Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is sharia a hate crime?

TOC has pointed out why We need hate crime legislation in the past, and I've mentioned on many occasions that we can learn from Canada. Here's a Canadian example where bottoming out on the slippery slope of "hate crime" begins tipping into the bottomless pit of sharia. Keep this in mind while considering the following:

You can burn a Bible anywhere in the United States. If it belongs to someone else you'll probably be charged with vandalism. You can win an award for dunking a diety in urine. On the campus of Pace University you can swash Swastikas on bathroom walls, or mangle a Menorah. These are not "hate" crimes.

Giving the Suras a swirly, however, will get you charged with a couple of felonies.

Hate-crime arrests in Quran desecrations at Pace University

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.

Stanislav Shmulevich of Brooklyn was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both hate crimes, police said. It was unclear if he was a student at the school. A message left at the Shmulevich home was not immediately returned.

The Islamic holy book was found in a toilet at Pace's lower Manhattan campus by a teacher on Oct. 13. A student discovered another book in a toilet on Nov. 21, police said.

Muslim activists had called on Pace University to crack down on hate crimes after the incidents. As a result, the university said it would offer sensitivity training to its students.

The school was accused by Muslim students of not taking the incident seriously enough at first. Pace classified the first desecration of the holy book as an act of vandalism, but university officials later reversed themselves and referred the incident to the New York Police Department's hate crimes unit.

The incidents came amid a spate of vandalism cases with religious or racial overtones at the school. In an earlier incident on Sept. 21, the school reported another copy of the Quran was found in a library toilet, and in October someone scrawled racial slurs on a student's car at the Westchester County satellite campus and on a bathroom wall at the campus in lower Manhattan. Police did not connect Shmulevich to those incidents.
There appear to be quite good reasons for the police not to connect Shmulevich to "those incidents," even if the Associated Press leaves you thinking they were "Islamophobic," too. They weren't - nor were they classified as "hate crimes." Some "religio-cultural paradigms" are more equal than others.

Hate Crime Arrest for Desecration of a Koran

The other incidents “with racial or religious overtones” at Pace University were swastikas painted on a bathroom wall and on a Holocaust memorial event poster, the desecration of a Menorah on campus and other vicious antisemitic attacks which never rose to the level of hate crime, nor should they so along as burning the American flag is free speech and the photograph Piss Christ was the winner of “Awards in the Visual Arts” competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Meanwhile, in what might be described as an attempt to flummox those seeking oneness with PC sensibility, we're informed of a similar Islamophobic incident: Gay Artist Burns Rare $60,000.00 Koran as a protest against Islamic hate crime. Which phrase, applied to Islam in this context, does not require scare quotes since the median Imam's scholarly education on the matter of sexual preference tends to focus on whether homosexuals should be liquidated by being thrown off a tall building or by burial under a collapsing wall (beheading is apparently too "honorable").

Premeditated murder is indeed a hate crime, especially if it is sanctioned by state religious doctrine. To be sure, state religious doctrine includes such belief systems as secular humanism, which can be hard to distinguish from other religious fundamentalism.

In civilized societies, murder of post-fetal cell-clumps is sufficiently well circumscribed already, but a legal system (sharia) that may single out cartoonists for purposes of state murder is not distinguishable in principle from one that calls speech a felony because some specific religion comes whining that they've been offended by an act other religions routinely tolerate. Even if the tolerance of other religions was at issue - aside from demonstrating the hypocrisy of those who call for genocide for Jews.

Make no mistake, in Charles Merrill's case Islamists would have him buried under a collapsing wall after having pushed him head-first off a 3 story building.

NEW YORK, July 26, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/

Charles Merrill, the artist who recently edited the Holy Bible with a black marker and pair of scissors, has lately burned a rare Islamic Holy Book, The Koran, valued at $60,000.00, in an undisclosed Chicago location. "The purpose of editing and burning Abrahamic Holy Books is to eliminate homophobic hate," Merrill stated. "Both ancient books are terrorist manuals."

He continues, "I inherited the rare Islamic book from my late wife, Evangeline Johnson Merrill. As the daughter of the founder of the international pharmaceutical giant, Johnson and Johnson, Inc., doors of kings and queens opened to her around the world. Evangeline was given the rare manuscript by the late King of Jordan when she was on a mission for the United Nations in the 1950's."

"Airplanes are flown into buildings because of words, and hate crimes against gays," Merrill said.
If that last quote is accurate, Merrill seems to be saying that Mohamed Atta steered a Boeing 767 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center either to protest mistreatment of gays, or as a crime directed at gays. The first is ludicrous, and the second supposes Atta was motivated by the idea that the WTC was filled with gays in need of termination. Neither interpretation seems likely. Atta might well have wished death to homosexuals generally, but he wasn't flying an airplane into the WTC because of them. I think what Merrill meant was that the Koran, the Bible and the Torah cause hatred against gays. That's why he thinks they should be defaced.

Merrill is not asking for all the CAIR leadership to be prosecuted, though it must have occurred to him. This is to his credit.

The very least you can say about Merrill is that he is more philosophically consistent than Pace University. On the relative moral weight of Merrill's position vs. PaceU's - even assuming you are muddle headed enough to accept "hate crimes" as a valid legal concept - the persistent denial, under sharia, that homosexuals are human would certainly outweigh an occasional soggy or flaming Koran, don't you think?

Merrill should be on Pace University's Board. He could lead a debate on the definition of "hate crime" without cringing in front of CAIR, he could patiently read the First Amendment out loud, and he could call the question on which hate crimes are more hate-filled than others. Reductio ad absurdum might produce multiple epiphanies.

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