Posted tagged ‘Freedom of religion’

Justice Dept Stands Up For Christian Baker

September 8, 2017

Justice Dept Stands Up For Christian Baker, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 8, 2017

The government has changed. And the rules have changed.

The DOJ is no longer a pro-crime organization. And instead of persecuting conservatives, it’s now standing up for them against leftist persecution.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a brief supporting the Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple on faith-based grounds, in the latest religious freedom case to be considered before the nation’s highest court.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had refused to sell a customized cake for a gay couple’s union, claiming a religious exemption to the state’s anti-discrimination law.

“When Phillips designs and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple and a specific wedding, he plays an active role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with the celebratory message conveyed,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief.

Wall added, “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.”

The First Amendment comes first again. And that is as it ought to be.

Brigitte Gabriel and Dave Rubin: Terrorism, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Linda Sarsour

July 9, 2017

Brigitte Gabriel and Dave Rubin: Terrorism, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Linda Sarsour via YouTube, May 19, 2017

(The transition of Lebanon from a vibrant homogeneous society into an Islamist state where Muslims, formerly friends of Christians and Jews, became violent enemies — about five minutes into the video — bodes ill for much of Europe. Although this video was posted on YouTube on May 19th, some of the content suggests that the interview occurred significantly earlier.  — DM

 

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Lavish’ Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam

April 29, 2017

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Lavish’ Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam, Gatestone InstituteMohshin Habib, April 29, 2014

(A few days after I retired from the practice of law in 1955, my wife and I flew to Bali and stayed there for a couple of weeks. According to the article, that’s where Saudi King Salman spent six days “vacationing.” His total stay in Indonesia was nine days.

According to the 2010 Census, “83.5% of Bali’s population adhered to Balinese Hinduism,[3] followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.[7]“. Most of the Muslims were on the southern coast and I can recall seeing none elsewhere. The Balinese Hindus we met were among the kindest and most welcoming people I have ever met. I wonder what’s happening there now. Please see also, Misogyny Meet Irony: Saudi Arabia Elected To United Nation’s Women’s Rights Commission.– DM)

 

Despite its pluralistic constitution, which says, “The state guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of religion and of worship in accordance with his religion and belief,” Indonesia — which declared independence in 1945 — has grown increasingly intolerant towards Christians, Hindus and Shiite Muslims.

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Prior to Saudi Arabia’s attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few. Today, it is rife with these groups.

A mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city’s Christian governor, who is on trial for “blaspheming the Quran.”

In a separate crisis, crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir (infidel), he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison.

Accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Indonesia on March 1 for a nine-day gala tour. He was welcomed warmly not only as the monarch of one of the world’s richest countries, but as the custodian of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.

While appearing to be taking a holiday rather than embarking on an official state visit — the 81-year-old sovereign spent six days at a resort in Bali — the king had some serious business to attend to. In what was advertised as an effort to promote “social interaction” between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — with His Majesty announcing a billion-dollar aid package, unlimited flights between the two countries and the allotment of 50,000 extra spots per year for Indonesian pilgrims to make the hajj to Mecca and Medina – it seems as if the real purpose of the trip was to promote and enhance Salafism, an extremist Sunni strain, in the world’s largest Muslim country, frequently hailed in the West as an example of a moderate Islamic society.

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia (foreground, left) meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia (foreground, right), at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Indonesia. (Image source: Indonesian Presidential Palace)

Jakarta-based journalist Krithika Varagur, writing in The Atlantic on the second day of the king’s visit, describes Saudi efforts in Indonesia:

“Since 1980, Saudi Arabia has devoted millions of dollars to exporting its strict brand of Islam, Salafism, to historically tolerant and diverse Indonesia. It has built more than 150 mosques (albeit in a country that has about 800,000), a huge free university in Jakarta, and several Arabic language institutes; supplied more than 100 boarding schools with books and teachers (albeit in a country estimated to have between 13,000 and 30,000 boarding schools); brought in preachers and teachers; and disbursed thousands of scholarships for graduate study in Saudi Arabia.”

