CAIR’s Fight Against Pennsylvania Foreign Law Bill

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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.

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  • OldmanRick

    Be wary of muslims bearing false gifts. Sharia, an oppressive social and legal structure, is in direct violation of our Constitution.

  • oldtimer

    Limiting foreign law in US? NO foreign law in US. Especially No Sharia. All these intruders should join the Arab Spring(or Summer, Fall, Winter, whatever) Leave and do your protesting in Muslim/Arab countries.

    • RoguePatriot6

      You know, it's funny that people who push for Shari'a refuse to live in countries governed by it.

      • intrcptr2

        What's even funnier is why they oppose bills which are not explicitly about sharia, when sharia is not doing what the bill opposes.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Actually, it's not that they are running away from Sharia, because they bring it with them and practice it within their homes and communities, as Sharia, which is the will of Allah and jihad, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme, are intrinsic to Islam. in fact, you can't have Islam without also having Sharia and Jihad.

        Anyway, mass Muslim immigration to the West with all of its excess baggage is really covert non-violent jihad for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme.

  • jacob

    Americans are known to either fall short or go overboard and the later is why, in
    my opinion, in the name of the accursed "Political Correctness" we are allowing
    the Muslims in our midst to dictate policy to us and this is a little too much to
    take, whether our so called "leaders" like it or not and time is already pasee to
    put an end to it, no matter what the cost might be…
    Let it be understood by every minority or religious affilitation that we do not have
    to bend over backwards to their whims but the way around, IF THEY WANT TO
    That we didn''t send for any of them and it is either WE THE PEOPLE's way or the
    highway, making sure the exit door doesn't hit them in their derrieres on their way

    Which is precisely what the Pennsylvania Legislature must make understand
    CAIR and their backers in an unmistakeably way, that we are not going to pay
    attention to SHAARIA law in any way, shape or form and that they better keep it
    to themselves or else….

  • BGJ

    The U.S. Constitution and noted Article VI, the second paragraph, which reads as follows:

    "This Constitution , and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

    HB 2029, reaffirms our law and Constitutional privileges that are to be all that our judges consider in their courts!

  • Lou

    Excellent work!!!!

  • truckwork

    I agree with BGJ. Why are we even debating this; it shouldn't even be an issue if the Judges would just do what they swore to do, uphold and defend the Constitution!

  • RoguePatriot6

    "I agree with BGJ. Why are we even debating this; it shouldn't even be an issue if the Judges would just do what they swore to do, uphold and defend the Constitution!"

    Truer words could not have been spoken.
    Have you noticed how over the span of the last 3-7 years the people who actually believe in the Constitution of this country has been alienated? The very fact that we have been labeled "constitutionalists", says alot. WOW!!!!, REALLY? The existence of this term means that believing in the Constitution is an option for those we elect. (cont'd)

  • RoguePatriot6

    The liberal/left are trying to convince people that the constitution was written just for the colonists living during the time that it was written and that it’s pretty much outlived its purpose. They also use the same sorry, poor, tired accusation that "conservatives just wish to go back to the slavery days" as their defense for violating this document. Well, this tactic makes sense. Since, no one can legally abolish it (so far), they do the next best thing, discredit and devalue it. Now, these are the same politicians that want to wave the constitution in your face and preach to you about their 1ST Amendment rights if you say something that contradicts their ideas or philosophies. You can’t have it both ways folks if you really believe in the constitution don’t just enforce it when it’s convenient and blatantly violate the rights of others when they disagree with you.

    It also seems that the misinformed THINK that only the federal government need to be concerned about violating the Constitutional rights of it's citizens. Labor unions using "legal" means to persuade this country's voters have long been ignored and corporations firing employees because they aren't aligning themselves with certain agendas are just as wrong. (cont'd)

  • RoguePatriot6

    You know, ladies and gentlemen, at one time it was a serious crime to violate the constitution and I mean, A SERIOUS CRIME. It was such a serious crime that if you were found guilty of it, the consequences overrode the fact that you were poor, rich, middle class or a politician. In fact, even if you were the President of The United States and was found guilty you stood in danger of being IMPEACHED, yet Obama and his followers get away with it scott free in front of God and everyone. I realize that not everyone believes in the bible but there's alot to be learned from it.

