Rick Santorum Talks About Sharia Law. On a One to Ten Scale – How Concerned Should We Be?

 

I have no doubt that Sharia law in its brutal forms is antithetical to the Bill of Rights and has no place in America.  Although there are less violent and therefore perhaps more palatable forms of it, I still cling too tightly to the American form of justice (flawed though it is) to even consider replacing any of it with Islamic law.  That I know.

There are two things (at the very least) that I don’t know:

First, is there is a real push by Islamists to try to have me be governed by Sharia?  I know Herman Cain wants to err on the side of caution and has promised an Islamic-free cabinet and judiciary to ensure against it.

Does anyone have a yardstick by which I can measure just how big the push is among Islamic people in America to make Sharia part of our civil and criminal code, if there is such a push?  Should I be concerned about it?

Second, not being a world traveler, I’d like to know if secular but majority Muslim countries like Turkey and Indonesia use Sharia Law in their civil or criminal code, or if they have separate proceedings to handle matters involving questions of Sharia.  Maybe Claire Berlinski can help me out?

Let me next address a sub-issue, which is letting Muslims be Muslims in America and allowing them to follow Sharia so long as the parties to the dispute all agree (and our civil rights laws and the Bill of Rights are respected). 

I’m talking about separate Sharia courts, funded by them, to allow disputes involving Sharia interpretation to be resolved there.  Great Britain has a Muslim Arbitration Tribunal which operates under a British statute for that reason.

There is some precedent in America, too.  American Jews have the Beth Din, where Jews can mediate disputes ranging from divorce to loans using Jewish Law. 

The American in me who knows his country was founded on religious freedom wants to say yes to such private courts for Muslims.  The American in me who worries about a chipping away of our culture eventually leading to it’s weakening and collapse has serious reservations about it.

I’d like to know what the rest of you think, as I remain so conflicted.

Here is the Santorum video about Sharia:

There are 35 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DavidWilliamson

    Rick Santorum is very good on this stuff – it’s a pity that his time seems to have passed.

    I’d agree that Sisyphus’s post says it all. And what remains is said by Brian Watt.

    • #1
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    @Sisyphus

    To clarify: If my government came to me tomorrow and said, we understand the connections between the Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, CAIR, ISNA, Iran, et. al., and we will not tolerate the colonization of Dearborn, Washington, and so on, advocating to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law, and we recognize that Sharia is incompatible with the liberties and freedoms we enjoy, the threat would be recognized and diminish very quickly in most places.

    I know devout muslims who are patriotic Americans, they make the very Western distinction between religion and political system. They do not go near the mosques, because they know they and their families would become targets of “political” Islam. Muhammad is not a Jesus-like figure persuading souls to take up the path. He is closer to Alexander the Great with his own theology of submission (the correct translation of the word islam). Intimidation in the name of Allah is no vice to these folks.

    My government is ruled by people who receive briefings and meet with others who have received briefings from vetted sources. (I have given such briefings.) Vetted sources like CAIR. Like Wahhabi experts from Saudi Arabia, our close ally.

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    @TommyDeSeno

    Sisyphus,

    What about a Muslim verson of Beth Din to handle disputes involving Sharia. Would you be for or against them? Why or why not?

    • #3
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    @
    Sisyphus: … If my government came to me tomorrow and said, we understand the connections….

    Well said. I’m not any where near as afraid of what Muslims are attempting to do re: instituting Sharia in America as I am of what our government will unwittingly do to prove themselves paragons of diversity and tolerance. After all, it was the Trojans who rolled the Horse into their own city.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @Sisyphus
    Tommy De Seno: Sisyphus,

    What about a Muslim verson of Beth Din to handle disputes involving Sharia. Would you be for or against them? Why or why not? · Jun 29 at 1:28pm

    If kept strictly as a matter of torts, applicable only by consent of all the parties involved, I have no strong objection. Already, though, an American judge has sent a dispute to a Sharia council against the objections of one of the parties. Our judiciary is a whole other problem. If our system worked as it ought, and kept clean barriers between categories of law, I would be more comfortable. I think the reasonable approach today is to limit Sharia arbitration to unanimous consent cases with judicial oversight, and perhaps wills. The same rights I would extend to any individual. I do not think the practice would survive into many future generations provided assimilation occurs.

    I have read the tenets Sharia, in translation and, mercifully, in summary, and I find no improvements there from our Burkean traditions. Quite the opposite, it reinforces a power structure designed to oppress all but a few powerful mullahs and oligarchs. Immigrant populations probably assimilate better if allowed some degree of syncretism.

    • #5
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    @TommyDeSeno

    Thanks Sysyphus.

