Thursday, March 31, 2011

More on Alaska HB 88 - and My Apology to Pamela Geller

I. Alaska media coverage of HB 88 so far:


So many religious issues have insinuated themselves into the 26th Alaska legislature's current session, it boggles the mind. The Alaska press has always been so careful when treading religious waters in their political coverage, nobody will ever claim they were trying to walk those waters. Unfortunately, the result has been that radical religious figures are increasingly powerful in our political structure. Gov. Parnell has nominated a clearly unqualified guy to the Alaska Judicial Council, Don Haase. The nominee is so Old Testament, Papa Pilgrim might have to give up his pew to him.

It's easy to argue that had the Alaska press been more industrious in coverage of religious issues, things would not be any different. The voters electing and reelecting Vic Kohring, Wes Keller, Carl Gatto and others aren't making their decisions based on what Alaska reporters wrote. They're listening to their pastors.

Essentially, one of the most important components of the drift of Alaska politics from the center to the right is the influence of religious forces. The press misses this. Quite consistently. When something like HB 88 comes up, they're at sea, figuratively.

II. Apology.

I wrote Wednesday that Pam Geller was being brought to Alaska to testify on HB 88. It was inaccurate. She testified telephonically. That saved some money, eh?

The bill is a total waste of time and money, though. We don't need this shit.

Unfortunately, part of the waste of time thing, I guess, is that coverage of why Gatto, Lynn and Keller are wasting any time on this is important.

III. Pamela Geller's testimony on HB 88:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to legislation that "prohibits the violation of an individual's right under the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the United States Constitution.” This very simple and clear cut legislation should be the proverbial no brainer. And yet the fact that it being met by so much resistance both overt and covert indicates how very needed it is.

How can anyone oppose a law that seeks to prevent foreign laws from undermining fundamental constitutional liberties? We all accept that state and federal const’l rights to a jury trial in CIVIL cases can be waived almost by default (thus two parties agreeing to be bound by German or French law where there is no jury trial right in a civil matter) would not be affected by the bill since the jury trial right is perthe law waived by default.

But there is no jurisprudence in the federal system and none in any state that would allow a party to waive Equal Protection—that is, could an african american agree to be discriminated against by the state? Absolutely not, so why would we allow a party to “waive” an equal protection claim in court where the state’s police power is being used to enforce an offensive foreign law?

We now have groups that has ever come to this country with a ready-made model of society and government they believe to be superior to what we have here and are working to institute it.

For example, Islamic law contravenes American freedoms in numerous particulars.

We have seen sharia law in New Jersey. Back in July 2010, a Muslim husband raped his wife, and the judge determined that no sexual assault occurred because Islam forbids wives to refuse sex on demand from their husbands. Luckily, the appellate court overturned this decision, and a Sharia ruling by an American court was not allowed to stand—this time. But there have been over a hundred cases of Sharia jurisprudence in the US, and Jeffery Mittman of the ACLU has testified that “all have been overturned by a higher courts, therefore there is no problem since the American constitutional system worked.” Of course, this begs the question of why should this have happened in the first place. Secondly, it is simply not true that all cases have been overturned. In fact, there are cases in CAL and MD in which trial courts were overturned by appellate courts, the latter of which turned the blind eye to the threat from shariah.

There are also ongoing initiatives to compel businesses to adopt Sharia norms. In March 2007, Target stores in Minneapolis shifted Muslim cashiers who refused to check out pork products to other jobs in the stores.[1] The J. B. Swift meat packing plant in Greeley, Colorado in September 2008 fired Muslim workers who turned violent and walked off their jobs when denied special break periods to end the Ramadan fast at the appointed time.[2] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, however, sided with the Muslim workers and forced Swift to reinstate them.[3] Ultimately, Swift added footbaths and bidets to its plant for the Muslim workers.[4] Cab drivers in the Minneapolis airport several years ago tried to stipulate that they wouldn’t carry passengers who had alcohol with them – passengers had to conform to Sharia law or not get a cab.

In November 2008, a federal judge ordered Gold’n Plump, Inc., a chicken processing plant, to pay $365,000 to Somali Muslim workers for firing them for walking off the job to pray, and for making new hires sign a form acknowledging that they may have to handle pork on the job.[5] And in February 2010, a group of Muslims in Colorado sued Wal-Mart, claiming that they were fired in order to provide jobs for local non-Muslims, and that they had been denied prayer breaks while on the job.[6] Mind you, it is not necessary for a Muslim to pray at a certain time if necessity makes it impossible to do so. These actions are merely devices in which to impose Islam on non-believers. Prayer is not absolutely required on a strict schedule, and Muslim prayers are commonly “made up” after work or school. This is true even in Muslim countries, i.e., Iran.

