Sharia Law Becomes Effective In Brunei: Law Permitting Stoning To Death Of Gays, Adulterers And Apostates Will Follow

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The Sultan of Brunei
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

Absolute monarch Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei announced in January a harsh form of sharia law will be enacted. Effective in three phases beginning now and spanning two years, the edict eventually allows for the stoning to death of homosexuals, adulterers, and apostates; for amputation of limbs for those convicted of theft; and flogging for abortions and the consumption of alcohol. The capital offense provisions of the law reportedly apply only to Muslims.

Sultan Bolkiah claims this is a step in solidifying a long cultural tradition in the sultanate which was established in the fourteenth century. Increasingly conservative Muslim politicians and officials in Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia are beginning to move from sharia being limited to family matters to now criminal law and capital offenses. Acheh in Indonesia is included especially. While Brunei enjoys one of the highest per capital income in the world, has many social benefits such as effectively free health care and education, its population of over 416,000 individuals now is seeing human rights restricted in a trend that is generating international condemnation in the West. Al-Jazeera reported that many members of the Muslim ethnic Malay majority have voiced cautious support for the changes. However, non-Muslim citizens, who are fifteen percent of the population, led a rare burst of criticism on social media earlier this year, but largely went silent after the sultan called for a halt.

Emblem of Brunei“Theory states that God’s law is harsh and unfair, but God himself has said that his law is indeed fair,” the sultan said.

But will Western governments be willing to isolate countries engaging in abuses of individuals and oppression of the human rights of populations or is trade and money going to become the focus and inconveniences such as abuse continue to be ignored?

In another familiar trade above human rights story, on the day this sharia law measure took effect the Obama Administration’s chief trade negotiator Michael Froman was lobbying Capitol Hill to ratify The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), strongly sought by President Obama and others since 2009, which would bind the United States to providing the sultanate with economic privileges.

Senator Elizabeth Warren stated her concern about the secrecy of the trade agreement (leaked to various news organizations) and how this agreement will allow corporations and governments the ability to override existing laws.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other NGOs have expressed concern and worry that governments such as Malaysia and Brunei which now both have laws criminalizing homosexuality are now given special trade privileges, whereas trade sanctions and other measures by corporations, governments, and individuals to attempt to instigate change in these governments to protect their citizens should be instead used. Providing trade advantages only serves to reward violations of human rights.

There are concerns in the non-Muslim cultures within Brunei. According to The Diplomat the sharia bans the propagation of religions other than Islam or atheism. The offense will carry a $20,000 fine and/or a prison term of up to five years. This has compromised the 30,000 Filipinos living in Brunei and prompted a warning from a Catholic priest in the tiny, oil-rich sultanate that there will be no baptisms. “There will be no baptisms. There is not a lot we can do about it. We will have to wait and see what happens,” he told Britain’s Independent newspaper.

Schools have also been warned that children are not to be exposed to any religion, be it through ceremonies or acts of worship, but Islam and that non-Muslims would be subjected to some aspects of the new laws. It was not clear exactly what parts of Sharia law would be imposed on non-Muslims.

Human Rights Watch LogoOn the International front Phil Robertson, Deputy Director for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, said: “Brunei’s decision to implement criminal Sharia law is a huge step backwards for human rights in the country. It constitutes an authoritarian move towards brutal medieval punishments that have no place in the modern, 21st century world. The entire world should express its outrage and heap criticism on this ill-considered move and urge the Brunei government to immediately reconsider.” Rupert Abbott of Amnesty International, noted the laws carried the death penalty for acts that should not be considered crimes and would “take the country back to the dark ages.” He further added, “Brunei Darussalam’s new Penal Code legalizes cruel and inhuman punishments. It makes a mockery of the country’s international human rights commitments and must be revoked immediately.”

In a carefully worded statement the UN has said it considers some of the penalties to be “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” under international law. As such their use could warrant an investigation from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Beverly Hills HotelThe backlash against the sultanate and its business interests is generating in the United States in certain circles. The sultan owns the Dorchester Collection which includes the iconic and luxurious Beverly Hills Hotel and is now experiencing this. Entertainer Jay Leno protested outside the hotel with the Feminist Majority Foundation The foundation moved its Global Women’s Rights Awards from the hotel as did Gill Action’s Political OutGiving conference. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres called for a boycott and Virgin CEO Richard Branson tweeted “No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”

Some organizations went to some considerable length to voice their resolve against the Beverly Hills. According to Fox411 the teen suicide prevention charity Teen Line forfeited its $60,000 down payment to take the event elsewhere, and the Hollywood Reporter notified the Beverly Hills Hotel that it will not hold its annual Women in Entertainment breakfast there. The Beverly Hills City Council is meeting to discuss a resolution condemning Brunei’s new laws, and encourage “the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel.”

