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Archive for the ‘The Constitution’ Category

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CAIR‘s indomitable lunacy continues, this time in Clarksville, Tennessee. Determined to expunge the United States of its rights and laws, and in particular the 1st amendment, and replace them with sharia law, CAIR forges ever forward with its cache of weaponized lawsuits designed to eradicate our culture and our way of life in favor of an Islamic state. They use our civil liberties and freedoms against us in order to annihilate those freedoms. Of course, when the police force and city government are so willing and anxious to capitulate to CAIR in such matters, one can’t help but feel a trifle concerned as to the accommodating dhimmification of those tasked to protect us.

The below piece by Christine from the 910 Group blog, reposted over at the always relevant Gates of Vienna is a truly entertaining and pertinent piece.

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Bacon: The New Hate Crime

Thee article below was posted today by Christine at the 910 Group Blog.

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Here’s the latest alert from Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

CAIR SEEKS FBI PROBE OF ‘HATE CRIME’ AT TN MOSQUE

Political, religious leaders asked to repudiate growing Islamophobia

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/10/07) — A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the FBI to investigated what Tennessee law enforcement authorities are calling a “hate crime” targeting a mosque in that state.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations CAIR said worshipers at the Islamic Center of Clarksville found a defaced copy of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, on the front steps of the mosque just before communal prayers (Jummah) on Friday. Two strips of bacon, which is prohibited for Muslims to eat, were smeared in the Quran. Local police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

SEE: Muslims on Alert After Hate Crime (Leaf-Chronicle)

“We once again urge local, state and national political and religious leaders to repudiate the growing level of anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society that can lead to such troubling incidents,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

mmmmm… bacon….According to the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, two hours before the 1 p.m. Friday service, the Koran was found on the front steps of the Islamic Center. Someone had written “Mohammad pedophile” on the front, and an (unnamed) expletive was on the inside, smeared under two strips of bacon. Not only did the local police report it as a hate crime, but they said they would contact the FBI. Mosque representatives are meeting with the City Mayor Johnny Piper to see what he can do as well.

This is a clear example of how hate crime laws are being used to impose sharia law, in the guise of religious special accomodations, and in place of U.S. federal or state laws. I’m not a lawyer, so correct me if I’m wrong — that’s why we have a comments section — but under the current laws in Tennessee and the U.S., these are facts of the case:

1. The Koran — simply a book under our laws, rather than “Islam’s revealed text,” and therefore not subject to the special treatment required by sharia law — belonged to whoever put it on the steps. So no theft or defacement of someone else’s property was involved. If I had left a Bible on their steps, would that have been a hate crime? Or a Koran from Yemen, not accepted by the Wahhabi cult?

2. Leaving a Koran on a property’s steps — again, just a book like any other, under our law rather than sharia law — does not vandalize that property. Maybe you can define it as littering, but “hate crime littering” seems a bit of a dhimmitude stretch when it’s a single book and two pieces of bacon, neatly placed inside the book.

3. Writing in a book, including a Torah, New Testament, Bible, Lolita, The Pentagon Papers, the Yellow Pages or the Koran (again, just a book under any laws other than sharia) is permitted under the First Amendment. Writing an expletive in a book is permitted under the First Amendment. Writing that Mohammed was a pedophile is permitted under the First Amendment, and is also amply documented by both Islamic and other scholars of the Koran.

[Scriptural Evidence] Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64: Sahih Bukhari [the most venerated and authentic Islamic source]

Narrated ‘Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

4. Bacon is not illegal in Tennessee, and putting bacon in a book is not illegal in Tennessee. It’s a waste of good bacon, but it’s not illegal. In fact, Tennessee is the new home for the Pig Improvement Company, the world leader in genetic pig stock production (“Selling breeding stock and boar semen is a profitable business…”):
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In 2005, the Tennessee pork industry had over $52 million in cash receipts and ranked 24th in the United States in pork population. Tennessee’s 1,300 pig farms take up 51,876 acres of land and constitute the state’s 10th most lucrative agricultural industry.

Where was the underlying crime that must exist for this to be a “hate” crime, under U.S. or Tennessee laws? Or was the underlying crime one that exists only under sharia law, followed with meticulous political correctness by the Clarksville police in reporting it as a hate crime? Will leaving a book on the steps of a mosque become criminal trespass, in order to find some underlying crime to make it “hateful” under the National Incident Based Reporting System (pdf format) of the Department of Justice? The methodology for gathering hate crime statistics uses 3 categories of crimes: against people, against property and against society. Since this was not a crime against property or people, under U.S. and state laws, should we assume that the Clarksville police department has found it to be a crime against society under sharia law?

