Breaking and Developing — Story 1: Rupert Murdoch and Michael Wolff Push President Trump’s Buttons and Trump Reacts As Predicted By Attacking Steven Bannon — White House of Con Games or Junk Journalism or Progressive Propaganda or Tabloid Trash? — Updated — Wolff Taped His Conversations With White House Employees — Trump Tries To Stop Publication of Book with Cease and Desist Letter Making Fire and Fury An Instant Best Seller! — Available Friday at 9 A.M. — Videos — Updated January 4 and 5, 2018

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Story 1: Rupert Murdoch and Michael Wolff Push President Trump’s Buttons and Trump Reacts As Predicted By Attacking Steven Bannon — White House of Con Games or Junk Journalism or Progressive Propaganda or Tabloid Trash? — Updated — Wolff Taped His Conversations With White House Employees — Trump Tries To Stop Publication of Book with Cease and Desist Letter Making Fire and Fury An Instant Best Seller! — Available Friday at 9 A.M. — Videos — Updated January 4 and 5, 2018

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Published on Nov 21, 2016

Michael Wolff, The Man Who Owns The News: Inside the Secret World Of Rupert Murdoch author, discusses his interview with Trump’s campaign CEO, Steve Bannon. Wolff also discusses the problem of fake news. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.

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The author of the explosive new Trump book says he can’t be sure if parts of it are true

michael wolffMichael Wolff, the author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

  • “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” has set the political world ablaze.
  • It contains vivid, detailed, and embarrassing accounts of President Donald Trump and those around him.
  • But the book’s author, Michael Wolff, says he can’t be sure that all of it is true.

The author of the explosive new book about Donald Trump’s presidency acknowledged in an author’s note that he wasn’t certain all of its content was true.

Michael Wolff, the author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” included a note at the start that casts significant doubt on the reliability of the specifics contained in the rest of its pages.

Several of his sources, he says, were definitely lying to him, while some offered accounts that flatly contradicted those of others.

But some were nonetheless included in the vivid account of the West Wing’s workings, in a process Wolff describes as “allowing the reader to judge” whether the sources’ claims are true.

Donald Trump January 4 2018

Donald Trump, seen at a meeting in the White House the day after elements of Wolff’s book began to be reported. AP

In other cases, the media columnist said, he did use his journalistic judgment and research to arrive at what he describes “a version of events I believe to be true.”

Here is the relevant part of the note, from the 10th page of the book’s prologue:

“Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.

“Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in the accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.”

The book itself, reviewed by Business Insider from a copy acquired prior to its Friday publication, is not always clear about what level of confidence the author has in any particular assertion.

Lengthy, private conversations are reported verbatim, as are difficult-to-ascertain details like what somebody was thinking or how the person felt.

Wolff attributes his book to “more than two hundred interviews” with people including Trump and “most members of his senior staff.” According to the news website Axios, Wolff has dozens of hours of tapes to back up what he said.

Claims contained in the book have been widely reported by the media in the US and further afield.

They include assertions that Trump never wanted to be president, that all of his senior staff considered him an idiot, that he tried to lock the Secret Service out of his room, and that he ate at McDonald’s to avoid being poisoned.

Business Insider rounded up some more of the most eye-catching claims in this article.

Trump, who sought to block publication of the book but was too late, tweeted Thursday that it was “full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.”

I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, described the book as “complete fantasy.”

Asked to rebut specific points, she said: “I’m not going to waste my time or the country’s time going page by page and talking about a book that is complete fantasy and just full of tabloid gossip.”

Other people mentioned in the book have also disputed claims made about them.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who the book said warned Trump that he may be under surveillance from British spies, issued a statement describing the claim as “categorically absurd” and “simply untrue.”

Anna Wintour, the longtime Vogue editor, also dismissed the claim that she lobbied Trump to be his ambassador to the UK as “laughably preposterous.”

Other journalists have also urged caution. Some cited Wolff’s track record — questions were raised about his 2008 book on Rupert Murdoch — and others compared his claims with their own knowledge of the Trump White House.

On Friday morning, Wolff responded to claims about the accuracy of his book in an interivew with NBC’s “Today” show.

Host Savannah Guthrie asked him: “You stand by everything in the book? Nothing made up?”

He responded: “Absolutely everything in the book.”

Shortly after, he expanded, saying: “I am certainly and absolutely, in every way, comfortable with everything I’ve reported in this book.”

This isn’t necessarily at odds with what he said in the author’s note, as it allows for the possibility that he was told something untrue and repeated it without realising, or reached a wrong conclusion when presenting a version of contested events.

http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-wolff-note-says-he-doesnt-know-if-trump-book-is-all-true-2018-1

Trump legal team blasts explosive Michael Wolff book in cease-and-desist letter

President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, has demanded on behalf of his client that author Michael Wolff and his publisher immediately “cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination” of a forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

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The book is scheduled to be released next week but excerpts have caused a stir.

“We are investigating numerous false and/or baseless statements that you have made about Mr. Trump,” the lawyer wrote to Wolff.

The letter goes on to say they are looking into possible defamation of Trump and his family and invasion of privacy.

The lengthy letter to Wolff and Henry Holt and Co. Inc. goes on to accuse the author of actual malice.

PHOTO: Senior Advisor Jared Kusher, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump arrive at the start of a meeting, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in this file photo, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE
Senior Advisor Jared Kusher, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump arrive at the start of a meeting, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in this file photo, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington.more +

It states, “Actual malice (reckless disregard for the truth) can be proven by the fact that the Book admits in the Introduction that it contains untrue statements. Moreover, the Book appears to cite to no sources for many of its most damaging statements about Mr. Trump. Also, many of your so-called ‘sources’ have stated publicly that they never spoke to Mr. Wolff and/or never made the statements that are being attributed to them. Other alleged ‘sources’ of statements about Mr. Trump are believed to have no personal knowledge of the facts upon which they are making statements or are known to be unreliable and/or strongly biased against Mr. Trump.”

Harder sent a similar letter to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon Wednesday night demanding he cease and desist from making allegedly false statements against the president and his family.

Bannon has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

Henry Holt and Company the publisher of “Fire and Fury” told ABC News on Thursday, “We can confirm we received the Cease and Desist letter.”

Earlier Wednesday, Trump hit back at Bannon in scathing comments, saying that when Bannon was fired “he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Americas military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base, Aug. 21, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.Mark Wilson/Getty Images
President Donald Trump delivers remarks on America’s military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base, Aug. 21, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.more +

President Trump’s comments, which came in the form of a written statement from the White House, were in response to Bannon’s strident criticism of Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushnerand Paul Manafort for sitting down with a group of Russians who promised damaging information against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election in excerpts from Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party,” the president said in a statement. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.”

Scoop: Wolff taped interviews with Bannon, top officials

  • Mike Allen

Michael Wolff interviews Kellyanne Conway at the Newseum in April. (AP’s Carolyn Kaster)

Michael Wolff has tapes to back up quotes in his incendiary book — dozens of hours of them.

Among the sources he taped, I’m told, are Steve Bannon and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh.

  • So that’s going to make it harder for officials to deny embarrassing or revealing quotes attributed to them in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” out Tuesday.
  • In some cases, the officials thought they were talking off the record. But what are they going to do now?
  • Although the White House yesterday portrayed Wolff as a poseur, he spent hours at a time in private areas of the West Wing, including the office of Reince Priebus when he was chief of staff.
  • The White House says Wolff was cleared for access to the West Wing fewer than 20 times.
  • Wolff, a New Yorker, stayed at the Hay Adams Hotel when he came down to D.C., and White House sources frequently crossed Lafayette Park to meet him there.

Part of Wolff’s lengthy index entry for Bannon:

Some reporters and officials are calling the book sloppy, and challenging specific passages.

  • How could Wolff possibly know for sure what Steve Bannon and the late Roger Ailes said at a private dinner?
  • It turns out Wolff hosted the dinner for six at his Manhattan townhouse.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM.

https://www.axios.com/how-michael-wolff-did-it-2522360813.html

“You Can’t Make This S— Up”: My Year Inside Trump’s Insane White House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author and columnist Michael Wolff was given extraordinary access to the Trump administration and now details the feuds, the fights and the alarming chaos he witnessed while reporting what turned into a new book.

Editor’s Note: Author and Hollywood Reporter columnist Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Henry Holt & Co.), is a detailed account of the 45th president’s election and first year in office based on extensive access to the White House and more than 200 interviews with Trump and senior staff over a period of 18 months. In advance of the Jan. 9 publication of the book, which Trump is already attacking, Wolff has written this extracted column about his time in the White House based on the reporting included in Fire and Fury.

interviewed Donald Trump for The Hollywood Reporter in June 2016, and he seemed to have liked — or not disliked — the piece I wrote. “Great cover!” his press assistant, Hope Hicks, emailed me after it came out (it was a picture of a belligerent Trump in mirrored sunglasses). After the election, I proposed to him that I come to the White House and report an inside story for later publication — journalistically, as a fly on the wall — which he seemed to misconstrue as a request for a job. No, I said. I’d like to just watch and write a book. “A book?” he responded, losing interest. “I hear a lot of people want to write books,” he added, clearly not understanding why anybody would. “Do you know Ed Klein?”— author of several virulently anti-Hillary books. “Great guy. I think he should write a book about me.” But sure, Trump seemed to say, knock yourself out.

Since the new White House was often uncertain about what the president meant or did not mean in any given utterance, his non-disapproval became a kind of passport for me to hang around — checking in each week at the Hay-Adams hotel, making appointments with various senior staffers who put my name in the “system,” and then wandering across the street to the White House and plunking myself down, day after day, on a West Wing couch.

The West Wing is configured in such a way that the anteroom is quite a thoroughfare — everybody passes by. Assistants — young women in the Trump uniform of short skirts, high boots, long and loose hair — as well as, in situation-comedy proximity, all the new stars of the show: Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Gary Cohn, Michael Flynn (and after Flynn’s abrupt departure less than a month into the job for his involvement in the Russia affair, his replacement, H.R. McMaster), all neatly accessible.

The nature of the comedy, it was soon clear, was that here was a group of ambitious men and women who had reached the pinnacle of power, a high-ranking White House appointment — with the punchline that Donald Trump was president. Their estimable accomplishment of getting to the West Wing risked at any moment becoming farce.

A new president typically surrounds himself with a small group of committed insiders and loyalists. But few on the Trump team knew him very well — most of his advisors had been with him only since the fall. Even his family, now closely gathered around him, seemed nonplussed. “You know, we never saw that much of him until he got the nomination,” Eric Trump’s wife, Lara, told one senior staffer. If much of the country was incredulous, his staff, trying to cement their poker faces, were at least as confused.

Their initial response was to hawkishly defend him — he demanded it — and by defending him they seemed to be defending themselves. Politics is a game, of course, of determined role-playing, but the difficulties of staying in character in the Trump White House became evident almost from the first day.

“You can’t make this shit up,” Sean Spicer, soon to be portrayed as the most hapless man in America, muttered to himself after his tortured press briefing on the first day of the new administration, when he was called to justify the president’s inaugural crowd numbers — and soon enough, he adopted this as a personal mantra. Reince Priebus, the new chief of staff, had, shortly after the announcement of his appointment in November, started to think he would not last until the inauguration. Then, making it to the White House, he hoped he could last a respectable year, but he quickly scaled back his goal to six months. Kellyanne Conway, who would put a finger-gun to her head in private about Trump’s public comments, continued to mount an implacable defense on cable television, until she was pulled off the air by others in the White House who, however much the president enjoyed her, found her militancy idiotic. (Even Ivanka and Jared regarded Conway’s fulsome defenses as cringeworthy.)

Steve Bannon tried to gamely suggest that Trump was mere front man and that he, with plan and purpose and intellect, was, more reasonably, running the show — commanding a whiteboard of policies and initiatives that he claimed to have assembled from Trump’s off-the-cuff ramblings and utterances. His adoption of the Saturday Night Live sobriquet “President Bannon” was less than entirely humorous. Within the first few weeks, even rote conversations with senior staff trying to explain the new White House’s policies and positions would turn into a body-language ballet of eye-rolling and shrugs and pantomime of jaws dropping. Leaking became the political manifestation of the don’t-blame-me eye roll.

The surreal sense of the Trump presidency was being lived as intensely inside the White House as out. Trump was, for the people closest to him, the ultimate enigma. He had been elected president, that through-the-eye-of-the-needle feat, but obviously, he was yet … Trump. Indeed, he seemed as confused as anyone to find himself in the White House, even attempting to barricade himself into his bedroom with his own lock over the protests of the Secret Service.

There was some effort to ascribe to Trump magical powers. In an early conversation — half comic, half desperate — Bannon tried to explain him as having a particular kind of Jungian brilliance. Trump, obviously without having read Jung, somehow had access to the collective unconscious of the other half of the country, and, too, a gift for inventing archetypes: Little Marco … Low-Energy Jeb … the Failing New York Times. Everybody in the West Wing tried, with some panic, to explain him, and, sheepishly, their own reason for being here. He’s intuitive, he gets it, he has a mind-meld with his base. But there was palpable relief, of an Emperor’s New Clothes sort, when longtime Trump staffer Sam Nunberg — fired by Trump during the campaign but credited with knowing him better than anyone else — came back into the fold and said, widely, “He’s just a fucking fool.”

Part of that foolishness was his inability to deal with his own family. In a way, this gave him a human dimension. Even Donald Trump couldn’t say no to his kids. “It’s a littleee, littleee complicated …” he explained to Priebus about why he needed to give his daughter and son-in-law official jobs. But the effect of their leadership roles was to compound his own boundless inexperience in Washington, creating from the outset frustration and then disbelief and then rage on the part of the professionals in his employ.