    No one is above God's law and what people don't seem to realize is that alot of our Constitution and local ordinances were based off of Christian values. The Constitution contains the God given, inalienable rights that every man/woman was born with in this country. If you choose to vilolate those rights for selfish gain or to please the crowd, then you have Him to answer to on top of all of citizens in this nation.

  • curmudgeon

    it is foolish to attempt to outlaw sharia while importing muslims and paying them to breed. the only way to prevent sharia is to prevent muslims, and to invite muslims is to invite sharia. our legal system already bans sharia, but not by name, and it will not sway our new muslim majority one little bit to ignore a law that does specifically ban sharia, if we are foolish enough to continue to import, succor, aid, comfort and abet muslims. if oooooooooh so politically correct leftists insist on continuing to import muslims, the gay liberals should kill themselves to save the muslims the trouble, the women should clitorrectomize themselves, and get raped, and wear burkas to get accustomed to that which they so perversely desire. the rest of us should practice praying to an evil god and revering a criminal prophet, because that is what the enemies of our country insist on having.

  • dirt

    The only good thing about Sharia is it forbids the interest collecting when lending.

  • Sparrowhawk

    Speaking of blogs on stealth jihad, I invite anyone to read several articles on Islam and its designs on the West on Rule of Reason.

    For those with a Kindle or other e-book outlet, read “Corsairs & Freebooters.” Fully two-thirds of the book is devoted to the depredations of Islam. “Corsairs” is the third in a series, together with “Running Out My Guns” and “Broadsides,” which also feature articles on Islam.

    This is reading that will give readers moral and intellectual ammunition to combat the taqiyaa of CAIR and its affiliated organizations, all of which practice deceit and pose as champions of "civil rights" — except that it is our rights as free men they wish to corrupt and extinguish under Sharia.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Of course, I support any and all efforts to stop Sharia and, of course, the Muslims and Leftist useful idiots will oppose it. Nevertheless, even if anti-Sharia laws are passed, it would not stop the stealth demographic conquest of the USA. It might slow down the inevitable imposition of Sharia on non-Muslims for a while, but the only way to eliminate the process of stealth demographic conquest and also end the possibility of violent jihad attacks on the homeland at the same time, is to outlaw Islam and ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP.

    If we did that, we could also take all the hundreds of billions of dollars we are currently spending to maintain a false sense of security and use it instead to get our financial house back in order and to stop gutting our military to continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage that is in reality covert non-violent jihad for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest.

    Not only that but many people claim that Islam can't be outlawed because it is a religion protected under the first amendment, but that is complete and utter nonsense. Nevertheless, even if Islam was a faith-based religion and it's not, no one can convince me that the first amendment protects a faith-based religion that makes it an obligatory duty for all Muslims to fight jihad in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme. Indeed, Islam doesn't just go after all other religions and all non-Muslim unbelievers, but it also declares all manmade governments to be abominations that must be obliterated and replaced with Sharia as well. I'm sorry but our constitution isn't a suicide pact and if it is, then it needs to be amended.

  • SteelersSteve

    There is no way there should be a separate set of laws for one group of people. America is based on the concept of equality under the law and that means one set of laws for all people. If one is a resident of Pennsylvania, then the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should govern their actions, not Sharia law. People who want to be governed by Sharia law need to go somewhere other than Pennsylvania, it is wrong for them to try and force their law on the residents of the Commonwealth.

    • chris

      Yes like going back to the country they came from and get the hell out of the U.S.

  • Jaladhi

    Islam is enemy of humanity and human beings!!! Those who follow Islam do not remain human beings, they just become demons/monsters!!

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