    I think you raise a great point about assimilation. Allowing such courts may unnecessarily prolong the necessary process.

    • #6
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    @Schwaibold

    Unlike Sharia, Beth Din doesn’t claim to have jurisdiction over every thought, word, and action of every human on earth, nor does it include lashings, stonings, or death as punishments. (Sharia contains punishments for non-Muslims)

    The concept of allowing a Muslim to use Sharia to settle a legal dispute with another Muslim is fine with me, if both parties agree. However, believing Muslims don’t think of Sharia as simply a way to settle a contract dispute. Sharia is a way of life – religion, philosophy, civil law, criminal law, and foreign policy all rolled into one.

    • #7
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    @Sisyphus

    jhimmi: Unlike Sharia, Beth Din doesn’t claim to have jurisdiction over every thought, word, and action of every human on earth, nor does it include lashings, stonings, or death as punishments. (Sharia contains punishments for non-Muslims)

    The concept of allowing a Muslim to use Sharia to settle a legal dispute with another Muslim is fine with me, if both parties agree. However, believing Muslims don’t think of Sharia as simply a way to settle a contract dispute. Sharia is a way of life – religion, philosophy, civil law, criminal law, and foreign policy all rolled into one. · Jun 29 at 2:29pm

    The totality of Sharia in its native context is why I consider active, responsible judicial oversight so important in torts cases. There is a lot that translates just fine into prerogatives and considerations under Western contract law, but without a strong basis in American law, problems could crop up. I’ll leave it to the lawyers to speculate further.

    • #8
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    @TommyDeSeno

    Question: I just heard from a friend who is married to a Turk and spends much time there. She tells me that as far as she knows, they don’t use Sharia law at all.

    If it isn’t creeping into the system there despite being marjority Muslim (where you would expect that it would be easier to establish), is there truly a concern that it could be established in any form here?

    • #9
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    @Sisyphus

    Tommy De Seno: Question: I just heard from a friend who is married to a Turk and spends much time there. She tells me that as far as she knows, they don’t use Sharia law at all.

    If it isn’t creeping into the system there despite being marjority Muslim (where you would expect that it would be easier to establish), is there truly a concern that it could be established in any form here? · Jun 29 at 2:55pm

    Repost this when you have received a building permit to build or maintain an active church or synagogue in Turkey. You can no more do that in Turkey than in Saudi Arabia under Sharia. The good news, despite a brief kerfuffle to the contrary, Turks are generally against the death penalty for apostates, a measure very popular in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Turkish law is inevitably influenced by Sharia, even if Kemalist secularism eliminated Sharia’s authority, elements creep back in through cultural inertia.

    Another point to consider, how many muslims in these Islam-majority countries are really religious in the Western sense of having chosen a religion based on their on conscience? And how many are captive muslims?

    • #10
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    @Roberto
    Tommy De Seno: Question: I just heard from a friend who is married to a Turk and spends much time there. She tells me that as far as she knows, they don’t use Sharia law at all.

    If it isn’t creeping into the system there despite being marjority Muslim (where you would expect that it would be easier to establish), is there truly a concern that it could be established in any form here? · Jun 29 at 2:55pm

    You seem to be completely disregarding decades of Kemalist ideology enforced by a military that was no friend to democracy and more than willing to intervene whenever Islamism appeared as a threat. Under Turkey’s current leadership this is a system that is now breaking down, you would be well rewarded by giving Ms. Berlinski’s various postings on Operation Sledgehammer a thorough reading.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @IsraelP
    jhimmi: The concept of allowing a Muslim to use Sharia to settle a legal dispute with another Muslim is fine with me, if both parties agree.

    The “if both parties agree” is the big problem here. In the intimidating Islamic social structure, it has got be awfully tough to tell everyone around you “No, I won’t do it our way, but prefer the kafr way.”

    Even moreso when you get into relationship issues.

    How does an eighteen year old living with parents say “no?”

    And how much of a foothold do you want to give such an institution, even if its voluntary? Is it hard to imagine a homeowners’ association with by-laws mandating Sharia to settle any and all disputes? It starts with small harmless issues and graduates to “You can’t live here anymore if your teenaged children don’t dress our way or have the right friends.”

    • #12
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    @Schwaibold

    It does seem to me that many people (Turks included) seem to think Turkey is secular and non-theocratic by chance, or could have been predicted simply because Turks are not arabs.

    I’ve always seen Turkey’s secularism as a direct result of Ataturk, who, along with the military and judiciary, waged a relentless, decades long war against Islamism, Islamic extremism, Islamic theocracy using tactics we would consider a violation of our constitution.

    • #13
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    @Claire
    Sisyphus

    Tommy De Seno: Question: I just heard from a friend who is married to a Turk and spends much time there. She tells me that as far as she knows, they don’t use Sharia law at all.

