Politicians Who Have Never Whirled Like a Dervish Should Not Talk About Islam

The quintessential Islamic Garden. Shading "terrorists" since 622.

First, did you know there was a State Senate hearing in Manhattan last Friday? I know, right? Sounds riveting. But, did you know that this hearing was to discuss how to keep NYC safe? And, did you know that the New York Times is reporting that apparently this meeting fell into a shouting drama-fest when certain Republicans and former Muslims decided to get super emo and rant and rave about how Islam, and especially shariah law, teaches people to hate Jews and hate America? Crazy, right?

Well that’s what Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-born American who runs Former Muslims United (bone to pick?) and is a founder of Arabs for Israel (OMG!) had to say.

You know what it’s like when during Thanksgiving dinner your step-dad decides to wax poetic about how apartheid kept South Africa safer, or when your uncle pontificates about how blacks can’t rule themselves, and your toes curl because you just don’t know where to begin with your sensible retort, so instead you pile more marshmallow-covered yams onto your plate just to drown your mind-venom?

That’s how I’m feeling right now, like covering myself in delicious marshmallow-covered yams.

Reading about politicians and ex-Muslims loosing their shit over the supposed superhuman threat of Islamic devilment is like nails on a chalkboard. There are so many holes in their arguments it’s impossible to figure out where to begin. Not to mention the dizzying array of contradictions coming from the arguers themselves!

Really. Player haters have got to get their stories straight. I mean, does Islam teach people to hate Jews and want to kill American babies, or not? Using the player hater’s own language it seems nobody is sure. According to Long Island Republican Representative Peter L. King, who is famous for wanting Muslims to better police Muslims, the NYT stated that King prefaced his statements by saying that “ninety-nine percent” of American Muslims are perfect little patriots, but it’s that one percent that’s gotta be kept in check.

But, how is that possible? How is it possible for Islam to teach Muslims to get all hater-ade on the world, as Darwish seems to imply/states with certainty, but ninety-nine percent manage to be Care Bears to the extreme? Is Islam—arguably the worlds fastest growing religion—somehow missing the mark on ninety-nine percent of all those potential terrorists? That’s a pretty piss-poor success rate.

And Shari’ah law. Good god! Are we still talking about this?

People, Shari’ah law is, like the code of laws in this country, a changeable and interpretive system based entirely on the will and character of the interpreter. It can be used to work for or against people, and, depending on the political climate of the times, does as such.

Just as the The United States of America uses (or is supposed to use) the Constitution as its base for interpretation—itself a document highly contested back on the day as being autocratic and manipulative—Shari’ah law uses the Qur’an. Therefore, if you get a liberal, progressive-minded person interpreting the Qur’an, you will have “freedom for all.” If you have a conservative, anti-humanity troll interpreting the Qur’an, you will get laws in kind. The same thing happens with our laws—regularly. Same-sex marriage, anyone?

Now, like a good anarchist, I’m none too happy about laws in general. That said, I’m none too happy about disinformation. And, I’m especially none too happy about Americans getting on their high horse about how awful other country’s laws are when the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world! Take that, China.

But, as you may know, it takes two to tango in an argument, and defenders of the faith spoke out as well, although I must say, it’s weird for me to think of senators holding up Qur’ans defending Islam, though that’s exactly what Senator Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat, did claiming Ms. Darwish was “bringing hate and poison” into the hearing. To this, Senator Gregory R. Ball, a first-term Republican from Putnam County, hurled this notable zinger pointed at what he saw as pandering to the media: “I’m glad that nobody is between those TV cameras and you, because that’s the most dangerous place in New York City right now.” Boo yah.

Despite all the piss and vinegar, most of the hearing seems to have been what you’d think it have been: boooooring. At least three people are reported to have slept through Richard Daddario’s testimony. But, what does he know? He’s just the New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official. I hope he didn’t have anything important to say….

Ahh…politricks.

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