reported:

Sudan’s top clerics have called for the full measure of the law to be used against Mrs Gibbons and labelled her actions part of a Western plot against Islam.

“What has happened was not haphazard or carried out of ignorance, but rather a calculated action and another ring in the circles of plotting against Islam,” the Sudanese Assembly of the Ulemas said a statement.

The semi-official clerics body is considered relatively moderate and is believed to have the ear of the Sudanese government.

That’s right. The clerics calling for the maximum sentence and seeing this primary school teacher as part of the “Western plot against Islam” are moderates. Think of what the radical clerics want.

Sadly, there is not even a plot against Islam. No one seems to be bothered to help the Christian south of Sudan overthrow the Muslim north, or even protect them. The Muslims have committed unspeakable atrocities against the Christians, slaughtering them for refusing to convert to Islam. They gang-rape women and cut off their breasts. Others they sell into slavery. All cultures and religions are equal, you know.

Sudan Drifts Further From Civilisation

The situation involving Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher in Sudan, has deteriorated. With the intervention of British consular officials, she has gone from faving 40 lashes for naming a teddy Muhammad to a possible three years in prison for sedition. It would seem that naming a teddy after the False Prophet is the same as inciting the children to rebellion against the Sudanese government.

A rather unenlightened professor at the University of Kartoum showed just how far Islamic academic quality has fallen.”In our culture, there can be no image of the Prophet,” he said. “You cannot even show him in a film or a play. To show him as a bear is unthinkable.” The only thing is that no one ever suggested that the bear was an icon of the False Prophet. I can’t imagine the same scholar has the same problem with half of Muslim boys being named Muhammad. Are they showing Muhammad as a another person?

I would have thought that the teddy would be seen to honour Muhammad. It’s just the sort of thing Aisha, his nine-year-old favourite wife, would have loved. She could have had a teddy and a husband with the same name.

I hope that the Islamic world is not looking at Ms Gibbons as a scapegoat for launching another attack on the West, find some sort of excuse for claiming insult against the inventer of their religion.

Just a Name

A 54-year-old British teacher is facing 40 lashes for allowing her primary school children in Sudan to name a teddy bear Muhammad. She currently in prison awaiting trial on blasphemy charges.

She is teaching in a Christian school that has both Christian and Muslims students. Apparently Muhammad is fine to name a male child from just about every Muslim family, but to name the teddy is blasphemy.

The lash isn’t enough for some in the view of some of the residents of Khartoum. It didn’t take long after her arrest for word to spread. Groups of young men surrounded the police station, shouting death threats. After all, Sharia can be interpretted in various ways. Who is to say that a good beating is enough for blasphemy?

It’s a good thing we’re supposed to teach in this country that all religions and cultures are equal. On simple observation, sometimes it just doesn’t look that way. It’s a dangerous thing to let the facts speak for themselves.