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November 11, 2010

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In regions following Salic law, there were things (lands, positions) that she explicitly *could not* inherit, and which could not be inherited by her sons, either. In much of Christendom, primogeniture was the rule, a winner-take-all system where the eldest son got everything, and the other sons were almost as deprived as the daughters.

The same was true in the Ottoman Empire. No Sultan ever handed on the throne to his daughter, or divided it equally between all his sons. And there was the added twist that the non-inheriting sons were often deprived not only of inheritance but also of eyes, freedom, and/or life.
The main difference was the lack of a rigid primogeniture rule; the effect this had in terms of palace politics, rivalry etc is well known.

"I'm not certain if there is anything "especially nefarious" about the shariah laws when compared to other religious laws created during the middle ages,"

Well, no, the complaint isn't that Islam is worse than Christianity was during the middle ages. The complaint is that it's not the middle ages anymore, and that we're comparing the two religions TODAY.

Related:

Fox News' Trace Gallagher uncritically reported the false claim that "the courts are increasingly consulting and using Sharia law," which he attributed to the sponsor of a ballot measure banning the use of international and Sharia law in Oklahoma. In fact, the sponsor himself has failed to identify a single case in which Sharia law was successfully used in any U.S. court decision.

I do look forward, though, to the precedent set by this amendment, when suddenly people discover that, say, Orthodox Jews can no longer have their disputes settled by legally binding arbitration reliant on the Torah. Equal protection, etc.

My take on this is the law has no meaning at all. Not that it doesn't have flavor, mind you, but this looks to me like: without this amendment to their constitution, Sharia law could not be at variance with state, local or federal laws.

Nothing changed. And given how much I hate unnecessary or unnecessarily convoluted law, I would prefer that OK not have done this.

But not being an Okie, I don't have much say in the matter. Also, not being a lawyer, my opinion is no doubt insufficiently nuanced.

Slarti: I don't know that this really needs nuance. "It's a dumb idea that doesn't really do anything" seems like a perfectly valid complaint.

Brett is correct in that the problem people have with Islamic law/practice is not that it is, in the broad expanse of history, clearly worse than the other Abrahamic religions, but that it is *now*, generally.

That doesn't make this OK amendment right, smart or in any way necessary (that's the kicker, to me). The fear, the hysteria... ugh.

That said, *if* the BS claim that "sharia law is coming!" were actually true, I'd be in opposition the same way I am when Christianists try to govern from the Bible.

The complaint is that it's not the middle ages anymore, and that we're comparing the two religions TODAY.
So why aren't you comparing Islam in the US versus Christianity in the US?

Why not compare extreme Muslims to extreme Christians? The ones in Uganda spring to mind.

Otherwise you're just being disengenious, cherry-picking your examples to make your point. Hardly compelling.

When discussing this subject, I suggest looking into the precedents of U.S. and state laws allowing for Orthodox Jewish law to have a place in family law.

I'd guess that might hold, Gary, to the extent that said law doesn't conflict with existing domestic laws.

I don't seem to be taking your advice, do I?

I propose a constitutional amendment that it is illegal to destroy crops or inhibit fertility (and/or virility) by use of black magic. We can't just ignore the possibility that witches could do damage to the economy (as they do in Africa) or scry national security related secrets in order to sell them to the enemies of the state/people (as they did in Britain during WW2, before the laws against it were foolishly dropped).

The complaint is that it's not the middle ages anymore, and that we're comparing the two religions TODAY.

To expand on what Moraty20 said, in an awful lot of the world, it is the middle ages. In fact, in some parts of the world, it hasn't even achieved that level of civilization. Not to say that we shouldn't want the people there to have better. But it's the reality.

But, Brett, you can cherry-pick areas in, for example, central Africa, where nominally Christian countries have legal "systems" which are nowhere near as equitable as those in Muslim places like Indonesia or Turkey. So a bit more even-handedness is definitely possible.

What bugs me about the OK law is the paranoia behind it and the intellectual dishonsety of its proponenets. The law itself probably doesn't do much of anything. A muslin who wishes to leage an inheretance in accordance to sharia law can simply divbide things up and give them to the descendants by name without mentioning sharia, for example.

The main problem iwth the law, the part that gets up my nose, is the institutionalization of a lie: that AMerican Muslims are trying to impose sharia on other Americans and hae to be twarted in their neferious plot by the heroic lawmakers.

what wonkie said @ 11:37

what wonkie said.

I divide up my "what X said" in accordance with Shariah law to wonkie and Gary Farber.

I have to disagree a little with both Nate and Slarti. "It's a dumb idea that doesn't really do anything" is being way too nice. It's only in a very narrow sense that you can say the law "doesn't really do anything": it is quite effective at showing American Muslims that they are not trusted or wanted in Oklahoma.

Law is at least as much about saying what people *want* the society to be like, as it is about taking specific legal actions -- and this goes triple for a plebiscite.

Is this eliminationism? Not *quite* ... yet ... but if I were a Muslim in a "red" state, I'd start thinking about an exit plan. Better to be like the Jews who left Germany in 1933 than the ones who left in 1939 ... or 1945.

ajay:

Inheritance in the Ottoman Empire illustrates the kind of workarounds Muslims had to use, to get the inheritance pattern they wanted despite the straightforward canonical rules -- just as Christians and Jews developed workarounds for *their* canonical rules.

But what you see in the Ottomans -- and also in e.g. the Saudi royal family today -- is a strong bias *against* a father choosing which child will succeed him, and a bias against pure primogeniture (where the inheritor is determined by luck of birth order). The Muslim ideal tends to be expressed either that children are strictly equal, or that the heir is chosen from among a pool of candidates by people who are alive after the father is dead (sometimes by a struggle to the death). His wishes are not determinative.

...and in the dead-tree Newsweek(*) which came to the house on Tuesday, there is a series of huge, splashy puff pieces about the great new places in the US to move to and start businesses.

Prominently, Oklahoma.

Gawd.

(*)Sorry, but I can't take a computer into the bathroom with me.

It's only in a very narrow sense that you can say the law "doesn't really do anything": it is quite effective at showing American Muslims that they are not trusted or wanted in Oklahoma.

Good point, and there's a strong parallel here with sodomy laws. If you read Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, it's pretty clear that his real complaint isn't that the state should forcibly stop consenting adults from having sexual relations with someone of their own sex. Rather, it's that the state no longer enshrines in law the notion that those relations, and the people who have them, are qualitatively inferior, and are only "free" to do what they do through the largesse of their natural superiors.

More what wonkie said.

Using the initiative system as a way to beat up minority groups is not appropriate.

In trying to find out more about the challenges to this law on constitutional grounds I found myself mired in the cesspool of right-wing conspiracy sites. Not so sure this whole internet thing was such a good idea, at times.

Isn't this pretty much just like a will selecting an executor and setting out the general rules to be followed by the executor? Is it so unlikely that a similar model was followed by members of a Christian church?

