Judge Jeanine Pirro asked a reasonable question on her Fox News show the other day. She was focusing on infamously anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Omar has made it her trademark to accuse politicians who support Israel of having accepted bribes (“It’s all about the Benjamins baby”) and to accuse Jewish supporters of Israel of having divided loyalties, by which she meant they are more loyal to Israel than they are to the United States.
Addressing Democrats, Pirro said, “This is not who your party is. Your party is not anti-Israel, she is. Think about this. She is not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democrat Party.”
Pirro continued: “So if it’s not rooted in the party, where is she getting it from? Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran, 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution?”
Pirro later released a statement in which she said, “I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American. My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.”
Fox News later rebuked Pirro, saying“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.” On Saturday, Pirro’s show didn’t air. She may not be allowed to return to Fox.
The rebuke of Pirro by Fox was a shameful act. Pirro was entirely right to raise the issue of Omar’s beliefs being antithetical to the U.S. Constitution. They are.
The debate Pirro suggested is one that we need to have. To fail to have that debate is an act of collective cowardice. Let it begin here.
The OED defines “ideology” as “a system of ideas or ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.” Islam falls under that definition. It is as much a political ideology as it is a religion.
That ideology requires that the political state be governed by Islamic law which is, as Pirro suggested, antithetical to our Constitution.
Under our First Amendment, Congress is barred from establishing a state religion or limiting the free exercise of any religion. Under Islamic law, the church and state — mosque and state — cannot be separated. Islam is established as the state religion by Islamic law. Some nations such as the “Islamic Republics” of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Mauritania celebrate that fact in their names. Other nations — Saudi Arabia and many others — have established Islam as their official religions.
Islamic ideology is at the heart of the Arab nations’ problems. As the liberal British newspaper the Economist said in its July 5, 2014 edition, “Islam, or at least the modern reinterpretations of it, is at the core of some of the Arabs’ deep troubles. The faith’s claim, promoted by many of its leading lights, to combine spiritual and earthly authority, with no separation of mosque and state, has stunted the development of independent political institutions.”
The Muslim phrase “Allah akbar” does not mean “God is great,” but that “Allah is greater (or greatest).” It is a proclamation that Islam is superior to any other religion. Out of that flows a comprehensive intolerance of other religions that is required by Islamic law.
Islam’s conflict with the First Amendment — which requires free exercise of all religions — is found in many chapters of the primary book on Sunni Islamic law, “The Reliance of the Traveler.” In passages o9.0-o9.9, it describes “jihad” as to war against non-Muslims and an obligation of all Muslims both male and female. It references passages of the Koran that says things such as “Slay them wherever you find them.”
In Samuel P. Huntington’s masterwork, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, he summarizes the reason why Muslim societies don’t accept democracy.
Islamic culture explains in large part the failure of democracy to emerge in much of the Muslim world. Developments in the post-communist societies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union are shaped by their civilizational identities. Those with Western Christian heritages are making progress toward economic development and democratic politics; the prospects for economic and political development in the Orthodox countries are uncertain; the prospects in the Muslim republics are bleak.
Huntington was wrong in declaring that economic and political development in Muslim countries is highly unlikely. Many oil-rich rentier states such as Saudi Arabia have developed into economic powers dominated by Islamic law. Some, such as Iran — and Pakistan which lacks oil wealth — have developed militarily, under their interpretations of Islamic law, into two of the most dangerous countries in the world.
Pirro was also correct in saying that devotion to Islamic law is antithetical to our Constitution because Islam’s ideology claims its adherents’ devotion to it above any nationalism or ideology.
Muslims define the “ummah” as the trans-national community of Islam’s adherents. Passage b7.5 of “Reliance” quotes a hadith — a statement of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed — that, “Allah’s hand is over the group and whoever dissents from them departs to hell.” That passage expands on that hadith, saying it means “…that whoever diverges from the overwhelming majority [of the Islamic people] concerning what is lawful or unlawful and on which the Community [of Muslims, the “ummah”] does not differ has slipped off the path of guidance and this will lead him to hell.”
Pirro was also correct in saying that just because a person is a Muslim does not preclude the possibility that they can become loyal to our Constitution. I’ve met several. One in particular I remember because he is (or was at the time) a Marine sergeant. He’d taken the oath to protect and preserve the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic and had already served bravely in Iraq. When I met this man, he was on his way back for another tour as a Marine in Iraq.
Ilhan Omar took a similar oath when she was sworn in as a congresswoman. She swore to “… support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…” But does she?
Omar’s conduct gives us no evidence that she supports or defends the Constitution. It’s legitimate for anyone to question our policy toward Israel. That’s the political freedom that our ideology — comprised by the Constitution — preserves for us all.
But Omar’s accusations that Jewish supporters of Israel have divided loyalties (meaning that they are more loyal to Israel than America) and that supporters of Israel only do so because — she alleges — they are paid to do so is a form of what the psychologists call would call “projection.” She evidently believes that supporting Israel is illegitimate and that no one could do so without malign intent.
The House Democrats were too fearful of Omar to condemn her statements. Instead, they buried the argument America should be having by passing a resolution that didn’t state her name and only condemned every sort of bigotry.
Fox should bring Pirro back forthwith and encourage her to pursue the question she posed. To do otherwise would compound their cowardice.
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