The men and women of the West Wing, for all that the media was ridiculing them, actually felt they had a responsibility to the country. “Trump,” said one senior Republican, “turned selfish careerists into patriots.” Their job was to maintain the pretense of relative sanity, even as each individually came to the conclusion that, in generous terms, it was insane to think you could run a White House without experience, organizational structure or a real purpose.

White House: Trump Doesn’t Want Michael Wolff’s Book Published

On March 30, after the collapse of the health care bill, 32-year-old Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff, the effective administration chief of the West Wing, a stalwart political pro and stellar example of governing craft, walked out. Little more than two months in, she quit. Couldn’t take it anymore. Nutso. To lose your deputy chief of staff at the get-go would be a sign of crisis in any other administration, but inside an obviously exploding one it was hardly noticed.

While there might be a scary national movement of Trumpers, the reality in the White House was stranger still: There was Jared and Ivanka, Democrats; there was Priebus, a mainstream Republican; and there was Bannon, whose reasonable claim to be the one person actually representing Trumpism so infuriated Trump that Bannon was hopelessly sidelined by April. “How much influence do you think Steve Bannon has over me? Zero! Zero!” Trump muttered and stormed. To say that no one was in charge, that there were no guiding principles, not even a working org chart, would again be an understatement. “What do these people do?” asked everyone pretty much of everyone else.

The competition to take charge, which, because each side represented an inimical position to the other, became not so much a struggle for leadership, but a near-violent factional war. Jared and Ivanka were against Priebus and Bannon, trying to push both men out. Bannon was against Jared and Ivanka and Priebus, practicing what everybody thought were dark arts against them. Priebus, everybody’s punching bag, just tried to survive another day. By late spring, the larger political landscape seemed to become almost irrelevant, with everyone focused on the more lethal battles within the White House itself. This included screaming fights in the halls and in front of a bemused Trump in the Oval Office (when he was not the one screaming himself), together with leaks about what Russians your opponents might have been talking to.

Reigning over all of this was Trump, enigma, cipher and disruptor. How to get along with Trump — who veered between a kind of blissed-out pleasure of being in the Oval Office and a deep, childish frustration that he couldn’t have what he wanted? Here was a man singularly focused on his own needs for instant gratification, be that a hamburger, a segment on Fox & Friends or an Oval Office photo opp. “I want a win. I want a win. Where’s my win?” he would regularly declaim. He was, in words used by almost every member of the senior staff on repeated occasions, “like a child.” A chronic naysayer, Trump himself stoked constant discord with his daily after-dinner phone calls to his billionaire friends about the disloyalty and incompetence around him. His billionaire friends then shared this with their billionaire friends, creating the endless leaks which the president so furiously railed against.

Read Donald Trump’s Full Legal Demand Over Michael Wolff’s Book

One of these frequent callers was Rupert Murdoch, who before the election had only ever expressed contempt for Trump. Now Murdoch constantly sought him out, but to his own colleagues, friends and family, continued to derisively ridicule Trump: “What a fucking moron,” said Murdoch after one call.

With the Comey firing, the Mueller appointment and murderous White House infighting, by early summer Bannon was engaged in an uninterrupted monologue directed to almost anyone who would listen. It was so caustic, so scabrous and so hilarious that it might form one of the great underground political treatises.

By July, Jared and Ivanka, who had, in less than six months, traversed from socialite couple to royal family to the most powerful people in the world, were now engaged in a desperate dance to save themselves, which mostly involved blaming Trump himself. It was all his idea to fire Comey! “The daughter,” Bannon declared, “will bring down the father.”

Priebus and Spicer were merely counting down to the day — and every day seemed to promise it would be the next day — when they would be out.

And, indeed, suddenly there were the 11 days of Anthony Scaramucci.

Scaramucci, a minor figure in the New York financial world, and quite a ridiculous one, had overnight become Jared and Ivanka’s solution to all of the White House’s management and messaging problems. After all, explained the couple, he was good on television and he was from New York — he knew their world. In effect, the couple had hired Scaramucci — as preposterous a hire in West Wing annals as any — to replace Priebus and Bannon and take over running the White House.

There was, after the abrupt Scaramucci meltdown, hardly any effort inside the West Wing to disguise the sense of ludicrousness and anger felt by every member of the senior staff toward Trump’s family and Trump himself. It became almost a kind of competition to demystify Trump. For Rex Tillerson, he was a moron. For Gary Cohn, he was dumb as shit. For H.R. McMaster, he was a hopeless idiot. For Steve Bannon, he had lost his mind.

Most succinctly, no one expected him to survive Mueller. Whatever the substance of the Russia “collusion,” Trump, in the estimation of his senior staff, did not have the discipline to navigate a tough investigation, nor the credibility to attract the caliber of lawyers he would need to help him. (At least nine major law firms had turned down an invitation to represent the president.)

There was more: Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories — now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions — he just couldn’t stop saying something.

By summer’s end, in something of a historic sweep — more usual for the end of a president’s first term than the end of his first six months — almost the entire senior staff, save Trump’s family, had been washed out: Michael Flynn, Katie Walsh, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon. Even Trump’s loyal, longtime body guard Keith Schiller — for reasons darkly whispered about in the West Wing — was out. Gary Cohn, Dina Powell, Rick Dearborn, all on their way out. The president, on the spur of the moment, appointed John Kelly, a former Marine Corps general and head of homeland security, chief of staff — without Kelly having been informed of his own appointment beforehand. Grim and stoic, accepting that he could not control the president, Kelly seemed compelled by a sense of duty to be, in case of disaster, the adult in the room who might, if needed, stand up to the president … if that is comfort.

As telling, with his daughter and son-in-law sidelined by their legal problems, Hope Hicks, Trump’s 29-year-old personal aide and confidant, became, practically speaking, his most powerful White House advisor. (With Melania a nonpresence, the staff referred to Ivanka as the “real wife” and Hicks as the “real daughter.”) Hicks’ primary function was to tend to the Trump ego, to reassure him, to protect him, to buffer him, to soothe him. It was Hicks who, attentive to his lapses and repetitions, urged him to forgo an interview that was set to open the 60 Minutes fall season. Instead, the interview went to Fox News’ Sean Hannity who, White House insiders happily explained, was willing to supply the questions beforehand. Indeed, the plan was to have all interviewers going forward provide the questions.

As the first year wound down, Trump finally got a bill to sign. The tax bill, his singular accomplishment, was, arguably, quite a reversal of his populist promises, and confirmation of what Mitch McConnell had seen early on as the silver Trump lining: “He’ll sign anything we put in front of him.” With new bravado, he was encouraging partisans like Fox News to pursue an anti-Mueller campaign on his behalf. Insiders believed that the only thing saving Mueller from being fired, and the government of the United States from unfathomable implosion, is Trump’s inability to grasp how much Mueller had on him and his family.

Steve Bannon was openly handicapping a 33.3 percent chance of impeachment, a 33.3 percent chance of resignation in the shadow of the 25th amendment and a 33.3 percent chance that he might limp to the finish line on the strength of liberal arrogance and weakness.

Donald Trump’s small staff of factotums, advisors and family began, on Jan. 20, 2017, an experience that none of them, by any right or logic, thought they would — or, in many cases, should — have, being part of a Trump presidency. Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country’s future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.

At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.

Happy first anniversary of the Trump administration.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michael-wolff-my-insane-year-inside-trumps-white-house-1071504

Remember Who Michael Wolff Is

A March Madness-style bracket to find the most loathed man in media might include Rupert Murdoch biographer, movie theater scofflaw, and resident killjoy Michael Wolff as its No. 1 overall seed. The ornery press critic is, as Fox News’ Howard Kurtz once said with understatement, “rarely impressed by anyone other than himself.” And immediate reactions to the rollout of a new, likely overwritten book about the first year in Donald Trump’s White House are likely already feeding Wolff’s Vanity Fair-sized ego.

The PR tour for Wolff’s book, out Jan. 9, began in earnest on Wednesday. The Guardian, which got a copy “ahead of publication from a bookseller in New England,” wrote up Steve Bannon’s reaction to a Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians in 2016 contained in the book: “treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit.” Hours later, New York magazine reportedly pushed up its pre-planned publication of an excerpt that would be widely shared by political media types for its intimate retellings of Donald Trump’s cluelessness during the transition—Who’s John Boehner?—his apparent inability to make it to the Fourth Amendment during a lesson about the Constitution, and his reprimanding the White House’s housekeeping staff for picking his shirts up off the floor apparently against his wishes.

“Few people who knew Trump had illusions about him,” Wolff breathlessly writes. “That was his appeal: He was what he was. Twinkle in his eye, larceny in his soul.”

It’s hard to imagine what exactly that means. But it sounds fun and breezy while appearing to take no prisoners—classic Wolff fare. The published selections portray Trump as stupid and vindictive, his aides as basically good-faith underlings struggling to manage a walking, talking national security threat. And New York included a lengthy editor’s note on how The Hollywood Reporter contributing editor landed such fly-on-the-wall accounts, which included extensive direct quotations:

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Wolff says, he was able to take up “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing”—an idea encouraged by the president himself. Because no one was in a position to either officially approve or formally deny such access, Wolff became “more a constant interloper than an invited guest.” There were no ground rules placed on his access, and he was required to make no promises about how he would report on what he witnessed.

Since then, he conducted more than 200 interviews. In true Trumpian fashion, the administration’s lack of experience and disdain for political norms made for a hodgepodge of journalistic challenges. Information would be provided off-the-record or on deep background, then casually put on the record. Sources would fail to set any parameters on the use of a conversation, or would provide accounts in confidence, only to subsequently share their views widely. And the president’s own views, private as well as public, were constantly shared by others.

These are the type of lax ground rules that allow writers plenty of wiggle room—the type of which Wolff has long been known to take full advantage, at times with questionably accurate results. The difference is that the people in Trump’s orbit are likely even less reliable sources than many of his past subjects.

Wolff’s 1998 book about pursuing digital riches, Burn Rate, was met by largely positive reviews in the midst of the dot-com bubble. But longtime press critic Jack Shafer—perhaps as close to a defender as Wolff has—also wondered in his take for Slate whether Wolff’s nitty-gritty details could be trusted:

Wolff exploits the human tendency to confuse frankness and cruelty with truth-telling. And by repeatedly reminding the reader of what a dishonest, scheming little shit he is, he seeks to inflate his credibility. A real liar wouldn’t tell you that he’s a liar as Wolff does, would he? The wealth of verbatim quotations—constituting a good third of this book—also enhances Burn Rate’s verisimilitude. But should it? Wolff writes that he jotted down bits of dialogue on his legal pads during meetings while others composed to-do lists. Not to accuse anyone of Stephen Glassism, but I’d love to see Wolff post those copious notes on his promotional Web site, www.burnrate.com.

Michelle Cottle made similar observations in a 2004 profile for the New Republic, published when Wolff was a media writer at Vanity Fair, tut-tutting him as “neither as insightful nor as entertaining when dissecting politics.” She continued:

Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created—springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events. Even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting isn’t his bag. Rather, he absorbs the atmosphere and gossip swirling around him at cocktail parties, on the street, and especially during those long lunches at Michael’s….“His great gift is the appearance of intimate access,” says an editor who has worked with Wolff. “He is adroit at making the reader think that he has spent hours and days with his subject, when in fact he may have spent no time at all.”

Even the late David Carr, would-be reverend of the media class from his New York Times pulpit, wrote that “Wolff has never distinguished himself as a reporter” when reviewing his 2008 Murdoch biography, The Man Who Owns The News. “Over the years, Carr wrote, “he has succeeded in cutting through the clutter by being far less circumspect—and sometimes more vicious—than other journalists, whom he views as archaic losers about to go the way of the Walkman.” Factual errors be damned, Carr added with a begrudging thumbs-up, for “Wolff prefers the purity of his constructs.”

That approach would seem to be even more dangerous with a book sold as an “inside story” of a White House that has proven atrocious at narrating its own story with any grasp of the truth. Since the selections of Wolff’s book have dropped, administration officials trotted out the usual cries of false anecdotes and fake sources—usually a good sign for those in search of the facts. But journalists have already started poking holes in some of the juicier aspects of Wolff’s account. Just one example: a simple Google search proves Trump has previously spoken about Boehner at length, making the notion that he would respond “Who?” to a mention of the former House Speaker feel dubious at best. But such details are what gets shared or aggregated, often uncritically.

None of that is to say that Fire and Fury won’t be an entertaining read. Wolff has been a frequent critic of the media’s Trump coverage, lambasting the press earlier this year for portraying Trump as “an inept and craven sociopath.” He’s also spoken in favor of journalists acting only as stenographers. Those may have been sly plays to get greater access to the Trump Administration before biting its hand en route to a bestseller.

But if these early excerpts are any indication, Wolff’s turn at stenography led to the same basic observations as everybody else—that the administration is chock full of back-stabbing, out-of-their-depth staffers washed up from a campaign that no one, even the man who’s now president, expected to win. The fact that the internet has latched onto so many of these colorful—if only “notionally accurate,” anecdotes—may say less about Wolff, that much-hated media man, than it does about the rest of us.

https://splinternews.com/remember-who-michael-wolff-is-1821749209

Trump Tower meeting with Russians ‘treasonous’, Bannon says in explosive book

 Steve Bannon exits an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower on 11 November 2016 in New York City.
 Steve Bannon exits an elevator in the lobby of Trump Tower on 11 November 2016 in New York City. Other Trump campaign officials met with Russians there in June 2016. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, reportedly based on more than 200 interviews with the president, his inner circle and players in and around the administration, is one of the most eagerly awaited political books of the year. In it, Wolff lifts the lid on a White House lurching from crisis to crisis amid internecine warfare, with even some of Trump’s closest allies expressing contempt for him.

Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign in its final three months, then White House chief strategist for seven months before returning to the rightwing Breitbart News, is a central figure in the nasty, cutthroat drama, quoted extensively, often in salty language.

He is particularly scathing about a June 2016 meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York. A trusted intermediary had promised documents that would “incriminate” rival Hillary Clinton but instead of alerting the FBI to a potential assault on American democracy by a foreign power, Trump Jr replied in an email: “I love it.”

The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: “The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.

Bannon added: “You never see it, you never know it, because you don’t need to … But that’s the brain trust that they had.”

Bannon also speculated that Trump Jr had involved his father in the meeting. “The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed last May, following Trump’s dismissal of FBI director James Comey, to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election. This has led to the indictments of four members of Trump’s inner circle, including Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges; Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. In recent weeks Bannon’s Breitbart News and other conservative outlets have accused Mueller’s team of bias against the president.

Trump predicted in an interview with the New York Times last week that the special counsel was “going to be fair”, though he also said the investigation “makes the country look very bad”. The president and his allies deny any collusion with Russia and the Kremlin has denied interfering.

“You realise where this is going,” he is quoted as saying. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmannfirst and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

Last month it was reported that federal prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, the German financial institution that has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kushner property empire. Bannon continues: “It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.”

Scorning apparent White House insouciance, Bannon reaches for a hurricane metaphor: “They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five.”

He insists that he knows no Russians, will not be a witness, will not hire a lawyer and will not appear on national television answering questions.

Fire and Fury will be published next week. Wolff is a prominent media critic and columnist who has written for the Guardian and is a biographer of Rupert Murdoch. He previously conducted interviews for the Hollywood Reporter with Trump in June 2016 and Bannon a few months later.

He told the Guardian in November that to research the book, he showed up at the White House with no agenda but wanting to “find out what the insiders were really thinking and feeling”. He enjoyed extraordinary access to Trump and senior officials and advisers, he said, sometimes at critical moments of the fledgling presidency.

The rancour between Bannon and “Javanka” – Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump – is a recurring theme of the book. Kushner and Ivanka are Jewish. Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, is quoted as saying: “It is a war between the Jews and the non-Jews.”

Trump is not spared. Wolff writes that Thomas Barrack Jr, a billionaire who is one of the president’s oldest associates, allegedly told a friend: “He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.” Barrack denied that to the New York Times.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/03/donald-trump-russia-steve-bannon-michael-wolff

Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President

One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days.

n the afternoon of November 8, 2016, Kellyanne Conway settled into her glass office at Trump Tower. Right up until the last weeks of the race, the campaign headquarters had remained a listless place. All that seemed to distinguish it from a corporate back office were a few posters with right-wing slogans.

Conway, the campaign’s manager, was in a remarkably buoyant mood, considering she was about to experience a resounding, if not cataclysmic, defeat. Donald Trump would lose the election — of this she was sure — but he would quite possibly hold the defeat to under six points. That was a substantial victory. As for the looming defeat itself, she shrugged it off: It was Reince Priebus’s fault, not hers.

She had spent a good part of the day calling friends and allies in the political world and blaming Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Now she briefed some of the television producers and anchors whom she had been carefully courting since joining the Trump campaign — and with whom she had been actively interviewing in the last few weeks, hoping to land a permanent on-air job after the election.

Even though the numbers in a few key states had appeared to be changing to Trump’s advantage, neither Conway nor Trump himself nor his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — the effective head of the campaign — ­wavered in their certainty: Their unexpected adventure would soon be over. Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be. Conveniently, the former conviction meant nobody had to deal with the latter issue.

As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. “I can be the most famous man in the world,” he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.

“This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,” he told Ailes a week before the election. “I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.”

From the start, the leitmotif for Trump about his own campaign was how crappy it was, and how everybody involved in it was a loser. In August, when he was trailing Hillary Clinton by more than 12 points, he couldn’t conjure even a far-fetched scenario for achieving an electoral victory. He was baffled when the right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer, a Ted Cruz backer whom Trump barely knew, offered him an infusion of $5 million. When Mercer and his daughter Rebekah presented their plan to take over the campaign and install their lieutenants, Steve Bannon and Conway, Trump didn’t resist. He only expressed vast incomprehension about why anyone would want to do that. “This thing,” he told the Mercers, “is so fucked up.”

Bannon, who became chief executive of Trump’s team in mid-August, called it “the broke-dick campaign.” Almost immediately, he saw that it was hampered by an even deeper structural flaw: The candidate who billed himself as a billionaire — ten times over — refused to invest his own money in it. Bannon told Kushner that, after the first debate in September, they would need another $50 million to cover them until Election Day.

“No way we’ll get 50 million unless we can guarantee him victory,” said a clear-eyed Kushner.

“Twenty-five million?” prodded Bannon.

“If we can say victory is more than likely.”

In the end, the best Trump would do is to loan the campaign $10 million, provided he got it back as soon as they could raise other money. Steve Mnuchin, the campaign’s finance chairman, came to collect the loan with the wire instructions ready to go so Trump couldn’t conveniently forget to send the money.

Most presidential candidates spend their entire careers, if not their lives from adolescence, preparing for the role. They rise up the ladder of elected offices, perfect a public face, and prepare themselves to win and to govern. The Trump calculation, quite a conscious one, was different. The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their worldview one whit. Almost everybody on the Trump team, in fact, came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president once he was in office. Michael Flynn, the retired general who served as Trump’s opening act at campaign rallies, had been told by his friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. “Well, it would only be a problem if we won,” ­Flynn assured them.

Not only did Trump disregard the potential conflicts of his own business deals and real-estate holdings, he audaciously refused to release his tax returns. Why should he? Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.

There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.

From the moment of victory, the Trump administration became a looking-glass presidency: Every inverse assumption about how to assemble and run a White House was enacted and compounded, many times over. The decisions that Trump and his top advisers made in those first few months — from the slapdash transition to the disarray in the West Wing — set the stage for the chaos and dysfunction that have persisted throughout his first year in office. This was a real-life version of Mel Brooks’s The Producers, where the mistaken outcome trusted by everyone in Trump’s inner circle — that they would lose the election — wound up exposing them for who they really were.

On the Saturday after the election, Trump received a small group of well-­wishers in his triplex apartment in Trump Tower. Even his close friends were still shocked and bewildered, and there was a dazed quality to the gathering. But Trump himself was mostly looking at the clock. Rupert Murdoch, who had promised to pay a call on the president-elect, was running late. When some of the guests made a move to leave, an increasingly agitated Trump assured them that Rupert was on his way. “He’s one of the greats, the last of the greats,” Trump said. “You have to stay to see him.” Not grasping that he was now the most powerful man in the world, Trump was still trying mightily to curry favor with a media mogul who had long disdained him as a charlatan and fool.

The day after the election, the bare-bones transition team that had been set up during the campaign hurriedly shifted from Washington to Trump Tower. The building — now the headquarters of a populist revolution —­ suddenly seemed like an alien spaceship on Fifth Avenue. But its otherworldly air helped obscure the fact that few in Trump’s inner circle, with their overnight responsibility for assembling a government, had any relevant experience.

Ailes, a veteran of the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 41 administrations, tried to impress on Trump the need to create a White House structure that could serve and protect him. “You need a son of a bitch as your chief of staff,” he told Trump. “And you need a son of a bitch who knows Washington. You’ll want to be your own son of a bitch, but you don’t know Washington.” Ailes had a suggestion: John Boehner, who had stepped down as Speaker of the House only a year earlier.

“Who’s that?” asked Trump.

As much as the president himself, the chief of staff determines how the Executive branch — which employs 4 million people — will run. The job has been construed as deputy president, or even prime minister. But Trump had no interest in appointing a strong chief of staff with a deep knowledge of Washington. Among his early choices for the job was Kushner — a man with no political experience beyond his role as a calm and flattering body man to Trump during the campaign.

It was Ann Coulter who finally took the president-elect aside. “Nobody is apparently telling you this,” she told him. “But you can’t. You just can’t hire your children.”

Bowing to pressure, Trump floated the idea of giving the job to Steve Bannon, only to have the notion soundly ridiculed. Murdoch told Trump that Bannon would be a dangerous choice. Joe Scarborough, the former congressman and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, told the president-elect that “Washington will go up in flames” if Bannon became chief of staff.

So Trump turned to Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman, who had became the subject of intense lobbying by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If congressional leaders were going to have to deal with an alien like Donald Trump, then best they do it with the help of one of their own kind.

Jim Baker, chief of staff for both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and almost everybody’s model for managing the West Wing, advised Priebus not to take the job. Priebus had his own reservations: He had come out of his first long meeting with Trump thinking it had been a disconcertingly weird experience. Trump talked nonstop and constantly repeated himself.

“Here’s the deal,” a close Trump associate told Priebus. “In an hour meeting with him, you’re going to hear 54 minutes of stories, and they’re going to be the same stories over and over again. So you have to have one point to make, and you pepper it in whenever you can.”

But the Priebus appointment, announced in mid-November, put Bannon on a co-equal level to the new chief of staff. Even with the top job, Priebus would be a weak figure, in the traditional mold of most Trump lieutenants over the years. There would be one chief of staff in name — the unimportant one — and ­others like Bannon and Kushner, more important in practice, ensuring both chaos and Trump’s independence.

Priebus demonstrated no ability to keep Trump from talking to anyone who wanted his ear. The president-elect enjoyed being courted. On December 14, a high-level delegation from Silicon Valley came to Trump Tower to meet him. Later that afternoon, according to a source privy to details of the conversation, Trump called Rupert Murdoch, who asked him how the meeting had gone.

“Oh, great, just great,” said Trump. “These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.”

“Donald,” said Murdoch, “for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don’t need your help.”

“Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas.”

Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America’s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, “We’ll figure it out.”

“What a fucking idiot,” said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone.

Steve Bannon, suddenly among the world’s most powerful men, was running late. It was the evening of January 3, 2017 — a little more than two weeks before Trump’s inauguration — and Bannon had promised to come to a small dinner arranged by mutual friends in a Greenwich Village townhouse to see Roger Ailes.

Snow was threatening, and for a while the dinner appeared doubtful. But the 76-year-old Ailes, who was as dumbfounded by his old friend Donald Trump’s victory as everyone else, understood that he was passing the right-wing torch to Bannon. Ailes’s Fox News, with its $1.5 billion in annual profits, had dominated Republican politics for two decades. Now Bannon’s Breit­bart News, with its mere $1.5 million in annual profits, was claiming that role. For 30 years, Ailes — until recently the single most powerful person in conservative ­politics — had humored and tolerated Trump, but in the end Bannon and Breitbart had elected him.

At 9:30, having extricated himself from Trump Tower, Bannon finally arrived at the dinner, three hours late. Wearing a disheveled blazer, his signature pairing of two shirts, and military fatigues, the unshaven, overweight 63-year-old immediately dived into an urgent download of information about the world he was about to take over.

“We’re going to flood the zone so we have every Cabinet member for the next seven days through their confirmation hearings,” he said of the business-and-military, 1950s-type Cabinet choices. “Tillerson is two days, Sessions is two days, Mattis is two days …”

Bannon veered from James “Mad Dog” ­Mattis — the retired four-star general whom Trump had nominated as secretary of Defense — to the looming appointment of Michael Flynn as national-security adviser. “He’s fine. He’s not Jim Mattis and he’s not John Kelly … but he’s fine. He just needs the right staff around him.” Still, Bannon averred: “When you take out all the Never Trump guys who signed all those letters and all the neocons who got us in all these wars … it’s not a deep bench.” Bannon said he’d tried to push John Bolton, the famously hawkish diplomat, for the job as national-security adviser. Bolton was an Ailes favorite, too.

“He’s a bomb thrower,” said Ailes. “And a strange little fucker. But you need him. Who else is good on Israel? Flynn is a little nutty on Iran. Tillerson just knows oil.”

“Bolton’s mustache is a problem,” snorted Bannon. “Trump doesn’t think he looks the part. You know Bolton is an acquired taste.”

“Well, he got in trouble because he got in a fight in a hotel one night and chased some woman.”

“If I told Trump that,” Bannon said slyly, “he might have the job.”

Bannon was curiously able to embrace Trump while at the same time suggesting he did not take him entirely seriously. Great numbers of people, he believed, were suddenly receptive to a new message — the world needs borders — and Trump had become the platform for that message.

“Does he get it?” asked Ailes suddenly, looking intently at Bannon. Did Trump get where history had put him?

Bannon took a sip of water. “He gets it,” he said, after hesitating for perhaps a beat too long. “Or he gets what he gets.”

Pivoting from Trump himself, Bannon plunged on with the Trump agenda. “Day one we’re moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s all-in. Sheldon” — Adelson, the casino billionaire and far-right Israel defender — “is all-in. We know where we’re heading on this … Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza. Let them deal with it. Or sink trying.”

“Where’s Donald on this?” asked Ailes, the clear implication being that Bannon was far out ahead of his benefactor.

“He’s totally onboard.”

“I wouldn’t give Donald too much to think about,” said an amused Ailes.

Bannon snorted. “Too much, too little — doesn’t necessarily change things.”

“What has he gotten himself into with the Russians?” pressed Ailes.

“Mostly,” said Bannon, “he went to Russia and he thought he was going to meet Putin. But Putin couldn’t give a shit about him. So he’s kept trying.”

Again, as though setting the issue of Trump aside — merely a large and peculiar presence to both be thankful for and to have to abide — Bannon, in the role he had conceived for himself, the auteur of the Trump presidency, charged forward. The real enemy, he said, was China. China was the first front in a new Cold War.

