Catching Hell for Hiring a Muslim

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Not to make my posts too Tennessee-centric, but the Volunteer State is about to make national news for all the wrong reasons.

Gov. Bill Haslam hired an amazingly talented business attorney to serve as the international director to handle the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s new focus on expanding the state’s overseas exports.

The new hire, Samar Ali, is a Tennessee native, Vanderbilt law graduate, a recent White House Fellow, a former associate attorney at Hogan Lovells and has one of the most impressive resumes of international humanitarian service I’ve ever seen.

She’s also Muslim.

As a result, several county Republican groups and a Tea Party group went berserk and began churning out petitions and resolutions calling for Ali to step down and for Haslam to receive “appropriate action.”

A couple of resolutions also condemn Haslam for allowing “open homosexuals to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services.”

Apparently this small, but loud, group of local loons believe that anyone who isn’t Christian and straight shouldn’t have the opportunity to work for state government in Tennessee.

It seems another concern for these dopes is that, as an international business attorney in  Hogan Lovells’ Abu Dhabi office, Ali had to learn Sharia-compliant finance issues – as would any business attorney in the Arab world. It wouldn’t serve clients well if, for example, a business attorney didn’t know that Muslims don’t believe in charging interest, but instead charge fees for borrowing cash up front.

The people in opposition to Ali’s appointment somehow equate her knowledge of Sharia-compliance in her legal work to a desire to inject Tennessee with Sharia law. The ignorance is really mind-blowing.

So, in an effort to defend Muslims, gay people and anyone else being criticized by these small minded bigots, I wrote an editorial for Wednesday’s Chattanooga Times Free Press on the subject.

Not only do I expect that it will go over like a fart in an elevator in an area as culturally conservative as Chattanooga, but I’m speaking at a large Tea Party event on Thursday. This should be fun!

As I say in the piece:

“Hiring the best person for a job — regardless of that individual’s race, religion or sexual orientation — does not make Gov. Haslam a villain. It makes him wise.

Criticizing Haslam for hiring the best person for a job — because of the individual’s race, religion or sexual orientation — does not make you a patriot. It makes you a bigot.”

-Drew Johnson

 

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63 Responses to “Catching Hell for Hiring a Muslim”

  1. #1 |  Gordon | 

    Absolutely correct, Drew; bravo for speaking out!

    Do let us know how the speaking event goes. All eyes are on the Tea Party.

  2. #2 |  Other Sean | 

    I think you’re going to want to open your speech with a proven lawyer joke, but you’ll have to modify it for the occasion. Here’s my suggestion.

    Q: What do you call 200 Sharia lawyers at the bottom of the river?

    A: I don’t know, but its either a ritual cleansing or the answer to MY prayers!

    On second thought, maybe don’t do that.

  3. #3 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    This kind of overreaction is despicable. It is also a mirror of the Western Intellectual Left’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that there exist Islamic fanatics that make Fundamentalist Christians look rational. Neither position has much to do with reality, and they feed off of each-other.

    When the West finally gives the Islamic Fanatics the religious war they have been trying to start for decades, these two groups will be found gloating over the casualty numbers, pointing fingers at each-other, and chanting “This is all YOUR fault.”

    *spit*

  4. #4 |  A McGillican | 

    well said Drew

  5. #5 |  AlgerHiss | 

    If someone has a site equal to this showing Christians in such a violent state, please share:

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

  6. #6 |  Andro | 

    Am I crazy or, when the Tea Party began wasn’t it dedicated solely to advocating on fiscal conservatism and trying to ignore social and cultural issues? Only when it became “mainstream” did the culture warriors infect it.

  7. #7 |  Other Sean | 

    Andro,

    You know that focus came apart as soon as the 2010 elections brought divided government back. Now the Tea Party is composed of the kind of guys who kept going to meetings for two years since. Picture them and wince.

    To be fair, just imagine what a MoveOn gathering would have looked like six months after Bush left office. Maybe on a good day they could get three crazy cat ladies, a guy with a Che hat, and a young Slavoj Zizek wanna-be from the local graduate program in Sociology.

    But when it comes time to decide on a resolution, that’s who does the voting.

