Archive for October 27th, 2006

The Faith of the Centurion

Friday, October 27th, 2006

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Matthew 8:5-13 (New International Version)

This is one of my favorite accounts of faith and healing.
Try to imagine the scene of Jesus and the Centurion. Here we have an office in the Roman Legion, a commander with approximately 100 men under him. Centurions were often placed in command of garrisons and their sub-garrisons. This was an important man in the local Roman hierarchy. His rank would equate to a Captain from modern times.
At that time in history, the Romans had subjugated the Holy Land region, bringing their own governors to oversee the area and appointing puppet kings to keep the indigenous populations peaceful and in line. The Romans ruled harshly when confronted by “difficult” people, which the Jews of that time were.
But here we have a Roman humbling himself before a Jew. Not even an important Jew by the standards of that day. A mere carpenter by trade.
Our Centurion was able to see past the social mores of the day, past what was apparent when meeting with the “locals” face to face. Somehow, most likely by word of mouth, he had heard that this Jesus fellow was different. He had heard of many miraculous events and healings by this Jewish carpenter turned prophet. Roman medicine had failed to heal his servant. Maybe this man could do something.
Then the Centurion did things even more out of character. He approached Jesus humbly. He called Jesus “Lord” and when Jesus agreed go to his house to heal his servant, the Centurion wouldn’t hear of it. He answered instead “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.” Complete humility.
The Centurion then surprises us more, by showing great faith that Jesus was going to do exactly what He said He was going to do. He said:
“But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Matthew goes on to tell us that Jesus was “astonished” at the faith of this conqueror; this man who was not even a Jew or a local, but a foreigner.
Jesus said “I tell you the truth; I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
Think what Jesus would do for us if we had the faith in Him that the Centurion had.
Jesus told him “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would” and Matthew writes that “his servant was healed at that very hour.”
Have faith in Jesus. Trust Him to do what He promises He will do. Go to Him humbly and with a sincere heart. He will hear you and He will respond.

Be Sure to Vote

Friday, October 27th, 2006


Be Sure to Vote

And don’t forget abortion on demand.
Original Link.

Congress demands investigation of case against Border Patrol agents.

Friday, October 27th, 2006

What a complete travesty of justice!! Has our judicial system gone totally mad?
For those of you who may not have heard, back on October 20, two border patrol offices were sentenced to jail time for shooting a potentially armed Mexican drug smuggler.
Check this out:

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were sentenced to prison terms of 11 years and 12 years for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks as he fled across the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, Texas, sentenced Jose Alonso Compean to 12 years in prison and Ignacio Ramos to 11 years and one day despite a plea by their attorney for a new trial after three jurors said they were coerced into voting guilty in the case, the Washington Times reported.

As WorldNetDaily reported, a federal jury convicted Compean, 28, and Ramos, 37, in March after a two-week trial on charges of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and a civil rights violation.

Ramos is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and a former nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year.

On Feb. 17, he responded to a request for back up from Compean, who noticed a suspicious van near the levee road along the Rio Grande River near the Texas town of Fabens, about 40 miles east of El Paso.

Ramos, who headed toward Fabens hoping to cut off the van, soon joined a third agent already in pursuit.

Behind the wheel of the van was an illegal alien, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila of Mexico. Unknown to the growing number of Border Patrol agents converging on Fabens, Aldrete-Davila’s van was carrying 800 pounds of marijuana.

Unable to outrun Ramos and the third agent, Aldrete-Davila stopped the van on the levee, jumped out and started running toward the river. When he reached the other side of the levee, he was met by Compean who had anticipated the smuggler’s attempt to get back to Mexico.

“We both yelled out for him to stop, but he wouldn’t stop, and he just kept running,” Ramos told California’s Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Aldrete-Davila crossed a canal.

“At some point during the time where I’m crossing the canal, I hear shots being fired,” Ramos said. “Later, I see Compean on the ground, but I keep running after the smuggler.”

