Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sharia lonesome tonight?

So Newt Gingrich, no doubt mainly to distract us from the increasing evidence of his complicity with a dark cabal of Belgian colonialist terrorists, has come out to say that he, like so many Americans,  is absolutely terrified that our great American legal system is about to be taken over by Islamic jurisprudence. So is that surprising, that a former Republican politician pretending to be running for president as a gimmick for his book tour/reality show projects, and suddenly finding that he is being taken seriously in certain gullible quarters in Iowa and the press box, should be tapping into our deepest irrational fears?

Um, no. It is not surprising at all. It is precisely what one would expect. What I have trouble wrapping my head around is the question of what, exactly, we are scared of. What is supposed to happen? When a group of those Stealth Jihadis sets about imposing Sharia law on an unsuspecting population, how does it work?

This is something that has been bothering me for quite a while, since the "Ground Zero mosque" hysteria the summer before last. A radio report on one of the demonstrations had some sound from a woman with what I thought was an eastern European accent, and I'm telling you her fear was real, and extreme--you could hear her shaking and sobbing--"But what about sharia? Sharia!" There was no mistaking her sincerity, she knew it was going to come and get her, that it was going to come and get her in her bed.

But what did she imagine?

I can picture an Albany lobbyist, in Gucci and kaffiyeh, buttonholing a state senator: "A small change in the civil code, Assemblyman, just allowing a chap to have up to four wives.  Can we count on your support? We can make it worth your while..."

And then what? The assemblyman is not expected to think there is anything going on here? "Thanks for sharing your concerns, and I'd be delighted to accept that little token of your esteem..."

Supposing sharia law is as monolithic and oppressive in every way as we're told it is, how do they expect an gladhander from Watertown or Elmira, more open-hearted than open-minded if you like, to go along with it? How is that guy going to vote in favor of polygamy when it almost killed him to vote in favor of two ladies, or two gents, setting up a household in a way with which he has been perfectly familiar all his life, but calling it "marriage"? How is he going to vote for chopping off thieves' hands, if that's on the agenda--"Great help in reducing the prison population, Assemblyman"--when the one thing he's sure his district needs is more prisons, meaning more jobs, while the need for more one-handed people, meaning more people without jobs, is far from obvious? How is he going to get contributions from attorneys if he pushes a bill to reduce divorce to the uttering of one simple sentence three times in a row, or from bankers if he goes on TV saying interest should be illegal? And how is he not going to notice that these are very unconventional legislative requests?

Can't you imagine him testifying to the anti-Islamification committee, years later--"Sharia? Why, I had no idea, Mr. Chairman. Looked like simple common sense to me."

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