This Saudi influence has taken a serious toll on Indonesia, 90% of whose 250 million people are Sunnis. Despite its pluralistic constitution, which says, “The state guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of religion and of worship in accordance with his religion and belief,” Indonesia — which declared independence in 1945 — has grown increasingly intolerant towards Christians, Hindus and Shiite Muslims.

Prior to Saudi Arabia’s attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few.

Today, it is rife with these groups, which adhere strictly to Islamic sharia law, Saudi Arabia’s binding legal system, and which promote it in educational institutions. Like al-Qaeda and ISIS, they deny women equal rights, believe in death by stoning for adulterers and hand amputation for thieves, and in executing homosexuals and “apostate” Muslims.

The most recent example of the way in which this extremism has swept Indonesia took place a mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip. On March 31, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city’s Christian governor, who is on trial for “blaspheming the Quran.”

This paled in comparison to the crowds — numbering about 200,000 at each violent rally — which flooded the city last November, December and February. The crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir, an infidel, he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison.

Sadly, such a jail term is nothing, when one considers the Islamist prison that the country as a whole has become — courtesy of King Salman and his lavish “gifts.”

EXCLUSIVE: First Liberty Institute Seeks Justice for Air Force Colonel Targeted for His Faith

March 29, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: First Liberty Institute Seeks Justice for Air Force Colonel Targeted for His Faith, Breitbart, Penny Starr, March 29, 2017

(Thought experiment: The victim here was a Christian who apparently held, but did not express, what many see as traditional Christian views on homosexuality. See, e.g., the Roman Catholic Church. What if the victim were instead an adherent to the Islamic religion, held and expressed Islamist views on homosexuality and the proper way of dealing with homosexuals. Would he have been dealt with in similar fashion? — DM

First Liberty Institute, a national law firm committed to protecting religious liberty, is taking up the case of Air Force Col. Michael Madrid. He has been targeted by his commanding officer for reprimand involving a closed investigation that cleared the colonel of false claims by a court-marshaled soldier that Madrid had made disparaging remarks about his homosexuality.

Two years after the case was closed and Madrid had continued his exemplary military career, including the promotion to colonel, he was placed under a new commander, Maj. Gen. John E. McCoy. McCoy accessed the report and without any new evidence decided that Madrid was guilty and issued a letter of reprimand —  crippling, if not ending, his chance for future promotions.

On Wednesday, the institute sent a demand letter to the U.S. Air Force stating that Madrid had been denied due process and that the Letter of Admonishment should be rescinded. If not, the letter said the institute is prepared to take legal action.

“Col. Madrid submitted to an extensive military investigation and the Air Force cleared him,” Mike Berry, Director of Military Affairs for the First Liberty, said. “Major General McCoy has no right to ignore the rule of law and arbitrarily decide, more than two years later and without any new evidence, that he can punish Col. Madrid.”

Berry said that McCoy never provided reasons for sending the letter, but that this is not the first case of what seems like institutional hostility toward military personnel who openly express their religious beliefs.

“At First Liberty Institute, we’ve seen multiple cases in which military officials have refused to tolerate service members’ traditional religious beliefs,” Berry said. “That shouldn’t happen to anyone.”

“Col. Madrid doesn’t hide the fact that he is a devout Christian,” Berry said. “We are concerned that Major Gen. McCoy judged and punished Madrid – a decorated Air Force officer – because he became aware of Col. Madrid’s traditional religious views. If so, that not only harms the military, but it is illegal.”

“I feel like I’ve been singled out because of my faith,” Madrid told Breitbart News. “Now I’m afraid if I say anything about even being a Christian, I’ll step on a landmine that could blow up my career.

“I hate feeling like I have to constantly look over my shoulder to see if someone is coming after me because of what I believe,” Madrid said. “We have many good service members who are people of faith and they shouldn’t have to live in fear of being punished for what they believe.

“I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else,” Madrid said. “I just want to resolve this situation and have the letter removed from my record so I can continue to serve our nation with honor.”

