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SHOULD THE QU'RAN BE IN THE COURTROOM?
Wilmington Journal ^ | 8/06/05 | CASH MICHAELS

Posted on 08/24/2005 4:15:35 PM PDT by Libloather

SHOULD THE QU'RAN BE IN THE COURTROOM?
WEEK OF AUGUST 4-10, 2005
by CASH MICHAELS
The Wilmington Journal
Originally posted 8/6/2005

“The basic purpose of using sworn testimony is to assure that the information being provided is truthful and as correct as is possible.”--Special Agent Dick Searle, Iowa Division Of Criminal Investigation

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

Those who have testified in a court of law anywhere in North Carolina or across the country recognize these words to be the oath administered to witnesses prior to their sworn testimony.

As has been procedure for decades, the right hand is raised, and the left hand is placed on the Holy Bible.

I do.

The courts have long favored the Christian book of faith as the ultimate symbol of truth. For a Christian, to swear on it means that to tell anything other than the truth in testimony is a blasphemy and a sin before God that will be taken into account on Judgment Day.

But what if a witness or juror isn’t a Christian? What if he is a Jew or a Muslim? Both groups have their own books of faith, their own symbols of religious truth.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees them the freedom to practice their religious faith free of government intrusion or influence. Inherently that means they cannot be forced to either worship or practice any other than their own, and their chosen faith must be respected as such.

If a Jew or a Muslim is forced to swear to “tell the truth” on a Christian Bible, are they, in fact, telling the truth if a religious foundation of another faith is used?

And are North Carolina courts favoring one religious faith over another when they designate only the Christian Bible to be used?

These are now the legal questions and issues that have to be hashed out in a Wake County Superior Courtroom as North Carolina’s criminal justice system has to wrestle, some say, with its own hypocrisy.

The final answer will have a profound impact on communities of faith, especially in the African-American community, where a significant number of Muslims reside.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) “…challenging North Carolina state courts’ practice of refusing to allow people of non-Christian faiths ton take religious oaths using any text other than the Christian Bible,” according to the organization’s press release.

The lawsuit arose from an incident in Greensboro, when a Muslim woman set to testify in Guilford County court, requested to be sworn-in on the Holy Qu’ran instead of the Bible.

She was refused.

The local Muslim community Al Ummil Ummat Islamic Center even offered to donate several copies of the Holy Qu’ran to the Guilford Courts, but they too were rebuffed.

Guilford County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Albright and Guilford Chief District Court Judge Joseph E. Turner determined that only the Holy Bible could be used in their courtrooms.

Ton use anything else, they added, would be “unlawful.”

But the state Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) disagreed, noting that NC General Statute 11-2 does not specifically say the Christian Bible should be used to swear-in witnesses.

It uses the term “Holy Scriptures.”

Judges and other persons who may be empowered to administer oaths, shall (except in the cases in this Chapter excepted) require the party to be sworn to lay his hand upon the Holy Scriptures, in token of his engagement to speak the truth and in further token that, if he should swerve from the truth, he may be justly deprived of all blessings of the holy book and made liable to that vengeance which he has imprecated on his own head.

According to Judge Albright, however, “Holy Scriptures” means only one thing.

The Christian Bible.

“Everybody understands what the Holy Scriptures are,” he told the Greensboro News & Record. “If they don’t, we’re in a mess.”

That’s when the AOC backed off, deciding instead that either the courts or the General Assembly were better suited politically to make the final call.

“The ACLU-NC seeks a court order clarifying that North Carolina’s existing statute governing religious oaths is broad enough to allow use of multiple religious texts in addition to the Christian Bible,” the July 26 press statement continued. “In the alternative, if the Court does not agree that the phrase “Holy Scriptures” in North Carolina state statute must be read to permit texts such as the Qu’ran, the Old Testament and the Bhagavach-Giyta in addition to the Christian Bible, then the ACLU-NC asks the Court to strike down the practice of allowing the use of any religious text in the administration of religious oaths.”

