Would It Be Wrong to Reject a Muslim Presidential Candidate?

July 8, 2008

Many people believe Barack Obama is now or once was a Muslim. Setting aside, for the moment, the question of whether or not there’s any truth to those rumors, what if a Muslim did run for President? Would it be appropriate to elect a Muslim President of the United States at this moment in history? Various commentators have expressed dismay at the notion that a Muslim could be rejected for the office of President based on his religion. Recently, for example, Colbert King of the Washington Post wrote:

What will they [orators 150 years from now] say about our professed fidelity to religious freedom when they find out that many of the Americans who thank God for their religious liberty are also ready to turn their backs on a candidate if they think he is a Muslim or Mormon?

This clearly implies Mr. King believes that to turn our backs on a Muslim presidential candidate would be religious bigotry.

Let’s interject some common sense here. We have been attacked by Muslim Jihadists, and are in the midst of an ongoing conflict with Islamic Jihad. Even if there was no inherent conflict between certain Islamic doctrines and our Western values, this would not be an appropriate time to elect a Muslim to the Presidency. I have no objection to electing a Japanese-American as President at this time, but it would not have been appropriate to do so in the context of WWII. This is not bigotry, but simply acknowledgment of a basic principle: when an individual is a member of two groups, and there is a conflict between those groups, we cannot be completely certain where his loyalties lie. Maybe we can be certain enough to be the individual’s friend, but not certain enough to elect the individual President. The stakes are just too high.

In addition, a significant number of Muslims believe that Islam ultimately requires the removal of non-Muslims from power and implementation of Sharia law worldwide. There is considerable evidence that this agenda is being advanced by stealth. Sharia is in conflict with our Constitution, violating such principles as freedom of speech and press, freedom of religion, equality under the law, and more. This conflict would need to be decisively resolved, such that Sharia would no longer be considered a valid source of law by mainstream Muslims, before it could be appropriate to elect a Muslim as President of this country.

Is Obama, in fact, a Muslim?

From the evidence I’ve seen, I think it’s virtually certain he was raised as a Muslim, at least for a period of time. Taking into account his Muslim background, there is also a small chance he remains a closet Muslim, as we can’t read his mind to find out what he really believes in his heart. For a Muslim to deceive non-Muslims (taqiyya) in certain circumstances gets the green light by Sharia law. For example, according to Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali as quoted in Reliance of the Traveller, a classic book of Islamic law, lying is permissible to reach a permissible goal that cannot be reached by telling the truth. If, for example, a Muslim believed that he would have to lie about his faith in order to be elected President, lying in this context would be permissible according to Ghazali.

Of course, just because lying can be justified in Islam does not mean that Obama is a closet Muslim. Not all Muslims practice taqiyya, and non-Muslims can also be dishonest. However, since it appears Obama has been dishonest about his Muslim upbringing, is it wise to trust his honesty regarding his current religious beliefs? And, given that there’s probably a small chance Obama is a closet Muslim, would it be responsible for us to risk it? That’s a judgment call each of us can make, but it certainly is a legitimate consideration that has nothing to do with bigotry, and everything to do with national security.


Ground Rules for the Religious Pluralism Club

June 26, 2008

On a regular basis of late, Muslim spokespeople have called for “interfaith dialog”. They evidently want Islam to be viewed as a mainstream religion in a pluralistic world. This fits with a general desire for Islam to be respected by non-Muslims. It’s true that mutual respect is a desirable thing; however, for this to happen, I think it’s important for religious leaders to establish ground rules. Every community needs ground rules so that members can get along with each other, and a pluralistic community of religions is no exception. Here are five simple rules I would propose, based on fairness, which I believe are reasonable prerequisites for joining the club of religious pluralism:

Religious Pluralism Ground Rule #1: Anyone Can Leave Any Religion

Oops, it appears that Islam is starting off on the wrong foot by breaking one of the very most important ground rules for fairness amongst religions. According to Sharia, the punishment for leaving Islam is death for men, and either death or life in prison for women (depending on the school of Sharia). Although few Muslim countries today enforce this punishment, vigilante enforcement is such that apostates from Islam fear for their lives, even in the United states. As long as this is the case, Islam is a religion that people can enter but cannot leave without risk. Why should other religions accept Islam when Islam traps its believers, including converts from other faiths, like flies on flypaper?

