De Facto Shariah Law in America
By Janet Levy
Is the United States today a de facto shariah state? A close look at recent events points to some alarming conclusions about the tenets of shariah law taking hold in our once-proud constitutional republic and the unwitting, unequal application of existing U.S. laws. The result is that when it comes to religious expression, Muslims now enjoy more freedom of religion and speech under our Bill of Rights than non-Muslims. Equal protection under the laws of our country holds for Muslims far better than for non-Muslims. Several recent examples illustrate this point.
In October, students at a Chattanooga, Tennessee high school were told that their longtime tradition of praying at practice and before games would no longer be allowed. The school superintendent had called an end to prayer at all school functions following a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
In July, students visiting the Supreme Court from an Arizona Christian school were stopped by police as they bowed their heads and quietly prayed for the justices. The students were standing outside the court building to the side at the bottom of the building steps. They weren't blocking traffic, but an officer abruptly approached them and ordered them to stop praying immediately.
Four Christians were arrested in June for disorderly conduct at the Dearborn Arab International Festival after handing out copies of the Gospel of John. The four had stationed themselves five blocks from the festival and did not actively approach anyone, but instead waited for others to approach them. Still, police officers confiscated their video cameras and led the four Christians away in handcuffs to shouts of "Allah hu Akbar" from Muslim bystanders.
In June of 2006, an instrumental rendition of "Ave Maria" was banned at the Henry Jackson High School graduation in Everett, Washington. Despite Justice Samuel Alito's protests, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider whether the case was an example of censorship of student speech.
In direct contrast to the above incidents, which limit Christian prayer and expression, numerous examples exist of special accommodations for Muslim activities and religious practices. These indicate an adherence to a separate and distinct policy for Muslims that mirrors the supremacist requirements of shariah law.
In the State of California, 7th-grade students at Excelsior Middle School in Discovery Bay, California adopted Muslim names, prayed on prayer rugs, and celebrated Ramadan under a state-mandated curriculum that requires instruction about various religions. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court again declined to hear legal challenges by concerned Excelsior parents, who complained that the instruction was actually religious indoctrination and that Christianity and Judaism were not given equal time and exposure. The curriculum has been upheld as appropriate multicultural material.
After Carver Elementary School in San Diego absorbed Muslim students from a defunct charter school in September 2006, a special recess was provided for the students to pray, classes were segregated by gender, and pork was removed from the school menu. A teacher's aide at the school led children in prayer and was provided with a lesson plan allotting an hour of class time for Islamic prayer. In essence, Muslim students alone were privileged with public school time to practice their religion at an additional cost of $450,000 in public funds and a loss of instruction time. (Note: Looked this up also and revised it a bit as well.)
In May, students at a Wellesley, Massachusetts middle school visited a local radical mosque and participated in a prayer session. Parents, who gave signed permission for students to visit the mosque, were not informed in advance that students would also be bowing to Allah and listening to lectures on Islam. Surprisingly, teachers did nothing to intervene as students participated and a mosque spokesperson denigrated Western civilization while glorifying and misrepresenting Islam, even falsely referring to the greater rights of women under Islam. Astonishingly, this occurred in a state that has prohibited the sale of Christmas items, including red and green tissue paper, at a school store and forced firefighters to remove a "Merry Christmas" sign from their station.
Over the last few years, the University of Michigan, a taxpayer-funded school, has provided separate prayer rooms and ritual foot baths, requiring bathroom modifications costing over $100,000, for Muslim observances.
At Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where religious displays, including those for Christmas, have been strictly prohibited, foot-washing facilities are being installed using taxpayer dollars after one student slipped and injured herself washing her feet in a sink. Director of Legal Affairs and President Phil Davis justified the disparate treatment of Muslims, explaining, "The foot-washing facilities are not about religion; they are about public safety."
Muslims periodically block the streets of New York City, prostrating themselves in the middle of roadways and sidewalks undisturbed by police and other authorities. The resulting traffic jams are ignored, the double- and illegally parked vehicles are free of citations, and law enforcement officers are nowhere to be seen. Surely, practitioners of other religions or groups planning similar gatherings would be required to obtain permits for such an activity. Reportedly, the police have been ordered not to interfere with the Muslim prayer spectacle.
These special accommodations for Muslims effectively elevate the Islamic faith above that of Christians and Jews, reinforcing the message of the Koran -- "Allah proclaims Islam over all other religions" (48:28), "Islam will dominate other religions" (9:33), and "Islam does not coexist with other faiths" (5:51). Muslims are required by the teachings of their faith to conquer and subjugate non-Muslims and Ensure worldwide submission to Islam -- "The believers must make war on infidels around them and let the infidels find firmness in them" (9:123).
