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Interesting question
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Asked concerning the possibility that at sometime in the future, Sharia law may be proposed to replace the Constitution in the Netherlands:
“If a situation could arise where a majority could agree to shred a constitution in favor of religious law – and one from the Middle Ages at that - than doesn’t a democracy have an obligation to devise mechanism whereby such choices could be neutralized?”
Of course. See the US 1st Amendment. In fact, it isn't about 'democracy' it is about the rule of law under a Constitution (hence the fact that we're a Constitutional Republic and not a 'democracy' per se).

The Constitution's job is to define and restrict government, by law. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a Constitution which restricts the nation from accepting a religiously based code of law which is an anathema to its present system of law.

Your thoughts?
 
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Comments
Jean Revel makes the point that democracies kill themselves....Weimar CHOSE the Nazi’s, the Riechstag passed both the Nurnberg and the Law for Relief of the Distress of Reich and Volk, merging the office of President and Reichskranz and granting Hitler emergency powers. France CHOSE Le Marechal Petain, and CHOSE to accept and operate under Vichy. It is foolish to talk about disallowing certain popular changes.

IF the Dutch choose to enact Shari’a Law that is their right. IF the US chooses to adopt a Fascist Constitution that’s our right.

People like democracy and Free Speech when the voters are endorsing YOUR candiates and echoing your talking points. We don’t like democracy when they’re electing philandering, dope-smoking draft dodgers like Clinton or smirking Fasicsts like Chimpy McHaliburton. We don’t like Free Speech when Al Franken is bashing our President and we don’t like it when Rush Limbaugh is spewing hate and spreading lies about Hillary. But you can’t have one without the other, and most folks realize even if they don’t like it.

Oddly enough I believe most folks LIKE the ACLU defending the Nazi’s and NAMBLA (if they do) because those groups are so outré we really don’t feel threatened by them. We can feel smug and righteous in our defense of these groups First Amendment Rights, because they really don’t influence the larger society. Hillary and Rush are actually capable of influencing the body politic and I think we fear them more and object to their speech more than Lincoln Rockwell of the ANP.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
A Constitution doesn’t restrict a nation from accepting a religiously based code of law, it only makes enacting such a code more difficult than it would be under a simple majority rules standard. Constitutions can be amended to allow any given proposal, provided there are enough people in favor of such a proposal.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
A Constitution doesn’t restrict a nation from accepting a religiously based code of law, it only makes enacting such a code more difficult than it would be under a simple majority rules standard.
Really?

Explain the 1st Amendment and how enacting a law based in a particular religion wouldn’t violate the "establishment clause".
Constitutions can be amended to allow any given proposal, provided there are enough people in favor of such a proposal.
Possibly. But then it depends on how the Constitution is written doesn’t it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Amendments passed in accordance to Article V could make any change to our Constitution which they embodied, including the adoption of Sharia law.

In fact, as few as 3/8 of the legislators of the states (or conventioneers) plus around 38 votes or so in those bodies could effect the change.

As a practical matter, an amendment would have to have a supermajority supporting it that is very broadly based, so I’m not in the slightest concerned.

What the Dutch may do in 2050AD is up in the air though.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
McQ the First AMENDMENT is an AMENDMENT to the text... it’s not seperate from. So when one changes the Constitution the First Amendment gets changed, too. Technically the Amendment would be a amendment TO the First, granting the Shari’a special or sole rights of action in the US. IF 2/3 of both houses and 34 states ratify it, it IS the Constitution.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Of course. See the US 1st Amendment."

I think the amendment immediately following the first is a much better guard against sharia law.
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
Technically the Amendment would be a amendment TO the First, granting the Shari’a special or sole rights of action in the US.
Actually, I think it would be an Amendment that repeals an earlier Amendment and/or alters the Articles of the Constitution in some way. In order for sharia to become the law of the land, it would seem that this new Amendment would have to in fact be an entire abrogation of the original Constitution — an entirely new contract.

It is possible, just not very likely.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
It is possible, just not very likely.

Goes without saying...just as the Dutch statement was extremely unlikely.
Actually, I think it would be an Amendment that repeals an earlier Amendment

Not necessarily... one could AMEND an amendment. It might be CLEANER to repeal and RE-ENACT, but one could simply amend the First.
and/or alters the Articles of the Constitution in some way. In order for sharia to become the law of the land, it would seem that this new Amendment would have to in fact be an entire abrogation of the original Constitution — an entirely new contract.
Uh No, the Constitution had no First Amendment when it was ratified, no discussion of the role of religion and government, no guarantee of press, assembly, or speech. So with or without a First Amendment the Constitution would STILL stand or work. The BoR was ADDED as a carrot for ratification, AFTER the Constitution itself was ratified. After all it was CONGRESS not the Convention that proposed the first 11 amendments to the US Constitution.

