Can America Tolerate Sharia?

Eliyahu Stern in a New York Times Op-Ed argues that Americans have nothing to fear from the importation of Sharia law in to the United States – he likens laws banning Sharia to past attempts at excluding Jews from full civil rights:

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

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

This argument does strike a chord – not just in someone familiar with the history of anti-Semitic persecution in the Christian West, but even for those – like myself – who are Catholics and know how our ancestors were considered unsuited for American citizenship as we allegedly owed loyalty to a foreign prince, the Pope.  Of course it was always nonsense to hold that Jews and Catholics couldn’t be good citizens of the United States – such views were just a hold-over of Protestant bigotries from centuries prior.   And, of course, once Jews and Catholics became numerous in the United States and demonstrated their loyalty again and again, it became absurd for anyone to hold to those old bigotries.  Is it the same for people of the Muslim faith?  Are we just rushing to judgment before we’ve given Islamic Americans a chance to prove themselves?

Perhaps – but here is the difference:  anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism pre-date the founding of the United States of America.  Indeed, the Puritans who founded Massachusetts and set the stage for the growth of American liberty were, to a man and woman, ferociously opposed to any manifestation of Catholicism.  When those Puritans came from Europe to America, the war between Protestantism and Catholicism was still raging in Europe (when the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock Europe was in the second year of what would become the Thirty Years War which was just a horrific war made even worse by sectarian animosities being used as a cloak for greed and cruelty).  We, as it were, inherited a bigotry…but Islam never felt such animosity in America until people of the Muslim faith started to massacre Americans for no justifiable reason whatsoever.

Remember that – it is key:  there is not and has not been an iota of justification for Muslims to feel hostility towards the United States.  Indeed, the proper feeling among Muslims should be gratitude…gratitude that American influence was set against the European colonial powers; gratitude that when Muslim States started to steal Western assets via nationalization the United States refused to coerce Islam in to restoring the stolen property; gratitude that the United States has restrained Israel from occupying Cairo and Damascus; gratitude that we pressured Israel to give up the Sinai and the West Bank even though Israel had no cause to do so; gratitude that we have helped to topple tyrants ruling over Muslim States; gratitude that time and time again the United States has rushed aid to Muslim States stricken by disaster.  The hatred felt by Muslims towards the United States is unreasonable…and the murder of Americans by people claiming to act in the name of Islam is a blot upon Muslim honor.  This blot is compounded by the fact that Americans have yet to see a vigorous, Muslim campaign to stamp out the people who murder Americans.

The words “bigotry” and “mistrust” are not synonymous.  We would be nothing more than bigots if we asserted that all Muslims are bad – but if we express mistrust of Muslims, the question must be asked – why?  Because Muslims have unjustifiably attacked Americans.  Because we have many examples of Sharia-advocates using it as a tool for persecution.  Because some of the most fervent advocates for Sharia have connections to the most vile, anti-American groups.  Certainly no American will object to a Muslim going to an Islamic court to clarify matters of faith and morals – no more than any American, of whatever belief, objects to a Catholic getting a ruling on the validity of a marriage.  But there is enough evidence in the actions of some Muslims who advocate for Sharia to convince Americans that Sharia is not compatible with American ideals.

It doesn’t have to remain this way – in fact, in just a few, short years American attitudes can be vastly altered.  All Americans will need to see is action on the part of Muslims to go after those who attack the United States and/or use Sharia as an excuse to brutalize their fellow human beings.  It won’t do the least bit of good for 10,000 people to swear that 99.9% of Muslims would never dream of attacking Americans or using Sharia as a means to oppress…words are meaningless unless matched to action.  It shouldn’t take American special forces and drone attacks to kill radical Islamists – Muslims should be doing it.  The sort of people who carry out terrorist attacks and use Sharia for oppression are not fit for decent company…no rational, well-meaning people would tolerate such in their midst.  But just as long as Islam at least appears to tolerate those sort, so will American mistrust of Islam remain, and likely grow.