At that point, Ramos said, Aldrete-Davila turned toward him, pointing what looked like a gun.

“I shot,” Ramos said. “But I didn’t think he was hit, because he kept running into the brush and then disappeared into it. Later, we all watched as he jumped into a van waiting for him. He seemed fine. It didn’t look like he had been hit at all.”

The commotion and multiple calls for back up had brought seven other agents – including two supervisors – to the crossing by this time. Compean picked up his shell casings, but Ramos did not. He also did not follow agency procedure and report that he had fired his weapon.

“The supervisors knew that shots were fired,” Ramos told the paper. “Since nobody was injured or hurt, we didn’t file the report. That’s the only thing I would’ve done different.”

Had he done that one thing differently, it’s unlikely it would have mattered to prosecutors.

More than two weeks after the incident, Christopher Sanchez, an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, received a call from a Border Patrol agent in Wilcox, Ariz. The agent’s mother-in-law had received a call from Aldrete-Davila’s mother in Mexico telling her that her son had been wounded in the buttocks in the shooting.

Sanchez followed up with a call of his own to the smuggler in Mexico.

In a move that still confuses Ramos and Compean, the U.S. government filed charges against them after giving full immunity to Aldrete-Davila and paying for his medical treatment at an El Paso hospital.

At trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof told the court that the agents had violated an unarmed Aldrete-Davila’s civil rights.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is a violation of someone’s Fourth Amendment rights to shoot them in the back while fleeing if you don’t know who they are and/or if you don’t know they have a weapon,” said Kanof.

Kanof dismissed Ramos’ testimony that he had seen something shiny in the smuggler’s hand, saying that the agent couldn’t be sure it was a gun he had seen.

Further, Kanof argued, it was a violation of Border Patrol policy for agents to pursue fleeing suspects.

Agents are not allowed to pursue. In order to exceed the speed limit, you have to get supervisor approval, and they did not,” she told the Daily Bulletin.

Those shell casings Compean picked up were described to the jury as destroying the crime scene and their failure to file an incident report – punishable by a five-day suspension, according to Border Patrol regulations – an attempted cover up.

The Texas jury came back with a guilty verdict. Conviction for discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence has an automatic 10-year sentence. The other counts have varying punishments.

“How are we supposed to follow the Border Patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we are not supposed to pursue fleeing people?” said Ramos, who noted that he only did on that day what he had done for the previous 10 years. “Everybody who’s breaking the law flees from us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?”

He also noted that none of the other agents who had responded to the incident filed reports that shots were fired and, besides, both supervisors at the scene knew they had discharged their weapons.

“You need to tell a supervisor because you can’t assume that a supervisor knows about it,” Kanof countered. “You have to report any discharge of a firearm.”

“This is the greatest miscarriage of justice I have ever seen,” said Andy Ramirez of the nonprofit group Friends of the Border Patrol. “This drug smuggler has fully contributed to the destruction of two brave agents and their families and has sent a very loud message to the other Border Patrol agents: If you confront a smuggler, this is what will happen to you.

The El Paso Sheriff’s Department increased its patrols around the Ramos home when the family received threats from people they believed were associated with Aldrete-Davila.

Original Link.

Now a congressional group has requested that the President investigate and issue full pardons to both of these officers.

WASHINGTON – Congressmen concerned about the convictions and stiff prison sentences of two Border Patrol agents who injured a Mexican drug dealer they were pursuing say Homeland Security officials told them the pair were “out to shoot Mexicans.”

The White House and federal officials have been getting heat for offering the drug dealer immunity to testify against the two lawmen — Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean – both of whom are Mexican-Americans.

Some members of Congress, as well as National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner, now say it’s time for the officials to provide the proof they promised.

Aldrete-Davila, a Mexican, is now suing the Border Patrol for $5 million for his injury and violation of his rights.

