CAIR fights for Sharia Law in Pennsylvania

An update on this post, via David J. Rusin,

CAIR’s Fight Against Pennsylvania Foreign Law Bill

Resistance to a new bill aimed at limiting foreign law in Pennsylvania courts serves as a case study of how Islamists and their allies operate: peddling falsehoods about Shari’a, painting Muslims as victims, and denying that anyone seeks to institutionalize aspects of Islamic law — even as they vigorously promote that very agenda. With similar legislation being debated across the U.S., understanding their tactics is critical.

At issue in Pennsylvania is House Bill (HB) 2029, which stipulates that “a tribunal shall not consider a foreign legal code or system which does not grant … the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges” as guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions. Introduced in November, it follows the American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) model and makes no mention of Shari’a. A preliminary memo sent to legislators last June in the name of Rep. RoseMarie Swanger, HB 2029’s chief sponsor, does highlight Islamic law, but she later said that it had been circulated accidentally. Regardless, concerns about Shari’a are warranted due to its many provisions that conflict with the standards of American jurisprudence. For example, it disadvantages women in terms of inheritance, divorce, child custody, and other areas of family law. Shari’a already has shaped numerous cases nationwide, including in Pennsylvania, where one state court decided how assets should be distributed according to Islam.

Pushback against HB 2029 has been led by the Philadelphia office of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-PA) and was punctuated by an interfaith press conference (video here) at CAIR-PA headquarters on December 14. The overall campaign reflects CAIR’s usual recipe of distortion, victimology, and contradiction between words and deeds.

Attacks on bills like HB 2029 begin by sowing confusion about Shari’a. Because Islamic law encompasses virtually every facet of life — governing personal activities such as eating and worship, but also forming an oppressive social and legal structure — suit-and-tie Islamists work to emphasize its unthreatening pieces whenever possible. CAIR-PA executive director Moein Khawaja’s suggestion that Shari’a should worry Pennsylvanians no more than halal gyros is a fine example of this technique.

Others brazenly misrepresent the unsavory components, as Haider Ala Hamoudi, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, did when he was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hamoudi insisted that women and children would suffer if judges could not consider Shari’a — a stretch, given how it discriminates against women, including in disputes over children. Moving beyond the types of cases that are adjudicated in U.S. courts, he depicted the requirement of testimony by four male witnesses to convict someone of adultery as an exemplar of Islamic enlightenment that protects against false accusations. In practice, however, it can be a nightmare for women in those Muslim countries where the same scriptural passages are interpreted as mandating four witnesses even to prove rape. Robert Spencer further explains, “If the required male witnesses can’t be found, the victim’s charge of rape becomes an admission of adultery,” too often leading to her imprisonment.

Hamoudi also contended that harsh punishments used in Iran and elsewhere, like cutting off hands for stealing, have little to do with Shari’a and are “more a matter of identity politics” in response to Western influence. The man deserves credit for artful misdirection, as it is not every day that brutal penalties prescribed by the Koran itself are chalked up to blowback from cultural imperialism.

When distortion of Shari’a is insufficient, Islamists and their collaborators characterize Muslims as the targets of a shadowy cabal of “Islamophobes.” Hence, Pennsylvanians were treated to Marwan Kreidie, a major figure in the Philadelphia Islamist scene, describing Swanger’s faith-neutral bill as “an exercise in discrimination” and claiming that “there’s a conspiracy afoot here.” CAIR-PA’s Khawaja followed up by taking the ad hominem route, trashing HB 2029 as the brainchild of “anti-Muslim, white supremacist David Yerushalmi.” See Yerushalmi’s recent article for a reply to the typical assaults on his character.

Yet no hyperbole topped that of Rabbi Linda Holtzman, who played the Nazi card at CAIR-PA’s press conference. “The echoes for me are strong of Germany in the 1930s,” she said, “when repeatedly Jewish law was brought forward and defamed in the courts as a means of defaming all of Jewish tradition.” Aside from the sheer ugliness of the analogy, Shari’a could be “defamed” only by spreading inaccuracies about it. HB 2029 does not reference Islam or Islamic law, while the memo correctly labels Shari’a as “inherently hostile to our constitutional liberties.” Sometimes the truth hurts.

Islamists also maintain that bills such as HB 2029 are unnecessary because, they say, there is no attempt by adherents of Islam to undermine the American legal system, but their actions away from the cameras inevitably belie their soothing words. Indeed, not long after it issued a press release dismissing concerns about the advance of Shari’a as “conspiracy theories” to be “mocked,” CAIR-PA announced that its 2012 banquet will be headlined by two men who have expressed support for transforming the U.S. into a Shari’a-run state: Siraj Wahhaj and Sherman Jackson.

Wahhaj, a radical imam who appeared on a federal prosecutor’s “list of unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has warned that “unless America … accepts the Islamic agenda,” it will fall. He has talked positively of Islamic law supplanting the U.S. Constitution and opined that “if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”

Jackson, now a professor at USC, has been equally explicit. Calling him “an outspoken proponent of the Islamist subversion of Western civilization,” Cinnamon Stillwell explains that in a book Jackson coauthored, he “proposes that American Muslims approach the ‘difficult task of penetrating, appropriating and redirecting American culture’ … to ‘influence the legal order in America.'” He writes that “once this is done, there are no Constitutional impediments to having these [Islamic] laws applied in the public domain.” Jackson even muses about how gradual “changes in American culture” could result in the normalization of barbaric punishments such as stoning and flogging.