You can’t excuse yourself from the act of building civilization by simply accusing others of being bigots.  We, as non-Muslims, have our duties to perform…to be tolerant of differences, to show love towards our fellow men and women, to fight for what is right.  Muslims have these same duties.  And I say to all Muslims who wish to have a world in which mistrust of Islam is a thing of the past – get busy:  you’ve a lot of work to do.  Once you’ve done it, you won’t have to ask for tolerance of Sharia…it will be automatic; in fact, you’ll find Christians and Jews to be willing collaborators in helping Muslim observance of Sharia…provided it is, as some claim, just a matter of adjudicating Muslim religious practices.

What are the Limits of Self Defense?

Interesting story from the Colorado Springs Gazette:

An El Paso County jury on Friday awarded nearly $300,000 to the daughter of a burglar who was fatally shot in 2009 while breaking into an auto lot…

To nutshell the linked article – a family-owned business had been victimized of late by burglars and the owners (realizing that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away) decided to stand vigil over their property through the night.  Some time during the night, two drug-addled, petty thieves broke in and the family members sprang in to action, firing a total of four shots, one of which killed one of the two burglars.  The DA referred the shooting to a Grand Jury which declined to indict, so no crime was committed  as far as Colorado is concerned.  The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the family deliberately set out to kill whomever might break in and as they were never in personal danger, this was a wrongful death…the civil jury agreed.

I, personally, would never kill to defend property – not even 100% sure I would kill to defend myself, but I would kill to defend any innocent person, if there was no other way to protect them.  But my attitude about criminals is that they have chosen a path fraught with danger…if they wind up injured or dead as a result of their voluntary actions, then no fault accrues to anyone who assists them in to the hospital or the hereafter (except if some weirdo took captive a criminal and then did him in, or some such thing like that – once a criminal is definitely rendered harmless, no one has a right to take his life except by due process of law).  It is too bad that the burglar died – but his death sentence was signed when he got stoned and decided to steal to support his habit.  If it hadn’t been this bringing an untimely end to his life, it would have been something else…and perhaps something much worse, and maybe with the burglar taking innocent people with him.

On that jury, I would have told the burglar’s family to take a hike.  People have a right to defend their lives and property – and anyone who enters property without the owner’s permission and with an intent to do wrong has just taken his life in to his hands.

What do you think?

 

Our Broken Police Forces

Over at Huffington Post, Radley Balko covers a disturbing story:

Jose Guerena, a 26-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran, was killed May 5 when a SWAT team broke into his home a little after 9:30 a.m. According to Guerena’s wife, Vanessa (who was home at he time, along with their 4-year-old son), Guerena thought the police were home invaders. He ushered his family into a closet, then grabbed a rifle. When the police battered down the door, they saw Guerena and his rifle, and opened fire. The SWAT team released 70 rounds. Guerena didn’t fire a shot; the safety of his rifle was still on.

Last week, Arizona attorney Chris Scileppi filed notice of a $20 million lawsuit against Pima County, Ariz., on behalf of Guerena’s family. The lawsuit provides a good opportunity to look back at what has happened since since the morning of May 5…

Do read the whole thing – because it does bring to my mind, at least, a question about the utility of “special forces” units in our local police forces.  Indeed, it brings up along with it a question about what the police are for, and how civilian control is to be effected.

This story is extra meaningful to me because we here in Las Vegas also had a case of police officers wantonly gunning down a military veteran of excellent character…and then we watched as the police slandered the dead man, and then used a rigged investigation system to ensure that no officer was called to account for his errors.  If even our military veterans aren’t safe from out of control police actions, whom among us is?  When will the heavy club of law enforcement fall upon us?  Whom among us has the resources to fend it off?

Keep in mind that I am pro-police.  As I stated in my linked article, the police do a job I am not good enough to do.  Those people who are dedicated police officers are better men and women than I could ever hope to be.  But a baleful spirit of careerism, bureaucratic infighting and union corruption has taken over all too many of our local police forces.  The good cops are powerless against these forces…the bad cops get to rule the roost because they have gained control of the levers of power.  And, so, when a SWAT team goes on a stupid raid which results in an innocent death, no one is called to account.  Time and time again we have all seen this.

