July 14, 2006


The making of a terror mole: How a sharia activist infiltrated the 'Toronto 17' and helped authorities build a case against them (SONYA FATAH and GREG MCARTHUR AND SCOTT ROBERTS, 7/14/06, Globe and Mail)

One night in October, a group of young Muslims gathered at a Toronto banquet hall and tried to raise money for two men who had recently been convicted of gun smuggling and imprisoned.

The event was supposed to help their cause — but it may end up being remembered as the night that Canada's first home-grown Islamist terror cell came crashing down.

Among the men and women gathered in the room was an outsider named Mubin Shaikh, 30. He didn't attend the same Mississauga or Scarborough mosques as the supporters in the hall, and he didn't know many of the people in the room.

But he had instructions: Get to know Fahim Ahmad, the young man believed by authorities to be behind the gun-smuggling operation and an emerging terrorist cell.

The outsider approached Mr. Ahmad and told him about his training as a six-year member of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. He told him about his survival skills and weapons training. He also told Mr. Ahmad that he believed firmly in jihad.

By the end of the evening, Mr. Shaikh was in.

That was 10 months ago, and since then, in media reports around the world, Mr. Ahmad has been identified as the ringleader of the so-called “Toronto 17,” the group of men and teenagers tied into an alleged plot to blow up three targets in Southern Ontario and storm Parliament Hill.

This is the story of the 18th man, the civilian mole and devout Muslim paid by CSIS and the RCMP to infiltrate Mr. Ahmad's circle and thwart an alleged plot to blow up those targets. Over a series of discussions with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Shaikh detailed his motives for bringing down the alleged terrorist cell. Above all, violence in Canada in the name of Islam cannot be tolerated, said Mr. Shaikh, who says he has learned to juggle his fierce commitment to both Islam and the secular values of Canadian society.

On one hand, he is an official at his west-end mosque, supports the jihads in Afghanistan and Iraq and was one of the most public supporters of the failed bid to introduce sharia law in Ontario, occasionally commenting on the debate on television.

On the other, he is also a onetime member of the York South-Weston Liberal Riding Association, whose family keeps a sticker of the Canadian flag on their mailbox.

“As a practising Muslim, the interests of the Muslim community are paramount,” Mr. Shaikh said.

“And as a Canadian, the safety and security of my fellow citizens is also primary.”

He's ably demonstrated that the two are quite compatible.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 14, 2006 1:53 PM

How is being "one of the most public supporters of the failed bid to introduce sharia law in Ontario" compatible with "the secular values of Canadian society"?

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 14, 2006 2:36 PM

He may be a good Canadian, but he's our enemy.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 14, 2006 2:56 PM


Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 3:44 PM

The secular values of Canada require that people be allowed to follow any law they choose, that's the essence of multiculturalism.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 3:48 PM

I understand that his fellows are quite upset with him. Multi-culturalism has opened the gates to the barbarians. This guy's a bad example,oj.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 14, 2006 4:15 PM

Multiculturalism is barbarism. He believes in a culture.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 4:21 PM

Sure, he believes in "a culture," just not one compatible with what most Americans see as basic freedoms. Unless, OJ, you believe in killing apostates, that unless a rape victim can produce four male witnesses to the crime to back her side of the story, she's an adulterer who must be killed, etc.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 14, 2006 4:30 PM

America has its own culture. Canada doesn't.

You're speaking of Wahabbism, not traditional sharia law.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 4:53 PM

If he supports jihad in Afghanistan, doesn't he support the killing of Canadians stationed there?

Note that it's only "violence in Canada" that can't be tolerated. He's OK with violence elsewhere.

Posted by: pj at July 14, 2006 5:01 PM

He opposes Canadian violence in the Islamic world as he opposes Islamic violence in Canada. Hardly contradictory.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 5:10 PM

"...he is an official at his west-end mosque, supports the jihads in Afghanistan and Iraq"

A loyal citizen can "oppose" the wars in Afghan/Iraq without supporting our enemies. In this case by supporting the jihad he's not only our enemy, he's the enemy of Islamic society in Afghanistan and Iraq. In other words, while it's great that he wants no terrorism in Canada maybe he should consider if Afghans and Iraqis feel the same way.

Posted by: Chicago Station at July 14, 2006 5:52 PM

I believe your Wahabbism/sharia distinction is incorrect. Is Pakistan "Wahabbist"? Their sharia law uses the definition of rape described above. On apostasy, we have this:

Wikipedia All five major schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that a male apostate must be executed. A female apostate may be put to death, according to some schools, or imprisoned, according to others.

