Landmark Case: Government argues that Islam is political

July 26, 2012

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Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi of American Freedom Law Center and Pamela Geller

What began as a clear first amendment issue has exploded into a landmark case regarding the the status of Islam as a political entity. Today the Detroit Transit Authority (SMART), a government entity, argued before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that our “Leaving Islam” ad was political because Islam is political.  At least two of the three judges seemed to go along.
If the Court rules against us, it will be ruling that Islam is political and that Sharia is a political program — something that other government agencies have strenuously denied. If that happens, will Islam and Sharia deserve the protection of a religion?
Leaving islam ad
The case was argued today before 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Raymond Kethledge, John Marshall Rogers and Algenon L. Marbley. Chris Hildebrand, the lawyer for Detroit SMART, began by referring to and based his whole argument on our recent victory over the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority in another First Amendment case about a completely different ad (a pro-Israel ad). Hildebrand argued that the Judge in that case, Paul Engelmayer, had said that that ad was political, and thus that the MTA had to accept it in accord with their guidelines. Hildebrand asserted that our “Leaving Islam?” bus ad, which Detroit SMART rejected, was also political, and thus was rightly rejected by SMART, which (in contrast to the MTA) does not take political ads. His client, said Hildebrand, does not reject ads because they’re provocative (as he claimed that ours was), or controversial, but because they’re political, and SMART does not and will not take political positions.
Judge Rogers then told him that he had gotten SMART into a “blurry area” to be making a distinction between the political and religious. Hildebrand countered that while the ad may be anti-Islam, anti-Muslim, and anti-Sharia (actually it was designed wholly and solely to offer help to people whose lives were threatened), it was also political. Judge Marbley then pointed out that an imam, who would issue a fatwa (referring to the part of our ad that asked, “Is your family threatening you? Is there a fatwa on your head?”) was not an elected official.
Hildebrand then dropped the bomb that has extraordinary implications for the debate about anti-Sharia laws and the status of Islam in the United States: he said that yes, imams have a religious function, but they also “control Sharia law,” and Sharia is political. Marbley said that that might be so in Iran, but not in Detroit, where they had a purely religious function. Hildebrand then dug in even deeper, saying that imams in Dearborn deal with Sharia on both a religious and political basis. When Marbley then asked him how our ad was different from one that SMART accepted from an atheist group, calling on people to become atheists, Hildebrand said that it differed because Islam is not only religious, but also a “political series of laws.” Marbley then pointed out that the same thing could be said about the Catholic Church, since the Vatican was a political entity, and that could be used to rule out advertising from Catholic groups. Hildebrand then argued that our ad was both religious and political, and that the reference to a fatwa made it primarily political and not religious — which would only be true if Sharia itself is primarily political and not religious.
Judge Kethledge seemed to go along with this argument, telling our own lawyer, Robert Muise (who ably argued for our side), that Sharia is “arguably” political as well as religious. Judge Rogers then outrageously compared our ad to an ad repeating a vile and disgusting blood libel against the Jews as part of Jewish law (which it most certainly is not, but the death penalty for apostasy most certainly is part of the sharia) — showing the truth of his and Marbley’s admission that they knew next to nothing about Islam (or Jewish law). Clearly they were unaware of Islam’s death penalty for apostasy. If they did, they would never have said that our public service ad constituted “scorn and ridicule.”
Kethledge clearly had his mind made up already, getting testy with Muise and helping Hildebrand with his case, inviting him when he returned to the stand to explain why our ad — designed to save lives — constituted “scorn and ridicule” of Muslims and thus was also disallowed on those grounds according to SMART’s guidelines. This entangled SMART in a self-contradiction: Hildebrand said that they didn’t disallow our ad because it was “controversial” but also that our ad constituted “scorn and ridicule” — but none of the judges seemed to notice and certainly no one challenged Hildebrand on this. Hildebrand did not, and could not, explain why our ad constituted scorn and ridicule, and instead simply kept asserting that it did. He did not argue his case persuasively, but with Kethledge and also Rogers so clearly on his side, he had a clear advantage.
If SMART wins, however, the implications for the status of Islam and Sharia as political will be enormous. Incalculable. SMART may end up winning the battle for Sharia in the U.S., but losing the war.

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Brain trust: Robert Muise, David Yerushalmi and Robert Spencer confer after the hearing

ok… thought about this some more. Peanuts can be a substitute Protein which would offend the meat industry. Thus Peanuts are political and can be banned by “SMART”. Peanuts are political, therefor we can ban Jimmy Carter who grows Peanuts. Islam is political, but then why was Islam posting on SMART? But being against Islam is Political… double standard. Peanuts could be a religion too? Give me five minutes and I could find away to yarn that one. The court needs to admit it’s bias and push this to a higher court if they are thinking about this.


A President of the United States who volunteered on a Kibbutz in Israel?

July 5, 2011

When Americans go to the polls in November 2012, they may have the opportunity to elect a President who volunteered on a Kibbutz in the summer of 1974. No, not Barack Hussein Obama. Michele Bachmann.

Her faith led her to some interesting places. The summer after she finished high school, Michele went to Israel and worked on a kibbutz. The trip was sponsored by Young Life, a Christian ministry. “I always had this love and appreciation for Israel because I was a Christian,” she said. “It’s the foundation of our faith. All of the Bible is about Israel.” She wanted to see the land for herself. What she found wasn’t a high-end vacation destination. She remembers the hurly burly of Ben Gurion airport, 1974: heat, soldiers with guns, customs officers at card tables on the tarmac. Chickens were everywhere. “It was pretty grubby,” she said.
The youth housing on the kibbutz was called the ghetto. Lizards climbed the walls. She would wake up at 4 a.m. and get on a flatbed truck that was pulled by an old diesel tractor. They would drive out to cotton fields to pull weeds. Armed soldiers escorted them wherever they went.
The experience has never left her mind. “If you consider what it was like in 1948,” she said, “and literally watch flowers bloom in a desert over time—I don’t know if any nation has paralleled the rise of Israel since 1948.” A member of Christians United for Israel, she’s one of Israel’s strongest supporters in Congress. One Jewish Minnesota Republican has told me of speeches at local Republican Jewish Coalition events where Bachmann has brought cheering audiences to their feet.