To me, the reason we have things like SWAT but don’t have a cop on the beat is because of the bad influences which have taken over the police.  Rather than have armored, heavily armed combat forces which can come crashing through my door at 2 am, I’d rather have a patrolman walking my neighborhood at night.  The patrolman will ensure that no one is breaking in to my home, that the teenagers are off the streets at a reasonable hour and that there is thus no need for anyone out there to think that my door should be battered down.  Corrupt and bureaucratic police forces like flashy things like SWAT teams; they make it seem like the cops are doing something good, when all they are donig is wasting time and resources which should be spent on crime prevention.  Police forces made up of people dedicated to law enforcement and keeping the peace have cops on the beat, who know their neighborhoods…who is supposed to be there and when.  It isn’t as sexy as SWAT, but it gets the job done.

My view is that what is most needed is a re-assertion of civil control over the police as this will ensure that the police get back to business.  That is, get back to seeing their primary task as peace keeping…preventing crime, rather than investigating crimes after they have happened.  Making certain the crack house never gets started, rather than raiding a house with machine guns at the ready, even if they’ve got the wrong house.  To that end, in my linked article I suggested the Civil Review Board – a means whereby average citizens can submit complaints about the police without the police being able to stop  or control an investigation.  That, in and of itself, would go a long way towards fixing the police…the next step would be to find political leaders who would be willing to take on the police unions (who really drive the corruption) and force the law enforcement agencies to do what the people need, not what corrupt unions bosses want.

Among the many callings a person can have, being a police officer is one of the most honorable.  Done properly, it is the height of service – the definite willingness to show the greatest love of all: that of being ready to lay down one’s life for another.  The police should never lack for support – monetary and moral.  They do one of the dirtiest jobs in the world and all of us should be wary of second-guessing a police officer in the performance of his duty.  But the police must be what we need them to be – guardians of the peace in our communities, not armed forces using razzle-dazzle, super-cop nonsense to cover up incompetence.

Liberal Fascism at Law School

From Legal Insurrection:

Lawrence Connell is a tenured law professor at Widener Law School in Delaware.  I have noted in prior posts that Connell was accused of a wide range of racist and sexist conduct directed at students in his classes and at Dean Linda Ammons (because of hypothetical examples Connell used in class).

Connell has sued, and also went through a university disciplinary hearing process.  The faculty committee which heard the evidence found that Connell did not violate any university policy with regard to the allegations of racist and sexist conduct…

…In a rational world, the university would seek no or minimal sanctions against Connell since he was completely vindicated of the underlying charges…  But Dean Ammons recommended that the university suspend Connell for a year without pay, which the university accepted.

But Dean Ammons recommendation, accepted by the university, went much further, demanding that Connell submit to a psychiatric evaluation, undergo ”anger management” counseling…and issue an apology…

In the old Soviet Union, this is what would happen to you – if you persisted in dissidence from the reigning orthodoxy, you could find yourself under psychiatric examination.  After all, if it has been carefully explained to you that you are in the wrong – and any man accused of racism and sexism is clearly in the wrong, regardless of the facts of the case – then it is time to knuckle under, accept re-education and become an emasculated cog in the liberal machine.  That Connell hasn’t done this proves he’s crazy…and, so.

This point out the larger problem we have in our legal profession:  those steeped in the liberal worldview don’t know what law is.  Without a rigid application of the law equally, all we have is the worst tyranny – that horrid arbitrariness which leaves the citizen in the dark about what he may or may not do.  That, in turn, breeds a political passivity conducive to dictatorship (which is, when you think about it, the goal of liberalism…even if not a conscious goal among most liberals).  Right now, at that law school, no one knows what is permissible – even if it is clearly laid out in statute, one has to worry that some school bureaucrat will essentially issue an “OSO decree” and send you off to Siberia for a term.

The good news is that we’re likely to see a bursting of the law school bubble pretty soon.  They’ve been churning out so many “lawyers” that the law field is glutted.  This is why you see ever more ads from lawyers willing to sue anyone for anything.  We could have a nice, little collapse which will result in a lot of law schools closing, or at least being reduced in size…and fewer kids willing to enter that market.  That, in turn, may allow someone who knows law to actually have a say in how a law school is run.  Anything is possible…and certainly this liberal fascism on campus can’t go on forever.