Women in BruneiThe sultan claims that the law allows wide discretion on behalf of judges on whether or not to impose these internationally condemned punishments of gays, adulterers and others judged to be in violation of these sharia laws. But it remains to be seen how this is actually carried out. The fact that these laws are in force is a moral outrage in more open and free societies.

Since Brunei is ruled by an absolute monarch it remains to be seen how influential international and internal pressures to embrace core human rights will be. One could argue that it only requires the changing of one mind to end this return to a dark chapter in Islam that is seemingly increasing in some areas of the world. But when face and other pressures are at hand this might prove difficult. Brunei does have a parliament yet it is completely subservient to the sultanate. Yet with a nation as developed and committed to modernism in trade and international monetary issues as Brunei, it does on the surface seem rather disconnected with its departure from the tenets of basic human rights and justice.

By Darren Smith


Huffington Post
BBC News
Fox News
The Diplomat

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

99 thoughts on “Sharia Law Becomes Effective In Brunei: Law Permitting Stoning To Death Of Gays, Adulterers And Apostates Will Follow

  1. We should cut all ties to Brunei. Tourists should avoid it like the plague. Sharia law is dangerous to humans, particularly Westerners. It is time to take a stand.

    By the way, I don’t care if they keep Sharia law or not. I just think we should have nothing to do with countries who have it and I am pretty sure Brunei is not the only one from which we need to disengage.

  2. Oh no!!! Oklahoma had its ban on sharia law overturned. They had better get crackin on rewriting a new one. At least N. Carolina, Arizona, Kansas, S. Dakota, Tennessee, and Louisiana are covered.

  3. “…the edict eventually proscribes the stoning to death…”
    To “proscribe” is to forbid, not to permit.
    For example, “The proper role of religion should be to proscribe inhumane treatment of others”.

  4. Solution to this problem… Several Rockets launched at the ‘Sultan’s’ Castle….

  5. Of course it’s obvious said “sultan” does not EVER expect to be on the receiving end of any of this punishment – so easy to prescribe what should be the punishment for others in that circumstance !
    That little word “should” again – evidence of a pompous closed mind !!!

  6. Yes. Spraying defenseless people with pepper spray, droning weddings, entering homes in the middle of the night and slaughtering defenseless people, bombing cities, leaving mines where children play, terrorizing populations to take control of their resources, are much more humane.

  7. All though I against the use of sharia law both there and here, I am also aware that harsher portions can be overlooked by judges or prosecutors. For example, Arizona had a ‘notorious cohabitation and adultery’ statute on the books for some 60 years. During that time it was used only twice, both unsuccessfully. Guess what the defense was?

  8. “All though I against the use of sharia law both there and here….”

    Uh-oh, looks like someone hasn’t had their coffee yet.

  9. To continue doglover’s theme: Illegally spying on all Americans and much of the world’s conversations, arresting people and throwing them in jail for many years for smoking pot or other non-violent drug crimes, arresting people who want to pay for sex, stop and frisk, states closing all abortion clinics and forcing women to find alternative means of aborting a pregnancy caused by rape or incest, state sponsored executions although 4% of those killed are thought to be innocent, a ‘justice’ system that punishes the poor more severely than the wealthy; three strikes and spend the rest of your life in jail for even minor violations, “United States represents about 5 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners”. Killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people for fake WMDs. A caste system that almost guarantees that if you are born poor you will die poor. Apartheid like school districts. Government ‘representatives’ fighting over the right to pray in schools and other government functions while cutting food aid to poor kids and taxes to the wealthy. How much support for Sharia Law do you put in you gas tank each week?

    While I find Sharia law abhorrent for its brutality, the US has its own form of reprehensible justice that wears the cloak of Christianity. Instead of focusing on the barbaric justice systems of other countries, the focus needs to be adjusted in order to remedy the injustices on our own shores.

