The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Veterans Against Jihad Takes on ‘Threat’ of Shariah Law

By Alexander Zaitchik on October 1, 2010 - 4:00 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

The latest fairy tale to emerge from the paranoid right is the idea that the United States legal system is haunted by the specter of Shariah law. Although strict Islamic legal codes are the rare exception even among Muslim-majority nations, anti-Muslim groups and individuals — including well-known politicians like Newt Gingrich — are now warning with straight faces that mullahs could soon be caning American schoolchildren if they get caught chewing gum.

Among the groups decrying this make-believe threat, a relatively new organization called Veterans Against Jihad (VAJ) seems particularly well positioned to benefit from the current Shariah hysteria. Founded last spring by two retired Marine Corps veterans, the goal of VAJ is to “to encourage Veterans to more actively respond to challenges threatening our Constitution [and] awaken American Citizens to Islam’s Jihadist religious mandate, which dictates the teaching of Shari’ah law, and how Shari’ah Law will impact our way of life.”

Toward this end, the group is asking all veterans to “renew and retake The Oath of Enlistment, reaffirming their loyalty to our Constitution, our Country and it’s [sic] citizens.” But the VAJ’s understanding of that loyalty is an unusual one; its manifesto specifies the kinds of orders its members can respect as well as what sort of authority it deems legitimate. The VAJ code promises only to cooperate with those officials “legally enforcing, and/or preserving our nation’s security.” Judging from the VAJ site, it is clear the group does not consider that the current Democratic White House fits the bill.

The VAJ’s distaste for religiously flavored law, however, is selective. Among the far-right groups and individuals linked to on its site is Reclaim America for Christ, which is on a mission to “educate our pastors, legislators, educators, students and all citizens as to the truth about America’s Christian Heritage and the role of fundamental, Biblical Christianity in the establishment and function of our legal, legislative and educational systems.”

While the VAJ works to protect America from Allah and reclaim it for Christ, it sees the menace of Shariah everywhere, including law firms that offer consultations on the (private) intricacies of Islamic estate planning. But as this article in the New Jersey Jewish News notes (referenced in this Eugene Robinson column), there has in the entire history of the republic been only one instance of an actual crime (domestic abuse) being forgiven by a U.S. judge on grounds of “Islamic practices” — and this ruling was swiftly overturned by another judge.

“Talk of Shariah law taking root in our country is just a way of stirring up nativist fears,” said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “It would require throwing out the entire Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. Obviously, no such effort would have the remotest chance of success.”

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    …And actually most Europeans are more concerned with immigration from other European nations, particularly European Union nations of Eastern Europe. It’s not only the immigration- they are angry(though they have themselves to blame) that so much of their tax Euros have gone into propping up states like Poland, Slovakia, the Baltic states, and so on- yet these states for the most part continue to be hell-holes and people flock out of them and into England, Germany, and the west in general.

    But I look at it this way, Western Europe worked so hard to break down “evil totalitarian” Communism- so let them clean up the mess.

  • Mitch Beales

    Perhaps we could add liars to the list of apt titles for the repeated claims of the “Muslim threat in Europe” which they continue to make in spite of the fact the these claims have been debunked repeatedly. What’s really happening in Europe today is the biggest wave of xenophobia and religious hatred since the defeat of Nazi Germany 65 years ago.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “We’ve been called traitors, morons, idiots; cowards, paranoids”

    Yup, that pretty much covers your group. Apt titles them all.

  • Domenick, Anotheroneofthem

    We’ve been called traitors, morons, idiots; cowards, paranoids and thanks to MR. buddha, we were provided with an acronomic nexus to female genitalia.

    This is not the SPLC I once knew.

    What Class!

  • Mitch Beales

    At least those awful jooz have had the good sense not to try to impose their Kosher laws on the rest of us. They’ll have to pry my BBQ from my cold dead hands! You paranoid ninnies and idiots are a laugh a minute.

  • CitizenSpork

    Lou, your comments on Shariah law courts in the UK are as alarmist as the reactionary newspapers over here. The simple fact of the matter is that a Muslim in the UK is entitled to have a _civil_ matter dealt with by a religious leader in accordance with his/her religious beliefs, this is in no way different from two atheists attending an arbitration meeting to resolve a _civil_ matter. The findings are only acceptable when both parties agree to the outcome and in no way can they supercede the law of the land. A Muslim (or any other person for that matter) cannot choose to be tried in any court other than a crown/magistrate court in the case of any _criminal_ proceedings brought against them. The slippery slope does not in any way shape or form apply.

