Recent events in the world have got me to thinking. They often do. I’m wondering at the stance the “UnitedStates Republican/Conservative/Right-Wing/Tea-Party/Call ‘em what you will” has taken, regarding social freedoms and laws.
Actually what prompted this was the uprising in Egypt to overthrow Mubarak, and the uprising in Tunisia to overthrow President Ben Ali, and several other Middle-Eastern countries that seem to be at the same point – compared with the rise in foolish (in my liberal, left-wing mind) laws proposed or enacted by several US Republican politicians.
You’ve heard, doubtless, about Shari'a Law. It’s the set of laws central to Islamic domestic policy. Shari’a (which means ‘the way’, or originally, ‘the road to the source of water’) is inspired by, or derived from, the Qur’an and the teachings of the prophet Muhammed. It’s the foundation of law in every Muslim nation, and many Muslims living in other countries follow it within their homes. Well and good so far.
Shari’a Law is a decisive and strict code of laws, governing everything from religious observation to who and how to marry, how to handle family matters, business negotiations, sexual relations, marital relations, etc etc.
Now, following the various terrorist-threat uprisings since 9-11, whether real or imagined, we in the US have been inundated with reports of Islamic terrorist threats on an almost-daily basis. Islamic extremists will steal your rights, we’re told. Islamic extremists will steal your children. Islamic extremists will do this and that and any other horrible thing we can think of. Muslims, Islamists, followers of Allah, however you choose to phrase it, have become an easy target of ridicule, and focus of fear, for anyone wanting a scapegoat. And because of the severity inherent in some articles of Shari’a Law (The punishments include amputation of one/both hand(s) for theft, stoning for adultery, and execution for apostasy ), it was an easy fear-tactic to say that all of Shari’a Law is bad. It’s not. Some articles of Shari’a Law are very tolerant and considerate, even more than some western laws. Still, the fears linger (and are promoted) because fear are easier to influence than common sense.
A while ago, Oklahoma passed a law banning Shari’a Law , Tennessee has bills to do that same thing, and reports came out that two municipalities, Dearborn, MI and Frankford, TX, had actually adopted it! (In Dearborn, Christian evenagelicals were arrested for disrupting an Arabic cultural Festival, and Frankford, TX… doesn’t even exist!)
So, fear mongers are happily spreading the word that “those evil Islamites” (I made that up) are out there doing everything they can to corrupt your way of life, deprive you of your god-given rights, and make life generally miserable for everyone.
While all that’s been going on, the same people who want you to be afraid of the encroaching evil, have been passing, or at least proposing, law after law, to restrict people’s rights and civil liberties. Let’s have a look at some of the fun ones. Utah and Georgia both have proposed laws that would make miscarriages a criminal act. In Utah (again Utah!) bills were filed that would restrict gay and lesbian’s civil rights. And we still have that silly McDonnell’s observation that America has always been and is currently a Christian nation . And Gov. Walker, in Wisconsin, trying to deny worker’s bargaining rights.
Wading through all this, I noticed an interesting correlation of activity, or perhaps a reverse-polarity-shift, between what’s happening in the Middle East – the various political uprisings and overthrows – versus the rise of Republican’s ‘antiprogressive’ bills and proposed laws in this country.
Want a comparison? Let’s have a look…….
Many US municipalities have laws banning homosexual acts.
Under Shari’a Law, homosexuality is against the law and carries severe punishments.
Many US municipalities have unspoken laws promoting Christianity over other religious beliefs, and will work to deny ‘non-believers’ the same rights they afford to Chrstians.
Under Shari’a Law, apostasy (converting away from Islam) is illegal, and contact with infidels (non-believers) is to be discouraged.
Many US municipalities are hard at work to make abortions illegal. Screw Roe v Wade.
Under Shari’a Law, abortions are legal if they occur by natural causes; if the fetus is not yet infused with life (has a soul); or if the health of the mother is at risk. Abortions are illegal if they are performed intentionally, to kill the fetus which would otherwise be as healthy as the mother.
(Interesting note here: In South Dakota, Rep. Phil Jensen wants to not only make abortions illegal, he also wants to make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. Yes, justifiable homicide! He’s also the same guy who proposed a law against the enactment of Shari’a Law in South Dakota…. because, in his words, Shari’a Law is “barbaric ... completely at odds with core American values of freedom, equality, tolerance and justice.”)
There’s more, but my head is beginning to bleed. But you get the idea. The more that the conservative/anti-progressive/Republican/tea-party crowd want to pass laws restricting human rights, the more they resemble the harsher rulings found in Shari’a Law …. The very same legal code they are trying to suppress! Oy the hypocrisy.
(Oh sure, they’ll rally and cry that the laws don’t matter, it’s the fact that if – IF – Shari’a Law were enacted as legal in this country, they’d have to give up Christianity and be forced to follow Islam. But, guys….you’re trying to do the same thing, just the other way round!)
Hello, Kettle? This is Pot. You’re black!