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Disinviting Islam: Part II - Proposals

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PUBLIC POLICY

A number of specific policies for dealing with domestic Islam have been proposed since 9-11, mainly by pundits well outside the political mainstream. A few of these proposals have already been discussed at length by the contributers and commenters here at W4. As Lydia McGrew reminded me yesterday, the first and most obvious thing to do is simply to enforce our own just laws, many of which are winked at, flouted or ignored in the name of sensitivity to Islamic cultural practices. Beyond this fundamental beginning, I’d like to summarize what I consider to be the best and most realistic proposals in order to create a practical guide for political action on the national level.

1. Halt Muslim immigration. This policy should be specifically directed at the immigration of Muslims, from any nation, and not simply at immigration from Muslim states or from states known for their Islamic extremism. (According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations there are an estimated 7 million Muslims in this country, along with almost 2,000 mosques and Islamic centers, forming what amounts to an impenetrable Islamic sub-culture on American soil.)

2. Halt the issuance of all student, religious and immigrant visas to Muslims, and revoke those presently in effect. (Of the 48 Islamic terrorists apprehended between 1993 and 2001, only 12 were in the country illegally.)

3. Codify Islamic jihad and sharia as hostile, foreign, political ideologies. This might take the form of a Jihad-sedition law, as once proposed by our own Paul Cella (but incorporating sharia as well), establishing that the preaching of jihad and sharia is tantamount to advocacy of “overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States”.


a. Require an oath renouncing jihad and sharia from all resident alien Muslims as a condition for remaining in the United States.

b. Require an oath renouncing jihad and sharia from all government employees, including military personnel.

c. Monitor all mosques and Islamic schools for promulgation or advocacy of jihad and sharia.

d. Forbid the public advocacy of jihad and sharia in print and on radio, television, and the web.


4. Require all Islamic literature, books and websites originating in the United States to be communicated in English. The use of Arabic will not be forbidden, but requiring English translations will make public advocacy of jihad and sharia more difficult to hide.

5. Revoke the passes of Muslim prison chaplains and halt all religious accommodations for incarcerated Muslims.

6. Cease all religious accommodations, including the provision of military chaplains, for Muslims serving in the armed forces.

7. Remove all Muslim accommodations in government agencies, offices, and facilities (foot basins, prayer rugs, Ramadan observance, etc.).

8. Notify all businesses, private institutions, schools and local agencies that anti-discrimination laws do not require accommodating the religious practices of Muslim employees, customers, associates or volunteers.

9. Forbid all federal funding of Islamic organizations and charities.

10. Encourage states with Muslim enclaves to enforce their ban on first-cousin marriage, or to enact such a ban, and further to ban all sexual relations between first cousins. (Only 24 states ban first-cousin marriages presently. This is a powerful tradition for many Islamic cultures.)

It is certain that some or all of these recommendations would be challenged in court on 1st Amendment grounds. Lawrence Auster (not a writer I would normally recommend), forseeing the constitutional challenge, proposes an amendment to the Constitution declaring that:

“The religion of Islam, as propagated in the Koran and in the Islamic Traditions or Hadiths, and formalized in the Sharia Law, shall not be practiced, disseminated, or advocated within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

A constitutional amendment is a good idea, but this one seems to be needlessly draconian, totally eliminating the possibility of a legal, small and manageable Muslim population. The goal, after all, is not to compel every last Muslim to leave the United States, but simply to eliminate, or reduce to the point of irrelevance, the social and political influence of Islamic doctrine and ideas in this country. If necessary, then, I suggest an alternative amendment to the Constitution, a fusion of Auster’s proposal and the Communist Control Act of 1954 (inspired by Daniel Greenfield):

“Islamic organizations and their individual members, regardless of their assumed names, whose object or purpose is to replace the Government of the United States, or the government of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, with a system of Islamic law - as propagated in the Koran and in the Islamic Traditions or Hadiths, and formalized in the Sharia Law - whether by force and violence or by political subversion, are not entitled to any of the rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon religious bodies created under the jurisdiction of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof; and whatever rights, privileges, and immunities which have heretofore been granted to said party or any subsidiary organization by reason of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, are hereby terminated. Individuals adhering to a body of religious beliefs that includes jihad and sharia are not entitled, in virtue of such religious membership or belief, to the special protections afforded to religious practice under the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof.”

What does this accomplish, exactly? First, it ties the problem of Islam to its violent, subversive, and totalitarian political doctrine – which is the only justification for its repression in the American cultural milieu. Second, it repeals the religious rights and immunities of Islamist organizations and their members, however small. That means that individual Muslims, insofar as they belong to any standard Islamic group, need not be accommodated in their religious practices. Third, it does not require the total suppression of Islam, which is to say that it does not close the door on the (admittedly remote) possibility of assimilated Muslim communities that credibly renounce political jihad and sharia. Restrictive measures would be allowed under the Constitution, but not required: national, state, and local governing bodies may act at their own discretion. Finally, if there were not sufficient support to pass this as a constitutional amendment, it might still be viable as statutory legislation and withstand the scrutiny of the courts, which cannot be said of language that bans the practice of Islam carte blanche.

In any case, there must be a sea-change of public opinion – that it’s OK to legally “discriminate” against a socio-political ideology that has been at war with Christian civilization for centuries, even if that ideology is known as a “religion”. This kind of discrimination is not unjust; on the contrary, it is obligatory upon all who are in any way responsible for the common good of this nation. No individual or group has an unqualified "right" to practice a religion in the United States that constitutes a perpetual threat to its neighbors. Changing public opinion on this point will necessitate a sustained campaign of articles, books, lectures, debates, and so forth by informed thinkers across the political spectrum.

Finally, the mere act of introducing laws can also establish political momentum, even if these laws are not ultimately passed or enforced. That’s how the Left moves public opinion so effectively: by promoting their causes at all levels, and in every venue, until the public gradually gets used to their ideas. Oklahoma, which recently passed a popular referendum that forbade its courts from considering sharia law, provides an instructive case for our side. The “Save Our State Amendment” obtained over 70% of the popular vote on November 2. Although the amendment to the Oklahoma constitution is now under judicial review, nevertheless it sent a clear message to our political elites, to our friends overseas, and to Muslims themselves that Oklahomans are not asleep, that they consider Islamic law to be a threat, and that they are in no mood to cozy up to Islam. Non-Oklahomans sat up and took notice: similar measures are planned for more than a dozen other states in 2012.

LOCAL AND COMMUNITY ACTION

Implementation of the above policy suggestions will take time, and indeed, they may never happen at all. Yet it is still possible to make some progress against the establishment of an Islamic sub-culture in the United States through personal, local and community action. Every water cooler conversation in which the truth about Islam is discussed, and potential remedies explored, creates a data point and possibly a shift in public opinion, however slight. The same goes for articles, essays, blog entries and letters to the newspaper.

In conversation with others, it is absolutely critical to distinguish the domestic problem of Islam from our wars being fought in the Middle East. In fact it should be pointed out that peacefully dealing with Islam in the United States will radically diminish the need for wars and bloodshed overseas. Domestic Islam is the proverbial “elephant in the living room” that our government will apparently go to any lengths to avoid acknowledging, as the new and outrageously intrusive TSA procedures demonstrate, so just getting people used to talking about it is helpful.

Constructive action might also include the following:

1. Agitate. When the hospital you work for removes the crucifix in the chapel to avoid offending Muslims, don’t just roll over, say something. Be offended. Be more offended than the Muslims are. Organize like-minded employees, start a petition, take it all the way to the top. You are a Christian, you live in a largely Christian community, and if Muslims have the right not to be offended, so do you.

2. Obstruct. Find a way to stop the building of new mosques in your neighborhood. Go to the meetings, get on the committees, make a big fuss about every conceivable problem. And if it doesn’t endanger your cause, make it clear that besides the technical objections, you and your neighbors oppose the mosque precisely because it is a mosque. That your community is home to anti-Muslim sentiment is important information for your potential new Muslim neighbors, who might on that basis reconsider their choice of a neighborhood.

3. Discriminate. If you are an employer, find a way not to hire Islamists or potential Islamists. That sounds harsh and unfeeling, but remember you are dealing with more than a person who needs work: you are dealing with someone who, whatever his personal merits, adheres to a religious doctrine of violence, cruelty, deception and aggression towards infidels, and who is furthermore tied to an Islamic sub-culture that radicalizes its “moderates”. If you are a printer, refuse to print Islamic literature - in any language. Etc.

4. Censor. If you have responsibilities for a place that sells, displays, or makes available religious literature – anywhere from a campus bookstore to a public library to a private conference room – make the Islamic stuff disappear (without lying, stealing, or destroying personal property, of course). And if you can’t ethically make it disappear, make it difficult to access. When you’re sold out, delay re-ordering until it can’t be helped. You get the idea.

5. Organize. Form groups that address the problem of Islamization in your community and propose solutions. Attend the meetings of city councils, boards of supervisors, and other governing bodies to make your views known.

6. Christianize. Islam is ascendant because Christianity is in retreat. The resulting secularism leaves a spiritual vacuum, and the most aggressive religious views will inevitably fill the void. Secularism has neither the resources nor the political will to effectively oppose Islam: a restoration of Christian culture is necessary. Learn your Christian faith and especially its history vis-à-vis Islam. If you’re a young man or woman, get married and have lots of Christian children. If you head a business or corporation, fill up your calendar with Christian holy days, display Christian images and symbols throughout the workplace, place Christian literature in lobbies and lunch rooms, and generally make it known that there is no room for another dominant faith. Let Catholic parishes have triumphant processions in the streets; let religious statues adorn the lobbies of hotels and offices; let the Christmas crèche be displayed in public parks and municipal buildings; let restaurants return to “fish Fridays”; let public meetings of every kind begin with Christian invocations – in short, let the triune God return to the public square in America.

What about discrimination laws? In the first place, discrimination laws are not as restrictive, in practice, as most people think. I’ve been to a public school in southern California which displayed the Bible on the table in the lobby, had Good Friday as a school holiday, and used the New Testament as part of its character education program. All perfectly legal, even in California, and it established a culture in that school that was strong enough not to be seriously challenged. I assume this is a model that can be legally replicated by school boards across the country.

Having said that, it is inevitable that you will run up against discrimination laws at some point, along with other rules prohibiting "harassment" and the creation of a "hostile work environment". My advice is simply to break them – carefully, discreetly, and without fanfare, but do break them when they are tyrannical and unjust, as they are in the case of forcing unwanted religious associations, and especially when preventing the free exercise of the Christian faith.

For those who have the time and financial means, deliberately challenging the non-discrimination regime in the public eye is a worthy endeavor. We need the test cases. A library which refuses to carry the Koran because it is the Koran; a planning commission that refuses to approve a mosque because it is a mosque; a hospital that refuses to Islamize its worship space; etc. - these things may end up in court but will also be tried in the court of public opinion. If handled correctly they may generate enough sympathy to inspire changes in the laws. At minimum, flooding the court system with Islam-related discrimination cases sends an important message to American policy makers and to Muslims themselves.

Comments (203)

The sub-proposals a, b, c, and d of policy proposal # 3 should be indented, but I can't figure out how to do that.

My thanks to our readers for kindly withholding their comments on public policy before this entry was posted. Part III, to be posted Friday, will address Christian charity as it pertains to these proposals - since that is a very common concern for otherwise sympathetic conservatives. If readers could withhold substantial commentary on that topic until Friday, we would be grateful.

For this array of constructive proposals to be adopted, depends on a change of opinion. Jeff admits as much when he writes, "In any case, there must be a sea-change of public opinion......... Changing public opinion on this point will necessitate a sustained campaign of articles, books, lectures, debates, and so forth by informed thinkers across the political spectrum...."

What is meant by "public opinion" in this case? If it's the opinion of the "average person", then I suspect many of these proposals will be in accord with what the American public already wants. But the intuitions of the multitude are of no avail in opposition to the ruling ideas of our time. These ruling ideas must be abandoned by the "educated elite" and another, perhaps a so-called "reactionary" intellectual consensus arrived at, before specific measures to deal with the Muslim threat can receive an imprimatur from those who count.

The success of what might be described as an infidel challenge to Christian values and to the cultural heritage of Western civilization is a consequence of the "hands" picked up from the way our philosophical cards have been played for the last 300 years - i.e. since the Enlightenment. After two or three centuries of intensive cultivation, there is now a deeply rooted orthodoxy of educated opinion - especially with respect to the principle of tolerance. That orthodoxy must be transformed before the removal of a welcome mat (for Muslims or anyone else) could get the support of the ruling elite.

As things are, Muslim affronts to our way of life are permitted or even encouraged while sponsored by an uncritical ideology of tolerance. Thus the liberal nomenklatura oppose not only mundane steps to control Muslim immigration but treat with contempt any symbolic gestures that assert "conservative" social and political values. This is done in the sacred names of tolerance and freedom.

In the eighteenth century a cosmopolitan community of private scholars, cultural critics, and religious skeptics (the philosophes) repudiated an intellectual conformism which, it was claimed, suppressed almost all varieties of freedom. The long march towards a secular utopia began. In the 21st century the influence of private scholars is negligible. Dealers in the marketplace of ideas are organized and quite often on the public payroll these days. So any modern intellectual movement that could amend settled educated opinion will have to originate in public institutions. In other words, reform of liberal ideas must emerge from inside the citadels of liberal thought - the universities, the law, the church, the mass media, etc. Can these modern citadels of conformity be undermined from within by a new breed of philosophes? It's possible but it ain't likely, in my view.

In a nutshell: disinviting Muslims in the US (or in Europe for that matter) is contingent upon an intellectual revolution - a counter-Enlightenment crusade that will restore confidence in Christian values and attitudes. However, a Christian Renaissance suffused with the determination to resist being driven along the road to dhimmitude doesn't seem a likely development right now in the tolerant Western world.

(Please excuse the shallow history lesson.)

Jeff,
have you ever heard of the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" or of the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour", also called the "Nuremberg Laws"?
Your motives are (probably) not racist, but pseudo-religious, still, that makes little ethical difference. The stupid "have lots of Christian [put in: "Arian" to see the point] children" and the counter-Enlightenment stuff fits nicely as well. To give a history lesson to you: The ideas of the Enlightenment paved the way for the very country you pretend to love and protect.
On this site, crude comparisons with the Nazi regime are common, so I hope, that at least some of the more level-headed contributors will see the effective parallel here and decide to get rid of the post and its author.
Shame on you, Jeff!

Passing over what may be other strengths or weaknesses in the argument, permit a brief comment on one point: "2. Obstruct. Find a way to stop the building of new mosques in your neighborhood."

By the time a group of Muslims has a hold of a piece of appropriately zoned property, the gig is already up. What would be more efficacious would be to organize an effort to track property markets and property ownership (based on register's records). Use community influence to keep landowners from selling undeveloped or commercial real-estate to Muslim groups: find ways to make them a better offer if possible. An organization that mined and published data about property ownership by Muslim groups would surely make all the right people hopping mad.

And real quick re: the Nuremberg Laws. Consider whether those laws, or at least some of their provisions, would have been justified if the targeted population actually deserved the accusations leveled at them. The Nuremberg Laws were pretextual, and far more burdensome than much of what Jeff suggests (with not all of which I agree), and of course also a precursor, at least arguably intentionally, to genocide. The cases are distinguishable on their facts.

I think it's interesting that Grobi chooses to focus on one of the most obvious, privately do-able, and totally unobjectionable of all of the proposals Jeff puts forward--getting married and raising Christian children.

That's about as dumb as it gets. What group of people that shares a religion or an ideology _doesn't_ talk about reaching the next generation, raising one's children carefully in one's traditions, etc.? Give me a break. So all the "for the children" stuff from the liberals--who continually want to have control of _other_ people's children and their minds in the public schools--evidently doesn't bother Grobi in the least, but a simple recommendation that Christians marry and have and raise lots of children in the Christian faith creeps him out and reminds him of the Nazis.

It says a lot.

I'll advocate it so as to not risk besmirching your proposal with a more radical libertarian bend to it...

7) Subvert law enforcement wherever it sides with Muslims outside of the law. If a cop orders you to hand over a camera showing illegal behavior, resist arrest within Christian limits and post it on YouTube or Flickr. If you follow sites like The Agitator or the Dearborn story, you know that 99 times out of 100, the only reason a cop demands you turn over such evidence is so they can destroy it. It never shows up in court, and when you get the device back, it's been deleted (and the DA never has any interesting in slapping criminal charges on the officer).

I think many of these proposals are sound reasons for discriminating against all religionists. If having a strong religious belief means that you are going to browbeat your coworkers and customers into accepting all sorts of rhetoric and symbolism of religious supremacy, I would consider it appropriate to discriminate against employees for that reason alone. It's telling that you don't see how quickly the tables will be turned against Christians once you start making these kinds of legal exceptions.

Re: proposals 5 and 6. You can't honestly claim that you are willing to tolerate a safe version of Islam and then forbid access to it through channels already in place.

Re: policy proposals 7 and 9. It is an unfortunate comment upon our weak separation of church and state that these even need to be addressed.

Putting aside whether 3 (a)&(b) would fly Constitutionally, what is to prevent them from simply lying about these oaths?

Likewise with 4, if you don't already know arabic, how do you know if the translation is accurate? And if you do know arabic, you can translate it yourself (and the gov't would be able monitor and translate, identifying improper sites anyway under 3(c) or a slight expansion of 3(c) to include any public communications).

Don't know if it would fly, but you could also try putting a restrictive covenant in any deeds for real estate prohibiting use of the land for a mosque subject to forfeiture of title.

"What does this accomplish, exactly?"

One down, more to follow.


The sub-proposals a, b, c, and d of policy proposal # 3 should be indented, but I can't figure out how to do that.

Fixed.

Your alternate constitutional amendment, denying Jihad and Sharia law the special protection granted to religion, is perfect. Watch the suicidal liberals and neocons join to gang up on it. Of course they'll illogically call it "unconstitutional." The liberals still hate traditional Christianity more than they hate Islam and the neocons don't really hate Islam they use Islam as a threat to promote the power of the federal government to transfer wealth to corporations and the corporate insiders and government contractors.

I think it very funny the people who make comparisons between this article and the nazis then claim they are giving you a history lesson. The nazis' enemy were the Jews. The Jews were not blowing up anything. They were not imposing their will on anyone. The nazis made up a conspiracy. The islamist are blowing up people, killing people, and trying to forcefully impose their will. It is not a conspiracy. Of course if you feel it is a conspiracy, we have no need for further discourse. You are simply a nut.

These are good ideas. I don't think this country has the guts to carry out this plan. We would have to fight the liberal looney, the conspiracy nuts, and the people who believe Christianity is just as bad.

Curious, why the disrepect for Auster? He is a realist and a geniune conservative from all his writing I have read.

It's not my thread, it's Jeff's, but my own _preference_ would be for the thread not to devolve into a discussion of why Jeff put in that brief statement that he does not normally recommend Auster.

Readers of W4 and my personal blog know that I recommend Lawrence Auster's opinions and posts frequently. This is not to say that I invariably agree with him, but I often do.

Alex wrote:

What is meant by "public opinion" in this case? If it's the opinion of the "average person", then I suspect many of these proposals will be in accord with what the American public already wants.

In my experience the average person, despite his sympathy in acknowledging the problem, is not yet ready to embrace the solutions. But he is willing to give us a hearing. I live in California - albeit a very conservative region of the state - so my experience is probably not normative.

I've actually tried these ideas out on some of my neighbors: they don't disagree with me, and they nod their heads a lot, but I can sense their discomfort. Heck, I have plenty of discomfort myself. That such measures are necessary in the first place is lamentable. Who really wants to go there?