    If it isn’t creeping into the system there despite being marjority Muslim (where you would expect that it would be easier to establish), is there truly a concern that it could be established in any form here? · Jun 29 at 2:55pm

    Repost this when you have received a building permit to build or maintain an active church or synagogue in Turkey.

    There are plenty of active churches and synagogues in Turkey–this idea is completely mistaken. Where did you hear this? I’ve seen most of these myself.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Here’s an example of Shariah coming to America because we’re dependent on Persian Gulf states to finance our real estate development projects: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2011/06/23/who-needs-liquor-laws-when-youve-got-qatar/

    This project in downtown DC is going forward despite the recession because Qatar’s real estate arm stepped in as primary owner of the project. The project is now Shariah compliant, so no bars allowed in this enormous development in the heart of happy hour land.

    This isn’t a new law on the books of DC, but the city government and the co-investors are abiding by Shariah (which is a legal and moral code; no distinction between civil laws and moral laws; they are one and the same).

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Roberto You seem to be completely disregarding decades of Kemalist ideology enforced by a military that was no friend to democracy and more than willing to intervene whenever Islamism appeared as a threat. Under Turkey’s current leadership this is a system that is now breaking down,

    It’s a real mistake to see those military interventions–save for the ’97 warning, which was not a coup–as having much to do with protecting secularism. Nothing I’ve written about the defects of the legal system now should be interpreted to mean this was some kind of judicial paradise before. It surely was not. Without wanting to simplify too much, what I object to here is not that things are getting worse–in fact, you could argue that this is an improvement, given that Turkey (under the AKP) has abolished the death penalty and made progress in reducing torture. What I object to is that it’s mostly staying the same–it’s just different people in power.

    • #16
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    @HumzaAhmad
    Sisyphus

    Tommy De Seno: Question: I just heard from a friend who is married to a Turk and spends much time there. She tells me that as far as she knows, they don’t use Sharia law at all.

    Repost this when you have received a building permit to build or maintain an active church or synagogue in Turkey. You can no more do that in Turkey than in Saudi Arabia under Sharia.

    Funny that you mention this. First of all because Claire proved it false, and second because the converse is true in the United States. The monstrosity being built in Lower Manhattan notwithstanding, across the suburban US building permits for new mosque construction and renovations to mosques, and place of worship zoning requests are being shot down due to resistance from local residents. I wouldn’t mention this if local residents were singling out Wahhabi-backed projects, but my own community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a peaceful sect that has been the target of extremist violence since the late 19th century, has been met with the same resistance for its own mosque projects. If that’s not simple Islamophobia then what is it?

    • #17
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    @MollieHemingway
    Humza Ahmad

    the converse is true in the United States. The monstrosity being built in Lower Manhattan notwithstanding, across the suburban US building permits for new mosque construction and renovations to mosques, and place of worship zoning requests are being shot down due to resistance from local residents. I wouldn’t mention this if local residents were singling out Wahhabi-backed projects, but my own community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a peaceful sect that has been the target of extremist violence since the late 19th century, has been met with the same resistance for its own mosque projects. If that’s not simple Islamophobia then what is it? · Jun 30 at 6:27am

    Humza,

    There is a problem with this throughout the country. As a religion reporter, I have to mention that it’s not unique to Muslim houses of worship. We see stories about communities trying to stop the building, expansion or enhancement of worship places far too often.

    Even my childhood (Lutheran) church is facing some of this right now.

    But certainly some groups — and I’d say Mormons and Muslims are chief among them — face it worse.

    • #18
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    @Palaeologus
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Sisyphus

    Tommy De Seno: Question: I just heard from a friend who is married to a Turk and spends much time there. She tells me that as far as she knows, they don’t use Sharia law at all.

    If it isn’t creeping into the system there despite being marjority Muslim (where you would expect that it would be easier to establish), is there truly a concern that it could be established in any form here? · Jun 29 at 2:55pm

    Repost this when you have received a building permit to build or maintain an active church or synagogue in Turkey.
    There are plenty of active churches and synagogues in Turkey–this idea is completely mistaken. Where did you hear this? I’ve seen most of these myself. · Jun 30 at 4:16am

    That list seems a little misleading. A chunk of those don’t qualify Claire. Museums don’t count, and neither do churches that are now mosques.

    • #19
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    @

    Rick who?

    Oh, wait a second, I just Googled him. He’s the guy who campaigned for Arlen Specter in 2004.

    • #20
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    @BigDumbJerk

    This subject has been near & dear to my heart for years, and, of course, I’m called a racist islamaphobe for it. Whatever.

