Five times a day Muslims are supposed to perform a special kind of worship. In Arabic, it's called salaat. But to millions of Muslims in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia etc, it's known as namaz.
It is performed in accordance with certain regulations concerning washing and physical postures. All of these are governed by a sacred law known as sharia.
And if a number of lawmakers in the poor state of Tennessee have their way, it will become an act of treason.
The Tennessean website reports on 23/02:
A proposed Tennessee law would make following the Islamic code known as Shariah law a felony, punishable by 15 years in jail.
Wow. That's more than what you might get for bashing your Christian wife. So who is behind this unusual piece of legislation?
State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, introduced the same bill in the Senate and House last week. It calls Shariah law a danger to homeland security and gives the attorney general authority to investigate complaints and decide who's practicing it.
It exempts peaceful practice of Islam but labels any adherence to Shariah law — which includes religious practices such as feet washing and prayers — as treasonous. It claims Shariah adherents want to replace the Constitution with their religious law.
Believe it or not, similar bills have been moved in other US State legislatures. But the Tennessee one goes much further. It provides for criminal sanctions against anyone found to be involved in the practice of sharia.
And who drafted this bill?
The Tennessee bill goes further by proposing criminal penalties for following Shariah ... the bill was model legislation, given to him by the Tennessee Eagle Forum, a conservative advocacy group.
Bobbie Patray, state president of the Eagle Forum, confirmed that the law had been drafted by David Yerushalmi, a Chandler, Ariz.-based attorney. Yerushalmi runs the Society of Americans for National Existence, a nonprofit that says following Shariah is treasonous.
And so we see a bunch of alleged Christians attacking the liturgy of another monotheistic faith. The language is largely the same. The only difference is that the targets aren't Jews this time round.
And sadly some Jews are involved.
Words © 2011 Irfan Yusuf
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