Religious Pluralism Ground Rule #2: Anyone Can Promote Their Religious Beliefs to Anyone Else

Unfortunately, things don’t get any better for Islam here. It naturally follows that if Muslims are not allowed to leave Islam, non-Muslims are not allowed to do anything which might persuade Muslims to leave Islam. Christian missionaries throughout the Muslim world face persecution. In “moderate” Turkey, missionaries are sometimes arrested or deported, even though missionary activity is ostensibly legal. Niyazi Guney, Turkish Ministry of Justice director general of laws, has commented that “Missionaries are more dangerous than terror organizations.” Even in the West, police have been known to support Sharia rules banning non-Muslims from proselytizing Muslims though there is no legal basis for it. For example, in Britain, a constable told two preachers they couldn’t preach in a Muslim area. In the US, a Christian preacher at UC Irvine was assaulted by Muslim students, while campus police did nothing.

Even simple religious expression that falls far short of missionary work is banned for non-Muslims under Sharia. Displaying religious symbols and building new places of worship, for example, are forbidden for non-Muslims.

Meanwhile, under Sharia, Muslims are free to promote their faith to non-Muslims all they want, as well as building mosques and displaying Muslim religious symbols, which clearly violates the fairness principle.

Religious Pluralism Ground Rule #3: Anyone Can Criticize Any Religion

Hmmm…. Islam just gets further in the hole with this one. As noted by Robert Spencer in this must-read article, the Organization of the Islamic Conference is making a concerted effort, and a successful one, toward shutting down all criticism of Islam. Add to this the efforts of organizations such as CAIR, the MSA, and the MSU, to name a few, and it’s easy to spot a trend.

I would also note that mainstream, traditional interpretations of the Quran are severely critical of non-Islamic faiths, including polytheism, Christianity, and Judaism. In addition, any religion with a prophet after Mohammed is widely regarded by Muslims as blasphemous, based on mainstream interpretations of Quran 33:40. How can it be wrong for Islam to be criticized, when Islam’s holy book defames non-Islamic religions? So long as Islam keeps the Quran (and traditional interpretations thereof), fairness dictates that criticism of Islam must be allowed.

Religious Pluralism Ground Rule #4: Religions May Not Impose Their Rules by Force of Theocracy

In the past, Christianity was a misbehaver on this one, but this is the twenty first century. No major religion today other than Islam has a political agenda to rule the world. The rules of Sharia are incompatible with the US Constitution and basic norms of individual rights and freedoms in the West. Sharia includes laws which explicitly discriminate against other religions, such as valuing the legal testimony of a non-Muslims as half that of a Muslim. The barbaric punishments prescribed for certain crimes also comes off as unfriendly. Is it any wonder, then, that representatives of Islam have trouble gaining respect from non-Muslims?

Religious Pluralism Ground Rule #5: Religions May Not Support Holy War

Yes, it seems people get really annoyed when they or their loved ones are killed for being infidels. That’s just not a good way to get along with others–it makes people testy. Of course, the majority of Muslims have no interest in participating in Jihad warfare. However, Jihad warfare remains, to this day, very much a part of Islamic theology. Where are the mainstream Muslim organizations who denounce Jihad warfare under any circumstances and refute the theological justification for Jihad warfare on Islamic grounds? There do not appear to be any at all. Support for Jihad warfare amongst everyday Muslims remains uncomfortably high, as well.

Conclusions

Only Islam violates all five of these rules for respectful relations with others. Although there are individual Muslims who do want to follow these ground rules, they are not the ones who are “driving the bus” of Islam. Those who call for religious dialog can start by challenging the Muslim world to follow the same general ground rules that other religions today generally follow.


Should It Be Illegal to Tell the Truth?

January 1, 2008

According to Sharia, yes it should–if the truth hurts Islam.

Does it matter whether it’s legal to truthfully criticize a religion?

Let’s say instead of religion we were going to criticize politics. Would it matter if it were illegal to criticize one of the political parties, but not the others? That is analogous to what we would have if criticism of Islam were banned, because Islam is both a religion and a political system. Although many Muslims do not advocate the doctrines of Jihad and Islamic Supremacy (worldwide Sharia), those who do are advocating a fascist political agenda. The vast majority of criticism of Islam is not about minarets and prayer rugs, it is about Jihad and Sharia. That’s the criticism the Islamists want to squelch. If they succeed, it would be a disaster for the future of our civilization. It would be like giving a fascist political party the right to spread their ideology with impunity, and anyone who objects would be punished.

How do representatives of Islam shut down truthful criticism?

Australia: Recently, Pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot were prosecuted for “vilifying Muslims” at a seminar on Jihad. At the trial, Pastor Scot, in his own defense, read verbatim from the Quran. According to an account of the trial, “Pastor Scot was asked by the Islamic Council’s barrister Debbie Mortimer to stop reading passages from the Koran and just give verses because the readings vilified Muslims.” So it did not matter that the pastor was truthfully portraying the words of the Quran. What mattered was that the truth was embarrassing to Muslims, and therefore must be shut down.