Under Islamic shariah law, Christians may not even speak to Muslims about Christianity nor provide them with any literature about Christianity. With the recent arrests of Christians in Dearborn juxtaposed with prostrate Muslim worshipers in Manhattan (where a mosque is planned at Ground Zero at the same location where a church will not be rebuilt), it appears that the principles of Islamic supremacy and prohibitions against Christian proselytizing have begun to gain traction in America.
Meanwhile, Christianity in America is withering as Bible study is eradicated in public schools, crosses are removed from the public square, and "winter holidays" replace Christmas celebrations. Remarkably, as Christianity is being dethroned and denied public expression, Islam is being unabashedly and openly promoted in what has been a Christian country for over two hundred years. It is truly remarkable that as American students chant prayers in Arabic in California's classrooms, Christmas music and graphics that refer to both Christmas and Chanukah are prohibited in New Jersey.
Censure of Non-Muslims
Further, the First Amendment, free-speech rights of non-Muslims are being curtailed amidst the demands of Muslims who operate under few constraints. While non-Muslims are self-censoring out of fear and being shut down by authorities, Muslims enjoy almost unfettered rights to speak out.
For example, leading up to the 9th anniversary of the Muslim attack on 9/11, Pastor Terry Jones of Florida announced that he would burn the Koran in protest of the proposed Ground Zero mosque. Not only was Jones's life threatened by Muslims, but an Obama administration official asked him to cancel his plans. New York Governor David A. Paterson commented in response to Jones' threat: "More and more, particularly this year, I feel that the memory of those who were lost is being disrespected." However, Paterson did not criticize the Muslim threat on Jones' life, nor the plan itself to build a mosque over the remains of the victims of Islamic terrorism killed on 9/11.
While Pastor Jones was punished by the loss of his mortgage and insurance and was presented with a bill for $180,000 for security by the City of Gainesville, Muslims avoided any public opprobrium even though twenty innocent people around the world died during Muslim protests against Jones. Like the response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons years earlier, the Koran-burning activity was suppressed and censured as disrespectful to Muslims. It was even compared to the burning of churches and synagogues. Yet Muslims who threatened violent reprisals against Jones were not warned that attempts to curtail First Amendment rights and even mayhem, assaults, or murder would not be tolerated and would be punished to the full extent of the law.
In another instance of free speech rights violations, when New Jersey Transit Authority (NJTA) worker Derek Fenton burned a Koran near Ground Zero on 9-11, he was promptly removed by authorities as much for the perceived insult to Islam as for his own safety. The very next day, he was fired from his job of eleven years.
In October, NPR reporter,Juan Williams was fired for expressing on Fox News a fear shared by the majority of Americans in a post-9/11 world -- his discomfort about being on a plane with people who dress as conservative Muslims. Thanks to pressure from CAIR, a Hamas-supporting, extremist-linked organization, Williams was punished for this thoughtcrime and, without first talking to Williams, an NPR spokesperson broke the news on Twitter. Ironically, CAIR spokespersons are regular guests on NPR programs.
Cartoonist Molly Norris was forced to disappear after declaring April 20 "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Norris ignited a religious firestorm with radical Islamic cleric Imam Anwar al-Awlaki publicly ordering her execution. Under FBI recommendations and at her own expense, Norris went underground, changing her name and identity. She is no longer publishing cartoons at the publication where she has been a regular contributor.
Freedom of Speech for Muslims
Whereas Norris was forced to enter a witness-protection program in response to a fatwa against her, Islamic leaders enjoy unlimited freedom to spread their messages of hate within the United States. Some even receive protection at taxpayer expense, as did Feisal Abdul Rauf, an Egyptian-American Sufi imam who plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero. Rauf is closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim Brotherhood organizations, endeavors to supplant U.S. law with shariah, and refuses to condemn jihadist groups and terrorism. In addition, he refused to sign a pledge revoking the mandatory death sentence for Muslim apostasy, has encouraged U.S. government officials to negotiate with the terrorist group Hamas, and blames the United States for 9/11. Imam Rauf, who created the Shariah Index Project, which rates countries around the world on shariah compliance, has said that he believes in shariah supremacy.
