Muslim citizenship in tornado ravaged areas of America


US Muslims Aid Tornado Victims torn

This title caught my eye and upon reading it I was amused and perplexed at the same time.  Why, I asked my self, would Muslims venture into a state that has shown its hostility towards them with rhetoric meant to demean them by singling Muslims as a religious group out to be legislated against in their anti-sharia ballot initiative of 2010 only to follow that up with House Bill 1060 which even some Oklahomans see as something that will only inflame passions and whip up hysteria against Muslims.  With that backdrop, Muslims offering to help fellow American citizens is something strange or unusual to say that least. Read on

While Muslim teams have been deployed to help those in need, US Muslim leaders have appealed to the sizable minority to join efforts to aid victims of a devastating tornado in Oklahoma that wiped whole blocks of homes and killed scores.

“Our hearts go out to the victims’ families, and especially to the parents of little children who lost their young lives in this natural disaster,” Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), told OnIslam.net.

We stand by the citizens of Moore in their effort to rebuild their lives.

At least 24 people have been killed after a massive tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.

Trapping victims beneath the rubble, the deadly storm destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, wiped out two schools and a hospital and left at least 237 people injured, including many children.

Emergency workers have pulled more than 100 survivors from the rubble of homes, schools and a hospital.

ISNA has called on Americans to offer aid to those in need of emergency assistance and to make generous contribution to relief efforts through national relief organizations.

……….

Muslim relief agencies have activated disaster response teams to help in the relief efforts for Oklahoma victims.

Islamic Relief’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is on the ground and helping those devastated by the tragedy.

Islamic Relief is working closely with the American Red Cross and local authorities to ensure aid reaches those affected in a timely manner.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)’s Relief has also activated its disaster response team which is set for immediate deployment in the area.

“We are saddened at the loss of so many lives including many children caused by this tornado,” said ICNA President Naeem Baig.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost their loved ones in Oklahoma today.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), … chapter in Oklahoma is teaming up with the Islamic Society of Tulsa and the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City to collect items to prepare disaster relief kits for the victims of the storms.

Awad said the home of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter board chair, Saad Mohammed, was destroyed while his family sought shelter from the tornado in a closet. No one in the family was injured.

“CAIR-Oklahoma will coordinate with disaster officials to help facilitate the Muslim community’s role in the recovery effort,” said the chapter’s Executive Director Adam Soltani.

Now compare that response on the part of America’s political outcasts to this

Humanist groups and atheists across the U.S. have banded together to help a fellow atheist who survived the massive tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma earlier this week.

At the fund-raising website Indiegogo, atheists have set up a relief fund for Vitsun, (Rebecca Vitsmun) who lost her house in the storm and most of her possessions.

“Let’s show the world that you dont need to believe in a god to have human compassion nor does all charity fall under the banner of religion,” says the site. “Let’s get this courageous woman and her family back in their own home.”

The site has already passed its goal of $50,000 by nearly $700 at press time, with 60 days in the fund-raiser still to go.

Imagine, I tweeted, what would be the outcry of Islamophobes if a news report spoke of how Muslims were targeting their relief efforts to just Muslims in the face of a widespread, devastating natural disaster that affected all Americans.  Cries of discrimination and self imposed racial/religious isolation and an unwillingness to integrate in American society would ring out from every nook and cranny of the American landscape.  I dont’ know how many people in Oklahoma were helped by Islamic organizations after the tornados of May, 2013 but that one act of unity and resolve gave more to Oklahoma than Oklahoma gave them.

Here we go again…..


Remember this guy? longHe was denied entry into his own country for several long, excruciating months due to the appearance of his name on the mysterious, unfathomable no fly list or whatever it’s designation really is. Finally he was allowed to fly to his home state of Oklahoma and his return was uneventful, if you don’t count this  rather intimidating run in he had with the FBI back in November.  Well he’s back in the news again and here’s why

In early November, I wrote about the infuriating story of Saadiq Long, the 43-year-old African-American Muslim who – despite having never been charged with any crime – was secretly placed on a no-fly list and thus barred from flying to the US to visit his seriously ill mother. When I met with Long in early November in Doha, Qatar, where he has lived for several years with his wife and her two children while teaching English, he was in the middle of his futile months-long battle just to find out why he was placed on this list, let alone how he could be removed.

