On November 2, 70 percent of the citizens of Oklahoma voted for a ballot measure prohibiting judges from making rulings based on international law, including Sharia, only to be have their will blocked by a judge who issued a temporary restraining order. In Tennessee, citizens are suing their elected officials for overlooking signs of extremism with the Murfreesboro mosque they have approved. These two cases show that American citizens are stepping up to the plate to stop the spread of radical Islam.
Rep. Rex Duncan, the primary author of the Oklahoma ballot measure, called it a “pre-emptive strike” against the institution of Sharia law in his state. “Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law,” the measure reads. Its passing is causing some in the Muslim-American community to react with anger.
The executive-director of the Oklahoma branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muneer Awad, is suing the state. CAIR’s website argues that “the First Amendment directs all government bodies to ‘make no law respecting the establishment of religion.’” U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange temporarily blocked the measure on November 8 following the suit.
“This measure casts aside the principle of equality under the law and returns us to separate but unequal citizenship classes…they exploited the growing anti-Islam sentiment in American society to demonize Islam and marginalize Oklahoma’s Muslim community,” CAIR says.
Abigail Esman, author of Radical State: How Jihad is Winning Over Democracy in the West, laughed at CAIR’s argument in a response to FrontPage.
“Obviously, this is exactly the opposite of a law respecting the establishment of religion: it is a law that specifically keeps religion out of the rule of law – that is, it confirms the constitutional mandate of the courts to function as secular, civil bodies, not influenced by religious law or tradition,” she said.
I agree that it was unnecessary, since Sharia courts are unconstitutional (despite CAIR’s efforts to distort the meaning of the Constitution). But there are plenty of laws that simply confirm what the Constitution already says, making matters easier for the courts.
The American Islamic Forum on Democracy, a Muslim organization dedicated to fighting political Islam, agrees with Esman and has endorsed the ballot measure.
“By filing a lawsuit, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has wasted no time in proving once again that they are unable to stand behind public declarations that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and our one law system supersede and are preferable to a Sharia law system,” a AIFD’s press release on the matter stated.
(http://www.aifdemocracy.org/news.php?id=6302)The organization rejects any comparison between the Oklahoma measure and France’s banning of the wearing of niqabs and burkas. It does not, in any way whatsoever, prevent Muslims from practicing their faith or following Sharia as an individual lifestyle. The measure is also not a “scare tactic,” as Saad Mohammad, spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, says. He may proclaim that “there’s no threat of Shariah law coming to Oklahoma and America, period,” but a quick look at Europe suggests otherwise.
At least 85 Sharia courts now exist in the United Kingdom. Although participation is voluntary and it only applies to civil disputes, some Muslims will be compelled to submit to the Sharia courts out of a fear of being alienated. Another concern is how the judges for the courts will be chosen and what beliefs they will base their rulings on. The Civitas think tank has already found that “some that advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards” and sometimes do not disclose the results of the cases to non-Muslims.
In Tennessee, citizens are also taking up the fight to stop radical Islam. An organization called Proclaiming Justice to the Nations has raised $40,000 of the $150,000 it says it needs to wage a legal fight to stop the construction of a new mosque by the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. The organization is suing the elected officials who permitted the plans to move forward but is not making the mistake of arguing that Islam isn’t a religion, as other citizens have. This argument distracts from the legitimate concerns over the mosque’s potential extremism and will not succeed as the Justice Department has filed a brief declaring that Islam is officially recognized as a religion.
The Proclaiming Justice to the Nations’ press release, instead, focuses solely on how elected officials have not addressed questions about the ideology that will be preached at the mosque. “[B]uild a mosque, and pray all you want—but don’t offer support or refuge for anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, terrorism in our community,” their press release stated.
One of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro’s board members, Mosaad Rawash, had a MySpace page that celebrated terrorism. A pledge was posted that called for Muslims to engage in violent jihad against Israel, as was a poem celebrating the people in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq who have been, in his mind, incorrectly called terrorists. The page also had a photo exalting two founders of Hamas above a crowd of armed terrorists. When attention was brought to this page, Rawash was suspended but he has since returned to his post.
In addition, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro’s reading list included works by several extremists including Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood theologian who regularly calls for the violent destruction of Israel, armed jihad and implementing Sharia governance. This reading list was deleted after it resulted in negative press attention. FrontPage has yet to receive a response back from the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after offering them a chance to address these facts in early October.
These two cases indicate that something is happening in the United States. Citizens are contributing to organized efforts to combat the spread of radical Islam. After 9⁄11, the nation was given no instructions by the government as to how average people could participate in the fight. They have learned and radical Islam will not be able to spread without citizens shining the spotlight and fighting it every step of the way.