But the intuitions of the multitude are of no avail in opposition to the ruling ideas of our time. These ruling ideas must be abandoned by the "educated elite" and another, perhaps a so-called "reactionary" intellectual consensus arrived at, before specific measures to deal with the Muslim threat can receive an imprimatur from those who count.

Like you, Alex, I'm not a populist. Popular ideas generally "trickle down" from the intelligentsia, despite talk-radio pretensions to the contrary. So, yes, the "elite" - whether the existing elite, a rising new elite, or some combination of the two - will need to climb on board before these proposals get any legs.

In a nutshell: disinviting Muslims in the US (or in Europe for that matter) is contingent upon an intellectual revolution - a counter-Enlightenment crusade that will restore confidence in Christian values and attitudes.

Well said.

However, a Christian Renaissance suffused with the determination to resist being driven along the road to dhimmitude doesn't seem a likely development right now in the tolerant Western world.

I think we can learn from history that public opinion can change very, very quickly and dramatically in a crisis. Furthermore we are at a particularly volatile stage in history, and a dangerous one. I regard it as equally likely that American opinion continues its reversion to paganism, possibly erupting in a stronger alliance with Islam against the Church, as it is likely that these proposals will be adopted.

As a potential matter of interest, it seems that CAIR's seven million number isn't actually based on anything remotely reliable. The American Religious Identification Survey finds less than two million Muslims in the U.S.; the Pew Research Center's estimates seem to be around two million as well. A place to start is a page of links by Daniel Pipes, showing the more serious estimates as well as the ongoing popularity of the seven million number:

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2003/04/how-many-muslims-in-the-united-states

Note that the correct number does not undercut Lydia and Jeff's points: the amount of trouble being caused is the same whether two million or seven million are responsible for it. Insofar as it means the problem is more manageable, that's a good thing.

Step2, you wrote:

It's telling that you don't see how quickly the tables will be turned against Christians once you start making these kinds of legal exceptions.

Oh, I see that quite well. But we're already there, in that our present laws are frequently turned against Christians. So let's drop the pretense of religious neutrality and just put it all on the table.

Re: proposals 5 and 6. You can't honestly claim that you are willing to tolerate a safe version of Islam and then forbid access to it through channels already in place.

When that safe version of Islam finally materializes, and is easily distinguished from the rest of Islam, I'm fine with dropping 5 and 6.

What's truly terrible is how libtards will try to use this post to paint conservatives as jingoistic, racist whack jobs who are trying to start a Christian theocracy in the US with no regard for the clear language of the Constitution or the US' history of religious tolerance.

Guess you red state folks aren't really fans of the consitution, huh?

Don't that make you anti American?

C Matt, you wrote:

Putting aside whether 3 (a)&(b) would fly Constitutionally, what is to prevent them from simply lying about these oaths?

Nothing, of course. The value here is that those who are found violating their oaths would be deported. It's a filtering mechanism.

Likewise with 4, if you don't already know arabic, how do you know if the translation is accurate? And if you do know arabic, you can translate it yourself (and the gov't would be able monitor and translate, identifying improper sites anyway under 3(c) or a slight expansion of 3(c) to include any public communications).

Again, this is just another tool in the toolbox for reducing the propagation of jihad and sharia and weeding out violators. It isn't foolproof, but it's something. When the English translations of a particular work are shown to be glossed, the operation (website, publishing house, mosque) is shut down and the violators penalized or deported.

Don't know if it would fly, but you could also try putting a restrictive covenant in any deeds for real estate prohibiting use of the land for a mosque subject to forfeiture of title.

If the proposed constitutional amendment were passed, it would definitely fly. I like the idea.

I don't fear Sharia Law. I fear Fundamentalist Christian Law. Can I get an Amendment banning those crazy [ed.]

I haven't had time to say this yet: I'm on board with the majority of Jeff's proposals, and I would go so far as to call myself thrilled and enchanted with his local action proposals. (Really.)

At the national level, I am inclined to demur at the sharia portion of 3d and at 4.

I would also probably strengthen 3b to establish a special policy of longitudinal supervision of Muslim military personnel for dangerous tendencies, positive comments about jihad, sympathy for our enemies, excuse-making for terrorists, etc.

Well, needless to say I think most of these proposals are bad ideas. Instead of getting into the particulars, I'll make a general point. Probably everyone here accepts the principle that we should use the most moderate, least harmful means that will achieve the legitimate ends (whatever they are). If so, then what's required is a very careful argument that there does not exist a more moderate way to achieve the desired ends. I think that there is, and I talked about that some in the comments to Part I. But you've got to prove, not only that my ideas were wrong, but that your proposal is the minimum required to achieve your ends. At the least, what's wrong with trying a more moderate approach first to see if it works, and only if it doesn't then bring out the heavy artillery?

The other general issue is consequences. I've seen no real argument that these will achieve the intended consequences and not create even worse unintended consequences. For instance, I've got nothing against loyalty oaths in principle, but have they ever worked? Did they work during the 1950s? Will radical Muslims feel obligated to tell the truth? How will you enforce these proposals? To take another example, will it be easier to enforce the requirement of publication of English translations than simply to hire people to read the Arabic? And is there a danger that these actions will make American Muslims more, not less radical?

On a more positive note, I do agree with some of the proposals. A halt to Muslim immigration (and other immigration too). Allowing the discrimination against Muslims (and against Jews and Christians too). But I don't think you're making a very strong argument.

"I don't fear Sharia Law. I fear Fundamentalist Christian Law. Can I get an Amendment banning those crazy f!cks?"- media browski

I fear people who are so lazy and ignorant they cannot figure out what is going on around them.

I used to be a liberal atheist, so I understand the hype about Christian Theocracy.
But that's all it is, hype.
Since I stopped hating on people of faith I am much happier.
You should try it...

Jeff C.,

Thanks for getting down to "brass tacks" as they say. I'm onboard with #s 1 and 2 right away, as I think the first thing we have to do is stop making the problem worse. As for the other proposals, I'm generally more supportive of the ones that are more specific, say for example #9. The problem I still have with proposal #3 is that based on what I've read about both jihad and sharia, the terms are too broad in meaning to claim they are "hostile, foreign, political ideologies" without qualification. Last night I came across this bloggingheads video which I recommend watching in full:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/32594?in=44:14&out=47:45

Professor Wheeler (and Bob Wright) are obviously liberals with an agenda and yet the substance of the Professor's comments seem to me difficult to refute -- specifically the idea that sharia means Islamic practice and covers 1,000+ years of "case law" covering everything from ritual (the five duties of every Muslim) to family law to criminal law to international relations. So a faithful Islamic U.S. citizen might be following sharia when he wants to figure out whether or not he can bring his skateboard into a mosque (an example the Professor uses in the diavlog), he might be following sharia when he wants to get divorced from his wife by an imam, etc.

Unfortunately, the good Professor basically ignores all the really fun cases of using sharia to justify killing apostates, or murdering your daughter rather than having her marry an infidel, or demanding that Muslim women be allowed to wear a hijab in court, etc., etc. So the good Professor acts like a typical liberal and glosses over the crazy Islam we've come to know and love here at W4 -- but the fact that he gives examples of a different Islam forces me to continue to insist on a distinction between the crazies and the moderates. However, the Professor does make an interesting point which is that any Muslim practice that violated state or federal law would already be illegal. So a law that demanded a Muslim renounce the specific sharia practice of killing apostates is sort of redundant -- murder is already illegal in all our states! So what does proposal #3 really get you, given the broader understanding I laid out above of what sharia means?

Grobi,

Are you a Moslem? And if you are a Westerner, why does the thought of effectively defending your people and way of life from a mortal threat fill you with such dread? If you cannot defend yourself, at least others do your job for you.

With respect: this is all pie in the sky. All sorts of highly improbable events would have to take place before even the least of these proposals could possibly go anywhere, in the U.S.A. Today.

Maybe events in Europe, over the course of the next twenty years or so, will change perceptions. Or maybe somebody will succeed in detonating a "dirty bomb" in Times Square. But, most likely, things will chug along on their present course to nowhere in particular.

Jeff S., on sharia.

Here are a bunch of things, some of which I already mentioned in the other thread:

1) Outlawing the use of sharia and marking it as hostile outlaws sharia-compliant finance. Sharia-compliant financial funds have to have imams involved who advise about "purifying" the profits by giving a portion to "charity." They pick the "charities." These can easily be front groups for terrorism. If you don't normalize the sharia financial funds in the first place, you cut off a normalized source of funding for these faux charities, which is a good measure to take in addition to running around trying to figure out which charities are the front groups and shutting them down on a case-by-case basis. Indeed, the very fact that some group was a needed "charity" for a sharia-compliant fund in which, let's say, a governmental entity had invested might well help to shield said "charity" from clear-eyed investigation and shutdown.

2) Outlawing the use of sharia makes it clear that the criminal justice system is not permitted to make use of "cultural defenses" as mitigating factors when those "cultural defenses" make reference to sharia/Muslim rules such as the rule that a woman must always be sexually available to her husband. One can say that, e.g., spousal rape or beating your daughter are already illegal, but there is usually some measure of discretion given to courts to apply considerations of mitigating circumstances, and such discretion has been used in sharia-compliant ways such as I listed in my previous post. An anti-sharia rule says that sharia norms are not mitigating circumstances.

3) Outlawing the use of sharia should mean (though I don't know if the Oklahoma voters intended it to mean) that sharia arbitration courts are not treated as being on a par with Beth Din and other private arbitration groups--that is to say, the governmental entities will not enforce contractual agreements based on sharia. I think this is legitimate because of well-founded worries in general about the actual freedom with which vulnerable people, especially young people pressured into marriages and especially women, have entered into contractual agreements under sharia arbitration.

I would add here that your commentator (whom I haven't watched yet, but I'm going by your summary) _should not_ treat it as a "no problem" thing for divorces to be governed by sharia. There are lots of ways in which normal U.S. laws on divorce and child custody are, for all their flaws, better than sharia rules. For example, there is the concern for the best interests of the child rather than the codification of automatic custody to the father.

4) Codifying the hostile nature of sharia means that accommodations to pushy Muslim demands are not required. You have yourself mentioned allowing women to have their faces covered in court (though this would be the burkha rather than the hijab, but I think that's what you meant). Please note that refusal of such special accommodations simply *is not covered* by the "hey, it's illegal already" category. U.S. law usually _requires_ "reasonable" religious accommodations. Rejection of sharia in the way that Jeff C. suggests means that we are not required to make such accommodations for faces covered in court, not taking blind dogs in taxis, getting your place in the taxi line saved while you go pray for a half hour, shutting down the meat plant so all the Somali workers can pray at sundown in Ramadan, and on and on and on.

5) Outlawing the use of sharia sends a strong message to law enforcement and other bodies that they *may not* say that "the community has dealt with it" in criminal cases. There should IMO be provisions for bringing complaints that some local authority is abusing its prosecutorial discretion in a sharia-compliant way. This is already happening in England, where "the community" ordered some sort of reparation in a _criminal case_ involving bodily harm in a fight, and the police dropped the matter because it had been dealt with by a sharia tribunal. Here, it is simply naive to use the "it's already illegal" claim. Yep, this was a criminal case, but that didn't stop the police from letting the sharia court handle it. Once it is codified that sharia is *nothing* and worse than nothing in a society, that becomes a much less likely scenario. But when you start normalizing "sharia courts," originally ostensibly just for "divorce and family matters" (but see above), by the "give them an inch and they take a mile" principle, these "courts" will end up being allowed to adjudicate other matters as well, which is Even Worse News.

Jeff S., you might like to see David Yerushalmi's discussion of sharia & the Oklahoma initiative:

http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18588.xml

Expanding somewhat on my previous post @ 3:35 pm:

In the comments of Grobi, Step2, Bob, media browski, “Herman Göring,” we see the bitter fruit of liberalism. Islam in general (not all Moslems, to be sure, but enough to constitute a very serious threat to the West) is engaged in a low-level but deadly serious war with us, and these people can only respond with horror at the suggestion that we actually get serious about defending ourselves. Note again how the liberal mind refuses both to acknowledge that enemies exist, and to give up liberalism’s prime directive “Thou Shalt Not Discriminate. Period.” (“Period” means that no exceptions are ever to be admitted, no matter how dire the circumstances.)

We all knew, of course, that such people would post the type of comments that they did. But at least we should go on record saying that their position is wicked and foolish, amounting to recommending that others join them in their suicide. In war you always discriminate: against the enemy. And the enemy cannot be pacified by being nice to him; not when his goal is to defeat you.

I’m assuming that none of these persons are Moslems. If any of them is, then he’s trying to trick us into letting down our guard, even if he’s not consciously supporting the Jihad. In any case, the defeatists can take a hike.

Perhaps you could establish special camps where to ship the muslims. Camps with very special "showers". That's what you want to do, you crazy christians.

That is what YOU would love the Christians to want. What frustrates you to the point of bursting in your idiotic rage is that you haven't met and will never meet such a Christian, except perhaps in a mental asylum. And in YOUR fantasies.
Well, the nature of the fantasy one prays to come true corresponds most closely with the nature of the praying person and the nature of the deity the prayer is directed to.
And the nature of your fantasy is vile, rotten, loathsome and insane...

@Steve--Well, the Oklahomans are trying to do some of it.

I think Jeff C. is right when he says that the situation now is volatile and that things can change more quickly than one might think.

But more important: It's important to *say things* even if not much of what one recommends is going to happen, because

a) If no one ever says it, no one will ever hear it, and we guarantee our defeat.

b) The window of opportunity for making a serious strike at the "thou shalt not discriminate" doctrine and for having a serious discussion of what that might mean in practice may be closing. Vide Europe and the trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff going on right now.

We in America should work while it is day, for (no blasphemy intended) the night cometh when no man can work.

c) Suggesting that Islam not be treated on a par with other religions can give guts and spine to people who incohately felt that this was correct but were so isolated that they were in danger of being bullied into abandoning their common sense.

d) Suggesting that Islam not be considered to be on a par with other religions may strike a chord with a waverer and introduce him to a new idea.

e) There is a smorgasbord of suggestions here, some of which are more do-able than others, and people can choose which ones to try. That's one reason I'm so pleased with the local and personal action section.

Outlawing sharia also sends a strong message to Muslims that Islam is not welcome in America and may spur many Muslims to leave the country voluntarily.

Another proposal not mentioned yet but that I have seen Auster put forth: offering a substantial one-time payment to Muslim-American families (citizens) if they agree to leave the country and permanently renounce their American citizenship.

Jeff S., you wrote:

So a faithful Islamic U.S. citizen might be following sharia when he wants to figure out whether or not he can bring his skateboard into a mosque (an example the Professor uses in the diavlog), he might be following sharia when he wants to get divorced from his wife by an imam, etc.

Not a problem. The sharia that concerns us here is that which seeks to transform American law and polity, as the proposed C.A. makes clear. A purely private sharia that harms no one and seeks no changes in our government (does such a sharia really exist?) would not be censured. I'm far from an expert on the topic, but I seriously doubt that sharia can be cherry picked that way: it's a package deal.

Aaron, you wrote:

Probably everyone here accepts the principle that we should use the most moderate, least harmful means that will achieve the legitimate ends (whatever they are).

Yes, I agree, but I suspect that we don't actually agree about the ends. As I stated in the post, the objective of these proposals is "to eliminate, or reduce to the point of irrelevance, the social and political influence of Islamic doctrine and ideas in this country". If you have a more moderate set of proposals that will achieve the same ends, I'm all ears.

"With respect: this is all pie in the sky. All sorts of highly improbable events would have to take place before even the least of these proposals could possibly go anywhere, in the U.S.A. Today."

Golly, Steve and I actually agree, except for the pie part - pie is good, pie is desirable, ummm pie - anyway, rousing from my Homer Simpson-like reverie, i would point out that these proposals are monstrous - nations that go down this path wind up as backwaters or piles of bricks.

One of the results of economic downturns is too often the rise of a certain meanness of spirit towards the other. As we drift into a decade or so of Japan-like stagnation, this sort of thing is not a hopeful straw in the wind. Hopefully Steve is right about the improbable events.

"I'm far from an expert on the topic, but I seriously doubt that sharia can be cherry picked that way..."

Obviously, as we Plains Apes do it all the time, in all cultures and with all systems. While it seems obvious to me that it would be advantageous to adopt the ancient Jewish (and Roman, for that matter) custom that a father could set in motion procedures that would result in a rebellious adolescent being stoned, not many seem to agree. Neither do we any longer stone adulterers and gay folk, burn witches, and do any of us fear to labor on the sabbath?

Folks entering into a contract can stipulate that any disputes must be submitted to arbitration under any mutually agreeable system, and the contract is legal and enforceable as long as public policy isn't violated. I don't know about the U.K. but there is no way an arbitration using any civil code is going to slip-slide into criminal jurisdiction in the U.S (I suspect the U.K. example wouldn't survive a close look).

I am not a fan of the Muslim religion. I believe that it is medieval in its outlook and application. Having said that, I do not believe America is in danger from sharia law. Muslims make up about 5% of the American population, if that. How can 5% of the people force their religion on the remaining 95% of Americans? This is way overblown. You make it sound like we are on the verge of being Ismalicized. This is far from the truth. Hell, even among the Muslims in America, the 5% that make up the American population, a minority of those believe in sharia. So not even a majority of American muslims believe in sharia.

You're doing a good job in agitating the masses, but for a threat that's just not there.

Only one in the throes of death fears vultures, not the one who is healthy and vital.

I know our body politic is sick, but calling for the suppression of Islam and the 2% of the population that subscribes to its different colorations is more a death rattle than the confident, prudent strategy of a society that produces "men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.”

The whole of this agenda serves only to taint its better parts, like limiting Islamic immigration or passing referenda banning Sharia, with other content and a tone that seems crude and cruel. Let us be grateful that despite a cultural landscape parched from despair and littered with lunatics and opportunists, there is not a single ecclesiastical, political or social authority of note that would promote it.

Islam is not yet an existential threat to this country, but contemplating the geopolitical fall-out (we have need of Islamic states as allies), the stress on our social fabric and worse of all, the effect on Christianity in this country is jarring.
We do not need Islam in order to forge our identity, or for it to be the catalyst for a religious awakening. Nor do we need an "intellectual revolution" - we’ve had nothing but, for several centuries. It is spiritual one that is needed most. We need to make Christ visibly present.

Watch the dark threats and circling vultures disappear when we do.

like limiting Islamic immigration or passing referenda banning Sharia
\

Newsflash: If you think these are the "better parts," there are other people who would think _you_ "crude and cruel."

We need to get a grip here on the fact that the "all religions are equal, Islam must not be discriminated against" principle is the enemy of all proposals _anywhere in this vicinity_, including both the more moderate ones and the more sweeping ones. If you don't like the more sweeping ones but you do like others, then instead of making rhetorically colorful allusions to vultures and mean-spiritedness, it would be smarter to recognize that the suicidal liberal principle isn't going to let you do *diddly-squat* to protect us from Islamicization, even when it gets to a point where just maybe you would acknowledge that, golly, we now have a problem. Then, having recognized that fact, you could turn your colorful rhetoric on the people who are really out to make our culture vulture bait. Deliberately.

"we have need of Islamic states as allies"

Allies???
Allies in what undertaking?
Resisting creeping Sharia and fighting islamisation of the West? Stopping moslem invasion of Europe and the emergence of Eurabia? Advancing human rights?
Or perhaps Islamic states are indispensable allies in West's existential struggle against Israel's attempts at global hegemony?