Dr. Science: This is true, and I felt that went without saying. As the law has no practical impact, its only purpose is to say "Hey, we don't like Muslims!"

it is quite effective at showing American Muslims that they are not trusted or wanted in Oklahoma

Hence my "it has flavor" comment. I know: I should have unpacked that.

My point wasn't that the amendment didn't send a message, just that it didn't emplace any new legal constraints on anyone.

I'm all in favor of the notion that, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union."

That said, I think it's a bit iffy for a judge to enjoin a proposition at the stage of being put on the ballot, rather than the stage of being implemented. What makes it to the ballot, and how the voters chose to vote on it, is about as pure a "political matter" as you can get.

This was, after all, perfectly equivalent to a judge enjoining the legislature from voting on a bill. How often does that happen?

Roughly never, I believe. The voters resorting to ballot propositions and initiatives deserve at least as much deference from the judiciary, as the legislators, who after all only exercise the voters' power as a delegation, vs directly.

The voters resorting to ballot propositions

"Resorting?" What problem, exactly, has gone thus far unsolved that voters must "resort" to this proposition? Please show your work.

No work to show: The voters chose to put a proposition on the ballot; My position is that this is indistinguishable from the legislature bringing a bill up for a vote, and the judiciary would NEVER enjoin the legislature from voting on a bill.

The voters, be they ever so stupid, prejudiced, whatever you want to call them, are entitled to at least as much judicial deference as the legislature, when they directly exercise a legislative role.

Why they chose to put the proposition on the ballot, what they expected of it, what the proposition says, all irrelevant. The appropriate time to enjoin is at the point of enforcement, not prior to the vote.

You used a specific word, "resort," which has a specific meaning. If you don't understand that meaning or its implications, don't pull the two-step with me trying to get away from it.

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan 'for blasphemy'

A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed.

Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted for her faith in a country where Christians face routine harassment and discrimination.

I'm opposed to this OK law and the frightening rise of anti-Islamic bigotry in the USA, but let's not kid ourselves here.

Even the craziest and most frightening Christianists are pikers compared to their Islamic counterparts.

Then again, this isn't the first time you've demonstrated your rather shaky relationship with the English language, so I suppose I should be grading you on a curve.

Even the craziest and most frightening Christianists are pikers compared to their Islamic counterparts.

i don't think there have been many Islamic stonings in the US.

Phil: Ballot propositions are, generally speaking, a way for the voters to circumvent the legislature on subjects where it is reluctant to do the people's will. So "resort" will, generally, be the appropriate word.

OTOH, I was unaware that this particular measure was put on the ballot BY the legislature. So maybe "resort" was the wrong word in this instance.

But I stand by my position that it is inappropriate for the courts to intervene until actual enforcement of a law is at stake. Can you cite examples of a judge ordering the legislature to not count the votes on a bill, or certify that it got the votes?

Judges have got to extend the public as much deference as the legislature receives, when the public is exercising the legislative power in it's own person, rather than delegating it.

Even the craziest and most frightening Christianists are pikers compared to their Islamic counterparts.

But
In Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if enacted, would broaden the criminalisation of homosexuality by introducing the death penalty for people who have previous convictions, are HIV-positive, or engage in same sex acts with people under 18 years of age.... The proposed legislation in Uganda, however, has been noted by several news agencies to be inspired by American evangelical Christians. A special motion to introduce the legislation was passed a month after a two-day conference was held where three American Christians asserted that homosexuality was a direct threat to the cohesion of African families.
cite

Phil, you could probably cool it on the "resort" issue.

A) so far as I can tell you're wrong (i.e. initiatives are typically 'resorted to' when the voting populace thinks some branch of the state government hasn't dealt with something properly--and that is doubly true when the initiative passes);

and more importantly

B) so far as I can tell, no crucial part of the argument/conversation turns on the word "resort"; changing it to "used" or "engaged" or "employed" or some other broadly similar word in context doesn't appear to change Brett's argument at all, so insisting on attacking it/having Brett defend it, looks more like a destructive distraction than a constructive addition to the conversation.

i don't think there have been many Islamic stonings in the US.

And none in Oklahoma.

And that's the real issue here. This is hysterical, and not in the funny way.

If and when "sharia law" is actually being proposed here in the USA, please do alert me and I'll be happy to oppose it.

A couple of questions [inserting usual IANAL disclaimer here]:

Assuming that this miserable bit of prejudice-mongering isn't struck down for one reason or another (and - pace Brett's charming faith in the apparent fundamental goodness of "citizen initiatives" - a good many of these type of ballot propositions are): what practical effect would this have on OK jurisprudence?

Suppose the late Muhammed M. who lived, say, in Tulsa, dies, and leaves a will to be probated which says:

"I, Mohammed Mohammed, being of sound mind, etc.... do hereby bequeath my worldly estate, in accordance with the Laws of The Prophet (PBUH): To my wife [X], to my son(s)[Y], to my daughter(s) [Z]"

Someone (a disgruntled daughter?) would have the standing to challenge the will on "anti-Shariah" grounds? What if the late Mr. Mohammed omitted the religious formulations, and just specified the "traditional" divisions? Does that make a claim?

Nah, what wonkie said at 11:37....

Even the craziest and most frightening Christianists are pikers compared to their Islamic counterparts.

Given what said Kristians(TM) in the US utter on a regular base the main difference to me seems to be that they lack the means becasue they have until now not been able to erect the unfettered theocracy they claim to desire.
The most extreme Kristianists(TM) call for the death of >95% of the world population or closer to home for the execution of >2/3 of the population of the US (for starters). Lenin's companions thought that 10% would be enough, Mao 5-8%(but with occasional repeats) and even Pol Post managed to kill only about a quarter of his people. I am not aware that even Al Qaeda calls for billions of dead in order to fulfill their mission. But hey, in the US everything must be bigger.

Do you have some particular group in mind Hartmut? Preferably something better than Rev. Phelps 'congregation' consisting almost entirely of his own family? I'm relatively familiar with Christian groups and I can't think of who you are talking about.

Well the Christian Domionists are pretty scarey. They want a theocracy and aren't shy about demonizing other religions including Christians who don't share their views. And the Joshua's Army types are overly militaristic. Remember that Christian militia that panned to kill police officers in Michigan? Remember all the Christian apologists for rightwing terrorism andmurder against doctors and family planning clinics? And I am not at all comfortable with the intolerance shown by evangelicals in the US militgary forces for anyone who does not tow their part line. It is very dangerous that people of a certain Christian persuasion are deliberately trying to make the military be a branch of their religion.

There is a real danger in the lies perpetuated by Christians in the US who deny separation of chruch and state and assert that we are a Christian nation. The danger is that, if that lie gets imbedded inthe popular imagination, the power of govedrnment will be suverted for political aims disguised as religious freedom (for Christians of the right type).

And thanks for all the what wonkies saids. Affrimations are fun!

