Essay

Religious Freedom Does not Trump the Constitution [A Short Story]

“Sharia Law is the Enemy of Freedom

and an Affront to the Holy Wisdom Herself”

—an imagined man speaks

as he would speak in the minds

of those who would imagine

what this imaginary man would say

when confronted

with the imagined reality of Sharia Law

On Holy Wisdom

A diatribe set up against positions both left and right, if that is at all possible in America, as insipid as we have become in our notions of and for liberalism, of and for freedom, of and for democracy, of and for conformity, individuality, an excessive demand for unilateral equality that undermines all free-will and individuality, but . . .

Let us not set up straw dogs, he says.

He says, There are some people who come from a religious background, a place where their religious views and beliefs are confronted by the idea of gay marriage or the notion that a woman should be afforded the legal right to choose an abortion, who are not zealous lunatics looking to lynch one or stone the other. I do not want us to get sidetracked into a debate about the merits or demerits of religion or the religious life when it weds itself with politics. The focus here is on the rights a woman has independent of any metaphysical system, and whether the laws of her society are going to get behind her right to choose. Legislation that insures a woman’s right to choose an abortion can be safe is of course the crux of any rational argument supporting pro-choice for women who are so inclined. There are no religious beliefs that can be used to justify or support violence against a woman or clinics, not unless we live in or want to live in Muslim Theocracies–and we have to be clear about what we mean about honoring diversity in America.

At this juncture, there is no place for Sharia law in America, nor any of the forms of Islamic misogyny, or Islamist terrorism set against the west for being several hundred years ahead of where Arabic civilization and its adjunct cultures under Islam took a nose dive off a cliff at the edge of progress, he says.

Pro-choice is, in the specific sense of choosing to have a safe abortion, part of the larger more encompassing Human Right to choose, something Islamic dogma in most Muslim societies cannot accept. They do not agree that what we call unalienable Human Rights should have universal application extended to women, homosexuals, or more heinously in their world-view, any belief other than their hopelessly narrow and often semi-literate reading of Holy Qu’ran; and I have too many Muslim women students who do not read Holy Qu’ran, are not permitted to read it. Fear rules their men’s lives; fear and anxiety over western democratic freedoms the likes of which we have seen in the Paris bombings, or more mundanely in the mental and physical abuse of women when their men see them beset by the call to freedom that is here in America, he says.

Every person, man or woman, heterosexual or homosexual, married or unmarried, has an unalienable right to choose the life he or she wishes to live; not so under Sharia Law. The right of gay men and lesbians to choose whether or not to get married in a same-sex union is on par with a woman’s legally sanctioned choice to have an abortion if she should want one; this is true in Muslim Theocracies, where the reactions to these are even more violent in a broader frequency of occurence than in Fundamentalist Christians seem willing to muster. In western democracies, this is debated; in Muslim Theocracies, it is not. And American Fundamentalist Christians have an awful lot in common with theocratic Muslims. Their support of GOP candidates is equally frightening as when I hear them speak on abortion, or when I read about their heinous responses to the existence of abortion clinics, in the news, he says.

Gay Marriage and the Right to Choose a safe medical procedure when induced miscarriage is wanted are part of the Pro-Choice argument that is essential to any Pro-Freedom position in any society. Nonetheless, there is no pit and the pendulum looming if gay marriage is not supported by law–at least in the west. There is, though, something out of Edgar Allan Poe for girls in the foreseeable future without a law that protects their Human Right to choose to have an abortion, and I remind us herein again that a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion whether the laws in her society support that right or not, whether there are those willing to protect that right or not.

Sharia Law does not respect this; Sharia Law cannot honor a woman’s personhood, not as we understand this in the west. Sharia Law is anathema in any democratic society. Sharia Law has no place in any society that wishes to remain democratic and enlightened and not barter its freedoms for a mistaken idea of what diversity in a society is or should be. Muslims today are apostates in the cause of Holy Wisdom? He asks.