I'm just amazed at those who would prefer to wait until the problem is completely out-of-control and the only options are bloodshed and/or mass deportations on American soil. That's where France is today. Take a look at this map:

http://www.geographictravels.com/2006/11/no-go-areas-of-france-and-rest-of.html .

In France no-go zones are referred to as Zones Urbaines Sensibles (Sensitive Urban Zones). Approximately 12 percent of all French in France live in a Sensitive Urban Zone (5 million out of approximately 60 million French)! Some of the zones are governed under Islamic Sharia law. From these no-go zones Islamic militants are waging guerrilla warfare against French police. The police are now taking to the streets in protest against the violence targeted at them in Lyons with police unions claiming there is a civil war against them.

France will not peacefully be rid of this problem. Their only hope is civil war at some time in the future. In the United States, we still have a chance to do this peacefully, humanely, and with a minimum of social disruption. But we have no time to lose.

Under the provision about amending the US Constitution: Don't use the word 'religion'. That flies in the face of --freedom of religion.
Instead use the term 'ideology'. Or something like it.

Jeff, any statistics on what proportion Muslims are of the French population?

I bet it's a number that, looked at in the abstract, our commentators would also say should be no problem!

Funny how much trouble such a small percentage of the population can cause, if they're determined.

Force everyone to eat a bite of pork at noon or be shot. If we don't do this, the terrorists win.

Ah, La Wik gives a nationwide estimated 6 to 10 percent of the population of France as Muslim. What's to worry?

Clayton, you're slipping. You usually try a little harder to look like something other than a troll.

Alan,
You are about as intimidating as a flea, give it up. I'm willing to discriminate, but it will be apply to any narrow-minded, fundamentalist form of religion, including Christian Dominionism. I'm sure a guy like you will once again call me an "enemy" and talk about how I should be treated like a traitor and stuff, but since you are an ignorant hack and pathetic at understanding motives perhaps you shouldn't get your panties in such a twist.

Jeff,
So let's drop the pretense of religious neutrality and just put it all on the table.

The problem isn't religious neutrality, the problem is that Muslims have been much better at getting around religious neutrality. I would be perfectly content to see Muslims suffer as many obstacles as Christians do from a secular state. What you advocated above is much more oppressive, and if any of it gets enacted I'll be content to see that applied fairly as well.

If you want to start a religious conflict with the Muslims, start by calling them out for being dishonorable. Terrorism against a civilian population is an act of blatant cowardice, and the sooner Muslims stop treating those jackals as heroes the sooner those who follow legitimate rules of battle can live and die as warriors. Of course that means they will have to stop attacking women and children, so I don't expect many of those macho men will opt for a dignified conflict, but those that do will have earned their status as religious martyrs.

I am just really curious, has the author of this heard of the Bill of Rights?

A time out on immigration would serve as a prophylactic against social discord, Islamic separatism and as the basis for greater cultural cohesion.

Likewise, banning the implantation of an alien judicial system antagonistic to our own would enjoy a broad consensus and deal a devastating blow against the self-hating liberalism that parades around as multi-culturalism.

However, there is no moral case for creating a climate of harassment or reverse dhimmitude for the Moslems already here. Those who argue otherwise are a thankfully tiny subset who will only be traipsed out to tarnish and marginalize the rest of us should they ever gain a following.

The answer to Liberalism's Death Wish is not the rightist variant called the Clash of Civiliazations/ WW IV. To catch a glimpse of its mental features see the nescient comments of T. Hanski.

Thank you for appropriately titling your website. Your backward, ignorant rhetoric is definitely 'what's wrong with the world'.

Our Constitution precludes any opportunity for sharia law to be implemented in the United States. What you are proposing is running entirely afoul of the premise that this country was founded upon; judging people and excluding them because of their religion would be appalling to our country's founders.

It saddens me to see this kind of xenophobia coming from a few otherwise well-spoken individuals. It is fine to state that a lifestyle is not for you, but you overestimate the amount of Muslims who want to do America harm. These pogroms against Islam and Muslims are neither popular nor constitutional, nor will they ever be. Thirty-eight states would have to ratify a distinctly un-American amendment (one that strips rights rather than grants them, contrary to EVERY amendment ever passed), which is a pipe dream.

I encourage every one of you scared and confused people, before you decide to go out and dehumanize your neighbors and brothers, equating children of God to ideologies they may not even hold, to have an open and spirited conversation with a Muslim.

I encourage every one of you scared and confused people, before you decide to go out and dehumanize your neighbors and brothers, equating children of God to ideologies they may not even hold, to have an open and spirited conversation with a Muslim.

I have had many hundreds of conversations with Muslims. On every conceivable topic. I've lived with them, studied with them, worked with them, negotiated with them, and partied with them. I've even taken one to church. Hence, my post.

One of my Muslim college roommates paid me a fairly high compliment. After explaining to him why he shouldn't be chasing women, he smiled and said: "Do you know what you are? You are an old, old Middle Eastern man!" Ha.

Don Colacho, you wrote:

However, there is no moral case for creating a climate of harassment or reverse dhimmitude for the Moslems already here.

That is the language of false moral equivalence. When Christianity is suppressed by dhimmitude, the truth is suppressed, good works are suppressed, God's people are suppressed. When Islam is suppressed by proposals restricting jihad and sharia, lies are suppressed and evildoers are suppressed. That sounds like a good moral case to me.

These pogroms against Islam and Muslims are neither popular nor constitutional, nor will they ever be.

That's a relief! Wait ... was someone around here advocating pogroms?

Pogrom: "a form of violent riot, a mob attack, either approved or condoned by government or military authorities, directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres."

I think you may have the wrong blog.

Brilliant ideas...in order to defeat the Muslims in our supposed fantasy war with them, let's dismantle the very foundations of America. If we eliminate the values worth defending, the war will automatically end.

Amazing how our strong country is really just made up of panicky and scared people. Every time a major minority group has immigrated to America, we have always started out with hostilities simply because we fear anything different and unknown. Seems like we are too lazy to learn from our mistakes. By the way, what percentage of terrorist attacks in France, or any European country, are perpetrated by Muslims? France's bigger threat comes from separatist groups. But for fearful people who struggle learning our own history, can we really expect them to also understand the intricacies of European domestic issues? Perhaps not.

If you seriously want "to eliminate, or reduce to the point of irrelevance, the social and political influence of Islamic doctrine and ideas in this country" then the methods proposed here are laughably inadequate. There is nothing proposed here that will, for instance, "reduce to the point of irrelevance" the threat of further successful Muslim terrorist attacks in America. If that's really your goal, then you need a hardcore police state approach that goes way beyond anything proposed here. Even the outright banning of private Muslim belief, going way beyond what Auster proposes, wouldn't be enough to accomplish your goal without the inquisitorial machinery to back it up.

We disagree somewhat on the ends to be achieved, but I think you're still greatly underestimating what can be accomplished with less extreme means. Once again, I'll point to Israel, which has solved some (by no means all) of the domestic "Muslim problem" with far less extreme methods. As I asked earlier, how can one justify using your proposed methods without first trying less extreme methods to see how much they will accomplish?

Ah, La Wik gives a nationwide estimated 6 to 10 percent of the population of France as Muslim. What's to worry?

Lydia, for comparison consider that only 5.1% of the population of the Philippines is Muslim, and yet they suffer no end of Islamist guerrilla warfare, kidnappings, bombings, etc.. And it has nothing to do with their foreign policy.

If that's really your goal, then you need a hardcore police state approach that goes way beyond anything proposed here. Even the outright banning of private Muslim belief, going way beyond what Auster proposes, wouldn't be enough to accomplish your goal without the inquisitorial machinery to back it up.

So, Aaron, you have exposed me for the Big Softie I really am. Seriously.

However, these admittedly wimpy proposals were offered in the sincere hopes that you are mistaken. As another commenter has noted, it is possible that many Muslims (if not most) will be inspired to emigrate for more jihad-and-sharia-friendly shores as a result of the new paradigm. I could be wrong, but I suspect there would be few deportations and much emigration as a result. Perhaps a credibly peaceful and assimilated community of Muslims would stay behind, and that's fine.

There is, of course, an ugly alternative scenario: violent Islamic resistance. In which case we will know, without a doubt, that the aforementioned policies were too little, too late.

Whatever the justice or likely effectiveness of these thoughtful proposals, the brave spirit in which they've been conceived is admirable. Ideas that run counter to received educated opinion - especially on "sensitive" topics like the nature of Islam, racial differences, abortion, the causes of AIDS and many more - will attract lots of robotic opposition. Many liberal views have been deeply internalized to a point where even intellectually sophisticated people don't realize that they're on auto-pilot when responding to dissenting propositions.

When Islam is suppressed by proposals restricting jihad and sharia, lies are suppressed and evildoers are suppressed. That sounds like a good moral case to me.

Jeff - how many American Moslems are waging jihad? How many have set-up Sharia courts?

Are we not arresting and/or deporting those who do, instead of indiscriminately applying the tools of suppression against 7 million people?

Your hair-raising "enemy within" narrative lacks evidence and I am afraid it is you who will end up ostracized and longing for more hospitable lands.

You know, one small -- symbolic, yet far-reaching -- step of resistence that any speaker of English can undertake at this very moment is to commit himself to stop refering to the Slaves of Allah by the trendy and PC-inspired term ('Muslims'), but to use, instead, the historic English term ('Moslems').

Whatever the justice or likely effectiveness of these thoughtful proposals, the brave spirit in which they've been conceived is admirable.

Is it truly courageous to advocate an unjust solution?

Douglas: Curious, why the disrepect for Auster? He is a realist and a geniune conservative from all his writing I have read.

Because">http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2009/06/the_trouble_with_larry.html">Because


sorry about that; here's the corrected link:

Because

I

Is it truly courageous to advocate an unjust solution?

No, as an abstract principle it isn't courageous to advocate an unjust solution. However, in the case we're talking about everything depends on the reasoning that leads you claim these proposals are "unjust".

If lumping 7 million Americans into the category of subversive 5th Columnists in order to impose a regime of suppression isn't unjust, what is? Seems you must have some moral qualms too or you would be making the public case to a larger audience than an online enclave.

Or do you simply lack courage?

Jeff - how many American Moslems are waging jihad? How many have set-up Sharia courts?

Are we not arresting and/or deporting those who do, instead of indiscriminately applying the tools of suppression against 7 million people?

Your hair-raising "enemy within" narrative lacks evidence and I am afraid it is you who will end up ostracized and longing for more hospitable lands.

Look everywhere else where Moslems become a significant minority and see what happens. Does it have to get to that point before something is done? Some posting here seem to want to do nothing until the only solution is violence.

What evidence is lacking? Lydia listed quite a few incidents. We have some American Muslim attempting jihad about every 3 months. Your statement is ignorance, falsehood, or willful self-deception.

A summary of Jeff's proposals shows:

1. Not violent and perfectly legitimate. Why allow people from a population that has a significant number of people who wish to end our way of life into the country?
2. Same reasoning as #1.
3. If there is a moderate form of Islam, then this should not affect them, correct? We're just targeting the "radicalized" ones.
4. Not a bad idea.
5. History has shown imams in prison to be subversive. After 1-3 have had time, this one can probably be revoked in the future.
6. Same as #5.
7-10. Nothing to add.

I do like the idea of paying them to leave. Again, it's a non-violent solution.

Look everywhere else where Moslems become a significant minority and see what happens.

I'm for limiting immigration and preventing a violent Balkanized future.

You are for a campaign of harassment, intimidation and breaking the law, all aimed at driving out millions of innocent people. The result; we would all be unsafer.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Don Cholacho makes a reference to my two very short comments which he characterizes as nescient.

The answer to Liberalism's Death Wish is not the rightist variant called the Clash of Civiliazations/ WW IV. To catch a glimpse of its mental features see the nescient comments of T. Hanski.

Hm, I am reading the first one and wonder what exactly is nescient about my referring to a vile, rotten, loathsome and insane fantasy as well,… vile, rotten, loathsome and insane? Can you suggest better, finer (less nescient, you know) description? If so, please do it now, for the benefit of the nescient ones.

My other comment is a rather simple question where I ask you to specify the tasks for which, as you claim, the US needs Islamic states as allies. You could have tried to answer the question, or ignore it. It seems you were unable to do the former, but at the same time anxious that choosing the latter will only confirm that perception. So you resort to a poor diversion shoddiness of which you hope to offset with some fancy word. The fancier the better, you reasoned, and “nescient” seemed to be a good candidate. Except that you were too eager, or too lazy, or both, to properly acquaint yourself with its meaning. Because if the meaning of nescience is a state of not knowing, agnosticism, or ignorance then referring to a question as “nescient” is a rather plain tautology showing you are clearly nescient of the meaning of the word nescient.

Well I have no problem with your dismissal of my comments. If you knew what I think of your prose and occasional comical attempts at poetry (the kitschy image of “circling vultures” blah, blah…) you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you I couldn’t care less.
But I am mildly amused and intrigued with your recommending my humble comments for offering a “glimpse of mental..features” of “Clash of Civilisations/WW IV”. It would be nice if you had followed the recommendation with something just a bit more substantial and cared to present a short list of these “features”. I never considered, or was nescient of, that a Clash of Civilizations may have “mental features” and even less the possibility that we (me and the Clash) may share them. But if, by chance, you had in mind the “mental features” of Samuel Huntington I would be most flattered, if not entirely convinced.

Kudos to Mr. Culbreath and Lydia. You are doing The Lord's work and you are continuing in the great tradition of statesmanship;

http://www.vdare.com/misc/powell_speech.htm

Always uncountable are the men who tell themselves that now is not the time to act,who tell themselves that there is no point in fighting, and perhaps dying, on this or that particular hill.

And when those men, finally, do decide it is time to act, they discover that it is too late because a majority of those hills they refused to fight over are now occupied by their mortal enemies.

The Valley of Dhimmitude is the future for those who have no eyes to see; and they will, gladly, pay The Jizya while complementing themselves that they are peaceful Christlike men who welcomed the stranger and did not discriminate.

Dear Mr Colacho. What do you imagine would have been the response of St Thomas More were he to have discovered a diabolical plot intending the total transformation or destruction of England?

http://www.meforum.org/687/the-muslim-brotherhoods-conquest-of-europe

Thankfully, more men are waking-up and, thanks to the internet, discovering the truth about Mahomet and Mahometanism.

Sadly, for Christian Catholics like my ownself, all of this knowledge had to be acquired with absolutely no help from The Magisterium or The Hierarchy which, for a long, long, time, has made the prudential error of opening itself to the world; i.e. its enemy.

If lumping 7 million Americans into the category of subversive 5th Columnists in order to impose a regime of suppression isn't unjust, what is? Seems you must have some moral qualms too or you would be making the public case to a larger audience than an online enclave.

Or do you simply lack courage?


Maybe I don't have a platform for making the public case. Maybe your suppositions about my "moral qualms" and my "lack of courage" are irrelevant to the substance of what we're discussing. Maybe you should tone down the rhetoric if you want to make a reasoned case.

Thank you for this helpful post. Not only does your proposal undermine your own constitution, but it would benefit my recruiting efforts enormously.

Signed,

Osama bin Laden

Wow. That was soooo clever.

Our Constitution precludes any opportunity for sharia law to be implemented in the United States.

If people keep saying this, maybe it'll magically become true. But interestingly, when anyone tries to take actual, practical steps to make sure sharia doesn't come to town, he's accused of unconstitutional oppression.

By the way, the "law-breaking" in question to which Don C. is so opposed involved not hiring Muslims at one's work and (gasp) giving one's business a strongly Christian flavor. Once one gets down to brass tacks there, it's hard to get so worked up about oppression and injustice.

I imagine Muslim businessmen do the same, yet the EEOC doesn't seem to be pounding on their doors.

And, no, we don't arrest or deport everybody who plots jihad or engages in objectionable forms of sharia.

Witness the fact that Rifqa Bary's father, who threatened her for converting to Christianity, is AFAIK still in the United States. Illegally, I might add, but he's seeking "immigration relief." So is, AFAIK, Islam Said, who has applauded his father's murder of his two sisters for their Western clothing and friends.

Osama:

Thank you for this helpful post....it would benefit my recruiting efforts enormously.

Possibly true, hence the need to do something now and not later.

Ilion:

You know, one small -- symbolic, yet far-reaching -- step of resistence that any speaker of English can undertake at this very moment is to commit himself to stop refering to the Slaves of Allah by the trendy and PC-inspired term ('Muslims'), but to use, instead, the historic English term ('Moslems').

I think using the term "Mohammedan" brings out, even further, the alienness of Islam.

I basically agree with everything you say Jeff, except number 10 might be hard to enforce. A lot of non-Muslim people in America are the offspring of 1st cousin marriages. Many Orthodox Jews, especially the Hassids, practise consanguinity as a required part of their culture. Many Christian people in the South marry 1st cousins. My great-grandparents, twice removed were 1st cousins. (BTW, they were from Virginia) So my question is: how will you enforce such a law? Will you arrest consanguinous couples even years after the act is committed? What if the couple gets married in a state that permits such unions? Will their home state be allowed to prosecte them for an act that was perfectly legal in the state they got married in? Will a consanguinous couple moving to a state that forbids 1st cousin marriages be arrested years after the marriage took place? And finally, do you even think for one moment the Jews who practise this will allow any law prohibiting this practise to ever pass and be signed into law? Even if a cosanguinity law was passed, these people would make it impossible to enforce it unless violent force was used by law enforcement. The Hassids are well known for violence against Jews and non-Jews who oppose them. So by demanding such a law, (even though it is a sensible one) you're going to open up a can of worms that will create a whole new set of problems.

If lumping 7 million Americans into the category of subversive 5th Columnists in order to impose a regime of suppression isn't unjust, what is?

Let’s see: creating and “imposing regime of suppression” is the goal while “lumping 7 million Americans into the category of subversive 5th Columnists” is the means to achieve that goal?
Hmm, makes you wonder why the people who pursue such a goal didn’t “lump together” 7 million Americans decades ago. Certainly not for the lack of Americans...

Andrew E:

I think using the term "Mohammedan" brings out, even further, the alienness of Islam.

I have no problem with that (*) -- it's just that I can *spell* 'Moslem,' and I'm never sure I've got 'Mohammedan' right.


(*) And, in fact, 'Mohammedan' highlights the odd fact that, in many ways, Moslems revere the Big Mo in ways that Christians would never think to do with respect to the Christ. For instance, Jesus the Christ was a man -- he slept and woke, ate and voided, as all men do. But NO Christian cares about his toilet habits -- we’d all think anyone insane who cared, much less tried to proclaim The One True Way to use the can.

Many Orthodox Jews, especially the Hassids, practise consanguinity as a required part of their culture.

I did call my non-orthodox, but very knowledgeable in matters of Jewish law and culture, friend and asked him if he could confirm your claim. He thinks it may indeed occur with greater frequency than among average gentiles, but he was genuinely surprised to hear that it is "required part of their culture".
Could I ask you to please refer me to your source of that information? Thank you.

Some of my Jewish ancestors (and also some of my gentile relatives) are the offspring of first-cousin marriages (*) in the old rural South. But, it had nothing to do with being a "required part of their culture," it was simply that there were no Jews in their social circles who were not also relatives.


(*) When I was a kid, my father told me that it had been a lond-standing family joke that upon hearing the "So-and-So Franks" was getting married, the expected response was, "Who's the other one?"

-- we’d all think anyone insane who cared, much less tried to proclaim The One True Way to use the can.

Must be one of the reasons Maimonides called Mohamed insane.

Jeff and Lydia, you have correctly identified a serious problem, and it is refreshing to see W4 challenging conventional wisdom in suggesting solutions. I must caution, however, against using the same techniques for controlling Islam that Islam uses to dominate its environment. Islamic imperialism must be fought within the framework of established legal precedent in America. Existing laws sanction behavior rather than beliefs. They have succeeded against slavery, racial discrimination, and Marxism. This legal precedent should be brought to bear without mercy on Islam.

