Immigration

Oh, Sharia, How Our Law . . . Holds On. Holds On.

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The latest bit of immigration-related demagoguery (or is it dhimmi-goguery?) from Rep. Tom Tancredo:

A BILL

To require aliens to attest that they will not advocate installing a Sharia law system in the United States as a condition for admission, and for other purposes.

Jim Harper comments:

[A] law like this communicates precisely the wrong thing to new immigrants and the world at large. It tells the world that we're a weak, fearful country, and that we believe Sharia law is possible in the United States. It tells the world that we've come off our traditional moorings and that we no longer believe in free speech and tolerance of all opinions, no matter how wrong.

Let's talk substance, just in case one or two of you out there are weak and fearful: There is no possibility—none—that Sharia law will be established in the United States. Not by any government body at any level. This country can stand to have Sharia advocated by whatever tiny minority might want to—without any risk. In fact, allowing such discussion will help dispel whatever small demand there could be for Sharia, because it would be so obviously incompatible with our way of life.

NEXT: Ron Paul's Presidential Endorsement. For Real, This Time.

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  1. Tom Tancredo still has those demons in his head.

  2. Yeah, we’ve had people advocating socialism for years and never, um…

    (couldn’t resist the joke but I agree with Harper’s point)

  3. Id prefer a bill to outlaw the forms of sharia law ( actually “sharia law”) already on the books. Given the lack of any other explanation that makes sense, I’d consider anti-drug laws to be sharia based. You don’t lock people up in prison because you are thinking of what’s best for them and their families. And the offense itself does not directly harm others (unless you take your economic socialism to an extreme). But offending the religious and sticking your middle finger out at polite society can get you 20. (same for nudity and other consensual “crimes”)

  4. Nice job on the headline.

  5. Madame Speaker, I move that this bill be referred to the Committee on Wiping my Butt.

  6. Whoops, joke name.

    And only half true.

  7. I’ve never seen a good explanation of what Sharia Law is. It seems like it some kind of vast pool of precedents implemented by a bunch of people with agendas and backed up with an infallible ancient text that only a select group of have the right to interpret.

  8. I believe that’s already covered by the First Amendment, Tom.

  9. When did life get so freaking hilarious?
    All the time now I find myself laughing at the craziest things. It’s got to stop, otherwise I think it’ll kill me.

  10. This only came up in other countries that had STATE CHURCHES that already allowed civil cases to be decided by said state churches (Canada, England) We don’t have an established Church, hence, NOBODY gets to decide civil cases according to religious law. Problem solved.

    Canada and the UK could end this, too, by dis-establishing their taxpayer funded state Churches.

  11. I’m more worried about the Napoleonic Code; can we get some kind of law banning that?

  12. Oddly enough, I already commented on this here.

    Of course, if Harper were a real libertarian he’d post a bond to support his guarantee; otherwise there’s no recourse if he’s wrong. And, since what we do now could affect us generations from now, the bond would have to include his “successors and assigns”. And, due to the seriousness of the impact if he’s wrong, the bond would have to include the wealth and liberty of him and all his descendents. Then, we can trust in his guarantee.

    P.S. On an unrelated note, this could be a big story. It’s odd how I’d get a hit from a DC law firm within an hour of posting that, especially since that DC firm is linked to the BHO campaign. Get Dave “Bulldog” Weigel on it!

  13. “To require aliens to attest that they will not advocate installing a Sharia law system in the United States as a condition for admission, and for other purposes.”

    In the words of Walter Sobchak:”For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint”

  14. A BILL

    Bring it on.

  15. Maybe Tancredo thinks that the Obama will impose it. Obama is Arab after all.

  16. I was going to take Mo’s comment seriously enough to correct him, especially noting that the bill is about new immigrants, but I turned Javascript on and reloaded the page and a huge ad image covered 3/4 of the viewable page. After wiping the vomit from my nose and hiding the ad, I decided to post this comment:

    Come on, folks. You can do better than that. For a magazine like reason, I sure seem to stay drunk.

