September 26, 2011.
This panel was presented by The NY City Lawyers Chapter and the International and National Security Law Practice Group and The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies in NYC .
Videos are complete audio with pictures ( in six parts) total is approximately 80 minutes.
PART ONE – opening statements by Marc Schuman, secretary of the NY Chapter of The Federalist Society and the Honorable Richard J. Sullivan, District Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY, who was moderator for the evening.
Schuman then introduces the panel.
Prof. David Forte, (Constitutional and Sharia Law). Forte teaches Islamic Law and Originalism in the class-room and Daniel Mach (Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief). He turns the mic over to the moderator, Richard J. Sullivan.
PART TWO – opening presentation of guest speaker, David Forte, Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. In the classroom he teaches Constitutional Law and Originalism . He also teaches Islamic Law.
Some excerpts from audio in Part 2:
(Forte) mentions Islamic Law and Constitutional Originalism. Mentions Egypt, Mubarak and Tahrir Square. War on West is from within. Qaradawi and fatwas against Jews. Kill the Jews. Divine punishment (sharia).
( In 2004, 2,500 Muslim academics from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and from the Palestinian territories condemned Qaradawi, and accused him of giving “Islam a bad name.”)
Forte says Qaradawi’s Sharia not Classical Sharia. His Sharia not the REAL Sharia. Discrimination against women was NOT permitted in Classical Sharia. The tyranny of Qaradawi (his ideology).
Qaradawi warns Muslims to not be immigrants, be COLONIZERS. Examples: European NO-GO Zones and the Sharia quasi-legal systems in England, France, Rome; replicated though-out Old Europe. (In England, five formal Sharia Courts and 80 informal) In Belgium, a parallel Legal Court; a SHARIA Court (in Brussels).
In early Islam, they were Rationalists til 55 years later, then Legalists. Sharia formed by Jurists, recognized by Imperialists (Caliphs).
Saladin changed substance of Sharia (there was no torture) Could not torture innocents (now you can) He was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria .
A thousand years of Islamist history enforced only by Caliph. He could enforce or throw anything aside in the entire Islamic Empire. Caliph must support Sharia (STATE LAW) of the Islamic State (Empire).
8th-9th c Sharia: Legalists vs Rationalists (like Greeks)…Sharia was formed by Jurists… an Equity Court. Islam identified with The Law.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are “Perfectly Islamic”. What changed. Torture was not originally part of Islam. They changed Sharia from a system of beliefs for righteous living before god into an ideology. A religion into a POLITICAL ideology.
Warned to practice perfect Islam or else you are an apostate. This form of Islam, this Sharia, is an abomination
Forte says, Radical Islam “changing Believer into Ideologue-Apparatchik of a totalitarian regime.” He concludes, “THAT is what we should oppose as a threat (THAT type of Islam)
PART THREE – opening presentation of guest speaker, Daniel Mach, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.
Excerpts from Part 3:
Mach’s specialty is First Amendment Law, Church and State. He’s in-the-trenches and litigates in areas of Church and State.
Mach begins with, ” NO, Sharia Law is not ‘Coming-to-America'”
Admits that ,”Dangerous Religious extremists do exist.”
In Sharia, no religious tenets were to be imposed or decided by courts.
There’s NO Take Over by Sharia Law. It’s Just Not Happening..
In Oklahoma, they’ve banned Sharia Law. Something that hasn’t happened ONCE. Lists of Sharia examples don’t withstand scrutiny.
Our courts don’t put the right–to-pray up-for-a-vote
PART FOUR (Forte and Mach respond to Moderator, Richard Sullivan’s questions)
Excerpts from Part 4:
David Forte refers to Wahhabis (is interrupted by audience member) re 80% mosques and Imams under Saudi influence
Judge in NJ upheld a Sharia judgement. NJ judge didn’t ‘get’ difference. Foreign Law (aka Sharia Law) not okay if it violates U.S. Constitution or State Law
Dan Mach stresses Christians have rights to exercise faith so he questions passing laws to isolate Sharia as a specific threat. Asylum cases have been denied to people who fear torture … says a problem in a handful of cases
Forte – Honor killings are tribal custom, NOT Sharia
In parts 5 and 6 – questions from the audience with responses from the speakers. These are just a few excerpts…
PART FIVE ( Questions from audience)
Excerpts from Part 5:
QUESTION: re Sharia Finance: “Is it a cover?”
