Sunday, February 17, 2008

When GOD and LAW don't square!

When God and the Law Don’t Square.
GOOD MORNING FLINT ! Early edition
Date 2/18/08 By Terry Bankert
Posted full article first to Flint Talk THEN summarized, for discussion, at:
Full article at Google blog Good Morning Flint! with citations.

When God and the Law Don’t Square .[TNYT]

With the increased number of foreign born we see in Genesee County Family Court how cultures and our laws clash. Most often in custody disputes.[trb]

(THE)Discussion on how to reconcile differing cultures and religions is, indeed, a sensitive issue, and one that needs to be addressed.[Z]

My daily bloggs , as here, are often just my curiosity peaked by what I see in the news. Here the question: Is there room for religious doctrine in Family Court, specifically Muslim. I look for 4 sources and spend no more than 2 hours. I hope you find it interesting, I learned .[trb]

A PRETTY good way to generate an outcry, as the archbishop of Canterbury learned in Britain recently, is to say that a Western legal system should make room for Shariah, or Islamic law. When the archbishop, spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, commented in a radio interview that such an accommodation was "unavoidable," critics conjured images of stonings and maimings, overwhelming his more modest point. [TNYT]

Remarks made about the introduction of Shariah -- a strict form of Muslim law -- by England's Anglican leader, Archbishop Rowan Williams, sparked off a storm of criticism. His comments, made in the form of a speech and a separate interview with the BBC, caused such a hostile reaction that they had to be clarified in a subsequent declaration, and in another speech.[Z]

Arabic: ش?ر?ي?ع?ة? transliteration: Šar§i`ah, is the body of Islamic religious law. The term means "way" or "path to the water source"; it is the legal framework within which the public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Islamic principles of jurisprudence and for Muslims living outside the domain. Sharia deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, family, sexuality, hygiene, and social issues.
There is no strictly static codified set of laws of sharia. Sharia is more of a system of how law ought to serve humanity, a consensus of the unified spirit. Based on the Qur'an (the religious text of Islam), hadith (sayings and doings of Muhammad), (sayings and doings of the early followers of Muhammad), ijma (consensus), qiyas (analogy) and centuries of debate, interpretation and precedent.


The archbishop,the most Rev Rowan Williams did not propose importing Shariah into the criminal law and was referring mostly to divorces in which both sides have agreed to abide by the judgment of a religious tribunal. His proposal was groundbreaking only in extending to Islamic tribunals in Britain a role that Jewish and Christian ones have long played in the judicial systems of secular societies. Courts in the United States have endorsed all three kinds of tribunals.[TNYT]

The speech, also given on Feb. 7, was titled "Civil and Religious Law in England: a Religious Perspective," the first in a series of lectures on Islam and English law at the Royal Courts of Justice. In his address Archbishop Williams questioned the assumption that all citizens should be "under the rule of the uniform law of a sovereign state."[Z]

Anyone who heard the actual words would be aware he was referring to the fact that Muslims who have a dispute involving the moral law as it applies to them and consult a cleric of their faith expect the cleric to be guided by Sharia law.[TNE]


"Certain provisions of Shariah are already recognized in our society and under our law, so it's not as if we're bringing in an alien and rival system," the archbishop said in a speech and a television interview.[WT]


"The law of the United States should not "make room for sharia," any more than it should for any other religion. But I can understand why the Archbishop of Canterbury was shocked by the reactions to his lecture from the British Prime Minister and many commentators. Their remarks cause me to wonder if they read his statement in its entirety."[wp]

"My understanding is that Muslims in Great Britain have not entered into British civil society as much as most Muslims have in the United States. In America we have separation of religion and government, but Britain has an established religion, the Church of England. I do not in any way want to imply that Muslims in this country are not as faithful in practicing their religion as are their fellow believers in other parts of the world. I am not aware, however, of any outcry by American Muslims to be allowed to live under sharia law." [wp]


There are about a dozen Sharia courts in Britain -- although they have no formal legal status -- and are mainly used to resolve family disputes.[AL]

The biggest is the Islamic Sharia Council in Leyton, east London. Since it was set up in 1982, it has dealt with 7,000 divorce cases in accordance with Quranic values.[AL]