Bottom-Line: it is NOT an abrogation of the original contract, it is a RETURN TO the original contract, or a FURTHER amendment OF the original contract.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If the people of the US ever develop a broad enough consensus to support the imposition of Sharia law through a Constitutional Amendment, they would have a broad enough consensus to scrap the Constitution in its entirety and begin all over again. In fact, that is probably the ONLY way that Sharia law can be substituted (constitutionally) for our current system. If instead one relied on a Sharia amendment, one would undoubtedly raise incredibly complicated issues as to the interpretation of the Sharia amendment and its impact on the rest of the Constitution....issues that will be before the US Supreme Court in a jiffy....and that will undoubtedly make a complex situation far more complex....
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
Joe:

I’m not sure what you think you’re arguing with, but things such the guarantee of a republican form of government would also have to be changed, as well as myriad powers granted to the federal government, the entire judicial system, and most of the Bill of Rights, in order for Sharia Law to become the law of the land.

It would certainly not be "a RETURN TO the original contract, or a FURTHER amendment OF the original contract" to institute such law. It would a wholesale change of the governing document.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
RAZ and MichaelW. Would either of you care to point out EXACTLY how Islam and limited government are antithetical? EXACTLY what portion of the Constitution would have to be reworked? Did the Prophet forbid four year limits for the President? Did the Hadith outlaw the Separation of Powers? Is an Independent Judiciary heresy? The Constitution is PROCESS, and it’s not what we THINK the Constitution says, that counts. So please elaborate on how elimination of the First Amendment or changing the First Amendment to include Shari’a law INVALIDATES THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT. I would submit that you are making assumptions about the document and Moslems....Bear in mind that the US Constitution as written made no mention of religion, press, assembly or speech.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’ll have to research this a bit, don’t have time right now. But I remember reading somewhere a court said that because so many states ratified the Constitution only because of the Bill of Rights that any amendment to the Bill of Rights would invalidate the whole union.

I admit I’m fuzzy on the details here.

Anyway, changing the 1st amendment would involve much more than simply passing another amendment.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Anyway, changing the 1st amendment would involve much more than simply passing another amendment.
Yeah but that’s a TRUEISM, isn’t it. Example: the 14th Amendment, granting US citizenship to formaer slaves. Who knew it also made the State’s subject to the Federal BoR? So yes, changing one amendment chages the WHOLE document, but ti doesn’t invalidate the whole thing, nor does it mandate a complete REWRITE.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe:

Are you completely f’ing dense, or do just read every third word? Nobody is arguing that Islam and democracy are incompatible. SHARIA LAW and our U.S. Constitution are incompatible.

If that is simply too difficult a concept for to wrap your fuzzy brain around, then consider the following concept:
If the U.S. were to adopt [pick one; Roman Catholic doctrine; Rabbinical Law; the Book of Mormon; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; the last book that Joe read; the World According the Flying Spaghetti Monster] as the law of the land, it would take more than a mere Amendment to the Constitution to do so.
Are we clear yet?
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
MichaelW I’m not F*ing dense. Please refrain from assuming those in opposition to you are DENSE, it might be YOU with the comprehension problem.

And no MichaelW you have NOT adequately explained why the repeal of the 1st or its amendment would FUNDAMENTALLY change the Constitution. It may be obvious to YOU, but it’s not obvious to me.

Again point out how the President’s war-making powers, four year term the House’s "power of the Purse" and 2 year term, or the Senate’s 6 year term are inconsistent with the Shari’a? The Constitution is about Separation of powers and limited government and the Shari’a is not or is in opposition to them?

Bottom-Line: You arrogance is foolish, and your evidence scant.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
MichaelW I’m not F*ing dense. Please refrain from assuming those in opposition to you are DENSE, it might be YOU with the comprehension problem.
Joe, please read the actual words that I wrote. I didn’t assume anything, that was all you. Just for example, let’s take the first parry and thrust:
and/or alters the Articles of the Constitution in some way. In order for sharia to become the law of the land, it would seem that this new Amendment would have to in fact be an entire abrogation of the original Constitution — an entirely new contract.
Uh No, the Constitution had no First Amendment when it was ratified, no discussion of the role of religion and government, no guarantee of press, assembly, or speech. So with or without a First Amendment the Constitution would STILL stand or work. The BoR was ADDED as a carrot for ratification, AFTER the Constitution itself was ratified. After all it was CONGRESS not the Convention that proposed the first 11 amendments to the US Constitution.
Please point to where I said anything resembling what you claim to refute. I never asserted that the First Amendment was the only Constitutional provision standing in the way of Sharia Law becoming the law of the land. In fact, I specifically stated that nearly the entire document was what prevents such. In order to have Sharia Law become the governing law of the land, we would need to amend/alter/delete such things as:
... the guarantee of a republican form of government would also have to be changed, as well as myriad powers granted to the federal government, the entire judicial system, and most of the Bill of Rights ...
You asked for such specifics after they were presented to you. And then you went on to assert that I had claimed Islam and limited government were incompatible. How did I do that? Sharia is not Islam, and even if it were, what about Sharia suggests to you that it IS compatible with limited government?
Bottom-Line: You arrogance is foolish, and your evidence scant.
My arrogance? Well, I certainly am rather confident that I have better reading comprehension skills than you, if that’s what you mean. At least I read what you actually wrote and responded to that. I didn’t erect an army of strawmen named "Joe" and try to slay them with my haughty demeanor. That was all you.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
And MichaelW you keep failing to list how the Shari’a and SPECIFIC portions of the Constitution fail to mesh.
... the guarantee of a republican form of government would also have to be changed, as well as myriad powers granted to the federal government, the entire judicial system, and most of the Bill of Rights ...
Again how so... right now its a GRATUITOUS ASSERTION, simply refuted by saying, no it would not. WHAT Federal powers would have to be changed? How so the Federal Judicial System? The WHOLE BoR again how so?

