From what I understand, the office of Representative Gatto received over 500 emails supporting their decision to ask me to testify. Thank you, freedom lovers.
Scroll down for the text of my remarks. After I spoke, there were no questions. Dead quiet. Representative Lindsey Holmes (Democrat) disingenously spoke out that she was growing increasingly uncomfortable with the "direction" of where the hearings were going.
I said, "Why? I have said nothing offensive, I have merely stated the facts." Silence.
I followed a number of witnesses. Always present and up first, typically, the ACLU lawyer, Jeffrey Mittman, was fighting against a bill protecting individual rights. Shocking to me still that the left carries water for the most radical and extreme ideology on the planet.
Robert Spencer spoke to free speech and the lack of human rights for non-Muslims living in Muslim countries, and Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim, gave powerful testimony as a woman living under the sharia. I wonder why Lindsey Holmes, who expressed disdiain for my testimony, was quiet when Darwish spoke. Hypocrite.
Sam Obeidi, from the Islamic Center of Alaska, Anchorage, claimed to be representing 4,000-6000 Muslims in Alaska, provided testimony that sharia was nothing to fear. He said that it was peaceful, and took issue with Nonie Darwish's life experience.
Janet Levy adeptly addressed the differences in Catholic Canon Law, Jewish law and sharia law. Basically there is no compulsion in Jewish or Catholic law. Levy further informed us on how Jewish law and Catholic Canon law function in the U.S. (in deference to secular law, etc.) compared to supremacist Islamic sharia.
The Alaska Catholic Conference expressed concerns that "passage of CSHB88 would impact decisions made by the bishops and or their canon lawyers on matters important within the church. For example, one of us could make the decision to close a parish within our jurisdiction, completely within the bounds of canon law. However, we could envision a situation where a suit gets filed by parishioners claiming the process that lead to our decision did not afford all of the constitutional protections to members of the congregation. This has happened in St Louis. A second example could be priests who could be canonically required to operate under Canon Law requirements that would have no bearing in a civil court. However, of a larger concern is our Marriage Tribunals." Download HB88 Opposing Documents-Letter AK Catholics 03-30-11
This a typical misunderstanding of these pieces of legislation. This falls under the Abstention Doctrine.
Churches and mosques and synagogues can decide for themselves and the court will enforce the law.
HB88 doesnt change this. It will not affect it. This concern is a misunderstanding of state statute and federal constitutional law.
Their issue has amendment protection under all the state and federal laws. The court must accept binding arbitration.
Abstention Doctrine: The concept under which a federal court exercises its discretion and equitable powers and declines to decide a legal action over which it has jurisdiction pursuant to the Constitution and statutes where the state judiciary is capable of rendering a definitive ruling in the matter. More here.
Members of Judiciary Committee
-Rep Carl Gatto- (R) Chair, Judiciary Committee and sponsor of the bill
-Rep. Wes Keller, (R) co-sponsor
-Rep.Bob Lynn, (R) co-sponsor
-Rep. Steve Thompson, (R)
-Rep. Lance Pruitt, (R)
-Rep. Max Gruenberg, (D) attorney and opponent of bill
-Rep. Lindsey Holmes, (D) attorney
Pamela Geller's Testimony to Alaska State Legislature HB88: Use Of Foreign Law
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to legislation that "prohibits the violation of an individual's right under the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the United States Constitution.” This very simple and clear cut legislation should be the proverbial no brainer. And yet the fact that it being met by so much resistance both overt and covert indicates how very needed it is.
How can anyone oppose a law that seeks to prevent foreign laws from undermining fundamental constitutional liberties? We all accept that state and federal const’l rights to a jury trial in CIVIL cases can be waived almost by default (thus two parties agreeing to be bound by German or French law where there is no jury trial right in a civil matter) would not be affected by the bill since the jury trial right is per the law waived by default.
But there is no jurisprudence in the federal system and none in any state that would allow a party to waive Equal Protection—that is, could an african american agree to be discriminated against by the state? Absolutely not, so why would we allow a party to “waive” an equal protection claim in court where the state’s police power is being used to enforce an offensive foreign law?
We now have groups that has ever come to this country with a ready-made model of society and government they believe to be superior to what we have here and are working to institute it.
For example, Islamic law contravenes American freedoms in numerous particulars.
We have seen sharia law in New Jersey. Back in July 2010, a Muslim husband raped his wife, and the judge determined that no sexual assault occurred because Islam forbids wives to refuse sex on demand from their husbands. Luckily, the appellate court overturned this decision, and a Sharia ruling by an American court was not allowed to stand—this time. But there have been over a hundred cases of Sharia jurisprudence in the US, and Jeffery Mittman of the ACLU has testified that “all have been overturned by a higher courts, therefore there is no problem since the American constitutional system worked.” Of course, this begs the question of why should this have happened in the first place. Secondly, it is simply not true that all cases have been overturned. In fact, there are cases in CAL and MD in which trial courts were overturned by appellate courts, the latter of which turned the blind eye to the threat from shariah.
There are also ongoing initiatives to compel businesses to adopt Sharia norms. In March 2007, Target stores in Minneapolis shifted Muslim cashiers who refused to check out pork products to other jobs in the stores. The J. B. Swift meat packing plant in Greeley, Colorado in September 2008 fired Muslim workers who turned violent and walked off their jobs when denied special break periods to end the Ramadan fast at the appointed time. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, however, sided with the Muslim workers and forced Swift to reinstate them. Ultimately, Swift added footbaths and bidets to its plant for the Muslim workers. Cab drivers in the Minneapolis airport several years ago tried to stipulate that they wouldn’t carry passengers who had alcohol with them – passengers had to conform to Sharia law or not get a cab.
