Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Attorney: Shariah Law, not Islam, the issue: Murfreesboro

Protesters march during demonstration against a planned mosque and Islamic community center on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

"It's outright ridiculous," said Hantouli, a 22-year-old woman who was raised a Christian in Tennessee before she converted to Islam about four years ago. "He's out of control. He has no grounds for any of this. I have never been taught anything he's been speaking out against. My religious philosophy contradicts nothing in the Constitution."

Says 'new' convert!! The real test for new converts would be to spend a little time in the Islamic world.

At first these converts are guided along the Islamic PC route ~ then its 'kill a convert' ~ or like Cat Stevens said, 'anyone who criticizes the Prophet should be killed' ~ because Muhammad said so! One German convert [who married a Muslim], was upset because she could not wear her headscarf while teaching, remarked that we should have stoning, because it might help people to think twice about adultery! And there is a whole host of other contradictory laws outside of waging Islamic jihad ~ that don't sit well with the US Constitution or life in a free society. The law that calls for non-Muslims to be made second class citizens for one. Chopping off hands and stoning for crimes are others.

To suggest that Shari'a law fits in with the US Constitution is a bogus claim.


"Is Shariah entitled to Constitutional protection or is it sedition, which we intend to prove," Brandon said.



A hearing over plans to build a mosque southeast of Murfreesboro will continue in Chancery Court today despite a Justice Department brief supporting Islam as a religion.

Attorney Joe Brandon Jr., in a press conference on the Public Square Tuesday in response to the brief, said plaintiffs contend the real issue is Shariah Law, not Islam.

"Is Shariah entitled to Constitutional protection or is it sedition, which we intend to prove," Brandon said.

The Smyrna attorney — who is representing local residents Kevin Fisher, Lisa Moore and Henry Golczynski — vowed to continue presenting testimony supporting that claim when the hearing resumes before Chancellor Robert Corlew at 8:30 a.m. today at the Rutherford County Judicial Building.

Brandon has argued in court that the local Islamic Center supports Shariah Law and is a threat to the community and the country. He spoke of terrorists and said that "the same group of people" were responsible for the 9/11 attacks in 2001 that killed around 3,000 Americans.

Brandon questioned if the flag of Shariah is already flying over the White House.

Standing behind an encased historic Bible outside the courthouse Tuesday afternoon, Brandon told media to question why the same U.S. government that got involved with opposing Arizona's immigration enforcement law should be taking a position involving the plaintiffs here.

"They are tired of their civil rights already being violated by our federal government," Brandon said on behalf of his clients.

He reminded the reporters that the federal government has been wrong in the past, such as opposing the abolition of slavery.

"Just because the federal government says it's so doesn't make it so," added Brandon.

Islamic Center of Murfreesboro member Layla Hantouli said she was offended after listening to Brandon's press conference.

"It's outright ridiculous," said Hantouli, a 22-year-old woman who was raised a Christian in Tennessee before she converted to Islam about four years ago. "He's out of control. He has no grounds for any of this. I have never been taught anything he's been speaking out against. My religious philosophy contradicts nothing in the Constitution."

Hantouli said there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and it's wrong for Brandon to suggest they all pose a threat.

"There are crazies in every group," Hantouli said. "Don't blame acts of terrorism on one group of people. Why are we not saying the same thing about Christians after Waco (Texas) or abortion clinic bombings?"

She said Brandon does not understand what Shariah Law is about.

"There is no such thing as a Shariah Law," she said. "Shariah is how a Muslim individual interprets what they consider holy text."

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Corlew ruled that he will allow a county sheriff's investigator to be called to the stand to publicly testify about a burial at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's Veals Road site, another point of contention by the plaintiffs.

About 30 witnesses have been summoned, including five who took the stand during the first three hearing days in September. Tuesday's brief morning hearing dealt with procedural issues and didn't involve witness statements.

Lawyers on both sides initially advised Corlew they'd question Thomas in a closed courtroom setting to keep from going into privileged areas of any law enforcement investigation.

But rather than close his courtroom to a case getting local, national and international media coverage, Corlew decided the lawyers should be able be to avoid questions that could foil any investigation.

"We have very experienced lawyers on both sides," the chancellor said. "It's fairly well established in the law about what can and cannot be discussed (on pending law enforcement investigations)."

Brandon said he wants to call Thomas as a witness because the former sheriff's major knows a lot about the Muslim burial.

Brandon in September questioned County Planning Director Doug Demosi for approving a conditional use permit for the single burial even before the Regional Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of the Islamic Center's site plan May 24.

County Codes Director David Jones has since said that the burial conforms to the conditional use permit and is within the legal requirements of a 50-foot setback requirement from a neighboring property.

Tennessean

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