In short, Islamists do not merely insult the character of those who back bills like HB 2029; they insult the intelligence of all through claims that turn reality on its head and are contradicted by their own actions. Nothing less should be expected. They obfuscate Islamic law and portray Muslims as victims because the facts about Shari’a simply are not palatable to most Americans. Moreover, stealth jihadists shamelessly say one thing and do another because they have faith that the mainstream media will not hold them accountable.

How to proceed? Education neutralizes falsehoods, so Americans need to continue the long-term project of informing themselves about Shari’a and the challenge it presents; useful resources may be found at this website. Likewise, all politicians must learn to speak more precisely about Islamic law, carefully distinguishing between practices that are protected by the U.S. Constitution and those that are not, thus minimizing the confusion that Islamists exploit. As for individuals who equate Nazism with defending Americans from foreign laws that infringe on fundamental rights, they should be called out for affronting both history and decency. Citizens also must encourage legislators to press on with these bills despite Islamist propaganda, biased media, and the occasional scolding from their multiculturalism-obsessed counterparts; readers wishing to contact the primary sponsor of HB 2029 may do so here.

Finally, as Islamist groups often argue against restrictions on foreign law by denying the existence of any campaign to insinuate Shari’a into American society, their own records of participating in this very movement should be hung around their necks for all to see. Given that much of the opposition to ALAC-inspired efforts throughout the U.S. has been helmed by branches of CAIR — an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood, which dreams of implementing Islamic law worldwide and describes its mission in North America as “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” — the letters, op-eds, and blog posts can practically write themselves.

While it is important to wade into the details and answer specific criticisms of bills to curb foreign law, the best defense may be a good offense. Just as Islamists make the supporters of such legislation an issue by smearing them as bigots, those supporters must make the opponents an issue by exposing their rank dishonesty and jihadist objectives, which comprise exactly the kind of subversion that these bills are designed to thwart.

David J. Rusin is a research fellow at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

25 thoughts on “CAIR fights for Sharia Law in Pennsylvania

  1. Just think we would have a new show “Sharia Law & Order.” They made their countries crappy now they want every other country to be just as crappy.

  2. America needs lawyers who will go after CAIR, Professor Jackson and others under the Civil provisions of RICCO! Clearly there is a conspiracy at hand whose goal is the replacement of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. This would seem to me to be sedition.

    Its not enough to speak out in the public about these traitors. We need to address this matter in the courts. Islam, which advocates the murder of apostates, Christians, Jews, and other gentiles should not be allowed First Amendment protections for the practice of their religion. Islam’s practice of marriage and sex with young girls is abhorrant too. And, the practice of polygamy has long been illegal in America. For these reasons alone certain practices of this religion should be declared illegal. Sharia Law which governs these practices will be illegal too.

    Finally, I pray for God fearing attorneys to lead this fight in our courts, for the alternative will certainly be violence and blood in the streets! Americans are not British, we will fight to remain free!

    • C.A.I.R, is an Embassy;the trail would be hard to find;well disguised………..but worth exposing.a certain government is involved..All they were to do was establish a Stronghold in Washington.The long term is their goal;death by a thousand cuts.Wise person will now put on their spiritual and mental Kevlar.where it to bed.

  3. And the Philadelphia City Council, as one of its first orders of business when it reconvened for the new year, was to pass a speedy resolution supporting the use of sharia law, and opposing the state bill that limits the use of non-US law in US courts.

    The only way the Philly City Council does something that fast is if they get paid. Take that to the bank.

  4. Looks like they are at it again in Maine, an Abdullah reached out of a car grabbed a girl and dragged her then turned around and hit her with the car, he’s in jail but, the girl has brain damage. Sharia my ass, give um five pounds of ground goat meat in a leaky bag and a life jacket and let them swim home.

  5. Sooner or later there will be a Constitutional Amendment preventing any laws not in accord with the Constitution from being implemented in the US.

    Unless it is a Constitutional Amendment it will be thrown out by the courts.

  6. When we have one ethnic group demanding we accommodate their (foreign) language and another group hiding behind the mantle of Allah demanding we change our laws, customs, and society so as to accommodate them it is time to place a moratorium on all immigration and reevaluate where we are and where we are going as a country/society.

  7. Pingback: CAIR fights for Sharia Law in Missouri (video) « Creeping Sharia

  8. Pingback: The Morning Links (2/22/12 ) | Lady Liberty 1885

  9. Newt seems to be most concerned about sharia law creeping into our constitutional republic.,,Ron Paul has some good ideas. Santorum leans a good way toward keeping constitual running of country. Newt probably best against BHO. Allen West for VP!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anon…, he seems to be the ONLY one who has been CLEAR on his stand about Shariah and Muslims. He will undo the damage that Obama has created. West would be a great choice!!!!!
      I, too, would like to see West also as VP.

      I’ll tell you a candidate that would really pull votes as a VP, and that would be Jan Brewer, AZ Gov.; although I don’t know if she would accept.

  10. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again . . . Simple answer, if muslims want sharia law then why don’t they just move to a country that practises it? If they want to live here, then they should abide by American law! What’s so hard about that?! (unless of course there is a hidden agenda *likely*)

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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