  10. Sultan’s Idiot Siblings Nearly Screwed the World

    Hassanal Bilkiah is worth an estimated $20 billion and lives in a 1,800-room palace. The Sultan himself, together with his family members are exempted from the Sharia Law. The sultan has had three wives and has eight children.

    You can guess where this is going.

    The Sultan of Brunei’s brother Jefri Bolkiah was a troublemaker. Initially he got into the press due to his escapades with his harem of over 40 women. Eventually things got embarrassing enough
    that the sultan gave him the job of finance minister, just to keep him out of the papers (because who cares about the minister of finance?), thinking he couldn’t do any real damage there.

    Between 1986 and 1998, Jefri managed to embezzle over $14 billion out of the country through special transfers. Afterward he went on the kind of spending spree that only a billionaire could manage.
    Jefri didn’t buy luxuyry goods — he bought entire luxury goods stores. Also, fleets of cars and airplanes, yachts, chains of hotels, etc. He even flew women into Brunei to sexually abuse. Nice guy.

  11. All in the name of God. Coming to our shores once the theocracy is set up, that takes time and coordination.

  12. Jeremy – there has been some movement to add Sharia law to some cases between Muslims. Personally, I am against it.

  13. “… this is a step in solidifying a long cultural tradition in the sultanate which was established in the fourteenth century.” -Darren

    The ~700 year old status quo.

  14. Just so it is clear for those erecting the specter of shariah law without knowing what it actually is.
    Shariah law is a socio/judicial group of laws that seek to cover all the interactions within a society. It specifies for example the rules for inheritance, how much goes to whom, adoption rules, the rules that govern divorces and marital relationships, financial transactions rules…etc, AND also the consequences for breaking those rules.
    What people get their panties in a bunch about are actually a small component of shariah law, the punishments applied to those who break the rules. These punishments are a combination of what is proscribed in the Quran and what is thought to have been applied by the Prophet.
    Int he case of cutting hands for thieves, the edict is indeed quranic, and is widely accepted as such but there are readings of it that do not accept its literal interpretation of physical cutting off.
    In the case of stoning, it is not in the Quran. Stoning was a Jewish tradition that some claim was used by the Prophet solely in that one case where he was asked to judge between Jewish claimants, and as was the rule then, to inflict a punishment according to their own rules.
    As for the lashes for adulterers, it is also in the Quran.
    One point, the most important point, worth noting here is this, and I will capitalize it to reflect it:




    I do hope that anyone commenting about shariah law will base it on this info I just passed along, or other verifiable info that comes from Islamic sources and not from any writings, blog, speech, by noted or obscure islamophobes.

  15. By the way, Paul, Muhamad did not create Islam. He passed along the message, the divine message, the same message Jesus and Moses passed along.
    Also, while it is true that most Christians today accept the trinity, there has always been churches that did not. And the gospel of John is the one that really framed Jesus as divine.

  16. po – the gnostics who in the early church held that Jesus was not God were disbanded. And, not to put too fine a point on it, Mohammed was doing a lot more than passing along the message.

  17. Darren
    This quote “One could argue that it only requires the changing of one mind to end this return to a dark chapter in Islam that is seemingly increasing in some areas of the world. ” is a bit problematic. I am not sure what is meant by dark chapter in Islam. In fact, if there was ever a time where shariah law was at its purest and fairest, it was during the life of the Prophet, for he was just, fair, caring, and was known to dismiss confessing criminals just so he wouldn’t hear their confession and have to apply the punishment.
    Also worth noting: most Muslims would not want to live under shariah law, for it requires smart, caring, just and fair system and judges, which are not readily found.

  18. Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player to come out of college football has not yet been drafted going into the lower rounds this weekend. He was the conference Defensive Player of the Year @ Mizzou. Some NFL execs are saying this is because “He is not that good an athlete.” That statement is an ironic cross-rip since black players like Sam, are always praised for their “athletic ability.” This APPEARS to be owners not wanting to deal w/ the baggage of having an openly gay player in their locker room. For some, it’s probably homophobia but for most I surmise the former. We have openly gay people in every sector of our culture. This is the last frontier. I relate this ongoing saga on this thread to emphasize just how good this country is compared to others. There are a lotta haters of the US on this blog. Compare the plight of Michael Sam to the terror under which he would live in so many other countries.