A congressional hearing on the case is being planned for Nov. 13.

a dozen members of the House of Representatives have written to President Bush demanding an investigation of the case against the Border Patrol agents.

The letter to Bush was signed by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. and Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., the chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus.

“Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean attempted to apprehend a Mexican drug smuggler who brought 743 pounds of marijuana across the U.S. border last year,” wrote the congressmen. “The two agents were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the smuggler was granted full immunity to testify against the agents. Both men were convicted by a Texas jury for firing shots at the fleeing smuggler, who, they believed, carried a gun.”

The letter questioned the accuracy of the charges against the agents and the conduct of the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton.

“We ask that a full investigation of this case be ordered immediately,” they went on to say in the letter sent to the White House yesterday. “We are confident that during such an investigation you will find that these Border Patrol agents were acting within the scope of their duty and were unjustly prosecuted. Also, we ask that you use your power of presidential pardon, as granted by the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2, to pardon these two Border Patrol agents. We understand these requests usually are for those that have already completed their sentences; however, we feel in this case it would be a miscarriage of justice to send these two Border Patrol agents to prison for protecting our nation’s borders from an illegal drug smuggler.”

The letter notes that both agents have been ordered to surrender themselves to federal authorities Jan. 17 unless action is taken to overturn “this unjust result.”

“This is not the message that our legal system should be giving to the drug cartels that are smuggling drugs, people and terrorists across our borders,” said Tancredo, author of “In Mortal Danger,” a book that says the insecure border and immigration enforcement policies represent the No. 1 crisis in the U.S. today.

Original Link.

Conservatives Predict Voter Backlash Following NJ Marriage Ruling

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Christians,
I can’t tell you enough times that your participation in the election in two weeks is going to make or break the way our government deals with your Christian values. You cannot afford to sit at home.

(AgapePress) – Marriage traditionalists and pro-family leaders are predicting Wednesday’s ruling in New Jersey requiring equal rights for same-sex couples will energize Christian conservatives in eight states where, in less than two weeks, voters will decide whether to amend their state constitutions to preserve traditional marriage.

The New Jersey Supreme Court high court ruled that homosexual couples are entitled to the same rights as married heterosexual couples, and gave state lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to include homosexual couples or else to create civil unions in the state. Matt Daniels is president of the Alliance for Marriage, a group that supports a federal amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He predicts an Election Day backlash — in the form of an increased conservative turnout — to the pro-homosexual ruling in New Jersey.

“It will drive people to the polls in states where marriage referenda are on the ballot,” Daniels tells Associated Press. “To the extent that that spills over into races, it could have an impact on the outcome of elections.” A constitutional marriage amendment is on the ballot in eight states on November 7 — Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Daniels expects conservatives to propel those amendments to victory.

“When the people are given a chance to speak, they speak strongly in favor of the common-sense idea that marriage is a man and woman, that kids do best with a mom and a dad,” Daniels tells Associated Press. “And so, you will see increased numbers at the polls in the other states in the wake of this decision in New Jersey.”

A spokesman for a pro-marriage group in one of those states concurs. Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, says the court decision in New Jersey “highlights the urgency” for voters in his state to pass that state’s marriage initiative, thus “insulat[ing] marriage policy in Idaho from activist judges.”

“Our opponents have been saying all along that we don’t need a marriage amendment because we already have a state law dealing with this issue,” says Fischer. “Well, as Massachusetts and now New Jersey make clear, just having a state law is not enough to keep tyrannical judges from tampering with marriage.” Passage of Idaho’s marriage amendment, he says, will make sure that “what happened … in New Jersey never happens here.”

That is exactly what Dr. James Dobson hopes will happen in Idaho and the other seven states considering marriage amendments. He says the New Jersey ruling should convince voters what needs to be done to keep marriage “out of the hands of activist courts.” “We only hope that the residents of the eight states who will vote on such amendments … recognize that [like in Massachusetts and New Jersey] their state may be only one court ruling away from being forced to accept gay marriage,” says the Focus on the Family founder.