For a Change of Pace and Ironic Justice: Kerry Spokesman Stripped of Silver Star

John F. Kerry almost became president running on the basis of his alleged heroism in Vietnam. Thanks to the efforts of a group of truth-tellers, the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, the serious holes in the fantasy narrative propounded by the Kerry campaign came to the attention of enough Americans that John Kerry was not the first faux-Irish President of the United States.

One of Kerry’s enablers in propounding his imaginary heroism was a man named Wade Sanders, who himself held a Silver Star, and who introduced Kerry to the Democratic Convention. Scott Swett, who was central to the unraveling of the Kerry storyline, tells us that the Kerry enabler has been exposed for what he is. His Winter Soldier site has the details:

John Kerry was introduced at the 2004 Democratic National Convention by Wade Sanders, a retired Navy Captain and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy who served as a Swift Boat officer in Vietnam. Like Kerry, Sanders was the recipient of a Silver Star for gallantry in action. During the 2004 campaign, Sanders functioned as Kerry lead attack dog against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, repeatedly denouncing the veterans on the air as liars and comparing them to Nazi propagandists.

Wade Sanders is now in Federal prison, serving a 37-month sentence for possessing child pornography. Now the Navy Times reports that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has revoked Sanders’ Silver Star. The highly unusual decision appears unrelated to Sanders’ felony conviction. A Navy spokesman cited “subsequently determined facts and evidence surrounding both the incident for which the award was made and the processing of the award itself.” John Kerry has to be hoping this doesn’t become a trend.

As one might imagine, the media has ignored this story. Even the Navy Times declined to post its own article online.

HAT TIP: The American Thinker and Thomas Lifson

UPDATE: Here is the Sanders sentencing memorandum. Horrific.

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I have a prediction….. let’s wait to see if it comes true.


Guilty No Matter What

That is our new legal principle, at least at the University of North Dakota:

In a stark demonstration of the failure of campus judicial procedures, the University of North Dakota (UND) has found a student guilty of sexual assault despite the fact that local police refused to charge him with a crime and instead charged his accuser for lying about the incident. Former student Caleb Warner has been banned by UND from stepping foot on any state public campus for three years. Meanwhile, his accuser has been wanted by the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department for more than a year on the charge of making a false report to law enforcement…

It seems that Uncle Sam – carrying out the liberal mandate – has decided that all colleges receiving federal funds must use a “preponderance of evidence” rather than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for judging such cases.  In this case it does seem that an accusation is “preponderance of evidence” because if there was something beyond the accuser’s statement it is highly unlike that the regular law enforcement agencies would have charged the accuser with lying, even if they lacked sufficient evidence to convict the accused.  Beyond the outrage of what amounts to a kangaroo court convicting the accused there lies the double outrage in the college’s refusal to reopen the case in light of the charge of lying leveled against the accuser.

In the end, this is the result of all that liberal nonsense about political correctness, “hate crimes” and “zero tolerance”.  In their zeal to enforce liberal ideas, the very concepts of truth and justice have been jettisoned.  It will take extreme legal and political pressure to get the college to reverse course…and even if they are in this case, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll still go forward trying to enforce the liberal view.

How to fix this?  Simple:  prohibit the federal government from setting rules in colleges.  Go ahead and spend federal money if you like, but don’t go dictating how it is to be spent.  In other words, if money is to be spent it had better just be in the form of bloc grants (best calculated on a per-student basis) which is then dispensed to the colleges to use as they wish…scholarships, new facilities, slush funds for the faculty, what have you.  Better to have the money mis-allocated by some schools than to have all schools come under the thumb of liberal fascism.   Most places would use it properly and those which did would swiftly earn the better reputation and thus draw in more students…and thus more funding.  But get Uncle Sam out of it…all he can do is screw it up, as we see here in this case.

Barack Milhous Obama

What did he know and when did he know it?