Two weeks after that article was published, Long – without explanation – was finally removed from the no-fly list and he flew from Doha to Oklahoma City to visit his mother and other family members. He took several flights to make the 20-hour journey, all without incident. He has remained in Oklahoma for the last ten weeks, visiting his family in the US for the first time in over a decade.

But now Long – unbeknownst to him – has once again apparently been secretly placed by some unknown National Security State bureaucrat on the no-fly list. On Wednesday night, as Associated Press first reported, he went to the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City to fly back home to Qatar. In order to ensure there were no problems, his lawyer sent the FBI a letter ahead of time notifying them that Long would be flying home on that date (see the embedded letter below).

But without explanation, Long was denied a boarding pass at the airport by a Delta Airlines agent. Three local police officers then arrived on the scene, followed by a US Transportation Security Administration agent who “told Long he couldn’t board a plane but did not give him a specific reason”.

Long’s lawyer, Adam Soltani of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was with him at the airport and repeatedly asked agents why this was happening and who they should contact. He got no answers, except was told to contact the FBI. But both the FBI and Delta refused to comment to AP, while TSA spokesman David Castelveter would only say this:

“It’s my understanding this individual was denied a boarding pass by the airline because he was on a no-fly list. The TSA does not confirm whether someone is or is not on the no-fly list, as that list is maintained by the FBI.”

Long and his CAIR lawyers have thus far been told nothing about why he is barred once again from flying.

The personal cost to this injustice is obvious and substantial. Long has a job he needs to return to in Doha from which he has been away for more than two months, and his family needs that income for its sustenance. “I was extremely disappointed when I was unable to board the flight this past Wednesday,” Long told me through his lawyer. “My family in Qatar feels crushed that I will not be returning home as expected.”

The sense of humiliation and outrage should not be hard to fathom. Just imagine being a US citizen, denied the right to travel home – first to your own country, then back to your family – by a government that has never charged you with any crime or indicated you have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort. Imagine going to the airport and having local and federal agents arrive to prevent you from boarding a plane, treating you like a criminal – a Terrorist – without any tangible accusations. “I don’t understand how the government can take away my right to travel without even telling me,” he told me back in November. “If the US government wanted me to question or arrest or prosecute me, they could have had me in a minute. But there are no charges, no accusations, nothing.”

But what’s particularly infuriating here is that, if they had evidence that Long has done anything wrong, they easily could have arrested him at any point over the last ten weeks when he was in the US. The reality is that they could have arrested him at any time over the last decade because he has lived in three countries with highly US-loyal autocracies: Egypt, the UAE and Qatar. But he was never arrested, never charged with anything – just denied the basic right to travel.

Here is what CAIR’s Gadeir Abbas told me about all of this on Thursday:

“It is not as if the FBI actually thinks Saadiq is a threat. If it did – and it had actual evidence – the FBI would simply arrest him. As they surely recall, they let him fly just a few months ago. It turns out, though, the only reason for doing so is because it is, in the FBI’s view, slightly more indefensible to prevent an American citizen from flying home than it is to prevent him from flying abroad.

“And because we told the FBI ahead of time when Saadiq would be flying, hardly the behavior of a criminal, they could have stuck an air marshal right next to him. They could have subjected his person and luggage to extra scrutiny. But the FBI does not do these things because the No Fly List is not used to protect aircraft. This watchlist – and the many others like it – is a means by which the FBI metes out extra-judicial punishment.”

How can anyone argue with that? Even leaving aside that he just flew into and around the US less than three months ago without incident, the very idea that he poses a threat to this flight is patently ludicrous given their advance knowledge that he was flying and the multiple precautions they could take if they really were concerned.

Plainly, air travel safety is not what any of this is about. It is about inventing ways to punish US Muslims and deprive them of the most basic rights without so much as providing any notice, let alone any due process that would enable the secret, unknown accusations to be discovered and rebutted. And it is a very common weapon.

Use of this repressive tactic has worsened significantly under the Obama administration. Last February, Associated Press learned that “the Obama administration has more than doubled, to about 21,000 names, its secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States, including about 500 Americans.” Moreover, as I detailed last November based on that AP report:

“Worse, the Obama administration ‘lowered the bar for being added to the list’. As a result, reported AP, ‘now a person doesn’t have to be considered only a threat to aviation to be placed on the no-fly list’ but can be included if they ‘are considered a broader threat to domestic or international security’, a vague status determined in the sole and unchecked discretion of unseen DHS bureaucrats.”