  19. Paul, I have read a lot on this the past 2 days. There are knowledgeable people saying Sam did not have good numbers @ the Combine. So, there is a chance this slight so far is legit. The most unbiased source being Nate Silver who put Sam @ 50/50 chances. But, my gut tells me he’s getting passed on for reasons other than talent. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  20. Chuck – I really kind of hope Ward Body Works brought in the local synagogue and had them sit on every seat.

  21. If Brunei initiates the Sharia law, the US should remove any financial aid, because surely the Sultan has enough money to share with his subjects. The TPP is a flawed and anti-labor document and should not be enacted by the US, no matter who else is in favor of it.

  22. Non Trinitarians include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Christadelpians and other Christian faiths. They are every bit as Christian as the next. They were persecuted by Hitler.

  23. I had to interview a witness on an attorney malpractice case. I did work defending attorneys sued for malpractice. This involved alleged malpractice by an attorney representing a union in negotiations. A key witness, I would learn, was a Jehovah’s Witness. I went to her house to take a statement. I emerged, a SOLID four hours later, w/ the statement and ALL I will ever need to know about that religion! At least I was able to bill the time.

  24. As Christadelphians, we keep to ourselves and do not push our faith on other’s. We may all be classified as Non Trinitarian, but that doesnt mean we are clones of one another. That is one of the reasons I cherish it.

    For anyone to say Non Trinitarians aren’t true Christians, I say they are sorely misinformed.

  25. Sharia law contains prohibitions that oppress women and nonMuslims. Why is it necessary for Western countries to accept Sharia law and provide accommodations to it in western counties. If Muslims wish to live and do business in Western countries they should have to follow our laws. Does Sharia law provide for a foreigner exception to its application? I think not.

  26. My late father-in-law was chief engineer for Ward Body Works, later to become AmTran (American Transportation). They specialized in building school buses. He told me of a huge contract the company got from Saudi Arabia. IIRC, this was in the 1960s. He said the contract had a clause in it demanding Ward Body Works could not employ any Jews, and no Jew would be allowed to drive, or even touch any of the school buses. I asked him what they did about it. He said they signed the contract and ignored that clause.

    I can’t remember if the Saudis didn’t want women driving the buses.

  27. po

    Thank you for the explanation of Sharia law. Unfortunately, I fear many did not bother to read it. Ignorance is more comfortable and fear is a powerful weapon.

  28. Boy. I just don’t get it. This country gets ‘points’ because the NFL may deny a spot to Sam because he is gay but he is not under threat of a death sentence? That’s some low bar for an Exceptional ‘Christian’ country.

    I’ll give this country points when they make TX stop executing innocent men. And their governors don’t brag about it.

  29. Justice Holmes,

    I’m not sure we understand what is meant by Sharia law as it is being practiced in America. I wish po had time to explain it. I think it is in matters like inheritance and marriage and divorce. But, I’m not sure. po?

    Further, ultra orthodox Jews practice a kind of religious law and it also impacts marriage and divorce. And those laws do influence entire communities in upstate NY.

    I think our fear of Sharia law is misplaced. It is not going to supersede our judicial system. But it sure is a useful tool to incite the crowd.

  30. I do not think NY should allow Jewish law to be practiced in place of the statutes of NY, but they do. The least they could do then is allow canon law and sharia law to be practiced as well.

  31. I mean our fear of Sharia law as being practiced in THIS country and sanctioned by our courts.

    Not keen on Sharia law as instituted in Muslim countries. Much prefer our judicial system, flawed as it is.

  32. Yes, If Islam is such a peaceful religion why do we all hit the ground or run like hell when we hear, “Allah Akbar.”

  33. Feynman, If I were you I would just stop making statements about Sharia law compared to our judicial system. But, feel free to keep shooting, you have 2 feet and 10 toes.

  34. Chuck,

    Distressing story about the contract for Ward Brody Works and it’s a kind of ‘two-fer’. Horrible that such clauses were included, and not exactly inspiring that Brody didn’t tell them to shove it.

    Sorta gets you down that we have to operate in this kind of a world.

  35. Ward Brody Works handled it the SMART way. You ignore the anti-Semitic rule, take the business, and employ more people. I want ethical smart people running businesses, not ethical stupid people.