I focus as others do on the 1st Amendment, because that is the amendment dealing, in part, with religion and it’s establishment. And again, the 1st came after the ratification of the document itself, so how is the Constitution affected by a change that was made AFTER it’s creation in the 1st place?

Would a Moslem US be different, yes it would, would it be WILDLY different, it most likley would but not NECESSARILY so.

Again, once we move past the insults and assertions I find your argument lacking in specifics. I realize it’s only a ’blog, but simply saying someting is so, does NOT make it so nor does it make it an effective argument. Thank you for your time in this matter.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Anyway, changing the 1st amendment would involve much more than simply passing another amendment.
The 21st was repealed, not sure why the 1st can’t be as well. Other parts of the Constitution no doubt don’t sit well with Sharia, like the 10th, but we don’t pay any attention to that one anyway.
If the U.S. were to adopt [pick one; Roman Catholic doctrine; Rabbinical Law; the Book of Mormon; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; the last book that Joe read; the World According the Flying Spaghetti Monster] as the law of the land, it would take more than a mere Amendment to the Constitution to do so.
And the Amendment probably wouldn’t be needed; they key is public opinion. If enough Americans want Sharia law badly enough, guess what, we have it.

In the aftermath of FDR & LBJ, does anyone really think that a piece of paper can enforce itself?

Furthermore, on the paper chase, a new conventional convention could come up with any form of constitution the members desire.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Joe:

Do you have any clue what Sharia Law is? Maybe you should inform yourself and then see if my answers make sense to you.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
the guarantee of a republican form of government would also have to be changed
Say this one assertion, how is it true? A republican form of government is IRRELIGIOUS. It was inserted into the Constitution as it were as a guard against feudalism and European oligarchies, it was designed to make sure that Vermont did not become a Dukedom, but beyond that it has little meaning. As long as folks are voting for elected officials and those officials are being replaced in elections, it’s a "republican form of government" whether or no they pray 5 times a day. It seems to me that you make an ASSUMPTION that a Shari’a US would have to look like Iran and I’m not sure that is true.

I would say we’d have to examine Shari’a law closely on the voting rights of women and the Dhimmi...I don’t dispute that a Shari’a US would be different I just question as whether the WHOLE contract is renegotiated if it were done so.

Further some seem to think that the whole contract is NULLIFED if Shari’a LAw comes into play and the truth is , No, it’s not. When the Contract is amended by consent of the governed the contract remains in force.

Finally, the point of the question was more broadly, it seemed to me, can a constitution be amended even if it creates a radically new document and social contract? The answer is of course, Yes, it can. When the governed CHOOSE to change their social contract, they may, either incrementally or wholesale. In either case the change, if procedurally correct is legitimate and binding. Of course, in the case of Vichy France or Hitler’s Germany the RESULTS might be disastrous, but that’s the risk you run with democracy isn’t it, that occasionally the People get it wrong, sometimes dreadfully so.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Shari’a law is the rather strict Moslem law regarding mores taboos and social structures in a Sunni society.....but you fail to point out where it invalidates Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech, or bans Separation of Powers, or speaks to the terms of the President, House of Representatives, and Senate, the CORE of the US Constitution. Again I appreciate your time and effort in this matter and look forward to your response.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Besides what I said above, 4 wifes would be fun, as long as they do what I say . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
If an amendment was passed to enshrine Sharia, it would take precedence over everything else; every law, every other Constitutional clause, everything. Any putative clash that someone might wish to postulate would be instantly resolved, and it would be in favor of Sharia. Thus, arguing that it couldn’t happen because it would clash with other pieces of the Constitution is irrelevant; at the moment it took effect, there would no longer be any clashing in the new Constitution.

That’s what an Amendment is. When the 21st came along, it wasn’t rejected because it contradicted the clauses of the Constitution embodied in the 18th.

Presumably lawyers would still be involved and Sharia would be better defined, and so the real amendment would be longer than "Sharia law is now the highest law of the United States.", but theoretically that would be sufficient.

Any guarantees to religious freedom that previously existed would be modified to suit Sharia. "Seperation of Church and State" would now read "Separation of Church and State, except as mandated by Sharia". Other huge swathes of the law would be suddenly unconstitutional overnight, like equal rights legislation (dhimmitude would be Constitutionally required, regardless of what the Constitution used to say). Yes, figuring out all the details would take a while, but that doesn’t change the fact that the outcome would for the most part be determined.

At least, that’s how the system theoretically works; in practice we’d probably be looking at an actual, factual shooting war of some kind, but that’s why this is improbable in the first place.

As a matter of economy, theoretically as much of the Constitution that could still be effect would be, but Sharia is pretty broad. It may not care how long the President of the Islamic States of America serves and other such administrivia, but it’s got a lot to say about freedom of speech and all kinds of other (former) rights and laws, all of which would be the new Constitutional law.