The Background of the Case:

In August 2012, Madrid was transferred to Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. Soon after, a young Airman arrived on base who was struggling with his medical career. Col. Madrid worked to support and mentor the young man.

In 2013, the Airman was charged with multiple criminal offenses, including illegally bringing a loaded weapon onto the Air Force base, prescribing narcotics illegally, and performing duties while under the influence of narcotics. He was soon court-martialed and found guilty of the charges.

Despite mentoring the young Airman, Madrid supported the court-martial because the Airman committed such serious crimes. During his court-martial, the Airman, who is gay, filed a complaint alleging that Madrid had made derogatory comments about homosexuality.

Madrid, whose has never hidden his traditional Christian beliefs about marriage as the union of one man and one woman, denied the accusations, but submitted to a thorough Air Force investigation.

Based on records, interviews, and fact-finding, the Air Force found the allegations “unsubstantiated” and closed the investigation in 2014.

“Religious intolerance and discrimination against anyone in the military is inexcusable,” Berry said. “We ask the Air Force to take immediate action to hold Major General McCoy accountable and to provide justice and due process for Col. Madrid.”

EXCLUSIVE: Geert Wilders on “the patriotic spring” sweeping the West

February 28, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Geert Wilders on “the patriotic spring” sweeping the West, Rebel MediaEzra Levant, February 27, 2017

The Netherlands has its Parliamentary elections in a couple of weeks, and the man who is leading the polls right now is Geert Wilders.

Wilders is the leader of the Party for Freedom. His chief campaign focus is de-Islamification:

Stopping mass immigration, for sure, but more specifically, stopping the cultural, legal, criminal and social ramifications of bringing in a million Muslims into a country of 17 million Dutch.

(That’s twice the Islamification that Canada has, proportionately; we have just over a million Muslims in a population of 36 million.)

I sat down with Geert Wilders in The Hague on Thursday morning.

That very day, news broke that one of Wilders’ own security staff was caught secretly passing on information about Wilders’ movements to a Moroccan jihadist group.

Of course they want to kill him. He’s the only one trying to close the door, while the rest of the politicians there are prying it further open, in return for power or votes or money…

Watch all the footage from my trip by clicking here.

On Defining Religion

February 12, 2017

On Defining Religion, Gatestone InstituteNonie Darwish, February 12, 2017

(Please see also, Georgetown Professor Condones Rape And Slavery Under Sharia. Does the First Amendment “free exercise” clause prohibit Federal or state intervention against enforcement of the dictates of Sharia law? If members of a religious cult from Latin America moved to the United States and required families to turn over their young virgin daughters for sacrifice to their Volcano God, would the “free exercise” clause prohibit Federal or state intervention?  — DM)

What the West does not understand is that Islam admits that government control is central to Islam and that Muslims must, sooner or later, demand to live under an Islamic government.

The majority of the world does not understand that much of the American media is in a propaganda war against the Trump administration simply because he names Islamic jihad and would prefer to see a strong and prosperous America as a world leader rather than to see a dictatorship — secular or theocratic — as a world leader.

Islam claims to be an Abrahamic religion, but in fact Islam came to the world 600 years after Christ, not to affirm the Bible but to discredit it; not to co-exist with “the people of the book” — Jews and Christians — but to replace them, after accusing them of intentionally falsifying the Bible.

Islam was created as a rebellion against the Bible and its values, and it relies on government enforcement to do so.

Political and legal (sharia) Islam is much more than a religion. Is the First Amendment a suicide pact?

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said that President Donald Trump’s 90-day ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries is “a religiously based ban,” and “if they can ban Muslims, why can’t they ban Mormons.” This has become the position of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, which has influenced not only the American public but has convinced the majority of the world that America is “bad.” How can we blame the world, and even a good segment of American citizens, for hating America when such disingenuous and misleading claims are aired to the world from US officials and broadcast by American television channels?

