Judge Jeanine's constitutionally correct question about sharia law
The nation is focused on foreign influence on American politics in any number of ways. The issues range from the discredited witch hunt directed at President Trump, the prosecution of Paul Manafort for failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), congressional investigations into whether Russians used social media to influence elections, Chinese spyware, Representative Ilhan Omar's hostile statements about lawmakers' alleged dual loyalty to Israel, and whether green groups are acting as unregistered foreign agents to the recent announcement by the Justice Department of plans to step up FARA investigations and even the larger debate about whether foreigners entering the United States illegally have the requisite intent of being loyal to our constitutional rule of law — a legitimate concern that any sovereign nation may impose on those who seek permanent inclusion within its boundaries and protections.
Last week, Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro found herself in curious hot water for asking a legitimate question about Ilhan Omar: "Omar wears the hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won't get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?"
It was the late Justice Antonin Scalia who raised the profile of the intellectual, constitutional debate about foreign law and its influence on American legal interpretation. Scalia and other originalists have recognized the First Amendment right of Muslims to practice their faith. That issue, however, is distinct from whether foreign law may be used to construe or influence American law under our Constitution, which is our fundamental and paramount law governing government itself.
The question of whether sharia or any foreign laws, including those from socialist regimes, may be used to dilute or even construe American constitutional law is fundamental to our national political debate. Those who seek to suppress that debate in their pursuit of political correctness do substantial harm to the First Amendment under, which they purportedly operate.
Judge Jeanine's question posits correctly that sharia law "is antithetical to the United States Constitution," not that Muslims may not practice their faith. The National Center for Constitutional Studies, for example, writes that "Shariah is Anti-Constitutional" and makes these observations about conflicts between sharia law and the U.S. Constitution:
Whether pursued through the violent form of jihad (holy war) or stealthier practices that shariah Islamists often refer to as "dawa" (the "call to Islam"), shariah rejects fundamental premises of American society and values:
the bedrock proposition that the governed have a right to make law for themselves;
the democratic republic governed by the Constitution;
freedom of conscience; individual liberty
freedom of expression (including the liberty to analyze and criticize shariah);
economic liberty (including private property);
equal treatment under the law (including that of men and women, and of Muslims and non-Muslims);
freedom from cruel and unusual punishments; an unequivocal condemnation of terrorism (i.e., one that is based on a common sense meaning of the term and does not rationalize barbarity as legitimate "resistance"); and
an abiding commitment to deflate and resolve political controversies by the ordinary mechanisms of our democratic republic, not wanton violence. The subversion campaign known as "civilization jihad" must not be confused with, or tolerated as, a constitutionally protected form of religious practice. Its ambitions transcend what American law recognizes as the sacrosanct realm of private conscience and belief. It seeks to supplant our Constitution with its own totalitarian framework.
Andrew McCarthy wrote in 2016, "[F]oreign policy of the United States has for a generation proceeded on the absurd assumption that sharia and Western liberalism are perfectly, seamlessly compatible." This absurdity is only advanced in suppressing legitimate debate.
A recent conversation I had with my new Muslim friend — coincidentally, on a visit to the Fox News studios — affirms that there is no inconsistency in what Judge Jeanine asked. He said, "So many Americans complain, but they don't know how lucky they are," referring to God's blessings.
We may have a different faith about what God directs, but my new Muslim friend clearly appreciates America's freedoms and benefits under our Constitution, unlike so many politically correct American malcontents.