Even Muslims targeted by our own government for their crimes receive protection. Anwar al-Awlaki, dubbed the "bin Laden of the internet" and suspected of having prior knowledge of 9/11 by having met privately with two of the 9/11 hijackers, has been defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. After President Obama approved placing Awlaki on a government assassination list, the ACLU initiated a lawsuit against the U.S. government challenging the order to kill him. This despite Awlaki being on the FBI's Most Wanted List and his having met and corresponded with Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood assassin. He trained the Christmas underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and was the inspiration for Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square car bomber. In a recent video delivered to CNN, Awlaki stated that Muslims are obligated to wage jihad against the United States.
Nine years after 9/11, in contrast to protections enjoyed by Muslims, individuals perceived by Muslims to have damaged Islam in some way have been threatened, fired, and publicly censured. This development indicates how far we have come down the road to dhimmitude, a subservient status in relation to Muslims. Clearly, if Norris had organized a Draw Jesus or Draw Moses Day, her life would be very much intact. If Juan Williams had talked about his fear of fundamentalist Christians, he would still be an NPR host in good standing. Had Jones burned the Old Testament, twenty people murdered by Muslims jihadists would still be alive, his reputation would be untarnished, and his financial situation would be undamaged. Had Derek Fenton burned a copy of the Old or New Testament, it is unlikely that the NJTA would have taken any action against him.
Islamization of America
We are witnessing a transformation of American society in which Islam enjoys a privileged place among the country's religions. The sensitivities of the country's 3 to 5 million Muslims are considered above those of non-Muslims. Non-Muslims even assist sensitive Muslims in the weeding out of potentially offensive statements or actions that could be remotely critical of Islam or Muslims. Since 9/11, Americans have been well-trained not to talk about Islam and terrorism or to use the word "jihad." Publicly criticizing, voicing concern about, or even expressing fear about Muslim behavior or activities is forbidden. While other religions may be freely criticized, lampooned in cartoons, and denigrated by artwork, Islam is sacred, supreme, and beyond reproach.
Every effort is made in the United States to accommodate Muslims and engage them in interfaith dialogue and community affairs. Muslims may pray openly in public -- on city streets and in airport terminals. Many U.S. government departments hold Iftar dinners to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The Ground Zero mosque will be built over the ashes of 9/11 victims, but the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed by Muslims will not. Non-Muslims enjoy no such privileges or special treatment in Muslim countries. They may not visit Mecca nor build churches or synagogues. U.S. forces stationed in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from wearing visible religious symbols.
The foregoing examples, not exhaustive by any means, point to the fact that we are living under a de facto shariah law system in the United States today that has compromised the freedoms we have enjoyed under our Constitution -- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Now, we no longer enjoy equal protection under the law. Our uniquely American virtues of tolerance and freedom have worked against us to produce intolerance and oppression. This has led to the stealthy introduction of shariah law and a climate in which criticisms of Mohammed and Islam are no longer possible without serious repercussions.
Instead, claims of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bias are rampant. Yet consider the following: the Muslim atrocity of 9/11, the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim Abdulmutallab to detonate plastic explosive in his underwear on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2009, the massacre of thirteen soldiers at Fort Hood by jihadist psychiatrist Nidal Hassan in 2009, the failed bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad last May, the violent jihad plot in North Carolina planned by Daniel Patrick Boyd, the recent storming of a Baghdad church and murder of 58 Christians, the UPS plot to bomb synagogues in the Chicago area uncovered this past weekend, and countless other incidents over the past several years.
It is not irrational and biased to fear practitioners of a religion who are trying to kill non-Muslims based on teachings from their religion's doctrine. Apologists for Islam whitewash these events, but Islamic teachings (Reliance of the Traveller, o4.9, p. 590) specifically state that a Muslim's life is worth three times that of a Christian or Jew and fifteen times more than that of a Zoroastrian. (The Consulate General of India, Jeddah lists indemnities for Hindus and Buddhists at 1/15 that of Muslims). When non-Muslims so much as express any discomfort with Muslims and Islamic ideology, they risk public censure, financial ruin, loss of livelihood, and even death. The United States is truly under shariah law when it is forbidden and a punishable offense to call out Islamic doctrine for what it is. Tariq Ramadan, a highly controversial leader in the fundamentalist Muslim world and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al-Banna, visited the United States in April. As a keynote speaker at the Hamas-supporting Council on American Islam Relations and as a speaker before another Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Muslim American Society, Ramadan refused to condemn the shariah law provision that calls for stoning women for alleged improprieties or to denounce suicide bombing. Ramadan is suspected by U.S. intelligence of having ties to al-Qaeda. He espouses amicable messages of peace and respect when speaking with Western audiences, while endorsing Wahhabism and spreading hatred of the West to Arabic-speaking audiences.