Forte Re Sharia Finance. Mutual Funds. Check where funds are going. What’s the interest. Too harsh to say no Sharia Finance
WHY “no-interest” loans? Financing (Fiqh )deals with the observance of rituals, morals and social legislation in Islam. (no-interest loans)
Usury ( Middle Ages) was RENTING money ( like a horse) Loans rented. During Ottomans (up to 10 %) always had interest. This prohibition is a 20th-21st century creation. Fundamentalism is a perversion
FORTE claims Classical Sharia is different from what we are criticizing. Women. Minorities. Islamic State Law. It must be in CONTEXT. Classical Sharia women had protections/Radical Islam they do not
Ottoman enforced punishment for theft, apostasy but NO capital punishment in Classical Sharia. There were protections. RADICALS do torture (not in Classical Sharia)
Made a JOKE about the need for the four upright males (false accusation) ; theft (two upright males) Not easy to find as there is also a punishment for false testimony. TRIBAL CUSTOM (culture) has caused the harsh punishments not Islam.
MACH responds. Thought and expression not criminalized in U.S. Defends t-shirts that criticize Islam/burn Koran (he defends these) BUT if you violate … commit a criminal act…then NO defense…
FORTE . Okay with Warrior Prophets. He admires Mohammed . Treatment of women, unbelievers, etc. He continues that Mohammed emancipated women (greater rights in marriage) Mentions the RESPECT Mohammed had for wives. Yes, he married a 6 year old. Not uncommon. It was okay in that culture
Protected monks, freedom of religious beliefs. Says Mohammed was responsible for legal influence of Arabic Society reforms.
What distorted Mohammed’s trajectory? “Law. Tribes. Empire” (The Ottoman Empire.) He is not a believer but admires Mohammed
Q – What has Mohammed done that was extraordinary? Why so violent? Justifying murder/extermination?
Forte: Violence in Bible much worse. in comparison, the Koran is WHIMPY. Islam should have been the FIRST to free slavery, instead it was the LAST. Should have been the first to observe Laws of War.
Forte re violence in O.T. Difference is HOW Jews interpret. What came after. How Muslims handle it (the text) How each dealt with what was written. Re Koran. Contextualize reference to treatment of unbelievers. It’s all in the interpretation. It was the Koresh Tribe Mohammed was referring to.
PART SIX : Final statements from Forte and Mach
Excerpts from Part 6:
Question – People are afraid to speak up because they fear punishment. “See something say something” could place them in jeopardy with mosque (sharia). “Don’t they feel that make the mosques a security risk?”
Forte: We should investigate where money comes from, the newspapers should investigate. The Saudi influence.
Mach: Government should not tell us where or how to worship. Not worried about prisons. There all all types of prison checks to control influence.
Q. What about last 10 years. What’s going on in Europe.. No-Go Zones…
Mach: I’ll defend your right, if denied access to street. (the audience member mentions Dearborn) The moderator and panel do not respond….
Q– How can we think this is a Great Religion based on history?
Forte – Look at what Moderate Muslims are saying about Islam. There is a seed in all religions of recognizing each other as equals.
Mach : Government should not be in business of telling anyone where they can build a house of worship. You own the property, you can build.
Moderator: How to promote the Classical version of Sharia and not the Radical
Forte: STOP multi-cultural baloney in schools that support Radical Version of Islam (which should be minimized) 1910-1930 example: Italian immigrant educators assimilation was encouraged.
Multi-culturalism is GOVERNMENT imposed. The worst thing we can do as far as assimilation.
Mach (ACLU) questions Forte’s criticism of multi-culturalism. Sees great benefits in Public Schools teaching about other cultures.
By coincidence, found this article in American Thinker by Jamie Glazov
“Islamism at UCLA Law School”
” …the belief system and values under girding Sharia Islam are the antithesis of American/Western beliefs and fundamental values, and therefore Dr. Fadl’s scholarship relentlessly sanitizing sharia was “deceptive and dishonest.”…. it is one thing for a legal scholar to cause controversy and debate by taking an unpopular position; it is quite another when the scholar obfuscates rather than clarifies a subject of study by engaging in subpar scholarship and outright deception (known by the sharia as taqqiyah…”
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Always remember, (to paraphrase Mao.)
‘Moderate’ Islam, is the sea in which the rest swim’!