Joe, I’d recommend following that link. While I can’t match up a clause of Sharia to each of your points, I can for most of them.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
The 21st was repealed, not sure why the 1st can’t be as well
Because, as I pointed out, many states ratified the Constitution either requesting the bill of rights or in anticipation of the bill of rights being offered. No state ratified the Constitution in anticipation of the 18th amendment

Read the following from the National Archives:
During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.

On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it. The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each Representative and the compensation of Congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
The first 10 amendments have a special significance, and changing them is in essence changing the contract by which the union was first formed.

Again, I said that I read something about the courts coming to this decision. This isn’t something I pulled out of my back pocket. I’ll try to find a reference to this, but don’t misinterpret what I wrote.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
I believe that this is what "border control" was invented to handle.
Absent that, I suggest that the (non-Islamic) Dutch do what apparently the Dutch like to do, but without "the pill".
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
The first 10 amendments have a special significance, and changing them is in essence changing the contract by which the union was first formed.
Yes and your point is? The 13th and 14th Amendments changed the essence of the Constitution as well. That sounds snarkier than I intend. ANY amendment changes the basis of the social contract, HOWEVER, as long as the social contract is amended or revised in a procedurally correct manner it’s OK. We are NOT bound to Founder’s Intent, simply because it IS the FOUNDER’S Intent, but because it is the meaning that inheres to that provision, BUT we are at perfect liberty to change any portion of the contract, so we COULD bring back Slavery by repealing the 13th...we could deny woment he right to vote by repealing that amendment...we can give the President 1, 8 year term, as long as the amendments or the convention are procedurally correct we can do anyhitng we desire...to include amanding the amendment process to allow 50% and 1 vote of each House of the US Congress make amendments, as long as 2/3 of each house ratified it and 2/3 of the states ratified that amendment.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Because, as I pointed out, many states ratified the Constitution either requesting the bill of rights or in anticipation of the bill of rights being offered. No state ratified the Constitution in anticipation of the 18th amendment
So what? Where does it say you can’t change the BoRs or the Constitution? The Constitution was written, the BoRs added, the states bought in, and now Sharia overwrites the BoRs—so what?

Your argument might fly with ’original intent’ jurists, but the Gore ’living document’ types will go with whatever provides the results they want.
Again, I said that I read something about the courts coming to this decision.
Perhaps, but courts have overturned other court decisions.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
McQ the First AMENDMENT is an AMENDMENT to the text
Yes. And the US Constitution isn’t the only constitution in the world, nor must other constitutions be written as ours is, embody the same amendment process or any of the other things we do.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
The 1st amendment is NOT an amendment to the text of the Constitution. Don’t believe me? Point out which passage in the text it amends. I’ll wait.

The body of the Constitution is the framework for government, but it mentions nothing about the rights of the people. The Bill of Rights was meant to enumerate those rights. Whereas the body of the Constitution defined what government could do by its structure, the Bill of Rights defined what the government could never do. So, yes, changing one of the first 10 amendments substantially alters the contract that created the union of states. You can’t say that about any other amendment.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
The first 10 amendments have a special significance, and changing them is in essence changing the contract by which the union was first formed.

Again, I said that I read something about the courts coming to this decision. This isn’t something I pulled out of my back pocket. I’ll try to find a reference to this, but don’t misinterpret what I wrote.
So would a flag burning amendment, if passed, not pass muster (since that would be designed to circumvent the first amendment)?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Although I find some of the points raised here interesting and, as always, the witty (and not so witty) parries and thrusts are amusing, the entire topic is pointless.

At some hypothetical point in the future (which we all seem absolutely convinced that we can predict based on statistics), the population of the tulip-loving, windmill-making, wooden shoe wearing Netherlands may become 51% Muslim. At that (again hypothetical) point, the Muslim community may decide to push for the establishment of Sharia law as the formal "law of the land" of windmill country. Assuming it passes, and I don’t think that there is any guarantee here as Muslims, contrary to popular opinion, are not a monolithic group, what exactly would be the immediate consequence? The Netherlands are an EU nation. Would they be booted out of the EU? Could the delegate nations tolerate being in the same room as a nation governed by Sharia? Would all the native Dutch (EU citizens, all) emigrate to Belgium, Germany, Britain, elsewhere? And what school of jurisprudence regarding Sharia (and the hadiths that Sharia is based on) will be relied on? Maliki? Hanafi? Shafii? How will it interact with existing Dutch civil law?

All of this to say that even if we choose the most doom-and-gloom population scenario that we can find and assume that the Netherlands will be Islamic territory by 2020, how exactly will Sharia be implemented? And, again, assuming doom-and gloom, how exactly does that affect the US? Why would we even bother to speculate on the likelihood of Sharia being adoped here in the US? It’s more likely that aliens will land tomorrow than it is for Sharia to be adopted here in the US.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
I think the amendment immediately following the first is a much better guard against sharia law.
Absolutely, and that’s the 2nd’s purpose, but that would be extra-Constitutional action nonetheless.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
(which we all seem absolutely convinced that we can predict based on statistics)
Of course you can make a prediction based on current rates. Did you sleep through algebra?