  8. #8 |  Tolly | 

    Good for you Drew. This is the lunatic fringe of the GOP and they need to be rightly called out for the Xenophobic stain that they want to pass off as “foreign policy” these days.

    This woman is smart and accomplished and the right person for the job, it would seem. If it’s your chance to say that to a large audience and call them out on their *bullshit*, then more power to you. If they want to cover their ears and blabber and thump the Bible like typical southern religious hypocrites, then they should rightfully be scorned.

  9. #9 |  Nicolas | 

    Reminding us, again, why Mencken called Tennessee a “Holy Land for morons.”

  10. #10 |  LivingPre911Still | 

    I grew up in PoDunk U.S.A., this is simply what I termed “Determined Ignorance” once I moved back and had to deal with people who had never gone anywhere in their lives after my eyes were opened abroad. It simply is an amazing Psychological Pradigym that is simply far too Politically Correct to begin to study in earnest. What’s really amazing to me is that you get into these areas and these people are so convinced they are right about everything since they really do believe they know. Psychologically speaking, the views they speak are very equivalent to a family tree with no branches, outside input from experienced people represent branches, that’s how education enters a system but these small minded people don’t need no outsider input… they already no every frickin’ thing. I no longer live or even dare visit PoDunk because it’s so mentally disturbing to realize that this exist in a nation that is a super power… now imagine the ignorance in the Third World where people are still stoned to death.

  11. #11 |  Rojo | 

    “a mirror of the Western Intellectual Left’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that there exist Islamic fanatics that make Fundamentalist Christians look rational.”

    As someone that I suspect you would consider part of the “Western Intellectual Left,” I’d like to say that I don’t deny that there are Islamic fanatics out there that certainly equal the loony Christians. What I deny is that they would prove to be any sort of significant threat to us were it not for our meddling in other people’s affairs. Even as it is, with our meddling and with a number of them determined to hurt us if they can, they still represent a pretty small hill of beans when it comes to actual threats to the security of Americans.

  12. #12 |  Deoxy | 

    This is the lunatic fringe of the GOP and they need to be rightly called out for the Xenophobic stain that they want to pass off as “foreign policy” these days.

    snip

    If they want to cover their ears and blabber and thump the Bible like typical southern religious hypocrites…

    Yay for the amazingly high human tolerance for cognitive dissonance!

    It is also a mirror of the Western Intellectual Left’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that there exist Islamic fanatics that make Fundamentalist Christians look rational.

    Actually, I’d say that groups like this get a significant boost from the general refusal of the the mainstream in America to consider the significant minority of both Muslims AND the sexual side of the civil rights groups (GLBT and the more extreme feminists, though that has significant overlap) who are intentionally targetting traditional western/Christian values and institutions (and if you doubt the second part of that, then you are being willfully ignorant – read their actual, published works, listen to their speeches; most of them aren’t trying to hide it).

    If people just acknowledged that there are bad actors in those groups, and that we should make an effort to ensure that any members of those groups that you want to hire are NOT such bad actors, then the support such groups receive would drop by half (or more) overnight.

    Ignoring direct and intentional threats to your society is STUPID, far, FAR worse than anything spewed by the idiots who run the groups you are complaining about (and yes, I’m aware of much of the stupid stuff they say and do).

    So yeah, given the current state of things, they’re the intelligent ones. Ouch. Almost enough to make me cry for the state of our society, if I weren’t so jaded, callous, and cynical already.

  13. #13 |  jesse | 

    I’m guessing most of the critics haven’t seen her, because they’re envisioning someone in a burqa. They would pipe down when they see that she’s pretty damn hot.

  14. #14 |  Mattocracy | 

    I have a hard time imagining an educated women being a Muslim fanatic, or any relgious fanatic for that matter.

  15. #15 |  Goober | 

    The worst part about open membership to a club is that you can’t control who enters and then uses your club’s name to their purposes.

    The Tea Party is about taxation and smaller government.

    It isn’t about protecting children from teh ghey and making sure them damn durty mooslims stay out of government.

    I used to think the Tea Party was pretty cool, but it has been co-opted and used by so many people that I despise that i can’t even say that I want to be associated with it anymore. It’s pretty sad.