  17. Since you brought up Sharia law, I thought I’d add Bill Maher’s “Free Levi” info. It was hilarious.

    Website excerpt:

    We’ve all recently seen how evil henchman of the Republican party captured this poor innocent out of his natural habitat and forced him into a shotgun wedding, all so that their campaign narrative of fake family values could be upheld. When the 17-year-old daughter of the vice presidential candidate running on the Jesus ticket is “out to here,” it’s just better that Levi was introduced as the “fiance'” Looks a little less white trashy.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that right now Levi is America’s number one political prisoner. But Levi, you don’t have to be- this is the 21st century, at least in the blue states. We don’t have sharia law like in Saudi Arabia, or Alabama, and as much as the Bible thumpers would want it, we still don’t have arranged marriages in America. You don’t have to do this- you have options. You can pull a Juno- fuck, you live in Juneau! Or you could do what most people do with an unwanted child: give it to Angelina Jolie.

  18. Dude, Ananymous it was a joke. Only Rush (and possibly Tancredo) would say something that ludicrous with a straight face.

  19. I think that advocates of Sharia can be productive residents of the U.S. Let them come, so long as they’re prepared to come in legally, obey the laws, and not become public charges.

    There are plenty of people – foreign and native – who believe ridiculous things, yet can still be productive, hard-working members of the community.

    Even if they want to become citizens, they should be able to do so, so long as they respect the principles of the Constitution, including the key principle that changes to the Constitution must be made by amendment, not by usurpation through a coup d’etat by Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, etc.

    For instance, if a person who applied for naturalization wanted a federal constitutional amendment to impose Sharia, to mandate an internal passport system in the name of “federal employment verification,” to allow the President to disregard laws passed by Congress or to start wars without Congressional approval, or in general anything which is forbidden under the U.S. Constitution as currently written, that person should still be entitled to naturalization.

    If, on the contrary, the applicant wants to impose these alleged reforms by force, or by usurpation, that person is an enemy of the Constitution and should not be naturalized.

    Christopher Hitchens’ naturalization application is still pending, last I heard. I hope it’s denied.

  20. Dude, Ananymous it was a joke.

    The ad didn’t look very funny, and neither does my garbage can (anymore — tweety’s all covered in half-digested baked beans).

  21. To require aliens to attest that they will not advocate installing a Sharia law system in the United States as a condition for admission, and for other purposes.

    I’m not sure what these other purposes are, but I’m going guess they involve goats and butt sex, considering Mr. Tancredo is involved…

  22. Damn my fat, ready to go to bed fingers!

  23. Well I think part of the issue is that advocacy of sharia is diagnostic of an unwillingness to assimilate into Western society. What’s the point of requiring immigrants to learn some basic U.S. civics before they’re given citizenship if not to ensure that they understand and accept the premises of our civic culture?

    I’ll grant that our limited intake of Muslim immigrants suggests that this isn’t a pressing issue or anything, and certainly there’s no danger that any of these Muslims would be able to make any headway towards implementing sharia in the U.S. But the issue might just be trying to weed out those Muslims who would enter and enjoy the fruits of a Western country while hating its values and oftentimes their fellow citizens. Having an enormous number of such immigrants in Europe is shaping up to be kind of a problem. This provision seems silly, but I don’t think it’s actually that out of line.

  24. Jesus Chrysler, Mad, they give John Lennon the boot and roll out the carpet for Hitch. [shakes head]

    One thing though, Hitch was right, WINE IS RED!

  25. Considering what we have, only this month, seen transpire in England, this proposal is hardly as hysterical nor as paranoid as it sounds. This action is not about racism or xenophobia, it is about womens’ and homosexuals’ rights. It is about the right of young girls not to be sexual mutilated. It is about the right of everyone to be equal before the law, without the possibility that they can be intimidated into forsaking that right under familial, societal, or religious pressure. The problem with this proposal isn’t that it is directed at Muslims, it is that it isn’t also directed at the Amish and other extreme Christianist sects for which the law already makes special religious accommodations.

  26. Hogan, of course the problem is that no test can determine their current attitude toward such types of plans (not to mention that lying to outsiders is specifically mentioned as an option for them by their scripture).

    I’m fairly sure that Tancredo’s main point is to push toward publicly saying that whether or not one accepts that the institution of Islam is a political problem (and we have time for Europe to determine that the hard way before we have to), then it only makes sense to manage immigration either completely open to areas (eg) under Muslim rule or completely closed to such areas. Because in between you get ineffective tests and rent seeking (ie, bad laws applied selectively).

    I think libertarians lean toward completely open in general, so I would think that this binary choice makes sense. In any case, it’s a more interesting argument.

