The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page has come out in support of CAIR, which has challenged Oklahoma's sharia ban: ("Fighting a Legal Mirage," http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-1114-page-20101114,0,7427339.column.) As I have pointed out before, this is consistent with the Tribune's pro-Islamist policy.
This is all in reference to the last election, when a referendum was presented to Oklahoma voters that sharia, and other international law, has no place in Oklahoma's legal system. More than 70% of voters agreed. This prompted CAIR to challenge the referendum. Courtesy of federal judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, a restraining order has been issued preventing the law from taking effect.
Page's defense of CAIR's lawsuit is predictable. He says that a lot of people make the mistake of equating Muslim law with Muslim terrorism.
In fact, Muslim jihadi attacks are based on an ongoing effort to implement sharia worldwide. We SHOULD equate sharia with terrorism; it is used to terrorize millions of Muslims and non-Muslims on a daily basis, all over the world.
But Page dismisses this rather legitimate concern as ill-informed paranoia.
He goes on to say that most people's opinion of sharia is based on some of the more "fanatical" applications. He compares sharia to Christians in Uganda who want the death penalty for homosexuality, to emphasize that sharia's application is no harsher than what you can find in the Christian world.
First, Oklahoma would, under this same law, reject the Ugandan punishment, too--as it would fall under "international law."
Second, most Christians do not look to the Ugandan legal system as a model for society. Most Christians would in fact regard the Ugandan system as barbaric--fanatical, if you will.
That's not true for sharia. Sharia, too, mandates the death penalty for homosexuality, and in countries that observe sharia, that punishment is carried out. But not by fanatics/extremists/fringe groups...by regular, normal, middle-of-the-road DEVOUT Muslims.
I do know homophobic Christians, but none that say, "A devout Christian must murder gays."
But okay: let's not regard the Taliban as perfect practitioners of sharia. How about Muslim scholars out of Cairo's Al-Azhar University? They address the largest segment of mainstream (Sunni) Islam, and they spell out sharia pretty clearly. What should make non-Muslims uncomfortable is that a lot of sharia focuses on jihad, and not the touchy-feely "I just want to be a more spiritual person" jihad, either.
Page also mentions that accomodation has already been made regarding rabbinical law, so singling out Islam for special mistreatment can't be done. But rabbinical law is not set up to force non-Jews to convert to Judaism or to recognize Jewish law as superior to American law. And frankly, we don't currently have a problem with Orthodox Jews who are practicing bigamy or honor-killing. We also don't have a large segment of the Jewish population that doesn't see those issues as crimes, but rather like bad press that should be squelched.
Page leaves out a few facts, too. One is that sharia has already been used to defend a New Jersey man who was accused of raping his wife. Spousal rape doesn't exist in sharia, so he won the case. (Initially--he lost on appeal.)
And he dismisses some public figures' claims that sharia has already "taken hold" in some Muslim communities. But it has. In a lot of cities, two legal systems exist side-by-side.
Public areas at swimming pools are being gender-segregated at the behest of observant Muslims, prayer is being foisted on the non-Muslim public at libraries, reciting the shahada is considered okay at public school assemblies, any perceived disrespect of the Quran is treated as a criminal offense....this is just in Chicago!
If you notice, observance of sharia is expected of non-Muslims. Sharia in a Muslim school or a Muslim home is not the problem. But once it has legitimacy, it will be applied much more broadly. Right now, if you read CAIR's guide to the workplace, you'll see there's a movement to force non-Muslims to observe, albeit indirectly, Muslim prayer times. That's no different from laws in many Muslim countries (some "moderate", like Indonesia) that compel non-Muslims to observe dietary regulations and the Ramadan fast.
Muslims who have domestic problems are encouraged (ie., pressured) to approach "community leaders" instead of the police, even in cases that involve violence.
Muslims refuse to speak up because they don't want to be isolated from their community. Non-Muslims tolerate a lot of this because they think that criticism of the sharia system is a personal attack against individual Muslims. Civil authorities don't want to get slapped with lawsuits from the likes of CAIR.
Clarence Page parrots Obama when he says that "we need to wage war on terrorists, not on Islam."
How about waging war on the elements of Islam that share terrorist objectives?