By Eileen F. Toplansky
Respect, a “newsletter about law and diversity,” is a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. It is geared for middle- and high school students. The recent Spring 2012, Vol. 11, No. 3 article1 entitled “Fear Propels Religious Attacks” by Cheryl Baisden is of particular interest, because while it purports to have a fair-minded stance, the fact that CAIR, or the Council of American Islamic Relations, is cited as a credible source sheds serious doubt about the objectivity of the article. In fact, CAIR receives “financial support from foreign powers who have provided direct support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and Hamas. CAIR has raised funds for terrorists under the guise of helping 9/11 victims. CAIR board members have called for the overthrow of the United States and imposition of Islamic law. CAIR has discouraged Muslim-Americans from cooperating with law enforcement and at least 15 high-level CAIR staff members have been under federal investigation for ties to Islamic terror.”
In short, CAIR “is an entity masquerading as a ‘civil rights’ organization[.]” It has numerous ties to extremist Islamic organizations, and “on June 4, 2007, the New York Sun reported that CAIR had been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support both Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF).” Moreover, CAIR has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. That Ms. Baisden never explains CAIR’s criminal and terrorist connections is inexcusable. Thus, the young reader of this newsletter is left ignorant of CAIR’s “dishonest and misleading attacks against an initiative designed to preserve … freedoms.”
In writing about the imposition of sharia law into the American justice system, Ms. Baisden claims that “[i]n the past few years, … several states have passed or are considering legislation that would restrict the way followers of one specific religion practice their faith.” This is a disingenuous statement. In fact, American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) emphasizes that “[n]o U.S. citizen or resident should be denied the liberties, rights and privileges guaranteed in [the United States] constitutional republic. American Laws for American Courts is needed especially to protect women and children, identified by international human rights organizations as the primary victims of discriminatory foreign laws.”
Furthermore, “America has unique values of liberty which do not exist in foreign legal systems, particularly sharia law. Included among, but not limited to those values and rights are: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Due Process, the Right t
In 2010, when Oklahoma attempted to pass the Oklahoma International Law Amendment, State Question 755, Brigitte Gabriel, founder, president, and CEO of ACT! For America and Lauren Losawher maintained that “[s]ince the introduction of State Question 755, a proposed ban on Oklahoma courts from deciding cases using international or sharia law, local and national media have mocked concerns about Islamic sharia law impacting American courts as foolish, misplaced or a waste of time.”
Gabriel, international terrorism analyst, argues that “[s]haria law, in short, is a comprehensive, theo-political law system used in many Islamic countries including Iran that is based on precepts contained in the Quran and the hadith (the sayings and traditions of Mohammed). Under sharia law, women have few rights compared to men, freedom of speech is severely curtailed and freedom of religion is limited or nonexistent.”
Yet, the closest that Cheryl Baisden comes to explaining sharia law is to write that “[f]or followers of just about any religion there are certain rules that apply to their faith, from kosher laws among Jewish people to the disapproval of divorce among Catholics. In the same way, sharia is the law that governs certain aspects of everyday life for Muslims.” What is most disturbing about Baisden’s piece is that the whole point of this newsletter is to educate. Thus, this missed opportunity to do genuine research permits the falsehoods, disinformation, and shameless obfuscation of Islamic law, all under the rubric of muddied multiculturalism.
John Swails, who was the director of the Center for Israel and Middle East Studies at Oral Roberts University, stated that supporters of sharia law will “tell you it provides religious freedom, but that’s true only if you’re a Muslim.”
One in favor of sharia-imposed justice is Saad Mohammed, director of Islamic information for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. He opposed State Question 755 and stated that “[s]haria law coincides with about 80% of the United States Constitution.”
One needs to seriously consider the 20% that does not comply with the United States Constitution and its protection of freedoms! In fact, this incredible and chilling YouTube video from Andrew Bostom succinctly elucidates what sharia law is all about and the status of the infidel under this Islamic law.
Yet in February 2012, CAIR produced a 38-page legislative lobbying kit to help Muslims lobby against “American Laws for American Courts” legislation. It is available at this site.
This report is ably refuted by Islam Watch’s “CAIR’s Sharia Fog Machine,” which demonstrates how “CAIR’s legislative strategy is to portray themselves as merely correcting the misunderstanding caused by widespread ‘Islamophobic’ fear that sharia will ultimately prevail over American law. This is a red herring to trivialize the concern over sharia law. The question is not whether all American rulings will someday be based on sharia law, but whether any rulings would be based on it.”
Another executive director of CAIR, Muneer Awad, stated, “[w]e take a stand in opposition to the proposed amendment. It’s ridiculous that anyone would suggest it would happen. Our Constitution would not allow any religious law to supersede the existing laws.”
Oh, really? Let’s turn to a 2011 study that reflects a very different picture.
In 2011, the Center For Security Policy released an in-depth study entitled “Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases.” The “study evaluates 50 appellate court cases from 23 states that involve conflicts between sharia (Islamic law) and American state law. The analysis finds that sharia has been applied or formally recognized in state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy.” The 600-plus-page document carefully documents situations where “stories of Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children … were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of sharia. When [American] courts apply sharia law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded.”
But in Baisden’s piece, she quotes Mark Stern, a religion law expert at the American Jewish Committee, who states that “sharia law is not going to govern, except voluntarily, the rights and responsibilities of Muslim citizens of the United States.” Clearly, these documented cases reflect a different outcome, as “increasingly, foreign laws and legal doctrines that would restrict or deny American liberties are finding their way into U.S. court cases, thanks largely to the rulings of transnationalist judges.”
Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel have composed ten questions for the Council on American Islamic Relations concerning their propaganda campaign attacking legislation designed to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, including Muslims. Does CAIR dispute that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes it the supreme law of the land, and therefore that all other laws, including sharia, must be subordinated to it where there is a conflict? What rights does CAIR wish to have violated by or subordinated to foreign law? Does it favor unequal treatment for and/or brutalizing of women, homosexuals, apostates, Jews, and others in accordance with sharia? Is CAIR seeking the imposition of all foreign laws, even where they violate the U.S. Constitution, or just sharia? These are reasonable questions that should have found their way into the Respect newsletter so students and an informed educator could analyze them.
There is much more to this fantastic article! ——->> American Thinker