GOP Platform Addresses The Non-Existent Sharia Law Problem

Not surprisingly, the Republican platform includes a toss to the Islamaphobe caucus with a plank concerning the largely non-existent threat of Sharia law:

While leaders like Speaker Boehner and Sen. John McCain were rightly praised for taking a strong stand against Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government, don’t give the party of Lincoln a pass on Islamophobia just yet. In Tampa this week, GOP leaders adopted a plank to their platform supporting a ban on foreign law and aimed at Shariah, the Islamic religious law that many conservatives insist is secretly insinuating itself in the U.S. The platform still has to be approved by the entire convention in a vote next week, but generally, most things approved by the platform committee make it into the final platform.

TPM’s Ryan Reilly reports that the man behind the effort to add the amendment is none other than Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state who moonlights as an anti-immigration activist. Kobach wrote Arizona’s infamous SB-1070 “papers please” immigration law, and advised a handful of other states on their similar laws cracking down on undocumented migrants. Kobach is (or at least was during the primary) an adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and likely the man behind Romney’s “self-deportation” immigration policy.

(…)

Anti-Shariah activists like Frank Gaffney, whom Bachmann cited in her witch hunt allegations, claim Muslims want to impose Islamic law on the United States and run it like Taliban theocracy (here’s the craziest Shariah conspiracy theory we’ve seen yet). More than that, they claim it’s already happening and that Democrats and liberals are allowing or even abetting in the secret takeover of Shariah. Even if every Muslim in the U.S. were a secret jihadi, there are still only about 2.6 million of them, so it’s totally unclear how Gaffney, Kobach, et al. expect them to overcome their more than 10-to-1 numerical disadvantage to impose their will on the rest of the country barring secret powers.

Nonetheless, to many conservatives Shariah is a pressing threat to national security and American freedom that must be stopped. Conservative politicians have paid lip service to this for years (or perhaps actually believe it), and now it’s poised to becoming an official plank of the Republican Party platform.

Are you noticing a pattern hear? Kobach’s name has come up in connection with defeating the plank endorsing civil unions, the immigration plank, and now this. He’s also, as stated, an adviser to the Romney campaign. Not bad for a Secretary of  State from Kansas. One wonders what his role would be in a Romney Administration.

People will say that platforms don’t matter, and to a large degree they don’t because if Mitt Romney is elected policy will be set from the White House, not the Republican Platform Committee. However, this is the public face the GOP is presenting to the world and it’s not necessarily a very pretty, or a very rational, one.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Islam, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    this is the public face the GOP is presenting to the world

    Actually, it is what they really are.

  2. anjin-san says:

    Texas Judge Tom Head is worried about what might happen if President Obama wins reelection in November. There could be riots, unrest or a “civil war, maybe,” he told a local television station this week.

    Because of that, the Lubbock County judge has decided the only way to prepare is to increase taxes to help beef up local law enforcement.

    “I’m thinking worst case scenario now,” Head said during an appearance on FOX 34 in Lubbock. “Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”

    The judge spun the elaborate conspiracy theory while calling for a 1.7 cent hike per $100 on property taxes in Lubbock County, a measure being considered by the commission there. He said he feared Obama would hand over sovereignty of the United States to the United Nations and the unrest would naturally follow.

    Welcome to today’s GOP…

  3. grumpy realist says:

    And what causes [HEADDESK] is that still almost half of Americans look to be voting in favour of this insanity.

    I honestly don’t think I can take this that much longer. I have no interest in living the rest of my life in a radical Christianist Taliban theocracy. With nukes.

  4. legion says:

    if Mitt Romney is elected policy will be set from the White House, not the Republican Platform Committee.

    C’mon – you don’t actually believe Romney makes any of these decisions himself, do you? I mean, it’s not the RNC telling him what to do, but he’s sure as hell never been any kind of independent thinker…

  5. Ernieyeball says:
  6. Garlic Eye says:

    I’m sure Kobach is a Christian. Can someone ask him how Jesus would feel about excluding the disenfranchised, oppressed and minorities among us?