  36. Nick

    Why is it that you suggest I make no comparisons or ask no questions about Sharia law? Is that forbidden? Do you disapprove? Should I just GUESS what is meant by the threat of Sharia law in this country? Is it a real threat? Or is it a threat as defined by that crazy woman lawyer/dentist in CA? Do you know what the Muslim American community wants? Or do you just hear the words Allah Akbar and fall on the ground quivering? Or did I err when I suggested our judicial system is flawed? In reading Prof. Turley’s blog, I’ve concluded that our judicial system is quite flawed. I thought I wasn’t alone in that.

  37. Godwin Rule about to be broken…..

    And that would apply to contracts with German companies just prior to WWII?

  38. It is distressing that an officer of the court prefers ‘smart’ to ethical. What are ethics when you condemn the practice, but close your eyes and take the money? You may have jobs, but you sure haven’t ethics.

    Chuck. I hope you know I in no way wish to insult your father-in-law. I’m sure he was a fine man. Hope you understand.

  39. feynman

    The company was in the business of building and selling school buses, not politics. They were not about to turn away a seven or eight figure contract because of middle east politics and bigotry. Additionally, it would have been illegal for them to enforce the clause in the contract. If the company had turned up their noses at contracts that size, letting Superior or Blue Bird snag them, the entire top management would have been run out of town on a rail.

    As for my father-in-law, he was the chief engineer, not the business manager. Their Jewish employees paychecks paid their bills just the same as everyone else’s. Personally, he was a straight arrow, deacon in his Baptist church, and believed in the Golden Rule. He had to go to the middle east a number of times when there were technical problems. He did not care for it and didn’t stay any longer than he had to.

  40. Paul,

    If you are reassured by pointing that out and feel that it settles the issue, far be it for me to attempt to dissuade you. I have found you to be un-dissuadable.

  41. Just making a point that you can either agree or disagree with. However, if you find me un-dissuadable, whatever that is, you might consider stopping from trying.

  42. Chuck,

    I fully understand and agree with everything you have written about the Brody situation. I think I have offended you and am very sorry for that.

    I think I understand how the world works and tried to lessen any sting in acknowledging that we all live and work in a less than perfect world with my initial short comment. I am not any different and I, too, would have accepted that contract. (My dad and brother worked almost all their lives the tobacco industry. My dad is gone, but smoking is something that won’t be included in family discussions when my brother is around.) But like your father-in-law, I would have been made uncomfortable about the terms of that contract. Isn’t it fair to suggest that’s how he felt and that’s why he mentioned it?

    But my sincere apologies. I am a great admirer of your posts and your comments – especially these last several days. You deserve no criticism – only my appreciation..

  43. Paul,

    I am already on the No Questions Allowed List and The No Statements Concerning Sharia Law vis-a-vis Our Judicial System List.

    Why not start up a Those Who Must Not Attempt To Dissuade Me List?

  44. feynman,
    I’m puzzled, what is the “No Questions Allowed List?” I’m just now reading this thread so I may have missed something, if so then I apologize.

  45. Wayne,

    Nick has created the list. As far as I know I am the only one on it. He often cites that I am not allowed any questions – I think the calendar now reads July.

    The Sharia List is new today. He advised me to not make any such statements.

  46. Paul Schulte
    Dave – attacking religion is both bigoted and tyrannical.

    Ah, predictably sad weakness on full display.

    Religion is a system of (ignorant) ideas that, like all ideas, is deserving of criticism, mockery, and merciless scrutiny.

    Whining and hiding behind offense is childish, which again is predictable by the intellectually immature (i.e., rather than make a substantive counterargument, one name-calls).

    You sound very much like racists who think criticism of their racism is racist.

    I defend the right of all believers to practice any nonsense they wish, so long as those believers defend my right to call it nonsense. Nothing tyrannical about that.

    If you want theocracy, enjoy Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Brunei.

  47. Attacking ‘isms’ such as Communism or Fascism isn’t considered tyrannical or bigoted. So why is attacking Sharia Law considered bigoted? Sharia Law can be disguised as someone’s religion by stating it is based on the teachings of a Prophet. However, in practice Islam/Sharia law has a dichotomous role as both a religion and a form of government controlling all aspects of one’s life.

