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Author Topic: Student interrogated and suspend for wearing Halloween costume
AI Wessex
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I am not saying that the Mayor influenced the school or police to deal with Ahmed as they did. I am saying that the town already has a long-standing "problem" with certain population groups. The Mayor's mis-applied efforts against "sharia law" courts is an example of that; the town's lack of representation of Hispanics in city government is another. The reason I brought up Ferguson was to point out that ignoring cultural aspects of the environment is a kind of willing blindness and a general refusal to consider larger context.

I'm not saying the town singled Ahmed out for special attention, but I am saying that we don't really know why they over-reacted so badly.

This ongoing argument has a group here trying not to give Ahmed the benefit of the doubt, and another group trying to understand why it's so important to pin some sort of blame on him without any real evidence to support that position.

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Fenring
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Group 1: Ahmed was targeted by Islamophobia.

Group 2: Here are some other possibilities including school overreaction, Ahmed not being entirely innocent, and perhaps Ahmed's teacher being partly at fault.

Group 1: How can you make such claims without evidence? Clearly it was Islamophobia.

I think you have it backwards about which group is making specific claims, and which is open to various possibilities.

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NobleHunter
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I don't think you've accurately represented either Group 1 or Group 2. Or at least no one here is in your version of Group 1.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I don't think you've accurately represented either Group 1 or Group 2. Or at least no one here is in your version of Group 1.

You're partially right, insofar as my 'Group 1' begins as a media presentation of the event, which Group 2 responded to, but the second iteration of Group 1 is people here looking to the mayor and town as evidence of Islamophobia. Some people here just think it was an overreaction and that there's no need to try to cast blame on Ahmed, and those people were not represented in my example. Group 2, likewise, is not unified (we're not actually a 'group', after all, despite being described as one), but I listed various options offered.

I was only addressing the Islamophobia angle in my example, just to clarify. It seems like calling 'racism' can pass based purely on speculation, whereas on our side even suggesting alternative explanations is called to task straight away due to lack of hard evidence.

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NobleHunter
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I believe more charity (or the benefit of the doubt) is due to a 14-year-old than a school administration. I think it's permissible to apply a different standard of proof to claims about said 14-year-old than to claims about the school.

On the balance of probabilities, I'd give a slight edge to islamophobia over pure bureaucratic stupidity due to the muslim/bomb/terrorist stereotype. I'd would need something beyond circumstantial or inference by analogy (i.e. other 14-year-olds are like this, so he must be like this) to accept negative claims about Ahmed.

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D.W.
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Which is why a lot of my questions came back to curiosity over school policy or even police policy. If we knew there were instructions to be followed in X situation we could rule out overreactions/abuse/Islamophobia.

Considering the volume of situations that schools have policies on, I would like to think a spectrum of disruption, bomb scare up to bomb threat would be given some thought in advance.

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AI Wessex
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Seriati, you should read tweets supporting her for being the hero of the clock-boy truther movement.
quote:
Al I read multiple accounts of what she said, not to mention what she actually said on her Facebook page. What you cited is, without question, one of the most one sided interpretations possible. I have zero confidence in your ability to provide reasonable analysis on this, and I'd recommend that people check this out for themselves before they continue to rely on what you're asserting.

In particular, I challenge anyone who purports to care about women's rights to read what she actually wrote and assert you believe Al's assessment is correct.

You seriously need to come up with some sources to support what you wrote. I've read tons that all say pretty much what the Dallas story said, or they say that she is being painted as a villain for standing up for the Constitution.

Seriously, dude, back up your statements like I've done for mine.

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DJQuag
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Al

What do the views of people who support what she's said and done, have to do with what she has actually said and done? Seriati says he has looked only at that, and you respond with pointing at her most rabid followers. Pretty weak.

I don't get this urge to paint anyone who genuinely supports this type of law an Islamophobe. Does the law only mention Islam? No? Then it's not Islamophobic. I can understand concerns that it won't be enforced on Christians equally, but that's a separate issue. I'll light a candle for the cause along with you, for reducing Christian influence on secular life.

But the law itself is a good thing. I don't care whose toes in particular are getting squashed when it comes to issues like the welfare of children and domestic violence. Maybe, just maybe, there are others who think the same?

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LetterRip
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DJQuag,

it was already unlawful for judges to use Sharia law as a basis for rulings.