  16. #16 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @3 – That’s not a true picture of 99.99% of the left, it’s the far right which insist that it is, a false equivalence because we refuse to condone what amounts to collective punishment.

    This is the mistake they always make, like calling El Al’s profiling “racist”, when it’s after universal behavior cues (nervousness and uncertainty) rather than any skin color or religion. They absolutely give you no breaks for being Jewish, I’ve seen them pull Haredi’s bags apart when they couldn’t give them satisfactory answers.

    Your war, killing millions of bystanders (your modern Crusade, and believe me we Jews have some things to say about the Crusaders…) is HIGHLY undesirable from any sane standpoint I can see.

  17. #17 |  Deoxy | 

    That’s not a true picture of 99.99% of the left

    Either that .01% somehow holds an unbelievably inordinate amount of influence and message control, or you are very, very wrong.

    This is the mistake they always make, like calling El Al’s profiling “racist”, when it’s after universal behavior cues (nervousness and uncertainty) rather than any skin color or religion.

    El Al is indeed a model for how to do things… and indeed, the LEFT is the one who calls such behaviour “racist”, because the actual effect is to pick out far more Arabs than Jews. In short, you’re making MY argument for me.

    Your war, killing millions of bystanders (your modern Crusade, and believe me we Jews have some things to say about the Crusaders…) is HIGHLY undesirable from any sane standpoint I can see.

    Oh, I agree… but it’s the Muslims extremists who have been working hard to start one. To paraphrase Tolkien, it only takes one side to start a war – those who try to sit it out can still be killed by those who don’t. Ignoring people trying to kill you is stupid.

    Oh, and your Crusades history could use some serious remediation. Yes, the Jews (in certain areas, both being taken by European forces AND by Arab/Muslim ones) indeed suffered, but if you bother to look what was going on in a larger timeline than any 5-10 year period, the Crusades were in response to the Muslim conquest of large Christian areas (something that went just as poorly for Jews as Christian conquest of areas in the Middle East).

  18. #18 |  awp | 

    How the story should have gone:

    Tea Party: “why the hell is there a ‘international director to handle the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s new focus on expanding the state’s overseas exports’?”

    End Story

  19. #19 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @17 – You’re making the classic mistake of mistaking the press for the people. Do you really want me to take Fox News as speaking for you?

    And no, the pressure most certainly hasn’t been from one side, especially in the UK. It’s Muslims, Jews and far more who are cooperating on community defense, since the police are not interested in a rising tide of violent crime.

    I’ve never had a Muslim try and kill me. (A Christian Arab, yes, long story). I’ve had far right thugs try and kill me on three separate occasions, on the other hand.

    And “remediation”? Pfeh. For 1300 years, the Jews lived quite peacefully as a whole under the Muslims. Yes, sometimes community leaders suffered and there were a few notorious incidents…but it was minor compared to the systematic expulsions, the blood libels and pogroms of Christian Europe…to say nothing of the Inquisition!

    (Yes, that changed a century ago, in no small part due to Britain and France’s purely tactical – for them -support for radical Arab nationalism, as a tool against the Ottomans)

    I know quite a bit about the history of my people, thanks, although I’ll quite happily admit I think that when Christian differences are explained to me, I think they’re splitting hairs, and yet they’re so historically and even today willing to kill each other over it!

  20. #20 |  Flight_714 | 

    “Your war, killing millions of bystanders (your modern
    Crusade, and believe me we Jews have some things to
    say about the Crusaders…) is HIGHLY undesirable from
    any sane standpoint I can see.”

    Well, as long as we’re ascribing personal ownership to aggressive government actions by nationality, how are those F-16s that I sent you holding up?

    You’re right, fuck the individual.