The majority of the world does not understand that much of the American media is in a propaganda war against the Trump Administration simply because he names Islamic jihad and would prefer to see a strong and prosperous America as a world leader, rather than to see a dictatorship — secular or theocratic — as a world leader. He ran as a Republican; meanwhile, Democrats and the mainstream media refuse to engage in respectful and legitimate debate on the most vital threat to Western civilization in the twenty-first century: Islam. Truth has become irrelevant; people seem to prefer a political game of tug-of-war to sway public opinion against the Trump Administration, and, presumably, to elect Democrats forever. That is how the system is set up.

Political discussions on television have become extremely frustrating; they have turned into shouting matches and name-calling at the least informative levels. Television hosts often become instigators and participants in the shouting matches. The thinking is apparently that the louder they get, the more attractive the program will be. Meanwhile everyone is talking at once; the viewer cannot hear anyone, so the program could not be more boring.

Under the US Constitution, freedom of religion is protected. and Islam has been welcomed inside the West on that basis as one of the three Abrahamic religions. According to Western values and the Western understanding of the word, “religion” is supposed to be a personal relationship with God, where free will is of utmost importance; the believer has authority only over himself or herself when it comes to religious laws or punishing sins (such as leaving the religion or committing adultery) — quite different from criminal laws intended to protect society. Western values also allow followers of a religion the freedom to proselytize, but never by resorting to government enforcement.

Bottom line, the Western definition of religion is in harmony with the Biblical values of the human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that all human beings are created equal under the law. It is considered a basic Western value to view God, family and country as a top priority.

Now let us compare these values to Islamic values:

  1. Muslim citizens have the right to punish other citizens with humiliating, severe, cruel and unusual punishments such as death, flogging and amputation, for sinning against Allah, the Quran or Islam. Those “crimes” include leaving Islam, being a homosexual, or committing adultery. And if the Islamic government does not enforce such punishments, any Muslim on the street has the right to apply the punishment against another Muslim and not be prosecuted. That is why apostates, such as myself, cannot visit any Muslim county; the fear is not only from Islamic governments but from anyone on the street.
  2. Being a Muslim is not a personal relationship with God, as it is under the Bible, but is enforced by the state at birth. When a child is born in Egypt to a Muslim father, the birth certificate is stamped “Muslim” and all government-issued documents as well. A child must learn Islamic studies in school and practice Islam throughout his life. In Egypt, the twin sons of a Christian divorced mother were forced to take Islamic studies and become Muslim just because their originally-Christian father converted to Islam. Today, in Egypt, I am still considered Muslim and such a status could never change if I ever lived there again.
  3. Islamic law and leaders rely on government enforcement — under penalty of death — to keep Muslims within Islam and to convert the minority Christian population into Islam. Islamic sharia law, obliges Islamic states to enforce religious law, and if the Muslim head of state refuses to follow religious law, sharia permits the public to use force to remove the head of state from office.
  4. Islam claims to be an Abrahamic religion, but in fact Islam came to the world 600 years after Christ, not to affirm the Bible but to discredit it; not to co-exist with “the people of the book,” Jews and Christians, but to replace them — after accusing them of intentionally falsifying the Bible. Islam was created as a rebellion against the Bible and its values, and relies on government enforcement to do so.

The tenets above are just a few of the differences in values between Islam, the Bible and the Western concept of religion. What the West does not understand is that Islam admits that government control is central to Islam, and Muslims must demand to live under an Islamic government sooner or later. That might explain the reason for the eternal violence in nearly all Muslim countries, between government being in the hands of a religious theocracy or of the military. Islam, as it is practiced today, has violated all Western definitions of religion and values.

Political and legal (sharia) Islam is much more than a religion. Is the First Amendment a suicide pact?

2294(Image source: Brent Payne/Flickr)

Dr. Jasser discusses Chancellor Merkel’s nationwide ban on Burqas on After the Bell

December 7, 2016

Dr. Jasser discusses Chancellor Merkel’s nationwide ban on Burqas on After the Bell , American Islam Forum for Democracy, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, December 6, 2016