Or are we in the never-never land of searching for or inventing underlying crimes, to criminalize hostile and critical speech, so that it can be prosecuted as a hate crime? The 2005 Department of Justice “Study of Literature and Legislation on Hate Crime in America” (pdf format) warned of the risks:

Over the past 25 years, the federal government and all but one state have passed pieces of legislation addressing hate crime in some way. Still, there remains no national consensus about whether hate crime should be a separate class of crime, and among those supporting hate crime statutes, there is disagreement about how these statutes should be constructed and focused. The keys issues in the debate include:

(1) the necessity of considering hate or bias motivation when the core offenses(e.g., assault, vandalism) are already covered by criminal law;

(2) whether there is a danger in basing additional penalties for crimes upon the thoughts motivating offenders, rather than keeping the focus of criminal law on the behavior itself;

(3) whether it is possible to determine with legally-acceptable levels of certainty the motive behind a person’s criminal acts;

(4) whether, in practice, hate crime laws result in crimes against certain groups of people being punished more severely than equivalent crimes committed against other groups, and if so, whether that is fair and legally defensible;

(5) whether having hate crime statutes deters potential offenders; and

(6) whether having these statutes hinders law enforcement’s ability to investigateand prosecute crime.

Until we determine otherwise, assume that Clarksville, Tennessee is operating under sharia law regarding the First Amendment. Make sure you don’t criticize the violent verses in the Koran while jaywalking, owing time on your parking meter, or buying bacon at Target. You don’t know who in Clarksville’s finest may be watching and reporting you for hate crimes.

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If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one – if he had the power – would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 – 1873)

While mostly arising from conservative circles, the multitude of concerns being expressed regarding the hyper-liberalization of colleges and universities seems to rise exponentially on a daily basis.

While I do believe the university should be an institution of free thought, encouraged via the professors and teaching staff, evidence abounds that anything other than politically correct authoritarianism is being discouraged and squelched with extreme prejudice by the very leaders of these institutions who are taxed with ensuring the minds of students remain open and flexible to many ideas and ideals whether those leaders agree with them or not. Pushing one’s own singular vendetta on impressionable minds, while not offering alternatives to one’s personal beliefs is deservingly ignominious.

A tenet such as (x+5)(x-3) = x2+2x-15 isn’t really debatable. It just is. But the free exchange of ideas is being threatened on the campus and in the classroom. According to recent study conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), more than 70 percent of universities and colleges ban protected First Amendment speech. Some go even further.

Michigan State University has been under fire for the creation of their Student Accountability in Community Seminar (SAC) program. SAC exhibits an overtly Orwellian approach to “unacceptable” speech and/or actions by forcing students who participate in such conduct into an “early intervention” or thought reform designed to strip them of their distasteful morals. Students can even have their university account frozen if they refuse to attend a required SAC seminar. Of course, what might be considered worthy of a timeout in the SAC chair is rather abstruse as presented by the MSU program. Needless to say, if it isn’t politically correct, it isn’t protected by the freedom of speech provision in the First Amendment. With SAC, Michigan State University has in essence, and without any reservation what-so-ever, entirely disregarded the First Amendment. This is a particularly heinous policy to support for any higher education institution in the United States.

The Gates of Vienna blog has posted a particularly potent and well-written piece concerning the subject of free speech in the west–on university campuses and in general. The writers’ intent to offend the reader is obvious. This does not in any way overshadow the importance of the message. In fact, the message is stronger in its timeliness because of the offense.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Free to Say What?

by Baron Bodissey

We have freedom of speech in this country, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

We’re free to say anything we like, with notable exceptions carved out after 220 years of jurisprudence — direct incitement to violence and shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Free speech must be punishedAnd we are about to add another exception: “hate speech”. A generation of college students has come to maturity under a regime in which free speech most emphatically does not include the right to say anything that might be construed as hateful towards minorities, women, gays, disabled people, animals, trees, etc.

These students are in the revolutionary vanguard of the softened-up, so that by the time Congress slips through a law that actually criminalizes “hate speech”, the constant repetition of the mantra “hate speech is not free speech” will have taken its toll. Everybody will already be used to the idea, will accept it as a given, and, after the required Supreme Court decision, the new, leaner version of the First Amendment will become the law of the land.

If you think I’m being paranoid or overreacting, then you haven’t seen Rep. John Conyers’ proposed kid-gloves-for-the-Koran resolution, H. Res. 288 (the full text is here):

Resolved, That the House of Representatives —

1.   condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;
2.   declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;
3.   recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and
4.   calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

This is pernicious on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to start. It asserts that one person’s right to be respected overrides another person’s right to speak freely. It singles out a single religion, Islam, for special treatment. It accords the holy book of the Muslims more respect than is owed the flag of the United States.