Some contemporary Shi'a jurists, scholars, writers, and Islamic sects have argued or issued fatwas that either the changing of religion is not punishable or is only punishable under restricted circumstances, but these minority opinions have not found broad acceptance among Islamic scholars.

Given the Wikipedia wars about any controversial topic, the fact that this seems not to be considered controversial is a major point in its favor.

You know, OJ, sometimes your arguments in favor of Islam remind me of the way some leftists defend Communism: they dismiss all real-world failures of Communism as irrelevant because they are corrupt and impure. "Ah, but if only it were done right! Maybe if Trotsky had defeated Stalin...."

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 14, 2006 6:00 PM

You take wikipeda seriously? Demerits for you Mr. PapayaSF. And Islam has 700+ years of successful culture, which is better then the modern welfare state's track record. It is funny to see a Darwinist argue for the culture dying on the vine and againest the growing, living culture. Or is Darwin only useful as a critique when it lets us look down on brown people?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 14, 2006 6:15 PM

Wikipedia generally works well for non-controversial topics. I could have posted more links to more sites about sharia penalties for apostasy, but I'd run afoul of the spam filter. I've put some evidence on the table. Let's see yours and OJ's that death for apostasy is merely Wahabbism and not standard sharia.

If by "successful" you mean "not dead," sure. If you mean material abundance, democracy, freedom of speech and thought and religion, rights for women, and pretty much any scientific or cultural or artistic contribution to world culture since algebra or the Taj Mahal, then no, I would not call Islam a successful culture.

I am not defending the welfare state. American culture is not dying on the vine. Attacking Islam is not racism. And don't call me a "Darwinist": believing in the theory of evolution doesn't make me a "Darwinist" any more than defending Islam makes you a "dhimmi."

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 14, 2006 6:43 PM

PapayaSF, how would you know if Wikipedia works well for non-controversial topics? You use it to find out about stuff you are ignorant about, by definition. I mean successful in a Darwinist sense; breeding above replacement levels. If you remove immigration from the equation, American culture is dying on the vine. Second, you may not be racist, but Darwin was certainly used to put down brown people back in the day. Funny how no one is pushing Darwin now that the shoe is on the other foot. I'd call it bias, but since Evolution is pure science, it must be an oversight.....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 14, 2006 7:17 PM

I know that because the topics I've checked on Wikipedia are pretty accurate, as a rule. But if you don't like Wikipedia, how about:

Islam Q&A

Literally every "Islamic" source I can find on the web supports death or some other severe penalty for apostasy. All claim it's standard sharia. Where's your evidence that it's not?

Christianity was used as an excuse to kill old women accused of being witches, too, but I don't hold that against Christians in general.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 14, 2006 7:40 PM

Yes, apostates should be put to death.

Extreme sharia is a creation of Wahabbism, which is itself a tool of statism.

Of course Pakistan is Wahabbist. Try to hide, not advertise, your ignorance.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 7:47 PM

To oppose your countries wars is to support the enemy. If a secular American government attacked Christian nations the enemy would be right.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 7:56 PM

I'm not arguing that Islam doesn't support severe penalties for treason. Every culture punishs treason. The distiction between Wahabbism and Sharia is not shown by pointing out universal truths. The U.S. has the death penalty for treason now, and we are not Wahabbist. Enforcement of the laws plays a part here.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 14, 2006 7:56 PM

Hey, if we're going by Robert's rules of evidence, Wikipedia references don't count. But fine, Pakistan is Wahabbist. That doesn't challenge my point that severe penalties for apostasy are pure sharia. I am still waiting for any evidence that supports OJ's claim.

[Insert cricket sounds]

I really don't get the apologies for sharia around here. Do any of you think Washington or Jefferson or Adams would have put up with that nonsense? Robert and OJ, how do your mothers/sisters/wives/girlfriends feel about your support for Islamic law?

Robert, your analogy is totally inapt. I am not arguing against penalties for treason against a state. I am arguing against secular enforcement of ancient religious penalties for purely religious offenses. I'm in favor of that dreaded product of Enlightenment thinking called "freedom of religion." Too bad you and OJ aren't onboard with this traditional American custom.