"Brett's charming faith in the apparent fundamental goodness of "citizen initiatives""

I have no such faith at all. I simply observe that the judiciary typically extend a great deal of deference to the legislature in it's workings, and believe that the people, when they exercise a legislative function through initiatives, are entitled to at least as much deference.

Even though their initiatives are frequently as poorly thought out or even outright evil as the legislature's work product...

I assumed Hartmut was talking about the "Left Behind" fandom.

Hmmm, maybe I'm confused, but most of the Left Behind crowd doesn't expect to be here for all of that. Suggesting that they 'call for the death' of some huge portion of the population is severely misunderstanding the concept.

I think the Left Behind fans definitely plan to have ring-side seats in Heaven, though, chanting WE TOLD YOU SO as the majority of the Earth's population suffers the Tribulations we have (I gather) so richly deserved.

Sure, it could be meanspirited, but not in the vein that Hartmut was suggesting.

Sure, it could be meanspirited, but not in the vein that Hartmut was suggesting.

I know a lot of those folks as well, and most of them are fine people.

But somebody's buying that f***ed up first person shooter game.

The Dominionist crowd are worth keeping an eye on. The white supremacists stand right out, you can see them coming a mile away.

The Rushdoony types blend in, and should they ever have the reins in their hot little hands, they will have no problem whatsoever employing the full power of the state to compel you to toe their line.

It's what they're about.

I think the US prejudice against Sharia is not really about inheritance. It is about the requirement for Muslims to fight Jihad against non-Muslims, whenever possible. It isn't possible for the US Muslim community to wage Jihad, but the rich oil states can, so if they're inclined (Iran) they interpret Sharia that way. I guess it could be different in Oklahoma.

I've read that the ancient laws of inheritance were built around the need to keep landholdings intact, to prevent further fragmentation each generation, resulting in phone-booth sized plots down the road.

Since the law doesn't do much, the real reason for measure was probably just a way to get the Christian Right to turn out in larger numbers for the mid-term elections. If so, it sounds like a practical political move that worked out. The Republicans did very well in Oklahoma; we can expect the campaign managers to rise within the ranks of the Republicans.

The Left Behind guys indeed expect that they do not have to do the mass slaughter themselves and some indeed revel in the thoughts of getting a front line seat to watch the ultimate desaster movie unfolding. It's just a certain flavor of horror porn. This type is by no means new. The oldest example I am aware of is Tertullian (late 2nd century). Despicable but mostly harmless*.
I was thinking more of Rushdoony types (although I am not sure that he himself explicitly called for global genocide) and those parts of the religious right that overlap with the KKK. And then there are the simply deranged like Bryan 'whale stoner' Fisher (latest news: he demands that when a single human is harmed by a single animal of one species then that species has to be exterminated) who nonetheless have close relationships with well-known politicians (see the midterms election campaign).
I do not claim that this is widespread but there are some with access to mikes and publishers*. Imo that's enough to 'refudiate' the claim that the worst Christians are pikers compared to Islamic radicals (often falsely conflated with the mainstream).
A good source (because it quotes and/or links to authors themselves) is http://www.rightwingwatch.org/>Right Wing Watch. The archives are a veritable cabinet of horrors ranging from the yearly War on Christmas to the most extreme edges.

*unlike the "Kill 'em all, the Lords knows his own" guys who would gain traction not before the high Middle Ages. Still some fanatic catholics running around with similar beliefs usually combined with a worship of Mary that I can consider only pathological (e.g. 'not before all protestants are drowned in their own blood can the true love of Mary bloom again', Germany 1930 with imprimatur)
**not talking about Ann Coulter here. She imo does her stuff only because it's lucrative.

FredJ:

I think the US prejudice against Sharia is not really about inheritance.
No-one here is saying it is. We're saying it's a prejudice based on bigotry and fear.
Since the law doesn't do much, the real reason for measure was probably just a way to get the Christian Right to turn out in larger numbers for the mid-term elections. If so, it sounds like a practical political move that worked out. The Republicans did very well in Oklahoma; we can expect the campaign managers to rise within the ranks of the Republicans.
I think this is substantially true, but it's not clear that you've grasped that this "practical political move" is evil.

Yes, I've said it, evil. Promoting bigotry and pointless fear because it makes you more powerful? That's evil, that's what it looks like.

It is about the requirement for Muslims to fight Jihad against non-Muslims, whenever possible.

There is no such requirement in the Koran. Not even the most extreme forms of Sharia believe in such a requirement. That is a seriously ignorant statement.

Is it bad that I now kinda want to see an action movie starring whoever is the Muslim equivalent of Steven Seagal called Sharia Justice?

No, Phil, that is not bad. I'm going through Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things to find candidates ...

This one, perhaps, though I don't know if he can do his own stunts. I also don't know if I *care*.

Some years back, Muslims in Ontario agitated for the right to govern themselves under Shariah law. The Canadians considered the idea, then rejected it. If present company does not respect the opinions of Oklahoma voters, in pushing this camel's nose out from under the tent, they may give the Canadians a more indulgent hearing. DIY research here. What the Oklahomans are really afraid of here.

If present company does not respect the opinions of Oklahoma voters, in pushing this camel's nose out from under the tent, they may give the Canadians a more indulgent hearing.

What does this mean? The comparison seems wildly off the mark.

In Ontario, there was a proposal to allow Muslims to govern themselves under their interpretation of Sharia law.

In Oklahoma? No such proposal. No nascent notion of such a proposal. No proposal in any neighboring state, or distant state.

Nothing.

They weren't voting against anything. The camel did not have its nose under the tent. The camel wasn't even near the tent. They were pushing at air, shadow boxing.

Also, the video you showed had nothing to do with Sharia law.

No connection.

Also, the video you showed had nothing to do with Sharia law.

Perhaps not. But that's the image that's in the air, that's what's behind this legislation.

Yes, there is no doubt that the legislation in question was fueled by ignorance. But I view that as a bad thing, and basis for criticism.

But that's the image that's in the air, that's what's behind this legislation.

Then the people in OK should really get a better clue.

The Ontario thing was a consideration of whether Muslims should have access to Islamic arbitration tribunals for *their own internal family disputes*.

Similar issues come up for pretty much any conservative, orthodox, or separatist religious community.

Hasidim, Amish, some Mennonites, Mormons, very conservative Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, Christian Scientists.

All of these folks have religious scruples that conflict with civil law or common civil practice. Here, in this country, we find a way to make room for them. All of them. We figure it out.

I can understand why Parisians find having their sidewalks blocked by 500 Muslim behinds inconvenient and annoying. But inconvenient and annoying, and nothing more, is exactly what Muslims praying in the street in large numbers amounts to.

If they wanted, in good faith, to sort it out, I'm sure they could. The French, as a former colonial power in a number of Muslim Arab nations, have their own issues to sort out with the Muslim Arab folks who live among them.