And hey, Omar, we’ve got less of a primitive problem with the Amish now, don’t we—are you happier?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Jean Revel makes the point that democracies kill themselves....

Just like markets. And very astute.
Oddly enough I believe most folks LIKE the ACLU defending the Nazi’s and NAMBLA (if they do) because those groups are so outré we really don’t feel threatened by them. We can feel smug and righteous in our defense of these groups First Amendment Rights, because they really don’t influence the larger society. Hillary and Rush are actually capable of influencing the body politic and I think we fear them more and object to their speech more than Lincoln Rockwell of the ANP.
Also very astute. I agree with both the example and the larger point. Joe, this is my favorite comment from you ever. Sorry to mess with your head like that.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
It would most likely not be implemented all at once, but become the basis for our laws...you’d see punishments changed, etc., to be compatible with Sharia.

At that point in our hypothetical future, the Democrats or GOP would be nominating Muslim imams as judges, too, to appease their Islamist wing, etc.

Then there would be movement to change the Constitution to follow closer to Sharia law and allow perhaps some larger changes that would be needed to be closer to the real deal.

I wouldn’t find it much different then say someone from 1820 would see changing the slave vote, allowing abortion, etc.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Shari’a law is the rather strict Moslem law regarding mores taboos and social structures in a Sunni society.....but you fail to point out where it invalidates Freedom of the Press,
Sharia law called for the cartoons of Mohammed not to be published and for the artists to be killed
Freedom of Speech,
Sharia law called for the killing of Salman Rushdie. Demands are being made to the Pope because one part of a speech in which he quoted someone else weas taken out of context.
or bans Separation of Powers,

In Iran, the Expediency Council supervises control of all three branches of government, consolidating power in one body.
or speaks to the terms of the President,

Iran’s Supreme Leader is appointed to a life term.
So there you are Joe, Sharia law is incompatible with the core pieces of the Constitution you mentioned. The first two are direct from shari’a law, the second two are just the way it happens to be in every nation that has enacted shari’a law. (Some supreme leaders are kings that inherit power rather than have it appointed, but they are still there for life)
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
"Of course you can make a prediction based on current rates. Did you sleep through algebra?"

So, Tom, may I assume that you are a billionaire based on your predictive abilities at both sports betting and stock, commodities, and currency speculation?

Regarding the second comment, sorry but I don’t dialogue with those who promote genocide.

 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Assuming it passes, and I don’t think that there is any guarantee here as Muslims, contrary to popular opinion, are not a monolithic group, what exactly would be the immediate consequence? The Netherlands are an EU nation. Would they be booted out of the EU? Could the delegate nations tolerate being in the same room as a nation governed by Sharia? Would all the native Dutch (EU citizens, all) emigrate to Belgium, Germany, Britain, elsewhere?
Perhaps Sharia will be required by the EU at some point. The Frence police now indicate they are facing an intifada.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/05/wmuslims05.xml
And, again, assuming doom-and gloom, how exactly does that affect the US? Why would we even bother to speculate on the likelihood of Sharia being adoped here in the US? It’s more likely that aliens will land tomorrow than it is for Sharia to be adopted here in the US.
We already have enought trouble invading Iraq and supporting Israel. We don’t want to invade France and Germany again.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Absolutely, and that’s the 2nd’s purpose, but that would be extra-Constitutional action nonetheless.
I think the 1st’s purpose is so we all know when to employ the 2nd.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
And, again, assuming doom-and gloom, how exactly does that affect the US?
More seriously, Omar, I suspect Americans will develop real anti-muslim attitude (not the fake claims of CAIR) if they see any Western European nations adopt Sharia.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Why though, Don? I don’t necessarily agree with your conclusion that Americans will become more anti-Muslim, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that there is a real spike in anti-Muslim agitation. I cannot understand why Americans would react in this manner. So a tiny European nation that more than 75% of Americans cannot locate on a map decides to adopt Sharia as its defacto state law. How does that affect the US? The Netherlands has no appreciable military and not much in the way of economic pull. They offer neither strategic (military) nor economic threat to us. Outside of Pennsylvania, most Americans aren’t even of Dutch descent, so that removes any cultural ties that would prompt a public call for intervention. Why do you consider the Netherlands so important? Unless this is a domino theory of sorts in which the fall of Holland leads to the fall of France which leads to the fall of Germany, then Belgium, Britain, Ireland, etc.