And I'm also arguing against "conservatives" who see nothing wrong with religious fascists simply because they kinda-sorta share a monotheism. Sheesh, if you want to talk about doomed culture, I nominate supposed Christians who see nothing wrong with an archaic set of religious laws that classify them as second-class citizens at best, and prey at worst.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 14, 2006 8:47 PM

Severe penalties for apostasy are American. Ask a witch, Loyalist, Confederate, Anarchist, Communist, Militiaman, etc. Every healthy society punishes it. That's why we have two million people in prison, a far higher percentage than any Muslim or Communist nation. We're Puritans.

The rape nonsense is Wahabbism, not Islamic law.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2006 8:58 PM

PapayaSF, that's simple. It's the culture of Life vs. the culture of Death. Sharia is on the right side when it comes to Abortion, the great moral issue of the age. I'm pretty sure if you forced Washington to chose between modest women and killing babies on demand and mining them for resources, he would go with plan A. Bringing my mother into this is tactless and unwise. My mother, dispairing of women voting for Clinton, wants to see women stripped of the right to own property and the right to vote.
Why is my analogy inapt? As you state here, the Islamic cultures do not have a separation of Church and State. If the Church and State are intertwined, then apostasy is treason againest the State, which you are ok with.
I'm in favor of 'Freedom of Religion'. I'm not in favor of the new 'Freedom from Religion'.
Maybe we aren't supporting fascists, but fighting left wing fascists who mouth the words, as leftists are wont to do. Those of us on the Right have always been better about seeing past that, and not allowing the lies to blind us to the good being abused by the Leftists. Remember, it was the Democrats, those defenders of free speech, who banned the National Socialist party, and tried to ban the Communist party in an overeaction to McCarthy....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 14, 2006 9:18 PM

Mr. Judd;

I don't recall any of those classes being punished in America (witches, in colonial times, but not after 1776). Could you describe some of these "severe penalties"?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 14, 2006 10:41 PM

I may not be OJ, but I remember being taught about tar and feathering in high school, as well as Loyalists fleeing to Canada after the war was over and Confederates being stripped of their property, and Reconstruction of course. And of course we keep being told how awful it was when McCarthism was ruining the country......

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 14, 2006 10:46 PM

I'm just not with OJ on the whole Kraynakian(?) sentiment about political systems being much less important than most people think.

I for one think American style democracy is where it's at and don't have any tolerance for those who want to destroy it no matter what their reason.

While it's not the end, it is a necessary condition for the perfection of the individual. I just don't buy a Sharia government as anything other than a failed state in the making just like Sweden or the communists.

I suppose I'm not pro-religion. I'm pro-Judeo/Christian religion.

Posted by: Pepys at July 15, 2006 12:09 AM

The issues of sharia, Wahabbism, and culture have been conflated, but let's be clear on this - NOT solely by the West. The West is generally ignorant of such things. The Islamic world is paying the price of 60 years of the purification insanity, mostly financed by oil revenues.

But it is more than that, because what has happened in Iran is not really Wahabbism so much as religious gangsterism, like what happened in Japan, although with a different flavor.

If the Islamic world is unable to find its way beyond corrupt secular despotisms or corrupt religious totalitarianism, then the nutjobs will always be making everyone dance to their tune, either directly or indirectly. And there will always be a real threat to the US, and a clear and present danger for Israel.

The question about this guy's support for jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq is a good one. If he believes it is good Islam to fight and kill Westerners in those places, then presumably he supports Saddam Hussein and/or Mullah Omar (or at least their political positions, Ba'athism and/or the Taliban). So, the question is - does Ba'athism represent something worthy of 'Islamic' support? Almost everyone here would say NO. Is the Taliban worthy of 'Islamic' support? Most would say NO, but some might say YES (as we have seen in the putative support for the current controllers of Mogadishu).

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 15, 2006 12:49 AM

"To oppose your countries wars is to support the enemy. If a secular American government attacked Christian nations the enemy would be right."

Good heavens. If your logic was correct many of our retired generals would be supporting the iraqi insurgency. To support the enemy, opposition is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. And "Christian nations"? Was Bush the elder wrong to attack Panama?

Sometimes glibness has its drawbacks.

Posted by: Chicago Station at July 15, 2006 12:58 AM

Sharia is on the right side when it comes to Abortion, the great moral issue of the age.

So the fact that its wrong on so many others is negated because it got the one important to you right? That's a pretty low standard you've got there, and one not much different from one the Leftists use.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 15, 2006 1:22 AM

Given that Mubin Shaikh was well-known in the Muslim community, this does raise the spectre of entrapment.