And that's France, where certain public expressions of religious faith actually are illegal, to a degree that would make Bill O'Reilly's head really and truly explode.

The folks in OK feel threatened by Muslims, because 19 guys flew planes into buildings almost 10 years ago. So, they wanted to make a great big point about how unwelcome Muslims should feel in their wonderful state.

Mission accomplished.

To be totally honest, I don't really give a crap what the folks in OK put in their state constitution. I don't live there, don't want to live there, don't plan to live there, am highly unlikely to ever visit there.

But it's nothing more than ignorance and fear. And it accomplishes nothing other than making a lot of folks who might actually want to live there and make a contribution want to find some other place to live.

"The folks in OK feel threatened by Muslims, because 19 guys flew planes into buildings almost 10 years ago. "

Making no point about the stupid law, I would prefer this statement never be used in an argument. You try to make it sound so unimportant, it's not.

I would prefer this statement never be used in an argument. You try to make it sound so unimportant, it's not.

I'm far from trying to make it sound unimportant. I'm drawing a contrast between the actual danger and the perceived threat.

And you're not likely to have your preference granted. The difference between the actual danger and the perceived threat is extremely relevant to this case, and many others.

"Muslims are trying to impose sharia law on Oklahoma" is about as close to reality as "Jews are trying to make everyone in Iowa keep kosher". Or "Anabaptists are trying to make everyone in Ohio wear funny hats and ride in buggies".

People should freaking recognize that.

The reason anyone in Oklahoma gives a crap about what Muslims are doing is because of 9/11. And the events of 9/11 have vanishingly little to do with the daily lives of 99.99% of the Muslims who live in this country.

There are more crazy-ass apocalyptic Christian wackos looking to shed blood in this country than radical Islamists. Trust me on this.

It's time to talk plainly, realistically, and accurately about this stuff. "It freaks me out" is not a good enough reason to be singling out religious minorities for special negative treatment under the law.

"There are more crazy-ass apocalyptic Christian wackos looking to shed blood in this country than radical Islamists. Trust me on this."

Sorry russell, I don't. I don't trust that there are more wacko Christians willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point" than radical Muslims. But I will give you that both are here.

Sorry russell, I don't. I don't trust that there are more wacko Christians willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point" than radical Muslims.

"in this country"

SI,
Some years back, Muslims in Ontario agitated for the right to govern themselves under Shariah law.

That is not at all what your link says.

An official report in December by former Ontario attorney-general Marion Boyd said Muslims should have recourse to arbitration tribunals using religious law, such as those already used by Christians and Jews.... Ontario would introduce "as soon as possible" a law banning all religious arbitration, the Premier's spokeswoman said.

Needless to say, there's a huge difference between having voluntary recourse to religiously-based tribunals and "agitating for the right to govern themselves". And even *that* is a far, far cry from imposing Sharia on *other people*. And it's noteworthy that, if this is objectionable on its face as a religious imposition, it was a right already being granted to Christians and Jews.

Perhaps not. But that's the image that's in the air, that's what's behind this legislation.

Perhaps it's in the air because people who ought to know better link to it and say "this is what people are afraid of". Just sayin', it's hard to act all boggled that this is being misrepresented mere moments after misrepresenting it.

"Sorry russell, I don't. I don't trust that there are more wacko Christians willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point" than radical Muslims.

"in this country""

Yes, in this country.

Sorry russell, I don't. I don't trust that there are more wacko Christians willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point" than radical Muslims.

Not that it's really my main point, but:

Christian Identity, National Alliance, Church of the Creator, Aryan Nation, America's Promise, The Order, etc etc etc etc etc.

Thousands to tens of thousands. In this country. They kill people when they can, have done so for years and years.

russell,

There is a difference between racist thugs and Christian wackos, pick one.

Is your point that there are organized terrorist groups willing to kill thousands of Americans at the cost of their own lives for the Glory of God?

Racist bullies kill individuals and small groups when they think they can get away with it becausee they are cowards wrapped in whatever power source they can find to attract other wackos. Aryan Nation is a Christian wacko group, really?

I would suggest that we compare apples and apples because this:

There are organized terrorist groups willing to kill thousands of Americans at the cost of their own lives for the Glory of God.

is an accurate description of the however many Islamist extremists there are in the country.

There is a difference between racist thugs and Christian wackos, pick one.

No need to pick, there is substantial overlap between the two.

Just ask them.

Racist bullies kill individuals and small groups

They kill individuals and small groups because the FBI is on their @ss like flies on you know what.

As they ought to have been on the @sses of the Al Qaeda crew in 2001.

And I'll say no more on that for now.

because this... is an accurate description of the however many Islamist extremists there are in the country.

But, by far, is not limited to them.

Not only not limited, they don't make up the majority of the population of "organized terrorist groups" in the US.

But it's nothing more than ignorance and fear. And it accomplishes nothing other than making a lot of folks who might actually want to live there and make a contribution want to find some other place to live.

well, that's not all it accomplishes. it also keeps the GOP faithful enraged and engaged.

is an accurate description of the however many Islamist extremists there are in the country.

How exactly do you know so much about the state of Islamic extremists in the US? Have you infiltrated any of these groups? Do you speak Arabic? Are you a Muslim who attends a Mosque where they congregate? Did you read it somewhere? If so, where?

If we're talking about home-grown, all-American, Christian terrorists, how can we not mention Oklahoma City? I frankly wonder how coincidental it is that this vote happened in OK -- an area where Muslim terrorist attacks are purely theoretical. This sure looks to me like projection: a refusal to be afraid of an actual danger because it comes from within, instead pretending that outsiders, strangers, funny-looking people, are the real problem and if they can be ejected we'll all be *safe*.

Aryan Nation is a Christian wacko group, really?

Wikipedia:Aryan Nations (AN) is a religious organization founded in the 1970s by Richard Girnt Butler as an arm of the Christian Identity group known as the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian.

I suggest that if you don't think of the Christian Identity movement as primarily Christian, they certainly do. Their ideology is rooted firmly in the Bible and Christian theology, albeit horribly twisted.
Which I think is probably close to what a practitioner of mainstream Islam would say about AQ. Why you see one as a legitimate (if fringe) offshoot of its parent religion and the other as not representative at all of its parent religion is I think colored by subjectivity.

Look, to be clear, I'm not trying to dump on the folks who live in OK. I think to some degree it's a matter of what you're exposed to.

I work with Muslims. I interact with Muslims every day, not just at work, but in lots of areas of life.

For me to think that a significant number of Muslims in the US wanted to impose sharia law here, I would have to look those folks in the eye and believe that they had some secret collective agenda. Because they give no evidence of wanting to take over the US, or making me grow a beard, or demanding that my wife wear a burka, or anything remotely of the sort.

They want to work at their jobs, raise their kids, remodel their kitchens, buy a new car next year, and have a nice life.

It would be an exercise in nothing short of paranoia for me to think they wished me, or this country, ill.