  27. The problem with this proposal isn’t that it is directed at Muslims, it is that it isn’t also directed at the Amish and other extreme Christianist sects for which the law already makes special religious accommodations.

    I agree. The government interferes far too much in voluntary association.

    In fact, that’s a great metric: get rid of laws until the Amish or Indians on reservations have no special accomodations but live under the same conditions wrt government. Then we can really get started breaking it down.

  28. Tom Tancredo’s bill is a travesty. The best way to preserve America’s legal tradition is to show up at your town hall meetings regularly.

  29. Of course, if Harper were a real libertarian he’d post a bond to support his guarantee; otherwise there’s no recourse if he’s wrong. And, since what we do now could affect us generations from now, the bond would have to include his “successors and assigns”. And, due to the seriousness of the impact if he’s wrong, the bond would have to include the wealth and liberty of him and all his descendents. Then, we can trust in his guarantee.

    Neither Harper nor anyone else has the right to promise that the entire “wealth and liberty of all of his descendents” will be forfeited in the event that something happens in the future. He would have the right to bind all of his own wealth and liberty, but not his descendants’.

    In any event, I am confident that we won’t have Sharia law replacing our secular constitution in the US in the foreseeable future. I’m willing to bet money on it. But we’d need to set a short enough timeframe (eg. 30 years) so that I could collect in my lifetime and still be young enough to enjoy it. (Also I’d have to be reasonably sure that the person I’m betting would still be alive at the end of the time frame.)

  30. Considering what we have, only this month, seen transpire in England, this proposal is hardly as hysterical nor as paranoid as it sounds. This action is not about racism or xenophobia, it is about womens’ and homosexuals’ rights. It is about the right of young girls not to be sexual mutilated. It is about the right of everyone to be equal before the law, without the possibility that they can be intimidated into forsaking that right under familial, societal, or religious pressure. The problem with this proposal isn’t that it is directed at Muslims, it is that it isn’t also directed at the Amish and other extreme Christianist sects for which the law already makes special religious accommodations.

    Those are good reasons to prevent the government from implementing religious law. And we already have the first amendment to help prevent such implementation.

    But that same first amendment means the government can’t stop individuals from advocating for religious law.

    The proper response to those who speak in favor of theocracy is to engage them in a war of ideas, and make it clear why their proposal is repugnant.

  31. Muslims Against Sharia praise Congressman Tancredo’s initiative. We advocated similar measures in the past and fully support “Gihad Prevention Act”

    “Any person from a country where a substantial part of the population is pro-Sharia should not be allowed in the West, not only as an immigrant, but even as a visitor with a few exceptions, i.e., political asylum or as a diplomat etc. … Every legal immigrant should be allowed to stay only if he/she did not display desire to establish a Sharia state in a host country. Any naturalized citizen who displays a desire to establish a Sharia state in a host country should have his/her citizenship revoked and promptly deported. I think the latter two groups is where the real danger lies.” Linda Ahmed, FrontPage Magazine, July 24, 2008

    “Anyone who proclaims Islamic extremist views should be tried for sedition, since we are at war with radical Islam, or at the very least, promptly deported.” Khalim Massoud, FrontPage Magazine, September 9, 2008

    http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/09/tancredo-proposes-anti-sharia-measure.html

  32. Muslims Against Sharia:

    I followed your link, and examined your site through the home page. While I still take issue with ANY religionist view, I was very impressed with what I read.

    As the Renaissance reformed Christianity and made it more tolerable to free minds; your views, if they could catch on, could do the same thing for Islam.

  33. As the Renaissance reformed Christianity and made it more tolerable to free minds; your views, if they could catch on, could do the same thing for Islam.

    Yeah, Christianity was a threat when its adherents didn’t ignore the scriptures to murder infidels and lie to infiltrate their societies.

    Oh, wait…

  34. “The problem with this proposal isn’t that it is directed at Muslims, it is that it isn’t also directed at the Amish and other extreme Christianist sects for which the law already makes special religious accommodations.”

    When will Americans awaken to the AmishFascist threat in their very midst?

  35. News story from the future:

    “A shadowy group calling itself the Amish Liberation Front has released a new scroll to the media containing bloodcurdling threats against America.

