Thursday, July 08, 2010

Andrew McCarthy: Kagan's Sharia Finance History Disqualifies Her for Supreme Court

From National Review Online:
Kagan and other apologists for SCF (Sharia Compliant Finance) would absolve themselves from the real-world consequences of their allegedly well-intentioned diversity fetish. But legitimizing any aspect of sharia is the endorsement of all of it. Moreover, there is no cut-and-dried separation of sharia brutality from the tidy, white-collar world of financial transactions.

To pull off the SCF chicanery, financial institutions hire as advisers Islamic clerics who are expert in Muslim jurisprudence — there being, again, no separation between divine edicts and the secular law in Islam. It is those clerics, many of them Islamists, who decide what transactions are permissible. And very often, to purge the taint, prohibited interest payments are diverted to Islamic “charities.” It all sounds wonderful . . . except for what they don’t tell you: The major schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that support for violent jihad is a legitimate form of charitable giving.

Indeed, as the Middle East Forum’s Raymond Ibrahim observes, the Koran actually prioritizes the need to fund jihad over the need to fight it. (See, e.g., Sura 9:41: “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!”) In a canonical hadith, Mohammed confers on the financial backer the same glorious status as the mujahid fighter: “He who equips a raider so he can wage jihad in Allah’s path . . . is himself a raider.”

SCF is thus the Islamist triple-play: It elbows sharia’s way into our legal system, from whence it can expand its influence; it institutionalizes financial jihad; and it pressures true Muslim moderates to shun Western practices. It is, furthermore, unabashedly anti-capitalist — another reason the Left likes it so much. As Frank Gaffney points out, the economic meltdown in late 2008 was taken by SCF proponents as “proof of the inherent corruption of capitalism” and the need to replace it with the asserted virtues of sharia.

But let’s put all that aside. Let’s pretend that there were some way you could compartmentalize sharia, some way you could even slice and dice SCF to facilitate market access without all the unsavory fallout. There would still be the matter of Elena Kagan’s bizarre moral universe.

The U.S. military is an unparalleled force for good in the world. Kagan has said as much, but she claims, straight-faced, that it is just this “extraordinary service” to our society that makes DADT “more not less repugnant” — the bathwater that requires throwing out the baby.

But let’s compare the U.S. military with sharia. Sharia is the cause of indescribable suffering in the world: for homosexuals, women, non-Muslims, and Muslims who wish to embrace the West. Yet for Kagan, sharia’s repugnance is irrelevant. Like opposition to DADT and support for abortion, the engagement of Islamists, the embrace of their case against American capitalism, is a progressive cause célèbre. So count Ms. Kagan in. She’ll worry about logic and sharia victims like Sakineh Ashtiani later — if ever.

Sheer political willfulness is an unattractive quality. In a Supreme Court candidate, it ought to be disqualifying.