This is a CAIR-sponsored Trojan horse, ready to be rolled through the gates into the First Amendment. And its sponsor is about to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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When I defend the right to free speech, what am I defending?

The Founders weren’t thinking about the right to print gay porn. When they crafted the First Amendment, they most emphatically intended to protect political speech. A lot of what passed for political speech in those days was insulting, libelous, vicious, and mendacious, but the framers of the Constitution were determined to leave it unrestrained.

But what about today? What words are so dangerous, so foul, so beyond the pale, that the force of law is required to protect them?
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The example I am about to give is so offensive that I will be in hot water for posting it here, even though I don’t subscribe to it myself, even though I find its appalling and repugnant, even though I would not willingly share the room with someone who uttered it. The amount of trouble I bring down upon myself will illustrate my point.

I’m displaying it here as an image, so as not to be indexed for the obnoxious phrase by the search engines:

READ FURTHER…

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Also, here’s more information on SAC at Michigan State University.

Michigan State University Engaged in Thought Reform

December 14, 2006

FIRE Press Release

EAST LANSING, Mich., December 14, 2006—It may be almost 2007, but it feels more like “1984” at Michigan State University. The university’s Student Accountability in Community Seminar (SAC) forces students whose speech or behavior is deemed unacceptable to undergo ideological reeducation at their own expense. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is challenging Michigan State to dismantle this unconstitutional program, which presents a profound threat to both freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

“Michigan State’s SAC program is simply one of the most invasive attempts at reeducation that FIRE has ever seen, yet it has been allowed to exist at the university for years,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “As bad as it is to tell citizens in a free society what they can’t say, it is even worse to tell them what they must say. Michigan State’s program is an immoral and unconstitutional program of compelled speech, blatant thought reform, and pseudo-psychology.”

According to the program’s materials, SAC is an “early intervention” for students who use such “power-and-control tactics” as “male/white privilege” and “obfuscation,” which the university cryptically defines as “any action of obscuring, concealing, or changing people’s perceptions that result in your advantage and/or another’s disadvantage.” Students can be required to attend SAC if they demonstrate what a judicial administrator arbitrarily deems aggressive behavior, past examples of which have included slamming a door during an argument or playing a practical joke. Students can also be required to attend SAC for engaging in various types of constitutionally protected speech, including “insulting instructors” or “making sexist, homophobic, or racist remarks at a meeting.” When participation in SAC is required, “non-compliance typically results in a hold being placed on the student’s account,” an action that leaves the student unable to register for classes and thus effectively expelled from the university. Students are required to pay the cost of the SAC sessions.

Once in the program, students are instructed to answer a series of written questionnaires. In their answers, students must specifically describe how they are taking “full responsibility” for their offensive behavior and must do so using language that the director of the session deems acceptable. Most students will be asked to fill out this questionnaire multiple times, slowly inching closer to what administrators deem to be “correct” responses.

In a letter on November 20, 2006 to Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon, FIRE pointed out the stark contradiction between the SAC program and the values of a free society: “[A]t the heart of all concepts relating to freedom of the mind is a recognition of our own limitations—like us, those in power are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and therefore have no right to dictate to others what their deepest personal beliefs must be. Concern for free speech and freedom of conscience is rooted in the wisdom of humility and restraint. The SAC program, which presumes to show students the specific ideological assumptions they need to be better people, crosses the boundary from punishment into invasive and immoral thought reform. We can think of no way in which the SAC program can be maintained consistent with the ideals of a free society.”

FIRE’s letter to President Simon also underscored Michigan State’s legal obligation to abide by the First Amendment. FIRE reminded her of the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), a case decided in the midst of World War II that remains the law of the land. Justice Robert H. Jackson, writing for the Court, declared, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

Michigan State has informed FIRE that it will be reviewing the SAC program, but FIRE is calling for nothing less than its total dismantling.

“Michigan State’s SAC program shows a breathtaking lack of respect for individual dignity and autonomy. I urge anyone who cares about the rights of students and the sanctity of private conscience to take a long, hard look at the SAC program’s materials,” Lukianoff said.

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process rights, freedom of expression, and rights of conscience on our campuses. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty at Michigan State University and elsewhere can be seen by visiting www.thefire.org.

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Since I discovered Jihadwatch.org (and sister-site Dhimmiwatch) several months back, I have found it the most reliable collated source presenting Islamist current events and coextensive opinion on the subject of Islam and jihadist machinations, albeit one-sided. Of course I wouldn’t want it any other way from writer and Islamic scholar, Robert Spencer–a man more than proficient in Islamic law and theology, and the violent and imperialistic proclivities of Muhammad’s religion of peace intolerance.

