THE CONSTITUTION AND THE CRESCENT: EILEEN TOPLANSKY ****
The First Amendment to the Constitution has fallen on hard times in America. Too many have confused the words “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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”1 as an invitation to demolish these very rights in an effort to accommodate and placate an ideology bent on destruction.
Yet, the precision of language2 is the key to the precision of thought. It is vital, in fact, critical that we use this amazing First Amendment to expose the falsifications that Islamic leaders utilize in their attempt to impose shariah law. The Constitution and shariah are diametrically opposed; they are not just differences of conventions; they are differences in core beliefs and values. To whitewash them, to ignore them, to wallow in political correctness is to invite an incursion of foreign belief that is a genuine existential threat to America and the free world.
As explained in the invaluable report entitled Shariah: The Threat to America, “any system of man-made law is considered illicit under Islamic law, for whose adherents Allah already has provided the only law permitted, shariah. [Thus] Islam and democracy can never co-exist in harmony because ‘Allah is the absolute arbiter of values and it is His will that determines good and evil, right and wrong.’”3 Consequently, shariah law is inviolate and “cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards.”4 As authors Andrew C. McCarthy, Harry Edward Soyster, and R. James Woolsey explain, shariah rejects fundamental premises of American society and values such as
a. the bedrock proposition that the governed have a right to make law for themselves;
b. the republican democracy governed by the Constitution;
c. freedom of conscience; individual liberty (including in matters of personal privacy and sexual preference);
d. freedom of expression (including the liberty to analyze and criticize shariah);
e. economic liberty (including private property);
f. equal treatment under the law a (including that of men and women, and of Muslims and non-Muslims);
g. freedom from cruel and unusual punishments; an unequivocal condemnation of terrorism
h. an abiding commitment to deflate and resolve political controversies by the ordinary mechanisms of federalism and democracy, not wanton violence.5
A few examples will illuminate the crucial differences between a democracy and any land where shariah rule prevails. The Islamic world continually erupts in violent rage when it feels offended. As Michelle Malkin6 has pointed out, German supermodel Claudia Schiffer was threatened with death after she wore a dress printed with a saying from the Quran. The Nike Company was forced to recall 800,000 shoes in 1997 because outraged Muslims claimed the “Air” logo looked like Arabic script for Allah. In Bologna, Italy, a jihadist cell plotted to blow up a church, because it displayed a fifteenth century fresco depicting Mohammed being tormented.
Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist for the Jyllands-Posten who depicted Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, has been on the run as police arrested three men charged with plotting to kill him. As Flemming Rose of the Wall Street Journal explains, “the plot to kill Mr. Westergaard is not an isolated story, but part of a broader trend that risks undermining free speech in Europe[.]”7 Currently, a Swedish artist is under police protection; a Dutch municipal museum refused to show photos of an Iranian born artist, and in Belarus an editor has been sentenced to three years in a forced labor camp after republishing some of Jyllands-Posten’s Muhammad cartoons.
In Egypt, bloggers are incarcerated after having “insulted Islam.”8 In Afghanistan, Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh has been sentenced to death because he distributed material about the mistreatment of women in Islam. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is under constant surveillance as a result of her courageous writings and film work. Her book The Caged Virgin9 calls for the emancipation of women living under the tyranny of Islam.
A fatwa has been issued against American cartoonist Molly Norris. In fact, Ms. Norris has now gone into hiding on the advice of the FBI. Her cartoons will no longer be published. Several months ago, FBI officials alerted Norris to what they were treating as a “very serious threat.”10 At that time, Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, said that Norris was a “prime target”11 for execution and that her “proper abode is hellfire.”12 She and eight other cartoonists have been targeted for their alleged blasphemous caricatures of the prophet.
Thus, the petulant rage of the Muslim world targets painters, cartoonists, artists, writers,13 journalists, publishers, entrepreneurs, and dissidents. The cardinal principle of American democracy is being chipped away by Islamic dictates. As Robert Spencer has written, “[t]hat Islamic jihadists can force an American citizen [Molly Norris] into hiding for exercising her freedom of speech is bad enough; that her cause has aroused only indifference from the media and the nation’s leading officials is even worse.”14
This tyrannical and fanatical desire to silence criticism is being aided and abetted by the United Nations which, under the thumb of the Organization of Islamic Countries15, is being pressured to rewrite international human-rights standards to curtail the right to free speech. In 2009, the hypocritically named U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution against the “defamation of religion.”16 Hence, the sharia standard for blasphemy will soon be the rule of the world.
Unbelievably, the West has not taken concerted efforts to push back. There are still too many who cannot or will not fathom the absolute nature of shariah law. Why should America or any of the democracies continue to tolerate Islamic intolerance? Why the double standard and bowing to the voices of irrationality?
Repeatedly, the Islamic world with its two-pronged attacks of violent jihad or holy war and its stealthier practices known as dawa (propaganda for Islam) works to undermine democracy. Islam cloaks itself as a religion, and the West, in its misguided tolerance, does not acknowledge how Islam has “exploited the civil liberties and multicultural proclivities of Western societies for the purpose of destroying the latter from within.”17
And, herein, is the perverse beauty of shariah law. Its totalitarian nature uses every means possible to insinuate itself into the fabric of the democracies. And it does so with impunity and no shame because “it is permissible for a Muslim to lie, or engage in taqiyya, especially to non-Muslims, to safeguard himself personally or to protect Islam.”18 Thus, in the fabric of this all-encompassing Islamic doctrine is a fool-proof camouflage which has been quite successful in tricking a naïve and blasé Western world.