The current and worsening situation exists, not for lack of policies, but from failure to enforce existing ones. Muslim institutions must be held to the same standards for supervision that have bankrupted divisions of the Catholic Church through sex abuse scandals. Muslim communities must endure the same kind of stereotyping and profiling that causes fundamentalist Christians to close ranks against abortion clinic bombers.

The biggest contemporary threat to freedom of religion in America comes from an aggressive atheistic secular progressive movement bent on censoring Christian ideas and symbols from public life. There is a three-way struggle for influence in America concerning "equal access" between Muslims, Christians, and Secular Progressives. The secular progressives have the most political clout and media influence. They seek a monopoly on religious speech. They are anti-Christian. They are sympathetic to the Muslims. They do not feel threatened by Islam. They will use conflict between Christians and Muslims to advance dominance over religious speech and symbols. They and the Muslims share methods and sympathies, even though they promote completely opposite behaviors. Already many on the secular progressive left are saying that fundamentalist Christians are no different than fundamentalist Muslims. Any legal precedent established to censor Muslim beliefs will likely be turned into censoring Christian ones.

Your solutions must focus on behaviors! Any solutions focused on differentiating and sanctioning beliefs will likely be used to destroy freedom for all religions in America.

Bruce, there's quite a bit I could say in answer to your interesting comment, but I would begin by saying that simply enforcing existing rules is not a sufficient piece of advice so long as a) we have the "all religions are equal" principle unchallenged and b) we continue to permit Muslim immigration.

The problem caused by a is that we have a notion of religious accommodation in our laws and culture which is okay so long as it applies only to _reasonable_ accommodation. But Muslims always push the envelope and demand unreasonable accommodation, which is what leads to situations where legitimate laws go unenforced. Even allowing them to clog up the streets and break parking rules in New York City every Friday afternoon for prayers is a problem here and tends unto Muslim supremacism. Our country lacks a good sense of the real notion of reasonable accommodation and lacks an understanding of the fact that Muslims, far more than other religious groups, exploit that concept to the hilt and to bizarre and unreasonable lengths.

The problem caused by b is that so long as we continue unrestricted Muslim immigration it becomes harder and harder to enforce existing laws against Muslims. The blind-eye-turning, the accommodation, and the direct use (as in Dearborn) of the local law enforcement to assist Muslims in suppressing their critics will increase indefinitely. So, too, will unfair pressures on and challenges to law enforcement, as in the French cases Jeff discussed in this thread.

It's simply naive, as I said in another thread, to keep letting more and more bullies into your club and to say that this will be okay because you will just stand up to them.

That's why immigration practices _at least_ must discriminate on the basis of beliefs as well as, of course, behavior.

More later, if I have time.

Mr Hanski, when I made my statement about consanginity being "a required part of the culture" I should not have used the word required without this modifier: 'almost'. I'm of Marrano descent, and many marriages within my extended family have been 1st cousin. However if you want a short article on cosanqinity from the Jewish point of view, look up "Cosanguinity" in the online Jewish Encyclopedia. It shows that 1st cousin and even uncle/niece marriages were quite commom among the Jews. So, even if it was not "required", it was a part of the historic Jewish culture.

Lydia,

Thank you for responding. I concur with you about overhauling immigration practices, because these are, for the most part, arbitrary and independent of legal precedent and constitutional restraints. Immigration law needs major overall and needs to be integrated with an overall security strategy. What's done in immigration law does not set precedent for religious liberty in the rest of American law, so immigration law can actually be pretty discriminatory. I was more concerned with some of Jeff's recommendations that go beyond immigration. I'll grant perhaps that laws may need to be revised and strengthened to address the current abuses, but it is very important that any changes address behavior and not beliefs. If what you mean by getting away from "all religions are equal" means getting away from the legal precedent called "equal access," then you are advocating for a destruction of religious liberty in America. Since different religions result in different behaviors, focusing on behavior is a way to interdict the Muslim agenda without damaging religious liberty by discriminating between beliefs. I am on your side. We need to be careful not to hurt ourselves more than we hurt them. Policy implementers in America remain more outraged with Evangelicals than with Muslims.

Thank you, Mr. Dalton,
I will certainly look the subject up in the suggested source. I somehow always assumed that consanguinity is a social phenomenon occurring only within a clan and that there aren't Jewish clans. It seems to me that at least one of these assumptions is ungrounded.
best regards,
T. Hanski

I'm glad that Bruce brought up that important point. I'd been thinking of saying something a little stronger. What matters isn't so much the criteria by which some of these restrictions are applied, as much as who applies them and what institutional machinery is created for their application. For instance, as I understand these proposals the federal government would enforce censorship in every local community across the country (print, radio, and television are sometimes local). My understanding would seem to be correct, because this program wouldn't be too effective if you leave communities like Dearborn to handle their own censorship autonomously. So our friendly bureaucrats in Washington, DC would now have the authority and the institutional support to censor dangerous local speech in your town. The criterion, of course, is that it's dangerous Muslim speech, so none of us non-Muslims have to worry. Ha!

These proposals would grant the federal government massively intrusive legal and executive powers of control. If you think that you yourselves, as "racist, sexist, homophobic" Christians, are safe because the object of that control is limited for the time being to Muslims, well, I admire your faith.

Bruce, I suspect that you and I are not going to agree, but let me give you an example of a way in which the "interdicting behavior" and "interdicting beliefs" distinction simply doesn't cover all the bases. (Many could be given.)

Sharia agreements for marriage are often not entered into as freely as they pretend to be. Women are made to feel that they must "sign on the dotted line." This is relevant to whether or not such agreements should be treated as just any ol' contracts agreeing to arbitration. It's a matter of *taking behavior into account* in deciding policy, but it isn't, at the same time, a matter of merely penalizing behavior directly. It's a matter of saying, "Okay, based on observation, we know that _this_ type of private arbitration court doesn't work like others do, so we're not going to recognize it."

One of the problems with the "all religions are equal" doctrine is that we're not supposed to be allowed to do that. Induction is literally treated as illegal. We have to pretend that we don't know things that we do know, and everything has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

For example, consider admitting people into the army. I'm sorry, but what we know about the doctrine of jihad and about the number of people who adhere to it and the way they have tried to use the armed forces means that Muslims who apply for the armed forces _should_ _rationally_ come under extra scrutiny. This is just using what we know.

I simply do not believe that as Christians it is truly in our interests to continue to insist that our government at the federal, state, and local levels be irrational and even that we as private individuals in our hiring practices, etc., must be irrational on pain of legal repercussions.

Another example: We know from experience that a new mosque in a neighborhood has led in various cases to increased violence in the neighborhood, intimidation of the neighbors, and similar non-social behavior. Local zoning boards, etc., who are asked to give their stamp of approval to mosque-building *ought to be able to take these facts into account*.

Aaron, I would support the federal government's being able to interdict the advocacy of jihad, because it's a matter of the violent breaking of laws, hence arguably incitement to sedition.

I am hesitant about the other direct, federal censorship provisions in Jeff's list and have mentioned as much.

But those are only a small part of the list, and my perception is that Bruce would be opposed to all _discrimination_ and the permitting of discrimination against Muslims and Islam at all levels of government and, presumably, in areas like requiring non-discrimination against Muslims and religious accommodation w.r.t. private employment.

So I suspect he and you would have some disagreements, as he and I do.

Bruce's remarks buttress the case for need of traditionalist conservatives to identify and seek ways to rectify the flaws in the American Founding. If the spirit (and law) of the American Founding non-trivially restricts our ability to defend ourselves from Islam, then the Founding was inadequate and needs to be re-imagined to some extent. Lawrence Auster has written much on this. Specifically, the substantive qualities of America, ie. it's white, Anglo, Christian character were taken for granted by the founders and not memorialized in the founding documents along with the procedural qualities such as equality under the law and religious freedom and toleration.

"These pogroms against Islam and Muslims are neither popular nor constitutional, nor will they ever be.
That's a relief! Wait ... was someone around here advocating pogroms?

Pogrom: "a form of violent riot, a mob attack, either approved or condoned by government or military authorities, directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres."
I think you may have the wrong blog.

Posted by Jeff Culbreath | December 2, 2010 2:21 AM"

Indeed, I used the word 'pogroms' to intentionally suggest that this is nothing more than racism and religious discrimination, and to correlate your xenophobic ideals with that of the Nazis and Communists. Sure, nobody on this site is advocating going out and killing American Muslims, but I don't think you'd be bothered if they did. And of course, like any right-wing ideologue would, you ignored the substance in my argument and focused in on my use of semantics.

Anyway, the solution to your 'problem' can only come about through an amendment to the Constitution- an amendment that, as I said before, would be entirely contradictory to the nature of the Constitution. California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawai'i, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota are 14 states I can think of right now that would NOT ratify such an amendment if it were to be attempted, leaving you short of the 38 that would be needed.

Lydia: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" precludes the institution of sharia in the USA. There is no other protection needed- this Amendment protects you from Sharia as much as it protects Muslims from your quasi-intellectual efforts to oppress them.

I don't think you'd be bothered if they did.

A mind reader, too.

David Yerushalmi makes the extremely intelligent point in a post I linked above that the courts are the worst place for deciding what sort of non-court judicial forums are contrary to the Constitution--that this is quite legitimately the job of legislatures, which can make explicit that this or that type of quasi-legal proceeding will not be recognized by the overarching laws. Otherwise, the courts have to ad lib it, which we needn't leave them to do.

David Flick --

I recommend you brush up on your history a bit. There have actually been numerous instances where the American people used various instruments of law to make certain factions or doctrinal groups feel unwelcome. Beginning with English Loyalists, on through Jacobins, Copperheads, polygamist, Anarchists, Communists, Fascists -- all of these and more were treated pretty roughly by the law as pertains to their doctrines. They were told in no uncertain terms that their doctrines were intolerable and if they continued to espouse them they would meet with escalating social, political and legal penalties. I am well aware, of course, that these instances are a matter of shame to liberals like you (may I presume to call you a liberal?); but to me, on my reading and analysis (which has been pretty thorough), far from shameful they have largely been successful without resorting to serious bloodshed. Have there been abuses? Of course. Some have been egregious abuses. I do not deny that. But this is a vale of tears, and when you compare, say, the tears of the Jacobin sympathizers wrongfully imprisoned by the Sedition Act of 1798 with the Christians and monarchists put to death in huge numbers, down to the last child, in Jacobin France, you come tend to come away with a sense that we dodged a bullet and maybe proscribing those wild revolutionaries wasn't so bad an idea after all.

Or again, when you compare the crackdown on Mormon polygamy, effected in several congressional Acts ringingly upheld by the Supreme Court, with the normal historical record of what usually happens to intransigent religious separatists clinging to doctrines judged intolerable by the wider society (see, e.g., the Balkans, the Thirty Years War, Henry VIII's dispossession of the Catholic monasteries, the putting down the of the Morisco revolt in 16th century Spain, etc.), you come away saying, well hell, it could have been a lot worse. And indeed, the Mormon Church gave up the wicked doctrine of polygamy and re-entered (over time) American society in full. So that story has a pretty happy ending.

In short, I recommend you take a deep breath and consider that maybe you are taking a basic disagreement between you and us, about religious doctrine and its relationship to political society, and making hash of it with wild unjustified rhetoric.

I don't think you'd be bothered if they did.

Sir, one more idiotic statement like that and you're toast. As far as this thread is concerned, anyway.

As for the constitutional amendment, granted, there are few if any states that would ratify this amendment today. This post is meant to get the conversation started. There are many things which might expedite a change of heart in the very near future. A couple more 9-11 scale attacks, for example. A few public stonings or amputations, say in New York City. The loss of a few more cities or neighborhoods to Muslim control. The crippling of our transportation system due to security concerns. But the idea here is to nip the problem in the bud before it gets any worse.

Indeed, I used the word 'pogroms' to intentionally suggest that this is nothing more than racism and religious discrimination, and to correlate your xenophobic ideals with that of the Nazis and Communists.

That is always the retort of the smart-set, isn't it? I mean the very idea that a Nation ought select who can and who can not move to that nation is, axiomatically for the modern man, considered malum in se.

I suspect that many who consider such an idea rational really do not think that America has a right to exist.

The very idea of even addressing the national question sends modernists into a shrill tizzy and the accusations come wildly pouring out.

Solzhenitsyn addresses that suicidal impulse and those afflicted with it:

"During the 20’s the very understanding of Russian history was changed—there was none! And the understanding of what a Russian is was changed—there was no such thing! And what was most painful, we Russians ourselves willingly walked along this suicidal path. The period of the 20’s was considered the dawn of liberation…. I recall from my school days that even the word ‘Russian’, such as ‘I am a Russian’ sounded like a call to counter-revolution…. But everywhere was heard and printed the term ‘Russopyati’."

http://www.vdare.com/allen/070427_solzhenitsyn.htm

Bruce, you wrote:

Your solutions must focus on behaviors! Any solutions focused on differentiating and sanctioning beliefs will likely be used to destroy freedom for all religions in America.

I appreciate your thoughtful ideas in your last comment. Unfortunately I don't believe they are realistic. Please read Paul Cella's excellent response to David Flick above.

The presence of Islam is already - within our existing "don't penalize beliefs" legal structure - eroding the freedom of Christians in this country. One silver-lining to the threat of domestic Islam is the exposure of the whole rotten myth of religious neutrality. Attempts at religious neutrality in a pluralistic society always end up squashing religious freedom. The free exercise of Islam will always limit the free exercise of Christianity, and vice versa: their co-existence in the same society will force the suppression of one, or the other, or both. Most Americans don't want to accept this truth because it demolishes a cherished plank of our national creed. Well, that plank was always deeply flawed, and the sooner we sober up about this, the better.

Thank you Lydia again for responding and for being gracious and respectful. We don't disagree on much.

I concur that restricting laws and policies to interdicting behavior and not beliefs will leave loopholes. Restricting solutions to public laws and policies on behavior does not prohibit applying belief-oriented policies in areas where precedents regarding "equal access" will not be challenged. Examples of these areas are immigration law, military duty, and private institutions. Even if we started allowing the government to start discriminating between religions based on beliefs, we would still have loopholes.

The policies applied to behaviors don't have to be perfect. If the Catholic Church can be brought to its knees through the behavioral issue of being responsible for negligence in the supervision of now-dead priests who were sexually assaulting children 40 years ago, then there are many behavioral standards to which Muslim communities and institutions can be held and to which no one is holding them.

As Paul J. Cella points out, Americans have a rich heritage at using "various instruments of law to make certain factions or doctrinal groups feel unwelcome." The most popular group for excoriation today is Fundamentalist Christians, not Muslims. Popular culture in America is much more hostile to Evangelicals than it is to Muslims. If you legislatively change the "equal access" protections that are currently enshrined in the US Constitution and in case law, then protection for many Christian beliefs will disappear faster than protection for Muslim ones. That is the reality of the current political and spiritual landscape in America. I don't think more 9-11 attacks will change it.

Our solutions cannot be perfect because they must fit within the context of a reality that is slanted against us. Please, I urge you, continue advocating aggressively for cracking down on Muslim abuse of American freedoms, but also, please keep the public policy aspect focused on behavior as much as possible.

It is the Muslim way, not the American way, to proscribe beliefs. And it is the Muslim way, not the American way, to overlook behaviors. We must defend America in the American way, not the Muslim one.

Examples of these areas are immigration law, military duty, and private institutions.

But that just isn't true concerning private institutions. Existing federal, state, and local anti-discrimination law means that you can't apply belief-oriented policies even when it comes to a Christian businessman's hiring people to work in his small business.

Jeff, I read Paul Cella's excellent response to David Flick and even quoted from it. He supports my point.

While Muslims represent a threat to the freedom of Christians in America, it is the secular progressive movement that is actually destroying Christian freedom now. We must be very careful at confronting the imminent danger not to give an advantage to the clear and present one.

Your assertions are bold. I could challenge them, but I don't need to. Even if "attempts at religious neutrality in a pluralistic society always end up squashing religious freedom." And even if, "the free exercise of Islam will always limit the free exercise of Christianity," that is no excuse to surrender to a third ascendant religious ideology the very legal tools that it will use to dominate all others.

My point, which remains unchallenged, is that we can and must limit the free exercise of Islam in the public policy arena by confronting its resultant behaviors rather than its underlying beliefs. In the realm of behaviors, Christians have nothing to fear. That is the high ground from which Christians can dominate the other religions in a pluralistic society.

Bruce, you wrote:

Popular culture in America is much more hostile to Evangelicals than it is to Muslims. If you legislatively change the "equal access" protections that are currently enshrined in the US Constitution and in case law, then protection for many Christian beliefs will disappear faster than protection for Muslim ones. That is the reality of the current political and spiritual landscape in America.

In the spirit of St. Thomas, it's only fair to acknowledge that this is your strongest argument. My response, first, is that the measures proposed are very specific. The constitutional amendment, even if enacted as legislation instead, does not touch anything but jihad and sharia advocacy. The military and federal penitentiaries are not places where 1st amendment protections are guaranteed. All other religious protections remain in place.

But your concern is valid in terms of the American public coming to accept the idea that religious beliefs may be censured or in any way controlled by the government. The idea must be widely accepted before a constitutional amendment or similar legislation is viable. The danger is that once this idea is accepted by the American public, given present attitudes, it could also manifest itself in explicit measures against Christianity. The risk is real and I admit that it's the largest possible downside to my proposals.

The reason I think the risk is worth taking is that the legal marginalization and suppression of Christianity is already well under way, in large part due to the pressures of domestic Islam. With the removal of Islamic influence and demands, the hostility to Christian expression should (am I being naive here?) lose much of its steam.

My point, which remains unchallenged, is that we can and must limit the free exercise of Islam in the public policy arena by confronting its resultant behaviors rather than its underlying beliefs. In the realm of behaviors, Christians have nothing to fear. That is the high ground from which Christians can dominate the other religions in a pluralistic society.

If there weren't 7 million Muslims (or whatever the true number is) already in the country, then we could afford to wait for more bad behavior to punish before censuring the beliefs which motivate these behaviors. But given the socially devastating nature of these behaviors, and the aggressiveness and tenacity of Islamic beliefs, I don't believe we have this luxury anymore.

It's hard to keep up.

Lydia, you are wrong. My wife is an attorney who practices in the field of religious institutions law. If it is a Christian business for which Christian belief is an integral part of its identity and mission, then, according to federal, state, and local laws, it may discriminate in hiring practices.

World Vision just won a precedent setting suit in a Federal District court out in Washington state, that will head to the Federal 9'th Circuit Court of Appeal. That decision affirmed World Vision's right to require its employees to sign a doctrinal statement.

Of course, this is the cutting edge of the battle for Christian freedom in America today. And this is precisely why we must be so careful about how we proceed in confronting Islam.

My wife's firm wrote an amicus brief in the World Vision case. We are keenly involved in battling entities that are striving to destroy Christian religious liberties and highly sensitive to proposals (like some in this discussion) that would tip the balance towards favoring the entities that brought suit against World Vision.

The battle this dialog addresses has two front lines. We must be wise on both of them.

While Muslims represent a threat to the freedom of Christians in America, it is the secular progressive movement that is actually destroying Christian freedom now.

True, but the secular progressive movement uses Islam as a pretext.

We must be very careful at confronting the imminent danger not to give an advantage to the clear and present one.

Again, I see it as removing an advantage which our clear and present enemies, the secular progressives, now enjoy.