    I practice Christianity; however, my Church does not impose civil or criminal penalties on either its members or our community. I am subject to the laws of my State and Federal Government and my religion cannot punish me in any manner regardless of my actions or behavior. One can also criticize my religion without any fear of government or religious reprisals.

  48. If Nick was right about Sam’s combine numbers it will be interesting to see how he does when they play him. I am sure he will be playing early pre-season.

  49. Dave – I, on the otherhand, generally allow religious people to lead their own lives and I do not try to convert them. I might attack the precepts of a church if I think it is not what it is purports to be. I will defend your right to criticize them as much I as I will defend their right to punch your lights outs. Couldn’t be fairer than that. ;) Hope you will return the favor.

  50. Not sure Nick has a list so much as he has a person in mind that he is tired of asking him questions.

  51. Anonybonony – we just seem to bring out the best in people. Want to discuss the topic or the lack of commenters.

  52. I missed the news, what happened with Michael Sam? I do wish him the best in what will be difficult circumstances for him.

  53. Why are there are so few people commenting besides Paul, the topic seems interesting enough. That is a good question actually.

  54. Dave’s response was against all religion as tyranny. I felt and do feel that is bigoted. I have stated my take on sharia law both here and there.

  55. Yes, Paul: punching my lights out highlights how peaceful the religious-minded are. The imposition of violence to censor what is deemed offensive, circling back to the intent of my initial comment.

    Please, keep reinforcing your weakness with another feckless retort. Maybe my family should be punched out too, Ayatollah?

  56. Dave – when you attack someone’s core belief system, they sometimes resort to violence. And religion is a core belief for many people. I know that you probably don’t read the Bible, but I think there is a phrase that is apt in this situation, You reap what you sow.

  57. Wayne,

    Most denominations are just like yours and are no threat to my freedom from religion. However, some religions are more authoritarian and there is a small robust subset that is very authoritarian that definitely does wish to control many aspects of both public and private life – the Dominionists. Admittedly, there are few of them. But there are large numbers of fundamentalist evangelicals that are having quite an impact on public life – creation museums, creation textbooks, denial of science, teaching biblical inerrancy, seeking passage of personhood laws, seeking criminalization of abortion (even in the event of miscarriage), severely limiting Planned Parenthood clinics. interfering with birth control, passing amendments to state constitutions banning equal marriage, and most recently, had Christian prayer in a government forum sanctioned.

    In my opinion, I find there is something bigoted about the reaction to Islam in this country. Witness some of the comments in this thread. Heck, I was given something of a warning for even asking what is the American Muslim’s version of Shari law. I have read (not very carefully) that it is related to domestic life. Many states are writing laws forbidding it. Outside of stoning, lashings and hands getting cut off which in this country is nothing but fear-mongering, what is it that they fear? What are they protecting themselves from? What is Sharia in an ordinary American mosque?

    I would hope that there is no need for me to explain to anyone in this forum that I do not favor Sharia law as practiced in SA, Brunei, Pakistan, or any other fundamentalist regime.

  58. feynman,

    Thanks for an excellent explanation.

    On a somewhat related matter: I’m have some Forum or Blog issues because at times I cannot get a simple comment posted. I’ve had success on this Thread but not on any others…is their an email list available where I can contact someone to find out the problem? I can’t seem to find anyone’s email either? Maybe I’m just having one of those days ;)

  59. Wayne – if it refuses to post it is a WordPress problem. Post that you are having a problem and hopefully you will get help.

  60. Wayne,

    There are no assigned monitors and the only email address available is Prof. Turley’s but that is for complaints – not lost comments. If a Guest Blogger is around, they will do their very best to try to free the captured comment. But they are not obligated. They have requested that your first words on any note notifying the blog of a problem, is “Help”. Poor guys often have to slog through pages and pages of spam.

    BTW, WordPress does not allow any more than three (is it three?) links to a single comment. Certain vulgarities are also prohibited. I don’t think that is a problem that will concern you.

    BTW – do you know the Groenke’s? They are the only people I know in Montana and since I think MT has a population of about 50 – maybe there is a chance you know them.

  61. 50 ;) I once lived in San Francisco which is a relatively small city ~7 miles square (49 sq miles) containing about 800,000 full time residents. Montana, the fourth largest State has 900,000 residents. I can travel for miles without seeing another car or living soul…just wildlife. On the negative side, this is May 10th and we’ve had 2″ of snow so far today.