“China’s everything. Nothing else matters. We don’t get China right, we don’t get anything right. This whole thing is very simple. China is where Nazi Germany was in 1929 to 1930. The Chinese, like the Germans, are the most rational people in the world, until they’re not. And they’re gonna flip like Germany in the ’30s. You’re going to have a hypernationalist state, and once that happens, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”

“Donald might not be Nixon in China,” said Ailes, deadpan.

Bannon smiled. “Bannon in China,” he said, with both remarkable grandiosity and wry self-deprecation.

“How’s the kid?” asked Ailes, referring to Kushner.

“He’s my partner,” said Bannon, his tone suggesting that if he felt otherwise, he was nevertheless determined to stay on message.

“He’s had a lot of lunches with Rupert,” said a dubious Ailes.

“In fact,” said Bannon, “I could use your help here.” He then spent several minutes trying to recruit Ailes to help kneecap Murdoch. Since his ouster from Fox over allegations of sexual harassment, Ailes had become only more bitter toward Murdoch. Now Murdoch was frequently jawboning the president-elect and encouraging him toward Establishment moderation. Bannon wanted Ailes to suggest to Trump, a man whose many neuroses included a horror of senility, that Murdoch might be losing it.

“I’ll call him,” said Ailes. “But Trump would jump through hoops for Rupert. Like for Putin. Sucks up and shits down. I just worry about who’s jerking whose chain.”

Trump did not enjoy his own inauguration. He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed.

The first senior staffer to enter the White House that day was Bannon. On the inauguration march, he had grabbed 32-year-old Katie Walsh, the newly appointed deputy chief of staff, and together they had peeled off to inspect the now-vacant West Wing. The carpet had been shampooed, but little else had changed. It was a warren of tiny offices in need of paint, the décor something like an admissions office at a public university. Bannon claimed the non­descript office across from the much grander chief of staff’s suite and immediately requisitioned the whiteboards on which he intended to chart the first 100 days of the Trump administration. He also began moving furniture out. The point was to leave no room for anyone to sit. Limit discussion. Limit debate. This was war.

Those who had worked on the campaign noticed the sudden change. Within the first week, Bannon seemed to have put away the camaraderie of Trump Tower and become far more remote, if not unreachable. “What’s up with Steve?” Kushner began to ask. “I don’t understand. We were so close.” Now that Trump had been elected, Bannon was already focused on his next goal: capturing the soul of the Trump White House.

He began by going after his enemies. Few fueled his rancor toward the standard-issue Republican world as much as Rupert ­Murdoch — not least because Murdoch had Trump’s ear. It was one of the key elements of Bannon’s understanding of Trump: The last person the president spoke to ended up with enormous influence. Trump would brag that Murdoch was always calling him; Murdoch, for his part, would complain that he couldn’t get Trump off the phone.

“He doesn’t know anything about American politics, and has no feel for the American people,” Bannon told Trump, always eager to point out that Murdoch wasn’t an American. Yet in one regard, Murdoch’s message was useful to Bannon. Having known every president since Harry ­Truman — as Murdoch took frequent opportunities to point out — the media mogul warned Trump that a president has only six months, max, to set his agenda and make an impact. After that, it was just putting out fires and battling the opposition.

This was the message whose urgency Bannon had been trying to impress on an often distracted Trump, who was already trying to limit his hours in the office and keep to his normal golf habits. Bannon’s strategic view of government was shock and awe. In his head, he carried a set of decisive actions that would not just mark the new administration’s opening days but make it clear that nothing ever again would be the same. He had quietly assembled a list of more than 200 executive orders to issue in the first 100 days. The very first EO, in his view, had to be a crackdown on immigration. After all, it was one of Trump’s core campaign promises. Plus, Bannon knew, it was an issue that made liberals batshit mad.

Bannon could push through his agenda for a simple reason: because nobody in the administration really had a job. Priebus, as chief of staff, had to organize meetings, hire staff, and oversee the individual offices in the Executive-branch departments. But Bannon, Kushner, and Ivanka Trump had no specific responsibilities — they did what they wanted. And for Bannon, the will to get big things done was how big things got done. “Chaos was Steve’s strategy,” said Walsh.

On Friday, January 27 — only his eighth day in office — Trump signed an executive order issuing a sweeping exclusion of many Muslims from the United States. In his mania to seize the day, with almost no one in the federal government having seen it or even been aware of it, Bannon had succeeded in pushing through an executive order that overhauled U.S. immigration policy while bypassing the very agencies and personnel responsible for enforcing it.

The result was an emotional outpouring of horror and indignation from liberal media, terror in immigrant communities, tumultuous protests at major airports, confusion throughout the government, and, in the White House, an inundation of opprobrium from friends and family. What have you done? You have to undo this! You’re finished before you even start! But Bannon was satisfied. He could not have hoped to draw a more vivid line between Trump’s America and that of liberals. Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?

“Errr … that’s why,” said Bannon. “So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.” That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left.

On the Sunday after the immigration order was issued, Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski, arrived for lunch at the White House. Trump proudly showed them into the Oval Office. “So how do you think the first week has gone?” he asked the couple, in a buoyant mood, seeking flattery. When Scarborough ventured his opinion that the immigration order might have been handled better, Trump turned defensive and derisive, plunging into a long monologue about how well things had gone. “I could have invited Hannity!” he told Scarborough.

After Jared and Ivanka joined them for lunch, Trump continued to cast for positive impressions of his first week. Scarborough praised the president for having invited leaders of the steel unions to the White House. At which point Jared interjected that reaching out to unions, a Democratic constituency, was Bannon’s doing, that this was “the Bannon way.”

“Bannon?” said the president, jumping on his son-in-law. “That wasn’t Bannon’s idea. That was my idea. It’s the Trump way, not the Bannon way.”

Kushner, going concave, retreated from the discussion.

Trump, changing the topic, said to Scarborough and Brzezinski, “So what about you guys? What’s going on?” He was referencing their not-so-secret secret relationship. The couple said it was still complicated, but good.

“You guys should just get married,” prodded Trump.

“I can marry you! I’m an internet Unitarian minister,” Kushner, otherwise an Orthodox Jew, said suddenly.

“What?” said the president. “What are you talking about? Why would they want you to marry them when could marry them? When they could be married by the president! At Mar-a-Lago!”

The First Children couple were having to navigate Trump’s volatile nature just like everyone else in the White House. And they were willing to do it for the same reason as everyone else — in the hope that Trump’s unexpected victory would catapult them into a heretofore unimagined big time. Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump.

Bannon, who had coined the term “Jarvanka” that was now in ever greater use in the White House, was horrified when the couple’s deal was reported to him. “They didn’t say that?” he said. “Stop. Oh, come on. They didn’t actually say that? Please don’t tell me that. Oh my God.”

The truth was, Ivanka and Jared were as much the chief of staff as Priebus or Bannon, all of them reporting directly to the president. The couple had opted for formal jobs in the West Wing, in part because they knew that influencing Trump required you to be all-in. From phone call to phone call — and his day, beyond organized meetings, was almost entirely phone calls — you could lose him. He could not really converse, not in the sense of sharing information, or of a balanced back-and-forth conversation. He neither particularly listened to what was said to him nor particularly considered what he said in response. He demanded you pay him attention, then decided you were weak for groveling. In a sense, he was like an instinctive, pampered, and hugely successful actor. Everybody was either a lackey who did his bidding or a high-ranking film functionary trying to coax out his performance — without making him angry or petulant.

Ivanka maintained a relationship with her father that was in no way conventional. She was a helper not just in his business dealings, but in his marital realignments. If it wasn’t pure opportunism, it was certainly transactional. For Ivanka, it was all business — building the Trump brand, the presidential campaign, and now the White House. She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp-reduction ­surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.

Kushner, for his part, had little to no success at trying to restrain his father-in-law. Ever since the transition, Jared had been negotiating to arrange a meeting at the White House with Enrique Peña Nieto, the Mexican president whom Trump had threatened and insulted throughout the campaign. On the Wednesday after the inauguration, a high-level Mexican delegation — the first visit by any foreign leaders to the Trump White House — met with Kushner and Reince Priebus. That afternoon, Kushner triumphantly told his father-in-law that Peña Nieto had signed on to a White House meeting and planning for the visit could go forward.

The next day, on Twitter, Trump blasted Mexico for stealing American jobs. “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall,” the president declared, “then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” At which point Peña Nieto did just that, leaving Kushner’s negotiation and statecraft as so much scrap on the floor.

Nothing contributed to the chaos and dysfunction of the White House as much as Trump’s own behavior. The big deal of being president was just not apparent to him. Most victorious candidates, arriving in the White House from ordinary political life, could not help but be reminded of their transformed circumstances by their sudden elevation to a mansion with palacelike servants and security, a plane at constant readiness, and downstairs a retinue of courtiers and advisers. But this wasn’t that different from Trump’s former life in Trump Tower, which was actually more commodious and to his taste than the White House.

Trump, in fact, found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary. He retreated to his own bedroom — the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room. He ­reprimanded the housekeeping staff for picking up his shirt from the floor: “If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor.” Then he imposed a set of new rules: Nobody touch anything, especially not his toothbrush. (He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s — nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.) Also, he would let housekeeping know when he wanted his sheets done, and he would strip his own bed.

If he was not having his 6:30 dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls — the phone was his true contact point with the world — to a small group of friends, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another.

As details of Trump’s personal life leaked out, he became obsessed with identifying the leaker. The source of all the gossip, however, may well have been Trump himself. In his calls throughout the day and at night from his bed, he often spoke to people who had no reason to keep his confidences. He was a river of grievances, which recipients of his calls promptly spread to the ever-attentive media.

On February 6, in one of his seething, self-pitying, and unsolicited phone calls to a casual acquaintance, Trump detailed his bent-out-of-shape feelings about the relentless contempt of the media and the disloyalty of his staff. The initial subject of his ire was the New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, whom he called “a nut job.” Gail Collins, who had written a Times column unfavorably comparing Trump to Vice-President Mike Pence, was “a moron.” Then, continuing under the rubric of media he hated, he veered to CNN and the deep disloyalty of its chief, Jeff Zucker.

Zucker, who as the head of entertainment at NBC had commissioned The Apprentice, had been “made by Trump,” Trump said of himself in the third person. He had “personally” gotten Zucker his job at CNN. “Yes, yes, I did,” said the president, launching into a favorite story about how he had once talked Zucker up at a dinner with a high-ranking executive from CNN’s parent company. “I probably shouldn’t have, because Zucker is not that smart,” Trump lamented, “but I like to show I can do that sort of thing.” Then Zucker had returned the favor by airing the “unbelievably disgusting” story about the Russian “dossier” and the “golden shower” — the practice CNN had accused him of being party to in a Moscow hotel suite with assorted prostitutes.

Having dispensed with Zucker, the president of the United States went on to speculate on what was involved with a golden shower. And how this was all just part of a media campaign that would never succeed in driving him from the White House. Because they were sore losers and hated him for winning, they spread total lies, 100 percent made-up things, totally untrue, for instance, the cover that week of Time magazine — which, Trump reminded his listener, he had been on more than anyone in ­history — that showed Steve Bannon, a good guy, saying he was the real president. “How much influence do you think Steve Bannon has over me?” Trump demanded. He repeated the question, then repeated the answer: “Zero! Zero!” And that went for his son-in-law, too, who had a lot to learn.

The media was not only hurting him, he said — he was not looking for any agreement or even any response — but hurting his negotiating capabilities, which hurt the nation. And that went for Saturday Night Live, which might think it was very funny but was actually hurting everybody in the country. And while he understood that SNL was there to be mean to him, they were being very, very mean. It was “fake comedy.” He had reviewed the treatment of all other presidents in the media, and there was nothing like this ever, even of Nixon, who was treated very unfairly. “Kellyanne, who is very fair, has this all documented. You can look at it.”

The point is, he said, that that very day, he had saved $700 million a year in jobs that were going to Mexico, but the media was talking about him wandering around the White House in his bathrobe, which “I don’t have because I’ve never worn a bathrobe. And would never wear one, because I’m not that kind of guy.” And what the media was doing was undermining this very dignified house, and “dignity is so important.” But Murdoch, “who had never called me, never once,” was now calling all the time. So that should tell people something.

The call went on for 26 minutes.

Without a strong chief of staff at the White House, there was no real up-and-down structure in the administration—merely a figure at the top and everyone else scrambling for his attention. It wasn’t task-based so much as response-oriented — whatever captured the boss’s attention focused everybody’s attention. Priebus and Bannon and Kushner were all fighting to be the power behind the Trump throne. And in these crosshairs was Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff.

Walsh, who came to the White House from the RNC, represented a certain Republican ideal: clean, brisk, orderly, efficient. A righteous bureaucrat with a permanently grim expression, she was a fine example of the many political professionals in whom competence and organizational skills transcend ideology. To Walsh, it became clear almost immediately that “the three gentlemen running things,” as she came to characterize them, had each found his own way to appeal to the president. Bannon offered a rousing fuck-you show of force; Priebus offered flattery from the congressional leadership; Kushner offered the approval of blue-chip businessmen. Each appeal was exactly what Trump wanted from the presidency, and he didn’t understand why he couldn’t have them all. He wanted to break things, he wanted Congress to give him bills to sign, and he wanted the love and respect of New York machers and socialites.

As soon as the campaign team had stepped into the White House, Walsh saw, it had gone from managing Trump to the expectation of being managed by him. Yet the president, while proposing the most radical departure from governing and policy norms in several generations, had few specific ideas about how to turn his themes and vitriol into policy. And making suggestions to him was deeply complicated. Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate. He trusted his own expertise ­— no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. He was often confident, but he was just as often paralyzed, less a savant than a figure of sputtering and dangerous insecurities, whose instinctive response was to lash out and behave as if his gut, however confused, was in fact in some clear and forceful way telling him what to do. It was, said Walsh, “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

By the end of the second week following the immigration EO, the three advisers were in open conflict with one another. For Walsh, it was a daily process of managing an impossible task: Almost as soon as she received direction from one of the three men, it would be countermanded by one or another of them.