Posted by: Safiyyah at July 15, 2006 2:47 AM


Witch Trials

Indian genocide

Civil War

Indians Wars

Red Scares

Anti-German sedition laws



The crackdown on the Militia movement

The roundup of Muslims after 9-11

A prison population of 2 million and frequent executions.

The difference between American Puritanism and Islamic sharia is that we're effective and ruthless in our application of apostasy standards. That's why we're the most conformist society in the world.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 8:50 AM


The minor deviations from Judeo-Christianm standards are more than made up by saving 45 million lives.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 9:06 AM


The American political system is an outgrowth of the Judeo-Christianity of its people. You don't get the effect without the cause.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 9:07 AM


Yes, those generals do support the insurgency.

Panama was a Crusade.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 9:08 AM


rather it's paying the price of the psychic dislocation of having been colonized and then reacting by adopting the isms of the West.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 9:11 AM

your last comment explains little. what western ism was the seed of wahhabism? possibly it was just the result of the islamic cycle of moderation and 'return to basics' extremism. the source is simply the hadith and the qu'ran.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 15, 2006 10:31 AM

The French (Enlightenment) model of statism--whether communism, nazism, socialism, or whatever other rationalism--requires that the State control every facet of life, in contrast to the separation of state and society in the English (Judeo-Christian) model. The Arab Middle East's primary contact, unfortunatel, was with continental Europe rather than America and Britain until fairly late in the game.

Wahabbism is unsupported by Islam.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 10:37 AM

Mr. Stamford, I think that the 'ism' in question is Socialism. Thus the desplaced monarchs and nationalized oil fields, plus the treating people as uniform units of work. The nation states in the Middle East were not created organically by the Muslims, but drawn by fiat.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 15, 2006 10:38 AM

Mr. Ortega, thanks for your thoughts. Protecting the women and children at all costs is the foundation of civilization. Remove the foundation and the house falls. There are wonderful things in Western civilization, but I can't enjoy them dead.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 15, 2006 10:46 AM

VBut we never seem to have much trouble enjoying them as long as it's the "other" who's dead.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 10:51 AM

mr mitchell-

wahahbism was a mid-18th century phenomenon of back to basics arabian islam. the french revolution had not yet occured. sorry, but you can't blame socialism.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 15, 2006 11:16 AM

In much the same way Marxism was a Christian attempt to return to Utopia.

Wahhabism was nothing until the Sa'uds started funding it for their own purposes.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 11:23 AM

Mr. Stamford, Wahabbism was a small, local rump movement until the chaos following the post WWII colonial retreat gave it money, followers and something to fight againest. I can easily blame socialism for how they(the Western Powers) treated the Arabs and their cruel abandonment of their colonies. Treating whole groups of people as toys, to be tossed aside when bored, is just wrong.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 15, 2006 11:29 AM

tossed away like the indian sub-continent? realpolitik for children. islam is a symptom of self-imposed arrested development. i should feel sorry for those, like the ottomans, who freely pick the wrong side in war?wahhabism was the state religion of saudi arabia from the beginning.it was inconsequential until the oil was discovered and the infrastructure to access it was built by your colonial powers.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 15, 2006 11:48 AM

You seem to think arrested development a bad thing, yet it's the progressive societies that have no future and Islam and Chrisatianity that will take them over. It's no coincidence that our own arrested development has made us the world's paramount power.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 11:53 AM

progressivism and radical secualrism are not positive developments. the US develops along with the anglo-sphere while the ptresent state of Europe and the Islamic world offer nothing but statism and stagnation. the ideologies of both are dead-ends.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 15, 2006 12:07 PM

Bingo. It is by returning to traditional Islam that the Middle East will regain a future.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 12:52 PM

Mr. Judd;

Let's see:

  • Witch Trials: Colonial times, not American.
  • Indian genocide: Not on your list and absolutely not apostate.
  • Civil War: Punished for armed rebellion, not for being Confederate.
  • Indians Wars: Again, not on the list, nothing to do with apostasy.
  • Red Scares: Are you saying the Communists lost? It seems to be the end result was a win for them.
  • Anti-German sedition laws: Again, not apostasy.
  • Blacklists: You mean like how conservative directors / producers had their careers derailed?
  • McCarthyism: Didn't this result in Communists getting a free pass for the next forty years or so?
  • The crackdown on the Militia movement: Still plenty of them around.
  • The roundup of Muslims after 9-11: What round up? You mean of illegal immigrants? Or the roundup President Bush prevented?
  • A prison population of 2 million and frequent executions: So Amnesty International is right and they're all political prisoners, rotting for their beliefs and not because they violated the law?
Nope, just not seeing it.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 15, 2006 1:45 PM

We were always America

We did away with the Indians because they didn't conform

That's not a difference.