ACLU-NC filed the lawsuit not on behalf of the Muslim woman in Greensboro, or the Muslim community in North Carolina, but its own 8,000 membership across the state that it says is inclusive of Jews and Muslims.

Critics of the ACLU-NC lawsuit charge the liberal group is just trying to change years of legal tradition, and that their real goal is to get the Bible out of the courtroom.

No so, says Jennifer Rudlinger, Executive Director of ACLU-NC. There is no problem with the Bible being used by the North Carolina courts, just as long as other books of religious faith can also be used.

“The government cannot favor one set of religious values over another and must allow all individuals of faith to be sworn in on the holy text that is accordance with their faith,” she said in a statement. “By allowing only the Christian Bible to be used in the administration of religious oaths in the courtroom, the State is discriminating against people of non-Christian faiths.”

Probably the ACLU-NC’s strongest argument is the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

But what about those who are not practicing members of a particular faith? How do North Carolina courts swear them in to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”?

NCGS 11-3 allows for a witness or juror who does not wish to place his hand on the “Holy Scriptures” to just raise his right hand for the nonreligious oath.

NCGS 11-4 defines that secular oath as replacing the word “swear” with “affirm,” and deletes “so help me God.”

And in many jurisdictions, those of the Jewish faith were sworn in on the Old Testament, since by faith, they did not believe in an afterlife.

The Tar Heel controversy has received worldwide attention.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the use of only the Christian Bible in North Carolina courtrooms is evidence of “an inappropriate state endorsement of religion.”

“Eliminating the opportunity to swear an oath on one’s own holy text may also have the effect of diminishing the credibility of that person’s testimony,” Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director for CAIR, told Cybercast News Service. com.

The group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State says maybe religious texts should be banned from the courthouse altogether.

“The easier solution would be to dump religious oaths from court proceedings,” the nonprofit group said on its website. “Traditions do die, some with great difficulty and consternation. Citizens before their public courts should be required to tell the truth under penalty of law; they should not be required, pressured or even asked to take a religious oath before engaging in business before those courts. “


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: aclu; baitforbigots; bible; court; courtroom; koran; lawsuit; oath; quran; should; swearing; trop
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If you're in an Iranian courtroom, do they allow you to swear in on a Bible?
1 posted on 08/24/2005 4:15:37 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather
If you're in an Iranian courtroom, do they allow you to swear in on a Bible?

Are we more free and better than the Iranians?
2 posted on 08/24/2005 4:17:09 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (It's called having class.....)
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To: Libloather

Yep!


3 posted on 08/24/2005 4:18:25 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (Democracy is a process not a product)
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To: Libloather
But what if a witness or juror isn’t a Christian? What if he is a Jew or a Muslim? Both groups have their own books of faith, their own symbols of religious truth.

How about if the witness is a Satanist and thinks lying is just his master's way of getting cheap jollies?

Hell, what if the witness is an atheist? Is he supposed to swear to tell the truth while putting his hand on a copy of "Atlas Shrugged"??

Or worse, what if the witness is a Democrat and believes that nobody really knows what the definition of "is" is?

It boggles the mind why we should cater to fringe groups. Sheesh...

4 posted on 08/24/2005 4:20:03 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: MikeinIraq

Doesn't the Qu'ran advocate lying to your enemies?


5 posted on 08/24/2005 4:20:04 PM PDT by Libloather (Why are Democrats buried in nine foot graves? Deep down, they're good people...)
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To: Libloather

If I'm ever called to testify, I will request swearing my oath on a box of Godiva chocolate while saying: "I lie I will never eat another piece of chocolate again, so help me God."


6 posted on 08/24/2005 4:21:00 PM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Libloather
If you're in an Iranian courtroom, do they allow you to swear in on a Bible?

