Islam in America: Is there a cause for concern? Is Islam compatible with American values? This is a very tough question that needs to be discussed in a fair and balanced way. However, due to the lack of objective journalism in the U.S. the issue is rarely discussed nor fairly analyzed. Instead we have only the two most extreme views presented by liberals and conservatives. These generally center around two the two extreme concepts that either Islam is a curse to America (e.g. Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslim’s entering the country) or the liberal view there is no problem at all, and you are a “Racist” for even considering otherwise. As with most issues, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Since the media can’t be trusted to fairly explore this concept, I had to go to the source to find my data. Probably the best, least biased, and most comprehensive surveys on the views of worldwide Muslims was conducted in 2013 by the Pew Research Center. I would encourage everyone interested in this topic to read the final report entitled: The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society. “This report examines the social and political views of Muslims around the world. It is based on public opinion surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center between 2008 and 2012 in a total of 39 countries and territories on three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe. Together, the surveys involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages and dialects, covering every country that has more than 10 million Muslims except for a handful (including China, India, Saudi Arabia and Syria) where political sensitivities or security concerns prevented opinion research among Muslims.” Reading through this report, there were some items that struck me as concerning:
- There are huge groups of Muslims that want Sharia Law to be the “law of the land”. This is clearly incompatible with American values. There is one legal system for everyone here, and it is based on fairness, freedom, and equality. Can we say the same of Sharia?
- As an extension of Sharia, there are huge groups of Muslims that feel stoning is an appropriate punishment for adultery. Let’s think about this. An adulterer (almost always woman by the way) is buried in a pit up to her neck and the entire village stands around and throws rocks at her until she is dead. Is this an appropriate punishment? Literally millions of Muslims feel it is.
- There is a smaller minority, but still a shocking total number of Muslims that feel suicide bombing is “Often or Sometimes” justified in defense of Islam. Let’s take Egypt as an example. 29% of Muslims feel suicide bombing is justified. There are 80 Million Muslims in Egypt. Therefore there are 23 million people that think suicide bombing is “often or sometimes” justified. That is the nearly the population of Texas (25 million)!
- The majority of Muslims seem to feel that homosexuality, drinking alcohol, and abortion are immoral. I wonder how liberals would react to Donald Trump saying this? He would fall under intense scrutiny, but somehow Muslims dont seem to fall under the same scrutiny when they judge these personal decisions as ‘immoral” without any comment by the media. I am not sure how compatible these views are with our free society.
- Huge groups of Muslims feel that woman should “obey their husbands.” This clearly runs afoul of our free and equal society. Again, if Donald Trump said this, universal condemnation would result. But again, this slips past quietly without much discussion when the topic of gender equality in Islam comes up.
It's clear that criminals who attempt to illegally purchase firearms aren't being prosecuted as they should be - and have not been for years. For example, in 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms screened 76,142 National Instant Criminal Background Check System denials. Of those, charges were brought in only 44 cases - and resulted in just 13 successful prosecutions. This sends the message to criminals that there won't be any consequences when they try to get their hands on guns. Some of my colleagues want to expand the broken background check system we have now. In my view, we shouldn't be expanding a flawed system. The focus should be on fixing the existing system, which criminals are flouting. We need to make sure we are enforcing current law and prosecuting those who attempt to illegally obtain firearms. And we must ensure that NICS includes records currently not being entered in the system, including mental health adjudications where an individual is found to be a danger to themselves and others. There are no easy answers. Even if the proposed expansion of background checks had been in place, it wouldn't have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy - where the perpetrator obtained the firearms he used by killing his own mother, who owned them lawfully. This is a position I can agree with. Why should we expand the existing system, which is clearly broken ,and would do nothing to prevent the kind of tragedies we have seen in Sandy Hook? I humbly call on all New Hampshirites to support Senator Ayotte and tell Nanny Bloomberg to mind his business. Since the murder rate of New York is more than triple that of New Hampshire (4.0 per 100,000 citizens as opposed to 1.3, per 100,000 citizens), I personally would ask Mayor Bloomberg to fix his own violent crime issue before telling New Hampshire what it needs to do. PS. I know how much soda I need to drink too!The anti-second amendment group "Mayors Against Illegal Guns," headed by Nanny Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire Mayor of New York, has a bone to pick with NH's own Senator Ayotte. It would appear that they are extremely upset with her "no" vote on the recent, and completely ineffectual. "universal gun background check" bill. Bloomberg's group released a new TV attack ad Monday aimed at Ayotte. Mayor's Against Illegal Guns has vowed to hold events in targeted states "every time senators are home on vacation" in an effort to put pressure on Senators that don't vote their way. Well, this really boils my clams. I was already fed up with Mayor Bloomberg's anti-freedom antics in New York. However, now the same man that declared (and I quote) "I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom" is fresh off his failed attempt to control New Yorker's soda intake and is now trying to tell New Hampshire what is good for it. This is the man that thought limited soda sales to a 16 oz. maximum size, but still allowing someone to purchase a 64 oz milkshake (for example), would actually help curb obesity rates. He is now applying his same failing logic to gun control. Well, sure universal background checks, sound like a good idea, but let's look at some facts as explained to me by Senator Ayotte via email today:
- During a mass mailing (about 500,000 letters) to all Massachusetts welfare recipients explaining how they could register to vote (another long, ridiculous scandal) , 19,000 of the recipients could not even be located. However, I bet the checks were still being cashed!
- Governor Patrick has vet the state legislature’s attempt to ban the use of EBT cards to purchase tattoos, porn, jewelry, and bail. Now to be fair, his argument was it would be very difficult to enforce bans on specific purchases. Agreed. However, the little known secret of EBT cards is that you can withdraw a portion of benefits in cash. Ostensibly, this is used for things like cab fare to job interviews (snicker), but in reality it is used for all the aforementioned ridiculousness.
- Market Basket (a local area Supermarket chain) employees report that EBT wielding customers are irate that they cannot buy cooked lobsters (as EBT benefits can't be used for prepared foods) and instead must settle for uncooked lobsters.
- Reports of folks with huge ($7,000 ) balances on EBT cards that carry over indefinitely. If you need assistance.... why is it piling up into the thousands of dollars?
Why is it that our elected officials continue to respond to constituents with such claptrap? I took the time to navigate through your website and ask you to perform your duty to represent me... Why do you think I would be the slightest bit happy to receive a response that doesn't even clearly state your position? Ugghh.... So I wrote back and asked her to clearly provide a firm stance on the matter. As of this writing... I am still awaiting that clear response. If I ever get one, I will post it immediately. UPDATE: Senator Shaheen has not as of yet responded to my inquiry. I am a bit upset that I can't get a simple answer to a simple question. However, I see her facebook page has been updated expressing her regret that the gun control legislation failed. So, I guess we all now how she votes.. 96% solidly with the Democrats and against the Constitution.From the NRA: The U.S. Senate is currently scheduled to vote on several anti-gun bills during the week of April 8. One, the so-called "universal background check" bill being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer, would criminalize the private transfer of firearms between law-abiding citizens. This legislation would make it illegal for a family member to transfer a firearm to another family member without the federal government’s approval. According to a recent Department of Justice memo, the effectiveness of a universal background check system "depends on gun registration" -- which is illegal under federal law. In addition, no background check system will ever be truly "universal", as criminals do not submit to background checks. I urged NH Senator Jeanne Shaheen to oppose this legislation (via her website) and received a prompt response. But alas, it was simply a form letter probably auto-generated and sent to me by a staffer.