The Islamic Circle of North America has launched a $30 million Sharia “normalization” campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to convince Americans that Sharia is normal, non-threatening to our way of life, liberty or pursuit of happiness. It is grand standing in an effort to end the growing national conversation on proposed “American Laws for American Courts” legislation.
Hat Tip: Christopher Holton, Center for Security Policy, for this excellent summary of the arguments surrounding efforts to stand against the encroachment of Sharia law into our court system and our culture and the alleged reasons we, as Americans should buy into Shar’a.
This morning the Orlando Sentinel has published editorials, pro and con, on the American Laws for American Courts legislation in Florida.
Note that, right from the start, the Orlando Sentinel mischaracterizes the legislation as a “foreign law ban.” American Laws for American Courts is NOT a foreign law ban. It merely prevents a state court from applying a foreign law in a specific case if the application of that foreign law in the case at hand would violate any of the parties’ fundamental constitutional rights. This is very different from a blanket foreign law “ban.”
The fact that the media from coast to coast keep labeling American Laws for American Courts a “foreign law ban” can only mean one of two things:
1. The media are not taking the time to read the bill itself.
2. The media are creating a narrative for opponents of American Laws for American Courts legislation. This is especially hypocritical of the media since freedom of the press is one of the fundamental constitutional rights under the US constitution that American Laws for American Courts seeks to protect from the incursion of foreign laws.
Representative Larry Metz does a great job in his op ed explaining the purpose and scope of the legislation that he crafted and which passed the Florida House overwhelmingly:
Constitutional rights must prevail in state’s courts
Writing in opposition to Rep. Metz is Ahmed Bedier, founder and director of United Voices. According to Discover the Networks, Bedier is a shady character to say the least who does not deserve a public forum such as the one granted to him by the Orlando Sentinel:
Bedier has had ties to radical Islam since at least 2002, when he was the Outreach Director for the Islamic Society of Pinellas County (Florida), a mosque whose website features material calling for violence against Jews. Moreover, he has cultivated relationships with organizations and individuals connected to anti-Israel terrorist groups overseas, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah.
In February 2003 Bedier began working as Communications Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). This was subsequent to CAIR’s involvement in the funding of Hamas, which had taken place prior to December 2001, at which time Hamas’ American financing wing, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), was shut down by the U.S. government.
Also in February 2003, the Tampa-based terrorist and former University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian was taken into custody by the FBI — indicted for his leadership role within Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Bedier became Al-Arian’s “unofficial spokesman,” holding press conferences where he voiced concern about the government’s treatment of the professor, and allowing his radio program to be used as a propaganda vehicle for al-Arian’s family and his PIJ colleagues.
In his op ed Bedier addresses none of the issues at hand and uses distortions and deception to attack American Laws for American Courts:
He falsely claims that Shariah is only made up of “individual religious practices and (a) moral code” for Muslims and compares Shariah to other forms of religious law, a specious comparison at best. Shariah does contain components of individual religious practices but it is also a complete code of life. As Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the chairman of International Union for Muslim Scholars, the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and chairman (in absentia) of the board of trustees at the Michigan-based Islamic American University wrote of Shariah:
(Shariah) is “a creed, an ideology (that) cannot be satisfied but by controlling society and directing all aspects of life, from how to enter the toilet to the construction of the state and the establishment of the caliphate.”
Shariah is also the foundation for the legal systems in nations such as Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt and many others. That is why legislation to protect American constitutional rights from foreign laws is perceived as directed at Shariah: simply because the legal systems of these kinds of countries so commonly violate our fundamental constitutional liberties, such as equal protection, due process, free exercise of religion, freedom of speech or press, and any right of privacy and marriage.
One has no choice but to wonder what Bedier’s true agenda is given his deliberate mischaracterization of legislation designed to preserve US constitutional rights. That a man such as Bedier, with ties to Islamic extremism would oppose American Laws for American Courts legislation should serve as an endorsement of why this legislation is needed.