Let me repeat myself: I do not know how anyone can be against providing women with a law that upholds her right to decide for herself how she wishes to use her body, a law that insures medicine is practiced and not something out of a chamber of horrors when she decides to have an abortion, and it is a chamber of horrors we are subjecting her to when we put her between social rocks and medical hard places. I do not understand how this happens, unless the persons who are not Pro-choice want to be in line with the endemic ignorance and bigotries of Islamic Theocrats bent on the most extreme reactionary agenda to spread in the world, no less heinous to democracy and freedom than were the Nazis and their agenda, he says.

With current affairs still too hot for many to handle rationally, let me just say that ISIS is as dangerous to world freedom as were Nazis, and unless Muslims who do not participate in their horrors stand against them, I can only assume they silently stand with them. We did hold Germany responsible for Nazism; likewise, I hold Muslims answerable for Islamic terror. And I did see Pakistani boys from the building next to mine jumping up and down with glee and delight as I passed them and noticed them watching reruns of the Twin Towers collapsing on their cradled lap top. It has come to Us against them, as it should have come a long time ago. And I know that the Pakistani is more dangerous than the Arab Muslim, he insists, has said before, will say again in the near and far future, he assumes.

Abortion before the law got behind it in the 1970s was appalling–most anti-abortion people would be shocked if they saw what had transpired or does transpire in some places in the world where either illegal abortions are the rule, or medicine does not come close to being practiced, he says. Of course, these horror shows would be used against the right to choose, assuming that the horror of illegal abortion is endemic to all abortions, he says. There are no other ways to express what illegal abortion represented: terrible, shocking, appalling, horrible, frightening; do we imagine that any acceptance of Sharia Law, rooted in our debased understanding of democracy and a mistaken notion  of what diversity should amount to in a society, would be different for women, he says snd says and writes and publishes in one form of writing after another chosen he imagines at times for differing reasons might be necessary. Are we to assume that Muslim women virtually en-masse do not suffer an endemic misogyny. Do women need to be beaten for the abuse to be called misogyny? He asks others in this imaginary world he inhabits, as others inhabit real and fictional worlds, day dreams, night dreams, fantasies, wishes, hopes and convictions; as well as beliefs and faiths, our knowledge and our doubts?

If we do not understand that Islam is a giant step backward into an intolerable Semitism in the west, one that must inspire a renewed metaphysical commitment in the west opposed to this moral step backward, then we have condemned our future to a social regression from which we will not soon recover, he says. He does not want to play the political ping pong most Americans love to play, he says.

What else do we have in words to say what is intended here: butchery, something out of the slaughterhouse–woman as carcass? What all of the ramifications were when a girl needed to get an abortion for whatever reason convinced her she needed one–how many women still die yearly worldwide from unsafe abortions is staggering. Support for Islamic Theocratic rule and any imposition of Sharia Law is a blow for freedom and democracy. I do not prove I am a good and forgiving Christian by embracing the Devil; we really do not lament how many allegedly innocent Germans we killed by bombing the Nazis in Germany. Nor should we. How is it we have not come to oppose ISIS and their positions with as much devastation as we were willing to spread in Germany under control of the Nazis? He asks seriously. He wonders how readers will take this.

Diatribes, polemics, Jeremiads and tirades have been his favorite way of expressing himself politically. His commentary is, if he may blow his horn, the best of Menippean Satire; it is the way we think; it is our ideas and how we handle them that are the deserving subjects of satire.It is not persons individual, but consciousness collective we must examine, he would assume is what is necessary.

Exegesis

[The author agrees with the narrator; the narrator with the character; the person who is the writer sets himself apart from the prime authority of this text, the author so here named, the author. This inferred author that has to be there between writer in the world and the narrative voice of a text, no matter how conflated the narrator is, and how little he adds in the matter of words, is real within the larger relationship of text to reader. In this way some might make the argument that there is something outside the text that adds or subtracts or illuminates . . . The character’s words are what they are and are to be taken as they are presented in the context within which they have been presented.]

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