If it is a Christian business for which Christian belief is an integral part of its identity and mission, then, according to federal, state, and local laws, it may discriminate in hiring practices.

If one is a Christian businessman, then Christian belief is an integral part of the identity and mission of his business by definition. But the state does not see it that way. Having owned a business and investigated many others, I can tell you that the vast majority do not fall under this protection.

According to Prof. Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law (a site to which I linked in the main entry):

http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/harass/breadth.htm

Putting all this together, harassment law potentially burdens any workplace speech that's offensive to at least one person in the workplace based on that person's race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, military membership or veteran status or, in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, criminal record, occupation, citizenship status, tobacco use outside work, Appalachian origin, receipt of public assistance, dishonorable discharge from the military, or personal appearance, even when the speech is political and even when it's not severe or pervasive enough to itself be actionable.

Jeff,

First let me salute you and Lydia for addressing this subject so courageously and boldly. You are exploring important ground in a most measured and respectful manner. It's a tremendous privilege to dialog with you.

Your point:

But given the socially devastating nature of these behaviors, and the aggressiveness and tenacity of Islamic beliefs, I don't believe we have this luxury anymore.
affirms what I am saying.

We can begin confronting Islam on its behaviors today. We don't need to wait for any changes in law or policy that will permit censuring beliefs. Your proposals are good. Many, if not most of them, can be tweaked to apply today under the current set of legal constraints, if made to address behavior rather than beliefs.

I don't want you to throw everything out. I want to help you to make your recommendations better. I want something we can start acting on right away without waiting for another 9-11 to start slanting public opinion more favorably.

You are right that only certain businesses incorporated in certain ways for certain purposes obtain discrimination privileges. It's important, however, that some still do, and it's important to not lose more ground.

Yes, the secular progressive movement and Islam are allies in today's political and social landscape. We must confront them both simultaneously without losing to one while beating the other.

P.S. And we must articulate our proposals in ways that obtain broad support in a population that already has distorted perceptions due to the dominance of secular progressives in the media. Focusing on behaviors rather than beliefs will help us to broaden a supportive base.

Bruce, sure, I know all about something like a Christian college or other business of that kind.

But when I referred to a "Christian businessman," I didn't mean somebody running a Christian college. I just meant somebody running _some_ business--a print shop or a bed and breakfast or whatever.

Moreover, I don't think you have really grasped the problem of unreasonable Muslim demands for accommodation from employers and government entities generally. (I gave some of these in my original post.) These guys are the ultimate squeaky wheel. The Swift plants shouldn't need to have Christianity be integral to their business in order to say, y'know, "No, we're not going to give every Muslim worker a break at the same time at sundown in Ramadan, requiring that we either bring the plant to a halt or unduly burden non-Muslim workers."

If you believe that only actually reasonable accommodations of Muslims are required and are being made, I'm afraid you're just mistaken as has been shown in practice.

Besides various religious accommodations which are already being made much too far and must be stopped, there are so many other areas here that just don't fall neatly into the category of directly penalizing behavior yet are clearly reasonable. For example, Bruce, what do you think about

--profiling Muslims at airports?

--Muslim imams in prisons?

--undercover operations in mosques to check for advocacy of terrorism?

I was chilled to the bone reading these proposals!

I'm for fighting Islamic terrorism as much as anyone, but reading through these proposals, I could imagine every one of them modified and aimed at us Christians when we get "out of hand".

The thought of outlawing a religion goes against everything I believe in.

Sorry Jeff but your proposals go too far!

Chucky, he expressly didn't advocate outlawing the religion of Islam. He advocated outlawing advocacy of the doctrines of jihad and the need to spread sharia.

If you're saying those are essential to Islam, then welcome to the club, because I think so, too, but even though I question some of Jeff's censorship suggestions, it doesn't sound nearly so bad when one puts it like that--jihad and sharia. If--a gigantic if--someone redefined something as "Islam" that completely rejected jihad and sharia, such a person's religion wouldn't be touched.

Are we required to say, "Well, yeah, this religion advocates overturning our entire civilization, but we can't do anything to stop it, we can't in any way discriminate against it"?

Perhaps you should look over the proposals one at a time and ask yourself which ones are really unreasonable in your opinion. Then ask yourself how much of an "extremist" somebody would be thought who advocated _any_ of them. For example, I don't think you could call it "outlawing a religion" to stop new Muslim immigration and to require Muslims to renounce jihad and sharia formally in order to become citizens.

I basically agree with everything you say Jeff, except number 10 might be hard to enforce. A lot of non-Muslim people in America are the offspring of 1st cousin marriages ...

Steve Dalton, I just wanted to acknowledge your remarks on the topic of proscribing consanguinity. The Catholic Church has traditionally required dispensations for first, second and third cousin marriages. You mentioned practices in the South. Interestingly, about half of the southern states ban first-cousin marriages, probably because they have extensive experience with the genetic problems it invites. California and New York, home to large Muslim enclaves, have no such ban.

Granted that such bans might be difficult to enforce. I wonder how effectively such marriages are discouraged in those 24 states which have laws against them. Some states do not recognize first-cousin marriages contracted elsewhere, but most do. I would not favor a law penalizing existing first-cousin marriages. They can be perfectly valid and there is nothing intrinsically immoral about them. But they are genetically very risky and should, in my opinion, be discouraged in law and custom even apart from the question of Islam.

Lydia,

Your original post was great! I devoured it and recommend it highly to my friends.

You really haven't a clue concerning my experience of Muslim demands. I have seen a person killed for burning copies of verses from the Qur'an. I have friends who spent five and seven years in jail for facilitating "apostasy." I have a close friend in hiding because of death threats from Muslims. My own life has been in danger in the struggle against terrorism. It's not likely that you have as much personal exposure in this area as I do.

Regarding demands for accommodations at private businesses (i.e. Swift Foods and taxi services), these are behavior related, and should be easily confronted without endangering Christian liberties by censoring beliefs.

Regarding profiling at airports, holding an entire religious community accountable for the behavior of its renegades would be a powerful behavior related tool in fighting terrorism. I support it thoroughly, and the Muslim community should welcome the scrutiny, just as the Christian community would, were it infested with the same kind of perpetrators.

Regarding imams in prisons, prisons are one of the areas where "equal access" does not apply. Those clerics can be investigated, credentialed, and vetted based not just on behavior but also on teachings without threatening existing "equal protection" precedents.

Regarding undercover operations in mosques to check for advocacy of terrorism, that is a "no brainer," and it is already happening. Similar undercover operations would happen in churches if Christians were behaving the way that Muslims are behaving. Once again, the course of action is behavior rather than belief driven.

Really, we are not that far apart. I am on your side. I'm trying to help you be more effective. I'm giving you good advice. I know what I'm talking about. Change your rhetoric from a belief to a behavior rationale, and you will get much wider support for your proposals.

P.S. If we who have understanding and concern for the threat would focus attention on behavior rather than belief, then we could build a coalition in the public arena that would begin effectively reducing intimidation from Islam. By making belief the issue, we scare off would be allies and minimize our public influence.

Even if all the sickening hate-mongering in the previous post were entirely correct, these policies would make Americans and America less, not more, safe. Like many Americans, especially on the political right, you show a breathtaking lack of awareness of how your actions look from the outside or just *why* Americans have a reputation as arrogant jackasses even among close allies like England and Canada, and are downright hated by many others (including, but by no means limited to, Muslim countries). If you want to GUARANTEE more 9/11s, there would be no better way to do that than to enact these policies.

Lydia,

For example, you could win over Chucky, by changing your rhetoric.

If we allow government to universally censor speech that calls for its overthrow to include censoring public speech advocating sharia, then we set the precedent for allowing the government to censor speech calling for overturning Roe-v-Wade. With such a precedent, we are likely to experience the latter before the former.

On the other hand, if we prosecute those resorting to intimidation tactics to advance sharia, then we reduce the clout of Muslims without hurting the movement against Roe-v-Wade.

If as you say, Jihad and Islam are inseparable, then addressing the behavior addresses the belief, without ever making belief an issue.

I don't at all see that about Roe v. Wade. Seeking the legal overturning of a Supreme Court precedent isn't _at all_ like seeking the overthrow of _the U.S. government_.

But in any event, no time for more tonight, Bruce, but here's an interesting question:

Suppose that Jeff's # 3 were replaced merely with, say, 3b and that 4 were removed.

What would remain that you would have a major objection to?

What do you imagine would have been the response of St Thomas More were he to have discovered a diabolical plot intending the total transformation or destruction of England?

Dear Vermont Crank - he did and lost his life, but not his principles for it.


Jeff Culbreath;

The reason I think the risk is worth taking is that the legal marginalization and suppression of Christianity is already well under way, in large part due to the pressures of domestic Islam.

The tactical alliance the Left makes with Islam is of very recent vintage and became possible long after Liberalism's operational atheism had eviscerated our spiritual substance.

With the removal of Islamic influence and demands, the hostility to Christian expression should (am I being naive here?) lose much of its steam.

Very naive. The opposition would only be more empowered. They'll thank you in the morning.

Perhaps a credibly peaceful and assimilated community of Muslims would stay behind, and that's fine.

Isn't that what we already have here in the United States? The cost-benefit ratio of your expulsion campaign leaves the plan fading away on the white board.

"When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, 'Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. However, thou being a pagan and so on, I fearest thou must leave the neighborhood (being'st as I am a support most sincere of exclusionism and categorical judgments. Verily, let me tellest though about the Samaritan who tryeth to move into a semite neighborhood and was justly driven forth. . .'"

Very naive. The opposition would only be more empowered. They'll thank you in the morning.

If my proposals are enacted, the Left will have fewer tools, not more. The only danger lies in the preliminary ideological shift, which frankly could go in any direction. But if, as I said in the article, the ideological shift is preceded by "a sustained campaign of articles, books, lectures, debates, and so forth by informed thinkers across the political spectrum" - with righteous anger and razor-sharp focus, but also with charity and restraint - the possibility of a misfire will be minimal.

"Perhaps a credibly peaceful and assimilated community of Muslims would stay behind, and that's fine."

Isn't that what we already have here in the United States?

Looks like you may have skipped Part I. Here's the link, for your convenience:

http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2010/11/disinviting_islam_part_ithe_ne.html

The cost-benefit ratio of your expulsion campaign leaves the plan fading away on the white board.

This is not an expulsion campaign. Emigration would be strictly voluntary, except for those promulgating the doctrines of political jihad and sharia. But yes, there is the question of violent Islamic resistance in the short run. It's possible, but it would be temporary.

If my proposals are enacted, the Left will have fewer tools, not more.

Actually you will have built the perfect template for those seeking to suppress troublesome religious bodies.

...righteous anger and razor-sharp focus, but also with charity and restraint - the possibility of a misfire will be minimal.

But of course. Our media's mindless infotainment hothouse is ideally suited for the 'charitable" articulation of a campaign of discrimination, intimidation and harassment.

Lydia, you're right that I disagree with Bruce on discrimination. If businesses are allowed to discriminate based on religion, then there will inevitably be lots of open discrimination against religious Christians, probably much more than against
any other religion. That may be bad, but it should be allowed even on its own merits, even if there were no need to allow discrimination against Muslims.

I disagree with you about the centrality of censorship here. I think it's a very big part of these proposals: forbidding certain speech regarding jihad and sharia. The other big part is immigration, on which I agree completely.

You agree with Jeff on censorship quite enough, from my point of view. I didn't want to get into the details of these proposals, but here's a pretty big detail: the internet was not mentioned once. Presumably you want the federal government to prevent access to certain web sites. Otherwise, your proposals would be absurd: allowing someone to view a page in the browser but forbidding him from printing it out on paper. So now we've got the legal and (again, I emphasize this aspect) the institutional apparatus for government monitoring of the web and blocking of internet access. And it has to be censorship of access, not publishing, because a lot of the sites will be located overseas.

I understand that this will be strictly limited to jihad and sharia, never expanded to censor "hate sites" like yours. Who ever heard of government intervention expanding to cover more than was initially intended? So at least you've got nothing to worry about.

Bruce, what's your opinion of my Jihad-sedition law proposal? Where would it fall on your belief/behavior axis?

I'm working from a historically-based analysis. Historically, America has not been shy about proscribing doctrines judged wicked and intolerable. It's really only been since about 1960 that anyone really thought twice about doing so.

Usually (though not always) these doctrines have been primarily political in content. But jihad, dhimma and shariah all include an obviously political dimension, of sufficiently pressing character as to, in my view, authorize the use of these proscription tools again.

Jeff, I'm aware that the Catholic Church proscribed 1st cousin marriages, I was unawarwe that 2nd and 3rd cousin unions were proscribed as well.

You're right about the risk of genetic defects in the offsprings of close cousin marriages. Sadly, one of the reasons for close cousin marriages in the South is racial or religious prejudice. I mentioned that I was a Marrano descendant. I'm also a Morisco descendant as well. (That is, crypto-Moor/Muslim) Religious and ethnic supremacy within the groups and hostile feelings from the outside caused people like my ancestors to marry only people they could trust. That usually meant family. Even though many of the legel underpinings for racial discrimination have been removed, contempt and fear of outsiders still reenforces the custom of close cousin marriages. This is especially true among the Melungeons of eastern Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Wesorts of Maryland, who are Catholics btw, have the same problems. They have to get a lot of dispensations from the Church so they can have close cousin marriages. Both groups, btw, have a lot of health problems, as it is common in close cousin unions.

Lydia, Jeff, Paul, & Aaron,

Jeff, your proposals are a great start. My point is just that they need to be tweaked so that they cannot be turned against Christians. They can be written so that they remain within the "free exercise" and "equal access" legal precedents established over the years. The easy way to do that is to make them behavior-based than belief-based.

Private businesses and business owners already discriminate against religions based upon behaviors. Apple Computer just removed the Manhattan Declaration ap from i-phone because the ap offended their GLBT constituency. Pharmacies won't hire pharmacists who won't fill prescriptions for birth control or the morning-after pill. Private hospitals can refuse to hire doctors who won't perform abortions. An advertising company can fire an employing who won't work on a calendar featuring pictures of topless women. A school can refuse to hire a science teacher who won't teach evolution. All of this is perfectly legal because it's behavior rather than identity based, and because it's done by private entities rather than by government.

Paul and Celia, the jihad as sedition law proposal along with oaths of renunciation (proposal #3) are problematic. I think the idea could be applied within certain communities such as new émigrés, existing resident aliens, military personnel, and prison workers without disturbing the current legal precedents that protect Christian liberties. The problem arises if a jihad-sedition law passes that applies to all US citizens and private entities. The intent is good, but the unintended consequences could be disastrous for speech related liberties of all kinds. As with groups like the Weather Underground of the 1960s, the compromise is to monitor US entities that promote Jihad and then nail them when they act on it or hold them pecuniarily liable (following precedents set in the Catholic sex abuse cases) for results from people following their advice. We could actually start acting on the liability approach right now.

Finally Lydia, proposal #4, just needs to be tweaked. Writing and publishing is behavior. Requiring all US publishing to be either in English or with English translations is a great idea if it meets at least one of two conditions. Either the proposal applies to all languages and all content, or Arabic can be shown to contain enough of a significant behavioral risk that it can be profiled out from all other languages. The latter condition is possible. Significant attention must be given to the rhetoric and legal basis so that the profiling connects Arabic identity with probable behaviors rather than with probable beliefs.

In conclusion, if/since jihad and Islam are inseparable and since jihad is behavior, then legislatively going after jihad (and its behavioral symptoms) results in going after Islam without setting legal precedents that would allow an anti-Christian dominated government to go after Christians. The only weakness in your rhetoric (and proposals) is that it (they) needs to be tweaked so that it (they) rely upon differentiating behaviors rather than judging a person's conscience.

Like every great lie, the idea that we must not resist Islam in any of the ways mentioned in this post does contain an element of truth: Effectively resisting powerful aggression always does coarsen a people to some extent. But faced with the choice between coarseness and destruction, we must choose coarseness.

(There is, of course, legitimate room to dispute some of the specifics proposed here. The “great lie” is that any sort of thinking along these lines is wicked and un-American. I’m also not trying to counter those who claim that the threat is minimal or nonexistent. These claims require a different response.)

Several commenters also point out that given current realities, these proposals have little chance of being implemented and if implemented, would probably also be used against Christians and others parties innocent of the intent to destroy us. True enough, but two responses:

First, we must articulate how a properly-ordered America would defend itself. It is a given that these proposals will not be permitted by our current masters. It is understood that we are thinking outside the box.

Second, this points to the need, even in a properly-ordered America, for some sort of formal declaration that Islam (with individual exceptions noted) is a uniquely hostile and dangerous religion/social system/community of people. (Such as the constitutional amendment proposed by Lawrence Auster at http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/008745.html) The actions proposed here are to help us defend ourselves against the threat of Islam, not against a generic “fundamentalism” or “religion” or “intolerance.” We could even make a distinction between the benign and threatening elements of Islam. But a declaration of our intent to defend ourselves against the threat of Islam, like a declaration of war, is necessary in order properly to defend ourselves. Once again, this sort of clear and focused thinking it totally against the current spirit of the age, but someone needs to say it.

And permit me to point out that in war, we engage in activities that would be totally unacceptable in peacetime. Many of those objecting to these proposals are not acknowledging that Islam has, for all intents and purposes, declared a low-level but serious and widespread war on us. Certainly many Moslems are unaware of or opposed to the war, but it is occurring nevertheless. And when a nation is attacked, it is necessary for its leadership class to acknowledge that a war is occurring, and to take some steps that would be unacceptable in peacetime. Yes, if these steps were to be implemented under current conditions, Christians and other innocent parties would be in some danger. But remember: these proposals are mostly an exercise in thinking outside current boxes.

Bruce, I'm a little baffled by your sweeping statements about behavior-based job discrimination. There is certainly a very strong perception out there that the religious accommodation aspects of non-discrimination law mean that Muslim behaviors must be accommodated to a very great extent. I doubt that the meat plants would have gone to all that trouble if they really were convinced that they could simply get away with firing the workers. In fact, they tried firing the workers, as I recall, and then backed down. And of course there are many, many more examples. The judge who told the Muslim woman she had to have her face uncovered in court was sued, and my recollection is that it looked like he was going to lose, the last time I checked the case. Even the threat of suits is a powerful motivator for unreasonable accommodations, and Muslims are, in my opinion, more likely to make such threats than Christians. So many things that seem reasonable--like the man at the gym who told the Muslim woman that the other woman "doesn't have to respect your God" (when the Muslim woman was apparently blocking the other woman's access to her locker while praying)--get treated as terrible religious discriminations and as grounds for suit.

I think that religious accommodation and non-discrimination laws usually assume that people are going to be reasonable in their demands and aren't going to constantly push and bully. That assumption just fails when it comes to the Muslim community, and we see many ridiculous results (e.g., in England, the accommodation that medical workers don't have to wear short sleeves to combat superbugs).

Your comments imply that it's _easy_ to resist these demands or that _of course_ employers and those who serve the public don't have to make silly accommodations. The perception where the rubber meets the road is that it isn't easy at all and that businessmen cannot count on not being ruined, one way or another, if they try.

Shari'a is just the way we live our lives: not eating pork, no drugs, or alcohol, prayers, etc. The punishments are deterrents -- if other deterrents suffice, like American laws, what reason do we have to cut the hand of the thief when we know they're gonna go to jail? We're not trying to overthrow the system. We're just trying to live our lives.

And jihad, even the military definition, is a struggle *in response to oppression.* As far as I'm concerned, I'm not being oppressed as a Muslim in America. And I'm very grateful to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the American system for it.