Is that the relevant question? It's not a contest to see whose "holy book" gets used. The point is to maximize the probability that the witness tells the truth. Would a muslim feel greater motivation to tell the truth by swearing on a Bible or on a Koran? That's the only issue that matters.

7 posted on 08/24/2005 4:21:19 PM PDT by sourcery ("Compelling State Interest" is the refuge of judicial activist traitors against the Constitution)
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To: Libloather

I believe so yes...

but if they swear on a Qu'ran, they are bound by that oath I believe...

Honestly it is a moot point. either include them or don't, but let's not totally change both 230 years of tradition nor our fundamental rights for any one group or people.

They are free to be whatever religion they wish. I think that if they want to swear on a Qu'ran in a courtroom, there should be one there....

I don't know why there is such an issue over it.


8 posted on 08/24/2005 4:22:12 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (It's called having class.....)
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To: Libloather
Doesn't the Qu'ran advocate lying to your enemies?

As a matter of fact, it does. According to the Q'uran, you can lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape and leave the toilet seat up, provided you only do it to the infidel. (And you are forbidden to turn in your Muslim brethren...even if you know they are rapists, murderers and/or terrorists.)

9 posted on 08/24/2005 4:22:39 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Libloather

they have something called Taqqiya. It means Lawful Lie


10 posted on 08/24/2005 4:24:13 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (Democracy is a process not a product)
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To: Libloather

No... it should be restricted to the pig pen.


11 posted on 08/24/2005 4:24:54 PM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: Libloather

Do we want to allow them to swear by a document (Koran) that tells Muslims that it is okay to LIE to a non-Muslim? For that matter, why should anyone believe ANYTHING that comes out of a Muslim's mouth except when they say that they are ging to kill you?


12 posted on 08/24/2005 4:25:24 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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I've been thinking about this one..When the toilet paper is introduced into the courtroom, how long is gonna be before a Christian swears upon the bible against a muslim that swears upon the toilet paper? I can already hear it now (doesn't matter which side the muslim or Christian is on); muslim's lawyer asks the Christian to also swear upon the toilet paper. Christian says no? Well now, that should make for an interesting trial no won't it (and I am talking of trial by public opinion)? cair will be howling from the rooftops about an unfair trial based on religion.

You heard it here first (unless of course another freeper beat me to it).

I look forward to the holes in my thesis BTW..

13 posted on 08/24/2005 4:25:32 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: sourcery

Actually, thats not the constitutional issue. The constitutional issue is whether or not the state is establishing A religion by requiring only the Bible to be used in sweraing in witnesses. I think the answer to that question is a resounding yes and thus it's unconstitutional.


14 posted on 08/24/2005 4:25:58 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (Atheism is not conservative!)
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To: sourcery

Read my post #12.


15 posted on 08/24/2005 4:26:11 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: Libloather
Anyone who would swear unto the Qu'ran would do so with a belief in it which means that they would not be obligated to tell the truth to us because we are the Infidels to them and it is okay to lie to us.

Hell no, just ask them to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of the United States justice system and make them acknowledge that if they commit perjury they will be penalized under American law.

It's that simple.
16 posted on 08/24/2005 4:26:14 PM PDT by TheForceOfOne (The alternative media is our Enigma machine.)
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To: Libloather

I'm not so sure what 'book' one swears on is important. What is important is what book is important to the jurors.

Oath on the Quran? "The jury finds the defendent mohammed abdul guilty as charged your honor!"

Funny how the world works.


17 posted on 08/24/2005 4:26:30 PM PDT by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: Libloather
My soon to be ex swore on a bible and then lied.

It doesn't matter what God you swear to.

If you're a liar, then you're a liar!

18 posted on 08/24/2005 4:26:47 PM PDT by airborne
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To: Prime Choice

True. And if they object to the Bible, they still have the option of affirming and raising their right hand.


19 posted on 08/24/2005 4:26:52 PM PDT by ArmyTeach (Not on my watch!)
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To: Prime Choice
How about if the witness is a Satanist and thinks lying is just his master's way of getting cheap jollies?