Dobson is also convinced that a specific objective is lurking behind Wednesday’s decision. “Nothing less than the future of the American family hangs in the balance if we allow one-man, one-woman marriage to be redefined out of existence,” he says in a press release. “And make no mistake — that is precisely the outcome the New Jersey Supreme Court is aiming for with this decision.”

Like Dobson, the president of Concerned Women for America is accusing the NJ high court of attempting to “uproot” marriage by “imposing its own form of discrimination” by declaring that marriage can reside within a relationship involving two men or two women. But in doing so, says Wendy Wright, the court has now given citizens in the eight states “greater reason” to vote on November 7 to protect marriage.

Original Link.

Nazi Imagery on UC Irvine’s Campus, Administrator: “One Person’s Hate Speech is Another Person’s Education”

Friday, October 27th, 2006

I wish this was only made up, but these days, in the world of academia, truth is truly stranger than fiction.

On Sunday, October 8th at 00:15 someone phoned in a complaint to the Irvine police department that went something like this: “hi, I was walking by the student housing at Vista Del Campo, and it appears that somebody has painted swastikas all over the building”. Twenty days or so days later, we finally find out about this – apparently this isn’t a big deal around these parts any more. The only reason we found out at all is because LAist linked to two articles in CampusJ about the issue. CampusJ is apparently some sort of Jewish Campus journalism outlet. We can’t figure out more than that because the site has been knocked offline (a quick glance at Technorati leads us to blame Steven Weiss for this, but there could be others). We do know that CampusJ is not the official UCI campus outlet. For one thing, the UCI paper is called the New University. For another, the author of these articles – Reut Cohen – probably couldn’t have written something like this for the New University. Some time last year the New University specifically asked Cohen to tone down her pro-Israel coverage because it was causing too much controversy (allegedly… that’s what we heard at least). So they probably wouldn’t let her publish something like this.

So this incident: the University really wants you to believe that someone was really pissed off about a student housing policy, and that they decided the way to express that was through anti-Semitic hate speech. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Manuel Gomez even put out a statement on this question, making it one of his foremost talking points: (Google cache):

We are addressing this vandalism as a top priority and are pursuing a police investigation. Please contact the UCI Police Department if you have any pertinent information. The initial review of the police report leads one to believe that on the face of it, a person(s) is/are unhappy with Vista del Campo. The juxtaposition of the vulgar language and swastika symbol leads us to this impression. Nevertheless, the use of this symbol is disturbing, especially so when it appears where we live. We are well aware that even though this seems to be directed at the Vista del Campo, it still affects our students and campus community.

The last time we talked about Vice Chancellor Gomez, he was giving an interview to a hate group about anti-discrimination efforts targeting the UCI campus (can’t imagine what they had to be concerned about). The hate group sympathized deeply with his plight, and then went on to use the situation to launch thinly veiled threats against the Jewish students and campus leaders that Gomez supposedly speaks for. On the basis of their interview with Gomez, they threatened that “the large majority of citizens” are about to “lose patience” with “the Jews”.

———-

And how is the University dealing with this hate speech? With these preachers brought in by the Muslim Student Union who scream about “Zionists” and then nudge-nudge wink-wink the crowd? How is the University dealing with Nazi-link statements that may or may not have led to Nazi-link vandalism? We couldn’t make this up: (Google cache):

Some of the Jewish students at the meeting revealed that they and others had been subject to verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of MSU members, and that they had previously reported these claims to campus security. In light of this, some students asked that Drake place restrictions on where MSU events are held, saying that if their events were held in classrooms as opposed to public spaces, their effect would not be as broad. However, Chancellor Drake told Jewish students at the meeting that he cannot restrict any club, that it would be “violation of law to prohibit certain speech.” Gomez emphasized that though hate speech may be present, he would not seek to curtail it, as “one person’s hate speech is another person’s education.”

That. Is. Awesome.

