Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On the HuffPo, Only Jews Can Make Theocracies

There was a new blog post yesterday about a little town called Kiryas Joel about 50 miles outside of New York City. This town is populated by many Orthodox Jews and two Huffington Post bloggers wrote an article about it titled "Theocracy in America?" Certainly attention seeking don't you think? Let's take a passage from it:
"Moreover, there can be little doubt that the ultimate authority in matters spiritual and temporal is Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum. Defying his word has real consequences in the Village's civil and religious life, which indeed are so entwined as to be indistinguishable. We might say that this is a most regrettable violation of the vaunted doctrines of liberalism on which this Republic was built. But one must also ask whether Kiryas Joel does not in fact attest to another long-standing American tradition -- the potent strain of communitarianism -- which permits difference and segregation, not least religious difference and segregation. Seen from that angle, Kiryas Joel, N.Y., may be as American as apple pie."
It doesn't seem like such an unreasonable criticism. So where is the bias? Well, as you have probably noticed there has been a lot of tension in Europe and a little bit in America on the topic of "sharia law." Some people claim that Muslims are trying to impose theocracies if not in America as a whole, then at least in the areas where they live. The only time the Huffington Post has approached the issue was either with a ten foot pole or with decidedly pro-sharia articles. Here are some examples just from the past few months:

Ending Slavery the Sharia Way:
"Because al-Shariah, the path Muhammad and his companions walked led toward a world without slavery, something every modern day scholar will happily confirm."
Adverse Human Rights and Other Consequences of the Anti-Sharia Ban:
"Today, more than 24 states have seen proposed laws that impose blanket prohibitions on consideration or use by courts or arbitral tribunals of an entire body of law or doctrine of a particular religion. While the specific language of these legislative initiatives may vary, the intent is uniformly informed by anti-Muslim hate and the result is un-American."
The Myth of Sharia Law in America:
"The anti-communist Red Scare of the 1950s made broad use of guilt by innuendo and warnings about shadowy conspiracies. If GOP candidates insist they are not doing the same thing to ordinary Muslims, they can prove it by explaining what they believe sharia is and whether they're prepared to ban the consideration of all religious codes from civil arbitration. Anything less is simply fear mongering."
And finally Anti-Sharia Law: A Solution in Search of a Problem:
 "In addition to the ugly implication that anything Islamic is inherently un-American, these efforts are rooted in the baseless idea that U.S. Muslims wish to impose Islamic law on American courts. Proponents of these misguided measures, which have been introduced in 25 states so far, clearly seek to ride the recent wave of anti-Muslim bias in this country."
Now don't take this to mean that I want anti-sharia or anti-Muslim articles on the Huffington Post. What I want is for the two religions to be treated equally. And it sure looks to me like Muslims are more or less above criticism on the Huffington Post, while Jews are quite the opposite.

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