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Signs of progress in Islam

Earlier, I discussed the Catholic Church in a very uneducated fashion. Now I feel the need to discuss Islam in a similar vein, in light of certain developments in the news recently.

In Massachusetts, the Islamic Society of Boston has been working on building a mosque in old Beantown. Actually, a MOSQUE -- as planned, it will be the biggest mosque in the United States. But not everyone has embraced their plan, and there have been a lot of questions left unanswered concerning the financing and other behind-the-scenes machinations.

Those questions remain unanswered, but earlier this week the ISB gave up on its attempts to get those questions un-asked.

The ISB had filed civil lawsuits against Fox-25, the Boston Herald, and various and sundry other groups and individuals who had discussed the ISB's plans in less than glowing terms. And while the ISB is claiming victory, it's worthwhile to note that 1) the ISB has agreed to not only drop its lawsuit, but given up any right to re-file it, and 2) the lawsuits from the other sides were all counter-suits, meaning that without the ISB's original suit, they pretty much lost all meaning.

The Boston Herald rejoiced in this development, as did the blogger "Solomon," who had also been targeted. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe tried its level best to polish this turd, proclaiming that the backing down of the ISB in (what appeared to me) to be a flagrant assault on the First Amendment as a grand opportunity to let bygones be bygones and get a fresh start on interfaith relations.

Some observers noted that the ISB had been hoping that the threat of the lawsuit would silence its critics, and dropped the matter when it became clear that a lot of people involved with the ISB would have to answer some very awkward questions under oath very soon. I'm not up on the story enough to say with any authority if this is true, but it is certainly plausible.

And in other good news from the world of Islam, a woman who converted from Islam to Christianity has managed to not get sentenced to death by her Islamic government. Instead, the Malaysian government simply refused to recognize her conversion. Lina Joy -- born Azlina Jailani -- had petitioned the government to remove the word "Islam" from her national ID card. The government's courts said that it had no authority to order changes to her government-issued ID; instead, she had to go to the religious courts and get their permission to stop being identified by a faith she had rejected.

This is actually a great step forward. In many other countries, conversion from Islam is a capital offense.

Here, the government is not threatening her with death. Instead, they are telling her to go before a religious court and submit herself to their judgment first. Of course, those courts operate under Shariah law. and under that law leaving Islam is considered apostasy and a capital offense, but at least in this case the government is distancing itself slightly from the execution.

It's easy as hell to become a Muslim -- all you have to do is recite the magic words in front of a Muslim authority -- but there's no way out. And it doesn't just apply to people, either; according to the rules of some of the more devout, it applies to land, too. Once a hunk of territory is held by Muslims, it is Muslim forever.

Islam. It's the "Roach Motel" of religions. Once you check in, you never check out.


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Comments (21)

There's never any GOOD news... (Below threshold)
Lee:

There's never any GOOD news from the world of islam, just submit, die, or pay a tax and live like a Jew in Nazi Germany. Which do you choose Jay?

Well, if they can't saw you... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Well, if they can't saw your head off, they'll just sue ya. That's the religion of peace for ya.....

Strikes me as being more li... (Below threshold)
THC:

Strikes me as being more like the Hotel California than the Roach Motel.

I suppose the counter suits... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

I suppose the counter suits could continue in the form as a baseless and or malicious prosecution suit(s). I do hope they do so.

Jay, could you cite me a so... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Jay, could you cite me a source that being a Christian in Malaysia carries the death sentence. Malaysia is not some fundamentalist backwater...

You've got the idea. Just ... (Below threshold)

You've got the idea. Just a quick clarification. I myself was not (yet) targeted. The original suit was the "Policastro suit" against the City of Boston for giving the land the Mosque was to be built on at a steep discount (separation of church/state and all that). The ISB and its officers then began suing people who had called attention to their connections to extremists, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc...there was never a counter-suit, just a defense on that matter.

The Policastro suit was dismissed by the court on a technicality, and he has agreed not to continue that particular fight (he won't appeal) which was never of great significance anyway.

The discovery process in the ISB's defamation and conspiracy suit has, if anything, only made matters worse for them, as the discovery process and the fight itself has ended up making the defendants statements seem measured in hindsight.

The David Project's court fight against the City of Boston's Boston Redevelopment Authority continues. They are seeking further disclosures concerning the at best unseemly, at worst criminal conflict of interest between a BRA employee and the Islamic Society of Boston for whom he was also laboring.

