American Elephants


Some Straight Talk About Some Big Problems! by The Elephant's Child

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Europe is struggling to cope with the vast invasion of “Syrian refugees,”most of whom are not actually from Syria.” The northern Italian region of Lombardy has passed regulations forbidding access into hospitals and public buildings to anyone wearing face-covering garments, such as the burqa and niqab; this is the first regional law to explicitly outlaw Islamic face coverings in Italy.

Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni announced the new regulation for access to regional structures, prompted in particular by the Northern League after the November 13 jihadist attacks in Paris. The text makes reference to national legislation already in place, which prohibits people from going about in public dressed in a way that prevents facial recognition without a “justifiable motive.”

The secretary of the Lombard League, Paul Grima, said that current legislation is not respected or enforced,“ as thousands of Muslim women go about undisturbed with their faces completely covered by the burqa or the niqab, making it impossible to identify them.”

The new regulation, which will take effect on January 1, 2016, authorizes personnel to stop people from entering public buildings if their faces are not clearly visible, and thus prohibits not only the burqa, but also helmets and other headgear.

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(click to enlarge)
Here’s a good explanation of traditional Muslim headgear, which is useful as we continue to see increasing numbers of Muslims here. In a very open country such as our own, such face-covering can become problematic. I see Muslim women in Hijab occasionally in a Seattle suburban grocery store, and once encountered a woman in full Burqa, and was surprised to see that it included gloves, so the hands were covered. States have had to rule on requirements for driver’s licenses, and I don’t know what the rules are for entrance into guarded buildings, or for voter registration.

It comes up whenever there is a terrorist attack, In the case of the San Bernardino shooting, there were protests over photographs of Tashfeen Malik without her face covered. (See just below) There are often reports of ISIS fighters using Muslim face covering garb to avoid detection.

In the United States this is particularly difficult because of the First Amendment to the Constitution regarding freedom of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting  an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” That amendment, designed to prohibit the State from establishing a state religion, such as in England where the wars of religion between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France had caused so many years of bloody fighting, has continued to cause difficulty into the modern age with wider interpretation. Militant atheists have sued to prevent Christian crosses from appearing on any federal building or land, money, or in any representation whatsoever— as if the crosses on the graves of Christians at Arlington National Cemetery are an “establishment of religion.” With the direct assaults on the Constitution by Democrats in their own political quest for some other Utopia, it’s a big problem.

I believe that the establishment clause refers directly to creating a state required religion, but it is continuously problematic for the Supreme Court, and different courts are faced with the same problem over and over.

With Muslim immigration a whole new chapter opens.  Thousands of Muslims are seeking new lives in America; some simply want American citizenship and the right to practice their religion, yet  others are seeking to destroy. How do we tell the difference? For the Muslim American, the traditional exercise of Islamic Law—Sharia, in the traditional sense, is problematic. Honor killings will send the perpetrator to prison for life, or get the death penalty. Face-covering is unacceptable in all sorts of situations. Wife beating will get a jail term. Homosexuality is accepted, not a cause for execution. Any expectation of adopting Sharia as law in any part of this country would transform America in totally unacceptable ways. These are big, big questions that are deserving of far more serious thought than Donald Trump’s glib, thoughtless announcement to grab media attention, that he would ban all Muslim immigration.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has courageously called for the reform and moderation of Islam. He has taken measures within Egypt such as regulating mosque sermons and changing school textbooks to help halt the glorifying of hatred and violence. He even attended a Christmas Mass and spoke at the Coptic Orthodox Christmas service in Cairo, and wished the Christians a merry Christmas.

At the same time, ISIS is attempting to return to the Sixth Century, and Iran is declaring “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” as government policy. That’s where we are.
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