"We act as a religious court, which means deciding about their dispute and giving them written determination, based on Sharia, Islamic principles and jurisprudence," one of its founders, Mufti Barkatullah, told AFP.[AL]


In 2003, for instance, a Texas appeals court referred a divorce case to a local tribunal called the Texas Islamic Court. [TNYT]


In 2005, the federal appeals court in New Orleans affirmed an award in an employment arbitration by the Institute for Christian Conciliation, which uses Biblical teachings to settle disputes. [TNYT]


And state courts routinely enforce the decisions made by a Jewish court, known as a bet din, in commercial and family law cases.[TNYT]


The outcry in Britain was apparently something of a visceral reaction to aspects of Islamic law, though the archbishop himself condemned what he called the inhumanity of "extreme punishments" and some Islamic countries’ "attitudes toward women."[TNYT]

In his lecture the archbishop of Canterbury called for a reflection on how we deal with conflicts between civil law and diverging cultures and religious beliefs. He mentioned, for example, the question of conscientious objection to performing abortion, and the matter of Catholic adoption agencies being forced to assign children to homosexual couples.[Z]


The larger question, legal experts in the United States said, is whether government courts should ever defer to religious ones. The answer may depend on whether the people involved authentically consented to religious adjudication, whether they are allowed to change their minds and whether the decisions of those tribunals are offensive to fundamental conceptions of justice.[TNYT]

CHRISTIANITY has in the past been the equal of the worst aspects of Sharia fundamentalists. In medieval times, punishments for law-breakers were horrendous. Burnings, branding, floggings, etc, all were common and nightmarish during any of the periods of Inquisition.[TNE]

According to Sharia law, the right to divorce is incumbent first on the man. A civil divorce as such is only automatically validated in Islamic law if the man has sought it or given his consent. If not, the woman can begin divorce proceedings or Khula with the council.[AL]

The scholars will then look to either get the husband's consent, reconcile the couple or grant the woman the talaq at their discretion if the husband does not turn up in person or is clearly in the wrong.[AL]


All of that, said John Witte Jr., a law professor at Emory University, "is the big frontier question for religious liberty."[TNYT]

The archbishop speaks in sonorous circumlocutions and he was not a model of clarity when he was interviewed by BBC radio on Feb. 7. Even his followers had a hard time untangling just what he meant.[TNYT]

"In doing so the archbishop was not suggesting the introduction of parallel legal jurisdictions, but exploring ways in which reasonable accommodation might be made within existing arrangements for religious conscience," the declaration continued.[Z]

"I’m an Episcopalian," said Janice A. Schattman, the lawyer in the Texas case who persuaded the appeals court to defer to the Islamic one. "Rowan Williams, bless his heart, can be quite obscure."[TNYT]


But the archbishop’s central point seemed to be that people should be able to agree to have family law cases resolved by religious courts if all concerned agree. By Monday the archbishop was backtracking, saying he had spoken clumsily with "a misleading choice of words." [TNYT]

Azizah Y. al-Hibri, the president of Karamah, an international lawyers’ group based in Washington and made up of Muslim women, said she applauded the archbishop’s initial position [TNYT].



"Muslims, Christians and Jews should all deal with their own family law issues in their own arbitration councils," she said. "The government should stay out of the bedroom." [TNYT]

The quest for common ground between people of different faiths, and between faith-based moral principles and the ethics of secular humanism, can only be beneficial for social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.[TNE]


Tension between some aspects of Islam and English society has, in fact, been very much present in recent times. On Jan. 6 the Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester published an article in the Sunday Telegraph warning that Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas in Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter.[Z]


The Archbishop points out that if the law of the land takes no account of what is for certain people a "proper rationale for behavior" it falls short of "communicating" with someone involved in the legal process. But if the legal system should protect individuals on grounds of their corporate religious identity, perhaps in some manner of delegating certain legal functions to the religious court of a community a number of queries or objections arise. The Archbishop discussed three such objections, not the least of which was that in some areas, especially family law, recognition of some "supplementary jurisdiction" could reinforce some of the most repressive elements in the society, particularly concerning the role and liberties of women.[WP]

"Attempts have been made to impose an 'Islamic' character on certain areas, for example, by insisting on artificial amplification for the Adhan, the call to prayer," he also noted.[Z]