    For anyone interested in learning more I would recommend reading the already-mentioned America Alone by Mark Steyn and The Sword of the Prophet by Serge Trifkovic (apparently there is another book by the same title; I cannot comment on that one as I haven’t read it).

    Don’t have time to read? I strenuously recommend Islam: What the West Needs to Know, produced in 2006. Netflix users: this is a “Watch-It-Now” downloadable movie.

    *Correction: used to be a downloadable movie…put it in your queue.*

    SDG

    • #21
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    @Roberto
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Roberto

    It’s a real mistake to see those military interventions–save for the ’97 warning, which was not a coup–as having much to do with protecting secularism. Nothing I’ve written about the defects of the legal system now should be interpreted to mean this was some kind of judicial paradise before. It surely was not. Without wanting to simplify too much, what I object to here is not that things are getting worse–in fact, you could argue that this is an improvement, given that Turkey (under the AKP) has abolished the death penalty and made progress in reducing torture. What I object to is that it’s mostly staying the same–it’s just different people in power. · Jun 30 at 4:29am

    Edited on Jun 30 at 04:37 am

    You suprise me a great deal here. My contention is not that matters in Turkey are better or worse than in previous decades but that a military driven by Kemalist ideology and heavily involved in Turkish politics has had great influence in preventing the spread of Islamism in Turkey. Are you disputing this?

    • #22
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    @Claire
    Roberto You suprise me a great deal here. My contention is not that matters in Turkey are better or worse than in previous decades but that a military driven by Kemalist ideology and heavily involved in Turkish politics has had great influence in preventing the spread of Islamism in Turkey. Are you disputing this? · Jun 30 at 9:13am

    Yep, I sure am. This is so much more complicated than the way it’s usually portrayed. The object of this game has been to dominate the political system, with almost every party to it willing when it suits them to play the Islam game–including the military. Who, for example, nurtured the Turkish Hezbollah? The military. They figured it would be a bulwark against the (Maoist) PKK. If you want to begin to understand this country, you’ve got to think about political Islam as only one card at play in a very complex deck involving tribalism, feudalism … I mean, the claim that the military coups were aimed at stanching Islamism is misleading. It was only the NSC warning that led to Erbakan’s resignation that can be viewed that way. ’60, ’80, ’71–no.

    • #23
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    @Claire
    Palaeologus That list seems a little misleading. A chunk of those don’t qualify Claire. Museums don’t count, and neither do churches that are now mosques. · Jun 30 at 6:49am

    The point is that there are plenty of active churches and synagogues on that list. That list was compiled for tourists curious about landmarks, not to make a political point, but you can see that there are plenty of active churches and synagogues. I live near them, for goodness sake.

    • #24
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    @TeamAmerica

    The Santorum video isn’t there, at least on my pc.

    • #25
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    @TommyDeSeno
    TeamAmerica: The Santorum video isn’t there, at least on my pc. · Jun 29 at 12:28pm

    Saw that – just fixed it. Sorry ’bout that.

    • #26
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    @MichaelPatrickTracy

    Reading Mark Steyn’s, America Alone would certainly heighten ones concern.

    • #27
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    @TommyDeSeno
    Michael Patrick Tracy: Reading Mark Steyn’s, America Alone would certainly heighten ones concern. · Jun 29 at 12:35pm

    Help me out – what are his major points and proofs?

    • #28
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    @Sisyphus

    Tommy De Seno: …

    First, is there is a real push by Islamists to try to have me be governed by Sharia? I know Herman Cain wants to err on the side of caution and has promised an Islamic-free cabinet and judiciary to ensure against it.

    In America more than almost anywhere, yes. Under Carter I was a recruitment target. My recruiter laid out the plan, supplant the Constitution with Sharia, establish strategically placed mosques, colonize and convert. He gave me a copy of the Protocols of Zion so that I could better understand the horror Islam would free my country from. As Allah’s chosen people, he was firm in the faith that, whatever the setback, Islam would ultimately prevail. His “radical” sect was Hanafi, then as now representing a slim majority of muslims world wide.

    80% of the mosques in the United States are Wahhabi colonization efforts. The Wahhabis were a violent, radical sect that the Sauds used to take control of Saudi Arabia. Success has not made them meeker. My friends who read the Gray Lady assure me that these people are too backward and ignorant to be a threat, while supporting the Twin Towers mosque.

    • #29
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    @BrianWatt

    I believe at the moment if there’s an effort to introduce Shariah law it’s more of a separate but equal push, much as what has occurred in Britain, in other words separate Shariah courts to deal with civil or criminal matters between Muslims; not that parts of Shariah would encroach into our current civil and criminal codes. But, of course, that could be a first phase.

    • #30

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