In November 2008, a federal judge ordered Gold’n Plump, Inc., a chicken processing plant, to pay $365,000 to Somali Muslim workers for firing them for walking off the job to pray, and for making new hires sign a form acknowledging that they may have to handle pork on the job. And in February 2010, a group of Muslims in Colorado sued Wal-Mart, claiming that they were fired in order to provide jobs for local non-Muslims, and that they had been denied prayer breaks while on the job. Mind you, it is not necessary for a Muslim to pray at a certain time if necessity makes it impossible to do so. These actions are merely devices in which to impose Islam on non-believers. Prayer is not absolutely required on a strict schedule, and Muslim prayers are commonly “made up” after work or school. This is true even in Muslim countries, i.e., Iran.
The irony is that the ACLU would oppose a law that seeks to prevent foreign laws from undermining fundamental constitutional liberties.
The idea “presented by Muslim Brotherhood groups that ‘Sharia Law’ is not actually ‘law’, but religious traditions that provide guidance to Muslims regarding the exercise of their faith” or that ‘Sharia Law’ differs depending on the country in which the individual Muslim resides is patently false. For example, in the Oklahoma case against the foreign law prohibition, the plaintiff stated that marrying more than one wife is permissible in Islam but in the United States, where that is illegal, Muslims do not marry more than one wife because Sharia in the United States mandates Muslims to abide by the law of the land and respect the law of their land.”
And yet in August 2007, when asked how common polygamy was among Muslims in the United States, unindicted co-conspirator CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper said that a “minority” of Muslims here were polygamous, and added: “Islamic scholars would differ on whether one could do so while living in the United States.” He didn’t say anything about Muslims in the U.S. being given pause by the fact that the practice remains illegal in the United States. Iman Aly Hindy, has stated this about the relationship between Islamic law and American law: “This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion. If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that.”
Apparently many Muslims in America as well as Canada think the same way. A May 2008 estimate found between 50,000 and 100,000 Muslims living in polygamous arrangements in the U.S., in defiance of American law. This shows that we need to stand against Sharia or Muslims will continue to defy American law and instead live according to Shariua dictates.
Legal expert David Yerushalmi, a pioneering legal authority in the drafting of such state laws, points out that “the global jihad leadership against which we have aligned most of our military and intelligence resources since 9/11 informs us in Arabic, Pashtu, Urdu, Persian, and even in English that the global jihad against the West is fundamentally directed and determined by Islamic law, or sharia. The jihad leaders further tell us that their ultimate goal, in addition to that of the ‘defensive jihad’ incumbent on every Muslim to rid the Islamic world of an occupying infidel presence is the implementation of sharia law as the law of the land in any place Muslims step foot.”
“Surveys in the Muslim world consistently evidence that somewhere between 50% to 70% of the global Muslim community desires to create a unified Caliphate for all Muslims and to order that political hegemony according to a strict al Qaeda-like sharia.”
The separation of mosque and state is essential to preserving American freedom and our way of life. Yet the Islamic supremacists have made real inroads. We have seen over the last few years the encroachment of Islam on the secular marketplace. Muslims have demanded, and received, special accommodation in public schools, in the workplace, in our government, and in privately owned businesses.
One only needs to look at the disintegration of Europe and the establishment all over that continent of enclaves in which Sharia is enforced and the law of the land disregarded, to glimpse a bleak future made possible by “good intentions” and the failure of multiculturalism. In those areas of Europe, women and non-Muslims suffer institutionalized discrimination, and there is no freedom of speech or freedom of conscience.
It is time to stand up for American rule of law and individual rights for all.
 “Target shifts Muslims who won’t ring up pork,” Associated Press, March 18, 2007.
 “Swift fires 130 Muslim workers after Ramadan dispute,” Rocky Mountain News, September 10, 2008.
 David Migoya, “EEOC: Swift acted with bias: Muslims were discriminated against by the meatpacker, the federal panel determines," The Denver Post, September 1, 2009.
 “Civil rights complaints have been filed in Greeley, CO,” Refugee Resettlement Watch, June 30, 2009.
 “Gold'n Plump settles worker lawsuits," Star Tribune, November 10, 2008.
 Dan Frosch, “Immigrants Claim Wal-Mart Fired Them to Provide Jobs for Local Residents,” New York Times, February 8, 2010.
 Maryclaire Dale, “Pa. bigamist slain hours before trip,” Associated Press, August 8, 2007.
 Noor Javed, “GTA’s secret world of polygamy,” Toronto Star, May 24, 2008.
 Barbara Bradley Hagerty, “Some Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy,” National Public Radio, May 27, 2008.
UPDATE: Atlas reader, Eastvew's, observations here.
UPDATE: Chris Stein of the AP fair reporting:
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska's House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday began considering a controversial bill that would ban the use of foreign law in Alaska courts.
Republican Bill Sponsor Rep. Carl Gatto of Wasilla says the bill would ensure that cases in Alaskan courts are not litigated under foreign law codes that would conflict with a person's constitutional rights.
Stop Islamization of America Executive Director Pamela Geller testified in support of the bill, saying that some courts have allowed cases to be decided under Sharia law.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations had called for Geller not to be allowed to testify, saying she represented a hate group.
Gatto says his policy is to allow testimony from whoever wants to speak to a bill.
The committee held House Bill 88 for further consideration.