I chalk this one up in the same category of importance as the results of the Outer Mongolian presidential elections (assuming there is a President of Outer Mongolia). Especially since I find the scenario of the Netherlands adopting sharia to be extremely unlikely.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
This whole discussion is built on a couple of false assumptions, it seems. First, there is no one interpretation of the Sharia, and in fact European Muslims are for the most part more open to modern interpretations and modernist Islam than are those outside the West. The idea that Islam is some kind of unchanging middle ages faith that is growing in Europe is false; it is changing in Europe and in fact Muslims in Europe may be a key in promoting continuation of the vast challenges to traditional interpretations in Islam. That even goes for translations. Depending on how the Arabic is translating Koranic verses can often say two completely different things. If you go back to the Koran and Muhammad’s original teachings — which were progressive for the time and more peaceful and tolerant than Christianity at that time — you have material for a reinterpretation of Islam that rejects some of the way in which the Hadith has been used and interpreted by the ulama for 14 centuries. European Islam is not a threat to the West, it is a threat to extremist Islam, because it is likely to be a vehicle for spreading a modern challenge to traditional interpretations.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Jean Revel makes the point that democracies kill themselves....Weimar CHOSE the Nazi’s, the Riechstag passed both the Nurnberg and the Law for Relief of the Distress of Reich and Volk, merging the office of President and Reichskranz and granting Hitler emergency powers. France CHOSE Le Marechal Petain, and CHOSE to accept and operate under Vichy. It is foolish to talk about disallowing certain popular changes.
Democracies are more likely to fail when they are young, if the political culture is not such that tolerance of different opinion and compromise are fundamental values, and if moves to democracy are accompanied by economic success and political stability. Weimar was a remarkable success before 1929 in that it weathered instability and economic turmoil while still trudging ahead — though it folded with the Great Depression (though the Nazis never received a majority in a fair election, and in fact were losing power and many thought collapsing when they were brought into a coalition — based on the belief that because they were having problems they’d be easier to control). Hitler used a terrorist act to center power on himself (supposedly short term emergency powers to protect the fatherland), but had armed SS troops there to intimidate the vote for the Enabling act. The SPD still voted "no" and thus many were sent to Dachau. France chose Petain and Vichy, but it was hardly a choice made without coercion!

The reason why Iraq is not only failing but why I can’t see a chance for it to succeed is that: a) it’s political culture is authoritarian from the Ottomans to Saddam; b) there are such ethnic differences that they are far from a culture of compromise and toleration; c) religious fundamentalism is strong, also working against tolerance and compromise; d) economic conditions are horrific; e) political instability is intense, in some places near anarchy; and f) outside powers are intervening and preventing stabilization (the US, probably Iran, Syria, etc.) I do not understand how people don’t see that democracy is neither natural nor easy; it can work under the right conditions, and it can work very well under the right conditions...but those conditions are difficult to obtain/construct.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Scott, I agree 100% with you regarding the facts on Islam that you have presented. Hadiths are absolutely subject to interpretation and the authenticity of many cannot even be confirmed (hence much of the sectarianism in Islam). I’m not entirely sure how the interplay of cultures currently at work in Europe between mostly Turkish and North African immigrant Muslims and the natives is going to eventually work out, but like you I don’t see this being a threat to the US.


I disagree with you about Iraq, but that is a discussion for another thread.

PS Regarding Arabic translations of the Quaran, the same could absolutely be said of Torah and the Bible. In fact, some Muslim (or so-called Muslim) groups accept only the Quaran and not the Hadiths (Ibadi, Quaraniyyim, and Ahmadis, among others).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar,

It’s the idea of a secular liberal Western European democracy sliding into a religious legal system that is both alien and medieval. That is a significantly terrifying idea, since that implies:

1) It can in theory happen anywhere.
2) There are sizable numbers of Muslims who want to make it happen, and they live in Western nations.

The result, IMO, would be an end to the immigration debate as well as the "why do they hate us debate", etc. I don’t think it would mean we would be rounding up Muslims (YMMV with the more "enlightened" Europeans), but it will move the center-of-mass of the various debates we have, along with the ideas and attitudes that fuel those debates.

The current center-of-mass of the debate is that Muslims are largely impotent, liberal Western concepts will overtake them, and our problem centers on a core of radicals. Sharia law in the Netherlands would result in a sea change of attitude.

Incidently, I’m Pennsylvania Dutch (well, my great grandpa was—he came to Califorina in 1870), which means I’m of German decent. Pennsylvania Dutch = German decent.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
and in fact European Muslims are for the most part more open to modern interpretations and modernist Islam than are those outside the West.
Scott,

As evidenced by the riots in France, the Van Gogh murder, the London bombings by "Englishmen", etc.
If you go back to the Koran and Muhammad’s original teachings — which were progressive for the time and more peaceful and tolerant than Christianity at that time . . .
Perhaps, but don’t later teachings superseed previous ones? All the teachings are part of Allah’s plan, but he reveils it in parts . . . I think it was Robert Spencer who had a good discussion of this.

I don’t see that the origional Islamic teachings were more peaceful and tolerant than Christian teachings, Christianity was in fact an essentially pacifist religion, and didn’t develop a theory of Holy War until the eve of the First Crusade. By contrast, Muhammad himself began a tradition of Islamic Jihad, and it wasn’t an internal struggle. Muhammad’s teachings in Mecca might tie with Christian teachings, more or less, but by the time he was in Medina, it was very different.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Omar, I agree with Don. Sorry.

I can see your point that maybe it’s not fair that we’d become so freaked out by "one tiny state", but people on both sides of this problem see certain pieces of territory as "ours". It may be an unenlightened perspective, but it moves a lot of real events. I have a low threshold of tolerance for US military offensives in Arab territory (barring imminent danger) because I respect that division of territory. But I wouldn’t have a lot of tolerance for Sharia in the Netherlands either.