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DJQuag
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It was also unlawful to have the Christian versions of such. And if it wasn't, it should have been, and now is. That's a good thing.
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AI Wessex
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Most religions have mediation councils to assist their followers with questions and issues. None of them exercise legal rulings. There was no Sharia Law Court in Irving or elsewhere, and yet the Mayor saw fit to actively support the passage of a law that would have prevented any such court from coming into existence because she mistakenly thought such a court to apply Sharia law had been created. As LetterRip points out, it already is illegal. This is a straightforward case of reacting against Muslims based on nothing more than misinformed but willingly believed rumors.
quote:
What do the views of people who support what she's said and done, have to do with what she has actually said and done? Seriati says he has looked only at that, and you respond with pointing at her most rabid followers. Pretty weak.
She won her last election by a landslide. You don't think the citizens of Irving support her? Why did you only mention my comments about people who call her a hero? I'd be interested to hear what you think about the other points I raised.

[ October 22, 2015, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Fenring
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What is your basis for saying the mayor mistakenly thought a court of sharia law had been created?
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AI Wessex
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I already cited an article that had that information.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
I already cited an article that had that information.

Pretend I don't understand the article. What part of it, exactly, says the mayor mistakenly thought this? I'm asking because I believe the article indicated no such thing, but I'm leaving open the possibility that I missed something which you caught.
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AI Wessex
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I can't help you there, as I would basically quote the article at length. You and Seriati have already dismissed it as extreme, so perhaps you can focus on what it contains that strikes you that way. What does it say that you think is not true?

Here's a bit more hysteria if it will help:
quote:
IRVING — The intense national spotlight on Islam has shifted to Irving, where Mayor Beth Van Duyne has accused mosque leaders of creating separate laws for Muslims and the City Council voted Thursday to endorse a state bill that Muslims say targets their faith.

The dispute has made Van Duyne a hero among a fringe movement that believes Muslims — a tiny fraction of the U.S. population — are plotting to take over American culture and courts.

“It fuels anti-Islamic hysteria,” said Zia Sheikh, imam at the Islamic Center of Irving. “Her whole point was to rile up her supporters. ... The problem is we become the whipping boys.”

The mayor stands by her statements, including an interview with former Fox News host Glenn Beck last month, when she said Sheikh and other imams were “bypassing American courts” by offering to mediate disputes among their worshippers according to an Islamic code called Shariah



[ October 22, 2015, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Fenring
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Unfortunately the Glenn Beck segment has been pulled from Youtube and in order to watch it on The Blaze website you have to subscribe (which I'm not going to do). But I did see a short 40 second excerpt from it where Beth says to Glenn that there is no place in America for an alternate court, to which Glenn responds that the Irving tribunal is not actually a court. Beth answers him by saying she is aware that they've told her it isn't a place of legal arbitration. That's all I could get about the Beck segment.

There is another segment where she discusses the matter of the redundant law, and she explicitly says that the law as such was already common law but they just wanted to codify it as a point of affirmation in the community. Here is the segment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSCiSEEax-o

The actual article you linked the other day simply quotes Van Duyne (the mayor) as saying - as an if-then statement - that if there was a tribunal in process involving Sharia law that she would fight it.

So far not one single of these instances demonstrates her stating that she believes there is a court of Sharia law operating in Texas. Being a sort of liberty-oriented place I could see Texans being concerned about Muslims calling their proceeding a "tribunal" and I think it's only reasonable that the mayor of such a place take steps to reassure the people that it's not actually a court of Sharia law, and that if there ever was such a thing it wouldn't be tolerated. You can call this type of solidarity move 'Islamophobic' all you want, but given the kinds of rhetoric heard around America about ISIS and Saudi Arabia's version of law, I'd say Beth has done a decent job of avoiding inflammatory statements on this hot topic.

By the way, in the interview I linked above she also mentions that she specifically invited the Muslims community leaders to join in on this affirmation of American law, and she claims that in private they told her they were in agreement with it. But not only would they not come and stand by it, Beth says they came to protest the law instead. She seems to intimate that they protested it purely because they felt it was singling them out, but the irony is that had they stood alongside the law in solidarity it could not possibly have been targeting them as its supporters.