  21. #21 |  K2 | 

    #19 -They lived “quite peacefully as a whole”? Really? You mean as dhimmis, second-class citizens with little or no rights. Sort of like the Jim Crow South, only worse. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has actually lived this, had something to say
    http://tv.yahoo.com/real-time-with-bill-maher/show/35187:

    Rep. D. Issa of California jumped in and said: “For Years, the Christians & Muslims have lived in peace side by side… even in the holy-land Israel, “palestine”…

    Ms. Ali: As long as non Muslims: Christians & Jews paid their taxes as dhimmis, sub citizens to the Islamic [apartheid] regime, all was [almost quiet], but as soon as non-Muslims have their independent, like the Jews managing their own affairs [independent State of Israel], oh, no, this is “trouble” for the Muslims…

  22. #22 |  John Spragge | 

    I would encourage all of you, particularly “Deoxy”, to acquaint yourself with a particularly radical and disturbing document. This dangerous radical manifesto says that every person should have the same right to compete for, and serve in, public office, regardless of their religion. It allows no distinction between those religions which include people who oppose or have opposed the United States, and those who do not. Indeed, it makes it clear that the government may not punish people merely because they have a personal connection to evil-doers, even in cases where the evil-doers belong to their own families. I believe that this subversive and radical screed has had a certain influence in Tennessee. It is, of course, the constitution of the United States of America.

  23. #23 |  Lefty | 

    - Andro

    The tea party was hijacked from the libertarians by the religious right pretty early on.

  24. #24 |  Lefty | 

    - C. S. P. Schofield

    There are plenty of us on the left who feel that modern islamic culture is too fanatical and dangerous. I don’t want islamists to get a strong foothold in our political structure. But then again I feel the same way about the xians.

  25. #25 |  Lefty | 

    If we could just leave the bronze age superstitions in the bronze age we might have a more peaceful world. I’m sure we’d find reasons to kill each other but at least we’d clear out the cobwebs a bit.

  26. #26 |  Nando | 

    Not only is she Muslim, but she’s cute, to boot! That’s what really pisses of those white Christian male dominated groups like the Tea Party.

  27. #27 |  Cynical in New York | 

    I’m kinda curious what the “appropriate action” is that the TP group recommends. If I were you Drew I would go to that TP event your going to be speaking at armed if not with some guards there is bound to be at least one crazy who would try to do something stupid in the name of “defending america”. I’ve come to the conclusion that Sharia Law has become the conservative equivalent to when liberals scream racist. Hell if I ever had the motivation to write a children’s book I would title it “The Conservative who screamed Sharia and the Liberal who cried Racist. How the left and right manufacture false moral panics to distract people from real issues”

  28. #28 |  exo | 

    I am impressed at the complete ignorance of people. The biggest danger in this country is the christian right, not muslims.

  29. #29 |  Personanongrata | 

    Bigots can’t live with them, can live without them.

  30. #30 |  Stephen | 

    Just a comment on the interest thing.

    Pretty hypocritical to charge a fee up front and not call it interest. It is still usury. They just changed the name and when it is charged.

  31. #31 |  Personanongrata | 

    #29 | Stephen | July 18th, 2012 at 7:04 pm
    Just a comment on the interest thing.

    Pretty hypocritical to charge a fee up front and not call it interest. It is still usury. They just changed the name and when it is charged.

    Fees are fine and are not usury.

    Compounded interest is usury.

    A small example: If a homeowner borrows $100,000.00 from their local neighborhood bank at 6% for 30 years (360 months) the homeowner over the life of the loan will pay the bank back $360,000.00. Not including property taxes and insurance.

    Ah, the magic of compounded interest bankers get rich while you become an indentured servant.

  32. #32 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @21 – Not at all. Jewish people (and other minorities) followed their *own* laws, whereas Jim Crow was a deliberately imposed set of outside laws. They had considerably more freedom than the Jews in Christian countries, again.

    That quote is a gross abuse of what happened, and is primarily concerned, as I said, with Britain, France and Turkey. It’s notable now though that the Arab Spring’s suddenly made the Arab League make several important, if subtle, concessions to Israel. Why, it’s almost like they’ve got to get their economies in order or something, and who has the only particularly functional economy in the area?

    @29 – Plenty of the technical workarounds used to get round laws (especially IP laws) can be called that. Getting upset about that kind of thing (when they’re generally more expensive, especially right now…) is a waste of breath.

  33. #33 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Apparently this small, but loud, group of local loons believe that anyone who isn’t Christian and straight shouldn’t have the opportunity to work for state government in Tennessee.”