    As to your alarmist BS about banning piggy banks and the like, I hate to break this to you, but it’s simply not true. While I have no doubt you could bore me to tears with links to stories in the Mail about christmas being banned or toilets made for Muslims only in shopping centres, but that wouldn’t change the fact that the stories are generally wilful misreporting of incidents to further the “OMG those dirty foreigners want to ruin it for us lovely middle class white people” rhetoric of the right wing press in the UK.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “From me: The simple fact is Ruslan, you lied – flat out lied – when you said there were no sharia courts in Europe. This from someone telling Whitehurst to do “some research……”

    Where you do your research makes a BIG difference. Your “research” consists of alarmist sites, judging by the words and concepts you regurgitate.

    Nonetheless, what bearing on actual law do the Sharia courts you refer to have? None.

    “Cowardly? I am right in the fight bro. ”

    No, you are a coward in real life and your “fight” is little more than an internet fantasy. That is why your paranoid mind NEEDS me to be a Muslim so badly.

    “Why no comment on your lie about no sharia courts in Europe, Ruslan? Hoping we’d just overlook that?”

    Please show us your sources, and show what bearing these courts have on UK law.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Sorry Domenick, but most of us just aren’t as easily terrified as you are.

  • Lou Stouch

    From me: The simple fact is Ruslan, you lied – flat out lied – when you said there were no sharia courts in Europe. This from someone telling Whitehurst to do “some research……

    From Ruslan: Well thanks for confirming my assertion that conservatives are cowardly, paranoid people afraid of their own shadow. Cry and moan all you want but I am an atheist….

    Cowardly? I am right in the fight bro. Why no comment on your lie about no sharia courts in Europe, Ruslan? Hoping we’d just overlook that?

  • Domenick, Anotheroneofthem

    Based on Blog comments, knowledge surrounding Shari’ah and the threat it poses on our Constitutional Republic, is at best marginal.

    Shari’ ah is a social, political, economic and unfortunately a religious ideology, which by virtue of it’s tenets, seeks to dominate all who are non Muslim by subverting ALL other political as well as economic systems. Shari’ah IS Islam.

    Are we at risk? we seem to think so. Putting ones politcal leanings aside, I invite you to read all you can and make your own assessment. The Geert Wilders trial, being conducted as we speak may be a good start. Key in Sharia Compliant Financing, Joy Brighton, Frank Gaffney and learn how these seemingly mundane financial transactions are supporting Al-Qaida and others violent groups.

    What we hate is the oppression of Shari’ ah and the violence of Jihad against Americans and all peoples of all nations subject to and under it’s dictates.

    It is not about religious redemption. It’s about the explotation of fear, benefitting those perpetuating it, with power, wealth and control.

    Thank You

  • SAS

    ……..well-known politicians like Newt Gingrich — are now warning with straight faces that mullahs could soon be caning American schoolchildren if they get caught chewing gum…….

    Actually, there is only one country that actually bans chewing gum, and that is Singapore, and no, Sharia laws do not exist there.

  • Unbelievable occult stupidity

    Is *every* Christian Republican a frothingly insane loon?

    Good grief.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “sharia law is nothing to fear in comparison to what the jews are doing and have done to this country. ”

    I see what you did there Dana. If you wish, please explain to us what Jews have done to America. Then prepare to reap a whirlwind of sarcasm.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Upon further consideration Ruslan, I believe you are also telling a lie in your assertion that you are an atheist.

    Your arguments run much to similar to those I found at Loon-watch, a UK based islamist site. And I notice that Loonwatch is actually linked to SPLC on its website, so that fits perfectly well.

    No, you are a professional Ruslan, simply employing taqqiya and spreading misinformation.”

    Well thanks for confirming my assertion that conservatives are cowardly, paranoid people afraid of their own shadow. Cry and moan all you want but I am an atheist, after freeing myself the insanity of evangelical Christianity(America’s answer to the Taliban). How sad that the best you can come up with is “you’re lying”, and then the hilariously paranoid “you’re a professional.”

    Hell, I WISH I could get paid for this. Exposing right-wing nutcases and torpedoing your pathetic arguments is one of the easiest things I do. If only someone would pay me.

    Now it is ironic that given all this you are oblivious to claim that Mitch doesn’t have a “cogent argument”. Funny that all your “arguments” revolve around stories you “recall”. Gee, recall from where exactly?

  • Lou Stouch

    Mitch Mitch Mitch, where to begin. I’ll keep it simple. I recall a recent story about a British bank “recalling” piggy banks – for children, of course – because certain muslims found them offensive. So much for your commentary on pigs.

    As regards sharia, you obviously miss the point. Being, that the muslims are forming a parallel society in which they will follow their own laws. Does the term “no go areas” mean ring a bell? Naturally this takes time, but they push a little here and a little there, and before you know it, presto, separate swimming hours for men and women (Germany). I also recall a recent incident in which a politician visited a muslim neighborhood, only to be told by the local imam something to the effect that, “you dont come to a muslim area and do whatever”.

    Must you resort to name calling Mitch? Ninnies and idiots? Usually such exclamations are a reflection of frustration born from the lack of a cogent argument. Such being the case here, if you still miss my points.