Maybe she's a liar, I don't know. Al, I've not yet heard a direct quote from her saying she believes Muslims in Irving are practicing Sharia law. The article you quoted before, as well as the quote you just provided, both impute that belief on her without actually providing evidence that it's true. Since I don't have access to every statement she's ever made I can't say she's never said anything like that, which is why I'm asking you (the person on whom the burden lies to back up your claim that she's an Islamophobe) to provide some kind of bona fide statement or action from her which really shows she is what you say she is.

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AI Wessex
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Fenring, I yield because I can't convince you of anything on this issue. The facts have become opinions, so there's nowhere to go.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Fenring, I yield because I can't convince you of anything on this issue. The facts have become opinions, so there's nowhere to go.

Oh the sweet irony.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The actual article you linked the other day simply quotes Van Duyne (the mayor) as saying - as an if-then statement - that if there was a tribunal in process involving Sharia law that she would fight it.

So far not one single of these instances demonstrates her stating that she believes there is a court of Sharia law operating in Texas.

It doesn't need to- the fact that she's taking a stand against people to choose to seek arbitration in a manner compatible with their religious beliefs is the problem- especially that she's pursuing legislation to prevent people from exercising that freedom of religion under the disingenuous reasoning that it's "foreign law" and that it does not operate within the limits of what US law allows for such.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by DJQuag:
It was also unlawful to have the Christian versions of such. And if it wasn't, it should have been, and now is. That's a good thing.

You're saying that it's now illegal for the Catholic Church to excommunicate people that it believes have violated its faith, or to prescribe acts of contrition for confessions? Because those are on the level of what it's being used to restrict Muslims from doing in the context of their own faith.

It was already illegal for any arbitrator to violate US or state legal restrictions and protections. What's being restricted though is voluntary arbitration within the scope of ones faith (so long as one is a Muslim or other disfavored faith) that doesn't go out of the bounds of what the prevailing law allows in such situations.

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Fenring
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Pyr, you have mistaken Beth's words for something other what what they literally say. She said that if the investigation found the tribunal was doing anything legal or involving arbitration then she would put a stop to it. That's all. She didn't say they weren't free to discuss family matters and such, so that's a non-starter as a point.

I would like to suggest that some of the responses here involving the mayor's comments are Islamophobe-phobic. You are so afraid that she's an Islamophobe that any statement even related to Sharia law by her is strained beyond belief to read as her being anti-Muslim in some way.

I'll reiterate that she may actually be an Islamophobe, but not based on any statements I've come across or that have been presented here. For an American to take a stand against things that are already illegal is at worst grandstanding, but it's not legitimate to criticize someone merely for emphasizing something that most Americans agree with anyhow. You may as well criticize someone for 'standing up for civil rights' even though civil rights are already a legal reality.

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TomDavidson
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I'm curious to hear if the law in question is ever applied to rabbi-led Jewish mediation, which happens much more often in this country.
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kmbboots
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So the Catholic Church shouldn't be granting annulments?

Had "Beth" done this kind of "grandstanding" about other religions mediating, you might have a leg to stand on Fenring.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm curious to hear if the law in question is ever applied to rabbi-led Jewish mediation, which happens much more often in this country.

The law in question may well not apply to the Muslims in Irving, either. It only would if they were operating an extra-legal court system. If, as the Muslims claim, this is not so, then it's a moot point and the law will just be a reaffirmation without any need for enforcement at present.

quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
So the Catholic Church shouldn't be granting annulments?

Had "Beth" done this kind of "grandstanding" about other religions mediating, you might have a leg to stand on Fenring.

Enforcing Catholic law at the point of a gun may have been a thing of the past, but at present Catholic countries and communities don't force people to be Catholic and punish them for disobedience. The same goes for Jewish communities and for Israel, the latter of which may be something of a theocracy but it doesn't require its citizens to be practising Jews. Some Muslim countries right now do enforce Sharia law and so it does bear making clear that what is religiously standard in some places isn't allowed in the U.S. I'm not sure what's controversial about this. One doesn't have to mention the same thing about Jews and Catholics in the same breath because right now forcing people to be religious isn't a thing with them. But I honestly have no doubt that Beth, as with most Americans, wouldn't tolerate a Jewish tribunal enforcing religious laws either. Isn't this kind of a "duh" point?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
It only would if they were operating an extra-legal court system.
What does that mean, precisely?
Jews and Muslims and Catholics regularly meet with private religious arbitrators and sign legally-binding contracts agreeing to abide by the results of that arbitration. If that's not what is being banned here, then what is?

We're talking about private arbitration, here.