Here’s a hint to Chancellor Drake and Vice Chancellor Gomez: it’s no longer about you prohibiting hate speech. Sure, it’d be nice if you took some step like saying “the University does not endorse it when Muslim clerics link Jews to conspiracy theories”. But let’s not get crazy. At this point, we’re asking for no more fodder to hate groups, no more paying for hate speech, and no more pretending that you don’t have a gigantic problem on your campus.

For instance, let’s say that this vandal really was just angry with the management of the Vista Del Campo housing complex. Wouldn’t that make it worse for the UCI administration? Wouldn’t it mean that their students now, as a matter of course, find deploying anti-Semitic hate speech to be the most natural thing in the world? Because after all, as Vice Chancellor Gomez says, “one person’s hate speech is another person’s education”. Seriously, this is disgusting. That man should resign or be fired. But of course he won’t be, because “protecting academic freedom” means never having to say you’re sorry because your students have become violent anti-Semites under investigation by the FBI for terrorism.

Original Link.

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs says:

The University of California Irvine has been the subject of many posts at LGF, because the school plays host to one of the most unabashedly radical Muslim Student Union groups in the US. And now the anti-Jewish incitement has reached such a fever pitch that on the weekend of October 8, a student housing building was defaced with swastikas.

What? You didn’t hear about it on the news? Apparently, deranged expressions of antisemitism on California campuses are not really news any more.

Original Link.

“It’s because they’re Jews – stupid!” by Stan Goodenough

Friday, October 27th, 2006

The Jews of Hebron hit it right on the head Wednesday evening, when they sent a letter to the foreign policy chief of the European Union, who had arrived in Israel earlier in the day to level a fusillade of complaints at Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Javier Solana had demanded to know why the Israeli government had not yet uprooted “illegal” Jewish-built structures from Samaria and Judea. Israel must raze them immediately!

And, he insisted, Israel should do more to help facilitate the quick implementation of the Road Map “peace” plan – which aims to see tens of thousands of Jews uprooted from their biblical homeland in order that a new Arab state can be established in their place.

The arrogance and audacity of Solana his constituency knows no bounds.

But we all know about Europe, a continent that has been saturated for centuries with the worst manifestations of antisemitism ever seen anywhere. Its rotten fruit flourishes, camouflaged but unchecked.

I know this as a gentile student of the last 2000 years of Jewish history.

Jews everywhere, but perhaps most especially those living in Hebron – a center of Jewish existence that continued unbroken for more than 3000 years before the British helped Hebron’s Arabs slaughter its Jews in 1929 – know it first hand.

In their response to Solana, the leaders of Hebron’s Jews, Noam Arnon and David Wilder, drove a two-edged blade of truth and justice deep into his belly.

“As you are a representative from Spain, a country responsible for the expulsion of over a quarter of a million Jews from their homes and country in 1492, we demand that you immediately stop pressuring Israel to implement another expulsion of Jews from their homes and communities in the Land of Israel.”

They showed Solana the door.

“Please leave Israel, return to your own EU business and minority problems, and stop interfering with the internal affairs of the State of Israel.”

———-

Last month, an Israeli politician who lives in one of the settlements in Judea told in my hearing of a conversation he had with a British diplomat at the UK’s consulate in Jerusalem.

He had put two questions to her:

1. If every Jew was removed (voluntarily or forcefully) from Judea and Samaria, and the EU and United Nations certified that not a single Israeli soldier or civilian remained in “occupied Arab territory” east of the 1967 border or “Green Line,” could England guarantee that Israel would be left to live in peace?

“Of course not,” was her reply.

2. And if all the Jews in the Middle East were transferred to Europe, and Frenchmen or Germans or Englishmen were transplanted into the Middle East in their place, did she believe there would be peace in the region?

Her response: “No.”

They know it, you see, these European leaders who cannot sleep at night for trying to find a “solution” for this intractable war. They know that it is not because of the settlers or the Jews that there is violence and instability in the Middle East.

