Posts Tagged ‘Sharia law’

What in the world is going on in Turkey?

June 24, 2013

Turkey demosFour weeks ago a small group of environmentally-minded Turks staged a demonstration, or an occupation, of tiny Gezi park in Istanbul, where the government had stated its intent to build a replica of an Ottoman-era barracks to house a shopping mall.

The government responded by attacking the protesters violently with water cannon and tear gas. The disproportionate attack on the peaceful protesters crystallized widespread hostility to the government of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan (pronounced ER-duh-wan). The protests grew and spread all over Turkey, and everywhere the protesters were met by violent police action. So far five have died, and the protests have died down.

Erdoğan blames the trouble on outsiders, including CNN and the “interest lobby,” and has called out his supporters into massive counter demonstrations.

Erdoğan was first elected to head the government in 2002, with 34% of the vote. He was reelected in 2007 with 46%, and again in 2011 with just under 50% of the votes cast. He is a practicing Muslim—rare for a Turkish leader—and has steadily moved to make Turkish society more congenial to pious Muslims. He wants to amend the Constitution to allow women to wear headscarves in public buildings (now forbidden), and has had laws passed that allow early religious instruction in elementary school, limit the sale of alcohol, and has proposed bans on abortion and even on kissing in public.

Some fear Erdoğan’s goal is to introduce Sharia law, a la Iran or Saudi Arabia, while others (including The Economist) call him a “moderate Islamist” and believe his intent is simply to (more…)

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) defends Muslim judge Sohail Mohammed, calls opponents “crazies.” Hooray for an ethics hero

August 4, 2011

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) has been criticized for appointing Sohail Mohammed, an American Muslim, to a New Jersey superior court. Yesterday he defended Mohammed, using words like ignorant, crap, baloney, and crazy to describe Mohammed’s critics. His statement was strong and inspiring for its passion and plain English.

Defending Muslims as patriotic Americans, and ridiculing the notion that Sharia law is a threat to America, is sadly rare in today’s Republican Party. Christie is an up-and-coming Republican politician, and his spirited defense of an American Muslim appointee will cost him many friends on the Republican right. America badly needs leaders who will stand up—like Christie—to the extremists in their parties.

Thanks to Jack Marshall and his Ethics Alarms blog for anointing Christie an ethics hero.

Christine O’Donnell’s breathtaking ignorance about the First Amendment’s separation of church and state

October 19, 2010

 

Christine O’Donnell is the Republican candidate for Senate in Delaware. When asked why she thought she was qualified to be a Senator she gave this as her chief qualification:

“I have a graduate fellowship from the Claremont Institute in Constitutional Government, and it is that deep analysis of the Constitution that has helped me to analyze and have an opinion on what’s going on today.”

At today’s candidate forum in Wilmington O’Donnell challenged her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons about where in the Constitution did it say anything about separation of church and state. When the audience gasped and laughed she grinned, thinking she had him there. She went on to demonstrate shock and surprise when Coons told her about the First Amendment. It was news to her.

O’Donnell will likely lose on November 2: not so sure to lose is Sharon Angle, Republican Senate candidate in Nevada, who believes that Sharia law reigns today in Dearborn, Michigan.

What does this say about the Republican voters who voted for such people?