(As an aside, how could it be possible that reading a book written letter by letter by the supreme god of the universe could vilify those who believe in that book? Something to think about.)

Canada: Mark Steyn is being sued before the Canadian Human Rights Commission over an excerpt from his book which was reprinted by Maclean’s, a Canadian magazine. Just one problem: Steyn did not make any statements that were not factual. His objectionable statements included: “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children.” However, this statement was quoted from a Muslim, Mullah Krekar, currently living in Norway.

Isn’t it OK for Steyn to make factual statements and to quote others’ published statements accurately? Isn’t it a legitimate interest of Western non-Muslims to find out what Islamists are saying about us and about their agenda, and other facts about Islamist expansion in the West? It is, but that may not help Steyn. According to the Canada Free Press, “The legislation bringing [Canada’s Human Rights Commissions] into existence gives them permission to disregard the usual rules of legal procedures meant to protect defendants’ rights such as rules of evidence, presumption of innocence, bias of witnesses or representation. Its officers and adjudicators do not have to have legal training but are political appointees, commonly representatives of special interest groups.”

The U.N.: Recently, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution against Defamation of Religion. Although this could in theory apply to all religions, the only religion specifically mentioned was Islam (with five occurrences of the words “Islam or “Islamic” and five occurrences of forms of “Muslim”), and the resolution itself was pushed forward by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Here’s a quote from the draft resolution:

“The General Assembly…Stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions, Islam and Muslims in particular; …Emphasizes that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which should be exercised with responsibility and may therefore be subject to limitations as provided by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals and respect for religions and beliefs;….”

Nowhere does this document uphold the right to express factual information which is negative, such as the fact that all four schools of Sharia require Jihad. Such information could certainly be taken as defamatory, but it is also true, relevant, and crucial for the world to know when Jihadists have declared war on the infidels of the world.

In many of the Islamic countries sponsoring this resolution, the vilest invective about non-Islamic faiths is commonly published. If their intention were really to protect all religions from defamation, they would be applying their own defamation rules equally to all religions in their own countries.

What does Sharia say about truthful criticism?

Lest you believe that these incidents of truth-squelching are coincidental, with no relationship to any actual doctrine of Islam, here are some quotes from Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law:

Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike….” (pg. 730)

“The Prophet…said: ….’Do you know what slander is?’ They answered, ‘Allah and His messenger know best.’ He said, ‘It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.’ Someone asked, ‘What if he is as I say?’ And he replied, ‘If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not, you have calumniated him.'” (pg. 732)

These quotes show that in the case of personal slander, it is illegal to say something that the person doesn’t like even if it’s true.

In addition, in the section entitled “Non-Muslim Subjects of the Islamic State”, we can see that a non-Muslim’s “formal agreement of protection” is violated if one of the subject people”mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet…, or Islam,” at which point the subject is treated as a prisoner of war. (pg. 609) This is intended to be applied in the context of a Caliphate, of which there currently is none, so this law cannot practically be applied in the West. I quote it to show there is a relationship between Islamic law and current events, in which Muslims are using the legal systems of the West to curtail an honest and complete discussion of Islam. It is also a warning of things to come if we allow the Islamists to prevail even further.

What to do?

The US Constitution protects our freedom of speech, even if someone doesn’t like what we say, as long as we are being truthful or stating a subjective opinion that cannot be mistaken as fact. It can only be defamation if we knowingly present damaging falsehood as though it were a fact. Not all Western countries have such a strong commitment to freedom of speech; nor, it would seem, does the United Nations. If we are to avoid being subjugated under Islamo-Fascist rule, this must change. A good place to start is to help educate everyone you know about the dangers of Islamo-Fascism and of criminalizing free expression.


Do we already have Sharia law in the West?

December 17, 2007

The short answer is: Yes, we do.

The US Constitution, as well as Western principles of human rights, guarantees each individual the right to choose her religion and practice it openly. However, there are now people living in the West who are denied this right–not by the official law of the state, but by the Muslim law of the street. Here are some examples:

In England, Sophia Allam lives in hiding after her own father threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. Another woman, Hannah, has moved 45 times to escape her imam father and other family members who threatened to kill her. (Hannah and Sophia are using pseudonyms).

According to a survey done by Policy Exchange, 36 per cent of Muslims in Britain between the ages of 16 and 24 believe apostates should be killed. Since most Muslims have numerous young Muslims in their circle of family and friends, it is easy to see how this could have a chilling effect on Muslims who wish to leave Islam. For these Muslims, Sharia law is alive and well in Britain.