This may explain why I link to Jihadwatch more and more frequently. Too many other news outlets dull information on Islam today, particularly here in the west, with an overabundance of politically correct, honey-coated proselytizing and apologizing for a faith based around a basic concept of convert or die. I don’t need politically correct platitudes on this subject. Honest truth is more important to me, even if that means alienating a few friends and acquaintances along the way due to unpopular ideas–it’s not necessarily good holiday conversation.

Anyway, here’s an opinion by Mr. Spencer concerning a Washington Post article about the swearing in of Representative Keith Ellison. Or rather, the swearing in of Representative Keith Ellison with the Qur’an rather than the traditional use of The Bible. Further, Ellison will be swearing in on Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Qur’an.

There’s nothing constitutionally that claims one cannot be sworn into office with anything other than The Bible, nor do I believe should there be. To me this is sort of a non-issue that rings only slightly alarmist by traditionalists and southern-conservatives. Despite the fact that the United States is a country that tends to stand by tradition, there have been several public office holders throughout the history of this country who have taken the oath of office on The Bible in spite of their beliefs as non-Christians. Counter to that, several non-Christians and Christians alike have opted to swear on nothing at all for their oath of office.

Still, Spencer makes a succinct and reasoned (as always) point on the tradition of using The Bible versus the tradition (or lack of tradition) of the Qur’an. And as usual, Spencer encourages much needed open discussion on what Islam teaches and how it fits into our society minus the ad hominem cries of “racist” or “bigot” that CAIR and its ilk often ignorantly belch forth.

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But It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Koran! (Jihadwatch.org)

In the Washington Post (thanks to Davida), Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts report breathlessly that Keith Ellison will be using Thomas Jefferson’s own copy of the Qur’an for his swearing-in photo op.

This is allegedly a political masterstroke by Ellison, but it really just begs the question. Thomas Jefferson, obviously, was not a Muslim. In his famous statement on religious freedom he wrote about whether one’s neighbor believed in one god or twelve “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” But what no one is willing to discuss here is whether the Qur’an and Islam really fit into that framework. When I have mentioned that it sanctions lying to unbelievers (3:28 and 16:106, in the mainstream understanding of those verses by Islamic theologians and schools of jurisprudence; cf. Ibn Kathir and many others), people have responded that the Bible is full of nasty stuff as well. But people aren’t swearing on the Bible because it is full of nasty stuff, or endorsing any of it that might actually be there. The idea of swearing on the Bible arises from Christian belief and is buttressed by Christian theology — Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant — that requires honesty and eschews all dishonesty as coming from the “Father of Lies.” The permissions to be dishonest in the Qur’an are not mitigated by Islamic belief, tradition, and theology, but are in fact reinforced — by Muhammad’s statements that “war is deceit” and that lying is permissible in wartime, and more.

In short, to swear on the Bible is to affirm, among other things, that one is part of a tradition, and to swear on the Qur’an does not amount to an affirmation of the same tradition, no matter how much Glenn Beck or Ed Koch or anyone wishes it does or assumes it does. Islamic teachers daily use the Qur’an to establish principles that differ radically from those of Judeo-Christian tradition. These questions need to be discussed in a forthright and honest manner by Ellison and by the mainstream media, instead of being swept under the rug or condemned as bigotry.

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But It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Koran! (WashingtonPost.com)

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, January 3, 2007; C03

Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he’d take his oath of office on the Koran — especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.

Yet the holy book at tomorrow’s ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We’ve learned that the new congressman — in a savvy bit of political symbolism — will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

“He wanted to use a Koran that was special,” said Mark Dimunation, chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, who was contacted by the Minnesota Dem early in December. Dimunation, who grew up in Ellison’s 5th District, was happy to help.

Jefferson’s copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson’s collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn’t the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies — the Library has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.

Ellison will take the official oath of office along with the other incoming members in the House chamber, then use the Koran in his individual, ceremonial oath with new Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Keith is paying respect not only to the founding fathers’ belief in religious freedom but the Constitution itself,” said Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert.

One person unlikely to be swayed by the book’s illustrious history is Goode, who released a letter two weeks ago objecting to Ellison’s use of the Koran. “I believe that the overwhelming majority of voters in my district would prefer the use of the Bible,” the Virginia Republican told Fox News, and then went on to warn about what he regards as the dangers of Muslims immigrating to the United States and Muslims gaining elective office.

Yeah, but what about a Koran that belonged to one of the greatest Virginians in history? Goode, who represents Jefferson’s birthplace of Albemarle County, had no comment yesterday.

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