Iran is again showing the world the face of religious extremism. Previously, we discussed how chess officials were under fire for cooperating in the championship in Iran, which imposes dress codes and religious restrictions on visitors (particularly women). Now Iran has barred Dorsa Derakhshani, 18, from competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2017, because she appeared without an Islamic head scarf. Her brother, Borna Derakhshani, 15, was the banned for playing against an Israeli opponent. This follows a horrific account of a girl beaten by religious police for simply wearing jeans with holes in them. The brother and sister were also barred from the national team for their transgressions.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
What so far has proven to be a long ordeal for two men originally wanting only to be provided with a floral arrangement for this upcoming wedding, and also for florist Barronelle Stutzman who asserts her right to religious freedom by denying this service, has now come to another milestone in Washington.
A unanimous ruling by the Washington Supreme Court, the court denied Stutzman and her business, Arlene’s Flowers, INC’s assertions, ruling:
“…Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” and therefore held that “the conduct for which Stutzman was cited and fined in this case-refusing her commercially marketed wedding floral services to Ingersoll and Freed because theirs would be a same-sex wedding-constitutes sexual orientation discrimination under the WLAD.” (Washington Law Against Discrimination)
If you are looking for a fun romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, you might want to pass on Pakistan. The High Court in Islamabad has banned all public celebrations of Valentine’s Day despite the growing desire among students to have parties. Students in many countries in the Middle East and Asia have increasingly embraced the holiday to exchange cards, sweets, and have parties.
By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor
“A scheme of government like ours no doubt at times feels the lack of power to act with complete, all-embracing, swiftly moving authority. No doubt a government with distributed authority, subject to be challenged in the courts of law, at least long enough to consider and adjudicate the challenge, labors under restrictions from which other governments are free. It has not been our tradition to envy such governments. In any event, our government was designed to have such restrictions.”
-Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 613 (1952)
The decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week upholding the temporary restraining order against enforcement of Executive Order 13769 produced immediate outrage in the Trump Administration. The President himself characterized the ruling as “disgraceful” and claimed that any subsequent act of terror on our shores would be laid squarely at the feet of the judiciary. Mr. Trump has been variously advised to take the matter to the Supreme Court or ignore the lower court orders entirely. In my view, the wisest option is to return to the drawing board, an idea that is apparently also under consideration.
The anger over the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is misplaced. It is neither warranted by the decision itself nor by the perceived threat to presidential power. The court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims and its continuation of the TRO until completion of an evidentiary hearing in the trial court is not fairly predictive of the final outcome. Moreover, the Administration has not advanced any substantive argument, either in court filings or in public statements, to support the notion that temporarily maintaining current immigration policy creates serious security risks. Indeed, we are still waiting for an explanation of what the phrase “extreme vetting” even means.
Instead of railing against the decision and engaging in personal attacks against judges, the President would be well-advised to read the opinion carefully. It contains several useful lessons for the future of his presidency.
We have yet another example of the brutality of Islamic Sharia law from Indonesia where a woman was savagely flogged publicly for spending time with a man who was not her husband, including an allegation of sex outside of marriage. The flogging occurred in Banda Aceh on the Island of Sumatra.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In another example of attempts to legitimize murder for apostasy, an Islamist Cleric of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) declared in an interview with the BBC that Kurds who leave Islam to convert to Zoroastrianism are to be murdered; or in his words “Killed and Executed.”
The cleric extended his hand of mercy by allowing those converts three days to regret their decision but thereafter are to be executed.
In an almost brutal irony, Mulla Hassib from Sulaimani said that Islamic religious tenets permit such executions, but ISIS’ practice of killing apostates is partially correct but he criticizes the terrorist organization for spreading the religion by means of “violence”.
President Donald Trump has made his choice for the Supreme Court and it is Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49. With the selection, President Trump would be submitting a jurist with unassailable credentials and proven intellect. He is also someone with a proven conservative record, though there are a few blind spots for those who want a nominee vaccinated against what conservatives view as the David Souter virus — a creeping condition where a conservative gravitates to the left of the Court with time. Last night, The Hill newspaper ran my column on Gorsuch and his unquestioned qualifications.