By Michael Collins Piper
There’s nothing “grassroots” about the growing national campaign—some would call it “hysteria”—focusing on the supposed threat of Islamic sharia taking hold in America.
Sharia refers to a code of conduct or laws that have been derived from the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and from the teachings and example of Mohammed. Although some initially condemned AMERICAN FREE PRESS for suggesting that pro-Israeli ideologues have been the primary force behind the constant chatter about “the Muslims” and sharia, no less than The New York Times revealed in a detailed and lengthy story beginning on its front page on July 31 that, in fact, a small, well-financed clique of Israeli lobby intriguers are the source of the agitation. The Times’ revelations speak for themselves:
[The] campaign’s air of grassroots spontaneity,which has been carefully promoted by advocates, shrouds its more deliberate origins. In fact, it is the product of an orchestrated drive that began five years ago in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in the office of a little-known lawyer, David Yerushalmi, a 56-year-old Hasidic Jew with a history of controversial statements about race, immigration and Islam. Despite his lack of formal training in Islamic law, Mr. Yerushalmi has come to exercise a striking influence over American public discourse about sharia.
Working with a cadre of conservative public-policy institutes and former military and intelligence officials, Mr.Yerushalmi has written privately financed reports, filed lawsuits against the government and drafted the model legislation that recently swept through the country—all with the effect of casting sharia as one of the greatest threats to American freedom since the Cold War.
This admission by the Times (and the extensive documentation it provides) should prove embarrassing to a number of otherwise independent-minded American nationalists—including more than a few well-known patriot leaders and figures in the white separatist movement—who have been energetically parroting the anti-Muslim rhetoric promoted by Yerushalmi and his associates, the foremost of whom is Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney’s antecedents alone are revealing and point to the origins of the campaign against sharia and Muslims in general. A ubiquitous longtime advocate for Israel in high level Washington policy-making circles, Gaffney—one of the now infamous neo-conservative “high priests of war”—is the founder of the Center for Security Policy (CSP),which has been described as being known for its support for “extreme right wing Israeli causes.”
Yerushalmi—who spent time in Israel working for a conservative think tank—happens to be the CSP’s general counsel.
Gaffney will be remembered as one of the founding associates of the hard-line pro-Israeli Project for the New American Century, which openly declared the need for a “new Pearl Harbor” to energize and popularize support for American military intervention in the Middle East and around the globe.
In fact, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001—attributed to “the Muslims”—provided that new Pearl Harbor of which Gaffney and his colleagues dreamed.
Going back to the 1970s, Gaffney worked alongside the infamous Richard Perle on the staff of Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.), who was one of Israel’s primary cheerleaders in Congress. They have worked closely ever since, including a stint by Gaffney working under Perle in the Defense Department during the Reagan administration. Perle himself has served on the CSP board of directors as has Morris Amitay, former director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It is no coincidence that—at one time or another during the 1980s— Perle and others among his and Gaffney’s close associates—including the late Stephen J. Bryen, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith—were all investigated by the FBI on various matters relating to espionage on behalf of Israel.
Meanwhile, some prominent names in the Republican presidential arena—including Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich (whose political ventures have been funded to the tune of millions by Las Vegas gambling kingpin Sheldon Adelson, who calls himself “the richest Jew in the world”)—have all joined in warning about sharia law gaining a stranglehold on the American system.
So while the United States is in freefall with unemployment not going away and healthcare and all manner of public and social services being disrupted— not to mention the collapse of our national infrastructure—Wall Street (which is not controlled by Muslims, by the way) is getting away with looting the economy.
But a growing number of politicians and allied interest groups are pointing toward sharia as the biggest danger facing the American way of life.
THE TRUTH ABOUT SHARIA
Although there are many nations that have predominant Muslim populations and of which there are many that have adopted Islam as the official state religion, all of these “Muslim” nations base their systems of government on secular law, not sharia. This even includes Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population of any nation, and Pakistan, which was founded as an Islamic state.
As for the mistreatment of women, often attributed to Islam and to sharia, all the cases that have been propagandized regarding this issue fail to mention that they have nothing to do with the enforcement of sharia. These incidents are the work of some elements that live in Muslim countries, and their actions are not related to Islamic teachings.
Orthodox Judaism—which many Christians revere—has a history of organized oppression of women, quite readily visible in Israel today and in some Jewish communities in America. This is not so widely publicized in the mass media as are the constant stories relating to alleged Muslim misdeeds in regard to women.
One can go on the Internet and find countless cases of rape and molestation of women in western countries, but it would be wrong to say they reflect the mindset of the entire community these people come from or perhaps share religious beliefs with. Every year more women are raped in the United States than in any other nation—which is most assuredly not a Muslim-dominated country.
Michael Collins Piper is a world-renowned author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and, of course, the United States.