I don't know how many Muslims live in OK. Maybe all that people there know about Muslims is what they see on TV. I can understand how a diet of sensational cable TV crapola could give you the wrong idea about things.

But at a certain point, you really do have to think about what you're doing. You have to stop freaking out and look around at what's actually happening right in front of your face.

Muslims live in the US in large numbers, and have done so for quite a while. The number of them who engage in any kind of hostile behavior is very, very small, both in absolute numbers and relative to their population. As threats to the nation go, they are not at the top of the list.

I'm not trying to minimize anything when I say this, I'm just trying to ground the discussion in something like reality.

There are lots of religious communities in this country whose practices rub up against civil law in uncomfortable ways. In general, we find ways to sort that out without imposing their choices on the rest of the community, and vice versa.

There really is not a need for state constitutional amendments against sharia law. Or any other kind of religious law or practice. When religious and civil law or practice conflict, we find ways to sort it out.

I appreciate that Muslims are different and perhaps weird to some folks, but life's like that. We really need to learn to deal with it, because as time goes on, it's going to become more and more common for folks to be confronted with people who aren't just like them.

A nit:

"In no Christian country would a widow automatically inherit her late husband's estate;"

I think you're overlooking the English common-law dower, which I explicitly had to waive when buying a house recently; my husband had to waive the male equivalent, curtesy. Dower required that the widow inherit a specified proportion of her husband's estate.

So wives got a specified portion of the estate, just as daughters do in Islamic law.

Madame Hardy:

Fascinating, I never knew about dower -- I assumed it was a variant of "dowry", that is, it meant "property the wife brought into the marriage, which would be for her support were she widowed".

Interestingly, I don't recall reading the term in the kind of 19thC English novels that are quite explicit about money -- those mention "jointure" far more often than "dower".

Judges have got to extend the public as much deference as the legislature receives, when the public is exercising the legislative power in it's own person, rather than delegating it.

The deference the legislature receives is that judges normally won't issue directives to the legislature. It doesn't translate into deference to the executive branch. Thus a judge won't issue an order directing the legislature not to pass an unconstitutional law, but deference to the legislature won't keep the judge from directing the executive branch not to enforce the unconstitutional law.

In the case at hand, the judge granted the voters the same deference that courts normally grant to legislatures. The judge didn't issue any orders to the voters. It ordered the executive branch not to certify the results.

You will notice in both these cases that the directives to the executive branch have pretty much the same result that a directive to the legislature (in the first case) or the voters (in the second case) would have. Deference to the legislature is a matter of form; it doesn't substantially limit the ability of the courts to strike down unconstitutional laws. In my view, that is a good thing.

The Muslim density in Oklahoma is lower than 1 in a 100 (20-30K in 3.58 million) or 1 Muslim per 6-9 km². I guess that many Oklahomans have not (consciously) seen an actual Muslim in their life (except on TV etc.). But the absence of the visible 'threat' can be used to let it be seem even worse. Long before the Nazis German antisemites considered assimilated Jews to be the real threat because the uninitiated would not recognize them (unlike the traditional 'Caftan Jew'), so they could do their nefarious deeds in secret. Today antisemitism and xenophobia are strongest in those areas of Germany where it is nigh impossible to find any Jew or ME foreigner.
Forget the 'Muslim garb'. The message sent is 'the harmless looking guy sitting next to you on the train or walking past you in the market could be a Muslim/Jew/Illegal Alien/enemy du jour. Aren't you afraid? YOU SHOULD BE!'.
I am cynic enough to believe that in some regions a ballot inititive resembling the Nuremberg Laws would pass easily or an equivalent to the legal proposal in Austria to make eating pork at least once a year in front of witnesses mandatory (what about adapting the Japanese trampling of the crucifix for US use with the Quran taking the place of the Christian symbol?).

It is about the requirement for Muslims to fight Jihad against non-Muslims, whenever possible.
What's your expertise in Islam? Doctorate? Grad degree? Years of practice of Islam? Where and how long have you studied Islam, and with which teachers?

Failing any answers to that, could you please cite the Suras and Hadiths you have in mind, as well as all the others relevant, so we can discuss your claim? Thanks!

Sanity Inspector:

Some years back, Muslims in Ontario agitated for the right to govern themselves under Shariah law. The Canadians considered the idea, then rejected it.
Your cite:
[...] "After studying the issue, the Government decided the debate had gone on long enough." An official report in December by former Ontario attorney-general Marion Boyd said Muslims should have recourse to arbitration tribunals using religious law, such as those already used by Christians and Jews.
So your argument is that because Canada -- according to one of Australia's major newspapers, which absolutely would be the first place I'd look for news on the other side of the world -- specifically decided to allow Christian and Jewish family law to be used, upon mutual agreement, in courts, but that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to. Well, who could see anything wrong with that? Yes, that certainly is a powerful argument for the insidious nature of religious groups seeking the cover of law.

When was the last time you protested Orthodox Jewish beth din use in U.S. courts? What's that? You haven't? Why not? Why on earth not?

Let's try wacky extreme leftist Eugene Volokh.

[...] And of course the application of Sharia law was indeed a perfectly normal matter. American courts are governed by American law, but American law has long provided that parties to contracts can provide for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (such as arbitration). American law has likewise long provided that some contractual disputes would be resolved with reference to foreign law, especially when the law is expressly provided for by the contract. It doesn't matter whether the arbitration or the foreign law is secular or religious -- secular and religious rules are treated basically equally, on the principle that the parties' contractual choices should be honored unless some extraordinary circumstance makes it unfair to do so.

One could argue that American courts shouldn't be able to apply religious rules because of concerns about excessive entanglement of the government and religion. But even if that's so in some situations, it wouldn't apply when a court is merely asked to confirm an arbitration award rather than to applying the religious rules in the first instance, and it also wouldn't apply when the religious rules are part of the law of a foreign country (such as Saudi Arabia).

Now maybe Sharia law is more likely to be unfair than other systems in certain circumstances; and doubtless some people feel strong social pressure to enter into contracts endorsed by their cultural group. But people feel various kinds of pressure to enter into various kinds of contracts. American law usually enforces the contracts despite talk of pressure and unfairness. There are exceptions, but they are indeed exceptions, and the rule is enforcing contracts. Yet the skies haven't fallen, nor do they seem likely to fall even if more contracts end up being arbitrated or otherwise evaluated under Sharia law.

But what would he know?

And, you know what? Lots of us Jews don't want you coming after us next, and can see the writing on the wall. It's the same old story. Once you've made it possible to pick on some other guys, you go for us, if you haven't started with us in the first place.

But if you're going to make a complaint, at least be consistent.

Marty:

"Sorry russell, I don't. I don't trust that there are more wacko Christians willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point" than radical Muslims.

"in this country""

Yes, in this country.

: Fair enough. What's your source for the number of radical Muslims in America willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point"?