That notion has met resistance where Islam is involved. After the authorities in Ontario raised the possibility that arbitrators might use Shariah to settle family disputes, formal recognition of all religious arbitrations there, including existing Catholic and Jewish ones, was withdrawn. [TNYT]

"There will be one law for all Ontarians," Dalton McGuinty, the province’s premier, said in 2005. [TNYT]


Almost no one suggests that criminal law should take into account the defendant’s religion in meting out punishment. At the other extreme, few people object to allowing purely commercial disputes between sophisticated businesspeople to be adjudicated through private arbitrations. The hard questions, as the archbishop learned, arise in the area of family law, where the agreement to arbitrate may be uninformed or obtained by duress. State courts have occasionally refused to enforce separation agreements reached through bet din arbitrations on the ground that the woman involved had been pressured into participating.[TNYT]


Once consent is given, moreover, questions arise about whether and when it may be withdrawn. "People have a right in Western systems to change religions," said Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Michigan. "Can they opt out after the dispute arises or after the judgment is given?"[TNYT]


Most fundamentally, some judgments from religious tribunals may be at odds with constitutional protections, human rights and basic notions of fairness.[TNYT]

In an article to be published shortly in The Washington and Lee Law Review, Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at Washington and Lee University, wrote that Muslim women who decide to seek a divorce can face harsh financial consequences under Islamic law. "Threatened with the prospect of certain poverty," she wrote, "some women will surely be forced to stay in an abusive relationship."[TNYT]

Professor Wilson said in an interview that government courts should refuse to enforce any ruling from a religious tribunal that leaves a woman worse off than she would have been in a conventional divorce.[TNYT]

"Society has a stake in the outcome," she said. "Some religions are tilted against women."[TNYT]


In the Texas case, however, it was a woman, Rola Qaddura, who sought arbitration in a dispute over a dowry and the distribution of assets after a divorce. The parties had signed an agreement to arbitrate their case "according to the Islamic rules of law by Texas Islamic Court" in Richardson.[TNYT]

The appeals court said the agreement was valid. Ms. Schattman, who represented Ms. Qaddura, said the appeals court’s ruling was proper and unexceptional. "An agreement to arbitrate is an agreement to arbitrate," she said. [TNYT]

In the end, though, the parties could not agree on a panel of arbitrators and the effort collapsed, Ms. Schattman added, saying of the Islamic court: "It was kind of a new thing."[TNYT]

"You can't simply get of the plane, take off your coat and abandon all your law and culture at the same time. There is sometimes a difficulty in knowing which law to follow. [abc]

Posted here by
Terry Bankert

—where did this come from---

The New York Times

The Northern Echo


The Washington Post

The Washington Times

The Al Arabiya News Channel


Comments of Terry Bankert

Posted here by
Terry Bankert

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KILDEE'S: Turf war divides Local Democratic Party!

Good Morning Flint
by Terry Bankert
Full article at:
Summary posted to Flint Talk at:


The contest for the Democratic presidential nomination between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a white woman, and Barack Obama, a black man, has scrambled 21st century identity politics, producing startling turns in an election that, whatever its outcome, will make history.[SFG]

Hillary Clinton has come a long way from inevitability - and now experts see her as a presidential long shot. [DN]

A Daily News survey of party insiders, seasoned political consultants and academic experts give Clinton slim chances of defeating Barack Obama.[DN]


Pretty much everyone expects some or all of Michigan's delegates to be seated at this summer's Democratic presidential nominating convention in Denver.[Freep]

Clinton's saving grace may well be the inroads she's made with superdelegates, the party insiders and politicians who can steer the direction of the nominating convention.[DN]

Don Kettl of the University of Pennsylvania said an edgy electorate, tired of war and partisanship, wants a leader who elevates the tone - and Clinton hasn't been able to make the sale.