Debs went to prison and Wilson got his war.

Yes, we imprisoned Germans for dissenting from the American consensus

Yes, all societies punish dissent.

No, it demonized communism so thoroughly that America never had a significant communist politician or intellectual.

No, there aren't. A fraction remain. You don't have to kill apostates, just scare the bejeebies out of them.

He only rounded up the apostates.

Of course Amnesty is right. The law is politics. We've the most Puritanical people so the most restrictive and punitive laws so the most prisoners and execution. You could easily reduce the prison population by changing the laws to bring them into conformity with the secular politics of Amnesty. But we're not that kind of a people.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 1:56 PM

OJ, The American political system is an outgrowth of the Judeo-Christianity of its people. You don't get the effect without the cause.

Clearly. The issue is whether Sharia, in any incarnation other than one identical to Judeo-Christianity, can create a governement that leads to the perfection of its peoples. I think not.

Truth be told, your real position is that Islam and Sharia are ok as long as they are just different names for Judeo-Christianity.

Posted by: pepys at July 15, 2006 1:59 PM

They are just a variant of Abrahamism.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 2:04 PM

Except, of course, it's a variant of Abrahamism that sees the Jewish and Christian branches as second class. And since separation of church and state is a Judeo-Christian concept and not an Islamic one, that means Islamic law gets enforced as state law, which means dhimmitude (at best) for non-Muslims. Which was my point in the first post.

Face it, OJ, you are trying to square the circle. You can either have the Judeo-Christian separation of church and state (I don't mean the extreme ACLU version, I mean the traditional American version) with the freedoms that provides, or you can have sharia, but not both. You can rail against Wahabbism all you want, and invoke some better version of Islam you find in centuries past or in your hat, but I have seen zero evidence here and elsewhere that sharia is compatible what most of us see as basic freedoms.

Does Europe and the West in general need to be less secular? Maybe. The arguments have some validity. But the Middle East, I think, needs to be rather more secular/less religious, if they are to pull themselves out of their cultural cesspool. I don't mean they need socialism or any other political ideology (unless representative democracy is an ideology). They just need to calm down about religious matters, make it a more private issue, stop using it as an excuse for terror and tyranny, and publicly shun the religious extremists in their midst, instead of putting them in charge of mosques.

(By the way, I haven't noticed you mentioning the enforcing of sharia at gunpoint in Somalia. You were cheering them on a few days ago. Is prayer-at-gunpoint OK with you?)

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 15, 2006 4:32 PM

So as long as they keep abortion on their endless list of things they will prohibit, it's okay hno matter ow many people they kill in the enforcement of that list, eh? Labeling a person who believes that a "useful idiot" is an insult to idiots and useful objects.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 15, 2006 4:47 PM

As for the comparisons with Christianity, could you provide a list (with verse citations) of the transgressions for which Christians and non-believers must be put to death. (New Testament only, and preferably the Gospels, too.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 15, 2006 4:52 PM


The "no matter how many" is practically none. We killed more Branch Davidians than sharia's has killed apostates in the past ten years. It's just a boogeyman you Islamophobes like to scare yourselves with.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 4:55 PM


You think the Chosen People don't see you as second class? Or the Born Again don't look down on those unsaved?

Islamic states have had no problem separating church and state. Indeed, rather few Muslims live in states where such separation does not obtain.

Yes, the takeover of Somalia by Islamists is a good thing. Contra libertarians, no people who has complete freedom wants it. We should though work with them to make it an Islamic Republic, not an Islamicist state.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 4:59 PM


How's the Kool-Aid? Islamists have killed more infidels/apostates in the past 3 years than the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 15, 2006 8:06 PM

Mr. Stamford, that's not saying much is it? Or are you admitting that religion doesn't actually kill all the people the secular side say they do?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 15, 2006 9:01 PM

Poor analogy: we didn't kill Branch Davidians because they were Branch Davidians. Not that I'm defending that debacle.

Poor analogy: the Chosen People or the Saved can look down on me all they want, but their views don't have the force of law, so it means zip to me.

