Tennessee Legislators Move To Make Adherence to Sharia Law a Felony

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, have introduced a bill that would make it a felony to adhere to Sharia law in the state of Tennessee — punishable by 15 years in jail. The facially unconstitutional law would make Tennessee the leading state in the Union in the denial of freedom of religion.

The law declares Sharia to be a danger to homeland security and includes any adherence to Sharia (including feet washing and prayers) as prohibited acts.

Matheny is the House speaker pro tempore and actually says that he is defending the U.S. Constitution by denying religious practices to citizens.

The law was reportedly drafted by David Yerushalmi, an Ariz.-based attorney who runs the Society of Americans for National Existence, a nonprofit that says following Shariah is treasonous. The article below reports that Yerushalmi has “close ties to Frank Gaffney, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy.”

Yerushalmi has been denounced as a “facsict” by writers like Richard Silverstein, who quotes Yerushalmi on such notable comments as this:

One must admit readily that the radical liberal Jew is a fact of the West and a destructive one…Indeed, Jews in the main have turned their backs on the belief in G-d and His commandments as a book of laws for a particular and chosen people…What interest does America have in a strong Israel? If your answer is democracy in a liberal or western sense, know you have sided with the Palestinians of Hamas.

The bill is little more than an anti-Islamic screed. It includes such “findings” as:

The knowing adherence to sharia and to foreign sharia authorities is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the United States government and the government of this state through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions by the likely use of imminent criminal violence and terrorism with the aim of imposing sharia on the people of this state.

It misstates critical aspects of the Islamic faith:

Sharia in particular includes a war doctrine known as jihad, which is an organic, intrinsic and central feature of the laws and traditions of sharia due to a consensus among sharia authorities throughout the ages

Jihad is in fact a general term that does not mean violent overthrow but a wide range of religious based charity and service, according to experts on Islam.

The bill is SB 1028 in the Senate and HB 1353 in the House. It treats mere adherence to Sharia as tantamount to terrorism, and includes a provision giving the state attorney general the power to designate a sharia-following organization in the same way that the U.S. Attorney General declares an organization to be a terrorist organization:

(1) The attorney general and reporter is authorized to designate an organization as a sharia organization in accordance with this subsection (a) if the attorney general and reporter finds that:
(A) The organization knowingly adheres to sharia;
(B) The organization engages in, or retains the capability and intent to engage in, an act of terrorism as defined in § 39-13-803; and
(C) The act of terrorism of the organization threatens the security or public safety of this state’s residents.

Here is the law: SB1028

There are few sites more critical of the abuses of Sharia law than this blog. If you search Sharia on this site, you will bring up an endless array of shocking abuses. However, the way to fight such abuse is not to become equally authoritarian and hateful. Most of these abuses are concentrated in radical Islamic governments. Sharia law is far broader in its application and interpretation.

It is highly ironic to see politicians advocating a bill criminalizing religious practices in the name of protecting a Constitution created to protect religious freedoms. One would have to go pretty far from our shores to find how to implement such laws. For example, Saudi Arabia outlaws places of worship of other religions and, of course, the Taliban regularly punishes those who practice other religions.

In the end, these legislators will simply expend taxpayer money to defend a law that has been unconstitutional since the establishment of this Republic.

Source: Tennessean

Jonathan Turley

101 thoughts on “Tennessee Legislators Move To Make Adherence to Sharia Law a Felony”

  1. Don’t pick on this Jill either. I am sweet, the other one is mean and she treats you like dog meat.

  2. Phyllis, Phallic want to meet you. When do you think we could team up and do it.

  3. I will be emailing Sen. Ketron and Rep. Matheny my approval and calling my district’s senator and representative to vote for this bill. It is about time someone stood up against the horror of Sharia Law. It does not belong in America. I am so proud of my state!

  4. Chan,

    I think it’s a trend you’ll see increasing as income disparities and consolidation of resources in a narrow band of society continues in the absence of adequate social support structures.

  5. I’m sorry.

    You’ve mistaken me for someone who cares what you think.

    That’s a right that is earned, not due.

  6. I didn’t misspell, it was done on purpose.

    No poison arrows at all. Just the unvarnished truth, but you cant handle the truth.