I'll take any credible cite that isn't your imagination. Give us the number, and we can compare them with similar cites to estimates of how many American Christians are equally willing.

I do assume your belief is based on facts, not imagination and emotion and fantasy, so please do share the numbers that led you to your conclusion. Thanks if you can offer that useful information!

"Aryan Nation is a Christian wacko group, really?"

Really. And that you question it strongly suggests you have no idea what you're talking about.

[...]
JESUS CHRIST, speaking to the Jews in the Gospel of St. John, VIII:44

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it. - then answered the Jews - "

(which makes it clear that Christ was addressing the Jews.)

MARTIN LUTHER, Table Talk of Martin Luther, translated by William Hazlet,page 43

"But the Jews are so hardened that they listen to nothing; though overcome by testimonies they yield not an inch. It is a pernicious race, oppressing all men by their usury and rapine. If they give a prince or magistrate a thousand florins, they extort twenty thousand from the subjects in payment. We must ever keep on guard against them."


REV. GORDON WINROD, in his book The Keys to Christian Understanding,pages 114 - 115

"Judaism does not know Jesus Christ. Judaism hates Jesus Christ. When St. Paul was in Judaism, before he was converted to Christianity, he hated Jesus Christ and persecuted Christians and Christianity."
Paul said: "You have heard of my earlier career in Judaism - how furiously I persecuted the Church of God, and made havoc of it; and how in devotion to Judaism I out-stripped many men of may own age among my people, being far more zealous than they for the tradition of my forefathers." (Gal. 1:13, 14, Weymouth Translation)

While in Judaism, Paul persecuted Christians because of his intense hatredfor Christians and because of his conformity to the tradition of the fathers.This shows that the tradition of teachings of Judaism are filled with hatefor Christians.
Few people know of this because they do not carefully read their Scripturesand because of the great pains which Jews have take to deceive the Christians.Care has been exerted by the Jews to hide their ECONOMIC-POLITICAL conspiracyfor complete world domination UNDER high sounding words that have a "RELIGIOUS"ring in the ears of Christians.
The Jews use such "religious" sounding words as "the Jewishfaith," "the Jewish religion," "Jewish spiritual values,""Jewish religious doctrines," and like phrases which deceive andlead the unlearned into total equanimity.
Behind this mask of religiosity stands a complete plan for world government,world power, world conquest, a Jewish kingdom of this world, and the destructionof Christianity.

REV. WILLIAM S. MITCHELL of Philadelphia, quoted in Count Cherep-Spiridovich'sbook The Secret World Government, page 194

"If there is an ingrate in history, it is the Jew. In this land which befriended him he as conspired, plotted, undermined, prostituted and corrupted and (hiding to this hour behind the braver screen of other folks), dares to contrive and scheme the death of every Christian principle which has protected him."


ST. JUSTIN, martyr stated in 116 A. D.

"The Jews were behind all the persecutions of the Christians. They wandered through the country everywhere hating and undermining the Christian faith."


ST. JOHN, Gospel of St. John VII:1

"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill him."


M. H. DE HEEKELINGEN, in Israel: Son Passe, Son Avenir

"The former Rabbi Drach, converted to Catholicism, says that the Talmud contains "a large number of musing, utterly ridiculous extravagancies, most revolting indecencies, and, above all, the most horrible blasphemies against everything which the Christian religion holds most sacred and most dear."
"In the matter of the translation of the Talmud by non-Jews, we have always preferred that of Luzsensky, whose accuracy has been established by the Courts. In 1923, the Public Prosecutor of Hungary caused his Hungarian Talmud to be seized on account of "attack on public morals" and "pornography." In delivering its verdict, the Court declared 'INTER ALIA:'
"The horrors contained in the translation of Alfred Luzsensky are to be found, without exception, in the Talmud. His translation is correct, in that it renders these passages, which are actually to be found in the original text of the Talmud, after their true meaning."
QUINTAS SPETIMUS FLORENS TERTULLIAN (160 - 230 A. D.) Latin Church Father "The Jews formed the breeding ground of all anti-Christian actions."


REV. MARTIN LUTHER, sermon at Eisleben, a few days before his death,February, 1546

"Besides, you also have many Jews living in the country, who do much harm... You should know the Jews blaspheme and violate the name of our Savior day for day... for that reason you, Milords and men of authority, should not tolerate but expel them. They are our public enemies and incessantly blaspheme our Lord Jesus Christ, they call our Blessed Virgin Mary a harlot and her Holy Son a bastard and to us they give the epithet of changelings and abortions.
Therefore deal with them harshly as they do nothing but excruciatingly blaspheme our Lord Jesus Christ, trying to rob us of our lives, our health, our honor and belongings."

How many more hundreds of thousands of words of their bullsh*t philosphy would you like quoted? And why did you not GO LOOK THIS UP FOR YOURSELF FIRST before asking a question which the proper answer to is "wtf?"

What was the last book you read on Christian Identity, Marty? Who do you regard as a good expert in the field that you get info from about the movement? Where do you read about them? How many years have you followed the news of their movement and groups?

"In the case at hand, the judge granted the voters the same deference that courts normally grant to legislatures. The judge didn't issue any orders to the voters. It ordered the executive branch not to certify the results."

No, that's not at all the same thing. If the legislature votes on a law, a judge is not going to direct that the votes not be counted. He's not going to direct that the bill not be enrolled, and sent to the executive. He's not even going to direct that the executive not sign it. Or that it not be added to the state's law books.

He's going to direct that the executive not ENFORCE it. But the law will be on the books, just the same, unenforced.

Barring some basis in suspected ballot fraud, or the like, I don't believe it is ever proper to direct that the result of an election not be certified. It's an incredible over-reach in any democracy.

To Gary,

There is a large difference between the original and the actuality of Aryan nation, I find no large religiious organizations dancing in the street at the success of there terrorist activities. I suppose you can find a thousand organizations that start with Christian fundamentalist cover that are just as bad.

My expertise is in the members of the Aryan Nation I have met that couldn't quote a verse from the bible if you paid them large sums.

And, since you are not nearly as dense as this comment might imply:

Fair enough. What's your source for the number of radical Muslims in America willing to kill thousands of Americans to "make their point"?

I await your (or russells) credible cite on those numbers before I "trust him", which, of course, no one but me questioned because it fits with what you want to believe.

Nonetheless, please let me know when those groups fly a plane or two into the WTC and kill 3000 people and I will discuss it further.


Many Taliban (despite their name being literally 'religious students') are also rather ignorant about their holy book. I read a report of a survivor of a Taliban tribunal who wrote that the judge pretended to quote from the Quran while he held the book upside down. Btw, Roman Catholics that are not in the clerus are still discouraged from reading the Bible by themselves and up to the 20th century it was actually forbidden ('The laypeople are not allowed to possess the scriptures of Old and New Testament or to read them'). This ban was rarely enforced though or limited to editions that were not the Latin Vulgata.

