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Here Comes Trouble

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about Sharia Law.  Basically, it is attempting to let Muslims supersede US law so that, if they do something that is part of their practices that is illegal, it gives them a pass.

Why this is happening, I have no idea.  Muslims have been in this country for decades, and they've lived in peace with the rest of the country and played by our rules and haven't had a problem with it yet and have been good, decent, caring people and haven't plotted the violent overthrow of the government.  But for some reason, there has been a movement to allow Sharia Law to take precedence.  This was almost successfully allowed in Canada until some people realized the can of worms this would open and shot it down.

The Oklahoma state constitution was recently amended to ban the use of Sharia Law in the state courts.  In January of this year, an appeals court issued an injunction blocking it from taking affect because there is no documented case of Sharia Law being used in the ruling process.

Well, we have one now.

Last year, there was a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, PA.  Among the attendees was Ernie Perce, an Atheist activist.  He marched in the parade next to another Atheist, and they were both wearing modified zombie costumes.  The other guy was dressed as a zombie pope (IB4 "How could they tell the difference?"), while Perce was dressed as zombie Muhammad.

Here's the next participant in our story -- Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim watching the parade who saw Perce's get-up and attacked him.  Elbayomy was grabbed by the police and hauled downtown for assault.

The case was heard last week by Judge Mark Martin, a former Iraq veteran and a recent convert to Islam.  Elbayomy's defense rested on how Sharia Law required him to attack anyone insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Martin agreed with him and threw out the case.

Not only did Martin state that the 1st Amendment does not protect people provoking and insulting others, but he also called Perce a "doofus" during the trial.  Basically, he said Perce got what he deserved and that Sharia Law trumps the Constitution.

(For those of you thinking, just calm down, wait until this gets through the appeals process, there is no appeals process for acquittals.  Elbayomy got away scott free.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, no one bitched about or attacked the zombie pope guy.)

There has been a disturbing trend of late to paint Muslims as brainwashed cult members (I don't remember where I saw it, but I recently saw an opinion piece that, instead of Muslims, used the word "Musloids").  Real Muslim is a peaceful religion and most of its adherents would never hurt anyone for expressing their beliefs.  You know, sort of like Christians -- most of them are decent live and let live folks, and it's only a few rotten apples getting the press and ruining our reputations.

I mention that because most of the outrage is coming from Christians saying a holy war is on its way, completely overlooking that they are just as guilty of the offensive behavior they are deriding.  And cases like this will be seized on as further proof that we must take up arms and punish people who have NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THEY ARE CRUSADING AGAINST.

The correct course of action is to remove Martin from the bench for Not Getting It.  The correct course of action is to hold Elbayomy accountable for what he did, that Atheists have just as much right to express themselves as he does, and notice this Atheist didn't try to beat him up, he just dressed in a dopey costume.  The correct course of action is not to turn this into a flag to rally a bunch of mouthbreathers afraid of a boogeyman defiling a people, a culture, and a religion by using it as a shield.

Please.  Don't let this fuel hatred we really don't need.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
The quickest and easiest reason to give for why Sharia Law does not apply in US courts is that Sharia Law is based on religious belief.

"Not only did Martin state that the 1st Amendment does not protect people provoking and insulting others"

Actually, the 1st amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The critical part being the "no law" and "abridging the freedom of speech". It says NOTHING about whether or not you can "provoke or insult". It also says you can "petition the Government for a redress of grievances", NOT "attack someone because you feel slighted".

Meanwhile, let's look at the first part of that amendment... "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". And yet, elements of said free exercise WILL be infringed if they may harm others.

For example: Ask a Mormon how many wives he can legally have.

For further example: Ask a Druid or a Satanist about the last human they sacrificed.

Ultimately you are correct. While the Muslim has every right to practice his religion how he sees fit (so long as it doesn't cause harm to others and their property), the Atheist has the right to practice his non-religion how he sees fit.

Admittedly, I might be trying to protect myself. I insult all religions quite often. If people are allowed to just randomly attack people insulting their religion, I'm in big trouble.
Feb. 28th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
You are sort of correct in your statements about the 1st Amendment. Martin was basically falling back on the old, "You can't yell FIRE! in a crowded theater," thing. The problem is that, by making this ruling, he, as a government official in charge of interpreting the law, has in fact given official government sanction to Islam. He is respecting an establishment of religion instead of infringing on it. THIS is why I'm outraged.

And as far as you being in trouble for insulting religion, remember: you are taking on other religions. I'm taking on my own. ;-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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