They know that the fault lies with the Muslim Arabs; that the Arabs are the real obstacle to peace.

This is what makes these western nations’ sin so heinous, their behavior towards the Jewish people so black.

This is how we know that antisemitism spawned and drives the “Road Map” to their latest “final solution” to the “Jewish question.”

———-

One western politician whose country is not chained to the oil wells of Arabia nor overly concerned with how much his nation is loved or hated by hordes of keffiyeh-wearers in the Middle East this week took a firm stand with Israel against those bent on destroying her.

When he did so, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also demonstrated a clear-sighted comprehension of the connection between the efforts to wipe out the Jews today and those practiced by their enemies through the ages.

Explaining why his government had taken an unequivocal stand on Israel’s side during the recent war in southern Lebanon, Harper said:

“The fact is [that] those who attacked Israel and those who sponsor such attacks don’t seek merely to gain some leverage, to alter some boundary or to right some wrong.

“They seek what they and those like them have always sought: the destruction of Israel and the destruction of the Jewish people. Why? A thousand complicated rationalizations, but only one simple reason: because the Jews are different, because the Jews are not like them. And because Israel is different and alone in a complicated and dangerous part of the world.”

Referring to the Holocaust he warned: “Those who seek to destroy the Jews, who seek to destroy Israel, will for the same reason ultimately seek to destroy us all.”

Original Link.

Airport taxi flap about alcohol has deeper significance

Friday, October 27th, 2006

No surprise here. I like the way Cox and Forkum illustrated it.


Not in My Cab

At the Starbucks coffee shop in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a favorite Somali gathering spot, holidaymakers celebrating Eid, the end of Ramadan, filled the tables on Monday. Several taxis were parked outside.

An animated circle of Somalis gathered when the question of the airport controversy was raised.

“I was surprised and shocked when I heard it was an issue at the airport,” said Faysal Omar. “Back in Somalia, there was never any problem with taking alcohol in a taxi.”

Jama Dirie said, “If a driver doesn’t pick up everyone, he should get his license canceled and get kicked out of the airport.”

Two of the Somalis present defended the idea that Islam prohibits cabdrivers from transporting passengers with alcohol. An argument erupted. The consensus seemed to be that only a small number of Somalis object to transporting alcohol. It’s a matter of personal opinion, not Islamic law, several men said.

Ahmed Samatar, a nationally recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College, confirmed that view. “There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking,” he said, “but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden. There is no basis in Somali cultural practice or legal tradition for that.

“This is one of those new concoctions.”It is being foisted on the Somali community by an inside or outside group,” he added. “I do not know who.”

But many Somali drivers at the airport are refusing to carry passengers with alcohol. When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that “Islamic jurisprudence” prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, “because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam.”

The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the “fatwa department” of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials.

The society is mediating the conflict between the cab drivers and the MAC. That seems odd, since the society itself clearly has a stake in the controversy’s outcome.

How did the MAC connect with the society? “The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recommended them to us to help us figure out how to handle this problem,” Hogan said.

Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, thinks he knows why the society is promoting a “no-alcohol-carry” agenda with no basis in Somali culture. “MAS is an Arab group; we Somalis are African, not Arabs,” he said. “MAS wants to polarize the world, create two camps. I think they are trying to hijack the Somali community for their Middle East agenda. They look for issues they can capitalize on, like religion, to rally the community around. The majority of Somalis oppose this, but they are vulnerable because of their social and economic situation.”

What is the Muslim American Society? In September 2004 the Chicago Tribune published an investigative article. The society was incorporated in 1993, the paper reported, and is the name under which the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood operates.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna. The Tribune described the Brotherhood as “the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group.”Because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims,” the paper reported.

The international Muslim Brotherhood “preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic,” according to the Tribune. U.S. members emphasize that they follow American laws, but want people here to convert to Islam so that one day a majority will support a society governed by Islamic law.

Original Link.