Nonetheless, please let me know when those groups fly a plane or two into the WTC and kill 3000 people and I will discuss it further.

A small plane flown into an IRS building at least shows some efforts. Incompetence does not preclude intent. ;-)
Btw, why limit the intent to kill to Americans in the US. Some Kristian(TM) fanatics do a good job in Iraq etc. killing locals without provocation (no, that's not an excuse for Muslims killing or driving away their Christian countrymen as happens since Saddam was removed from power).

Hartmut,

I don't diminish the reality or intent of Christian fanatics here or elsewhere. There are repugnant and evil people doing evil things covered in the cloaks of flags and religious symbols all over the world.

However, I believe (note opinion) that the Islamic radicals are uniquely focused on actually killing people in the US and from the US, in newsworthy ways. Comparing them to hate based organizations covering themselves with the flag of religion is not a valid comparison, IMO.

They do what they do for the glory of Allah and with the intent of creating as many deaths of innocents as possible, the point of terrorism. I perceive them to be people of principle, prepared to die for the common good and convinced of their righteousness.

The hate groups kill specifically those they hate, but have much less actual intent of creating a large scale splash because they fear the backlash. I do not perceive them to be principled or convinced of their righteousness, just content with their hate, of the world around them in general, and happy to assign the blame for that to Jews, blacks etc.

The Islamic terrorists see the backlash as a great recruiting tool and proof of the very essence of their reason to exist.

I admit I don't know which side of this assessment Christian terrorists fall into in other countries.

Both are bad, they are just not the same.

There is a large difference between the original and the actuality of Aryan nation, I find no large religiious organizations dancing in the street at the success of there terrorist activities.

Again, "in this country"? Do we need to get some superglue for the goalposts?

My expertise is in the members of the Aryan Nation I have met that couldn't quote a verse from the bible if you paid them large sums.

Harmut already pointed out that that can be true of religious fanatics across the spectrum. But even without that, have you met and made this determination about a large number of Aryan Nation adherents? Unless you're in some field that would bring you in constant contact with them, Id bet a tidy sum Ive met more Muslims than you have Christian Identity adherents.
Are you sure that they were AN? Neo-Nazis aren't very biblical, and there's a lot of line blurring.
This just seems like another example of your subjectivity in play- these guys aren't Christians bc they don't know the bible very well. If you found out that eg one of the 9/11 hijackers didnt know the Koran, would you honestly conclude that he was not a Muslim terrorist?

I await your (or russells) credible cite on those numbers before I "trust him", which, of course, no one but me questioned because it fits with what you want to believe.

http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201001/2015943221.html (1996)
The FBI estimates the [Christian Identity] organization's membership at over 50,000...
Do you think there are over 50k AQ members "in this country"?

I didn't question russell because I've read some stuff about the whole Patriot-Militia-CI-AN complex. It's not about who can believe harder- at least, it shouldn't be.

I haven't read enough books about Christianist terrorists to figure out any one that comes close to Awlaki.

I would like to see a few examples, and given it is the end of the decade, keep the list from 2000-2010.

would like to see a few examples, and given it is the end of the decade, keep the list from 2000-2010.

Id recommend starting with the wikipedia page on Christian Identity. Im not sure if you'll find enough parallel to do the apples to apples comparison you're looking for, but it's fairly interesting and scary stuff.

Carleton's 50,000 is probably too high. This, from the FBI ca 1989, puts the Christian Identity folks at 2,000 max.

The National Alliance was about 1,400 at its peak.

There are probably a couple dozen similar crazy-ass Christianist white supremacist wackjob groups floating around with smaller numbers, maybe in the low hundreds.

It's hard to keep track, because they come and go, and the same sad, sick people pop up in them.

The Stormfront site is the real jackpot, with about 130,000 registered members, but only about 20,000 active. Not all of those folks self-identify as Christian, the vast majority of them are only violent in their own imaginations.

The big question is whether you want to include the Klan or not. If not, the number of folks involved in violent white supremacy and/or nationalism who also self-identify as Christian is probably in the thousands.

If you include the Klan, significantly more. Still lots of Klansmen out there, and the wackier among them are the feeder stock for all of the other groups I've referred to here.

If you want to expand the religious criteria to include Odinists, you can probably throw another couple of dozen into the mix.

How does that compare to domestic Islamic extremism?

From this Rand report:

Between September 11, 2001, and the end of 2009, a total of 46 cases of domestic radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism were reported in the United States. In some of the cases, individuals living in the United States plotted to carry out terrorist attacks at home; some were accused of “providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations”; and some left the United States to join jihadist organizations abroad. All these individuals can be called “homegrown terrorists.” Forty-six cases of radicalization in a period of little more than eight years may seem significant, but in each case, an average of only three people were accused—and half of the cases, including some of the fully formulated plots to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States, involved only a single individual. Only 125 persons were identified in the 46 cases.

One hundred twenty five, in about 8 years. One hundred twenty five people, and forty six instances of Muslims in the USA actually trying to pull off any kind of violent action against Americans.

And that includes "providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations", which can basically consist of writing a check.

One hundred twenty five Muslims in the USA trying to harm Americans. Out of a population that the same RAND report estimates at three million.

And yeah, Al Qaeda got freaking lucky on 9/11 and killed about 3,000 people, which is a hell of a lot.

Al Qaeda currently has, depending on who you ask, a worldwide membership of two to three hundred to "a few thousand".

Worldwide. Not in the US, around the whole freaking world.

bc, if you're interested in a handy one-stop shopping site for information about domestic Christianist white supremacist terror, I recommend the Southern Poverty Law Center. They have an agenda of their own, so if you like, take anything they say with a grain of salt. But you'll find lots of information there that you can follow up on and check out at your convenience.

Marty, re this:

I await your (or russells) credible cite on those numbers before I "trust him", which, of course, no one but me questioned because it fits with what you want to believe.

This is a blog. With possibly a handful of exceptions, none of us here know each other well enough to know what any of us "believe" or "want to believe".

Not only that, what any of us "believe" or "want to believe" is, quite frankly, none of the rest of our business.

All we know about each other is what any of us feels like sharing in posts and comments. I suspect that's nothing like the whole of us, for any of us.

It therefore behooves us to address what people actually say, and not what we imagine they are thinking, feeling, or believing.

Because we know f**k all about that.

If you think my numbers are wrong, you're entitled to challenge that.

You have exactly no standing to make assumptions about what I, or anyone here, thinks, feels, or believes.

None of us do.

Marty, I hope to have more time to come back to your other comments in the next day or so, as well as those of others, though no promises whatever.

But on this:

[...] However, I believe (note opinion) that the Islamic radicals are uniquely focused on actually killing people in the US and from the US, in newsworthy ways.

Which "Islamic radicals"? Which groups? It's not as if there's a single homogenous lump, you know, so this statement is exactly as useful as saying that "I believe that the Christian radicals are uniquely focused on actually killing Muslims."

