UNITED NATIONS – By refusing to associate the Paris terrorist attacks with Islam, President Obama is engaging in “Shariah compliant” speech, charges Joy Brighton, author of the 2014 book “Sharia-ism is Here: The Battle to Control Women; and Everyone Else.”
“President Obama defends free speech vehemently, and the press lauds him for this; however, he refuses to use the words “Islam,” “radical Islam,” “Muslim,” “jihad” or “Shariah” when condemning the Shariah-driven shootings in Paris,” she said.
Shariah is Islamic law, the moral code of Islam that encompasses all realms of life, from the personal to the criminal, economic and political.
In addition to Obama’s comments Wednesday in the immediate aftermath of the Paris shooting, Brighton referenced his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 25, 2012, in which he said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Not wanting to limit his remarks to Islam, Obama also addressed critics of Christianity and Judaism, saying, “But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.”
Again, Brighton objected.
“Barack Obama is complying with Shariah law in suggesting that criticism of Islam could be a criminal hate-speech offense,” she said. “In his statement to the United Nations, Obama does not defend free speech, has given in to Shariah law, and doing so as president is unconstitutional, because with this statement Obama abandons the First Amendment and the defense of free speech.”
She pointed out that totalitarian movements historically have advanced by restricting free speech.
“Communism succeeded by shutting down free speech criticism of communism the same as Nazism succeeded by shutting down free speech criticism of Nazism,” she pointed out. “Shariah-ism, what I call the global political movement of radical Islam, will also succeed by shutting down criticism and political debate.”
Critical to Brighton’s thinking is the distinction between Shariah law and “Shariah-ism,” the term she has coined to define radical Islam as a totalitarian political movement.
“I don’t condemn Shariah law,” she distinguished. “If you want to pray five times a day because it’s Shariah law, you are practicing your religion. If you want me to pray five times a day, you are not practicing your religion. You have crossed the line and now what you are doing is unconstitutional, because your trying to impose the totalitarian edicts of your political movement on me. ‘Shariah-ism’ uses Shariah law to justify the complete control of others.”
She advanced this theme to distinguish between Islam and “Shariah-ism.”
“Islam is protected under the First Amendment definitions of free speech and free religion,” she noted. “‘Shariah-ism’ is a totalitarian political movement that is not protected under the First Amendment.”
Brighton extended her reasoning to argue that repeated efforts since 1999 by the United Nations to pass a resolution against religious defamation is really an effort to grandfather into international law blasphemy definitions derived from Islamic law in places like Pakistan.
WND reported Wednesday that not only did Obama refrain from associating Islam with the Paris terrorist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Rebdo, so too did United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.
Brighton responded by underscoring the importance of the First Amendment protection of robust political speech.
“Political satire and political debate are the most valuable form of free speech, and it has to be protected at all costs,” she said. “Civilized people use words and cartoons to urge social change. Uncivilized people shoot people in the streets.”
She applied the point to how careful Obama and the various United Nations officials were to respect the conventions of political correctness in their comments on the Paris shootings.
“Under the First Amendment, we have to be able to use our words freely, and when we have public officials like the president and the United Nations not using their words freely, but hedging to avoid describing the violence as radical Islamic terrorism, then we can see the extent to which ‘Shariah-ism’ has already developed strong roots in American society and the international community,” she said.
She agreed that protected free speech attacking religion can be offensive to believers, but she maintained that avoiding totalitarianism demands a First Amendment definition of protected free speech that many will find distasteful.
“Yes, many object that the cartoons in Charlie Hebdo were offensive and distasteful, but those cartoons inspired people to look at things socially and politically without bringing harm to anyone,” she said. “Which would you rather have, offensive language or 12 dead cartoonists, including the editor-in-chief, in a room?”
She said the “line for defending free speech is that the most offensive and disgusting free speech is the free speech that must be protected, because crossing that line means picking up rocks and stones and throwing things at each other.”
“There we have the difference between the civilized and the uncivilized,” she said. “That’s the constitutional line that must be protected.”
She also objected to defining speech critical of religion as hate speech.
“Hate speech has to be narrowly defined to something that is imminent and possible in that moment, like saying, ‘Let’s all pick up guns and shoot everybody in this room,’ when you know guns are available and the people you are addressing are capable of shooting everyone,” she said. “That’s hate speech. What we are dealing with is political speech, whose point is to produce social or political change. That is speech that has to be protected, even if many people find it offensive or distasteful.”
She stressed that as regrettable as many may find the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, the radical Islamic terrorist attack is a criminal act that in no way can be justified to support Islam as a legitimate religion.
“The terrorist attack in Paris is a tragedy and a sobering reminder that ‘Shariah-ist’ ideology tolerates no dissent, no debate, no questioning, no challenge,” she warned.
“‘Shariah-ism’ is all about absolute power, absolute rule and absolute control, and it’s not just a European problem – it’s growing here in the United States as well,” she stressed.
“Our state and local governments and public institutions need to get educated about this threat so they can take action to stop its growth. Western European countries allowed the threat of ‘Shariah-ism’ to spread until now tragically, it may be too late there. Let’s hope it’s not too late here.”
Brighton is a longtime champion of women’s rights. Notably, in 1998, she partnered with Save the Children to create one of the earliest micro-finance programs for women in Africa and the first financial literacy course for women in Mozambique.
Brighton is a also a former Wall Street trader who today is part of an international team of experts concerned about the non-transparent risks of the Shariah finance market and the threat to global free capital markets.
A graduate of Columbia Business School in 1984, she was a fixed-income salesperson/trader for Lehman Brothers and an adjunct professor of securities and investments at various colleges. Later, as a graduate of Fordham University with a master’s degree in psychological counseling, Brighton worked as an executive coach catering to investment professionals.