Tennessee state senator Bill Ketron insists that his proposed anti-Sharia measure (formally known as the "Material Support to Designated Entities Act") is not intended to criminalize the peaceful practice of the Muslim religion. Instead, it would permit the prosecution of those who offer tangible support to entities identified by the state attorney general as "Sharia organizations" devoted to promoting Islamic rule through violence. Such an act would be a felony punishable by a fine of unspecified size and a prison term of up to 15 years.
If enacted and applied with a degree of intellectual honesty, Ketron's measure would require Tennessee law enforcement to shut down every military base and recruiting office in the state, as well as rounding up all resident veterans of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Promoting Sharia law in Iraq through the use of criminal violence has been the official policy of the United States Government since the new Iraqi constitution was finished in late 2004.
As U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Stephen Coughlin – described as the Pentagon's leading expert on Sharia law – pointed out in a recent deposition: "Article 2 of the Iraqi Constitution states that 'Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation.[...] No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.'" That constitution was not produced by Iraqis themselves; it was drafted by a committee created by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S-created cabal of social engineers and war profiteers that supervised the occupation and "reconstruction" of Iraq from 2003 until 2005.
During the past decade, only one formerly secular country fell under the rule of sharia law: Iraq. This wasn't done by al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, or any of the other Islamist groups that torment the dreams of people suffering from toxic levels of exposure to the War Party's propaganda; it was done by the government afflicting the United States of America.
Though his qualifications as an imam are sketchy at best, Tennessee State Senator Ketron presumes to define "Sharia" as "a legal-political-military doctrinal system combined with certain religious beliefs" that "requires all its adherents to actively and passively support the replacement of America's constitutional republic...." Jihad and sharia, Ketron insists, are "inextricably linked," and the "imposition of sharia on non-sharia adherent states is to be brought about both by criminal and violent means ... and by lawful and non-violent means...."
This means that even those who peacefully and lawfully practice the tenets of sharia can be considered criminal subversives:
"The knowing adherence to sharia and to foreign sharia authorities constitutes a conspiracy to further the legal, political, and military doctrine and system which embraces the law of jihad.... The knowing adherence to sharia and to foreign sharia authorities is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the United States government and the government of this state through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions by the likely use of imminent criminal violence...."
Once again, if applied with the kind of consistency required by the principle of equal justice under the law, Ketron's measure would dictate the prosecution of military personnel who participated in the patently unconstitutional Iraq war. In addition to deploying U.S. servicemen to kill and die on behalf of sharia, that war – and the vile policies that sprouted from it – fortified the "leader principle" at lethal expense to whatever was left of our republican institutions.
Every crime contains at least two components – the malign intent (mens rea), and the guilty act (actus reus). Perhaps Ketron and his comrades will insist that Iraq war veterans are exempt from the anti-Sharia act because most of them didn't knowingly adhere to the doctrine they were propagating at gunpoint. This would mean that in their case mens rea was absent, despite the violent, criminal acts that were committed. However, in the case of peaceful Muslims, mere belief in their religious code would be construed as both criminal intent, and a guilty act.
Tennessee's Muslim population, while quite small, is growing – a trend that has been exploited by compulsive Mosque-baiters seeking to capitalize on fears of "creeping sharia."
Most of the growth consists of refugees driven from their homes in Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, and other countries that have experienced the healing touch of the Empire's armed benevolence. Ending armed entanglement in, and covert subversion of, Muslim countries would do a great deal to stop the exodus of refugees, and reduce the possibility of cultural conflicts here at home. Ketron doesn't appear interested in solutions that might actually work; like any aspiring Grand Inquisitor, he's much more interested in tearing windows into men's souls.
In a letter to a constituent, Ketron lamented that the influence of religious fanatics who consider wine to be haram (unclean) made it impossible for his measure to find traction: "I am currently trying to pass legislation that allows wine to be in the grocery stores again, and the liquor lobbyist has threatened ... to 'unleash the preachers' across the state." In fact, at least one of Tennessee's subdivisions, Moore County, seems to be in danger of succumbing to sharia, insofar as alcohol prohibition is concerned.
Oh, wait – the fanatics responsible for this are Baptist preachers, not Muslim imams, and the problem (as Ketron acknowledged) isn't that Tennessee has fallen under the shadow of the Crescent, but rather that it's being strangled by the "Bible Belt." That comparison, I must admit, is a little unfair, since in at least some Muslim countries Sharia-based restrictions on the sale and consumption of liquor don't apply to non-Muslims.
Within the constituency to which Ketron is pandering we will almost certainly find more than a few people who were thrilled to the marrow by the recent town meeting confrontation between Rep. Allen West (R. Florida) and Nezar Hamze, executive director for the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Rep. West, who was cashiered from the military for abusing a detainee in Iraq, presents himself as an authority on the iniquity of Muslims. The source of his expertise is the experience he obtained by killing so many of them who were defending their homes against a foreign army that had invaded their country.
Mr. Hamze, who – unlike West – has actually read the Koran, brought a copy of it to the town meeting and asked West to show him where that book sanctions violence against innocent people. Rather than offering an honest answer, West recited a litany of crimes committed by people professing the Muslim faith since the Seventh Century.
Apparently, Hamze and those who share his religion – whether or not they have ever committed or countenanced a crime as individuals – are collectively guilty for the atrocities to which West alluded. However, we Christians bear no similar moral burden for criminal acts committed in the name of the Cross.
