There seems to be considerable concern developing in the United States over the last couple of years regarding the growing influence of “Sharia Law” in this country. Of course, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the concern may, in fact, be closely related to a ridiculous conspiracy theory making its laps around the globe fear mongering an eventual Islamic takeover of western democracies because of the birthrate increase in the Islamic world and simultaneous decrease in birthrates for post-industrial western democracies. Even as recently as January 31, 2011 a leading right wing loon via the world’s most prominent moron channel, Fox and Friends, Frank Gaffney made an appearance to use the uprisings in Egypt as an excuse to advance the notion that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is at the ready to “take control and implement Sharia Law” as soon as the dust settles in the streets.
For those unfamiliar with “Sharia Law,” Sharia is Islamic law based on the Quran and the teachings of Mohammed instead of the bible as espoused by the other two major delusional clans. Sharia Law is a loosely defined and interpreted set of “rules” governing the behavior of Muslims ranging from fasting and taxation to gruesome punishments for behaviors deemed unforgivably offensive to the Grand, High Exhaled, Mystic ruler – stones for anyone caught refusing to use their wee-wee or to-to in the proscribed manner to finger and hand amputations for petty thieves and common shoplifters. If you’re a woman, adultery is punishable by public stoning. If you’re a man, adultery is an expected behavior.
Oklahoma’s anti-Sharia initiative – SQ755 – (aka. Oklahoma International Law Amendment ) was approved by a nearly overwhelming majority of Oklahoma voters in 2010 despite the fact that most of the State’s media institutions, legal and civil rights scholars recommended a NO vote on the measure. The initiative amended Oklahoma’s State Constitution to, in part, explicitly state, “The Courts provided for in subsection A of this section, when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, the Oklahoma Statutes and rules promulgated pursuant thereto, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia Law, in making judicial decisions. The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international or Sharia Law.”
The issue now rests in the lap of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and has yet to be incorporated as an amendment to OK’s Constitution because of a lawsuit brought by CAIR – the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Among other things, CAIR alleges that SQ755 singles out a Islam for disfavored treatment. The wording of the initiative makes it hard to argue that it doesn’t.
What’s really ironic about voter support for SQ755 is that it clearly expresses the fear many Oklahoman’s harbor (real or imagined and constantly stoked by the likes of Beck, O’Lielly, Coburn, Tancredo, Palin and other complete buffoons of their ilk) that general living conditions in a theocratic society are not likely to be pleasant but at the same time see no disconnect in the imposition of their own brand of harsh theocratic nonsense on the rest of us.
Take a hard look around, Christian Americans. Things are startin’ to look pretty ugly.
It isn’t Muslims with Qur’an in hand standing outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the country hassling women who seek reproductive medical services while at the same time trying to block their rightful access to these services. No, I’ve only witnessed people carrying Bibles while chanting mind-numbing incantations at these near-daily events. I’m also confident that I need not remind everyone who is responsible for the bombing of women’s clinics around this country or the brutality, terror and murder directed at the doctors who work at these clinics.
It isn’t Muslims currently scheming to de-fund and disenfranchise Planned Parenthood clinics around the country, is it?. Oh, no. Denying women the right to low cost cervical screenings, breast cancer screenings, birth control pills, family planning information and the like appears to be the exclusive domain of fundamentalists who believe that the will of their god trumps sane and sensible health services to those least likely to afford them and family planning education for those who need it the most.
It wasn’t Muslims standing in the way of women seeking a “morning after” pill when they found themselves victims of sexual assault. No. It was delusional fundamentalist Christians who believe that women have absolutely no right to make choices about their own bodies who were responsible for this denial of a basic human right.
It wasn’t Muslims who persuaded their legislators to enact draconian laws making legal abortion a near-impossibility in this country. Oh, no. It was Christians convinced that their deity magically embeds a “sacred soul” in a zygote the nanosecond sperm meets egg who were responsible for stripping women of the universal right to their own bodies. And it isn’t Muslims who are petitioning legislators to declare that zygotes are people deserving of the protections of personhood. Nope, once again, only fundamentalist Christians are responsible for this madness.