What you're saying though is that I NEED to be oppressed, like I'm some sort of animal or something. You sicken me. I'm a human being, no more a cultist of a socio-political ideology than you...in fact, you friggin started a website to do this, who's the ideologue??

I play guitar, I go to soup kitchens with my MOSQUE's youth group, I'm on the track team. I own a Bible and it's a lot like the Qur'an. I'm not a bad person. You offend me.

Mr. Razi,

I'm glad to get confirmation that at least some Muslims understand sharia in the way I tried to explain above (actually it was a professor doing the explaining and I linked to him).

But surely you can understand that your statement which opens up with the words "we live our lives" is problematic, because the "we" is doing a lot of work that it can't do. You don't speak for all American Muslims and you certainly don't speak for Muslims around the world. So what is your response to an American Muslim who says that for him sharia means his daughter can't date a Christian and when she defies her father he decides the appopriate punishment is death? Or when your fellow Muslims decide that the appropriate response to someone who publishes a picture of Mohammed is to kill that person? Or a Muslim taxi driver who believes that sharia requires that he refuse a blind passenger with a seeing eye dog? Surely you recognize that these interpretations of sharia exist and are morally problematic for most Americans?

By the way, I suspect Bruce would suggest that we already have laws on the books that punish the morally problematic behaviors outlined above (or could develop such laws in the case of the taxi-driver) but what good are those laws to the Muslim daughter who has to seek police protection against her own father? Or who is too young and vulnerable to get help and winds up dead, with the father eventually brought to justice -- cold comfort to that young Muslim woman! As Paul Cella and Jeff C. and Lydia are all suggesting (and I'm slowly coming around to their suggestion) the link between dangerous ideas is sometimes obvious and it should be well within our powers as citizens of this nation to protect ourselves from dangerous ideas. Just as their is no absolute right to advocate a violent revolution, maybe their should be no absolute right to believe that shaira allows you to kill folks who draw Mohammed, or leave Islam, etc.

I also find unsettling the statement that Muslims don't _need_ to cut off a thief's hand if the law already puts him in jail. So if the law didn't, or if one were writing one's own laws ab initio, then...

And since American law does not punish apostates or disobedient wives, for both of whom definite provision is made for punishment in Koranic law...

Alan, I salute this out-of-the-box thinking. I want to help turn it into practical steps that can begin now.

Lydia,

First, I do not mean to imply that resisting accommodation in the work place is easy. Forgive me for leaving that impression.

I agree it is hard. That does not invalidate my recommendations.
Second, Thalib Razi's response is an example of why steps to resist Islamization of America must focus on behavior and not on defining Islam, Sharia, or Jihad. Even Thalib concurs about behavior. He says that he is grateful for the American system and that he is not trying to overthrow it, implying that he agrees that trying to overthrow the system is bad. His opinion about Jihad may be debated in private forums and in churches, but that debate is not and should not happen in the government. A governmental formal declaration, like one for which Alan longs, is out-of-the-box and out of the question, but that doesn't have to stop governmental action towards resisting Islamization. I agree ideas have consequences, but we cannot afford to entrust this government with the power to evaluate and sanction religious ideas.

If we publicly divert energy from arguing about what Islam is or isn't to addressing specific behaviors emerging from Islam that are threatening our civil liberties, then we will be able to offer the kind of resistance that you are saying is so hard. Who knows, under such a change in rhetoric, people like Thalib might even support an oath for émigrés that decries any application of Sharia or Jihad resulting in behavior that would try to overthrow the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, focusing publicly on the emergent behaviors, rather than on the ideology behind them, may enable Muslims themselves to feel less defensive and be more objective so that they begin turning away from the ideological system that results in the objectionable behaviors.

Let me clarify something. I think private debate (like this forum) about what Islam is or isn't is good. I just mean that such debate should not happen in government. Allowing that would destroy our own religious liberty and divert energy from the where it most needs to be given in order to accomplish the hard job of overcoming unreasonable accommodation and so on.

I'm with Bruce on this one.

Outlawing "sharia" is one step away from outlawing "the ten commandments".

On the other hand, if you outlaw the offending tenets of sharia - wife-beating, honor killings, etc. - you are then promoting a civil society where everyone is free to practice his/her religion so long as that practice does not infringe upon the rights of another.

Jeff, Lydia et al,

I think you can see, with just a few tweaks, how dangerous this line of thinking can be:

1. Halt Christian immigration. This policy should be specifically directed at the immigration of Christians, from any nation, and not simply at immigration from Christian states or from states known for their Christian extremism.

2. Halt the issuance of all student, religious and immigrant visas to Christians, and revoke those presently in effect.

3. Codify Christian evangelism and the gospel as hostile, foreign, political ideologies. This might take the form of a evangelism-sedition law, establishing that the preaching of the gospel and evangelism is tantamount to advocacy of “overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States”.

a. Require an oath renouncing evangelism and the gospel from all resident alien Christians as a condition for remaining in the United States.

b. Require an oath renouncing evangelism and the gospel from all government employees, including military personnel.

c. Monitor all churches and Christian schools for promulgation or advocacy of evangelism and the gospel.

d. Forbid the public advocacy of evangelism and the gospel in print and on radio, television, and the web.

4. Require all Christian literature, books and websites originating in the United States to be communicated in English. The use of other languages will not be forbidden, but requiring English translations will make public advocacy of evangelism and the gospel more difficult to hide.

5. Revoke the passes of Christian prison chaplains and halt all religious accommodations for incarcerated Christians.

6. Cease all religious accommodations, including the provision of military chaplains, for Christians serving in the armed forces.

7. Remove all Christian accommodations in government agencies, offices, and facilities (chaplains, prayer rooms, Christmas and Easter observance, etc.).

8. Notify all businesses, private institutions, schools and local agencies that anti-discrimination laws do not require accommodating the religious practices of Christian employees, customers, associates or volunteers.

9. Forbid all federal funding of Christian organizations and charities.

10. Encourage states with Christian enclaves to enforce their ban on first-cousin marriage, or to enact such a ban, and further to ban all sexual relations between first cousins. (Only 24 states ban first-cousin marriages presently. This is a powerful tradition for many Christian cultures.)

So, Chucky, you and Bruce are _not_ on the same wavelength with each other, because Bruce is on board with halting Muslim immigration.

I totally, completely, disagree with the attempt simply to replace the word "Muslim" with the word "Christian" in every proposal here and say, "Wouldn't you find that a problem?"

Bruce has also agreed with profiling Muslims in airports, but if we're just going to replace the word "Muslim" with the word "Christian" as an argument and then say, "Voila! So that's bad," then I guess Muslim profiling in airports is out, too.

It is rational to recognize that Muslims in our country are behaving differently from Christians. It is irrational to insist that we must pretend that this is not the case in all our policies.

I ask you to specify the tasks for which, as you claim, the US needs Islamic states as allies.

You mean beyond the traditional need to have amity amongst nations, and humility, prudence and wisdom in our statecraft? Or, to economically benefit from cheap energy for 50 years or so? Well, I really can't imagine any, but apparently, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan the UAE and Kuwait are anxious to frustrate Iranian plans for regional hegemony. Several years ago we could have added Iraq to that list, but we know what happened there, we attacked & removed a counter-weight against Iran in the opening act of World War 4.

Then there are always tactical advantages such as this;

The president of Yemen secretly offered US forces unrestricted access to his territory to conduct unilateral strikes against al-Qaida terrorist targets, the leaked US embassy cables reveal.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-yemen-us-attack-al-qaida
Allies in what undertaking?

I know, who needs allies when the mere concept complicates our simple narrative and frustrates our designs for war. You're right; enemies are more fun.

Don, I like your points but not the sarcasm. I really wish you hadn't done that.

Bruce - I apologize, but this reactionary has grown weary and finds a certain solace in mockery. To temper my tongue, I will remember, in history it is wise to hope for miracles and absurd to trust in plans.

Thank you, Don. And remember too, mockery betrays emotion which implies lack of objectivity which undermines credibility which hurts an argument and discourages anyone who might want to agree.

Mr. Razi, you wrote:

Shari'a is just the way we live our lives: not eating pork, no drugs, or alcohol, prayers, etc. The punishments are deterrents -- if other deterrents suffice, like American laws, what reason do we have to cut the hand of the thief when we know they're gonna go to jail?

Ah, but American laws are not a sufficient deterrent! There is much more thieving and so forth in the United States than in Muslim lands. Sharia law is far more effective than American law in deterring theft, murder, adultery, and immodesty for example. And we have no laws whatsoever to deter or punish pork eating, alcohol consumption, fornication, "blasphemy", disrespect for your "prophet", koran burning, etc. - so why wouldn't a good Muslim work to replace our clearly defective system of laws with sharia?

We're not trying to overthrow the system. We're just trying to live our lives.

That's great. All you have to do is make sure that your mosque, Imam, and public communication are consistent with your private views, and we can be good neighbors.

And jihad, even the military definition, is a struggle *in response to oppression.* As far as I'm concerned, I'm not being oppressed as a Muslim in America.

I appreciate the sentiment, Mr. Razi, but many millions of your co-religionists look at Islamic teachings and come to the opposite conclusion. If you are content to live peacefully as a Muslim in a non-Muslim country - without attempting to make our laws, our political system, or our public mores conform to your religion - then you will not be oppressed by anything I have proposed here.

Stephen Dalton, you wrote:

This is especially true among the Melungeons of eastern Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Wesorts of Maryland, who are Catholics btw, have the same problems. They have to get a lot of dispensations from the Church so they can have close cousin marriages. Both groups, btw, have a lot of health problems, as it is common in close cousin unions.

I find all of this quite fascinating. Are you of melungeon heritage yourself? I've done some reading on the Hancock County melungeons and a few other groups, and have studied some of the competing theories about their origins, at least one of which includes a group of shipwrecked Moors. I would love to know what your take is on the whole controversy.

"I appreciate the sentiment, Mr. Razi, but many millions of your co-religionists look at Islamic teachings and come to the opposite conclusion. If you are content to live peacefully as a Muslim in a non-Muslim country - without attempting to make our laws, our political system, or our public mores conform to your religion - then you will not be oppressed by anything I have proposed here."

Jeff,

How you can you say that you're not oppressing Mr. Razi if you are going to require him to take an oath against his own religion in order to remain in the country and encourage others to discriminate against him in hiring? Up to this point, I thought you were crazy but honest and coherent. You disappoint.

I don't find Mr. Razi's comments all that reassuring. There are all kinds of implications there. For example, that jihad is in "response to oppression" and that _right now_ he doesn't feel oppressed in America but _would_ feel so if the measures--and I would guess, any of the measures--suggested here were carried out. How interesting. Suppose, for example, that we did as Bruce (Bruce, I hope you don't mind standing in as our "moderate person sympathetic to some measures" in this thread) has endorsed--airport profiling of Muslims. Under what circumstances would the Mr. Razis of the world consider themselves "oppressed" in America and therefore *justified in jihad*? Or, as I've already pointed out, the bit about not "needing" to cut off a thief's hand if he goes to prison. As Jeff C. points out, there's a _lot_ more prohibited in sharia--the blasphemy example is an _excellent_ one--that American law does not prohibit at all.

So, frankly, I don't see Mr. Razi as an obvious, real-life, reassuring moderate.

How you can you say that you're not oppressing Mr. Razi if you are going to require him to take an oath against his own religion in order to remain in the country and encourage others to discriminate against him in hiring?

First, if he is an ordinary citizen who is not incarcerated and does not work for the government, he doesn't have to take an oath. Second, the oath should be no problem if his religion, as he claims, is not seditious. Third, granted, the discrimination thing is meant to discourage him from easily finding work here, but there are enough Muslim businesses that he should be able to get around it.

Not to put too fine a point on it: Mr. Razi seems not to have explored the social and political implications of his own religion. He's probably quite young and trying his best to juggle the contradictions. He's ripe for radicalization: someday he's going to have to choose. His own stated reason for dismissing the punishments of sharia - because American laws suffice as a deterrent - is demonstrably false, because American laws do not suffice, and on that basis the imposition of sharia law is justified.

So, yes, my proposals are aimed at making devout Muslims uncomfortable here. "Oppression", however, is not the word for it, and to use it in this context insults those who are truly oppressed (e.g., dhimmis in Muslim lands).

I would add that according to a huge proportion of Islamic political thinking over the centuries, all infidel law constitutes oppression. The mere fact that unbelievers set up their own legal codes and political arrangements is an affront to the Islamic community -- especially when some portion of that community is forced to live under those arrangements.

In short, no one is saying that Mr. Razi is "a bad person." But some of us are saying that taking seriously the claims of the Islamic religion, that is, respecting its thinkers and believing that they mean what they say, impels us to a stance of grave caution about the possibility that sharia really has a nonrevolutionary manifestation.

Bruce -- sedition is already a federal felony under the US Code. It makes perfect sense to me that it would be. No state can reasonably be asked to throw the protection of law around promotion and agitation for its overthrow. Sedition is not merely thought or belief; it is behavior: the behavior of espousing the overthrow of the Republic. What my Jihad-sedition would do is announce to federal prosecutors that preaching jihad constitutes espousing the overthrow of the Republic. What is your specific objection to this?

Aaron wrote:

I didn't want to get into the details of these proposals, but here's a pretty big detail: the internet was not mentioned once.

Actually the internet is mentioned twice. Just to clear that up.

(3)d. Forbid the public advocacy of jihad and sharia in print and on radio, television, and the web.

4. Require all Islamic literature, books and websites originating in the United States to be communicated in English. The use of Arabic will not be forbidden, but requiring English translations will make public advocacy of jihad and sharia more difficult to hide.

There are already things you can't say on the internet, so this isn't setting some kind of ominous precedent in my view.

Paul, I support prosecuting people for sedition as long as it is for seditious behavior and not for seditious thought. Defining seditious speech is beyond my expertise, but espousing violence, it seems, should fall within the definition.

On what is or isn't "true Islam," that must be worked out by the Muslims themselves. If the peaceful ones can't get the violent ones under control or at least show the world how to tell the difference in places like airports, then the peaceful ones have no one but themselves to blame for profiling, and they should welcome it. I certainly would welcome profiling of Christians if people claiming to be Christians were the ones defiling my religion's reputation.

If good Muslims start paying a social price for the behavior of bad Muslims, then maybe they will begin to figure out ways reduce the numbers of the bad ones in their midst.

Non-Muslims do not need to (and should not) define Islam or establish policies about Islam. Non-Muslims and secular governments need to focus on behaviors in ways that motivate Muslims to acceptably define and purge themselves. Americans need to spend a lot less energy trying to define what is or isn't Islam and a lot more energy holding Muslims accountable for the bad behaviors of many Muslims.

It's an honor to be your "stand in" Lydia.

“Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan the UAE and Kuwait are anxious to frustrate Iranian plans for regional hegemony”.

You don’t say!
And that makes them allies of the West? Wow. If one wants to call them allies one has to invent a completely new term for West Germany, Great Britain, in fact, all countries of NATO. Please come back when you find one. There is a chance that the dictionary where you found “nescience” may be helpful. Or perhaps you would like to coin such a term yourself? Why not…?

"Are anxious"? No kidding!
Anxious is as colossal an understatement as it is comical. They are DEAD SCARED and are begging for protection. That is what makes them "allies". And they will be alies as long as the Iranian threat is not removed. Not a moment longer. In the meantime the Saudis rotten, morally putrefied regime is so terrified that I wouldn’t be surprised if Saudi Arabia suspends its program of “dawa” and financing with billions dollars thousands madrasahs where hatred of the West especially the Great Satan is indoctrinated into millions of moslem children.
It is as if your mortal enemy is drowning and graciously agrees not to frustrate, but even assist you in your rescue efforts. Some ally..
Do you think Saudi allowed American military presence on their territory in the first “Gulf War” because they were allies of the US, or because they were terrified that Saddam after swallowing Kuwait will make Saudi Arabia his next target? How much support of its Arab “allies” the US bought by protecting Quwait and Saudi Arabia in the first Gulf War? I can’t forget the ecstatic joy of the Arab masses spilling on the streets of Cairo, Casablanca, Islamabad… at the news of 3000 Americans murdered on September 11. Some allies..

Oh Egypt is an ally too? For the price of six billion dollars yearly Egypt would be an ally of the Vatican. It took considerably less for Egypt to be an ally of the Soviet Union and it took demise of the Soviets for Egypt to become an "ally". It was and it is the inevitability of total collapse that makes Egypt an “ally” of the US.

Oh, “…president of Yemen secretly offered US forces unrestricted access to his territory to conduct unilateral strikes against al-Qaida terrorist targets, …”
Secretly. Exactly! Yemen is a secret ally? Well, not Yemen, but Yemen’s president! Quite a difference, mind you. And he has good reason to keep his alliance secret. No, he is not keeping it secret from Al Qaida, but from the Arab masses. He will need more support from the US to keep him on the top instead of being hanged - which of course makes him even closer ally of the US. He clings not only to power, but to life. Some ally...
And so is dear Hamid Karzai and his cronies. Ah, but you haven’t mentioned another great ally; Pakistan. The country whose masses openly, and government sneakily, protect Al Qaida despite its declaration of alliance with the US in war on terrorism. Sneaky, treacherous bastards!

Who is next? Jordan? With its millions of Palestinians and little king who would not survive a day without the American and occasionally Israeli propping. Another ally...

One could go on and on and on and on… The charade of “alliance” with enemies that temporarily need protection from other enemies is obvious to anyone who has but a perfunctory understanding, or rather willingness to understand the nature of pressure of circumstances that bring Moslem governments, but NEVER moslem masses to the side of the US. As soon as the pressure is off the old enmity is back. It is the enmity 1400 years old and growing. Yes, it is a clash of civilizations. And giants, for example Churchill, knew and warned about it long before S. Huntington. But you will never see it - so busy you are parading your pathetic shoddy catchphrases intended to show your high moral grounds, but showing nothing but your intellectual laziness and nescience.

Dear T. Hanski, They may not count as "allies" in the way you define them, but American interests, particularly with soldiers in harm's way, do require a certain level of cooperation from some key Muslim governments. That's only tangentially related to this overall discussion and should not greatly affect domestic policy, but it is worth noting. At least that is what I took away from the original point made by Don. The insults are distracting and predispose me to doubt your objectivity. Civility (even if just a pretense) would help you to be more persuasive.

Bruce,
I don't believe I am trying to "define allies". On the contrary, I think I use the term to cover its generally accepted meaning.
And since you mention "soldiers in harm's way" I must tell you that according to our (Danish) troops returning from Afghanistan they fear Taliban less than the betrayal of, so called allied, Afghani troops. I think the American press, too, has on numeral occasions mentioned instances of sudden attacks of "unreliability" of Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani troops. But I guess in times when the media, heads of governments, including American presidents refer to Islam as "religion of peace" it is only to be expected that moslem govenments will soon be granted a status of "allies".
As for my objectivity you are, of course, free to doubt it as much a you wish. I just wonder why should anyone form opinion about it based on the style of my retort to D. C. own, poor on substance but full of arrogance, response to my comment rather than comment's content.
You are saying: "Civility...would help you to be more persuasive." Well, thank you for advice. I admit that being only a retired longshoreman I find it difficult to show civility to the uncivil and the moral posturer. Or generally someone I don't respect.

Respectfully,

T. Hanski

Thank you T. Hanski, You make good points and your recent explanation is much easier to follow and understand.