There are things you can do to increase the probability that a witness will tell the truth, but you can't guarantee it. Swearing on a Bible (or other holy book) may be effective in some cases, but obviously not in others. Jurors and judges should always maintain a reasonable degree of skepticism about the truthfulness of any witness.

20 posted on 08/24/2005 4:27:50 PM PDT by sourcery ("Compelling State Interest" is the refuge of judicial activist traitors against the Constitution)
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To: Libloather
If you're in an Iranian courtroom, do they allow you to swear in on a Bible?

Doubtful, although I really don't know.

SHOULD THE QU'RAN BE IN THE COURTROOM?

In an American courtroom? No.

21 posted on 08/24/2005 4:28:25 PM PDT by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
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To: Libloather

If you're in an Iranian courtroom, do they allow you to swear in on a Bible?

------
The PC crowd has gone completely overboard approaching insanity. This is America, not some Arab country. Our oaths are taken on the bible. It is sad that the radical left has promoted the wearing of ones religion as if it is some kind of shield from applicable law and procedure.

Very tragic for this country.


22 posted on 08/24/2005 4:28:38 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Prime Choice
Wouldn't it be rather ludicrous and pointless to make an Atheist or Satanist swear on the Bible?

And wouldn't a devout Muslim be more likely to give true testimony if they swore on the Q'ran?

No matter what oaths are sworn, there are always oath-breakers, perjurers and liars.

Much as I hate to agree with the Left, what's wrong with "Upon my honor, and under penalty of perjury, I so do swear."
23 posted on 08/24/2005 4:28:45 PM PDT by Ostlandr (NeopaganNeocon)
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To: Libloather

courtroom no, bathroom, yes.


24 posted on 08/24/2005 4:29:10 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (an enemy of islam)
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To: Libloather
Should the "Koran" be used in lieu of the Bible in a U.S. Courtroom? Not only no but HELL NO!

Muslim countries don't even allow a Bible in their countries (when we are there to protect their back sides) because their governments only acknowledge the Koran as a "Holy Book."

The U.S. was founded as a Christian country (no matter what the atheists say or how many idiots that parrot their lie)and the Bible was acknowledged as our source for law, period.

I would even go further and state that former Muslims tell us that their Prophet Mohammad states in the Koran that it is permissible to lie to an infidel so what does it matter which book a Muslim swears to tell the truth by?

25 posted on 08/24/2005 4:29:20 PM PDT by zerosix
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To: Ostlandr
And wouldn't a devout Muslim be more likely to give true testimony if they swore on the Q'ran?

Nope. Islam provides for lying to (or about) non-Muslims.

26 posted on 08/24/2005 4:30:36 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Libloather
I've listened to discussion over this and am naturally prone to Christianity and resist the Koran in the Kourtroom.

That being said, Jesus said let your yes be yes and no be no and said not to swear on anything, so maybe the bible has no place in the Kourtroom either.

It's something that has become so traditional in our country, I have tended to go along with the way things have been done, but I would just rather tell the truth to the best of my ability and not have to swear on anything.

There is so much perjury in our courts now, swearing on the bible has become rather meaningless anyway, at least to unbelievers who are not in the Koran or other religion holy book category.

How far are they going to push this anyway?

27 posted on 08/24/2005 4:31:25 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Ostlandr
You bring up an interesting point. What do today's courts do with atheists?
28 posted on 08/24/2005 4:31:37 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: Prime Choice

Correct.


29 posted on 08/24/2005 4:32:30 PM PDT by johnny7 (“What now? Let me tell you what now.”)
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To: Libloather
"SHOULD THE QU'RAN BE IN THE COURTROOM?

Yes! As Exhibit 'A'.