---------

Out of interest, Fenring, do you know the mayor of Irving? Are you actually on a first-name basis?

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AI Wessex
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Fenring:
quote:
So far not one single of these instances demonstrates her stating that she believes there is a court of Sharia law operating in Texas. Being a sort of liberty-oriented place I could see Texans being concerned about Muslims calling their proceeding a "tribunal" and I think it's only reasonable that the mayor of such a place take steps to reassure the people that it's not actually a court of Sharia law, and that if there ever was such a thing it wouldn't be tolerated. You can call this type of solidarity move 'Islamophobic' all you want, but given the kinds of rhetoric heard around America about ISIS and Saudi Arabia's version of law, I'd say Beth has done a decent job of avoiding inflammatory statements on this hot topic.
From Betty's** facebook page:
quote:
Sharia Law Court was NOT approved or enacted by the City of Irving. Recently, there have been rumors suggesting that the City of Irving has somehow condoned, approved or enacted the implementation of a Sharia Law Court in our City. Let me be clear, neither the City of Irving, our elected officials or city staff have anything to do with the decision of the mosque that has been identified as starting a Sharia Court.
How come she was so passionate about a law to prevent them from doing something they weren't actually doing? She pushed for this law even after she realized they weren't doing it, and nobody else was, either.

That bill never made it to the floor of the Texas legislature in May, but it had momentum from people like a state representative:
quote:
Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, generated national headlines in January for her unwelcoming attitude toward Muslim visitors at the Capitol (see "Rep. Molly White Not Quite Sure Who's an American," Jan. 29).

White's notorious Facebook post – instructing her staff to "ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws" – was in response to Texas Muslim Capitol Day, which had been organized by Texan Muslims and their allies to educate legislators about Islam.

You're making every effort to read good intent and good will into Betty's actions, with the same vigor you were willing to read bad intent and bad will into Ahmed's. Do you think there might be a pattern in your thinking?

As others have pointed out, no one has ever raised a concern about a Jewish or Catholic court in Texas, even though they've been in existence for many years. The suspicion that you yourself point out that a Muslim tribunal would actually try to operate as an extra-legal court is nothing more than xenophobia. I'm not surprised you don't see it. I've often heard out and out racists say quite sincerely that they don't think they're being racist, just, you know, that's just being normal.

** Do I know Betty? I've met a thousand dames like her. All I can say is don't cross her, brother, or she'll paint one on you.

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Fenring
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Tom,

If you're asking which sorts of thing would be legal and which illegal under the law, I'm not a lawyer and can't give you exact specifics. From how it's being discussed it sounds like it's more about preventing people being forced to submit to religious law and less about preventing people entering into voluntary agreements. The actual religious material isn't exactly what's in question, but whether it's enforced or is voluntary. Whether "non-voluntary" means forcing people to live a certain way giving them no alternative, or means passing judgements on them and assigning punishments, either way I think this is what the law is meant to address. This kind of concern is irrelevant as concerns Jews and Catholics in America (at least as far as I know), and in Irving if "arbitration" just means discussion and making voluntary agreements then there's no nothing to talk about, save the need to actually verify if that's the case.

And no, I don't personally know the mayor [Smile] I just felt kind of stupid writing "the mayor" over and over, and to be honest I didn't feel like writing "Van Duyne" either (I don't even know if I'm supposed to capitalize the V). Hence "Beth." But it's a fine name, no?

ETA: In the article I linked below in the exchange with Al they mention that in England some of the Muslim tribunals were employing different standards of contract enforcement between men and women, so this is another example of what wouldn't be allowed in America. In that case it was a matter of having different standards for qualifying for divorce proceedings depending on whether you're a man or a woman, which would be a sexist clause (illegal in private contracts).

[ October 23, 2015, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Pyr, you have mistaken Beth's words for something other what what they literally say. She said that if the investigation found the tribunal was doing anything legal or involving arbitration then she would put a stop to it. That's all. She didn't say they weren't free to discuss family matters and such, so that's a non-starter as a point.