A 6-year-old Dan Kildee looked up to his uncle Dale when he was elected to the state Legislature. [FJ]

One would hope a grown man would be taller that a 6 yr old.[trb]

Dan Kildee later followed his uncle into a career in politics, worked on his uncle's campaigns to serve in the state Senate and Congress and calls the elder Kildee a great role model and friend.[FJ]

Regular employment would have slowed the dynastic rise.[trb]

But that doesn't mean they always agree. [FJ]

First blood has been drawn.[trb]

As Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama battle in a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Kildees have taken different sides. [FJ]

Some could say (me) that the Kildees are laying off their bets so that a Kildee ends up on the winning side. Mabey the Kildees sensed that they would be on the losing side again like in the 2007 Flint Race for Mayor?[trb]

However, "in the early trial heats against McCain, Obama does better. The superdelegates are very concerned about these negatives," Schmidt said.[dn]


Dismissed as a meaningless beauty pageant and ignored for campaigning by all the top Democrats, Michigan's Jan. 15 primary seems to be gaining influence because one of those Democrats, Hillary Clinton, didn't take her name off the Democratic ballot and, consequently, easily won the uncontested race.[FREEP]

But it was after Bill Clinton injected race into the South Carolina primary last month that African Americans, one of the Democratic Party's most important voting blocs, abandoned his wife's candidacy in droves.[SFG]

Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee, 49, backs Obama, while U.S. Rep. Dale E. Kildee, D-Flint, 78, has endorsed the more established politician, Clinton. [FJ]

"Clinton's negatives are so high and Obama's positives so high, especially on the question '[Who] will unite or divide the country?'" said Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University, who gives Clinton a 29.9% chance of pulling it off. [DN]

Now, from political pundits to the candidates themselves, everyone is talking about Michigan -- and Florida -- as a razor-thin margin separates Clinton and Barack Obama[FREEP]

Remember the song. Battle lines being drawns, nobodys right and nobody’s wrong...[trb]
He argued that the wheels started coming off in South Carolina - and the former President's involvement is to blame.[DN]

The split in Genesee County's prominent Democratic family could reflect what's happening on a national level - a perceived generational gap between Clinton and Obama supporters. [FJ]

Reflect or driven by a well positioned organization plays both sides. Any win is their win.[trb]

Political strategist Joe Trippi, John Edwards' former top aide, gives Clinton less than a 50% chance of winning. "The likeliest scenario is for Obama to continue to rack up more delegates than she does," he said.[DN]


Now, Clinton wants the delegates to be seated -- she won in Michigan and in Florida, where all the candidates were on the ballot -- and it could erase Obama's advantage in delegates; Obama, on the other hand, says he sees a role for both states only if it's done "without skewing the delegate count."[FREEP]

Where are you on this issue Dan?[trb]


Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard, who cochairs Clinton's campaign in the state, said the primary results should be certified because Obama had a chance to compete and didn't.[FREEP]

Boy, Dan Kildee now anti establishment! I just love politics.[trb]

Watch our Dan here is another big shot siding with your uncle.[trb]

"I think the DNC is going to look at all the options, that you cannot disenfranchise the people who've already voted," said Gov. Jennifer Granholm. "The bottom line is Michigan's delegates will be seated."[freep]

"The Democrats always say it's within the family, and in my case, it actually is," Dan Kildee said with a laugh. "My uncle is my favorite political leader in America, and that won't change." [FJ]

Are ye fer me or are ye again me? Dan we are fe ya! Your verbal kiss on the cheek of you uncle says its not personal its just business. I tried to call my uncle to tell him that I am following Dans crew and going to the mattress. I could not reach him but he’s a Mccain man anyways.[trb]

A senior party official pegged her chance of winning at 25% - "Unless she wins Ohio and Texas, I don't see how this goes to the convention."[DN]

Across the country, some polls indicate Obama winning over the under-50 crowd while Clinton does better with older voters. [FJ]

I know whose desk these polls are sitting on.[trb]

Both Kildees, who were born on the same street in an east Flint neighborhood nearly 30 years apart, praise Clinton and Obama. [FJ]

Its like a present day Gangs of New York. That makes Dan head of the Dead Rabbitts, Dale heads the aging natives.[trb]

"I think both candidates, in terms of their ideology and ability to govern, would do well for this country," Dan Kildee said. [FJ]

Lets not offend anybody.[trb]

"I think Sen. Obama represents a sort of new optimism in American politics, which I think has very much been lacking over the last decade. This campaign has become a bit of a movement. To me, that's what the Democratic party needs." [FJ]

