This article in the New York Times comes from writer Eliyahu E. Stern. He is a professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual and Cultural History at Yale. He briefly goes over some of the legislation pending in some states to deny Shariah Law in the U.S. and quotes Newt Gingrich. Stern says these efforts undermine ‘American democracy,” and “religious tolerance and assimilation,” which create a dangerous divide between America and Islam – our “fastest-growing religious minority.”
“Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.” ~ Newt Gingrich
In the following quote, below Stern points to past and historic European laws against Jewish religious laws. The thing is, this isn’t then, or there. This is here and now and Islam has blown up a good part of New York City, hit our Pentagon and if not for the heroic passengers aboard Flight 93, the White House would have been hit on that day. It wasn’t the first time either.
We are not forgetting the first World Trade Towers bombing in 1993, and we are not forgetting the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, or the U.S. Marine barracks bombing in 1983. We are not forgetting the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in Rome, when they tortured and murdered U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, and threw his body on the tarmac for the world to see, as they searched the flight for passengers with Jewish-sounding names. And their threats continue. Did Jews blow-up anything in Europe or the U.S.? Hijack any Western planes? Target and torture our Military? Does the Koran call for the extinction of Israel? Yes it does. Does the Koran give Muslims a way to pledge their allegiance to the U.S. No, it does not. Does the Koran give Muslims a path to love and respect an infidel? No, it does not.
The suggestion that Shariah threatens American security is disturbingly reminiscent of the accusation, in 19th-century Europe, that Jewish religious law was seditious. In 1807, Napoleon convened an assembly of rabbinic authorities to address the question of whether Jewish law prevented Jews from being loyal citizens of the republic. (They said that it did not.)
Fear that Jewish law bred disloyalty was not limited to political elites; leading European philosophers also entertained the idea. Kant argued that the particularistic nature of “Jewish legislation” made Jews “hostile to all other peoples.” And Hegel contended that Jewish dietary rules and other Mosaic laws barred Jews from identifying with their fellow Prussians and called into question their ability to be civil servants.
Along with this not being then, or there, Hegel’s writings are not considered in the establishment of American law. We do not need or want two systems of justice in this country. Why would we change the most admired justice system in the world, to give Muslims the right to govern themselves? Muslims have a great many choices of countries governing under Shariah law. That’s where they need to be if they are unhappy with us. We are not an Islamic country. Islamic Law is intended to dominate, and I know Stern knows this.
Stern acknowledges that in America, Muslims integrate into society well, but…:
Given time, American Muslims, like all other religious minorities before them, will adjust their legal and theological traditions, if necessary, to accord with American values.
America’s exceptionalism has always been its ability to transform itself — economically, culturally and religiously. In the 20th century, we thrived by promoting a Judeo-Christian ethic, respecting differences and accentuating commonalities among Jews, Catholics and Protestants. Today, we need an Abrahamic ethic that welcomes Islam into the religious tapestry of American life.
Abrahamic ethic? That’s an odd choice of words, and yes, I do know who Abraham was. Islamic traditions have bells pealing five times a day over neighborhoods once quiet, children leaving classrooms to pray, paraphernalia for foot washing installed in some strange places and paid for by tax payers, madrases all across our country teaching young Muslim minds perceived evils of the West, and Stern would have Islamic court rooms scattered around our nation to allow a Muslim man to divorce his wife without the cost or inconvenience, or justice of American courts. Disgraceful to use Abraham’s name to forward this argument.
Also disgraceful in Stern’s admonition to America is ignoring the reality of September 11, 2001, as though it never happened, as though that day, out of necessity, changed us forever. We know now Islam. We didn’t know it in 1983 or 1985 or 1993, but we know it now.