Lydia: I totally, completely, disagree with the attempt simply to replace the word "Muslim" with the word "Christian" in every proposal here and say, "Wouldn't you find that a problem?"
Why? You don't think that a secularist/atheist government might find Christianity "threatening"? I do. And I think these proposals would set a precedent for outlawing "threatening religions". Not good IMO.
Bruce has also agreed with profiling Muslims in airports, but if we're just going to replace the word "Muslim" with the word "Christian" as an argument and then say, "Voila! So that's bad," then I guess Muslim profiling in airports is out, too.
Profiling is not the same as outlawing. I agree that Islamic names should be a red flag to airport screeners.
It is rational to recognize that Muslims in our country are behaving differently from Christians. It is irrational to insist that we must pretend that this is not the case in all our policies.
The key word here is "behaving". We can outlaw all the offensive forms of behavior without specifically outlawing "jihad" or "sharia". This is what the federal government did to the Mormons in Utah. That is the model I think we should follow.
We can outlaw all the offensive forms of behavior without specifically outlawing "jihad" or "sharia".

Well, no, you stuck "Christian" into every single proposal, including de-funding Islamic groups and stopping Muslim immigration. And when it came to monitoring mosques, you blithely replaced "jihad" with "evangelism and the gospel." Not very clever, really. As Bruce said, monitoring mosques for jihadist teachings is a no-brainer, but evidently you're so tied up in this, "What might they do to us?" thought process that the smartest thing you can think of when somebody suggests this obvious attempt to outlaw behavior and nip jihadism in the nub is to parallel it with "evangelism and the gospel."

In other words, your only really enthusiastic idea is to catch everything and everybody after the fact, not to take behavior into account before the fact, including in immigration practices.

That's just foolish.

We have to speak the truth, and we have to speak about what really needs to be done. And what really needs to be done is that we and our government need to stop pretending that Muslims behave just the same way as Christians do. Just going on saying, "Oh, oh, but what might they do to us?" and therefore participating in the foolish lie of absolute religious behavioral equivalence is a dead end. It's an absolute dead end. Bruce, whom you apparently think of as some sort of ally, actually recognizes this in a number of preventative areas.

Lydia, I think you have to consider that Chucky is exaggerating to make a point. Don't discard the entire point because it is made with hyperbole.

I concur with you, "we have to speak the truth" about jihad and sharia, but that is not the job of the government. Just because the government must not define the beliefs of various religions does not mean that the government treats all religions the same. It simply means that the government does not have a right to tell a religious group what it does or does not believe.

Differentiating between religions based on beliefs is tantamount to defining the beliefs for those religions. That is legitimate for private citizens and private institutions, but that is not legitimate for government.

Differentiating between religions based on behaviors is tantamount to affirming that religions are different and can be treated differently. It avoids the "dead end" of absolute religious equivalence.

In this arena, we are treading the fine line of difference between freedom of conscience and freedom of action. Freedom of conscience is pretty near absolute, but freedom of action is not. Once you start taking freedom of conscience away for one religion you take it away for all, because you have taken away freedom of conscience from the legal system. Taking away freedom of action is not a problem, because that freedom doesn't exist anyway.

Freedom of conscience is one of the most important distinctions between American law and sharia law. If you remove it from American law, you make American law more like the very kind of law that you are trying to stop.

Bruce, since Chucky has made fun of the whole idea of stopping Muslim immigration and of surveillance on mosques for jihadist teachings, and you haven't, the two of you apparently don't mean the same thing by "behavior based policies," etc.

In brief, you are willing to treat groups differently in various areas (including entry into the military, special scrutiny for prison imams, immigration, etc.) based on the past behavior of group members. In every single one of our proposals, including those you are on board with, he isn't.

You need to understand, Bruce, that your distinction between behavior and beliefs is easily misunderstood. It is easily misunderstood to mean that past data about group behavior may not be taken into account in any government policy and that behavior may be punished only on a case-by-case basis after the fact. You don't actually think that, but that's what your distinction can easily sound like.

Thank you Lydia. That is a very good observation.

The charade of “alliance” with enemies that temporarily need protection from other enemies is obvious to anyone

Imagine, national interests converge in the most unlikely ways! And sometimes genuine statesmen know how to exploit the moment.

Not sure who needed the other more, and this is not the place for a history of our complex, problematic involvement in the Middle East, but very grateful that Ronald Reagan was able to get the oil-producing Islamic states to flood the market and bankrupt the Soviet oil export regime that financed their military ambitions.
A brilliant and bloodless stroke of game-changing statecraft. He too had to endure the taunts of sell-out and stooge when he negotiated the end of the Soviet Union.

A U.S. left with only NATO states has allies is strategically very vulnerable, made all the more so, when the old adage; "diplomacy is war continued by other means" is discarded by those so morally Good that war is the only honorable option against Evil.

We can outlaw all the offensive forms of behavior without specifically outlawing "jihad" or "sharia".

Can we outlaw the advocacy of jihad and sharia in Chucky's book? Advocacy is behavior.

Freedom of conscience is one of the most important distinctions between American law and sharia law. If you remove it from American law, you make American law more like the very kind of law that you are trying to stop.

American law might become more like sharia law in a thousand ways and still not be sharia law. Not all of sharia law is wrong. It punishes some of the right things (usually in the wrong way, but nevermind that.) If American law begins to punish more of the right things, that's called improvement, not sharia.

Freedom of conscience is indeed a hallmark of American law, but if that kind of freedom opens the door to acts of conscience that undermine the entire system, it's clear that something is amiss in what American law permits under the rubric of "freedom of conscience".

Once again, I'd like to point out that Islam is forcing Americans to confront a significant flaw in our own founding ideology - religious indifferentism. Islam is calling our bluff.

I concur with you, "we have to speak the truth" about jihad and sharia, but that is not the job of the government.

I don't see why it's not the job of government to recognize that a wicked doctrine is, in fact, wicked. I can understand the prudential argument that circumstances would not allow such a recognition, or something like that. But I cannot see why we should establish a principle that wicked political doctrines are emancipated from the control of law if they can claim a religious lineage.

Great discussion people.

Jeff, The problem with the government outlawing advocacy of sharia and jihad is that it requires the government to define what sharia and jihad are. The people following jihad and sharia are the proper ones to define that, and unfortunately there isn't a definition that all of those people agree on. It's not proper for government to referee religious disputes and decide for a religious group what the correct expression of their religion is.

The way around that problem is for the government to outlaw advocating behaviors that are associated with the versions of sharia and jihad that are objectionable. So outlawing advocacy for violent overthrow of the government would be fine. If as you advocate, jihad and violent overthrow are the same thing, then such an approach accomplishes the same thing, and I don't understand why you would object to it.

Paul, I can see how my statement was unclear. I am not saying that the government cannot recognize and condemn a wicked doctrine. I am saying that the government cannot define that doctrine and should not take action simply against beliefs. It's not the job of government to define doctrines for religious groups. The difference is subtle, but it is a very important distinction for maintaining freedom of conscience. Since it is usually behaviors that make a doctrine wicked, focusing on the behaviors of a group rather than the beliefs of that group is the best way to keep the government from violating freedom of conscience.

Currently many power brokers in government think the beliefs that abortion is wrong and that gay marriage is wrong are wicked. I do not want the government taking action against me for those beliefs. Once you let the government start taking that kind of action you have destroyed freedom of conscience.


Why not just define the _term_ "jihad" for purposes of a given law, and then if someone wants to talk about something else, he can use a different term?

We need to distinguish between defining a religion and defining a term. It seems to me that laws have to define terms all the time. To define "jihad" as holy war, etc., is hardly a _crazy_ definition, as if we had defined "black" to mean "white."

Everything that should be illegal already is with the possible exception of some aspects of some financial transfers. Some of you are trying to do an end run around the First Amendment and deal with content. The reason why we won't go the way of some other nations is what you seek to undermine.

Bruce, I agree heartily with Lydia - just define jihad and sharia for purposes of a given law, and let it rest. No part of reality should be arbitrarily designated as "off limits" when it comes to the duty of government in securing the common good.

I mean, come on - jihad and sharia are objectively definable. The consensus within Islam itself is nearly universal. If there be any who define jihad and sharia differently, they can take their oaths in good conscience, will not have their communication censored, will not fall under the censure of the constitutional amendment, etc.. But there will not be more than a tiny handful of serious Muslims willing to honestly renounce them. In fact, I think you know this and I suspect this is partly why you object to these measures.

There is, of course, another highly important reason for defining jihad and sharia in law and not merely mentioning specific behaviors without reference to religious doctrine: the psychological impact upon domestic Islam. The message needs to be loud and clear - Islam is the problem, Islam is under scrutiny, Islam is the enemy. That might be enough, in itself, to motivate an exodus of at least the most radical Islamist elements from this country.

I may have reservations about your reading of the situation, Jeff, and I think that Bruce is entirely correct - it's not the job of government to define doctrines for religious groups. Whatever we think the "essence" of Islamic doctrine is, there has been, and will be, disagreement among Muslims about the meaning of "Jihad" and "Sharia". And Bruce seems to have judged correctly - it is not for government to tell the 'quilliam' foundation or Ziauddin Sardar, Reza Aslan and Ed Husain that they have misunderstood Islam, or the meaning of "Jihad" or "Sharia".

However, when we face scenes like this -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11923701 -
we do have to ask Muslims to confront the fact that the 'radicals' are no longer a fringe, and that they are currently on a collision course with the West.

Jeff & Lydia, If the government established definitions for jihad and sharia, then you would still have the problem that the government should not outlaw what people think. In order to apply the definition in law, the government would have do define jihad and sharia as behavior.

You are right, the government properly defines many behaviors that have foundations in religious morality, like marriage and adultery. The government defines and sanctions many behaviors, but it has been a long time since governments in the West have punished people for what they believe, and it has been a long time since governments in the West have defined religious doctrines for religious denominations.

Hate crime legislation makes penalties stronger when people

act
out of disapproved beliefs (like racism), but hate crimes legislation does not take effect until a crime of behavior has been committed.

Jeff and Lydia, I do not like asking questions, and I abhor rhetorical questions, but I am going to have to ask. Do you think it would be OK for the government to interrogate private citizens and private organizations on what they believe and then start sanctioning them simply for certain beliefs? If so, then that seems to be the nexus of our disagreement. I already find hate crimes legislation to be oppressive. Fortunately it is not a crime yet in America to simply disapprove of behaviors like fornication and adultery or even preach against them.

I am concerned that we not erase the legal foundation in America for protecting people from a new inquisition. When the next inquisition comes it will not be targeting Islam, but will be targeting you and me.

Unintended consequences that would result from abandoning the freedom of conscience protections in American law would far outstrip any benefit in resisting Islam that would come from abandoning them. Especially since it is possible to resist Islamist expansion based upon behaviors without establishing a precedent for inquisition.

Bruce, Paul's suggested jihad sedition law says that advocating jihad should be regarded as sedition. Do you think that it is inquisitorial for there to be a law saying, for example, that I cannot publish something arguing that the government of the United States should be overthrown by armed rebellion?

That's a hypothetical example, but the point is this: Such a law is not in and of itself sanctioning beliefs. Moreover, it has previously been considered that such laws limiting speech and the freedom of the press would and should pass muster as acceptable exceptions to First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech. They have, in fact, not been struck down as unconstitutional.

It seems to me that you would _maybe_ be in stronger territory arguing against such laws on freedom of speech grounds rather than on freedom of religion grounds or than in trying to extend this to some sort of "outlawing beliefs" issue.

Paul has pointed out that sedition is already illegal. His suggested jihad sedition law would simply codify that teaching specifically Islamic jihad--holy war--is the same thing as advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government by violence. That this _should_ be obvious doesn't (obviously) mean that it _is_ obvious. New laws have been passed before to clarify the application of earlier laws.

I get this odd feeling that you aren't really addressing what we're actually saying.

Perhaps it would help if we stuck to jihad and, for the moment, left sharia to one side. How is it outlawing beliefs per se to build on existing, arguably constitutional, laws against advocacy of sedition and simply to point out that advocating the overthrow of the U.S. constitution and government, terrorism, etc., in the name of Islam is itself a form of sedition?

Imagine, national interests converge in the most unlikely ways! And sometimes genuine statesmen know how to exploit the moment. ... Ronald Reagan was able to get the oil-producing Islamic states to flood the market and bankrupt the Soviet oil export regime that financed their military ambitions.

Different times, different America and, as far as security of America and the West is concerned, different Saudi Arabia. The watershed of Sep.11 had separated the past and present like few other events in post ww2 times.

Reagan’s America in its historical role as the Power For Good standing firm against the Evil Empire got a nasty, grubby character to do some errand for her - not unlike the police may use a little pimp to get the big gangster. The Evil Empire collapsed and both America and the grubby “Kingdom” continued in their historical roles. The “collaboration” never cost America surrendering her principles, or compromising her security, or going to bed with the “Kingdom.”

Today the grubby Kingdom is the greatest financier and sponsor of deadliest terrorism directed against the free world - especially America. At the same time the president(s) of America instead of realistically facing that fact can’t stop blabbering about ”religion of peace” while the incumbent one demonstrates his greatest respect for it by virtually genuflecting before the “king”. This is alliance? Against what? Alliance with a mugger in anti-mugging campaign?

A U.S. left with only NATO states has allies is strategically very vulnerable, made all the more so, when the old adage; "diplomacy is war continued by other means" is discarded by those so morally Good that war is the only honorable option against Evil…

Suuure. Allying with enemies will definitely diminish NATO's vulnerability!

And war may not always be the only honourable option against Evil. But calling Evil evil is not option, but duty of those who believe in Good. It is also fundamental prerequisite for deterring and, with God’s help, eventually defeating Evil. Reagan understood it and was faithful to that truth. For President O’Bimbo and his administration Good is a form of Evil and vice versa - all depending on what stage of the creation of the New World Order he thinks he currently is.

Lydia: since Chucky has made fun of the whole idea of...
I wasn't "making fun" of anything. I was trying to show that this type of law could be turned around and used against Christians if the government suddenly decided that we were "threatening" or "subversive" (as some atheists and secularists have already decided.)

I think the offensive portions of jihad and sharia are already illegal in this country - we just need some law enforcement backbone (especially in the judicial branch.)

Also, I gave a very specific example of polygamy and Mormons. This is a case where a religious practice was deemed illegal. We can outlaw specific practices if need be, but never speech or beliefs.

Never speech? Chucky, are you a "free speech absolutist"? You think bomb-making how-to web sites should be legal? Death threats? Pornography? Books that tell pedophiles the ten best tips for picking up dates?

I'm not saying we don't want to be careful about free speech exceptions. We should be careful. That's why I myself have expressed reservations about some of Jeff's censorship proposals. On the other hand, I am saying it's pretty easy to counterexample an incredibly broad statement like, "We should never outlaw speech."

OK Lydia, I am relieved from your answer to be able to presume that you don't seem to be advocating for the government to investigate people on what they believe and then take actions against them for what they are thinking.

It may be that we are approaching the same issue from two directions.

To answer your question:

Do you think that it is inquisitorial for there to be a law saying, for example, that I cannot publish something arguing that the government of the United States should be overthrown by armed rebellion?
I think anti-sedition laws are great. Outlawing advocacy (speech) for violent overthrow is fine.

The problem is with defining "jihad." I understand "jihad" to be a theological word with various interpretations. It's not the government's business to legislate the "approved" interpretation, and it's not necessary for the government to establish an "approved" interpretation in order to oppose seditious speech by either Muslims or Islam.

Concerning:

How is it outlawing beliefs per se to build on existing, arguably constitutional, laws against advocacy of sedition and simply to point out that advocating the overthrow of the U.S. constitution and government, terrorism, etc., in the name of Islam is itself a form of sedition?
That is not oppressing beliefs. Just don't call it legislating against "jihad." Call it legislating against "advocating for the overthrow of the US government in the name of religion."

We're striving for the same result. I'm just approaching it from the perspective of not wanting to undermine legal precedent that protects Christians from having the government define legal and illegal forms of Christian belief. I'd like to hear you express that same desire. Up till now, I get the sense that you haven't much concern about that potential consequence.

Bruce, you wrote:

Do you think it would be OK for the government to interrogate private citizens and private organizations on what they believe and then start sanctioning them simply for certain beliefs?

I don't believe any of my proposals do that. You will notice that the core proposals - except for those in which certain people in voluntary positions are subject to oaths - do not punish private belief but center on the public advocacy of jihad and sharia. Advocacy is an act, a behavior.

The oaths are really not that intrusive unless one advocates replacing "the Government of the United States, or the government of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, with a system of Islamic law", in which case I think government inquiry is totally legitimate.

In general, though, I actually do share your concern for religious liberty in this country. But liberty is never absolute, and sometimes the liberty of a few must be sacrificed to safeguard the liberty of many, the liberty of the good, and the liberty of the truth. Such is the case with Islam. Ultimately, liberty for Islam means the total subjection of everyone and everything else.

Bruce, it's only fair for me to add that I can well imagine that in interviewing for sensitive jobs, people would understandably be discriminated against on the basis of certain beliefs, and questions might be asked that would uncover such beliefs.

For example, suppose that Joe is applying and being interviewed for a job to work with security clearance at an airport. It seems entirely legitimate to me for him to be gotten to talk about his views of politics, the government, etc. Then, suppose that he says this, "I think that our government has declared war against its citizens. I think the citizens have a right to respond, though I haven't decided yet what responses are legitimate." That's the kind of red flag that _should_ lock him out of the job. I'm assuming Joe isn't a Muslim, by the way.

But similarly, if you're interviewing Mohammed for the same position and he launches into a diatribe about how Hezbollah is a bunch of freedom fighters, America is really the terrorist country, etc., that should have a similar effect--job discrimination on the basis of weird beliefs that make it dangerous to give him security clearance.

Lydia, I think we agree on everything except whether and how to define jihad, sharia, and Islam. There are brinks from which there is no retreat. The potential cost of those definitions by government outweighs the potential gains for security, especially when the security gains can be obtained without them. It's not necessary for the government to make those definitions in order to begin implementing your proposals.

I believe, we can implement all of your proposals in ways that avoid the complications that would arise from the government making those definitions. I concur that liberty is not absolute and that sometimes sacrifices must be made, but sacrifices should not be made when the same outcome can be achieved without them. We should not sacrifice liberty just to make implementing your proposals easier, but only when such sacrifice becomes the last resort. We are still some distance from that point of last resort.

Your Part One and Jeff's Part Two are excellent calls to wake up and act to stem the tide of Islamization before it's too late. I think the American public will welcome steps within existing legal precedent more readily than those which set new legal precedent. I think you must be careful where you find your allies. The secular progressive left may welcome new precedent, not for applying it to Islam but for the potential of applying it to Christianity.

This is alliance? Against what? Alliance with a mugger in anti-mugging campaign?

In WWII to thwart one totalitarian regime we allied with another. There are fissures and divisions within the Islamic camp and we should always look to advance our own interests by finding them. We should also know when our presence in their region act as a distabilizing force.

It is Metternich's realism, not Wilson's messianism or a dangerous Manicheanism which serves us best.

Also, I gave a very specific example of polygamy and Mormons. This is a case where a religious practice was deemed illegal. We can outlaw specific practices if need be, but never speech or beliefs.

Chucky, you need to look into this episode more carefully. In fact the proscription of plural marriage included some rather severe speech-related features. There were oaths of renunciation, not merely of the practice but also the advocacy of polygamy. If a man refused to renounce, he would be stripped of his franchise, forbidden to hold any public office, and if memory serves, even his courtroom testimony in unrelated cases could be impugned. Strong medicine. It was the belief in plural marriage that the US sought to extirpate as well.

Paul, I don't have time to look into your specifics but none of those things would fly today. I thought Jeff might find this case useful but you might also be interested. I'm listening to the oral arguments on the prop. 8 case just now and it occurred to me that Romer also applies to most of Lydia and Jeff's project.

As for effectiveness, I would suggest you visit Colorado City, Hildale, Ursine, Modena, etc.