    “According to the scroll, ‘the arrogance of the infidels knows no bounds. Not only do you tailgate our buggys and deny us the right of way, you have dared to leave your litter by the side of the roadside in Amish country. No more shall the proud Amish people put up with such insolence! Our select corps of young freedom-fighters will bring this Godless nation to its knees!’

    “An increase in terrorist activity attributable to Amish militants has already been reported. Non-Amish farmers have awoken to find their barns raised. Alleged enemies of the Amish have been subjected to public shunning. According to intelligence reports, Amish scientists are workig night and day to perfect the ultimate weapon: A butter-churn which produces twice the butter of existing churhs.

    “Terrorism experts warn that America may be in for ‘a long, twilight struggle.'”

  36. If Tancredo’s bill is legal, that means a bill requiring all naturalized citizens to take an oath to always vote for the Democrat party would be legal.

    I wonder how Tom would react if someone proposed that.

  37. The Amish aren’t really a good joke example, Max, seeing as they are complete pacifists. Haven’t you seen Witness?

  38. Well, Sharia law would be an improvement on “free market” law, you morons. Go Sharia law!

  39. BDB

    Canada does not have an established Church.

  40. Christopher Hitchens’ naturalization application is still pending, last I heard. I hope it’s denied.

    What? He’s been a citizen for over a year now.

  41. Well, the current Oath of Citizenship requires pledging to uphold and defend the constitution so I think this bill is redundant. As would one singling out Talmudic Law, The Soviet Union’s Constitution or any other faith based bunch of words.

  42. Does anyone take that oath seriously anymore? How do you defend the Constitution? What happens if you fail to uphold it?

    I once took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. My ass would go straight to prison if I defended the Constitution from a domestic enemy.

  43. Hell, TrickyVic, if you really defended the country against domestic enemies, you could face death for treason.

  44. But I shoulda been gone!

  45. But I shoulda been gone!

    (Sorry.)

  46. Well, Sharia law would be an improvement on “free market” law, you morons. Go Sharia law!

    Is this parody?

    If not then I have to ask, how do you figure? Does your argument go something like this:

    Step 1 – Stone to death apostates, homosexuals, and unchaste women
    Step 2 – ????????
    Step 3 – Properity

    While I’m not familiar with anything called “free market law”, the relatively free systems of governance in countries like the US recognize that the individual is an end in him or her self. Freedom is simply allowing each person to have what is rightfully his or hers: discretion over how to live one’s own life.

    If two different individuals want to have two different ways for life, it is still rational for both to support having a free society. In such a society, one person’s dogmatic beliefs about metaphysics or the Creator of the Universe don’t translate into legal restrictions on what I am allowed to do.

    By contrast, Sharia does not rest on any rational basis. It rests on the highly dubious claim that we know how the Creator of the Universe wants human beings to live.

    Even if we did know this, it’s not clear that it would be rational to support Sharia. Couldn’t a devout Muslim just say: “Eh, it’s not my problem if those infidels get on Allah’s bad side, so I’d rather not pay extra taxes to enforce victimless crime laws”?

    But once we recognize the fact that there is no good evidence for the claim that the Creator of the Universe favors Taliban-like countries – it is obvious that it is not rational to for any individual to do so.

  47. It rests on the highly dubious claim that we know how the Creator of the Universe wants human beings to live.

    We do, and it doesn’t exclude critical thinking. Of course, what critical thinking is involved in any coercive collective action? Ask the proles and dhimmis that question.

  48. We do, and it doesn’t exclude critical thinking. Of course, what critical thinking is involved in any coercive collective action? Ask the proles and dhimmis that question.

    Ok, I clicked on your link. I think I’ll stick with secular arguments for Classic Liberalism. I don’t think Christianity is true, and the bible gives contradictory advice on how one should live (and on what kind of society one should want to establish). This is not the most stable intellecual foundation for individual freedom.

  49. This is not the most stable intellecual foundation for individual freedom.

    I disagree, but that’s because I have reasoned through my religion from day one. The gospel and a voluntary-ist society can support one another, as the document indicates.

    More importantly, the document is a good way for me to show other people how I came to my politics. It’s also indicative of how far we’ve come from actual classical liberalism, now long tainted with with the 19th-century nihilism that begat the philosophies directing modern state action, which was steeped in the imagery of the sublime and expression of the divine.

    and the bible gives contradictory advice on how one should live (and on what kind of society one should want to establish)

    Unlike the Koran, with which you may be more familiar, the Bible does not lay out a single proscription for living, nor does it direct itself toward a single population at any single time. Jews are most specific on this point, eg that the Noahide laws were given to all mankind but the ten commandments came as mandates only to the Jewish people. The most common examples of “quoting out of context” are, in fact, using descriptions of what people did to the righteous in the face of mortal danger as arguments that such acts are encouraged (eg, Saul and David, David and Bathsheba).