It would be a radical break with the historical roots of the place rather akin to Iraq suddenly being converted to Christianity en masse. The Arab world, to use use a particuarly vivid and apt metaphor, would have an Israel of their own.

Not a good idea.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I’m not particularly inclined to the "theirs vs ours" thinking, by main point is that it shows the West that Islam is a real threat.

We debate the issue because the left in America still sees Bush’s Christian faith and and pair of crossed sticks on public land as the primary threat; a Sharia Netherlands makes Islam the primary threat. And this applies even for (I’m assuming) the Baldwins and Streisands et al. MS Magazine might rail against Bush now, but what will they be thinking when the Netherlands is under Sharia?

And, note that Scott’s arguments might seem good now (assuming he can back them up with facts), if the Netherland’s went to Sharia, Muhammad early teachings and variations in Sharia would become a moot argument. I assumed that we meant a mild form of Sharia from the beginning (not a Saudia Arabia clone), not that I know much about Sharia, I just can’t imagine the Netherlands under Saudi law. Seems like the makings of a civil war.

All that said, this won’t much change the thinking of current LGF and Jihad Watch readers, essentially what it represents is a ’win’ for their viewpoint.

As an aside, Sailer Jerry rum is fine stuff. Just had some, don’t call me on spelling.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Lol about the rum, Don! I have no idea how it’s spelled, so you get a pass on this one.

Thank you for explaining your position a bit more. As I understand it, you are proposing what amounts to a domino theory (if the Netherlands "falls," then the rest of Europe and possibly the US will "fall" too). I don’t necessarily agree with that idea, but I can certainly understand it. I still do not see the Netherlands or any other European nation (excepting perhaps Turkey) adopting Sharia.

Regarding Sharia, you have to understand that there is massive division within Islam over Sharia and the hadiths which it is based on. We have several madhabs (schools of jurisprudence) which sometimes agree and sometimes disagree on interpretation. We also have outright sectarianism in the form of the ongoing Sunni-Shia struggle, Sufi influence, Ibadi, Quaraniyyim, etc. Islam and Sharia are no more monolithic than Christianity. You raised a good point in mentioning that Sharia is implemented differently in various Muslim-majority nations. In Saudi Arabia or Iran, Sharia has an entirely different meaning than in, say Malaysia or Turkey.

Glasnost, your points are also well taken. I understand that uprooting an entire national tradition is, as a rule, a bad idea, but I just don’t see it happening. We have to be realistic in our outlook on this and not simply accept "common wisdom" theories. A large number of the immigrants to Western Europe are Turkish. Turkey has been a secular nation since the rise of Kemal Attaturk after the First World War. It is not governed by Sharia. Why would an immigrant Turkish population desire to implement a system alien to them? This is a big part of the reason that I think this debate is entirely overblown and somewhat of a waste. We might as well ask immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America whether they will one day (when they make up 51% of the US population) wish to return to the laws of the real ley and the Spanish Reconquista and later Inquisition.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
and in fact European Muslims are for the most part more open to modern interpretations and modernist Islam than are those outside the West.

Scott,

As evidenced by the riots in France, the Van Gogh murder, the London bombings by "Englishmen", etc.
Beware of drawing conclusions about a collective from the acts of particular individuals. There is a real struggle in Islam over the future, and there are extremists and radicals as well as moderates and modernizers. It takes a tiny number of murderers and terrorists to grab the headlines, but we can’t make the mistake to assume that represents a majority.
If you go back to the Koran and Muhammad’s original teachings — which were progressive for the time and more peaceful and tolerant than Christianity at that time . . .
Perhaps, but don’t later teachings superseed previous ones? All the teachings are part of Allah’s plan, but he reveils it in parts . . . I think it was Robert Spencer who had a good discussion of this.
Not really — the Quaran (I’ll use Omar’s spelling) supersedes anything else, and the ulama has been conservative/traditional in how it interprets the Quaran and the Hadith. The point is that just as with the reformation there was a struggle on the proper interpretation of Christianity, there is a similar struggle in Islam, and the faith (like Christian and Jewish faiths) has within it possible interpretations that range from modern/peaceful to militant/reactionary.
I don’t see that the origional Islamic teachings were more peaceful and tolerant than Christian teachings, Christianity was in fact an essentially pacifist religion, and didn’t develop a theory of Holy War until the eve of the First Crusade. By contrast, Muhammad himself began a tradition of Islamic Jihad, and it wasn’t an internal struggle. Muhammad’s teachings in Mecca might tie with Christian teachings, more or less, but by the time he was in Medina, it was very different.=
Jihad is much like just war theory, which started with Augustine in the fourth century. Christianity was less tolerant than Islam 1000 years ago — far less. The Quaran says wars must be defensive, you must make peace if your opponent wants peace, and it ends (or orders the end) to what we call war crimes (which were traditional in Arabia at the time). It is similar to Christian just war theory but, of course, just as the Christians used that to legitimate massacres and mass wars, so do some Muslims abuse the idea of jihad. Muhammad did consider war to be the "lesser jihad," the greater jihad is the personal struggle to keep the faith in a world of temptations.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
and in fact European Muslims are for the most part more open to modern interpretations and modernist Islam than are those outside the West.