  7. Ernieyeball says:

    Judge Tom Head: “We’re talking Lexington-Concord take up arms and get rid of the guy.”

    USCon Art. VI “…and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby,..”

    USCon Art.III “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

    Does the shoe fit?

  8. grumpy realist says:

    @Ernieyeball: I can actually state with much affirmity: no, this is not treason.

    I can also go into great and gory detail why treason is the one crime defined in the Constitution. It’s because the FF saw damn well what happened historically when the definition of “treason” was left up as “whatever the presently ruling government/king thinks it should be.” See e.g. the Star Chamber in England and the fooraw that went on in Renaissance Italy. Jurists were constantly having to whack down attempts by the city-states to use accusations of treason against their political enemies, or, post-mortem in attempts to confiscate the wrong-doers estate and fill the city budget.

  9. Eric Florack says:

    @grumpy realist: Are these the same founders the talked about a revolution every ten years?

  10. rudderpedals says:

    The disgust for shariah extends to shariah provisions in consensual private contracts, based on an unscientific poll of people in an office suites lobby. I don’t think these people have thought through the impact on ecclesiastic and halachic (sp) law.

  11. DRS says:

    Well, they’ve got to find a new internal enemy since the Freemasons went so quiet a few decades ago…

  12. Herb says:

    They outlaw abortion and gay marriage under Shariah law, don’t they? These clowns can learn to love it.

    Me….not so much. But then again, I’m not worried about Shariah law.

  13. Tsar Nicholas says:

    That’s a funny underlying article. The reference to the “infamous” SB-1070 is a howler. Hell, that law is so “infamous” in large part it was upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Go figure. The streak of hysteria running just beneath the surface also is quite interesting and quite ironic too, given that the thesis of that article is the GOP is engaging in hysteria. The DSM defines that sort of phenomenon as “projection.”

    In any event, here’s the problem with saying that something is a non-existent problem but in the very next breath opposing an effort to stamp it out. The logic fails. In the sense there is no logic to the objection. If something doesn’t exist then why object to an effort to make sure it doesn’t exist? If it truly doesn’t exist then in any case it’s a moot point.

    Besides, there are and for decades have been laws enacted that seek to preempt various things ab initio. In the family law arena, e.g., various states have enacted irrebutable presumptions of paternity. The idea being we’re not going to allow certain people to contest paternity in certain contexts. Society has an interest in comity and certainty. In various regulatory arenas the Feds often will “occupy the field” by preempting not only existing state laws and regulations but also by preempting even hypothetical state laws and regulations that haven’t yet been enacted. The idea being that the Feds want to nip in the bud any prospective federalism issues.

    A law that says that a state is barred from enacting or applying Shariah is not per se a “witch hunt” nor some type of bigotry. The other way to look at it simply is that of a preemptive measure to prevent things in the future from going south. The key words being “preemptive” and “future.” True “witch hunts” are in the present, not prospective. We’re not the French. We’re not banning headscarves nor do we have that need.

  14. @Herb: They also ban the teaching of evolution under Sharia law.

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Sharia law is the absolute antithesis of the separation of Church and State — it’s the imposition of Koranic principles on all, even on non-Muslims in Muslim states. This should be a no-brainer for the left, to agree with this.

    Oh, yeah, “no-brainer.” Now I get it.

  16. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “This should be a no-brainer for the left, to agree with this.”

    No one on the left gives a crap about Shariah law. We’re liberals.

  17. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “I am afraid of monsters under my bed. This should be a no-brainer for the left, to agree with this.”

  18. Clanton says:

    Get this: the DNC will not release the names of any convention donors. So much for transparency and real hypocrisy when the Democrats call for campaign disclosure laws.
    The whole thing is a joke.

  19. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Liberals, like all worthwhile Americans, would oppose the imposition of Sharia law as strenuously as we oppose the imposition of Christian dogma. The difference is – absolutely _nobody_ is attemptnig to impose Sharia law anywhere in the US.

