Tag: muslim

Why is Prayer Still Part of Pennsylvania’s Government?

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives opened their Monday March 25, 2019 session with a prayer. While they always open with a prayer, this one is being perceived as especially aggressive, as it occurred just before the swearing in of Pennsylvania’s first Muslim Female Representative. Before reading further, judge for yourself:

Rep. Margo Davidson yell “objection!” near the end, at which point the Speaker of the House, Representative Mike Turzai, places his hand on Representative Stephanie Borowicz’s arm and she concludes.

Continue reading “Why is Prayer Still Part of Pennsylvania’s Government?”

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Radicalization and Terrorism are Mostly Useless Words

By Glenn Verasco | United States

Note: This article was initially published on HowToCureYourLiberalism.com in October, 2017 after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I am publishing it again with some edits in lieu of the YouTube HQ shooting and new revelations about the Pulse nightclub shooting.

I’ve wanted to write about the abuse of the word terrorism for quite a while. The horrible shooting in Las Vegas provides another opportunity to do so.

Whenever an individual strikes a crowd with a vehicle or mows people down with a gun, I, and I assume many other people, become somewhat preoccupied with the individual’s identity. Is he a Muslim? Is he a reclusive older white man? Is he an immigrant? Is he a young Black man? Is he a sexually-frustrated teen?

Reactions by people and the media seem to depend on the answer to these questions. If he turns out to be Muslim, many assume he is a Radical Islamic Terrorist. If he turns out to be an older white man, many assume he is a right-wing extremist. If he turns out to be an immigrant, many assume he exemplifies rampant criminal activity abroad. If he turns out to be Black, many assume he is an anti-police activist or a gang-banger. If he turns out to be a young man, many assume he used psychotropic drugs, has daddy issues, or was rejected by the opposite sex.

No matter the identity, some blame the World Wide Web and other mediums for being breeding grounds for radicalization. This can lead to the dangerous suggestions that governments ought to police the internet and censor so-called hate speech, having confidence that doing so would prevent future mass murders from taking place.

The idea that someone can become radicalized is silly. Radical simply means ideologically extreme. Someone who believes that all people are equal is a radical. How can you get more extreme than all or equal? Someone who believes in the flat tax is radical. How can you get more extreme than flat? Someone who believes in single-payer healthcare is radical. How can you get more extreme than single? Someone who believes in God is radical. How can you get more extreme than God?

The only way to avoid being radical is to contradict yourself or to waffle between opinions constantly without ever taking a principled stand. And I don’t mean to deride all people who are politically or ideologically inconsistent. Perhaps there are reasons to apply certain principles in certain instances while discounting them in others. Perhaps taking a principled stance across the board is impossible, so attempting to do so is a futile effort. But the fact remains: if you’re not radical, you’re bound to be hypocritical.

What I would like to propose is an end to concerns about motive when a violent act is committed.

Of course, I do not mean that intention should be ignored. If I intend to hit a baseball, and I unintentionally injure a passerby, accusing me of assault would be ridiculous. And motive is also useful when defining the degree of an intolerable act like murder. If one plots for months to take his uncle’s life as a means of inheriting his wealth, he is more sinister than one who lashes out in a moment of rage, such as a husband coming home to his wife in bed with another man.

What I mean is that one’s overall political, religious, or social views should be ignored when one violates the rights of others. By ignoring these views, we will find that radical and terrorism are not useful words, but in fact dangerous words when courts and governments acknowledge them.

So-called Radical Islamic Terrorism is the obvious example to analyze. Outside the incredibly rare, clear instances of calculated mass murder by an established, political organization, most notably the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda, murders committed by “Muslims” in the name of “Islam” are not terrorism. Terrorism is rational (which is not synonymous with good or correct). That means developed ideologies and long-term plans play a central role in its orchestration.

An individual who read something on the internet and decided to commit mass murder does not deserve the presumption of rationality. It is unimaginable for any moderately rational person to conclude that spraying bullets into a crowd without a tremendous deal of support has any chance of winding up in something other than hasty death or imprisonment via law enforcement. Individuals who make these choices are unlikely to consider the consequences of their actions with enough depth to even reach the point of asking these questions.