Scott,

As evidenced by the riots in France, the Van Gogh murder, the London bombings by "Englishmen", etc.
Beware of drawing conclusions about a collective from the acts of particular individuals. There is a real struggle in Islam over the future, and there are extremists and radicals as well as moderates and modernizers. It takes a tiny number of murderers and terrorists to grab the headlines, but we can’t make the mistake to assume that represents a majority.
If you go back to the Koran and Muhammad’s original teachings — which were progressive for the time and more peaceful and tolerant than Christianity at that time . . .
Perhaps, but don’t later teachings superseed previous ones? All the teachings are part of Allah’s plan, but he reveils it in parts . . . I think it was Robert Spencer who had a good discussion of this.
Not really — the Quaran (I’ll use Omar’s spelling) supersedes anything else, and the ulama has been conservative/traditional in how it interprets the Quaran and the Hadith. The point is that just as with the reformation there was a struggle on the proper interpretation of Christianity, there is a similar struggle in Islam, and the faith (like Christian and Jewish faiths) has within it possible interpretations that range from modern/peaceful to militant/reactionary.
I don’t see that the origional Islamic teachings were more peaceful and tolerant than Christian teachings, Christianity was in fact an essentially pacifist religion, and didn’t develop a theory of Holy War until the eve of the First Crusade. By contrast, Muhammad himself began a tradition of Islamic Jihad, and it wasn’t an internal struggle. Muhammad’s teachings in Mecca might tie with Christian teachings, more or less, but by the time he was in Medina, it was very different.=
Jihad is much like just war theory, which started with Augustine in the fourth century. Christianity was less tolerant than Islam 1000 years ago — far less. The Quaran says wars must be defensive, you must make peace if your opponent wants peace, and it ends (or orders the end) to what we call war crimes (which were traditional in Arabia at the time). It is similar to Christian just war theory but, of course, just as the Christians used that to legitimate massacres and mass wars, so do some Muslims abuse the idea of jihad. Muhammad did consider war to be the "lesser jihad," the greater jihad is the personal struggle to keep the faith in a world of temptations.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~blog.htm
Scott, I differ a little in my interpretation of the concept of Jihad, but you hit the bullseye with this:
Muhammad did consider war to be the "lesser jihad," the greater jihad is the personal struggle to keep the faith in a world of temptations.
That is an absolute within Islam. I have always considered that external jihad (which does not mean "holy war" in the sense that many in the West use it [and some of the terrorists, too]) is absolutely impossible without completing the greater jihad, which is the struggle within oneself. Once a Muslim has reached ihsan (excellence in faith and practice), then he can look elsewhere, but not until then. As very few people ever attain what can be considered excellence in faith and practice, those intent on violent holy way would be hard-pressed for recruits. It is also my understanding, which could be wrong (I’m not one of the ulema), that external jihad can only be called for by a legitimate Caliph, which we have not had for quite some time and which we are unlikely to have for the reasonably distant future. Any "jihad" undertaken without this authorization is, IMHO, illegitimate and not religiously sanctioned.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Beware of drawing conclusions about a collective from the acts of particular individuals. There is a real struggle in Islam over the future, and there are extremists and radicals as well as moderates and modernizers. It takes a tiny number of murderers and terrorists to grab the headlines, but we can’t make the mistake to assume that represents a majority.
In England polls indicate that a high percentage of English Muslims to some extent support the London bombers. It isn’t just the few who planned and carried out the attacks, but the fact that so many are supportive, and so few speak out contrary to the radicals.
The Quaran says wars must be defensive, you must make peace if your opponent wants peace, and it ends (or orders the end) to what we call war crimes (which were traditional in Arabia at the time).
Somehow I don’t think the Jews of Banu Qurayzah buy that. But my point was that the earlier Quaran verses of tolerance were abrogated by later, intolerant ones. At least according to Spencer, Bostom, Pipes and others.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Don, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, and others, although scholars, are not competent authorities on Islam and have been shown to be unapologetically biased in their views. Further, Spencer’s academic background is in early Christian history, hardly what one would expect of a major source of information on Islam. Andrew Bostom is a professor of medicine specializing in kidney diseases; this qualifies him to be a credible expert on Islam how? Also, none of the above are or, to my knowledge, ever have been Muslims. If a Thai Buddhist with a degree in Hindu studies produced a work condemning Catholicism and used quotes from the Gospels, would you really take him seriously? I take the same view of Spencer and Bostom, especially given that both of them have worked with Ibn Warraq, an unidentified individual who claims to be a former Muslim from India and specializes in intellectually bankrupt Muslim-bashing. If we take Warraq seriously, we might as well take Karen Armstrong seriously about Christianity (and Catholicism in particular)and Noam Chomsky seriously about Judaism. Pipes, although certainly well credentialed, is overtly and unashamedly biased. He is from the "clash of civilizations" school of thought.

I believe that Pipes, Spencer, and Bostom all have a place within the ongoing dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims. They do make some legitimate points. At the same time, let’s put their work in perspective, acknowledge that they cannot be taken as credible sources and move on.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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