    You idiot.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, yeah, “no-brainer.” Now I get it.

    “no brainer” explains perfectly why the GOP includes it in the platform. If it’s not a problem, you can be sure the GOP will create one in anticipation and response.

  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Clanton:

    Get this: the DNC will not release the names of any convention donors. So much for transparency and real hypocrisy when the Democrats call for campaign disclosure laws.
    The whole thing is a joke.

    Sharia Law requires that both the GOP and the Democratic Party report the names of all convention donors.

  22. Vast Variety says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Sharia law would be just as unconstitutional as the imposition of Christian law.

  23. ernieyeball says:

    @Eric Florack: Are these the same founders the talked about a revolution every ten years?

    They might have talked about it but they did not include it in any Article of the United States Constitution that I have read. Instead they opted for recurring elections.
    Maybe they thought it would be more civilized than killing your political opponents to remove them from office.

  24. Rafer Janders says:

    t

    here are still only about 2.6 million of them, so it’s totally unclear how Gaffney, Kobach, et al. expect them to overcome their more than 10-to-1 numerical disadvantage

    10 to one? Um, try about 120 to one.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: So did Trotsky. Are you saying that the FF were communists?

    And yes, it’s quite obvious that the FF knew a heck of a lot of legal history, which had been filtered down in commentary by such thinkers as Montaigne and whoever it was who popularized so much of Luther’s ideas (until L. got cold feet.) Ditto for Bartolus and his De Tyrannis. You read the Declaration of Independence; it’s pure Resistance Theory, with sentences almost directly ripped from well-known commentary.

    Go read the Corpus Iuris Civilis, especially the part about the section of the laws entitled Crimen Laesae Maiestatis and then look at the hot water the Italian city-states got into in the 15th century. There are some very definite reasons treason is defined in the Constitution the way it is.

  26. grumpy realist says:

    The fact is (and you’d think that these so-called “good Constitutionalists” would know) is that you can’t just write a ban of Sharia. You have to write a ban of all religious law. Which would be fine with me, particularly if we add a rider about you can’t disinherit your offspring because they marry people of a religion you disapprove of.

    Getting rid of “international law”? It is to laugh. Are they going to get rid of CISG and INCOTERMS? Assume that everything falls under the UCC? (which version?) Well, so much for international trade….

  27. sam says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    A law that says that a state is barred from enacting or applying Shariah is not per se a “witch hunt” nor some type of bigotry.

    You’re a lawyer, Nick (or at least you play one here on the blog). Let me ask you a question. If a state is barred from applying Shariah in a legal proceeding, would this not prevent folks forging contracts under Shariah? And wouldn’t that contradict a fundamental principle of contract that says that the contracting parties can use foreign or religious law in the making of the contract?

    Moreover, if such a prohibition were to be enacted, wouldn’t it run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause if such a prohibition were not also extended to Jewish Law, Hindu Law, or any of the other foreign/religious law codes that folks employ in this country all the time? The answer, of course, is yes it would.

    But to educate yourself in all this, google ‘volokh foreign religious law’ . Eugene Volokh has written extensively on the use of religious and foreign law in US Courts, and the perfect appropriateness of such use. See, for instance, Pakistani Law in U.S. Courts.

  28. Laurence Bachmann says:

    Personally I look forward to the day when Latinos become a majority of the population in Texas and vote to return it to Mexico. You won’t hear a peep out of me. Well, perhaps a fervent “thank you, Jesus!”

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:
    For years I’ve joked that I’d trade Utah for Israel, and South Carolina for South Korea. I’m not sure that I’m joking anymore.

  30. @Laurence Bachmann:

    I remember the Wall Street Journal doing a story in the 80’s about The Great Wall of Texas. It was a buy-a-brick charity, designed to protect Texas from the rest of the US. The punch line of the story was that they got more donations from outside the state.