    White Christian Nationalism: The Official Doctrine of the Republican Party!

    Hey fascists, way to make TN look like a hotbed of racist crackers…again. Anytime you guys want to secede, please be my guest. I’m all about de-centralization, bubba.

  34. #34 |  Stephen | 

    #30 | Personanongrata |

    I’m still having trouble seeing the difference. Money is being loaned and a price is being charged for that. How much does a muslim charge for a 30 yr loan?

  35. #35 |  Lefty | 

    - Stephen

    Compound interest arises when interest is added to the principal, so that, from that moment on, the interest that has been added also earns interest.

    A flat fee, also referred to as a flat rate or a linear rate, refers to a pricing structure that charges a single fixed fee for a service, regardless of usage.

  36. #36 |  Stephen | 

    #34 | Lefty |

    Isn’t that flat fee going to be roughly the same size as the compound interest? Otherwise, wouldn’t everybody just do business with muslim bankers?

  37. #37 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @35 – Absolutely, or rather it’s somewhat higher, since there’s usually a higher risk for the bank (Especially if interest rates rise sharply, it’s fixed rate and that’s the end of it).

    There’s generally no need for any kind of special considerations, although sometimes oddities in national law (Like the need to pay double stamp duty in the UK for the legal double-transfer of the deed) can cause them.

    There are also other ways to do it, like renting the house from the bank with an additional payment every month which purchases part of the house, but I don’t believe that’s universally accepted by Muslims (and is again more expensive than a normal arrangement).

    I suspect you’d find some of the inter-business contracts very observant Jews use with each other a little strange as well, since they prohibit interest, which is defined in a very broad way indeed. (Of course, there’s no general prohibition on charging a NON-Jew interest, something the medieval Christian Kings utilized given their own religion’s ban on moneylending!)

  38. #38 |  Other Sean | 

    I love how all these religions have such elaborate strategies for tricking their gods and flouting the plain spirit of his rules. Special machines adapted for use on the sabbath, service payments for the inter-temporal use of money that are (really, we swear!) nothing like “interest”, one-hour long marriages with sex workers, the rhythm method used by people who otherwise claim to believe procreation is the only valid purpose of sex, etc.

    So a guy buys a house and his “sharia compliant” banker (who probably derives his fee structure by cloning the market price information of accursed infidel financiers) charges him that plus a few bucks extra to create the illusion that he has not borrowed money at interest. And in doing this he’s pretty confidant the omnipotent master of the universe somehow won’t notice that the language of his law has been twisted beyond recognition.

    Having never believed in god, I find that richly hilarious.

  39. #39 |  Lefty | 

    - Stephen

    No. Compounding interest results in a much bigger sum paid back.

    I have no idea why we don’t do our banking with muslims. Seems like it might be a good idea.

  40. #40 |  Lefty | 

    Course, it’s easy to calculate compounding interest so the flat fee muslim bankers charge probably takes that into account

  41. #41 |  SandraL | 

    McCarthyism isn’t dead – it just changed targets.

    That mindset did far more damage to this country than communists ever did, and now they’re repeating the same mistakes.

  42. #42 |  Joel | 

    It wouldn’t serve clients well if, for example, a business attorney didn’t know that Muslims don’t believe in charging interest, but instead charge fees for borrowing cash up front.

    This is the real reason certain people are itching to attack Iran, the banking cartel doesn’t have it dirt mits on the banking system there.

  43. #43 |  Other Sean | 

    Joel,

    You’ve got the wrong set of dirt mits. Everyone knows it’s not the banking cartel, but the nefarious interests of Big Pork who’ve been pushing for war with Iran.

  44. #44 |  Deoxy | 

    If we could just leave the bronze age superstitions in the bronze age we might have a more peaceful world. I’m sure we’d find reasons to kill each other but at least we’d clear out the cobwebs a bit.

    Considering that Communism has a body count (both in literal terms and in population % terms) that makes all religious groups in human history look like cute cuddly pre-schoolers playing with toy guns, yeah, I think we’d still manage to kill each other.

    Let’s get rid of that terrible RELIGION that’s so bloodthirsty… um, yeah.