The irony is that the ACLU would oppose a law that seeks to prevent foreign laws from undermining fundamental constitutional liberties.

The idea “presented by Muslim Brotherhood groups that ‘Sharia Law’ is not actually ‘law’, but religious traditions that provide guidance to Muslims regarding the exercise of their faith” or that ‘Sharia Law’ differs depending on the country in which the individual Muslim resides is patently false. For example, in the Oklahoma case against the foreign law prohibition, the plaintiff stated that marrying more than one wife is permissible in Islam but in the United States, where that is illegal, Muslims do not marry more than one wife because Sharia in the United States mandates Muslims to abide bythe law of the land and respect the law of their land.”

And yet in August 2007, when asked how common polygamy was among Muslims in the United States, unindicted co-conspirator CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper said that a “minority” of Muslims here were polygamous, and added: “Islamic scholars would differ on whether one could do so while living in the United States.”[7] He didn’t say anything about Muslims in the U.S. being given pause by the fact that the practice remains illegal in the United States. Iman Aly Hindy, has stated this about the relationship between Islamic law and American law: “This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion. If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that.”[8]

Apparently many Muslims in America as well as Canada think the same way. A May 2008 estimate found between 50,000 and 100,000 Muslims living in polygamous arrangements in the U.S., in defiance of American law.[9] This shows that we need to stand against Sharia or Muslims will continue to defy American law and instead live according to Shariua dictates.

Legal expert David Yerushalmi, a pioneering legal authority in the drafting of such state laws, points out that “the global jihad leadership against which we have aligned most of our military and intelligence resources since 9/11 informs us in Arabic, Pashtu, Urdu, Persian, and even in English that the global jihad against the West is fundamentally directed and determined by Islamic law, or sharia. The jihad leaders further tell us that their ultimate goal, in addition to that of the ‘defensive jihad’ incumbent on every Muslim to rid the Islamic world of an occupying infidel presence is the implementation of sharia law as the law of the land in any place Muslims step foot.”

“Surveys in the Muslim world consistently evidence that somewhere between 50% to 70% of the global Muslim community desires to create a unified Caliphate for all Muslims and to order that political hegemony according to a strict al Qaeda-like sharia.”

The separation of mosque and state is essential to preserving American freedom and our way of life. Yet the Islamic supremacists have made real inroads. We have seen over the last few years the encroachment of Islam on the secular marketplace. Muslims have demanded, and received, special accommodation in public schools, in the workplace, in our government, and in privately owned businesses.

One only needs to look at the disintegration of Europe and the establishment all over that continent of enclaves in which Sharia is enforced and the law of the land disregarded, to glimpse a bleak future made possible by “good intentions” and the failure of multiculturalism. In those areas of Europe, women and non-Muslims suffer institutionalized discrimination, and there is no freedom of speech or freedom of conscience.

It is time to stand up for American rule of law and individual rights for all.

If you go to Geller's web site, the footnotes at the bottom of the testimony have HTML links.

IV. Gatto has to go.

We need a coalition to take him out. Or maybe a rogue GOP candidate who might crash both Gatto and our guy. He's wasted so much time on this bullshit. What's next, a bill for an official state militia?


Anonymous said...

Sure enough, religious fundamentalism is incompatible with democracy.
The Spanish Inquisition proved that centuries ago.
America was the first nation to allow religious tolerance and to avoid a state-sponsored religion for exactly that reason.
Some of our citizens fail to recognize that any religious law is unfit for a sane and democratic society.

Anonymous said...

I think Phil has a crush on Geller.

Kinda like pulling the pigtails on a school girl he had the hots for.

mmm maybe Phil has a thing about Sarah and .....

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon @ 8:36. Not with 10:22. : )

Thing of it is, it doesn't take any effort or imagination on Gatto's part to do all this - he's the pigeon that national astro-turf organizations sucker into introducing their legislation just as other witless conservative lawmakers do across the country.

Then they whip out their nifty maps and statistics that show how popular (or even successful) the law is in other states so that it is an ideal atmosphere and no-brainer for preferable christian laws to be implemented.

We are all sitting slack-jawed on the sidelines and letting Gatto get away with soliciting testimony from non-residents for ridiculous, unnecessary, wasteful legislation that is probably going to be thrown out in the courts anyway.

You would think after the CBC and Sarah Palin, Alaska's LSM would wise-up and shake off those powerful religious leaders (powerful, I didn't say well-meaning or smart) that have managed to wag the dog for quiet some time.

M in BET

Philip Munger said...

Thanks, Mark