There should be no doubt of the FBI’s desire to harass Long. Although they never charged him with any crime or arrested him while he was in Oklahoma, he was, along with his sister, Ava Anderson, handcuffed and put on the ground the day after Thanksgiving after they drove to their local police department in fear when they noticed they were being followed. It turns out that the FBI had falsely told local police that Long and his sister were “fleeing felons”, but when the local police learned that was false, they never arrested Long or his sister. They were simply told to leave without explanation.

As Abbas told me after that incident occurred: “Our sense is that a particular FBI agent, or perhaps a small group of them, in Oklahoma City are looking to inflict some pain on Saadiq and his family – maybe in retaliation for the embarrassment he caused them or the thousands of emails that ended up getting sent to their field office there.”

The worst part of all of this is the complete lack of remedy available to Long. Abbas told me: “unfortunately, because of arcane jurisdictional complications, we don’t think seeking a preliminary injunction is necessarily an expeditious option for getting Saadiq on a plane.” Even worse:

“We’ll likely try again in a couple of weeks, but if there isn’t some change by then, this puts Saadiq in the position of rolling the dice and trying to get to a country by land or sea that will actually let him fly. Even in these situations, however, we’ve seen detentions and interrogations by foreign authorities, such as here and here.”

So now he’s just in a no-man’s land. He can’t contest the accusations against him because there are none. After being blocked for months from visiting his own country and his terminally ill mother, he’s now barred from returning to his home, his job, and his own family. All of this is done by his own government without a shred of due process, transparency or accountability.

When I wrote on Tuesday about the Obama DOJ’s “white paper” justifying due-process-free presidential assassinations, I wrote that “the core distortion of the War on Terror under both Bush and Obama is the Orwellian practice of equating government accusations of terrorism with proof of guilt” and that “if the US government simply asserts without evidence or trial that someone is a terrorist, then they are assumed to be, and they can then be punished as such.” This is exactly what I was talking about: I’m sure there will be no shortage of people justifying this by insisting that he must have done something wrong: even though the government has never said what that is, offered evidence for it, or provided any opportunity for the accusations to be independently examined.

This is also a perfect example of what New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal meant when he wrote last March that the US now has “what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims”. State punishment without charges and trials is now perfectly normal – for Muslims.

Glenn Greenwald—The Guardian

Beating a dead horse


I keep saying the Republican Party is the party of racists and bigots.  That’s not to say that all members of the Party are bigots; many are law abiding, patriotic Americans who honestly believe in the diversity of this great Republic but have serious political differences in the way  things are done.  Unfortunately, many others have wrapped themselves in these differences with racial polemic like that which has come from the lips of Donald Trump, despite  his protests to the contrary that he has such a great relationship with ‘the blacks’.   Now he will claim that his recent publicity is due to his belief Obama is not qualified to be President because he’s not really a US citizen….in other words he’s a birther.  It doesn’t matter that Obama showed his birth certificate during the presidential campaign, it wasn’t the “right” birth certificate, which forced Obama to produce the one birthers really wanted.  So once he did that what was Trump’s response?  Of course nothing will satisfy Trump or the others in the GOP as long as Obama is black which will be for some time to come.  But Trump isn’t the only guilty party rattling the GOP cage of bigotry.

Sally Kern from Oklahoma the state with the distinction of being one of the first in America to pass “anti-Sharia” legislation, which will undoubtedly be deemed unconstitutional took to that infamous legislative chamber to rant and rave against the lack of initiatives African-Americans, reverting to that age old racist diatribe of the lazy, shiftless black man or woman who is a drain on an otherwise perfect society.  Of course Kern is a Republican and of course she apologized, but why I’ll never know, when she lives in a state that wants to distinguish itself with divisiveness and fear.  It seems wherever you go on the American political landscape you will find people who have such extraordinary and extreme views about their fellow citizens that seem to get so much air time from main stream media, it’s enough to get even the likes of Bob Schieffer of CBS News to call them out on their bigotry.  We’ve said time and again America has a racial problem…it’s not simply a black and white problem, but one where we demonize and sow discord and distrust among ourselves towards people who are different from ourselves.  This is racism and this is something we must deal with as a society if we are to flourish.

America Under Attack!!


