State Dept. Embraces Islamic Cleric Who OK’d Killing Americans in Iraq, Called for Israel’s Destruction

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Feb. 6, 2018:

Last Thursday, Sam Brownback was sworn in as the State Department’s new ambassador for religious liberty.

Today — in his first official speech as ambassador — Brownback openly embraced a hardline Islamic cleric who authorized a fatwa in 2004 justifying the killing of Americans in Iraq, and another fatwa in 2012 calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah’s past is no mystery to the State Department. For example, the Obama administration’s State Department had to repeatedly apologize in May 2014 for promoting Bin Bayyah as a moderate. However, the Obama administration then implemented a full-court press with the U.S. media and the D.C. foreign policy “Smart Set” to rehabilitate the image of the Mauritanian cleric.

The presence of multiple senior Trump State Department officials at an “interfaith” event in Washington, D.C. in support of Bin Bayyah’s efforts appears to confirm there will be no change. The Trump administration is continuing the engagement with Bin Bayyah they inherited from Obama — despite the fact that Bin Bayyah’s views on Israel are directly contrary to those of President Trump.

There is also an inherent contradiction in the Trump State Department embracing the interfaith efforts of an Islamic cleric who openly states on his website that Christians are going to hell. Bin Bayyah has also said that interfaith outreach to Jews in Arab lands should only be done with extreme caution — and only with Jews who oppose Israel.

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‘It’s Perfectly Constitutional’: Kansas Governor Signs Bill Blocking Islamic Law in Courts and Government Agencies

The Blaze:

(The Blaze/AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state’s courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group’s spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.

The new law, taking effect July 1, doesn’t specifically mention Shariah law, which broadly refers to codes within the Islamic legal system.  Instead, it says courts, administrative agencies or state tribunals can’t base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.

“This bill should provide protection for Kansas citizens from the application of foreign laws,” said Stephen Gele, spokesman for the American Public Policy Alliance, a Michigan group promoting model legislation similar to the new Kansas law. “The bill does not read, in any way, to be discriminatory against any religion.”

But supporters have worried specifically about Shariah law being applied in Kansas court cases, and the alliance says on its website that it wants to protect Americans’ freedoms from “infiltration” by foreign laws and legal doctrines, “especially Islamic Shariah Law.”

Brownback’s office notified the state Senate of his decision Friday, but he actually signed the measure Monday. The governor’s spokeswoman, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, said in a statement that the bill “makes it clear that Kansas courts will rely exclusively on the laws of our state and our nation when deciding cases and will not consider the laws of foreign jurisdictions.”

Muslim groups had urged Brownback to veto the measure, arguing that it promotes discrimination. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said a court challenge is likely because supporters of the measure frequently expressed concern about Shariah law.

Hooper said of Brownback, “If he claims it has nothing to do with Shariah or Islamic law or Muslims, then he wasn’t paying attention.”

Both the Washington-based council and the National Conference of State Legislatures say such proposals have been considered in 20 states, including Kansas. Gele said laws similar to Kansas’ new statute have been enacted in Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Oklahoma voters approved a ballot initiative in 2010 that specifically mentioned Shariah law, but both a federal judge and a federal appeals court blocked it.

There are no known cases in which a Kansas judge has based a ruling on Islamic law. However, supporters of the bill have cited a pending case in Sedgwick County in which a man seeking to divorce his wife has asked for property to be divided under a marriage contract in line with Shariah law.

Supporters argue the measure simply ensures that legal decisions will protect long-cherished liberties, such as freedom of speech and religion and the right to equal treatment under the law. Gele said the measure would come into play if someone wanted to enforce a libel judgment against an American from a foreign nation without the same free speech protections.

“It is perfectly constitutional,” he said.

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15,000 Muslims to Assemble in CT in Support of Sharia & Against ‘Islamophobia’ This Weekend

by Billy Hallowell, The Blaze:

American Muslims who are disheartened by increasingly fervent attacks on sharia law are planning to assemble en masse this weekend to protest against what they fear are attempts to discriminate against their way of life. This weekend, 15,000 believers are expected to descent upon Hartford, Connecticut, for the 37th annual Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) convention.

The Muslim American Society-sponsored conference, entitled, “Defending Religious Freedom: Understanding Shariah,” will take place from May 26-28. According to Religion News Service, the event is the second largest annual event for Muslims in the U.S., behind the Islamic Society of North America’s annual gathering (the latter event attracts 30,000+ people).

The focus of the event will be on sharia, Islamic law that is intended to govern the lives of believers. The Blaze has covered the opposition that exists to Muslim law here in America numerous times before. As RNS highlights, Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, South Dakota and Tennessee are among the locations where legislation has been approved to ban judges from considering foreign laws. This, of course, would include sharia law (in Kansas, legislation has not yet been signed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback).

The taqiyya campaign to whitewash Shariah is in high gear!

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