    McCarthyism isn’t dead – it just changed targets.

    Funny thing about McCarthy – he was correct. Oh, you can talk all you want about “methods” or whatever (and have some merit – the way the Left treats the Right, for instance, matches that pretty well in many cases), but what he was trying to destroy was real.

    Generally, the people who scream “McCarthyism!” never like to bring that up. They’re also, generally, using that scream to actually do what they’re complaining about.

    White Christian Nationalism: The Official Doctrine of the Republican Party!

    Yeah, it’s the Republicans that are racist… I can tell by how often they are called it. /sarc

    Let’s apply the same standards to all organizations and see who is most racist: percentage of group that is all one race.

    Lefty groups win that one in every race category, hands down (even white, though not by as large a margin, due in large part to simple demographics and in part due to the small white supremacist groups, which have NOTHING on the black and hispanic supremacist groups on the left).

    The biggest danger in this country is the christian right, not muslims.

    So, the biggest danger to this country is a group that been here for generations, makes up at least 40% of the population, and has a group body count for the last 100 years of like 4 (all from that one abortion doctor murderer years ago).

    Yeah, I’m convinced.

    What’s the body count from muslims activity again? Heck, not even counting 9/11, it’s a lot bigger than 4.

    It is, of course, the constitution of the United States of America.

    Wow, I’m in awe of your highly original attempt at irony or humor – never seen that before. And sure, I’m totally not familiar with the Constitution, that thing I angrily mention anytime the Supreme Court ignores it.

    Now, you MIGHT notice that I didn’t actually call for punishing or otherwise limiting people from office based on their religion (a small detail, I know). Just as we would not want someone as President who actually wants bad things to happen to our country, we wouldn’t want that in any other office, either. And it so happens that there is a group of Muslims, 100 millions+ of them, even if they only make up 10% of the Islam, that wants our country destroyed. I think it’s very reasonable to make sure that someone holding an office in this country is not a member of said group, religious or not. (There have been Christian groups that fit that description, by the way. People were a lot more sane about making sure any Christian was not one of “those”.)

    That such a thought is controversial is, frankly, insane. That’s why I was pointing out that the crazy righties in this scenarios (who do indeed do some dumb and crazy things) are the intelligent party in this discussion.

    For 1300 years, the Jews lived quite peacefully as a whole under the Muslims. Yes, sometimes community leaders suffered and there were a few notorious incidents…but it was minor compared to the systematic expulsions, the blood libels and pogroms of Christian Europe…to say nothing of the Inquisition!

    The Inquisition was bad for everyone!

    And yes, if one side gets the “a few notorious incidents” excuse and the other doesn’t, well, yeah, that side looks a lot better.

    The Jews have been treated badly by almost all other people groups, historically speaking. They’ve been scape-goated too many times to count.

    However, I will yield the point that the Crusades were bad for the Jews – both sides treated Jews worse than they did under other circumstances.

    That doesn’t change the fact that Europe should certainly have been defending itself (and in a far more organized, less directly religious fashion), nor does it suggest we shouldn’t engage our modern opponents.

    In fact, if it has any lesson to teach, it’s that the bystanders who try not to get involved suffer worse than the participants!

    Weren’t you basically arguing not to fight back against the people who are trying to start a war with us? Doesn’t seem like good advice, on any level, to me…

  45. #45 |  herxheim | 

    ten bucks says dude gets bumped from the lineup as soon as they catch wind of this blog.

  46. #46 |  DR | 

    “a group body count for the last 100 years of like 4″: How quickly you forget: the biggest terrorist attack on US soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing, an attack by a Christianist terrorist organization called the Army of God, which is linked to Operation Rescue, and group which has quite a following within the GOP and the Tea Party.

    You also forget the “holy” war Christianists in the US started against Iraq, which resulted in a minimum of 100000 direct deaths (up to 1 million indirect ones). Oh, and let’s not forget the 6 million Jews and 2 million other “indesirables” which were murdered by the very Christian Nazis (Gott mit Uns).

    It seems to me that the right is very quick to point the other side’s body count, but ignores its own.