Read the whole thing. But don’t worry. The Leftist Jews will still vote against her because she’s a Christian. via israelmatzav.blogspot.com

…more likely they won’t vote for her because she is Pro Life. Women would be her main draw because she is one and this seems to be the only issue that matters to them. The irony is an ethical female leader is dependent on a woman not ruling out of her gender… and it is the left that makes it all about purely identity politics. Women benefit by safety. This is not something the left has worked hard on… or what they have done has always been concluded as intending well. As a result women it the last fifty years have always come from a Conservative base, but their other base is hostile to a platform that wishes to Conserve life by not allowing citizens to assume when consciousness begins or ends. The Margaret Sangers were merely interested in curtailing the population of minorities. Best way to do that is to create legal loopholes concerning murder.


Melanie Phillips – The World Turned Upside Down

June 26, 2011
I found a manifesto! wow… she says everything. the thing that none of us could pack in the same way. people listen to this and they change their mind. really amazing. she makes complete sense. h/t @BenAlexanderBen


Court Upholds Baptists’ Right to Proselytize (and Criticize) on Sidewalks at a Religious Festival

June 3, 2011
So holds Teesdale v. City of Chicago (N.D. Ill. May 26, 2011) (earlier ruling here), in a decision that is much like the one in the Dearborn, Michigan incident, though of course with a different religious group as the target:The Clerk of the Court is further directed to enter a declaratory judgment in favor of plaintiffs and against defendant City of Chicago as follows: A. Nine or fewer members of the Garfield Ridge Church may as a group or individually enter the public streets adjacent to and upon which any St. Symphorosa Family Fest is held, during the hours in which such St. Symphorosa Family Fest is open to the public. B. Such members may freely move about the public streets and distribute leaflets to others at the Fest. C. Such members may speak to individuals in attendance at the Fest but not use a bullhorn or other sound-enhancing devices. D. Such members may display one banner not to exceed four feet by three feet and may carry non-pole signs not to exceed three feet by two feet. via volokh.com

The Constitution provides for freedom of belief, but not freedom of practice or expression of this belief. The Defendants got their 1st Amendment rights, but are still limited by how they practice what they believe.

ReAnalysis: HuffPo piece written about Islam and the State

May 26, 2011
catch this… Jefferson’s jurisdiction and limitation to government… i.e. many people is the equivalent to the self and “personal responsibility”? This is the argument here that we should tolerate the practice of Jihad and Islam? It can not make the distinction between the state and the individual.

As Jefferson wrote in 1802, “religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

Jefferson could have been paraphrasing chapter and verse of the Qur’an, like 6:94 and 164, 7:39, 17:15, 18:35, 19:95, 35:18, and many others which all emphatically confirm the individual personal responsibility of every Muslim for what she or he does or fail to do. All founding scholars of Islam agree that no act has any religious value unless done freely and without any coercion.

Just as Jefferson believed that the newly formed United States should not be a Christian state, for Muslims the notion that the state can be Islamic is false from a religious point of view, and has no support in 15 centuries of Islamic history. It is true that Muslims everywhere, whether minorities or majorities, are bound to observe Shari’a as a matter of religious obligation. Some practices are collective in form, but always individual in substance. Any observance of Shari’a can be best achieved when the state is neutral regarding all religious doctrines. Enforcing a Shari’a through coercive power of the state negates its religious nature, because Muslims would be observing the law of the state and not freely performing their religious obligation as Muslims.

I didn’t get it either. Besides disagreeing… it leads me to see some interesting characterizations of the writer and his faith.

Obama Justice Department sues on behalf of Muslim teacher who demanded three weeks off for hajj in the middle of the school year

March 24, 2011

“Justice Department sues on behalf of Muslim teacher, triggering debate,” by Jerry Markon in the Washington Post:

BERKELEY, Ill. — Safoorah Khan had taught middle school math for only nine months in this tiny Chicago suburb when she made an unusual request. She wanted three weeks off for a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The school district, faced with losing its only math lab instructor during the critical end-of-semester marking period, said no. Khan, a devout Muslim, resigned and made the trip anyway.
Justice Department lawyers examined the same set of facts and reached a different conclusion: that the school district’s decision amounted to outright discrimination against Khan. They filed an unusual lawsuit, accusing the district of violating her civil rights by forcing her to choose between her job and her faith.


Atheists Blames Islam

February 10, 2011
Correlative Implied All Religion Including Judaism

And this is OK?




In an interview posted on the liberal Arab website Aafaq on October 4, 2010, Palestinian reformist Zainab Rashid said that the Arab dictatorial regimes exploit the Palestinian cause in order to divert attention from their own domestic problems and suppress initiatives of democratization and reform. 

She also opposed the  
Islamization of the Palestinian cause, 
saying the Palestinian issue will never be resolved 
as long as it is construed as a religious struggle 
destined to continue until Judgment Day. via memri.org






ARK

ARK

Upside-down

She realized some truth
about the conflict,
but she does
not seem to realize
that there are people
with convictions here
who are not to blame.
The denied correlative
is glaring.
We already knew
there were bad guys out
SaraDelenaBeach