In short, how can one who is so incompetent as to fail to realize or even care about the inevitable result of their violence be considered radical? They aren’t thoughtful enough to be considered terrorists, let alone radical.

What’s more, at what point does one formally qualify as a Muslim? Or a Conservative? Or an Environmentalist? Or a Communist? Can one speak his political identity into existence? Does some supreme authority govern the criteria one must meet to be legitimately part of a social or ideological movement?

Or is it utterly subjective? And is it wholly possible that two self-proclaimed or linguistically-defined members of the same sociopolitical or religious group have little in common in terms of underlying philosophy and agenda?

Over the past few years, due to the success of populist politics and a handful of small, mainstream-media-hyped demonstrations, a popular question has been posed: is it okay to punch a Nazi?

Nazism and other forms of identity-driven Authoritarianism are certainly radical, and horrible acts of terror and violence have been committed in their names. But what makes a Nazi a Nazi? Auto-designation?

The problem with the German Nazis was not that they believed Aryans were a superior race. That’s silly and annoying, but it’s not that big of a deal. The real problem was that they murdered 6 million Jews (and millions of others) and invaded sovereign nations. Had they committed the same crimes via another ideology, for purely practical reasons, or out of sheer boredom, the death toll and destruction would remain equally abhorrent.

If a Nazi is a person who is preparing to annihilate an ethnic (or random) group of individuals (i.e., an actual Nazi), attempting to physically apprehend him is not only just, but possibly obligatory. An attack on him is an attack on terror.

But if his beliefs and words are extreme, and he has yet to harm a fly, aggression against him is an attack on free thought and free expression, not terrorism. Physically attacking an actual Nazi is not just combatting the ideas of Nazism; it is violence. There is no difference between murdering for the preservation of the White Race and murdering for the preservation of the environment. Murder is murder.

All in all, condemning and combating radicalization accomplishes nothing aside from putting all of our rights to free speech in jeopardy. What says your sincerely-held and innocuous beliefs won’t be deemed radical and unacceptable next?

We’re very lucky to live amongst other human beings, the vast majority of whom are too preoccupied with survival and finding happiness to consider extreme acts of violence. Don’t let rarities like actual terrorism drive our existence further away from perfection.

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Authoritarianism in the UK: Britain First Leaders Jailed For Hate Crimes

Free speech just took a blow in the UK – sacrificed at the alter of political correctness.

This week, two leaders of the right-wing nationalist group, Britain First, were jailed at Folkstone Magistrates’ Court over alleged anti-Muslim hate crimes in connection to a gang-rape trial.

Paul Golding, 36, and Jayda Fransen, 31, we’re sentenced to 18 weeks and 36 weeks, respectively, for racially aggravated harassment. Golding received only one conviction, whereas Fransen was convicted on three counts.

The pair denied the seven counts total and three charges were dismissed by the magistrate, Judge Justin Barron.

The charges stem from the controversial duos distribution of anti-muslim leaflets and videos depicting the alleged harassment of people they, albeit incorrectly, believed were connected to a gang-rape trial.

The trial involved men of migrant backgrounds. Three Muslim men and a teenager were convicted.

No – this is not Sweden. This is the UK.

The incidents occurred in May of 2017 and the trial began in January.

In one of the incidents, Fransen, with Golding acting as her cameraman, banged on the windows of a shop and screamed “paedophile” and “foreigner” at the occupants of said building.

After this and the other cited instances the two Britain First leaders were involved in, the footage was then shared on the organizations social media sites, including their Facebook page.

Justice Barron told the court that the pair, as evidenced by their actions, were engaged in “… a campaign to draw attention to the race, religion and immigrant background of the defendants.”

He also claimed that the two were using the case to garner controversy and to push their own political agenda by manipulating the facts of the trial to suit their ends.

Fransen told the court during sentencing that “This is a very sad day for British justice. Everything I did was for the children of this country and they are worth it.”

It is certainly not the first time a gang-rape has occurred in Britain or in Europe as a whole at the hands of a Muslim migrant, especially since the start of the refugee crisis resulting from the turmoil of the Syrian Civil War.