Poor analogy: Somalia had anarchy, not libertarian freedom. Now they'll have sharia, which is basically fascism, Abrahamic or not. And since you think prayer at gunpoint is a good idea, I trust you'll be writing your Congressman to urge him to write a bill to that effect.

And now you're going to claim that Saudi Arabia and Iran and Pakistan have separation of church and state? You're dreaming.

Raoul and AOG: thanks for showing that there is still some sanity and proportion around here on this subject.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 15, 2006 9:23 PM


Of course we did.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 9:35 PM


Not in reality, only in your head.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2006 9:36 PM

PapayaSF, all the writing on the slaughter of the Branch Davidians seem to agree that they were chosen by the ATF because they were a marginal sect that would not be able to respond(politically) to the bureaucrats showboating. I think you are splitting hairs at this point.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 15, 2006 10:25 PM

I'm splitting hairs? The point is about sharia, and having governments enforce the tenets of religion. Comparing a stupid, rogue operation like Waco to official government enforcement of penalties for apostasy, blasphemy, skipping prayers, etc., is simply clouding the issue, because they simply aren't equivalent.

As for basic freedoms, the only Muslims who have much at all live in Judeo-Christian societies, not Muslim ones. And non-Muslims who live in Muslim societies don't have much freedom, either. Ask an Egyptian Copt. And anyone who thinks sharia will increase freedom for anyone other than angry mullahs and terrorists is smoking their socks.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 16, 2006 2:45 AM

Government is the enforcement of religious tenets.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 7:10 AM

Here's the rub - when geographical areas (provinces, states, nations) rush to turn to sharia, is it not inevitable that the "law" morphs into a tool to be used by the most vicious in the crowd? Fallujah had sharia, now didn't it? Iran has sharia, no?

The issue isn't so much with prayer at gunpoint, but with self-described religious police killing people on nothing more than a whim, and then claiming God honors their work.

Comparing life in Afghanistan prior to the Taliban and during the Taliban is a fool's errand. Both were pretty miserable. Somalia will be the same, because there is no law. Nigeria is trying sharia - is it working? The Saudis would presumably have the finest version available - are they model citizens?

If conformity is the highest goal, then fine - sharia is a good choice. But remember, the plumb line changes every day. Be prepared to twist, and suffer.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 16, 2006 9:20 AM

Your question is nonsensical. Every Islamic state has sharia law. Heck, Canada has sharia law. Bad governments will use extreme laws. Good governments won't. Canada may not be much of a country, but it's hardly vicious.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 9:44 AM

Your willingness to ignore the clash between "sharia" and the law is nonsensical. Just this week, several men were convicted in Germany for killing their daughter/sister because she married against her father's will. This is happening all across Europe. In Canada, what will happen when sharia conflicts with the law? The screamers will drive their wedge, no?

What should a 'good' Canadian do if a mob wants to stone a woman under sharia? The choice is pretty simple - stand aside, or arrest the mob.

Do you want to bring back suttee as well?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 16, 2006 10:52 AM

You're not speaking of shari'a but Wahabbism. Muslims can comfortably submit themselves to sharia in the West, as Canada demonstrates. It just makes them more moral than the law requires.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 10:59 AM

Sorry, I've been away. How is a Canadian who supports the "jihad" in Iraq not our enemy?

Posted by: David Cohen at July 17, 2006 1:53 AM

David: I laughed and started a response, but now I think it's best to just leave it at the laugh. I would be interested in your comments on this discussion so far, though.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 17, 2006 2:14 AM

Because the jihadis are fundamentally right. We ought not to have occupied a people we'd liberated.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2006 7:42 AM

Papaya: I think you guys are letting OJ get away with playing semantic games, and I'm anti-semantic.

OJ: The occupation ended more than two years ago. There's a nice argument to be had about whether we should have withdrawn from Iraq faster and just tried to flip the place to Ayatollah Sistani. I say no, but I don't think saying yes is crazy. That is completely different from supporting the jihadis who are killing Americans retail and slaughtering Iraqis wholesale.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 17, 2006 9:47 AM

The troops are still there.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2006 10:06 AM

Yep, and for those leftists who are, intentionally or not, sloppy with words, the presence of troops can be called "occupation." And yet, we are not an occupying power in Iraq, just as we're not in Germany or Japan.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 17, 2006 4:51 PM

Bingo! The proper comparison as regards Iraq is to Poland, not to Nazi Germany, yet we treated it like the former.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2006 4:55 PM