    In any case, that document is not exactly making an argument for classical liberalism, and it’s certainly not making the argument you want to make. And that doesn’t matter, because you’re not personally interested in the requisite premises. However, if you ever wonder why the intersection of Christian and West-European society produced the things it did, that’s a start.

  50. Let me try to do this without spelling errors this time.

    I disagree, but that’s because I have reasoned through my religion from day one. The gospel and a voluntary-ist society can support one another, as the document indicates.

    Ok, but there is still the serious question of: “How do you know the metaphysical claims of Christianity are true?”. If (in some crazy hypothetical situation) you came to believe that they weren’t true, would you stop supporting individual freedom? Or would you think there are other good reasons to support it?

    More importantly, the document is a good way for me to show other people how I came to my politics. It’s also indicative of how far we’ve come from actual classical liberalism, now long tainted with with the 19th-century nihilism that begat the philosophies directing modern state action, which was steeped in the imagery of the sublime and expression of the divine.

    Can you give an example of a society that practiced the “actual classical liberalism” you have in mind? I would argue that, while probably every society and government has had policies that are an affront to classical liberalism (as I understand the term), modern liberal republics are closer to that ideal now than most societies in history.

    Unlike the Koran, with which you may be more familiar, the Bible does not lay out a single proscription for living, nor does it direct itself toward a single population at any single time. Jews are most specific on this point, eg that the Noahide laws were given to all mankind but the ten commandments came as mandates only to the Jewish people. The most common examples of “quoting out of context” are, in fact, using descriptions of what people did to the righteous in the face of mortal danger as arguments that such acts are encouraged (eg, Saul and David, David and Bathsheba).

    So refresh my memory, what were these “Noahide laws” that were “given to all mankind”? (And why did God wait thousands of years for the initial recipients of those laws to tell everyone else about them instead of doing the job Himself?) And if there are universal principles of human rights and justice, why were there any “mandates toward a single population at any single time”? I’m still not sure what part of the gospels or bible supports a voluntary-ist society.

    You might cite the Golden Rule (which, incidentally, is not unique to the Judeo-Christian tradition), but by itself this is not enough to form an intellectual basis for a free society. The Golden Rule is abstract enough to allow competing interpretations that take opposing sides on different moral questions.

    For example, consider laws against consenting adult sodomy. I might say “I like being free to engage in acts that harm nobody, so I should respect the same freedom of others”. Someone else might say “I like having acts that gross me out prohibited. So since I know that some others are grossed out by sodomy, I will support its prohibition – as I’d want them to prohibit what I don’t like”.

    I think my position is preferable to the other position, but I can’t show that it is by reference to the Golden Rule or any other part of the bible. In fact, if the debate turned on what the bible says, my opponent might have the edge by citing certain passages of Leviticus (as well as the part of the gospels instructing us to “keep every jot and title of the old testament”). To support my case, I need to make certain arguments about individual autonomy, the distinction between victimless acts and acts which harm others, being grossed out by the thought of someone’s private acts as insufficient to claim victimhood, etc.

    In any case, that document is not exactly making an argument for classical liberalism, and it’s certainly not making the argument you want to make.

    I agree.

    The page you link to suggests that it argues for anarchism. I’m not sure I see that either.

    However, if you ever wonder why the intersection of Christian and West-European society produced the things it did, that’s a start.

    Well, I’m quite sure that the achievements I’m most interested in owe a lot to the Enlightenment and the spread of scientific rationalism.

  51. Don’t forget that it might have the support of a lot more people than you understand.

    Noahide law (Jewish law for non-Jews) is fully found within the Koran, which means Shari’a law is an acceptable means to achieve Noahide law goals in all Gentile lands.

    You may say pie in the sky but our congress and president has already acknowledged Noahide law (George Bush, 1991, ‘Education Day U.S.A’
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/…..s.104.enr:

    Which is nothing on its face but when you do more research (and consider how the 10 Commandments have been removed from numerous public places)…

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