Understandably, many people in Britain and Europe are lashing out against what they view as a cultural invasion of their homelands, and therefore it makes perfect sense that “far-right” parties and organizations that emphasize nationalism and anti-immigration policies are on the rise. Whether you agree with the Britain First’s political agenda or the morality of Fransen and Golding’s tactics or not, a mature mind can easily discern that such behavior, hateful or not, does not come out of a vacuum.

There had to be a catalyst.

Take Hungary, for instance. Their Prime Minister has a proven track record of not backing down to the EU in regards to refugees.

Poland refuses to march in goose-step with EU directives coming out of Brussels.

Most recently, the Northern League – another anti-immigrant party – seized the reins of power in Italy.

There is a wave of populist anger and resentment – directed at perceived globalist, establishment types – sweeping across Europe.

It is not relegated to Britain.

And this populist revolt is manifesting itself at the voting booths across a troubled, beleaguered continent.

Wherever one stands on the issue of immigration and nationalist movements developing in Europe, as lovers of liberty and defenders of free speech, it is clearly evident that 36 and 18 week convictions are excessive.

If anything, these and similar convictions for hate crime violations will engage and embolden the disenfranchised people of Europe.

If anything, these convictions will make martyrs of Golding and Fransen and cement an image of Europe in the minds of voters as an Orwellian dystopia where thought-crimes are direct threats to the states agenda.

As the Britain First supporters leaving the courtroom after the sentencing of Golding and Fransen cried:

“No surrender. “

California Prosecutes Man For Criticizing Islam On Social Media

By Emily Merrell | CALIFORNIA

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is putting 41-year-old Mark Feigin for prosecution for criticizing Islam on the Islamic Center Of Southern California’s Facebook Page in Fall 2016.

The office of the Attorney General claims that Feigin’s posts were made to “annoy and harass” through “repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device”, which is a violation of Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b). Reason.com reports Feigin wrote on the 17 and 25 of September:

“THE MORE MUSLIMS WE ALLOW IN AMERICA THE MORE TERROR WE WILL SEE”

“THE TERROR HIKE…SOUNDS LIKE FUN.” (In response to a hiking announcement)

“PRACTICING ISLAM CAN SLOW OR EVEN STOP THE PROCESS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION”

“Filthy Muslim shit has no place in western civilization.”

Islam is dangerous – fact: the more Muslim savages we allow into America – the more terror we will see -this is a fact which is undeniable”

The office of the Attorney General argues that the comments were “made with intent to annoy and harass members of the ICSC,” Feigin “was not trying to engage in any kind of political discussion but instead trying to vex members of the ICSC with his thoughts about their religion.” The posts are a crime because they show “repeated harassment from those who intend to mock and disparage the religion.” and that Feigin was “cruel and pointedly aimed at dismissing an entire religion and those who practice it.”

The state of California also makes it clear that they’re in support of prosecuting Feigin for the content and reasoning behind what he said: “The mere content and nature of the posts establish that they are not made in ‘good faith’ as the Defendant suggests but are intended to annoy and harass.” The office went on to mention that just because the Facebook page was public doesn’t mean the ICSC can experience harassment.

Becerra is also “leading the resistance’ against Donald Trump as he is the son of Mexican immigrants. His anti-free speech views line up with the views of younger Californians that want to repeal free speech based off of a poll:

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George Orwell sure was right, if we say something that offends people the state will come after us. But no matter if it was a free speech issue or not, should the state really be in charge of what is put on Facebook? Facebook should have made whatever actions they wanted to take and have it left at that. If we keep letting this happen soon the state will control even more of our lives than they already do.

The Truth Regarding Sharia Law

By Michael Kay|USA

One of the most common phrases uttered during Muslim migration debates is “We cannot let them in, because they want to bring Sharia law to America!” Interestingly, neither side actually analyzes what Sharia law is. The left says that Sharia law is just a set of peaceful moral codes, while the right insists that Sharia law is basically a Bible for murderers and terrorists. It is in fact neither, and in this article, I will explain Sharia law, and how we can better use it to understand the problems in the Middle East (and now, domestically).