Also in the United States, ex-Muslims have to be careful for their lives. In 2004 in Falls Church, Virginia, a group of ex-Muslims met for a conference with registration and entrance under “tight security to protect the participants, many of whom say they face death threats or ostracism from their families for leaving the Islamic faith.” Conference presenters spoke only under false names.

A study of ex-Muslim websites will also show that ex-Muslims in the West do one or more of the following: keep a low profile (many do not even inform their families and friends they have left Islam); write under an assumed name; live in a secure, undisclosed location; hire security guards; and/or live with constant death threats. This is not due to religious persecution from the laws of the country in which they live. It’s due to the law of the Muslim street: Sharia.

The problem with Sharia in the West is not limited to punishing apostasy, but also includes punishing behaviors such as criticizing Islam, promoting “heresy” (also known as “reform” of Islam), and, for women in some parts of Europe, going out without a headscarf.

Some may say, “This is not a problem for me, because I’m not an ex-Muslim, I don’t know enough to criticize Islam, and I like headscarves, so who cares?” Indeed, who cares? Who cares if ex-Muslims and critics fear for their lives, and some women are bullied into adopting headgear? Who cares if we lose the rule of law, and instead have Islamic vigilantes in control? Well, here’s why everyone in the West should care: The Islamo-Fascists who want to impose Sharia on the world will never voluntarily stop. They see themselves as part of an ongoing 1400 year old struggle that will only end when Islam rules the world. Islamization is just getting started in the United States. We can look at Europe to see our future. Europeans can look to India to see what’s ahead for them. Indians can take a peek at Indonesia, Indonesians can have a glance at Egypt, and Egyptians can peer at Saudi Arabia. It isn’t pretty. It could take generations, but who would wish this on their grandchildren?

For all those who value the individual rights and freedoms we have had in the West, they are already slipping through our fingers. The question now is: How do we get them back? How do we enlist the help of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims in the West who are personally opposed to Sharia to ban it both in theory and in practice? At least we know one thing that doesn’t work: ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away.


Islamic Law and the Constitution: Are They Compatible?

December 10, 2007

Congressman Mel Watt (D-NC) has made the statement that he would not rule out Sharia (Islamic Law) in this country. However, he has also taken an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. Keith Ellison (D-MN), our first Muslim Congressman, has ties to individuals and groups that want to replace the Constitution with Sharia, and he himself has never denounced Sharia, yet he has also taken an oath to defend the US Constitution. Is it possible for a person to support Sharia law and the US Constitution at the same time? The short answer is: No, it is not possible.

The first amendment of the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….”

To “establish a religion” would mean the government would promote one religion over the others. Sharia clearly does this, by discriminating against non-Muslims. Sharia also forbids the free exercise of non-Muslim faiths. It abridges the freedom of speech and of the press by making criticisms of Islam, Mohammed, and Sharia illegal. All these are unquestionably unconstitutional.

The fourteenth amendment states: “…No State shall….deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws….” Sharia, however, does not offer equal protection to all citizens. For example, a non-Muslim’s testimony is worth less than a Muslim’s, and a woman’s is worth less than a man’s. Again, clearly unconstitutional.

Since it’s obvious that Sharia law and the Constitution are incompatible, why would any Congressperson hesitate to say so? For Congressmen Mel Watt and Keith Ellison, we don’t know why. But here are some possibilities:

They could be ignorant of the Constitution, or ignorant of Sharia.

They could be pandering for the Islamist vote.

They could be pandering for Islamist contributions.

None of these possibilities are really very comforting. Moreover, it begs the question: How many other Congresspeople, Senators, and presidential candidates are equally unwilling to rule out Sharia, and for what reasons?


Why blog against Sharia?

December 8, 2007

Sharia, or Islamic Law, is a fascist system of government that conflicts with the Constitution of the United States, and with basic principles of freedom and individual rights that are commonly held in the West. Although Islamic Law comes from Islam, there are millions of Muslims in the world who are opposed to it. However, that is not universally the case; there are also millions of Muslims in the world who believe Sharia is a requirement of their religion, and seek to ultimately impose it world-wide.

Although Westerners are (slowly) beginning to become more savvy about Jihad ideology, very few non-Muslims at present really understand Sharia, or its relationship to Jihad. This is unfortunate, as Sharia poses as much of a threat to our way of life as Jihad, if not more. In addition, Sharia gives us an opportunity: Because Sharia and Jihad are tightly interconnected, if support for Sharia declines in the Muslim world, support for Jihad will decline as well.

The goal of this blog is to educate both non-Muslims and Muslims about the dangers of Sharia, and to advocate for policies that protect the freedoms and individual rights that Western Civilization has struggled so long and hard to gain.


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