It must be pointed out that no lives were lost in Watergate – while we’ve got one dead American in the “Gunwalker” scandal…and who knows how many Mexicans might wind up dead.  And all we’re getting from Obama’s “Justice” Department is stonewalling…the truth has to come out, we must find out what happened – who ordered it, who knew about it and what was the real purpose?

Remember what happened here – American law enforcement agencies connived at the sale and transport of American arms to Mexican drug cartels.  This is not something which just comes out of some cop’s head – someone very senior in the Obama Administration cooked up the plan and I cannot imagine it going forward with out AG Holder’s permission, at least.

The people have a right to know – and Congress must continue to press this issue and go where ever the evidence leads.

The Growing “Gunwalker” Scandal

From Katie Pavlich at Townhall:

Yesterday, Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson answered questions from Rep. Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley surrounding Operation Fast and Furious…

…Melson revealed the scope of Operation Fast and Furious reaches far beyond ATF and the Justice Department. He said the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and other agencies were heavily involved…

Do read the whole thing – it shows that this scandal may reach not only very high in the Justice Department, but across many of our law enforcement agencies.  It is quite a tangled web – and we should have a special prosecutor appointed and/or form a Congressional committee to air the whole, sorry mess.

Holder’s Justice Department has routinely ignored the law since Obama appointed him in 2009 – just in the fact that he refused to prosecuted the Panthers over 2008 voter intimidation demonstrated Holder’s unfitness to be our senior law enforcement official…the Gunwalker scandal is ample justification to demand Holder’s resignation as well as the resignation of any other agency head who knew of this idiotic plan and failed to stop it.

To me, this is likely just the tip of a large, nasty ice berg and we must get to the bottom of it.  I don’t trust Holder and while he’s in charge of Justice I don’t trust our federal law enforcement agencies.  A clean sweep has to be made and we need to find who who knew what and when.

The Casey Anthony Verdict: Why is it Illegal to Lie to the Cops?

I figured that the jury would come back with “not guilty” on the murder charge – though I thought there was a good chance they’d find her guilty of manslaughter; but that only because she’s clearly guilty of something in the death of her child…but I didn’t think guilty of murder; certainly not provably guilty of murder.  We don’t even know how the child died – so how can their be a murder charge?  For all we know the child really did die of an accident and then Ms. Anthony went in to panic mode…the rest is tragic history.

But now that the jury has ruled, I want to take issue with what she was found guilty of: lying to the police.  In my view, there is something just wrong about being found guilty of lying about a crime you didn’t commit.  Remember, she was ruled not guilty – the jury says she didn’t do it.  That is the end of it as far as the death of her child goes.  To now hold her responsible for lying to the police just doesn’t come across to me as an action of justice.

I don’t blame the jury in this – from what I can tell, she not only lied to the police, but lied a lot…and to a lot of people.  I further understand that lying under oath is a very serious crime (for which, incidentally, Bill Clinton should have been removed from office; so serious is the crime)…but I don’t think she was under oath in the interrogation room.  Sure, she should have just kept her mouth shut or told the absolute truth…but she is also a young, irresponsible girl who has a dead child to account for; in such a situation it can easily seem that lying is the best course (it never really is – this is no justification for lying; just a statement that lying, in and of itself, perhaps should not be prosecutable).  All such convictions do is ensure that anyone who watched the trial now knows what to do – shut up, shut up and shut up some more.

Quite simply, if you are ever arrested – even for something you absolutely know you didn’t do – you should just say nothing to the police.  Don’t even give your  name without your attorney present.  You might even make an honest mistake and wind up convicted for lying to the police over it.  How many of us, suddenly hauled in to a police station, could be certain we’d lay out a complete story with no inconsistencies or errors?  And once you’ve made an error, how do you convince the authorities that it was just an error and now you’d like to correct the record after you’ve had a chance to review in your mind the sequence of events?  The charge of lying to the police is a trap that only the most clear minded person completely familiar with the law can possibly avoid.

The police and prosecutors should not have this ability to convict us of lying to them – that should be taken away.  As long as you aren’t solemnly swearing to it, then it isn’t a lie in the legal sense.  At least, that is my view.