Christians, radical or otherwise, come in a zillion flavors and sects and congrations and groups, and so do "radical Muslims."

It's not possible to have a productive conversation about "radical Muslims" and what "they" want, any more than we can usefully generalize what "radical Christians" want and how far "they" will go.

Be specific, please. If you can't be, I suggest educating yourself as to what you're talking about until you can be specific. Which groups do you have in mind? Because if you can say, I'll be happy to give you estimates of your numbers.

And I can outline all the relevant groups for you, if you like. But if you more or less have no idea what you're specifically talking about, we're not going to get very far until such time as you know enough to be able to be familiar with the simple basics of distinguishing the various extremist Islamist groups, which there is hardly any lack of information about for you to read on the internets, if you care to.

I've already taken an Ambien, and am exhausted, so I shouldn't comment further tonight.

DaveC:

[...] I haven't read enough books about Christianist terrorists to figure out any one that comes close to Awlaki.

I would like to see a few examples [...]

I'm curious: why?

Apparently the words "in this country" are being rendered in, like, Swahili by everyone's browser except for mine, russell's and Gary's. Y'all might want to update or switch to Firefox or somesuch.

@Marty:
[Islamic radicals] do what they do for the glory of Allah and with the intent of creating as many deaths of innocents as possible, the point of terrorism. I perceive them to be people of principle, prepared to die for the common good and convinced of their righteousness.

This statement is, I fear, very very telling. The Islamic radicals who actually vigorously act on said radicalism generally do not do what they do for the glory of God. Actually studying the movements time and time again shows local political motivations. They're not acting to "creating as many innocent deaths as possible", which is neither their intent nor the intent of terrorism in general. That would be, um, effecting political and/or social change by means of violence or threat of violence. The violence, real or implied, is merely a means to an end. Yes, they're people willing to die for the common good as they perceive it, but lo and behold, that oh-so-deeply religious motivation for some strange reason always seems to be realized politically.

The hate groups kill specifically those they hate, but have much less actual intent of creating a large scale splash because they fear the backlash. I do not perceive them to be principled or convinced of their righteousness, just content with their hate, of the world around them in general, and happy to assign the blame for that to Jews, blacks etc.

I find it something between grimly amusing and deeply disturbing that you're unwilling to believe hate groups define principles or perceive themselves as righteous. This is hardly an uncommon attitude, I fear, but it smacks of those who are unwilling to see burning racial hatred in people who seem "normal", since obviously real fanatics of this sort brand their foreheads with swastikas. Or something.

Carleton's 50,000 is probably too high. This, from the FBI ca 1989, puts the Christian Identity folks at 2,000 max.

Not sure why an old estimate from the same organization is probably better than a newer one. Although it's likely that the two estimates are of different things since they're so far apart.
For exampleThe Aryan Nations Revival reached unprecedented success, exceeding 100,000 listeners with its weekly radio broadcast titled "The Aryan Nations Broadcast" spanning from 1999–2009, the radio program was authorized by Pastor Richard Butler.... If that number is correct, it'd be hard to think that there were less that 2k CI adherents in the US during that period. But I certainly wouldn't want to count a regular listener as an "adherent" either. Counting CI folks is more like counting Lakers fans than counting eg Muslims, since there's less in the way of centralized authorities to provide definitional lines and bc it blurs into other religio-social philosophies.

"If you think my numbers are wrong, "

Except russell, you didnt provide any numbers, at all, in the comment I was responding to. You said there were lots more of one than the other, "trust me". I guess I don't just "trust you". Yet I am slammed for not providing numbers.

I shouldn't be called out to provide numbers because I don't "trust you"

No, I didn't provide specific numbers. "Lots more" is correct.

I have no problem with you saying no, I don't trust you, show me numbers. And, I'm not asking you to show numbers, you asked me to do so, and I have done so.

What I have a problem with is your assuming bad faith. By which I mean, the "what you want to believe" comment.

Not sure why an old estimate from the same organization is probably better than a newer one.

My guess is that it depends on what you're counting.

If you mean everyone associated with Christian Identity, in all it's forms and flavors, 50K seems pretty plausible to me.

If you mean only those who give evidence of potentially (or actually) being violent, the smaller number seems more likely.

Either way, 2,000 people who are ready, willing, and able to blow stuff up and kill people is a big number. And that's just CI.

IMO your comment about counting Lakers' fans is apt.

Not all of Martin Luther's comments on either papists or jews wound up in Protestant doctrine, as odd as that may sound.

I believe there was some mention of the Pope as the Antichrist by Martin Luther, which was later explicitly rejected as part of (some part of) Lutheran doctrine.

I don't know to what extent other Protestant faction have denied or embraced the notion of the Pope as Antichrist, or of the Jew as a body of Really, Really Bad People.

Well, I found this googling "jack chick pope antichrist":
With this fifth “dogma,” [the Virgin Mary] will have effectively elbowed Jesus aside and assumed the central focus of attention for the one-billion-plus Roman Catholics trapped in the superstition and ignorance of this pagan false church.

This is just another step in Rome’s attempt to draw all religions under the pope. Most false religions have a female goddess central in their worship. If they can be persuaded that their goddesses are really this Catholic Virgin Mary, the pope can declare himself the head of all religions, stepping into position as the final anti-christ.

Chick Publications has books by more than one author who was once snared by the pope’s deceptions. From seven years old, Dr. Alberto Rivera was trained by Jesuits in secret plans to destroy the Protestant resistance to the advance of Roman Catholicism. These plans are detailed in the seven books in the Alberto Series Crusaders Comics Pack.

Another book exposing the deception of the popes is written by Charles Chiniquy, who spent 50 years as a Catholic. He grew up in Catholic home and became a priest. For many years he struggled between being faithful to the pope and obeying the Bible. His bishop demanded that he give up the Bible and submit completely to Roman tradition that contradicted the Bible.

Instead, he led his congregation out of bondage to the pope and into freedom in Christ. In spite of many attempts on his life, he was able to detail his struggles in his book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome.

Apologies for the long quote, but it's just too good not to share.

It's been at least a decade since I read it, but Fuller's Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession seemed a nice treating of the subject.

Again, it's been a while, but I'm (very very very strongly) wanting to say that it presented the Pope as being a popular target for American Protestants of many denominations over the years...

Slartibartfast, you might like to check out seriously influential Northern Ireland politician and Protestant minister Ian Paisley:

In 1988, when Pope John Paul II delivered a speech to the European Parliament, Paisley shouted "I denounce you as the Antichrist!" and held up a red poster reading "Pope John Paul II ANTICHRIST" in black letters.

By all accounts he's still on about it but on a lighter note, apparently Her Majesty the Queen of England does a bang on impersonation of him during family get-togethers.

I'm a bit late to this, but someone like Warren Jeffs seems just as twisted as al-Awaki, in the use of religious justification for commit crimes. You could probably put Scott Roeder in the same box as well.

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