So when the ISB says that everyone agreed to drop the thing, that's misleading. The ISB dropped their suit. Period.

The only better outcome in the case would have been to see it all through (thus increasing the number of difficult disclosures for the plaintiffs) and forcing them to pay expenses. Sadly, this almost never happens, so this outcome is quite good.

Paul,Can you cite in... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Paul,
Can you cite in the above post WHERE Jay said merely being a Christian was a capital offense in Malaysia?

Using the same "logic" as I... (Below threshold)
Scott:

Using the same "logic" as Islam, Christianity could claim that any land that had once been Christian is forever "Christendom".

That would be bad news for Muslims in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

Picky Picky Paul. "In many ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Picky Picky Paul. "In many other countries, conversion from Islam is a capital offense". This seems to let your pet country off the hook. Watching the news on the latest disaster in Malaysia indicates that the storm surge did billions of dollars in improvements. "Malaysia is not some fundamentalist backwater", agree, it is one of the hell holes on earth brought to you by Islam, the 16th century religion showing no progress since.

Paul H' goes by the name Le... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Paul H' goes by the name Lee as in W' or is it that they just sound alike?

SCSI and Scrapiron: You're... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

SCSI and Scrapiron: You're right. My bad. The implication, however, is that this is the norm in Islamic countries and Malaysia is the exception and I'm sure that's not the case.

JHow: Lee and I are not the same person and in fact we disagree on a lot.

There we go again. This ti... (Below threshold)

There we go again. This time from Paul: the "implication".

Straight out of Brian's handbook. "You implied" or "here's what you reallymean". Then they go on to argue something that was never said.

Meh.

Jhow, Lee would have come r... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Jhow, Lee would have come right out and called Jay a liar or a bigot, rather than imply it.

THAT explains why I can't g... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

THAT explains why I can't get rid of my 1969 Buick LaSabre!!! I'm stuck with it because it's MUSLIM!????? now ya tell me.........

Paul, you INFERRED that. I ... (Below threshold)

Paul, you INFERRED that. I did not IMPLY it.

Simply being Christian is not against Shariah law. Converting to Christianity from Islam -- or leaving Islam under any circumstances -- is a capital offense under Shariah law, and the Malaysian court told her that if she wants to get the Muslim designation removed from her ID, she needs to get the consent of the Shariah court. Feel free to connect the dots in a way that does NOT get her killed, please.

J.

THAT explains why I can'... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

THAT explains why I can't get rid of my 1969 Buick LaSabre!!!

Just park it on the outskirts of Paris and you'll be rid of it the first night. LaSabre Flambe anyone?

Baksheesh Ka Bob.===... (Below threshold)
kim:

Baksheesh Ka Bob.
============

And Barack Obama probably h... (Below threshold)
kim:

And Barack Obama probably has a legal way out because he was a child when he attended the Islamic school, and likely recited the magic words.
================================

Jay: How many nations use ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Jay: How many nations use Sharia as the law of the land?

That's why this whole situation in Malaysia makes so little sense. The only thing I can figure is that the civil government is going out of their way not to offend the radical Muslims there. If it's not against the law -- CIVIL law -- to be, or to become a Christian, why would they be so shy about changing it on the card?

And this is just one more example of why I believe so strongly in a complete separation of church and state, no matter which church or which state.

PH:The only th... (Below threshold)
marc:

PH:

The only thing I can figure is that the civil government is going out of their way not to offend the radical Muslims there. If it's not against the law -- CIVIL law -- to be, or to become a Christian, why would they be so shy about changing it on the card?

Well... DUH!

The radicals muslims want sharia law and the civil gov defers the matter to the very same RADICAL MUSLIMS.

Well... DUH, again, that's the closest you can figure?

How about this... the civil gov is bent on appeasement, want to keep their phoney-baloney jobs in a generally calm peaceful country and fear kicking the bees nest will not only cost them their jobs but expand sharia via suicide attacks and other terrorism that is less present now.

Now that wasn't so hard was it?

Except appeasement doesn't ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Except appeasement doesn't work. The government should tell the extremists that if they want to segregate themselves and apply their own rules within their own community, that's their business, but they have no authority to interfere with others who have not voluntarily submitted themselves to Sharia law. I really believe that so long as the government draws a clear line, and they make it clear that they represent ALL the people of the country, the vast majority of the population would be behind them and terrorists would be suppressed.




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