“I take a conversation at face value and move forward with it,” she said. “I put what was decided on the schedule and bring in comms and build a press plan around it … And then Jared says, ‘Why did you do that?’ And I say, ‘Because we had a meeting three days ago with you and Reince and Steve where you agreed to do this.’ And he says, ‘But that didn’t mean I wanted it on the schedule …’ It almost doesn’t matter what anyone says: Jared will agree, and then it will get sabotaged, and then Jared goes to the president and says, see, that was Reince’s idea or Steve’s idea.”

If Bannon, Priebus, and Kushner were now fighting a daily war with one another, it was exacerbated by the running disinformation campaign about them that was being prosecuted by the president himself. When he got on the phone after dinner, he’d speculate on the flaws and weaknesses of each member of his staff. Bannon was disloyal (not to mention he always looks like shit). Priebus was weak (not to mention he was short — a midget). Kushner was a suck-up. Sean Spicer was stupid (and looks terrible too). Conway was a crybaby. Jared and Ivanka should never have come to Washington.

During that first month, Walsh’s disbelief and even fear about what was happening in the White House moved her to think about quitting. Every day after that became a countdown toward the moment she knew she wouldn’t be able to take it anymore. To Walsh, the proud political pro, the chaos, the rivalries, and the president’s own lack of focus were simply incomprehensible. In early March, not long before she left, she confronted Kushner with a simple request. “Just give me the three things the president wants to focus on,” she demanded. “What are the three priorities of this White House?”

It was the most basic question imaginable — one that any qualified presidential candidate would have answered long before he took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Six weeks into Trump’s presidency, Kushner was wholly without an answer.

“Yes,” he said to Walsh. “We should probably have that conversation.”

*Excerpted from Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Henry Holt and Co., January 9, 2018). This article appears in the January 8, 2018, issue of New York Magazine.

*This article has been updated to include more information from Wolff’s book about the nature of Trump’s conversation with the Mercers.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html

 

White House Bashes New Book On Trump: It’s ‘Trashy Tabloid Fiction’

President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speak to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The White House was quick to dismiss a new book about President Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency on Wednesday after New York Magazine published an excerpt.

“This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy.”

The excerpt from Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” painted a picture of a chaotic campaign and White House run by staffers who were unprepared for their roles and who were constantly battling each other for Trump’s attention. The book also alleges that Melania Trump did not want Trump to win the White House and was upset when he won the race.

The first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, denied that account in a statement.

“The book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section. Mrs. Trump supported her husband’s decision to run for President and in fact, encouraged him to do so. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did,” Grisham said.

Trump’s response to the book was less measured and specifically took aim at Steve Bannon, who told Wolff that the infamous Trump Tower meeting Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner attended with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in June 2016 was “treasonous,” per The Guardian. In a Wednesday statement, Trump said that Bannon had “lost his mind” and claimed that he did little to help Trump win the presidency.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/white-house-pushes-back-michael-wolff-book

 

Michael Wolff (journalist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Wolff
Michael Wolff.jpg

Wolff in Rome, Italy (June 2008)
Born August 27, 1953 (age 64)
Occupation Columnist, Internet entrepreneur, television commentator
Nationality American
Alma mater Vassar CollegeColumbia University
Spouse Alison Anthoine
Website
www.newser.com

Michael Wolff (born August 27, 1953) is an American authoressayist, and journalist who is a regular columnist and contributor to USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, and the UK edition of GQ.[1]

Early life

Michael Wolff was born in New Jersey, the son of Lewis A. Wolff, an advertising man, and Marguerite “Van” (Vanderwerf) Wolff (1925–2012), a newspaper reporter. He went to Columbia College of Columbia University in New York City. While a student at Columbia, he worked for The New York Times as a copy boy.

He published his first magazine article in the New York Times Magazine in 1974: a profile of Angela Atwood, a neighbor of his family. As a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, she helped kidnap Patricia Hearst. Shortly afterwards he left the Times and became a contributing writer to the New Times, a bi-weekly news magazine started by John Larsen and George Hirsch. Wolff’s first book was White Kids (1979), a collection of essays.

Career

After publishing his first book, Wolff received an advance to write a novel, which he never finished. A college friend, Steven J. Hueglin, who had become a successful Wall Street banker, asked for Wolff’s help in evaluating investments in media companies. He pulled him into a career as a media business entrepreneur.[citation needed]

In 1988, Wolff took over the management of the magazine Campaigns & Elections. He became involved in advising start-up magazines, including Wired. He also raised financing for media companies and new businesses.[citation needed]

In 1991, he launched Michael Wolff & Company, Inc., specializing in book-packaging. Its first project, Where We Stand, was a book with a companion PBS series. The company’s next major project was creating one of the first guides to the Internet, albeit in book form. Net Guide was published by Random House.[2] On the eve of launching the title as a monthly magazine, the incipient magazine was bought by CMP Media, the publisher of computer magazines.[citation needed]

Wolff’s company continued to publish a succession of book-form Internet guides. In 1995, the company took a round of venture capital investment, with shareholders including Patricof & Co., the New York venture capitalfirm. It began to convert its print directories into a website and digital directory called Your Personal Network. At one point, the company was valued by bankers seeking to take the company public at more than $100 million. The venture collapsed in 1997, and Wolff was expelled from the company.[citation needed]

Return to writing

Wolff returned to writing, from which he had been absent for more than ten years, and recounted the details of the financing, positioning, personalities, and ultimate breakdown of a start-up Internet company. The book, Burn Rate, became a bestseller. Wolff briefly worked as a weekly columnist for The Industry Standard, an Internet trade magazine published by IDG.[3]

In August 1998, he was recruited by New York magazine to write a weekly column. Over the next six years, he wrote more than 300 columns, solidifying his reputation as provocative and knowledgeable writer about the media industry.[4] The entrepreneur Steven Brill, the media banker Steven Rattner, and the book publisher Judith Regan, were criticized by him.[5][6][7][8]

Wolff has been nominated for the National Magazine Award three times, winning twice.[9] His second National Magazine Award was for a series of columns he wrote from the media center in the Persian Gulf as the Iraq War started in 2003. His book, Autumn of the Moguls (2004), which predicted the mainstream media crisis that hit later in the decade, was based on many of his New York magazine columns.[10]

In 2004, when New York magazine’s owners, Primedia, Inc., put the title up for sale, Wolff helped assemble a group of investors, including New York Daily News publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, to back him in acquiring the magazine.[11][12] Although the group believed it had made a successful bid, Primedia decided to sell the magazine to the investment banker Bruce Wasserstein.[13]

In 2005, Wolff joined Vanity Fair as its media columnist.[14] In 2007, with Patrick Spain, the founder of Hoover’s, and Caroline Miller, the former editor-in-chief of New York magazine, he launched Newser, a news curator.[15]

That year, he also wrote a biography of Rupert MurdochThe Man Who Owns the News, based on more than 50 hours of conversation with Murdoch, and extensive access to his business associates and his family. The book was published in 2008.[16][17][not in citation given] That year he also began writing a daily column for Newser.[18]

In 2010, Wolff became editor of Adweek. He lasted in the job barely a year before stepping down.[19]

Wolff wrote Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which will be released on January 9, 2018. After an excerpt was released online on January 3, the book reached number one on Amazon.com.[20]

Criticism

In its review of Wolff’s book Burn RateBrill’s Content criticized Wolff for “apparent factual errors” and said that 13 people, including subjects he mentioned, complained that Wolff had “invented or changed quotes”.[21]

In a 2004 cover story for The New Republic, Michelle Cottle wrote that Wolff was “uninterested in the working press,” preferring to focus on “the power players—the moguls” and was “fixated on culture, style, buzz, and money, money, money.” She also noted that “the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created—springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events.” Calling his writing “a whirlwind of flourishes and tangents and asides that often stray so far from the central point that you begin to wonder whether there is a central point.”[22]

The Columbia Journalism Review criticized Wolff in 2010 when he suggested that The New York Times was aggressively covering the breaking News International phone hacking scandal as a way of attacking News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch.[23]

Personal life

Wolff was married to Alison Anthoine, an attorney.[24] Wolff began divorce proceedings from Anthoine in 2009.[24] Since 2009, Wolff has been dating freelance writer Victoria Floethe.[25][26]

Books

  • The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch
  • Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet
  • Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures With the Titans, Poseurs, and Money Guys Who Mastered and Messed Up Big Media
  • Where We Stand
  • White Kids
  • Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media In the Digital Age
  • Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (forthcoming)

Reviews

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wolff_(journalist)

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Totalitarians of Lying Lunatic Left Attempt to Suppress Speech of Conservatives, Libertarians, and Classical Liberals — Something New — Go On Offense And Attack The Collectivist Totalitarians — Battle For Berkeley — Berkeley Protesters Take the Pepsi Challenge — Why the Right Won — Chief of Police Orders Police Officers To Stand Down — Security Is The New Shut-Up — Shame On UC Berkeley — Videos

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ANTIFA VS America Compilation

Antifa Reddit Admits They Lost Berkeley Battle with Trump Supporters

Berkeley April 15,BAMN leader Yvette Felarca assaults patriots

Berkeley Leftists Riot Against Milo (Mini Documentary: Arrest Yvette Felarca Part 2)

Handicap Senior Citizen U.S Military Vet Stands Up & Cucks Antifa

Is It Wrong To Bash Antifa Leftist Scum?

Berkeley Police Refuse To Stop the Riots – When Told People are Being Beaten, Officer Says “…and?”

Hannity, Alt Left Pile On, Mayhem in Berkeley, Pres Obama’s Failures

Does Free Speech Offend You?

Ann Coulter: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Needs to Investigate UC Berkeley For Cancelling Speech

Ann Coulter rejects Berkeley’s proposal to reschedule speech

Berkeley reschedules Coulter speech after backlash

Ann Coulter Discusses Berkeley w/ Prager

Ben Shapiro on Free Speech, College Campuses, and The Regressive Left

Ben Shapiro – Practical Tactics For Fighting The Left

Thomas Sowell — Dismantling America

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

One World Government & Collectivism – G. Edward Griffin

The Quigley Formula – G. Edward Griffin lecture

The Mainstream Media Are Enemies of Freedom, Agents of Tyranny and Must Be Overthrown

Super rich are in a conspiracy to rule the world – G. Edward Griffin – 2007

Antifa and Conservatives Throw Down At ‘Battle Of Berkeley’…

battle of berkeley
In the course of history, there have been many great battles. Thermopylae. Gettysburg. Tupac and Biggie. The forces of good and douchebag have long utilized beating the crap out of each other to resolve their grievances. Well, last weekend, yet another battle was had. Conservative and leftist blood alike was shed at what shall henceforth be referred to as the Battle of Berkeley

For the third time this year, Trump supporters and Antifa clashed on the streets of Berkeley, California. The two forces met Saturday during the pro-Trump Patriot Day rally.

Berkeley Police have arrested at least 15 people this morning and afternoon, after antifascists met Trump supporters at a pro-Trump rally. Police attempted to maintain order with poles and fence mesh, but the barriers did not stop the two sides from violently engaging.

Trump supporters had organized a Patriot Day rally, starring Lauren Southern, a former reporter for conservative Canadian outlet The Rebel Media and Kyle Chapman, a man who achieved internet stardom as “Based Stickman” after assaulting a member of Antifa with a stick at the March 4 scuffle in Berkeley, among others.

Berkeley police have confiscated banned items such as knives, flagpoles, and sticks used as weapons.

https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/antifa-conservatives-battle-of-berkeley/

Berkeley Mayor Is Member of Antifa Facebook Group that Organized Riots

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin is a member of the anti-fascist Facebook group, By Any Means Necessary, which orchestrated the riots that occurred ahead of a scheduled lecture by Milo Yiannopoulos.

Berkley Mayor Jesse Arreguin was revealed to be a member of the anti-fascist group, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), on Facebook. BAMN orchestrated the violence that shut down a scheduled lecture at UC Berkeley featuring Milo Yiannopoulos in early 2017. Arreguin is allegedly also friends with BAMN leader, Yvette Felarca, on Facebook.

They were also involved in the violent clashes earlier this month.

Felarca defended the violence that occurred ahead of Yiannopoulos’ scheduled event in a local television interview following the riots.

BAMN was investigated for engaging in terrorist activities in 2005 by the FBI. In 2009, the Department of Defense classified the group’s activities as “low-level terrorism.” In June 2016, BAMN led a violent counter-protest outside a white nationalist rally that resulted in ten people being hospitalized with stab wounds.

Often described as a “militant left-wing” activist group, BAMN frequently engages in violent forms of protests. A Berkeley newspaper noted in 2001 that the group was a front for an “an obscure Detroit-based Trotskyist political party called the Revolutionary Workers League.”

Breitbart News has reached out to Mayor Arreguin for comment.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at tciccotta@breitbart.com

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/04/21/berkeley-mayor-is-member-of-antifa-facebook-group-that-organized-riots/

Antifa wants combat training and firearms after losing the ‘Battle for Berkeley’

Brandon Morse

Antifa wants combat training and firearms after losing the ‘Battle for Berkeley’

Antifa members have begun discussions about arming themselves with better training and firearms after they were routed by Trump supporters during the “Battle of Berkeley” in California.

Last week supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with members of the leftist group known as Antifa (short for anti-fascist) in Berkeley California. The meeting of the two groups soon erupted in violence, with Antifa using mace, M80’s, and various other weapons to attack Trump supporters.