It isn’t Muslims who persuaded their legislators to enact special “laws” protecting pharmacists from the scorn, ridicule and civil lawsuits they deserve when they choose to ignore their Hippocratic Oath in favor of their “religious convictions.” No, once again, it was fundamentalist Christians with close ties to legislators holding the same delusional beliefs as themselves who were solely responsible for this act of insanity.
It isn’t Muslims who have convinced their legislators to enact bans on the distribution of condoms in countries with an epidemic of HIV/AIDS. Nope, once again, it’s the influence of Catholic hierarchy in close cooperation with a Christian fundamentalist moron who occupied the Oval Office for eight miserable years that pursued this ridiculously insane policy.
It isn’t Muslims who are denying our country’s school children the right to be taught about human sexuality using reality and evidence-based educational principles. No, it’s fundamentalist Christians who insist on wasting our tax dollars to perpetuate the absolutely ridiculous notion that “abstinence” is the ONLY viable approach to sexual education who are responsible for this absurdity.
It isn’t Muslims who are insisting that our courthouses, libraries, schools and just about every other public building in our country be graffitied with their religious icons, is it?. No, it’s the Ray Moores, James Weeses and various other so-called “conservative legal defense” activists (the very people you expect to come to your aid when you petition Congress) who are responsible for this brand of stupidity.
It isn’t Muslims who are – right now – scheming to nullify use of the Lemon test in evaluating legal and legislative matters, is it?. No, this is purely the work of the same Dominionist Supreme Court jackass who’s obsessed with redacting the names of Madison and Jefferson from the US Constitution.
It isn’t Muslims who are responsible for this country’s drastic decline in science education rankings. No, this is clearly the work of deranged fundamentalist ignoramuses who sit on boards of education around the country seeking to cleanse textbooks of all references to the scientists and scientific discoveries that the world’s most brilliant minds have made over the course of the last 150 years.
It wasn’t Muslims who are responsible for whipping up hysteria about homosexuals in Uganda, demanding that they all be publicly hanged, is it? Oh no, this is purely the work of deranged American and Ugandan fundamentalist Christians who hear voices in their heads telling them that their god cares about their private sex practices.
It isn’t Muslims who make up the brigades of ignorant, screeching buffoons trying to deny and disenfranchise their fellow Americans of the marital rights and liberties that the vast majority of Americans take for granted. Nope, once again, only Christians (of practically all stripes) are responsible for this outrage.
It isn’t Muslims who rake in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to dole out a puny dish of help along with a heaping portion of proselytizing. Nope, this seems to be the bailiwick of the Falwells, Robertsons and Grahams (and the legislators who work hand-in-hand with them) – all major players of Christian fundamentalist sects who share the same ridiculous delusions.
No, none of this has anything at all to do with Muslims, does it? No, clearly all of this insanity is purely Christian-based. Let’s be perfectly honest with each other: if it weren’t for an ever-growing cult of nearsighted, Christian, fundamentalist nutjobs insisting that everyone in this country live their lives according to “laws” that they believe emanate from their “holy book,” we’d all be living more sane and sensible lives, you know, lives with the “freedom, fairness and equality” that most of you claim is your most cherished American ideal.
You know what: I think Havelock Ellis was absolutely correct and most insightful when he wrote:
Had there been a Lunatic Asylum in the suburbs of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ would infallibly have been shut up in it at the outset of his public career. That interview with Satan on a pinnacle of the Temple would alone have damned him, and everything that happened after could have confirmed the diagnosis. The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a Lunatic Asylum.”
And low and behold, here we are now in 21st century America, de-funding asylums and mainstreaming religious nuttery. If you feel the need to fearmonger, my fellow Christians, take a close look at the mahem you’ve managed to accomplish right in your own back yard.
~Rev. El Mundo
Pastor, Whole Valley Church of Sanity and Reason