Why do you keep bringing up the irrelevant Tribunal and dodging the open and active support that's been cited for the Islamophobic anti-Sharia law? It's the fact that she's been and advocate for statewide Islamophobia by playing up spurious anti-Sharia bigotry in general that matters here, not the particulars of the specific arbitration board that's relevant here.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
From Betty's** facebook page:
quote:
Sharia Law Court was NOT approved or enacted by the City of Irving. Recently, there have been rumors suggesting that the City of Irving has somehow condoned, approved or enacted the implementation of a Sharia Law Court in our City. Let me be clear, neither the City of Irving, our elected officials or city staff have anything to do with the decision of the mosque that has been identified as starting a Sharia Court.
How come she was so passionate about a law to prevent them from doing something they weren't actually doing? She pushed for this law even after she realized they weren't doing it, and nobody else was, either.
Maybe she doesn't want some of the problems in America that have happened in Europe. Here's an article on the subject 'Betty' posted to her timeline:

http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/29/u-s-sharia-tribunals-no-problem/#ixzz3nGP2pdf7

The article mentions:

quote:
Recent news of an Islamic “sharia court” in the Dallas area raised alarms but once PolitiFact-Texas, Snopes, and Dallas Morning News reporters accepted sharia judge assurances that the tribunal is essentially just mediating marital and contract disputes, alarm subsided.

However, since the Islamic Tribunal website announces that the Dallas sharia center is a model and will serve to “set a precedence (sic) that will be emulated and duplicated throughout the country,” Americans should persist in getting answers to some deeper questions before assenting to a sharia tribunal franchise.

If sister sharia “councils” in the UK and the EU are instructive, this tribunal’s protestations that proceedings comply with the law of the land are false. Undercover investigations and policy center studies across the pond reveal that the sharia councils operate as counter-cultural and unlawful parallel civil — sometimes criminal – courts. Normalization of similarly operating sharia centers in the U.S. would be like embracing apartheid courts in this country.

This may or may not be accurate but in any case I don't think it's stupid to be concerned about this kind of thing. I mean, we're not talking about persecution or the abridgement of rights of Muslims, we're talking about verifying that they're complying with the law, and if they are then leaving it alone. Since the Islam tribunal website states that they abide by American law, it makes you wonder why they protested the law reaffirming (perhaps redundantly) American law. Why not just embrace it and assuage all concern? This doesn't make them guilty of anything, but it doesn't help their PR any.

For what it's worth the quote you provided above doesn't state that such a thing is occurring, but refers to the allegations made by others. One could argue the wording of it allows for the interpretation that the mayor believes the allegations, even though there is no direct statement to that effect. But since I've heard the mayor state outright she knows what they claim the arbitration is, the only matter that remains is to verify whether what they say is accurate.

As for my trying to read neutral or good intentions in 'Betty' versus your claim that I'm happy to look for bad intentions in Ahmed, you are forgetting that I merely suggested that among the possibilities was that Ahmed was pranking/joking. It was you, conversely, who stated definitively that it was a textbook case of targeting (i.e. bigotry) against him. Likewise here I'm looking at ways of interpreting the mayor's comments to make sense of them, which I've already said includes the possibility she really is an Islamophobe, and your position is once again one of certainty where she is a bigot and that's that.

In both cases I am open to a few possibilities, good and bad, and won't accept the exclusion of the other possibilities a priori. In both cases you had decided right from the start that it was racism, period. Which one of us, again, is bent on imputing bad motives?

[ October 23, 2015, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:

ETA: In the article I linked below in the exchange with Al they mention that in England some of the Muslim tribunals were employing different standards of contract enforcement between men and women, so this is another example of what wouldn't be allowed in America. In that case it was a matter of having different standards for qualifying for divorce proceedings depending on whether you're a man or a woman, which would be a sexist clause (illegal in private contracts).

Of course it is allowed in America. You think that there aren't different codes of conduct for men and women set forth from churches and synagogues in the US?