No, it’s not by the red horde (native Americans) or the brown horde (Muslim Americans).  Rather it’s from fear mongering elected officials who’ve given into the politics of fear and are attempting to enact legislation that would make it illegal for a particular religious group to practice their faith

Increasing media attention is focusing on Republican state lawmakers who have proposed a bill that would make following Sharia a felony punishable by 15 years in jail.

The bill, by state Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma and state Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, states that it exempts the peaceful practice of Islam, but it also labels any adherence to Sharia “which includes peaceful religious practices ” as treasonous.

We’ve written about the Oklahoma attempt to do the same thing with the initiative they asked for voters to approve during the last election.  We wrote about that misdirected political stunt here and here.  The Tennessee bill is even worse than what Oklahoma proposed and some of the worst America has to offer are on board with this attempt to deny Americans of their right to religious freedom.

the bill was drafted by none other than Pamela Geller associate David Yerushalmi, a raving racist who has written that “blacks” are “the most murderous of peoples,” who advocates criminalizing Islam itself and imposing 20-year sentences on practicing Muslims, and who wants to return to a pre-Bill of Rights Constitution, restricting voting rights to white male land-owners.

The irony is we’ve often heard how Islam wants to return people to the 8th century, but now it’s being opposed by “enlightened” Americans who want to return this country to the darkest days of American history, when Africans were slaves and women were disenfranchised, when we fought one another over the right to legally oppress human beings.

What those yelling from the sidelines don’t realize is any attempt at removing the rights of the “hated group” of the day, could end up with the abolition of their rights as well which is why every American should resist the attempt to de-legitimize  or marginalize the rights of ANY American.  Why don’t Americans understand that?

 

 

Terrorism strikes again


Six people, as of this writing, were killed in a terrorist attack against federal officials in Arizona on Saturday.  That’s probably how the news would read if the attacker(s) were Muslim, but instead the “attack” is invariably called a “shooting spree” or merely a “shooting” and any notion that this was politically motivated is even further dispelled with descriptions of the shooter being mentally unstable, deranged, almost apolitical or so crazy that one cannot make any political sense out of what he did.

Jared Loughner, right,  is the man and there’s nothing about his identity to lead people to suspect anything other than the obvious…he quite simply is a murderer, like so many who’ve gone before him in this country.  What’s special about him is not the crime…..America is as violent as apple pie; we are a Nation steeped in violence and in many cases we inflict it on others.  Just ask the Iraqis.  What’s special about Loughner is he committed this crime at a time when we have politicized murder and led the country to believe that only a certain group of people are able to carry it out; that they lie in wait to unleash it against us and that all of our efforts should be aimed at this group of individuals exclusively to identify them, flush them out and bring them to justice.  It didn’t help that tangential notions like places of worship, choices of food, articles of clothing, ballot initiatives in Oklahoma, etc.,  got put into the mix to further confuse and infuriate us our goal was shortsighted and pretty damn near illegal.

In 2009 after Obama came into office and HIS Department of Homeland Security came into power and identified the treat to the homeland as being from right wing extremism, a hue and cry went up from those on the right lambasting government for targeting them….in much the same way as Homeland Security targeted others before Obama and it’s been denial ever since.  Perhaps even today, with the identity of this latest terrorist, captured alive I might add, there is every effort to distance him from the ideology or way of thinking he embraced. I opined somewhere that perhaps we might waterboard this captured shooter to know the extent of his act; whether he was helped in any way by others who might be ready to pounce on the next government official, since for now such a notion is likely,  and I was half joking.  Remember when “waterboarding” was considered appropriate for some in our not too distant past?

Why we aren’t more honest with one another during hard times is a case study for psychologists. Speaking of which I would like to mention one who I think has nailed down what ails us today.  In a piece entitled ‘Rudeness is a Neurotoxin’, Dr. Douglas Fields says we are a product of our environment and today’s environment is one of ‘profane language, hostilities and stress from which we adults, raised a generation ago, were carefully shielded.’  In other words the lack of civil discourse, the in-your-face, put-on-your-man pants attitude is the blowback which causes us, Americans,  to be terrorist and makes it perfectly acceptable in our minds, or rather the minds of those so affected, to kill men, women and children….there was a six year old girl killed yesterday.  After being battered for the last 10 years about the power of words and how important they are in giving ‘aid and comfort’ to the enemy when many of us rallied against government intrusion into our lives and the lives of others who were of no threat to us or our interest, we no doubt will be told how the words that rang in the ears of this latest terrorist are of no importance in talking about his heinous crime, and that, no doubt, will make us all feel better about what happened.