According to Rebel Media’s Lauren Southern, Trump supporters were told by police not to bring any weapons, as police would protect them. Upon Anitfa’s arrival, the police retreated, leaving the Trump supporters to utilize whatever weapons they could get their hands on. Regardless, the Trump supporters routed Antifa after one of their members threw a smoke bomb, not realizing the wind was blowing in Antifa’s direction.

This loss prompted Antifa members to begin discussion about how they could better prepare themselves for future skirmishes against Trump supporters.

In the subreddit r/anarchism, one Anitfa member acknowledged the loss, and suggested that members find a way to become “better organized and better trained.” Another member agreed, saying that too many of their “comrades” went into battle “no combat training,” and suggested they start “seminars or something of that sort.”

This conversation continued, with suggestions for better equipment such as helmets and padding over the typical hoodie and facemask being worn. Another person on this r/anarchism thread suggested they rally behind a leader who can organize and direct actions. The conversation soon turned to weapons, however, and one member in particular suggested they bring firearms.

Not getting disarmed is a big part of the problem, yes, but we need more than flags and bats. We need to take notes from the John Brown Gun Club and get firearms and training. I know getting firearms in states and cities we have a presence in is usually a hassle, but even handguns would help. It would certainly put a psychological element in while holding fash back. Who do you think a fascist is more afraid of? People with only flags and bats, or people with flags, bats, and guns?”

screen-shot-2017-04-20-at-6-00-14-pm

screen-shot-2017-04-20-at-5-58-43-pm

Antifa is known for their willingness to use violence and intimidation to silence political, and ideological opponents. An Antifa chapter at Clemson University, known as “Upstate Antifa” have made an effort to justify the violence and destruction committed against what they loosely base as “Nazis” and “fascists.”

Recently, Antifa members inadvertently turned on one of their own after his mask was forcibly removed, spraying him with pepper spray, and hitting him with a skateboard as they retreated from pro-Trump marchers.

Another instance of violence occurred while Trump supporters and Antifa were engaging in trash talk. One of Antifa’s members used a bike lock to strike a Trump supporter in the head without warning, causing him to bleed a good deal from his scalp.

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/04/21/antifa-wants-combat-training-and-firearms-after-losing-the-battle-for-berkely/

Conservative group threatens UC Berkeley over Ann Coulter appearance

Paige St. JohnContact Reporter

A conservative group on Friday threatened to take legal action against UC Berkeley if student sponsors are not allowed to pick the date and location for an appearance by commentator Ann Coulter.

Coulter had been scheduled to speak on the demonstration-weary campus on April 27, but Berkeley officials refused permission, citing safety concerns. Amid public criticism, the administration on Thursday agreed to set the event for May 2, at midday, in a science hall away from the central campus.

“The university’s actions violate fundamental principles of free speech, equal protection and due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” a letter from lawyers representing the conservative outreach group Young America’s Foundation warned.

It called Berkeley’s offer “transparently insincere” — noting that the new date falls during “dead week,” a time when most students are studying for final exams.

“UC Berkeley may not censor speech its administrators plainly disfavor, simply because a potential mob shares the administrators’ distaste,” the letter said.

In response, Berkeley answered that it does not have a “protectable” venue available on April 27 and raised concern about Coulter’s “disregard” for what police believe is required to keep her appearance safe.

“The Constitution permits the university to take such steps to protect public safety while facilitating expressive activities, and that is exactly what we are doing,” officials said in a prepared statement.

Coulter, who had been invited to speak about immigration, used her Twitter account Thursday to declare she would speak at Berkeley on April 27, “as I was invited to do and have a contract to do.”

Although the student groups hosting her appearance are the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeCal, the contracted sponsor for the event is Young America’s Foundation.

Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said administrators learned of Coulter’s planned arrival only after that contract was signed, preventing an assessment of how to avoid a replay of the violence that disrupted a scheduled Milo Yiannopoulos appearance at Berkeley on Feb. 1.

Large crowds swarmed the campus where the right-wing provocateur was to appear, and masked demonstrators in black garb tore down police barricades, smashed windows and set off explosives.

Since then, the university town has witnessed two demonstrations held by alt-right organizations that led to violent clashes.

“We were disappointed we couldn’t make an event work,” Mogulof said. “We believe it is important to expose our students to a diverse array of perspectives. … [They] can’t be educated in an echo chamber.”

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-berkeley-coulter-20170421-story.html

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Part 2: The Decline and Fall Of The Democratic Party Under Liar In Chief Obama — Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump in 2016 Presidential Election — Two Party Tyranny — What Difference Does It Make? — Donor Class Wins No Matter Who Wins — Make America Great Again! –Videos

Posted on November 2, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, British History, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Medicine, Middle East, Missiles, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Torture, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 561: October 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 560: October 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 559: October 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 558: October 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 557: October 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 556: October 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 555: October 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 554: October 15, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 553: October 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 552: October 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 551: October 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 550: October 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 549: October 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 548: October 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 547: October 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 546: October 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 545: October 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 544: September 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

Story 1: Part 2: The Decline and Fall Of The Democratic Party Under Liar In Chief Obama — Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump in 2016 Presidential Election — Two Party Tyranny — What Difference Does It Make? — Donor Class Wins No Matter Who Wins — Make America Great Again! –Videos

Obama-is-pathological-liar  liars four americans diedBenghaziDied

epa03398098 US President Barack Obama (2-L) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (3-R) take part in the Transfer of Remains Ceremony marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya, at Joint Base Andrews in Washington DC, USA, 14 September 2012. Gunmen attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, killing of US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three embassy staffs. EPA/MOLLY RILEY / POOL

obama lied


laughing-h-600-li

Inside Hillary Clinton’s measured Benghazi testimony

Ray: A public servant who has a track record of not telling the truth

Judge Napolitano What if the two party system is a sham? – Fox Business

Donald Trump on GOP competition, Benghazi hearing

Kurtz: Paul Ryan, insufficiently conservative?

Pro-Amnesty Rep. Gutiérrez Supports Paul Ryan For Speaker Of The House

Save Us From Paul Ryan

Ann Coulter, “¡Adios America!”

Ann Coulter argues that immigration is the greatest issue facing the United States today. She contends that America’s immigration policy is deeply flawed and that amnesty will lead to a greater influx of liberal voters, who according to the author, will hurt the economy as well as the country’s public and foreign policy.

Ann Coulter slaughters pro Immigration advocates

Rush Limbaugh: GOP donors installed Paul Ryan as House Speaker

Limbaugh: Donor/RINO Class Pushing Hard For Paul Ryan As Speaker Of The House

Limbaugh: Donor/RINO Class Pushing Hard For Paul Ryan As Speaker Of The House

Pro-Amnesty Paul Ryan … what the GOP’s big donors want (Limbaugh)

Rush Limbaugh (10/23/15): “Here’s the dream, from the Republican donor side. The Republican donor side is that Jeb Bush or, if not Jeb, somebody else acceptable to the Republican establishment, gets elected president, Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House, and the donor class thinks that if they can make that happen, that within 12 to 18 months their entire agenda will be implemented.”

Both Parties Fear the Tea Party (Limbaugh)

Mark Levin on Paul Ryan’s radical pro Amnesty ideology

UN-led Mass Migration Destroying U.S. Nationhood

Understanding the Impact of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Would Paul Ryan Be a Good Choice for House Speaker?

What We Can Expect If Congress Passes TPP

The Nuances Behind the Republican Presidential Debate

How Trump’s Attack on McCain Didn’t Go Far Enough

Iran Deal Courtesy of CFR New World Order Crowd

‘2030 Agenda’: Latest UN Plan for World Government

‘Two-party system an illusion, both funded from same source’

“MORE AND MORE PEOPLE “FED UP WITH THIS “RIGGED TWO-PARTY SYSTEM”!

The Two-Party System is Making America Ungovernable- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Andrew Horning on Breaking the Two Party System 1 18 2014

Reagan Warned Us About Obama

Mark Steyn on Racism, Slavery, and the Democratic Party

Rush To Beck: “We May Be Looking At Barack Obama Destroying The Democrat Party”

Mark Krikorian Intro to Panelists – Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants

Robert Rector – Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants

Panel Press Release: http://cis.org/Announcements/Immigran…
Welfare Use by Immigrant and Native Households: http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Immigrant-…
Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrant Households: http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Legal-Ille…
Panel Video: Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants: http://cis.org/Videos/Immigrant-Welfa…
Panel Transcript: Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants: http://cis.org/PanelTranscripts/Immig…

The Center for Immigration Studies hosted a discussion at the National Press Club focusing on two reports on immigration and welfare. The Center’s first report focuses on welfare use by immigrant and native-born housholds, the second report separates welfare use by legal and illegal households. Two nationally recognized policy experts, along with the Center’s director of research and author of the report, discussed immigrant welfare use at the panel.

Q and A Welfare – Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants

Panel Clip: Jobs Americans Won’t Do?

Panel Clip: Do Immigrants Create More Jobs?

Steven Camarota – Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants

Panel Clip: Welfare Restrictions on Immigrants?

Panel Clip: U.S. Family Immigration vs. Other Countries

Mark Krikorian Intro – 1965 Immigration Act 50 Years Later

Philip Martin – 1965 Immigration Act 50 Years Later

Jerry Kammer – 1965 Immigration Act 50 Years Later

Peggy Orchowski – 1965 Immigration Act 50 Years Later

Q and A – 1965 Immigration Act 50 Years Later

Panel Clip: Was JFK a Restrictionist?

Stop Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants – Expert Reveals the True Cost of Amnesty

Alan Keyes: Stop Illegal Immigration, No Amnesty!

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

Ron Paul – Judge Napolitano What if the two party system is a sham? – Fox Business

ObamaCare 101: What the Healthcare Law Means to You Part 1 of 3

Art Thompson, CEO of The John Birch Society, takes you into the new healthcare law. He identifies a pattern of government broken promises, revealing that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Find out what’s really in the new law and what you can expect long term.

ObamaCare 101: What the Healthcare Law Means to You Part 2 of 3

ObamaCare 101: What the Healthcare Law Means to You Part 3 of 3

John Birch Society: Oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

William F. Jasper, Senior Editor for The New American magazine, explains how President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an “an all-out assault on our national sovereignty,” and how It would unconstitutionally transfer legislative powers from the U.S. Congress, our state legislatures, and our city and county governments to multi-national corporations and unaccountable international bureaucrats at the World Trade Organization, or WTO. Incredibly, it also would transfer judicial powers from our federal and state courts — which are bad enough — to globalist TPP judges at regional tribunals and the WTO.

DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

Archie Bunker on Democrats

Archie Bunker predicts conditions under Obama

George Carlin – It’s a big club and you ain’t in it

Obama Job Approval Steady in 27th Quarter at 45.9%

Obama Job Approval Steady in 27th Quarter at 45.9%
by Jeffrey M. Jones

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Average 45.9% approval similar to 46.1% in prior quarter
  • Obama has been under 50% approval for most of his presidency
  • Approval midrange compared with other presidents’ 27th quarters

PRINCETON, N.J. — President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in his 27th quarter in office, from July 20 to Oct. 19, averaged 45.9%, essentially unchanged from his 46.1% average for the prior quarter.

President Barack Obama's Quarterly Job Approval Averages

Obama’s daily approval ratings also varied little within his most recent quarter, averaging 46% nearly every week during the quarter. There were just two modest but notable exceptions. In late August, as U.S. stocks fell in response to concerns about problems in the Chinese economy, his weekly approval rating dipped to 44%. And in late September it rose to 48% during the week of Pope Francis’ U.S. trip, which included a widely covered visit with Obama at the White House.

Since he became president nearly seven years ago, Obama has averaged 47% job approval. There have been only five quarters when he had majority approval, with four of those occurring during the first year of his presidency, the so-called “honeymoon phase” when new presidents tend to be rated positively. The only other time Obama’s quarterly approval exceeded 50% was perhaps the most consequential one — the 16th quarter, in which he was re-elected.

Obama’s 27th Quarter Midrange Compared With Other Presidents

Obama is the sixth post-World War II president to serve a 27th quarter in office. Two of these — Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton — were rated quite positively at this stage in their presidencies, with average approval ratings of 65.3% and 59.7%, respectively.

In contrast, Harry Truman (23.0%) and George W. Bush (33.2%) were decidedly unpopular at the same point of their presidencies. Truman’s 27th quarter average is the worst quarterly average for any president in Gallup’s polling history.

Obama’s 27th quarter average, along with Ronald Reagan’s, is between these two extremes. Reagan averaged 47.0% approval, slightly better than Obama’s 45.9%.

Job Approval Averages for Presidents During Their 27th Quarter in Office

After presidents have served nearly seven years in office, Americans’ opinions of them are pretty well-established and unlikely to change unless a major international or domestic crisis occurs. Clinton’s and Bush’s approval ratings did not change between their 27th and 28thquarters. Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan saw modest improvements of a few percentage points.

Implications

Americans’ opinions of Obama have been steady this year, holding near 46%. If his approval ratings do not improve dramatically during the remainder of his presidency, his full-term approval rating average, currently 47%, will rank among the lowest for post-World War II presidents, tied with Gerald Ford’s and better than only Truman’s (45.4%) and Jimmy Carter’s (45.5%).

Obama’s relatively low approval ratings may be as much a function of the era in which he is governing as it is a reflection on his leadership, management and decision-making. There have been relatively few international crises that helped to boost his public support, as the 9/11 attacks and Iraq War did for Bush, and as similar crises have done for other presidents. Arguably the only “rally event” in Obama’s presidency was the capture of Osama bin Laden. Obama also took office during the Great Recession, and the economic recovery since it ended has been slow and uneven.

