Shariah's Threat to Civil Rights; Islamic Law Practitioners Resemble Modern Version of Ku Klux Klan

Article excerpt

Byline: Frank J. Gaffney Jr., SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As we witness surging Muslim violence against non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Egypt and even here, the response seems increasingly that the victims must apologize to the perpetrators. In particular, the United States government - from President Obama on down - has been assiduously seeking forgiveness for giving offense to Islamic sensibilities after accidentally burning Korans. This was felt necessary even in a case in which the books had been defaced by captured Afghan jihadis as a means of encouraging their comrades to further acts of violence against us.

It seems that Christians are also widely considered to be at fault for having churches, Bibles and religious practices that offend the ascendant Islamists in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Certainly, no apologies are forthcoming when the Christians are murdered or forced to flee for their lives, their churches and sacred texts put to the torch.

In America last week, a Pennsylvania judge felt the need to dress down a man assaulted for parading in a Halloween costume he called Zombie Muhammad. Far from punishing the perpetrator, a Muslim immigrant, Judge Mark Martin sympathized with him for the offense caused, noting - seemingly without objection - that it was a capital crime to engage in such free expression in some countries.

Worse yet, the judge suggested that the victim in this case had exceeded the boundaries of his First Amendment rights. Such a view seems to track with the Obama administration's collaboration with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in fashioning international accords that would prohibit incitement against Islam.

This is a short step from - and en route to - the OIC's larger goal of banning and criminalizing any expression that offends Muslims or their faith. As such, it poses a mortal peril to the Constitution's First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech.

What is going on in country after country, in international forums such as the United Nations Human Rights Council and even in some American courts, is a calculated effort, backed by terrifying violence or its threat, to make us feel subdued, as the Koran puts it. The idea is to use Western sensibilities and civil liberties - notably, respect for the free practice of religion - to deny the rest of us our fundamental freedoms. These include the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and, yes, freedom of religion.

The trouble is that when we accommodate such demands, it is seen by Islamist enemies of liberty as evidence of our inevitable submission. …