So first, what does “Sharia Law” mean? Sharia literally translates in Arabic to “Law”, which means that when we anglicize it, we are saying “Law Law”. Nonetheless, Sharia Law functions very differently from our version of laws, and even from the British version of common law. Sharia is effectively a hierarchy of interpreting the Islamic laws, which dictate the rules for much of the Islamic world. As I explain how complex and confusing it can be, it will begin to make sense as to why the Qur’an is often misconstrued and misinterpreted.

Sharia separates law into a five-part hierarchy, including the Quranic verses, the lessons of the prophet, higher scholars, lower scholars, and individual morality. I’m going to explain each of these partitions, and how they actually play out in the real world.

At the top of the list is the Quranic verses. The Qur’an is written almost like a series of poems that rarely explicitly state laws, but rather discuss moral stories and ideas, making the text quite unique along the lines of religious texts. However, there are certain cases in which it is direct, such as the act of homosexuality, which is vehemently opposed. When the Qur’an is explicit, it becomes a commandment for all Muslims to follow (perhaps in my next article, I’ll discuss the different sects of Islam), and this makes it the final word on that issue.

Though such strong condemnation of a practice does occur in a Quranic verse, it is quite rare. The rest of the cases are decided based on the teachings and life of the prophet, Muhammad. This is where Islam becomes complicated because the next three hierarchies are often drawn from simultaneously. As the teachings of the prophet (and the Qur’an) are often unclear, educated religious figures interpret the Qur’an and the life of Muhammed in terms that a commoner can better understand. These individuals, known as higher scholars, spend years studying the religion and are often very politically connected. The higher scholars are essentially used as consultants for high ranking citizens. For example, if a politician wants to know if non-Muslim marriage is permissible, he will go to the upper scholars of the country (in Muslim majority countries), and he will ask the scholar to interpret Muhammad’s life to find out. The scholar’s decision will ultimately become law, which can cause some inter-regional conflict due to a variance in this interpretation. An example of such a discrepancy is the hijab, burqa, and niqab, which are three different acceptable veils for women to wear in public, found in three different regions.

However, the average Muslim cannot usually go see an upper scholar, as few of the men exist. They must then resort to seeing a lower scholar. These lower scholars are often much less informed on the issues, and come to decisions for personal reasons. For example, if a man comes to a lower scholar, and asks “Is smoking legal?”, it gives all the power over the law in the town to this scholar. If the scholar enjoys cigarettes, he may say it is legal, and if not, he may decide not. This means that laws become loosely dictated, as they change based on the interpretations of singular individuals. Lower scholars have another important job, which is the Muslim education of young boys (in Muslim schools known as madrasas). This is where major problems start, because often scholars are highly tied to politics. The more radical young boys become, the less rational they become, this making them easier to control. It is for this reason that these madrasas often teach more violent, radical forms of Islam. So while I still think that the religion of Islam itself still has inherent violence prescribed in it, I think the effects of this are exacerbated by radical madrasas (and could be curbed by peaceful madrasas).

Finally, lowest on the Sharia hierarchy, is personal morals. This one is pretty self-explanatory. If no scholar had ruled on something, you may exercise your own judgement, and decide on the issue. But this happens incredibly infrequently, as most issues are decided long before this stage. This can have numerous problems, such as the inability to comply with the west. It means that if a radical government comes to power, they can put in place upper scholars for the country that act very much like the Supreme Court, in that they serve for life, determine the laws of the state, and are often selected on the basis of their political leanings. If a man in power desires a radical set of laws, he may choose radical high scholars, who choose and teach radical lower scholars, who teach and radicalize the next generation.

So how do we best solve this issue? If religion is so entrenched in these countries’ democracies that we can’t have a separation between Church and state, and the religion is so opposed to our way of life, how do we find peace? This is a hotly contested issue, but I believe that the answer lies in the madrasas. If we fund madrasas that teach peaceful versions of Islam, we can mitigate the problem. Islam will still be inherently violent, but this violence may be adequately curbed.