But really folks, what we have is an American terrorist, a murderer….all murder, especially against an unsuspecting victim is terror isn’t it?  He even used the tools of terrorism…..his suicidal confessional on his My Space page and Youtube were some of the trappings he had in common with other terrorists but he’s distinct from them in he’s more acceptable as a murderer than as a terrorist, because terrorists have a special place in the American psyche that only people of certain persuasions can occupy and therein lies the problem.  We have made race, religion, the standard by which we make things legal or illegal or how we categorize crime and criminals.  Once again, despite all the trappings of being an advanced society, mature and wiser after  all these over 230 years, we still have the inclination to either raise or lower the bar depending on who the perpetrator/victim is.  Jared Loughner is either a terrorist or a murderer, and Major Hassan Nidal is either a terrorist or a murder and they both belong on the same page in American history with the same designation applied to them and if they’re not then we still too color conscious to be just.  It’s our call America.

 

UPDATE

One has to wonder whether the news that this attempted assassination was religiously inspired, anti-Semitic in origin might make the “terrorist” label more palatable.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo reportedly notes that Gabriel Giffords is Jewish in describing the motives of the Arizona congresswoman’s alleged assailant.The memo, obtained by Fox News Channel, says that Jared Lee Loughner mentioned American Renaissance, an extremist anti-immigrant group, in some of his own postings.

“The group’s ideology is anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti-Semitic,” says the memo sent to law enforcement, which also notes that Giffords, a Democrat, was the first Jewish congresswoman from Arizona.

In this writer’s opinion, however, all of that is irrelevant.  It is now what it was then, an act of premeditated terror which resulted in the deaths of 6 humans and the maiming of many more.  Are the parents of the 9 year old girl killed by the assassin any more relieved from their anguish and grief that because one of the survivor’s of his terror was Jewish, therefore the crime which killed their daughter should be considered an act of terrorism?   Hardly!  The broadest most inclusive definition, ‘any actions that endanger human life or violate U.S. laws’ is indeed the best.  Not that it would mean anything more in terms of a punishment, but it removes the racist element of the term and hopefully makes truly combating and solving terrorism more urgent.

The racist nature of right wing opposition


We’ve said here repeatedly the opposition to Obama based on birth or his supposed adherence to Islam, and the Islamophobia sweeping the country is a continuation of the  disease of racism that has afflicted this country since its inception.  In the case of the citizens of Oklahoma it has forced them to take extraordinary and illegal measures that have forced even some jurists to sit up and  take notice and one in particular U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange,pictured right,  to block a law that was approved by Oklahomans.   In that state for now it is not recognizing sharia law, as they put it, but it will most certainly extend to not recognizing or giving Muslim citizens their rights and due protection under the law as Islamophobes argue if shariah law is a part of Muslim daily life, and therefore not allowed, then neither should its adherents.

But before you guffaw that prospect comes this bit of news that is as repulsive as the Okhlahoma example.  In what could only be called an act of  racist cannabalism,  a Texas Christian Republican is campaigning to replace his Republican Jewish colleague as speaker of the Texas state legislature  because said Jewish representative is not Christian, and therefore not capable of doing as good a job as any Christian.  I have not seen or heard any Texas “Christian”,  the former President of the United States included, speak out against or repudiate such clear and blatant racism, like the common request made on Muslims by Islamophobes to speak out terrorism. Yet such rationale borders on the same absurdity as the Oklahoma state question on sharia law, because in many ways it is trying to enforce a state religion, something clearly prohibited by the US Constitution.    Moreover, it shows how grim and bare the notions of many people are who oppose the presence of different groups in America.  If Muslims and their places of worship and Jewish representatives in state government are conflated as objects of derision, scorn and opposition by people on the right, how much longer will it before people of color are too?  We’ve already seen anti-immigration measures in places like Arizona take firm hold in the national discourse, and there are even rumblings from those on the right that only property holders should be eligible to vote…..harking back to the days of 18th century America.  That there are people who want to go back to that era, seeing a return to it as something noteworthy is beyond explanation or reason, but such are the people driving anti-sharia movements and mosque opposition across the country.  Their snake oil salemen, carpet baggers travel the country inciting people to fear and distrust their fellow citizens because of creed; race, color and gender will be soon to follow.  This is where we are in 21st century America.  It is not an enviable place to be.