  47. #47 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @44 – I suggest you read up on the history of the various Inquisitions, why they was founded and who their primary targets were.

    The major incidents in the Islamic World *were* limited to a few incidents, rather than the almost-routine actions taken against Jews in Christian Europe.

    You’re arguing for collective punishment.

    @38 – So, you’re saying you’ve never tried to minimize your tax bill? Say, what’s this “Sports” thing? Or… yea, you follow your own rituals.

  48. #48 |  Meiczyslaw | 

    DR —

    You’ve got some problems with your history. McVeigh, at the time of the bombing, was an agnostic and voted Libertarian.

    I’m not going to bother with Iraq — if you couldn’t keep up with Saddam’s use of terrorism (primarily with Abu Nidal) as a tool of statecraft, then you’re not going to be convinced of anything.

    Finally, the Nazis weren’t exactly Christian. I understand I’m at risk of committing the “no true Scotsman” error, but you should really acquaint yourself with the Party’s actual belief systems. If you can find it, I recommend “Blood and Soil” by Anna Bramwell, which details the influence of Nordic racialists (i.e., pagans) in the Nazi Party.

    Finally, I would point out that our view of the objection to Ali comes through the prism of the media. If this is anything like what we’re finding out about Huma Abedin, there might actually be more substantive objections to Ali. (I haven’t seen them yet, though.)

  49. #49 |  John Spragge | 

    @Deoxy: If Samar Ali had the slightest connection with any group, Muslim or otherwise, that intends to commit violence of any kind against the United States ill, we would know it by now.

  50. #50 |  KP | 

    To think I used to be a member of the Republican Party… I’m ashamed of my foolishness.

    These blowhard bigots who piss their pants every time they imagine a Muslim delivering their mail, doing pickups on their garbage route, or working in some governmental capacity. These asshats believe that any Muslim employed means Sharia law is directly around the next corner; and suicide bombings are sure to become commonplace.

    Now I know how so damn many Americans got behind the extermination of the Native Indians a century ago….

    For shame.

  51. #51 |  John Spragge | 

    @Meiczyslaw By my count, the United States constitution affirms or recognizes seventeen basic rights. The body of the constitution itself affirms six of these rights: the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to hold public office regardless of your faith (and yes, that absolutely includes Muslims), the right to basic free movement (habeus corpus), the right not to have legislation passed that targets you personally or imposes sanctions retroactively (no ex post facto legislation), and the right to have the state judge you solely on yourself, exclusive of your family connections. Of these six rights, the framers took pains to emphasize the last: in both the prohibition of bills of attainder in Article I section 9, and in the definition of treason in Article III section 3. The framers of your constitution considered it worth while to twice emphasize that the democracy they proposed to create would not judge people based on antiquated notions of family “corruption”, or indeed on the basis of their faith.

    In the context of the democracy envisioned by Hamilton, Madison, Franklin, and Washington, for the purposes of service with your federal government, the multiple innuendos about Huma Abedin mean exactly nothing. Your constitution repudiates the category of thinking these charges reflect tout court. It takes the time to say, in so many words, that family guilt or dishonour does not exist, even in cases of actual treason.

  52. #52 |  jb | 

    awp nailed it.

  53. #53 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @48 – And believe me, there are quite a few Asatru who are absolutely furious about the far right people who claim the same religion.

  54. #54 |  Sam | 

    Why can’t Muslims admit that Western Civiliation is superior to Islamic Civilization? Afterall Muslims are moving to Europe and the USA is masses and NOT to other Muslim nations. My ancestors did not help build this nation so some desert wanderers could take advantage of what they built.

  55. #55 |  Patrick from Popehat | 

    My ancestors did not help build this nation so that your ancestors’ scrofulous descendant could pollute this fine internet site with bigoted rantings, Sam.

    So there.

  56. #56 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @54 – Those “desert wanderers” had a civilization before America was even a few colonies, one more advanced than the small, squabbling nations of Christian Europe.

    Like other areas of the word – Japan comes to mind – there is an ebb and flow of progress…to try and set yourself up as chosen as in “I am better”…is riding for a fall from grace through arrogance.

    The BRIC’s economies are hungry.