    Sorry I don’t know the Groenke family. But we live out in the boonies with the nearest town a whopping metropolis of about 2,000. There are days when all we see are deer and bears with an occasional moose. Mountain Lions like Professor Turley wrote about the other day are plentiful, but we don’t see them, just hear about their activities.

    Thanks for your help, I’ll see what I can do with my posting issues.

  62. Wayne

    P.S. Often WordPress is just hungry. It will eat a simple one line comment for no reason at all.

  63. Wayne, You live in one of my favorite states. Welcome. Darren Smith might be able to help you w/ some of the wordpress weirdness. He is a Guest Blogger and has a couple posts up.

  64. Thanks is a beautiful State.

    I hope Darren can help, I’ve been trying to post a simple benign message on the Michael Sam thread and nothing can get through. Darren did help once before with a similar posting issue…

  65. I think Jamie Dimon makes a good point, and to extend it a little further. When one looks at the decisions of our government, both as far as internal affairs, and relationships with other countries, we are all over the place, with no consistency whatsoever. There was a time when the US was a “beacon” for the world, but–as Dimon Illustrates, places look at us now, and think their proposed solutions for ruling have to better than our actions, which seem to be plain to the rest of the world. Yes, some of the aspects of Sharia law sound a little scary to us, but I wonder if they have police who have shot almost 400 rounds of ammo into a car of two people?? Maybe we could clean our own house first before we tell everyone else how to live.

  66. The UK has now begun a process of setting up or implementing special student loans for Muslims students that don’t require them to pay interest but rather require them to pay over time into a special fund that will be used for loans to other Muslim students. The details are some what unclear but what is clear is that interest will not be charged and that critics have suggested that ultimately Muslim students will pay less that nonMuslim students. This fund was developed after Muslim students protested that interest on student loans was Usury and against their religion. It is my understanding Sharia law forbids charging and apparently paying interest on loans. Entire US based legal conferences have been held on drafting Islam complaint loan documents.

    I have my doubts about the US legal system and how it is applied but I have no interest in having a different legal system being applied in our courts or being grafted into our commercial system. I am just as uncomfortable with NY allowing some Jewish courts or leaders to be involved in matters of divorce and custody. I also object to any Christian sect that believes its rules or structure is above the law or any judge who applies such rules.

    In general, it is my opinion that religious exemptions to US laws should not be permitted. We should be able to have a discussion about these issues without cries of Islamophobia or racism. Islam is not a race and raising questions or objections is not about Sharia law is not Islamophobic.

  67. That will be an interesting challenge–Islam vs. the western banking system! I’ll have to say–money usually wins in the end. UK has set some troubling precedents in cultural-religious affairs as of late. And, it would be hard to justify not charging interest to non-muslims. Can’t say I would be very happy about that. Would anyone be OK about that?

  68. Justice Holmes said

    In general, it is my opinion that religious exemptions to US laws should not be permitted. We should be able to have a discussion about these issues without cries of Islamophobia or racism.

    I would LIKE to agree with that first sentence without reservation. Most especially because it supports my opposition to the fierce battles being waged against women’s reproductive health. But for once, I want to be cautious.

    I want to learn what motivated the passage of the anti sharia laws by certain states. Was the American Muslim community actively pursuing the passage of some sharia laws? If so, what were those laws and the arguments supporting their passage? Was there any legislative or ANY public debate before the passage of laws banning sharia? My impression is that none of that occurred and those laws were vile, easy political attacks useful for whipping up hate. And if I am correct about those motivations, the lack of any public deliberation and perhaps even a lack of any push by the American Muslim community to incorporate sharia laws into our legal system then I do believe it can be called bigotry and examples of Islamophobia.

    I most certainly do not think either of your comments were those of a bigot nor objectionable. My response to you did not make that charge. But I have to disagree with your second sentence in that I think there is bigotry, ignorance and mindless Islamaphobia in most American discussions about Islam.

    Although many here may disagree with me, I expect most will not object to another POV.

  69. The good news about this very bad news from Brunei is that I now have one more place I can recommend as an ideal destiny to those in the US who can’t stand to live with the LGBT’s , single mothers, pro-choice men and women, atheists etc. in this country of ours.
    @Jamie Dimon: your comment rocks!

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