Had she really done a good job of being non-inflammatory, she would have said something along the lines of, "The mosque isn't doing anything different than other churches and synagogues do. Just like those religious organizations, this is not a legal court and no one is legally forced to submit to its rulings." That would have been non-inflammatory. Had she been especially good, she could have thrown something in about how the election of JFK didn't have us all ruled by the Vatican.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
This may or may not be accurate but in any case I don't think it's stupid to be concerned about this kind of thing.
That's exactly why I keep pushing back on you. Just in case, just in case, but you have no evidence that it's happening. What do you think of the reasons the KKK was founded? It wasn't (for the most part) to abuse and harass african-americans. It was to protect the US against the insidious infiltration of the Pope's minions into municipal, state and national office. From that position, the Pope could (would!) rouse his Catholic troops to take over the country. I think there's a decent analogy between the anti-sharia sentiment you've bought into and others like Betty are flogging in cities like Irving and states like Texas. Remember, the Irving city council voted their support for the bill that Betty was so passionate about. Let's make Muslims swear they're not terrorists so people in Irving won't have to worry about their safety.
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TomDavidson
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I should note that people who sign arbitration agreements before entering into arbitration are in fact agreeing to be legally bound by the arbitrator's decision.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Since the Islam tribunal website states that they abide by American law, it makes you wonder why they protested the law reaffirming (perhaps redundantly) American law.
Except that it doesn't just re-affirm US law. It makes it possible to arbitrability declare any tribunal that could be characterized as "foreign law" illegal, regardless of whether it's operating within the US legal framework. IT's legislation that's been cooked up specifically to stoke Islamophobia and to be selectively applied for religious persecution.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
ETA: In the article I linked below in the exchange with Al they mention that in England some of the Muslim tribunals were employing different standards of contract enforcement between men and women, so this is another example of what wouldn't be allowed in America. In that case it was a matter of having different standards for qualifying for divorce proceedings depending on whether you're a man or a woman, which would be a sexist clause (illegal in private contracts).

Of course it is allowed in America. You think that there aren't different codes of conduct for men and women set forth from churches and synagogues in the US?
You guys are all confusing different things. Some of you innocently.

The issue with all arbitration is the question of enforceability. There is no law in the US that interferes with voluntary non-binding arbitration of any kind, nor could there be. The US law prohibits binding or enforceable arbitration where the underlying rules of the arbitration are inconsistent with US law. Islamic tribunals whether purporting to be binding or not that rest on sexist premises are fundamentally inconsistent with US law.

It is entirely reasonable and consistent with any reasonable interpretation of equal rights and feminist theory to get the message out to women that they are not required to submit to a sexist tribunal and that they can not be forced to resolve disputes there - which is completely consistent with the Mayor's ACTUAL words and comments.
quote:
Had she really done a good job of being non-inflammatory, she would have said something along the lines of, "The mosque isn't doing anything different than other churches and synagogues do.
Which is not necessarily true. The examples given for Catholic and Jewish tribunals (which occasionally have found themselves in trouble) relate to voluntary non-binding decisions. Do you know any Catholic who is unaware that they can obtain a divorce from the state, and that even if they get an annulment they also have to get a divorce? Hasidic courts have in fact been accused of crossing the lines before, and have in fact been in trouble with the authorities before.

Fenring you've done a very good job of explaining the points clearly, not clear to me if there is a lack of comprehension going on here or intentional willful blindness.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I should note that people who sign arbitration agreements before entering into arbitration are in fact agreeing to be legally bound by the arbitrator's decision.

Well, yes. But the point isn't whether making the contract legally binding is ok, but whether the participants are given a choice about whether or not to enter it.

quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
You think that there aren't different codes of conduct for men and women set forth from churches and synagogues in the US?

The issue is not whether their is some kind of division between the sexes in religious life. It would be whether the standards of what we consider constitutional matters are not met in this division. For example, in Orthodox Judaism the men and women are separated into different sections in synagogue (with the women for all intents and purposes in the 'visitors' section). Nothing about this is illegal since where one sits in a room isn't a federal matter. Take a different scenario, where a Jewish business goes to Jewish arbitration and it's ruled that women must provide X credentials to be hired there while men must provide fewer credentials; or where men are eligible for promotion but women aren't. That kind of arbitration would be unconstitutional regardless of whether it's entered into willingly. The issue here isn't whether private citizens have the right to make private agreements, but whether rights are being infringed upon in the process.

quote:
[Had she really done a good job of being non-inflammatory, she would have said something along the lines of, "The mosque isn't doing anything different than other churches and synagogues do. Just like those religious organizations, this is not a legal court and no one is legally forced to submit to its rulings." That would have been non-inflammatory. Had she been especially good, she could have thrown something in about how the election of JFK didn't have us all ruled by the Vatican.
I agree with you fully that had the mayor wished to sound welcoming to the Muslims in the community she could have phrased things differently, and so her statements are at best neutral in that regard. She definitely does have a bit of the "you're either with us or against us" going on, which is a problem in American discourse in general. But while she doesn't come off as friendly in these statements of hers, it's another matter to glance at them and say she's a bigot or else represents bigots. That's a big claim, and I don't believe in making that kind of claim lightly.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Islamic tribunals whether purporting to be binding or not that rest on sexist premises are fundamentally inconsistent with US law.
Sure. Which is exactly why the anti-Sharia law is, at best, useless, and only a dog-whistle agenda item.