30 posted on 08/24/2005 4:33:25 PM PDT by Eastbound
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Google : witness oath;origin


31 posted on 08/24/2005 4:33:46 PM PDT by afnamvet ( Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.)
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To: Michael Barnes

They affirm they will tell the truth, consonant with the US Constitution. Forcing an atheist to swera on the Bible would be a constitutional no no.


32 posted on 08/24/2005 4:33:53 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (Atheism is not conservative!)
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To: Ostlandr
Much as I hate to agree with the Left, what's wrong with "Upon my honor, and under penalty of perjury, I so do swear."

It's not so much "agreement with the left" as it is seeking supremacy of law over religion. The law fancies itself to be the ultimate force on earth.

33 posted on 08/24/2005 4:34:09 PM PDT by Cboldt
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To: jwalsh07
Actually, thats not the constitutional issue.

Agreed. And I agree on your conclusion with respect to the establishment clause.

But I wasn't addressing the Constitutional issues, only the practical issue of why anyone even cares about swearing to tell the truth in the first place. My point is that you don't even need to consider the Constitutional issues to realize that having any and all witnesses swear on a Bible is simply ridiculous. The issue can and should be decided on that point alone.

34 posted on 08/24/2005 4:34:10 PM PDT by sourcery ("Compelling State Interest" is the refuge of judicial activist traitors against the Constitution)
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To: Eastbound

Good one!


35 posted on 08/24/2005 4:35:43 PM PDT by DocRock (Osama said, "We love death, the U.S. loves life, that is the main difference between us.")
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To: sourcery

That's up to the legislature, I thought we were talking courts. My mistake.


36 posted on 08/24/2005 4:36:59 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (Atheism is not conservative!)
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To: jwalsh07
They affirm they will tell the truth, consonant with the US Constitution. Forcing an atheist to swera on the Bible would be a constitutional no no.

Then there is the answer to the koran issue I suppose.

37 posted on 08/24/2005 4:37:52 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Read my post #12.

And having a Muslim swear on a Bible accomplishes what, precisely?

I'd bet an oath could be constructed that a Muslim would find binding. Having him swear to Allah directly, perhaps.

38 posted on 08/24/2005 4:38:00 PM PDT by sourcery ("Compelling State Interest" is the refuge of judicial activist traitors against the Constitution)
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To: Michael Barnes

Not constitutionally. All religion or no religion, that will be how the SCOTUS rules.


39 posted on 08/24/2005 4:39:27 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (Atheism is not conservative!)
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To: zerosix
The U.S. was founded as a Christian country (no matter what the atheists say or how many idiots that parrot their lie)and the Bible was acknowledged as our source for law, period.

Could you please show me where in the Constitution the Bible or Christianity is cited?

40 posted on 08/24/2005 4:40:40 PM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Truth has become so rare and precious she is always attended to by a bodyguard of lies.)
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To: Libloather

The standard in this country for God's-honest-truth is the Bible. I'm going to get flamed for this, I know. But those who don't feel comfortable with our standard might be more comfortable in some other country. And anyone who swears on a Bible, but feels justified in lie-ing because they don't believe in the Bible ... well too bad ... they're held accountable and punished for perjury regardless. I see no reason to change our traditional standards for contemporary immigrants. Melt in the pot or get out. My two cents :-)


41 posted on 08/24/2005 4:41:00 PM PDT by so_real ("The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
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To: jwalsh07
The constitutional issue is whether or not the state is establishing A religion by requiring only the Bible to be used in sweraing in witnesses. I think the answer to that question is a resounding yes and thus it's unconstitutional.

I'll capitulate to that and render my basic "No" answer in reply 21 void.

Should I as a potential, or sitting, juror be able to question someone, directly, as to why they would refuse to swear an oath on the "Bible" a opposed to wanting to swear an oath on the "Qu’ran"?

42 posted on 08/24/2005 4:43:58 PM PDT by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
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To: TheForceOfOne

BINGO!


43 posted on 08/24/2005 4:44:48 PM PDT by Walkenfree (Bad can get worse & good can get better.)
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To: michigander

OK by me.