As I and several others have pointed out, the law already covers (except possibly some tweaks on financial issues) anything seditious that those pesky Muslims may attempt. None of you have made the case for treating Islam as a special case.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0385_0589_ZO.html

"Appellant Starbuck was a non-faculty library employee and part-time lecturer in English. Personnel in that classification were not required to sign a certificate, but were required to answer in writing under oath the question,"

"Have you ever advised or taught or were you ever a member of any society or group of persons which taught or advocated the doctrine that the Government of the United States or of any political subdivisions thereof should be overthrown or overturned by force, violence or any unlawful means?"

"Starbuck refused to answer the question, and, as a result, was dismissed."

"Appellants brought this action for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the state program violated the Federal Constitution in various respects. A three-judge [p593] federal court held that the program was constitutional. 255 F.Supp. 981. [n2] We noted probable jurisdiction of appellants' appeal, 384 U.S. 998. We reverse."

PS, I replied to your comment way south of here comparing the Republican party of Lincoln to the current institution.


None of you have made the case for treating Islam as a special case.

The soothing fiction of the multi-culturalist. In terms of restricting Islamic immigration, he tells us through quivering lips: "It might work very well in practice, but it doesn't work in theory." Better for calamity to occur than a liberal to feel bad.


Don, why don't you try, at least, to actually be responsive instead of the usual formulaic response. Let's try again.

Everything that would be covered by creating a separate class is already covered by existing law. What is the compelling state interest in creating that class?

"Better for calamity to occur than a liberal to feel bad."

If the possible calamities are already dealt with under the existing law, how is a rational person to make sense of that statement?

Don Colacho,

Do you ever tire of supplying incongruous analogies?

Alliance with the Soviets was an alliance against deadly existential threat to both the West and the USSR. The Soviets delivered their part of commitment to fight Nazi Germany faithfully, splendidly and at a staggering cost in human life and material destruction.

Now, please could you make clear how Islam, which is a huge existential threat to the West, is also existential threat to Islamic states, its elites and its masses. You could start with the Saudi Arabia, the greatest financier of the international Jihad, but of course if you prefer Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen or… Somalia you are just as welcome.

After you are done please show how refusing to identify Islam as the historical existential threat to the West (and all non-moslem civilizations), kowtowing to everything Moslem, genuflecting before a degenerate Moslem king, spending billions of dollars and thousands of lives to prevent bunch of West-hating islamic thugs to be replaced by another bunch of West-hating Islamic thugs while admitting millions of Moslem into the West exemplifies Metternich’s realism.

“Wilson’s messianism”? Where have you detected THAT?
In my advocating maximum realistic separation from Islamic states except buying their oil and an occasional military punitive expedition? Closing doors to Moslem immigration? Or my insistence that the evil of Islam be as earnestly and widely exposed and condemned as the evil of Nazism, or Communism in the past?

So you think the last one is “dangerous Manichaeism”? I think you should spend some time acquainting yourself with the meaning of that term. Casually discharging smart sounds in wrong places doesn’t make your comments more convincing, only more silly.

Anyway, I am getting bored with you and don’t intend replying to you in the future. Goodbye.

Who made the painting appearing at the heading of this post and what event does it depict? The Queen seems to be Isabella of Castille, is she?

the law already covers ... anything seditious that those pesky Muslims may attempt

Look, how about this? I'll just all grant that, arguendo: even leaving aside that last little sneer, signaling again your reluctance to actually engage us on a level of respect, I'll just grant that you're right. (What a pesky little razzia Ft. Hood was.)

So I'll grant for argument's sake that, as you assert, the law covers it already.

Still I welcome and encourage the provocation and media uproar that would surround a jihad-sedition law. The uproar is half the battle. I think the mere introduction in Congress of a jihad-sedition law, even if it fails to gain passage, would be an enormous victory against the Jihad.

The manner in which republics "speak," to themselves and others, is by legislation, some of it basically symbolic in nature.

Also I have personally seen the effectiveness of this policy proposal in conversation. I've brought numerous liberals around to my view of Islam by way of an extended discussion of ... wait for it ... the jihad-sedition law. If I have to, when a liberal objects really vociferously -- hey, I just fall back on your position anyway: "it's already illegal."

However, if someone insists that mostly symbolic legislation just must have practical application, I'll throw in the establishment of a special federal prosecutor office, with budget and mandate to pursue Jihadist sedition. There, feel better?

OK, now I get it. Kind of like bartering for a good price in the souk. Propose the "let's define and outlaw jihad" legislation to meet in the middle at getting current laws enforced. I don't know yet what to think about that strategy. Are there any good examples of its successful use elsewhere?

Who made the painting appearing at the heading of this post and what event does it depict? The Queen seems to be Isabella of Castille, is she?

That's right, Mr. Hanski. Queen Isabella, King Ferdinand, and their Reconquistadores are escorting the Moors out of Spain. I looked (not that hard) for the artist but didn't turn anything up.

Thank you, Mr. Culbreath.

A heart-warming image. Would make a terrific postcard. Maybe I should try to do something about it...

I was trying to find the King too, but stopped at Queen, because she, besides occupying the central place of the scene, seems to be the only one wearing the crown. I wonder why.

Lydia: Never speech? Chucky, are you a "free speech absolutist"? You think bomb-making how-to web sites should be legal? Death threats? Pornography? Books that tell pedophiles the ten best tips for picking up dates?
I think all of those things ARE legal. Are you advocating they not be?

Making pornography illegal won't change men's hearts - only Jesus can do that. If we are REALLY concerned with Islam, we should make every effort to convert Muslims - not outlaw their beliefs.

Paul J Cella: Chucky, you need to look into this episode more carefully. In fact the proscription of plural marriage included some rather severe speech-related features. There were oaths of renunciation, not merely of the practice but also the advocacy of polygamy. If a man refused to renounce, he would be stripped of his franchise, forbidden to hold any public office, and if memory serves, even his courtroom testimony in unrelated cases could be impugned. Strong medicine. It was the belief in plural marriage that the US sought to extirpate as well.
I was not aware of that, thanks for pointing that out Paul. I think these laws then did go too far and show an anti-Mormon prejudice of the type I'm worried may be applied to Christianity in the future if an "anti-religion law" precedent gets set.
Bruce: The secular progressive left may welcome new precedent, not for applying it to Islam but for the potential of applying it to Christianity.

That's my worry too.

No, Chucky, death threats are not legal. Welcome to the real world. Technically, pornography may also be outlawed if it is against "community standards," though that can be difficult to put through. Also, child pornography is illegal. You don't seem to know much about this, do you? You really think we live in a free-speech absolutist country? Well, fortunately, we don't. As for the other things I listed, I haven't researched them lately, but, yes, I do think they should be illegal. Sorry you don't.

"I think the mere introduction in Congress of a jihad-sedition law, even if it fails to gain passage, would be an enormous victory against the Jihad."

I'm not convinced that there is one Jihad. And I'm sympathetic to some aspects of the critique of

And I'm not convinced that the implementation of such a bill would be a net gain in security for the United States.

What do you do when 7 Million Muslims refuse to comply? And how will you deal with the ramifications for Foreign Policy?

Graham

Chucky

With the greatest of respect, that sort of thinking makes the Taliban seem reasonable and measured. And frankly, any society that allows paedophilia and murder to be openly encouraged has become every bit as barbaric as any pre-modern culture.

Graham

"The manner in which republics "speak," to themselves and others, is by legislation, some of it basically symbolic in nature."

Besides the numerous resolutions honoring this and that?

Anyway, the statutes against polygamy are no longer on the books (repealed in the 1970s) and the whole oath thing would be unconstitutional these days (most convictions weren't for marriage but were for "cohabitation", a lesser offense and which likewise wouldn't fly now days).

I would expect a little understanding on the "sneer" as nonsense about some coalition between Islamists and liberals to disadvantage Christians keeps appearing and such sentiments are well deserving of a sneer or so. As always, not all of my comments apply to everyone equally.

It should be easy to convince most, if not all, liberals because, at its core, your argument isn't against Islam, it's against a particularity pernicious strain of social conservatism and traditionalism that has too much of Islam in its thrall.

I should think that most if not all liberals would be thrilled (and the republic would definitely better off) if all traditionalists and social conservatives stayed in their particular hell holes instead of coming here and attempting to recreate our fair land in the image of said hell holes (and it should be obvious that that preference would also apply to Christianists - say from Uganda for example).

Now most Islamists are stuck where they were born and are of circumstances that make them relatively harmless to us. On the other hand while some Christianists are stuck in places like Uganda, too many are born here and they vote, i.e. they do actual harm.

One of the more interesting, frustrating, and in the end, puzzling things about the American Right is the extent of projection in its program. The America you fear that Islamists would have in their image is the one you would create if you all were to have your way. What we have in the recent spate of posts is, I suspect, not much more than fear of competition.

The positions on the social issues are similar once cultural horrors like FGM are stripped out and honor killings are merely the far end of a continuum that includes things like shunning and sitting shiva for the apostate that are so beloved by the religious.

That being said I would hope that maintaining a free country would would count for more than either fear for ones life or fear of competition. It seems that one thing all social conservatives, regardless of dispensation, have in common is that they choke on the sweet air of freedom.

The devout in Iran delivered themselves and their nation into the hands of the Mullahs that they might purify their nation; you all seem to be willing to deliver our republic into the hands of plutocratic mullahs in the hope of being granted the social agenda franchise.

Lydia : No, Chucky, death threats are not legal. Welcome to the real world.
Do you know how many times I've heard someone say "I'm going to kill you!" in a fit of anger? I guess they didn't know it was illegal for them to say that! Either that or everything you've described IS legal.

And Graham, PLEASE don't take my advocacy for free speech as support for the perverse positions people may take. That's not the issue and I'm pretty sure you know it.

MY POINT: (in CAPS so maybe you all will actually READ IT this time) ANY LAW RESTRICTING SPEECH, THOUGHT OR BELIEF CAN (AND WILL) BE EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO CHRISTIANITY!!!!!!!!

There.

"Do you know how many times I've heard someone say "I'm going to kill you!" in a fit of anger?"

Chucky, you're equivocating. Every use of the described words doesn't constitute a "death threat". Other elements need to be satisfied. "I'm going to kill you" may or may not rise to the level of a crime depending on other factors.

Speech may be restricted while thought and belief are absolutely protected.

Perhaps a little elaboration is in order,

"It is for these reasons that we believe a narrow construction of the word "threat" in the statute here, 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), as approved in Watts, 394 U.S. at 708, 89 S.Ct. at 1401, 22 L.Ed.2d at 667, is consonant with the protection of First Amendment interests. Even where the threat is made in the midst of what may be other protected political expression, such as appellant's reference to "justice" and "equal rights under the law," the threat itself may affront such important social interests that it is punishable absent proof of a specific intent to carry it into action when the following criteria are satisfied. So long as the threat on its face and in the circumstances in which it is made is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to the person threatened, as to convey a gravity of purpose and imminent prospect of execution, the statute may properly be applied. This clarification of the scope of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c) is, we trust, consistent with a rational approach to First Amendment construction which provides for governmental authority in instances of inchoate conduct, where a communication has become "so interlocked with violent conduct as to constitute for all practical purposes part of the (proscribed) action itself." T. Emerson, supra, at 329.9"

http://openjurist.org/534/f2d/1020/united-states-v-kelner

You might also want to check out Watts v. United States, 394 U.S. 705

Well Al, you conveniently expanded your concise sneer into a longer one, a full comment, signaling again your reluctance to actually engage us on a level of respect.

"Well Al, you conveniently expanded your concise sneer into a longer one, a full comment, signaling again your reluctance to actually engage us on a level of respect."

Paul, respect isn't meekly falling into line with the group think du jour. After Jeff's initial post and almost 200 comments there was a body of opinion that needed some serious analysis. A close examination suggested an alternative theory which I have laid out. Subsequent posts north of here by Jeff and Lydia have only strengthened my theory.

You all seem to have a vision of America that has more in common with our Jihadi friends then with a truly free and open society. Islamists and Christianists have more in common than not. That makes you competitors, both at odds with those of us who choke not on the sweet air of freedom.

It is convenient for your position to treat Christianity and Islam as more or less indistinguishable in their orthodox forms. It's not a serious argument though.

"It is convenient for your position to treat Christianity and Islam as more or less indistinguishable in their orthodox forms."

Which isn't what I am doing. What I am asserting is that Islamists and Christianists are opposite sides on the same coin. Both have a religiously inspired political vision that is obsolete today. Prior to the rise of Christianism in America, most of us assumed that Christianity moved past all that in the 17th century. Why we have a movement in this county that is determined to bring to us the blessings of theocracy is beyond me but i call em as i see em.

Recall what Jeff wrote,

"a. Require an oath renouncing jihad and sharia from all resident alien Muslims as a condition for remaining in the United States.

b. Require an oath renouncing jihad and sharia from all government employees, including military personnel.

c. Monitor all mosques and Islamic schools for promulgation or advocacy of jihad and sharia.

d. Forbid the public advocacy of jihad and sharia in print and on radio, television, and the web."

That sound like a commitment to freedom to you?

Several commenters have made the point that nothing is to be gained by passing facially unconstitutional laws covering things that are already illegal and all we get for a reply is, "The manner in which republics "speak," to themselves and others, is by legislation, some of it basically symbolic in nature."

What does that even mean?

Loyalty oaths have a long pedigree in this country. As do sedition laws. Some of the men who passed the Sedition Act of 1798 also signed the Constitution. I draw my prescriptions in the matter of the Jihad from authentic strains of the American political tradition. Now, I grant that these strains tend to be uncongenial to liberalism (see Leonard Levy's famous book on Jefferson and civil liberties). So much the worse for liberalism.

Again, it is convenient for you to ignore all this and pretend I'm drawing my ideas from the Book of Leviticus or something, but it's not serious.

In republican theory, the deliberative assembly of the people's representatives is the community is microcosm. Thus even symbolic legislation constitutes an instance of that self-government which is the essence of the republican form.

Let me add, Al, that this "sweet air of freedom" talk from you is frankly risible. No one on this website has demonstrated more stridency on the matter of political loyalty than you. Just recently your hair-trigger resulted in a humorless, churlish remark about "rebellion and treason" in what was obviously a lighthearted post offered for amusement.

Now, I share your antipathy for active and designing disloyalty. But on the evidence I approach the matter with a great deal more forbearance, not imagining any good would come from (for instance) cracking down on the leftists agitating for Vermont to secede from the Union. Indeed, I would greet calls for such a crackdown with a choke of horror. I must confess to a touch of sympathy for these Green Mountain eccentrics. But what can we expect of a man still jonesing for an American Katyn massacre at Appomattox, a man who stands up sharply and pounds his desk with inquisitorial pedantry when someone posts a funny map of the "United State of Texas" -- what might we imagine he has in store for the poor Vermonters and their defiance of empire?

It aint the sweet air of freedom, that's for sure.

As far as I can tell, the difference between us on the question of disloyalty is not that one of us opposes it and the other does not; or that one of us prefers, in dealing with it, to error on the side of liberty and the other on the side of order. Nothing so simple as that. It is that one of us thinks it is a solvable problem and one of us does not.

Chucky

"And Graham, PLEASE don't take my advocacy for free speech as support for the perverse positions people may take. That's not the issue and I'm pretty sure you know it"

I'm pretty dumb, so it's never wise to make assumptions about what I do and do not know. However, I know that any society that allows groups or individuals to publicly advocate the sexual abuse of children is not a civilised society.
You can't open the city gates to barbarians and then wash your hands when they don't behave.

Graham

Jeff
Rather than being "chilled" I thought that I'd respond to your proposals to clarify the distance between us (-:

My problem arises from statements like
"A library which refuses to carry the Koran because it is the Koran; a planning commission that refuses to approve a mosque because it is a mosque..."

This simply isn't just or wise. Perhaps some Muslims are not interpreting the Quran correctly; Christian apologists and evangelists can (and should) point this out.
But these Muslims do not want to commit acts of sedition. A Muslim who considers and practises his or her faith in personal, spiritual, and sometimes mystical rather than a political forms can takes his religion seriously, and not see it as a hindrance to full integration Western society and culture. Refusing these Muslims the opportunity to integrate is unfair, and it plays into Jihadist hands.

Responding to your specific proposals for policy.

"4 Codify Islamic jihad and sharia as hostile, foreign, political ideologies."

Legal technicalities aside, a public stand needs to be taken by government against some expressions of Islam. Mary Habeck has suggested that we re-designate the 'War on Terror' as the "War on Khawarij". There's some mileage in this.
We can define "Khawarij" any way that we like. So I'd suggest that we include the use of "jihad" to encourage acts of sedition and violence againsttakfiri; the attempt to introduce a new legal code into foreign states (in other words Sharia must be limited to mediation, not arbitration); and refusal to integrate with non-Muslims.

Responding to your specific proposals for action

"2. Obstruct. Find a way to stop the building of new mosques in your neighborhood..."

I would rather find out some information about who is running the Mosque. If they are Deobandi, Salafis, or Wahhabi then obstruct. Do not allow Mosques to be taken over by these groups. Make it clear that these groups will face obstruction at every turn.

"3. Discriminate. If you are an employer, find a way not to hire Islamists or potential Islamists."
I was glad that you used 'Islamist' at this stage. I think all Muslims would be caught in this net, and in practice this would lead to wider radicalisation of the Muslim community.(Perhaps one way of sweetening this pill would be to simultaneously encourage discrimination against white supremacists.)

"6. Christianize." I agree. Islamists react against secularism. The more harm you do to secularism, the more harm you do to Islamism.

Graham

Graham, the Koran is a pretty darned bad book. Are you really saying it would be unjust for the little local library to refuse to carry the Koran on grounds of content? Isn't that a pretty strong notion of "injustice"? I think libraries _should_ take content into account in deciding what books to carry. It's better than throwing all the names of all the possible books into a hat and pulling out the number they have space for!

Lydia

It is of some historical and religious interest (-;

And Muslim's use it in a variety of ways. A Sufi might meditate on the syllables without giving the propositional content any thought at all.

So to refuse to stock the Koran simply because it is the Koran does not seem right.

Not stocking multiple copies of Sayyid Qutb's "In the Shadow of the Koran" would, however, seem prudent.

Graham

islam is dangerous no matter how it is packaged. muslims do not assimilate into western society because islam is a theocracy and demands supremacy.

the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

see the links in the pdf version below for more accurate info about islam
==========

islam is a horrible ideology for human rights

5 key things about islam

1. mythical beliefs - all religions have these (faith) because its part of being a religion: having beliefs without proof until after the believer dies. the problem is people will believe almost anything.

2. totalitarianism - islam has no seperation of church and state: sharia law governs all. there is no free will in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests. there are no moderate muslims: they all support sharia law.

3. violence - islam leads the pack of all religions in violent tenets for their ideology & history: having eternal canonical imperatives for supremacy at all costs and calling for violence & intimidation as basic tools to achieve these goals.

4. dishonesty - only islam has dishonesty as a fundamental tenet: this stems from allah speaking to mohamhead & abrogation in the koran which is used to explain how mo's peaceful early life was superseded by his warlord role later.

5. misogyny - present day islam is still rooted in 8th century social ethics: treating females as property of men good only for children, severely limiting their activities, dressing them in shower curtains and worse.

conclusions ??

there really are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda.

islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

graphics version
http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/5792/dangero.jpg

1 page pdf version - do file/download 6kb viewer doesn't show fonts well, has better fonts header footer links, great for emailing printing etc
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_UyNP-72AVKYWNiNTFlYTEtMTA1ZC00YjhiLTljMDUtMDhhNDE0NDMzNmYz

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