CNN And Their Entertainer Reporters – An Arab Comedian Discusses Sharia – Makes Sense?

Posted on April 18, 2011


A good blogging friend had a post this morning on the US media and how it has become socialist and untruthful [Voting American].  It reminded me of my growing concern that CNN is going down hill in credibility with its use of entertainers in round-table discussions (Bill Maher) and now an Arab-American comedian guest commentator, Dean Obeidallah , explaining that Muslims in America do not want Sharia established as the law of the land.  If you hear it from a comic – it’s well-researched and credible information, right?  And if he’s of Arab descent, well, that cinches it. At least he refrained from beginning with “Did you hear the one about the gullible American public that thinks it will have to embrace Sharia”?

He quotes various Arab Americans interviewed at random that say they don’t want Sharia.  He says that only 2% o f the population is Muslim.  Actually, according to Pew Research’s figures, he is over one percentage point off.  It is less than 2%. [Pew Research Center]

Has he never been to certain parts of Michigan where Sharia is in fact being practiced on certain legal levels? Granted, even there, US law predominates.  But let’s turn to what is going on in Europe and that will let us know what may be ahead for us:

Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it.

The numbers are startling. Only 3.2 per cent of Spain’s population was foreign-born in 1998. In 2007 it was 13.4 per cent. Europe’s Muslim population has more than doubled in the past 30 years and will have doubled again by 2015. In Brussels, the top seven baby boys’ names recently were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine and Hamza.

Europe’s low white birth rate, coupled with faster multiplying migrants, will change fundamentally what we take to mean by European culture and society. The altered population mix has far-reaching implications for education, housing, welfare, labour, the arts and everything in between. It could have a critical impact on foreign policy: a study was submitted to the US Air Force on how America’s relationship with Europe might evolve. Yet EU officials admit that these issues are not receiving the attention they deserve.

The Pew Forum identified the mainstream silence in 2005: “The fact that [extreme parties] have risen to prominence at all speaks poorly about the state and quality of the immigration debate. [Scholars] have argued that European elites have yet to fully grapple with the broader issues of race and identity surrounding Muslims and other groups for fear of being seen as politically incorrect.”

The starting point should be greater discussion of integration. Does it matter at all? Yes, claims Mr Vignon at the European Commission. Without it, polarisation and ghettoes can result. “It’s bad because it creates antagonism. It antagonises poor people against other poor people: people with low educational attainment feel threatened,” he says. [Telegraph]

The “unfunny” thing about this comic’s article is that it is really partisan politics.  The Republicans are making monsters out of Muslims:

It appears that certain Republicans have created this “Sharia monster” for their own purposes. They scare us with their monster, and then they want to take credit for saving us from their own creation.

To those Republicans who continue to stoke the flames of fear and bigotry to attract media attention and benefit their own political careers, I hope you will heed the words of your fellow Republican Ronald Reagan, who famously stated: “No one group in this country is better than another. No one race or religion or sex or color is better than another. … It’s time we erased the last vestiges of intolerance, bigotry and unkindness from our hearts. Decency demands this and so does our history.”

Well, now, this is really bringing us together as a nation.  You could look at this as Liberal Democrats making monsters out of Republicans.  They are the ones telling these fables.  Somewhere in all of this the truth flutters above the battle ground.  Muslim populations around the globe have higher birth rates than many other groups.  It is expected to level off in about 20 years [Pew Report]

Perhaps good old Pew should have the last word:

The Pew Forum identified the mainstream silence in 2005: “The fact that [extreme parties] have risen to prominence at all speaks poorly about the state and quality of the immigration debate. [Scholars] have argued that European elites have yet to fully grapple with the broader issues of race and identity surrounding Muslims and other groups for fear of being seen as politically incorrect.”

The starting point should be greater discussion of integration. Does it matter at all? Yes, claims Mr Vignon at the European Commission. Without it, polarisation and ghettoes can result. “It’s bad because it creates antagonism. It antagonises poor people against other poor people: people with low educational attainment feel threatened,” he says.

And here is a view that is more to the point going forward than attacking Republicans for their misinformation and extremism:

“Faced with rapidly growing, disenfranchised and increasingly politically empowered Muslim populations within the borders of some of its oldest and strongest allies, the US could be faced with ever stronger challenges to its Middle East foreign policies.”Demography will force politicians to confront these issues sooner rather than later. Recently, some have started to nudge the debate along. Angel Gurría, the OECD secretary-general, said in June: “Migration is not a tap that can be turned on and off at will. We need fair and effective migration and integration policies; policies that work and adjust to both good economic times and bad ones.” [Telegraph]

So talk immigration and coping with racial and religious issues – that is real.  Injecting a complex issue into partisan politics is incendiary and counter-productive.

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