quote:
It is entirely reasonable and consistent with any reasonable interpretation of equal rights and feminist theory to get the message out to women that they are not required to submit to a sexist tribunal and that they can not be forced to resolve disputes there - which is completely consistent with the Mayor's ACTUAL words and comments.
No it's not. Her actual words and comments were support of statewide legislation that impinges on current legal operation of faith-based arbitration. Especially in as much as its being selectively used to target one particular faith.

quote:
The examples given for Catholic and Jewish tribunals (which occasionally have found themselves in trouble) relate to voluntary non-binding decisions. Do you know any Catholic who is unaware that they can obtain a divorce from the state, and that even if they get an annulment they also have to get a divorce? Hasidic courts have in fact been accused of crossing the lines before, and have in fact been in trouble with the authorities before.
So, as noted, such actions are already recognized as illegal, and thus are completely out of context of the current advocacy. The only practical effect is to implicitly raise false accusations that the Islamic equivalents are acting any differently than other already legal organizations and that some manner of public persecution is necessary to put them in their place.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The issue here isn't whether private citizens have the right to make private agreements, but whether rights are being infringed upon in the process.
Except, of course that this isn't actualyl an issue, but rather an implicit accusation that's being made without evidence to create the false impression that there is an issue.

That's the problem here- to the extent that something like that might be happening , it's already illegal under current law. The entire point of the campaign for the extra law is to implicitly create the false accusation that it's happening and that people need to mobilize against it, without actualyl having to present and evidence that there's a problem, just relying on an appeal to existing bigotry and assumptions that it must be happening because that what "those people" do.

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AI Wessex
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I'm only familiar with Michigan laws governing divorce, but I would expect it to work pretty much the same way in all states.

You need a marriage license from the state (issued by a county) to get married. You aren't married until an officially sanctioned individual performs the ceremony, which may consist of just signing papers. (If you're lucky enough to be married in a Hindu ceremony you might get to ride a horse to the wedding.) If a religious figure does the job, then you are married in the eyes of both the state and the religion. If a judge does it, there is no religious covenant.

Divorce is entirely different. You can get divorced within your religion, but you are still considered married by the state of Michigan unless and until you go before a judge and get a ruling that the divorce is final. So, for tax and other government purposes both spouses are still united and equally responsible until the divorce is finalized by the state.

The religious divorce carries no civil implications, so there's no reason that a Muslim tribunal or rabbi or other duly sanctioned member(s) of the clergy of your religion can't follow whatever practices are deemed authorized. That could be as little as turning around three times saying "I divorce you" each time, or being required to return a dowry or make other restitution.

Let's not confuse the two. As Tom says, contracts involving arbitration by a religious authority are as binding as the one you sign when you get a new Visa card. Neither can compel you to do something that the law protects you from, but you can relinquish some of your rights. I imagine fundamentalist or orthodox branches of every religion violate those constraints in their own ways.

I would tell anybody who wants to go after Muslim tribunals to establish their credibility by first rooting out the illegal and immoral practices in their own religion before denouncing a religion you aren't a member of and probably don't know much about.

[ October 24, 2015, 09:18 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Seriati
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So just to confirm, as I said, you're confusing different things, and only some of you appear to be doing it innocently.

My general response to Pyrtolin, is that he ignores, completely, the imbalanced position of women in Islamic courts, and ignores completely that many of the women who are forced to resolve disputes there are in fact forced to do so "voluntarily" and many are not aware that this is a violation of their rights under US law. If I were to interpret your comments as uncharitably as you interpret everyone else's I'd have to conclude you are conducting your own personal war on women and the poor here.

So let's look at the details:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Islamic tribunals whether purporting to be binding or not that rest on sexist premises are fundamentally inconsistent with US law.
Sure. Which is exactly why the anti-Sharia law is, at best, useless, and only a dog-whistle agenda item.
What anti-Sharia law? You're the one using a dog whistle when you add in a term that the law doesn't have.
quote:
quote:
It is entirely reasonable and consistent with any reasonable interpretation of equal rights and feminist theory to get the message out to women that they are not required to submit to a sexist tribunal and that they can not be forced to resolve disputes there - which is completely consistent with the Mayor's ACTUAL words and comments.
No it's not. Her actual words and comments were support of statewide legislation that impinges on current legal operation of faith-based arbitration. Especially in as much as its being selectively used to target one particular faith.
No, her actual words in her facebook post were what I said, and I challenge anyone (else) who cares about women's issues to read the facebook post and then claim your interpretation is more correct than mine.