Oklahoma’s Reactionary Politics


The citizens of Oklahoma recently agreed to SQ 755 which amends their state constitution and bans Oklahoma courts from considering Islamic law and international laws or treaties when rendering decisions.

This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.

The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.

Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.

I’m not sure why the citizens of Oklahoma think they have to fear Islamic law will become a problem for them, however several proponents of the measure cited what is happening in European countries as the impetus for such measures here in America.  No doubt the visual elements, absent reasonable discussion, of Muslims and the conflicts between them and their countrymen in faraway places is enough to scare Americans into accepting what may be unconstitutional, dare one say, fascist remedies at home.

CAIR has already filed a suit to ban the enactment of  the change on very good grounds

The Establishment Clause

The First Amendment directs all government bodies to “make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” This measure violates that basic principle of American law and governance by specifically targeting one faith and one religious community.

Separation of Powers

Our federal system and our state system is in part governed by the concept of separation of powers. One branch of government cannot restrict what another branch of government can consider in terms of doing its job — in this case, deciding cases.

Supremacy Clause

International law refers to the conduct of the relationships between sovereign nations. … International law is, according to the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the law of the United States of America.

It will prevent Oklahoma courts from implementing international agreements, honoring international arbitrations, honoring major international human rights treaties, honoring marriages and divorces from other countries, and will cost jobs by sending the message that contracts between Oklahoma companies and international partners will not be enforceable. Oklahoma could become the only state in the nation incapable of enforcing international business law.

Oklahoma is a state with the second largest number of native Americans living in its borders and due to the language of the measure voted on, there could be a negative impact between the State and its native population as well….something the REAL Americans have already picked up on

While aimed at prohibiting the influence of Islamic law on Oklahoma court decisions, the text of the proposed amendment reveals that it could also damage the sovereignty of all Oklahoma tribes in the process.It completely ignores the possibility that an Oklahoma state court may be called upon to apply the law of any of the 39 Indian tribes located with the borders of Oklahoma to resolve a dispute….

the proposed constitutional amendment inhibits state courts from looking to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures for a decision.  The language of this proposed amendment starkly reminds us that some Oklahoma lawmakers forgot that our nation and state were built on the principles, blood, and backs of  other nations and cultures,  namely, our tribes.  It also ignores that Oklahoma tribes have become valuable economic partners with the State that it cannot afford to ignore or exclude.

 

As an aside, with over 50 casinos in Oklahoma all owned by native American tribes, the economic impact such a law could have on the local economy could be devastating.   The provision that speaks to not entertaining international law in resolving disputes could also have an affect on Oklahoma’s dealing with foreign companies located in that state. Oklahoma businesses that deal with companies overseas also could feel the side effects from the state questions.  Transactions between companies rely on international treaties to uphold contracts but with the state question banning courts from making rulings based on “international law,” instability of how state judges can rule on these types of cases could be the end product.  Of course, no one in their right mind would want to invest in an area of instability.

Finally, the law could adversely affect the very people the forces behind the law want to protect, or think they are protecting….i.e. the followers of the Judaeo-Christian ethic.  According to one legal jurist

I would like to see Oklahoma politicians explain if this means that the courts can no longer consider the Ten Commandments. Isn’t that a precept of another culture and another nation? The result of this is that judges aren’t going to know when and how they can look at sources of American law that were international law in origin

Chaos is the word to describe, for now, what this legislation the citizens of Oklahoma have accepted would make for their near future, and it all stems from a manufactured fear that they have no basis in fact to entertain.  The concept of Sharia they are so concerned about is nothing more than the desire of Oklahoma citizens who are Muslims to have follow personal law based on their religious beliefs.  Laws of inheritance, wills, marriage all of which can be easily codified under acceptable American law.  It would have no bearing, nor could it ever, on anyone who does not accept the premise of that law, namely non Muslims.  Conversely any Islamic concept that is in direct conflict with US law, Oklahoma Muslims are bound by their faith not to assert or face whatever legal consequences coming their way for breaking US law. Without a doubt, the people behind this anti-Sharia movement in Oklahoma do not have the best interests of their constituents at heart; rather their motivation is purely personal, political and perhaps even financial.  There’s gold in the political landscape of America’s Islamophobia and the folks in Oklahoma are clearly mining it!