Consequently, the free world capitulates out of fear and/or a misplaced sense of respect to Islam. In Spain, a discotheque changes its name because of pressure from Islamic extremists19 who find the name of the discotheque and its design “offensive and insulting to their religion.”20 In New Jersey, Derek Fenton loses his job21 with New Jersey Transit for burning pages from the Koran outside the proposed New York mosque. Yet, burning of the American flag22 has often been upheld as an expression of free speech in this country.
Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights speaks about the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State… in essence the right to a fair trial. Amendment VIII states that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”23 Tell that to the Muslim woman who was buried alive24 to protect the honor of her family. How can a democratic community sit idly by and accept the evil premise that a woman is to be sacrificed to ensure the honor of a family? This is astounding savagery but in the Islamic world, gender inequality is expressly stated in many parts of the Quran. Barbaric genital mutilation is obligatory, as well.
Furthermore, Islamic doctrine “permits the marriage of pre-pubescent girls. There is no minimum age for a marriage contract and consummation may take place when the girl is age eight or nine.”25 As Nonie Darwish has written in Cruel and Usual Punishment, “the great majority of Muslim women are among the poorest and most oppressed in the world.”26 From the sartorial prison of the burqa to the fact that a woman may never be in the physical presence of a man other than her husband or close blood relative, Muslim women are held hostage to [sharia] law. Rebellious women end up under house arrest, beaten or dead.
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, that “[a]ny law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”27 What mantle of righteousness or kindness can be equated with Quranic dictates that debase women in this way? Dr. King spoke about the “sacred values in [the] Judaeo-Christian heritage—[those] that would bring [the] nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”28
Yet Muslim teachings have no tradition of law that is equal in its application of justice, or for “rights retained by the people” as stated in Amendment IX29 of the Bill of Rights. On the contrary, the Quran and the Hadiths have unequivocally maintained that “jihad” is the ultimate goal—that is warfare against non-Muslims.
Disturbingly, in a report entitled Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All & Equal Rights30 the reader learns of a dual justice system being played out in the land of the Magna Carta. Thus, separate Islamic Sharia Councils31 are meting out justice totally incompatible with English law. In essence, Muslim tribunals promoting unequal treatment of women seek to impose cultural and legal values on the lands they plan to conquer—and they are doing it with the tacit approval of the West.
Freedom of religion, the very first tenet of the Constitution’s First Amendment is non-existent in shariah-compliant countries. Following a tradition of Muhammad who said that “two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia,”32 non-Muslims are forbidden to practice their religion. Furthermore, the following legal ordinances must be enforced on dhimmis or infidels (Christians and Jews and anyone else who is a non-Muslim) who reside among Muslims. There is no way to seek redress because this is the law of the land.
• Dhimmis are not allowed to build new churches, temples, or synagogues.
• Dhimmis are not allowed to pray or read their sacred books out loud at home or in churches, lest Muslims hear their prayers.
• Dhimmis are not allowed to install the cross on their houses or churches since it is a symbol of infidelity.
• Dhimmis are not permitted to broadcast or display their ceremonial religious rituals on radio or television or to use the media or to publish any picture of their religious ceremonies in newspaper and magazines.
• Dhimmis are not allowed to congregate in the streets during religious festivals.33
Presently, Christian Coptics34 in Egypt have been reduced to dhimmis under constant threat35 from their Islamic overlords. How does one reconcile this with the First Amendment that states that “no law respecting an establishment of freedom” shall be made? When Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf36 of the New York Ground Zero Mosque controversy states that America is basically a shariah compliant state, one can only conclude that Rauf has learned well the art of propaganda and prevarication. Any other conclusion is willful denial.
Islam is ideological warfare cut from the same cloth as Nazism, fascism and communism. Walid Shoebat has stated in the film “Obsession”37 that Islam is even more dangerous than Nazism because God himself has sanctioned the destruction of the infidel!
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Daniel Huff are calling for a federal law to cover threats against free-speech rights, in the wake of “Islamic extremists…increasingly using intimidation to stifle free expression.”38 McCarthy et al. argue that “in keeping with Article VI of the Constitution, [the U.S.] should extend bans currently in effect that bar members of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan from holding positions of trust39 in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States to those who espouse40 or support shariah.”41
This is particularly pertinent since Dalia Mogahed, a prominent Obama appointee42 supports Islamic shariah and denies any connection between radical Islam and terrorism.
Freedom-loving Americans need to understand that merely having freedoms is not the same as exercising them. In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was signed. Article VI clearly states that “this Constitution shall be…the supreme Law of the Land.”43 There is no room for Islamic law in the United States. If the West continues to capitulate44 to Islamic intimidation, and, in some cases what amounts to “seditious activities”45 by those residing in the U.S., we will enter a period of dismal darkness from which there may be no return. We truly cannot afford the “moral paralysis”46 demonstrated by European democracies in the 1930s. This is the watershed moment for America.
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