44 posted on 08/24/2005 4:45:17 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (Atheism is not conservative!)
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To: AdamSelene235

Not in the Constitution but is cited in Federalist Papers.


45 posted on 08/24/2005 4:51:35 PM PDT by zerosix
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To: jwalsh07
OK by me.

That's nice. However, your opinion won't be the issue.

46 posted on 08/24/2005 4:51:42 PM PDT by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
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To: Libloather
SHOULD THE QU'RAN BE IN THE COURTROOM?

No. The bathroom.

47 posted on 08/24/2005 4:53:04 PM PDT by Shalom Israel (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.)
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To: michigander

LOL, that's for dang sure.


48 posted on 08/24/2005 4:53:41 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (Atheism is not conservative!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Do we want to allow them to swear by a document (Koran) that tells Muslims that it is okay to LIE to a non-Muslim?

Do you know where that is in the Koran? I can't find it.

49 posted on 08/24/2005 4:53:51 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Libloather
"Doesn't the Qu'ran advocate lying to your enemies? The Below from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiyya In Shi'a Islamic tradition, Taqiyya (التقية) is the dissimulation of one’s religious beliefs when one fears for one's life, the lives of one's family members, or for the preservation of the faith. It is most often used in times of persecution or danger. Some Sunnis assert that Taqiyya is an act of hypocrisy that serves to conceal the truth. According to them, Taqiyya constitutes a lack of faith and trust in God because the person who conceals his beliefs to spare himself from danger is fearful of humans, when he should be fearful of God only. The practice was a method of self-preservation for the Shi'as who historically were the minority and persecuted by Sunni Muslims. Sunnis would sometimes force Shi'as to curse the House of Ali - believing that no devout Shi'a could commit such an act. As a result of this persecution, the idea of Taqiyya emerged. In other words, if a Shi'a Muslim's life is in danger, he may lie as long as he holds his faith true in his heart. Shi'as justify the practice using the following verse from the Qur'an: Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty. Sura 16:106 And the following [Shakir 3:28] Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends (awliyaa) rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard (tattaqoo) yourselves against them, guarding carefully (tuqatan); and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming. According to Shi'a interpretation of these verses, 3:28 is telling that believers should not take unbelievers as Walis rather the believers, those who do it will lose the wilayat (5:55) of God, that is unless they are using taqiya/protecting them self, and doing so with caution. And God knows what is in your heart, so fear his wrath, for nobody escapes God. Taqiyya, like any other Islamic tenet, has guidelines and limits. According to many Shi'a Muslims, Taqiyya can only be legally used by a Muslim verbally when he or she is being wrongly persecuted. The situation may be when no matter whichever course of action an individual chooses he has to commit an evil. In that case, he should select the lesser evil. Shi'as cite the first use of Taqiyya historically during the time of Muhammad when Muslims were beginning to be tortured by the Quraishites. Ammar ibn Yasir, a follower of Muhammad, whose friends had been killed for being Muslim by the Quraish, was confronted by a Quraishite. 'Ammar pretended to renounce Islam and thus saved his life. Many Sunnis criticize Ammar for his actions or question the reliability of the story. Sunnis cite the examples of many Muslims who were tortured and murdered merely based on their belief during the time of Muhammad, Umayyad and Abbasids but didn't renounce their faith. Sunnis believe that God decides when someone is going to die. Therefore, it's wrong to deny the faith in order to escape torture or death. By contrast, the Shi'a believe that life is a gift from God and should be preserved. In a life-threatening emergency, the preservation of life takes precedence over anything else. Critics of the Argentinian president Carlos Saúl Menem of Syrian descent have dismissed his early conversion to Christianity as taqiyya. The Druze, a Levantine religion influenced by Islam, allow disguising their Druzeness and the simulation of being Muslim or Christian to avoid the frequent persecutions by the local majorities.
50 posted on 08/24/2005 4:53:59 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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