I suspect that West, his pose as a Christian statesman/warrior notwithstanding, knows as little about the Bible as he does about the Koran. At the very least, his copy of the Holy Book apparently doesn't contain the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, in which the Author informs us: "The soul who sins, he shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him."
Beneath the sanctimony and hypocrisy displayed by West in that exchange, we confront, once again, a dreadful irony: Unlike West the "war hero," CAIR representative Hamze has never shed blood on behalf of sharia.
Choudary, who heads up a tiny knot of nitwits calling themselves "Islam4UK," is on the speed-dial of every cable TV producer looking for a savagely bearded Muslim caricature to spice up an otherwise drab interview segment. He has performed his Stone Age Muslim Barbarian shtick on ABC's This Week with Christiane Amapour, CNN's Parker/Spitzer program, and numerous other TV shows.
This Thursday (March 3), Choudary is planning to hold a demonstration in Washington for the supposed purpose of inciting American Muslims to rise up on behalf of sharia.
Andy was expelled from the legal profession in 2002. He's been a failure as a husband and father, and at present he is a welfare-devouring loser. He has no standing as a cleric, and I doubt his influence extends far beyond his tax-fattened shadow. Yet somehow we're supposed to see him as a threat?
Choudary is a sideshow caricature right out of professional "wrestling"; he's like the Iron Sheik, minus the subtlety. Like any good "Heel," Andy the self-appointed imam knows how to work an interview to build "heat" for his chosen angle, which is why trend-sucking idiots like Sean Hannity insist on giving him exposure. But the inescapable fact is this: Choudary and the handful of subsidized mouth-breathers he gathers around him are about as representative of Islam as Fred Phelps and his little troupe of in-bred, hate-intoxicated losers are typical of Evangelical Christianity.
Unless somebody discovers how to weaponize stupidity, Andy Choudary will never pose a genuine threat to anybody. Yet the herd-poisoners who compose the War Party's media auxiliary are turning Choudary into the face of jihad.
By the end of the week, millions of people will know his name, execrate him on cue, and be satisfied that they're well-informed and commendably patriotic. Not even a bare handful of them are familiar with Mohammed Junaid Babar, an actual Muslim terrorist who helped plan and coordinate the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London, in which four coordinated suicide bombings murdered scores of people, and mutilated hundreds more. Despite his crimes and his professed hatred for America, Babar has been freed from prison after serving no more than two years behind bars – thanks to the intervention of the federal government.
Babar, who helped set up the camps in Pakistan where the 7/7 plot was organized, was imprisoned in June 2004. Final sentencing was deferred, however, because of what the Federal Government calls his "exceptional cooperation" with law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Babar's "cooperation" began more than a year before London experienced a shock comparable to 9/11; according to the London Daily Mail, Babar had identified the ringleader of the 7/7 attacks no later than August 2004. Yet the massacre took place anyway – and Babar was released from federal prison after serving only four and a half years of a possible 70-year sentence.
"People get four and a half years for burglary," observes Graham Foulkes, a British magistrate judge whose 22-year-old son, David, was among the victims of the terrorist plot Babar helped organize. "They can get more for some road traffic offenses. So for an international terrorist who's directly linked to the death of my son and dozens and dozens of people to get that sentence is just outrageous."
The outrage is compounded by the fact that Babar was actually behind bars for only a fraction of that time. At his parole hearing it was mentioned that Babar "has been out on bail for a considerable period of time, over the last year and a half or so...." In fact, as Foulkes points out, prior to being paroled, Babar was allowed to wander the streets of America for at least two years, during which time he married and began a family.
Babar, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, went to Pakistan following 9/11. His travels (including visits to London, where he communed with members of the radical al-Muhajiroun group) were carefully monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies.
There is reason to believe that his "cooperation" actually began no later than 2003. This would mean that he was organizing Pakistani terrorist training camps under the supervision of U.S. intelligence – and that his "arrest" was actually a case of an asset being "brought in from the cold."
In testimony before a British court in 2007, Babar described how he and his al-Muhajiroun comrades (who may have included fellow controlled asset Andy Choudary, who joined the group sometime after 2002) would repeatedly watch videos of the 9/11 attacks and how everyone present "was in praise of those who carried it out."
During Babar's parole hearing, federal officials blithely dismissed those utterances – as well as Babar's central role in organizing and facilitating mass murder in London. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McGuire, "the government draws a distinction between Mr. Babar's views [regarding terrorism as a "holy war" against America] and Mr. Babar's intent on acting on that view."
This lenience is remarkable, considering the fact that the same U.S. Government just won a 25-year prison sentence against 21-year-old Virginia resident Zachary Chesser for offering "material support" for terrorism. Chesser, who converted to Islam in 2008, posted incendiary comments on Muslim-themed websites, including links to documents about jihad and what was described as a death threat directed at the creators of South Park in retaliation for depicting Mohammed.
Chesser expressed remorse in a letter to the court. In announcing the sentence, however, District Judge Liam O'Grady was unimpressed by the young man's act of contrition, denouncing him as "an extraordinarily energized traitor to your country." This imprecation was hurled in the face of a foolish young man who had not actually done anything to harm anybody.
Chesser's problem is that he never performed a patriotic service comparable to that offered by prized intelligence asset Babar, whose hands incarnadined with the blood of at least 52 innocent people, or the military heroes who brought the blessings of sharia rule to Iraq.
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.
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