But even still your claim after that is incorrect. Nothing about the law infringes on legitimate faith based arbitration. It doesn't interfere in non-binding voluntary arbitration of any kind. It interferes with binding arbitration that violates the rights afforded to citizens, such as women, who are entitled to equal treatment under our laws. And it's not a fake issue particularly in a culture where there is substantial pressure, and sometimes out right force used to ensure that women comply with an unfair legal and ethical code.
quote:
So, as noted, such actions are already recognized as illegal, and thus are completely out of context of the current advocacy.
Which a self-serving recharacterization. These type of laws are important to ensure that fake voluntary tribunals or tribunals that ignore fundamental rights of citizens can not rely on the rules designed to ensure that arbitration can produce binding and NON-APPEALABLE results are not abused.
quote:
The only practical effect is to implicitly raise false accusations that the Islamic equivalents are acting any differently than other already legal organizations and that some manner of public persecution is necessary to put them in their place.
Not even close. The practical effect is to ensure that organizations purporting to arbitrate disputes obey the minimum standards of the Constitution if they intend to have their judgments be enforceable.
quote:
That's the problem here- to the extent that something like that might be happening , it's already illegal under current law. The entire point of the campaign for the extra law is to implicitly create the false accusation that it's happening and that people need to mobilize against it, without actualyl having to present and evidence that there's a problem, just relying on an appeal to existing bigotry and assumptions that it must be happening because that what "those people" do.
Binding voluntary arbitration is not illegal, and such arbitration can deliberately limit rights you'd otherwise have (one common one is to limit discovery dramatically). These laws are needed to clarify that those rules cannot be used to create an unfairness that is based on an unconstitutional grounds. This is a materially distinct point and NOT one that is already clear under existing law.

There may or may not be bigotry involved, but your claim that its the only reason that there could be is complete and utter nonsense.
quote:
Originally posted by Al Wessex:
Divorce is entirely different.

Not precisely, you can agree to have your divorce finalized by a mediator. The resulting agreement is binding. There's nothing that prevents a religious mediator from being mediator or from applying religious rules.
quote:
The religious divorce carries no civil implications, so there's no reason that a Muslim tribunal or rabbi or other duly sanctioned member(s) of the clergy of your religion can't follow whatever practices are deemed authorized.
Just because a religious ceremony CAN be separated from a legal effect does not mean it has to be.

Without such a law as this, a voluntary agreement to allow the tribunals decree to be binding, would likely have resulted in a binding and enforceable divorce "mediation" that was premised on sexist laws.

It really is key to recognize that it's possible to separate the religious and the non-religious, but that its also possible to deliberate entangle the two. You can't pretend that this issue isn't real because of the first possibility, when the second is what is actually contemplated.
quote:
Let's not confuse the two. As Tom says, contracts involving arbitration by a religious authority are as binding as the one you sign when you get a new Visa card.
Is that your expert opinion? You'd be wrong in both cases. You can agree to legal binding arbitration by a religious authority, even one where religious law applies. Absent a law like this, getting its judgment overturned because it rested on unconstitutional principals is more difficult than you'd expect.
quote:
Neither can compel you to do something that the law protects you from, but you can relinquish some of your rights. I imagine fundamentalist or orthodox branches of every religion violate those constraints in their own ways.
You can't protect anyone from what they voluntarily submit to, but you can eliminate the power of an abuser to use the courts to enforce their abuse.
quote:
I would tell anybody who wants to go after Muslim tribunals to establish their credibility by first rooting out the illegal and immoral practices in their own religion before denouncing a religion you aren't a member of and probably don't know much about.
So, suck it Atheists? You can't force this religion out of the secular world and law? You're literally arguing for religious law being enforced by the courts of the United States here, even though you seem to be honestly confused (unlike some others) into thinking this is an attempt to interfere in the purely religious lives of people.
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TomDavidson
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It should be noted that arguing for arbitration agreements is literally arguing for the enforcement of secular law, not religious law.
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