Paranoia over Sharia law run amuck
On September 11, 2001, our world changed. The vivid recollections are still far too fresh in many people’s minds for them to realize that it was over a decade ago that we witnessed the horrors of that day. Also, many Americans have learned things about Islam. Some of them true, others not.
Unforunately, they’ve taken those tidbits of knowledge, both factual and fantastic, and developed opinions. Opinions that are a special kind of ridiculous.
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.
Honestly, all this fear of Sharia law has gone past silly and into a new realm of idiotic that we’ll probably need a new word to describe.
Ali - her photograph is at the link above and frankly, I don’t see a Sharia law touting attorney dressing like that - appears to be qualified for the position. In fact, no one seems to be arguing that she’s qualified. They take issue with her faith and that she is a Muslim. Really?
Plenty of Christians talk about how they’re persecuted in this country, and while I disagree about their definition of “persecuted”, I think there’s a point when we’ve gotten a little ridiculous about how far church and state have to be kept. However, they’re not going to win any brownie points from folks when they turn around and persecute a member of another faith.
The bit about Sharia Law really tickled me. Why? Because this is someone appointed to head up the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s efforts to increase international exports. She’s not crafting policy except possibly when it deals with economics and trade (and in that case,I oppose it simply because state’s suck at that kind of thing). She’s a business attorney with vast experience with international trade. That’s what she’s doing. At no point can I see a way she can interject Sharia Law into anything.
There are valid reasons to be concerned about terrorism. There is valid room to debate the role of Islam in terrorism. There are also valid criticisms of Islam as it relates to terrorism. However, to act like every Muslim is a secret terrorist, or to act like they have some innate desire to uproot the American legal system and replace it with the archiac theocratic rules simply on the basis of their faith is beyond stupid.
Just think though…if so many evagelical conservatives didn’t buck the idea of a seperation between church and state, then that would serve a barrier to Sharia Law ever being implimented in the United States. Funny how that works, isn’t it?