But Obama is also governing in a time of extreme partisan polarization. In Congress, that has meant political gridlock since Democrats lost control of the U.S. House in the 2010 midterm elections. In the American public, it is evident in his historically low support from the opposition party. Obama’s average 13% approval rating among Republicans is on pace to be the lowest job approval rating from the opposition party by a full 10 percentage points, behind Bush’s average 23% approval rating among Democrats. By comparison, Clinton averaged 27% approval among Republicans, and presidents before Clinton averaged 40% approval from the opposition.

These data are available inGallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 20-Oct. 19, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 45,663 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/186335/obama-job-approval-steady-27th-quarter.aspx?g_source=Politics&g_medium=newsfeed&g_campaign=tiles

In U.S., New Record 43% Are Political Independents

by Jeffrey M. Jones

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Record 43% of Americans are political independents
  • Democrats maintain edge among those with a party preference
  • Democratic advantage smaller in 2014 than in 2013

PRINCETON, N.J. — An average 43% of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014, establishing a new high in Gallup telephone poll trends back to 1988. In terms of national identification with the two major parties, Democrats continued to hold a modest edge over Republicans, 30% to 26%.

U.S. Party Identification, Yearly Averages, 1988-2014

Since 2008, the percentage of political independents — those who identify as such before their leanings to the two major parties are taken into account — has steadily climbed from 35% to the current 43%, exceeding 40% each of the last four years. Prior to 2011, the high in independent identification was 39% in 1995 and 1999.

The recent rise in political independence has come at the expense of both parties, but more among Democrats than among Republicans. Over the last six years, Democratic identification has fallen from 36% — the highest in the last 25 years — to 30%. Meanwhile, Republican identification is down from 28% in 2008 to 26% last year.

The latest results are based on aggregated data from 15 separate Gallup telephone polls conducted throughout 2014.

These changes have left both parties at or near low points in the percentage who identify themselves as core supporters of the party. Although the party identification data compiled in telephone polls since 1988 are not directly comparable to the in-person polling Gallup collected before then, the percentages identifying as Democrats prior to 1988 were so high that it is safe to say the average 30% identifying as Democrats last year is the lowest since at least the 1950s.

Republican identification, at 26%, is a shade higher than the 25% in 2013. Not since 1983, the year before Ronald Reagan’s landslide re-election victory, have fewer Americans identified as Republicans.

The decline in identification with both parties in recent years comes as dissatisfaction with government has emerged as one of the most important problems facing the country, according to Americans. This is likely due to the partisan gridlock that has come from divided party control of the federal government. Trust in the government to handle problems more generally is the lowest Gallup has measured to date, and Americans’ favorable ratings of both parties are at or near historical lows. Thus, the rise in U.S. political independence likely flows from the high level of frustration with the government and the political parties that control it.

Democrats’ Edge in Party Identification and Leaning Shrinks

Although independents claim no outright allegiance to either major party, it is well-known that they are not necessarily neutral when it comes to politics. When pressed, most independents will say they lean to one of the two major parties. For example, last year an average of 17% of Americans who initially identified as independents subsequently said they “leaned” Republican, 15% were independents who leaned Democratic, with the remaining 11% not expressing a leaning to either party.

Since partisan leaners often share similar attitudes to those who identify with a party outright, the relative proportions of identifiers plus leaners gives a sense of the relative electoral strength of the two political parties, since voting decisions almost always come down to a choice of the two major-party candidates. In 2014, an average 45% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were Democratic-leaning independents, while 42% identified as Republicans or were Republican-leaning independents.

That the three-point Democratic edge was down from six points in 2013, and among Democrats’ smaller advantages the past 25 years. Democrats usually hold an advantage in this combined measure of party affiliation. In fact, the only year Republicans held a notable edge since Gallup began tracking independents’ political leanings was in 1991, the year Republican President George H.W. Bush’s approval ratings soared after the United States’ victory in the Persian Gulf War. Democrats’ high point came in 2008, in the final year of George W. Bush’s administration and the year Barack Obama was first elected president.

U.S. Party Identification (Including Independent Leanings), Annual Averages, Gallup Polls, 1991-2014

However, the three-point Democratic advantage for all of 2014 obscures the change that occurred during the year. On a quarterly basis, Democrats started out 2014 with a five-point edge, similar to their advantage in 2013. That dipped to two points by the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, likely in response to Republicans’ success in the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans held a slight advantage of one point.

Party Identification (Including Independent Leanings), Quarterly Averages, 2014

Implications

Since 2008, Americans have been increasingly reluctant to identify with either the Republican or Democratic Party, and now a record 43% claimed political independence in 2014. Given historical trends, 2015 could bring a new record, as the percentage identifying as independents typically increases in the year before a presidential election, averaging a 2.5-point increase in the last six such years.

Although Democrats typically have an advantage in partisanship, that edge shrunk in 2014 and in the last months of the year the parties were essentially on equal footing. With each party controlling part of the federal government — Democrats the presidency and Republicans the Congress — they each will have a say in how the nation addresses its major challenges in the coming year. However, in recent years divided control of government has more often than not resulted in partisan gridlock, and Americans’ frustration with the frequent political stalemate is evident. Continued frustration with the government would likely encourage more Americans to identify as independents this year.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted January-December 2014, with a combined random sample of 16,479 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how Gallup Poll Social Series works.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/180440/new-record-political-independents.aspx

New Emails Reveal Obama White House Worked on Concocting Benghazi Lie DURING the Attacks

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said on Thursday that the Obama White House was contacting YouTube owner Google during the Benghazi terrorist attacks, working on the false narrative even before Americans were out of harm’s way and before the intelligence community examined available evidence.

The still classified Obama State Department email, according to Issa, shows that the Obama White House rushed to settle on the false narrative of the anti-Islamic YouTube video instigating the attacks, which was completely at odds with the conclusions reached by reports from the ground.

This new evidence destroys the Obama White House claims, communicated by Obama spokesman Jay Carney, that the White House obtained the false narrative from CIA talking points, since, according to Congressman Issa, the communication with YouTube was conducted by the Obama White House before  any CIA talking points were concocted.

The subject line of the email, ironically sent at 9:11 p.m. (the attacks took place on 9/11/12) on the night of the attack, was “Update on Response to actions – Libya,” hours before  the attack had ended.

“The e-mail shows the White House had hurried to settle on a false narrative — one at odds with the conclusions reached by those on the ground — before Americans were even out of harm’s way or the intelligence community had made an impartial examination of available evidence,” Issa said.

Issa has called for the Obama White House to declassify the email.

According to Issa, one of the items noted in the email stated, “White House is reaching out to U-Tube [sic] to advise ramifications of the posting of the Pastor Jon video.”

Issa scolded current Secretary of State, Democrat John Kerry, for just now turning over a classified version of the email, some 20 months after the attack, while calling on the regime to release a unclassified copy.

“Unfortunately, Secretary Kerry and the State Department continue to try to keep this information from the public, only turning this document over to Congress last month. While the information I have cited from this email is clearly unclassified, the State Department has attempted to obstruct its disclosure by not providing Congress with an unclassified copy of this document that redacted only classified portions outlining what the Department of Defense and the Secretary of State were doing in response to the attack in Benghazi that night.”

“This tactic prevents the release of the email itself,” said Issa.

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/05/23/new-emails-reveal-obama-white-house-worked-on-concocting-benghazi-lie-during-the-attacks/#ixzz3pQkPlr1D

Paul Ryan officially declares candidacy for House speaker

The Most Likely Next President Is Hillary Clinton

And Republicans are in denial about it.

A virulent strain of Clinton Derangement Syndrome, which scientists and Republicans thought had been wiped out at the end of the last century, is now afflicting millions of conservative Americans. Some Republicans so detest Hillary Clinton they are badly underestimating how likely she is, at this point in the campaign, to be America’s 45thpresident. Their denial is just as strong now as it was a month ago, before Clinton began a run of political victories that have enhanced her prospects, all while the roller derby/demolition derby that is the Republican nomination contest has continued to harm the GOP’s chances of winning back the White House.

To be sure, nothing ever happens in a linear or tidy fashion with the Clintons; she is certain to add more chapters to the Perils of Hillary saga before Election Day 2016. Bernie Sanders could still upend her in Iowa, New Hampshire, or both, which could throw the nomination battle into unadulterated bedlam. Even if Clinton is nominated, a strong Republican candidate could absolutely defeat her next November, with victory as simple as the party putting forth a nominee who is more likeable to voters and better on television. Indeed, many elite and grassroots Republicans believe Clinton’s personality, which they can’t stand, will keep her out of the Oval Office no matter what.

But October has been good to Clinton: a glittering debate performance, the decision of potential rival Joe Biden not to run (greatly simplifying her path to the nomination), the vanquishing of Republicans during her daylong Benghazi hearing, and a solid turn at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner Saturday night. All have improved Clinton’s odds of cruising into the White House twelve months hence, and have thrown into sharper relief some of the advantages she has had all along.

To state the obvious, Clinton faces two tasks to become commander-in-chief: get enough delegates to beat Sanders and then sew up 270 electoral votes. The more easily she can complete her first mission (especially compared to the wooly nomination battle of her eventual Republican opponent), the more easily achievable will be her second goal.

Here, then, are some of the advantages the Democratic frontrunner has now, many of which have been ignored or discounted by the people who want to beat her so badly they can’t think straight:

Hillary has shown she can handle Bernie Sanders, despite his plucky persona, raw grassroots appeal, and authentic authenticity. The Vegas debate and Clinton’s improved poll standing has given her and her team a revived notion that Sanders will end up a nuisance rather than a real threat. She has confidence she can face him down in the three debates remaining before Iowa. Without Biden in the race, Clinton is not going to have to play three-dimensional chess and can focus her energies on Sanders alone.

Bernie has shown he doesn’t quite understand how to play big moments in the big leagues. First the debate and now the Jefferson-Jackson dinner—Sanders prepared more for both evenings than the organic Vermonter normally would for any political event, but even his advisers concede that neither occasion represented the kind of performance that Sanders will eventually have to present if he is going to stop the prohibitive front-runner. He was very strong Saturday night but aides say they are still having trouble fully convincing him that not all campaign events are created equal.

Hillary Clinton speaks at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. 
Hillary Clinton speaks at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Hillary is getting better at managing (and shaking off) the personal pang of her likability deficit.  At the J-J dinner, in her recent television interviews, and in her Benghazi testimony, she is showing more of her real self (even the all-too-human tetchy, the airily dismissive, the lordly—without knee-jerk defensiveness or wide-eyed guile), and not getting tied in knots over how she is coming off.  While this version of Hillary is still nails-on-a-chalkboard to her conservative critics, it is a huge improvement over the recent past and probably enough to win under the right circumstances.

Biden’s withdrawal means Clinton will lock up even more commitments from the Democratic establishment, giving her even more super delegates and making it easier to bounce back if Sanders wins Iowa, New Hampshire, or both.  I reported in August that Clinton’s camp already had in hand private commitments from enough of the elected and party officials who are automatic delegates to the national convention next summer (so-called super delegates) that she was one fifth of her way to the nomination. That number has increased significantly in recent weeks and will go up now that Biden has passed on the race. This allows Team Clinton to make a robust argument about her inevitability and gives it a squadron of surrogates from the left, center, and right of the Democratic Party to wound Sanders, buck her up if she stumbles, and, eventually, argue that the senator should get out of the competition if she wins early.

Hillary has massive support from labor unions. The party’s most important constituency group in terms of ground troops and campaign resources is now moving decisively towards Clinton, also giving her more working-class cred and undermining one of Sanders’ strongest rhetorical plays—that she is out of touch with the economic grassroots. And long-invested unions will provide her important foot soldiers in the general election battlegrounds, as they have since time began for Democratic presidential nominees.

Hillary could be the de facto Democratic nominee by Feb. 8. Her team privately believes that, given the way expectations have been set up, even narrow wins in the two first-voting contests would not be discounted. Clinton has robust field operations in both states and could diligently grind her way to victories. Even Sanders’ top aides acknowledge that, barring other factors, it could be game, set, match if Hillary starts the voting year with twin wins, giving Brooklyn ample incentive to go all in there and try to put it away early.

Hillary Clinton waves to supporters with husband Bill Clinton, former U.S. president, at the conclusion of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. 
Hillary Clinton waves to supporters with husband Bill Clinton, former U.S. president, at the conclusion of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Hillary’s husband now seems fired up and ready to go. Although a little rusty over the weekend in Iowa in his 2015 campaign trail debut, accounts from aides to both Clintons suggest the former president has learned lessons from his performance eight years ago, when he arguably hurt his wife’s chances as much as he helped her. He has been kept in the loop on the campaign’s thinking, receives polling information on a regular basis, and has participated in some strategy discussions with the team. The campaign seems happy with him, and he seems happy with the campaign, and that is a big change from 2008. Both campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook have good and confident relationships with the FPOTUS, who seems less ambivalent than last time about becoming the First Lad.

Hillary’s campaign is much less tense and fractious than was the 2008 team. There are fraught moments in Brooklyn, as in any campaign, and Clinton’s donors can get restive awfully quick, but this year’s model is one of relative peace and tranquility. Zen masters Podesta, Mook, and communications chief Jennifer Palmieri set the “been there, done that, seen that, dealt with that” sensibility.

Hillary’s team at last is convincing rich Democrats to come around to the super-PAC game. Clinton loyalist Guy Cecil is now topping Priorities USA and he has brought in a new cast of folks to supplement holdovers such as Paul Begala, Jim Messina, and Harold Ickes, all of whom have experience rubbing shoulders with the mega-wealthy and prying seven-figure checks out of their hands. Cecil knows how to leverage hot buttons like the Koch brothers and the threat of more conservative Supreme Court justices and unified GOP control of Washington to maintain momentum and encourage the participation of those previously reluctant to muck about in the big money world that many liberals despise and disdain.