More of a tidal wave. When one comes, get infront and on high ground.[trb]

In the beginning "Obama's support, by contrast, was concentrated among the young, the prosperous and the highly educated. It was predominantly male and white. It was the base of former Democratic candidates Howard Dean, Gary Hart and Bill Bradley, Bositis said, "that would always lose."[SFG}

He also believes Obama, who has a diverse, multicultural background that includes living overseas, can help mend international relations. [FJ]

Bingo..imagine how this will change our image to the world.We need to improve our tarnished image cause by this president and this congress.[trb]

"In a matter of months with Barack Obama, we've seen white men support a black man for president," said James Taylor, a race and American politics scholar at the University of San Francisco. "We've seen the country's most pro-black president try to manipulate race against a black candidate. These are some transformational things that are happening in Obama himself. For those who support him, he represents an opportunity to deal with race in an unconventional way."[SFG]

Meanwhile, the elder Kildee strongly supports the woman he met before she was the first lady and before he even met her husband and future president. [FJ]

The editor has ,please note, not started by calling Obama a black man but begins by calling the
Senator a woman![trb]

Obama's novelty is not that he is the first black candidate for president, but the first black candidate who is not running as a black candidate. Obama has scrupulously avoided racial stereotyping, yet his race is an obvious element of his appeal that no rival can match. [SFG]

Thanks to the fast-growing Latino vote, many analysts believe 2008 will be the year when a presidential election will be decided for the first time by minorities. Some contend that milestone was already passed when President Bush drew more than 40 percent of Latino voters in 2004, providing his victory margins in closely contested Southwestern states.[SFG]

In the late 1970s and early '80s, the Congressman met with Clinton several times because both were involved with the Children's Defense Fund. [FJ]

Dale Kildee, a former teacher, worked with Clinton on issues they were most passionate about, such
as education,
child care
and healthcare. [FJ]

Too bad protecting our industrial base from foreign competition was not one of those priorities.[trb]

"We share many priorities," he
said. "I certainly have enormous respect for Barack Obama, and I think we have two great candidates out there. [FJ

Lets not offend anybody.[trb]

"But when you've worked with someone in the past on matters of common concerns, that does play a role." [FJ]

Does that make social relationships more important than policy positions?[trb]

Her record shows a dedication to improving government, he said.
"She asked me to endorse her, and I did," he said. [FJ]

The Kildee duo, both inspired
by such idols as John. F. Kennedy, have differed in opinions before.
A simmering family division.[trb]

But both Kildees endorsed Wesley Clark in the Democratic primary four years ago. [FJ]

"He's been working on my
campaigns since he was just a
child, and we're very good friends," Dale Kildee said of his nephew. "Generally, we've ended up supporting the same candidates because we share basically the same political philosophy.
"But we're not political clones." [FJ]

Dan is taller, better looking and smarter.[trb]

The competition between Clinton and Obama, who have traded sometimes harsh attacks throughout the race, has remained heated.[FJ]


But for the Kildees, it's just a friendly difference of opinion. [FJ]
"I don't disagree with his choice
at all. I just came to a different
conclusion," Dan Kildee said. "He
and I have mutual respect and
admiration for each other... . He's the reason I entered politics in the first place." [FJ]

Lets not offend any body but let the wars begin. I am siding with Dan. Let there be a new day and a new leader. There will be a Kildee on the winning side as opposed to Flints last Mayorial race. [trb]

"Are these the same experts who said she'd lose New Hampshire by double-digits? People have counted Hillary Clinton out time and again this campaign and she's still standing strong," said Clinton spokesman Blake Zeff.[DN]

For the best display of the unconventional racial dynamic, look at Obama's appearance in Kansas, said Christopher Malone, a Pace University political scientist: "He goes to the hometown of his grandfather on his mother's side and points to a cousin in the audience, a 72-year-old woman who is as white as any other Kansan. Could you imagine him accepting the nomination and standing there and bringing up his family members, Kenyans and white Americans, and saying I am America, this is America? It really seems like a perfect storm here."[SFG]

I am throwing in with the Dead Rabbits.[trb]


Posted here by Terry Bankert

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----where did this stuff come from---

THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITIONSaturday, February 16, 2008
By Beata • 810.766.6210

The Dailey News



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