  57. #57 |  demize! | 

    And as a clock striketh noon by the day, the usual suspects who lose all their “Libertarian” when it comes to their designated out group infect The Agitator’s comments thread. I knew the names before I even got to the comments, aside from being chauvinists you are so utterly predictable and boring. You aren’t defying PC. stricture, you are animating a hackneyed stereotype of parochialism.

  58. #58 |  Deoxy | 

    “a group body count for the last 100 years of like 4″: How quickly you forget: the biggest terrorist attack on US soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing, an attack by a Christianist terrorist organization called the Army of God, which is linked to Operation Rescue, and group which has quite a following within the GOP and the Tea Party.

    That guy was a wacko – and, as has been pointed out, he wasn’t even Christian (even by his own stated beliefs, much less by any third party attempt at rational categorization).

    You also forget the “holy” war Christianists in the US started against Iraq, which resulted in a minimum of 100000 direct deaths (up to 1 million indirect ones). Oh, and let’s not forget the 6 million Jews and 2 million other “indesirables” which were murdered by the very Christian Nazis (Gott mit Uns).

    OK, and those two are completely insane. The war in Iraq was a “holy” war like a fish needs a bicycle (yes, that made no sense – that was the point). Go read any of the media at the time that was actually begun (and the year or two before) and find me ANYTHING that was religious about any of that. The body count bit is also completely ridiculous, since the body count under the existing regime was also crazy high.

    And the Nazis socialist and primarily worshiped the state, followed by pagan racial-supremacist mysticism, who occasionally (not even that often) wrapped that stuff up in Christian vocabulary to confuse the ignorant. You seem to be confused by that.

    So yeah, in terms of “Islam vs Christianity”, Christianity is still several orders of magnitude behind in the body count for at least the last century, which would be the point I was referring to (your claim that the Christian right is currently a bigger threat than Islam).

    John Spragge:

    Yes, I certainly have no problem with most Muslims holding office, and I am well aware of what the Constitution says, thanks, but you are reading “family” as equivalent of “faith” in terms of the treason bit, which is not the same thing.

    The point is not that Muslims can’t hold office, it’s that nothing related to their faith is supposed to be looked at at ALL – hello Times Square bomber, HELLO Nidal Hasan (“It’s not related to Islam, pay no attention to the cries of “Allahu Akbar” as he killed them.”).

    I am not advocating they be barred from office. I am advocating that their Islamic faith be given the same level of scrutiny that Christian faith is given.

    Just as a Christian with some kind of distorted believe that abortion doctors should be murdered would be scrutinized, we should be sure that someone of Islamic faith is not a member of any group which believes in literal Jihad holy war against the West. And since such groups have a key belief that lying to infidels is to be encouraged, that takes just a little checking.

    That’s all I’m saying. Deliberately treating the group that most wants to kill us with the least scrutiny is STUPID.

  59. #59 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @58 – The same level? You mean…

    “There is separation of Church and State, you may not discuss why this policy is based on religious ethics”?

  60. #60 |  Steve | 

    Radical Muslims aren’t a political threat in the west because they don’t have any power. Radical Christians are a huge threat however, because they actually rule the United States at all levels. The country has already turned into a Christian quasi-theocracy. You can’t complain about “sharia law” when there are laws based on Christian “morality” and dogma passed every other day.

  61. #61 |  Mike Crichton | 

    Stephen :
    Isn’t that flat fee going to be roughly the same size as the compound interest? Otherwise, wouldn’t everybody just do business with muslim bankers?

    IANAM, but from what I understand, it’s _much_ harder to get a shariah-compliant loan. Since the return for the lenders is smaller, they have to be more careful with who they lend to. A non-Muslim / imperfectly-observant-Muslim would have to have a damn-near perfect credit rating to even have a chance. A fully observant Muslim, who never took out any interest bearing loans, would of course not have much of a credit score at all, but they’d also be heavily scrutinized.

  62. #62 |  Fr. Jack | 

    Drew,
    You are a true patriot. Thank you for speaking out.

  63. #63 |  Fr. Jack | 

    Drew,

    You’re a true patriot. Thank you, sir for speaking out against this inane
    bigotry.

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