  7. By the way, those poison arrows seemed to have really screwed up your spelling ability.

  8. A fundamental dislike for socially destructive lies and propaganda no matter what guise they come in would be the main reason for my part. But speaking of delusional lies, destructive propagandists who speak them and those who rush to the aid of those promoting tyranny? How’s that Fountain of Youth thing working out for you, Conquistador?

  9. I must say, I enjoy the responses to Dr. B’s ramblings. That is the funniest part. I wonder which neurosis/psychosis compels them to respond?

  10. I seem to remember a thread where Dr. J. B. Harris, PhD, PE pronounced that he liked to do theatre of the absurd. I believe he is quite good at it. He certainly came to the right place.

    I can see him and a few buddies sitting around a fire thinking this shit up and howling as he gets people to respond to his ramblings.

    He must be a fisherman who ties dainty flies which fool the trout in a pool near his house. I must say he has fooled the denizens of this pool.

    Dr. B when are you going to publish your book of humor?

  11. Autistic humor is not non-autistic humor, and that which you observe and comment about IS the humor itself.

    I have spent most of my life looking into a society, from the outside, in which the main goal is as though one person needs to hide from another.

    That is why I provided that quote regarding art and being really seen.

    I vigorously defy the social conventions which I experience as most damaging to children.

    The most damaging of all, in my experience to date is to hide behind that form of art as human communication which so depersonalizes people as to make my communication appear as egotistical.

    I am truthfully only to put out that which is actually within me, and I do so with all the direct honesty words allow. The alternative to how I communicate is via the displacement mechanisms of theories of mind, which I reject on the grounds of conscience.

    Much of my use of humor is directed so as to almost entirely exclude cognitive (intellectual?) recognition of it; the humor is mainly affective and few people appear to me to have fully conscious access to affective awareness.

  12. Brian,

    No, straight man humor is when the person plays serious in obviously wacky situations. As in the White-Face type of clown. It’s not playing dumb with sarcasm.

    Since it’s Friday and I have nothing better to do, here are the beginnings of your first comments on posts from the last several days. Chosen by opening the post, doing a word find for Brian, and posting the first sentence of your first post on the upper five subjects that you’ve commented in. (this one, Jeff Cox Responds, 17 Cops, Touch of Tripoli, and Colorado Boy)

    “As I understand Sharia Law to mean, and only to mean, “Peace Be Upon You,” I am soon going to be felon if ever I again go to or through Tennessee?.”

    “Every time an attorney unwittingly validates my research findings regarding the nature of mistakes, I a saddened for a while because no one who might really benefit from a gently dialogue with me appears to have the courage to contact me to explore the real possible value of the work I am doing.”

    “As it is corrupt for one person to assert as valid any claim of power over any other person, so the assertion of power by one person over another person corrupts the one so asserting.”

    “I understand that the Wisconsin Assembly Democrats have decided to allow the legislation to go forward in the Assembly, the better to use amendments to draw public attention to the underlying salient concerns.”

    “Which is why I find the Adversarial Principle to be the deepest of all possible causes for what may usefully be thought of as “The Evil One.””

    The speaker is the subject in four of the five. Anyone responding to them must frame the answer in terms of “you.” Either, you’re wrong or, you’re right. Not “the idea” is wrong or right. Thus, my statement that you steer the conversation away from the topic and towards yourself.

    Even though you’re an egotist with a poor knowledge of comedic theory, you still have an incredibly interesting style of prose. So, you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

  13. RE: Gyges, February 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm


    I think you may have missed a joke somewhere in there. Which is pretty amazing, because given the context of the conversation, it’s pretty clear which side of the issue I stand on.

    I again read your comment, and I did not miss the joke. However, not recognizing that you might think I missed it, I wrote for those who might not have gotten the joke because the way you wrote the joke is of the sort of joke really prejudiced folks almost always miss, and then the joke misfires in reverse…

    As I indicated, straight-man to straight-man humor is among the most subtle forms of humor I know.

    After our son and his wife were killed when their defectively welded car (a Mercury Sable) exploded, there were times when only straight-man to straight-man humor was powerful enough to help hold my remaining family together.

    Transcending horrible tragedy changes those who so manage to survive, and changes even more those who manage to regain a life in which they once again thrive.

    It does something, after picking up a telephone handset and hearing the words, “I have terrible news…”

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