Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What To Do With A Law Like Sharia

It is ridiculous to think that any group could simply come to America and impose its will. Americans are a proud, stubborn, and above all suspicious lot, who are not liable to take well to anyone trying to make wholesale changes to their law and culture. Given how the United States is run, from local all the way to federal governance, there is little chance that laws could be changed sufficiently to create a fiefdom in the middle of the country which is subject to some other law. When groups have attempted to create their own laws outside the rubric of the normal avenues of governance, these attempts have usually ended badly.

So it is a bit puzzling, this wave of ballot measures in various states and municipalities, seeking to ban the imposition of Islamic Sharia law, as if there were some epidemic of it spreading throughout the land. It is, in part, fear-mongering, taking a queue from the waves of anti-Muslim sentiment that roll through the nation on a regular basis. More subtle than that, though, it is a reflection of the creeping ignorance that permeates the fabric of the Unites States, and is perhaps a poor reflection on our own educational system, that so many do not know enough about law and jurisprudence in our nation to realize that it would be virtually impossible to simply write Sharia law into the books.

At the simplest level, in local government, such laws could not simply be codified and added to legal canon; laws on a local level usually have to be voted on, by a town council, board of freeholders, or even the citizens of the town, and even then, there must be public debate, which would no doubt engender a heavily negative reaction. One step up from that may be the township or county level of government, also bound to provide public discourse on possible changes to laws, or to redress grievances brought about by local laws. This system extends up to the state level as well, and then finally to the federal level. There is an interlocking series of governmental bodies charged with overseeing the formation of, adherence to, and proper dispensation of laws.

If we carry things to their ultimate conclusion, Sharia law would bump up against the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which states explicitly that government, any government, cannot support a singular religion or religious view. Not all parts of Sharia revolve around religion, it is true, but those tenets that are would be expressly forbidden from being imposed as law. A system of checks-and-balance exists, not just within Federal government, but throughout the layers from top to bottom. In this way, no group or sect or organization can seek to unduly influence the law or force American citizens into a compromise of their individual liberty.


For if the goings-on in Wisconsin and other mid-western states is any indication, there are forces that can manipulate the system of governance in our country to their own ends, and they are not as visible nor as sanctified as a major religious group. They work quietly, amidst the shadows, coming out into the open in unassuming forms which no one would take for power incarnate. They rally people, spread large sums of money around, and sow fear, their single greatest weapon. Look behind the sudden malevolent turn toward Sharia and the Muslim faith, and you may see the faces of many an outraged citizen. Look further, though, and you will see the hands manipulating the strings, pouring obfuscation and disinformation into the ears of the gullible, weaving tales of how certain groups are looking to dismantle their way of life, then naming anyone but themselves.

There is absolutely no reason to fear Sharia law. There is no reason to fear the Islamic community as a whole. There is no reason to fear most immigrants, illegal or otherwise, in our land. There is no reason to fear the Federal government any more than usual. There is no reason to claim that the first black President of the United States is not a citizen, is a closet Socialist or Muslim, or that he intends the destruction of America. There is no reason to believe that same-sex marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage. Reason, however, has little to do with it; reason would, and does, see right through these parlor tricks. And yet, like the skillful magicians they are, The Monied Powers and their lackeys continue one misdirection after another, always pointing attention away from the real threat to the American way of life: the consumption of everything by corporations and their wealthy benefactors. While the regular American struggles with mounting bills and falling pay, the ultra-wealthy continue to pay little of their fair share of the burden, squirreling their gains away in overseas tax havens, and where they cannot do so, buying political power to rewrite the rules to allow them to keep more.

So you see, some Muslim code of conduct is the least of our worries. While countless hours and millions of dollars are wasted fighting ghosts and shadows, The Monied Powers are there to mop up the spoils, greedily consuming anything not nailed down, leaving the average American bereft of opportunity and security. It is time to stop watching handkerchief and start watching the magician's hands, before he picks your pocket with a fancy trick.

No comments:

Post a Comment