Hillary has a first-class opposition research team that is saving nuggets to use once Republicans pick their nominee. Oppo veteran Christina Reynolds heads an operation that can afford to play a long game, teasing out incremental research in conjunction with allies such as the Democratic National Committee but knowing full well that holding back powerful tidbits until the late spring or summer, when the eventual Republican nominee will be most vulnerable, is supremely smart. The research operations of the Republican presidential campaigns, on the other hand, are currently focused on each other (although the independent group America Rising is hoping to make up the gap).

The Republican nominee is more likely to emerge bloodied, broke, and behind. A nominating calendar and delegate rules designed to avoid the kind of extended intra-party fight that crippled Mitt Romney’s general election effort will almost certainly be no match for a fifteen candidate field, a number of whom can make a decent argument that they’ll win the prize. The ferociousness and deep pockets of gladiators Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and the possibility that the party establishment will end up intervening with tens of millions of dollars in negative TV spots means a long, gory slog that might not find resolution until after the national convention in Cleveland in mid-July. (Of course, if Trump is ultimately the nomination victor, then “broke” should not be a factor.)

As the nominee, Hillary will effectively control the DNC and will exercise free rein over the convention. Even with Sanders a remaining foe, Hillaryland is coordinating fundraising with the national and state parties, strategizing about installing allies at the party headquarters in DC, and gaming out what the Philly convention will look like. If Clinton is the standard bearer, make no mistake: Brooklyn will convert the DNC into its wholly owned subsidiary and will take over every jot and tittle of convention planning and execution. This type of control typically leads to less friction and a smoother running enterprise, including on-message convention speakers.

Republicans are erroneously convinced they can beat Clinton solely with talk of Benghazi, e-mails, and other controversies that have nothing to do with the economy and the real lives of real people. Nowhere does the Fox News-Rush Limbaugh echo chamber more hurt Republican chances of beating Clinton than in the politics of scandal and controversy. To paraphrase the famous line attributed to Pauline Kael: everyone who conservatives know think the Clintons should be in prison. The problem is that swing voters don’t share that view in sufficient numbers to actually warrant banking a victory on placing those arguments front and center. Kevin McCarthy’s acknowledgement that the Benghazi committee was set up to damage Clinton politically has not just polluted the select committee’s efforts; it also means that one of the most effectively tried-and-true Team Clinton defenses (that any controversy that swirls around her is a ginned up political attack because Republicans don’t want to talk about real issues) has got legs straight through next November.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 22, 2015.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 22, 2015.
Photographer: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary is ready for the debates. She won’t have as many debates in which to hone her skills as the eventual GOP nominee, but she has many other edges, including her 2008 experience; the fact that going forward she will face only one or two opponents—rather than nine or so—on the debate stage (much closer to the dynamics in a general election); her professionalized and experienced debate prep team (many of whom worked the same gig for Barack Obama); and her own fearsome, dogged, and scrupulous preparation.

Hillary’s pollster knows how to find issues that test 80-20 or 70-30, and the candidate knows how to translate them on the stump. While Republican presidential candidates thrash around competing to see who can be the most anti-immigrant, pro-tax cuts for the wealthy, anti-abortion and gay marriage, and pro-climate change-denying, Clinton’s pollster and strategist Joel Benenson is busy finding topics she can talk about in a general election that garner overwhelming support from the public across the political spectrum and will put the GOP nominee on the defensive. Nothing makes a Clinton running for president more confident and effective than having mainstream boldface issues to use as a cudgel.

Obama’s approval rating is holding at a level that would make Clinton’s path much easier. Yes, the economy is not going gangbusters. Yes, ObamaCare is not universally popular (to say the least). Yes, the world is filled with dangerous hot spots and looming, chilling threats. But barring some major change in his fortune, Obama’s current approval rating of around 46% is likely to sustain through Election Day, a high enough figure, history suggests, to keep him from being a drag on his party’s nominee and chosen successor.

Hillary’s team is already thinking about general election targeting. One of the pages Brooklyn has taken from the Obama playbook is to start thinking about the general election early. That includes using contests in caucuses and primaries states that will be battlegrounds next November to build up a team, target data, establish media relationships, and keep it all humming after the nominating contest and throughout the duration. It also includes living by the dictum “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours let’s negotiate over,” hawkishly protecting the nearly 250 electoral votes and voting groups Democrats have won consistently over the last several cycles while looking to expand the targeting efforts demographically and geographically.

Hillary would inherit a considerable demographic edge in a general election. Republicans have done next to nothing, and clearly much more harm than good since Mitt Romney lost in 2012, to make in-roads with the so-called coalition of the ascendant. Clinton would almost certainly have an overwhelming edge with African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, LGBT voters, young people, and single women, and the future contours of the Republican nomination fight are not likely to make the party’s challenge with these groups any easier.

Hillary would also inherit a considerable Electoral College edge in a general election. The Democrats don’t have quite the Electoral College “lock” that the GOP had in the ‘70s and ‘80s but it is pretty close. A strong Republican nominee could make Clinton play defense in states such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa, and Colorado.  But the safe Democrat states would give her a huge leg up, and demographic changes mean Clinton could be playing offense in places such as Georgia and Arizona under the right circumstances. Political pros in both parties believe some of the leading Republican contenders would give Clinton a chance to surpass her husband’s 1992 electoral vote total of 370 if they are her eventual competition.

Clinton advisers are well aware of these many advantages. They are staying largely mum for now, preferring to let the candidate’s recent positive media coverage speak for itself and not relinquish any tactical advantage of surprise.

They also know the FBI probe into her e-mails, Bill Clinton’s portfolio, or something new and super controversial could upend her standing at any time. And the raucous Republican nomination process could yet yield a strong general election opponent for her. This list is not meant to gloss over the considerable challenges Clinton is sure to face even if everything goes as planned on her side—not to mention if things start to go south. And a few savvy Republican operatives are ringing the alarm bell in private strategy sessions, urging the party to try to address as many of these deficits as soon as possible.

But don’t be surprised if reports soon surface mirroring what happened almost exactly eight years ago, when Clinton asked top advisers to secretly begin planning her vice presidential selection process—and her presidential transition. Republicans would surely see those steps as wildly premature, but given all of Clinton’s advantages now, she may consider it simply prudent planning.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-10-26/the-most-likely-next-president-is-hillary-clinton

O’Malley: ‘Clinton Has Changed Her Position on Virtually Every Defining Issue’

BY DANIEL HALPER

“I think this race has changed in many, many ways just over the last week … the differences that I am going to be able to make now between two candidates who have been in Washington for about 40 years now – neither one of whom have gotten much done – and another candidate representing a new perspective and a new generation of leadership who’s actually gotten difficult things done,” O’Malley said.

Later O’Malley added, “A weathervane shifts its positions in the wind. Effective leaders do not. I am clear about my principles I know where I stand. I was against the Trans Pacific Partnership 8 months ago. Hillary Clinton has changed her position on virtually every defining issue in this race – except for one, and that’s to protect the big banks on Wall Street and go about with business as usual. I don’t think that’s what the people of our country are looking for. I have the independence, I have the backbone, to stand up for what our nation needs. That’s what people are going to see now that it’s down to a three person race.”

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Biden Out, Clinton Face-off With Benghazi Committee, Ryan (Open Borders) Fading With Conservatives, Trump Surging In The Polls — Videos

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Story 1: Biden Out, Clinton Face-off With Benghazi Committee, Ryan (Open Borders) Fading With Conservatives, Trump Surging In The Polls — Videos

Latest Election Polls

Wednesday, October 21
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination ABC/Wash Post Trump 32, Carson 22, Rubio 10, Cruz 6, Bush 7, Fiorina 5, Huckabee 3, Paul 2, Christie 3, Kasich 2, Santorum 0, Graham 1, Pataki 1, Jindal 0 Trump +10
New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary WBUR Clinton 38, Sanders 34, Biden 9, Webb 2, O’Malley 1, Chafee 0 Clinton +4
New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary Bloomberg Trump 24, Carson 17, Bush 10, Rubio 8, Fiorina 7, Kasich 7, Cruz 4, Paul 4, Christie 5, Huckabee 1, Santorum 1, Graham 1, Jindal 0, Pataki 0 Trump +7
New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary Boston Herald Trump 28, Carson 16, Bush 9, Rubio 6, Fiorina 10, Kasich 6, Cruz 5, Paul 5, Christie 3, Huckabee 2, Santorum 0, Graham 0, Jindal 1, Pataki 0 Trump +12

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/elections/

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Paul Ryan’s bid for House speaker splinters conservative Freedom Caucus

Lisa Mascaro

e conditions that Rep. Paul Ryan has set to become the next House speaker are driving a wedge in the fiery House Freedom Caucus, potentially weakening the unity of the conservative group that pushed out the current speaker.

Conservatives appear torn over the offer posed Tuesday by Ryan, the popular Wisconsin Republican, who has given his GOP colleagues until Friday to decide whether they are willing to end their infighting and unite around him.

The Freedom Caucus has so far maintained powerful cohesion as a 40-plus bloc of votes — a force that nudged Speaker John A. Boehner’s early retirement and then blocked the rise of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). But that unity is showing signs of fraying.

Some members of the caucus said Ryan’s bid for speaker offered a compelling solution to the GOP’s leadership struggle. Others, though, appeared unwilling to yield to Ryan’s various conditions — a position amplified by conservative groups outside the Capitol.

Signs of division inside the caucus were already apparent.

Two lawmakers recently exited the group; one, California Rep. Tom McClintock, among the most conservative Republicans in the House, detailed the caucus’ “many missteps that have made it counterproductive to its stated goals.”

Deepening the wedge in the influential conservative caucus may become central to finding a new GOP speaker who can lead the divided majority and end the cycle of dysfunction that is damaging the party’s standing with voters ahead the 2016 presidential election.

On the other hand, if the Freedom Caucus unites against Ryan or withholds enough votes it would almost certainly prolong the chaotic leadership struggle.

“Listen, I think Paul is going to get the support he’s looking for,” Boehner said Wednesday after a closed-door party meeting. “But this decision is up to the members.”

Ryan, the party’s former vice presidential nominee, has said he is willing to take on the job to replace Boehner if the House majority’s three main factions pledge support.

His chief obstacle remains the Freedom Caucus, which had thrown its support to one of its own, a little known newcomer, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).

With party elections set for Oct. 28, Ryan — like Boehner and McCarthy – would be expected to easily win a majority from within the House GOP. But the challenge will come the next day, when a full House floor vote poses a less certain outcome if all Republicans do not unite against Democrats.

Even if Ryan does not win the official support of the Freedom Caucus, he may be able to peel away enough votes to assure success, and some caucus members are already voicing support for him.

“We’re not a monolithic group by any stretch,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a leader of the Freedom Caucus, who warned that it may be difficult for the group to change its endorsement. “So the fact we have a difference of opinion amongst the various members is not at all unusual.”

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), a Freedom Caucus member who backed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) for speaker rather Webster, was leaning toward Ryan. Chaffetz dropped out of the running Tuesday and threw his support to Ryan.

“I’m not sure that Paul Ryan could walk on water today,” Lummis said after hearing his pitch, “but give him 10 days.”

Outside conservative groups, though, have already turned against Ryan and revved up their attacks.

And Republican voters appear to be in a fighting mood. Polling released Wednesday showed they want a new speaker who is not quick to compromise. Among GOP voters, 62% prefer a speaker who sticks to conservative principles, even if that leads to a government shutdown, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll.

Although Ryan is willing to consider some of the rules changes conservatives want to weaken the speaker’s grip on power, he has several demands of his own that the Freedom Caucus is hesitant to support.

Top among them is making it harder for conservatives to deploy one of their most powerful tools: calling a procedural vote to oust the speaker, which led to Boehner’s early retirement and warned McCarthy off the job.

Ryan told fellow Republicans he was willing to take “arrows in the chest, but not in the back,” according to those familiar with his remarks to the private meeting Tuesday evening.

That will be a tough sell for conservatives who see the motion to “vacate the chair” as the strongest leverage they have over the leadership.

Some changes, such as raising the threshold for bringing such a motion to the floor or approving it, could be acceptable.

Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham raised particular objection over Ryan’s condition that he wouldn’t travel as much for the party as Boehner had so that he could spend more time at home with his family.

“George Washington left the luxury and beauty of Mount Vernon for Valley Forge,” she tweeted, referring to the Washington’s role in the Revolutionary War. “He even worked wkends & morning workouts for his people.”

The Freedom Caucus held a private meeting with Ryan later Wednesday. The group, which includes newer members of Congress as well as more veteran conservatives, is guided by internal rules that require 80% support to endorse a candidate, which Webster was able to win.

But the endorsement of Webster was binding only through the internal party election, meaning lawmakers in the group would be free to vote as they wish on the floor.

Ryan had indicated to his colleagues that he wanted the support from all three caucuses — the Freedom Caucus, the conservative Republican Study Committee and a small moderate GOP wing.

It’s unlikely that Ryan will settle for a promise that the Freedom Caucus will support him during the floor vote if it keeps its previous endorsement for his rival. A Ryan aide said he wants the full caucus’ formal endorsement now.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/la-na-ryan-speaker-20151021-story.html

Paul Ryan is still talking to conservatives about supporting his speaker bid

Rep. Paul Ryan has apparently not yet been able to secure the support of House conservatives for his bid for speaker, despite the confident assertion by the man he hopes to succeed that Ryan will be able to unite the fractious Republican conference.

“I think Paul is going to get the support that he is looking for,” speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday after a meeting of House Republicans. Boehner announced that Republicans will choose a new speaker next week, voting in conference next Wednesday to pick their nominee and on the House floor next Thursday.

But after an hour-long meeting with the rebellious Freedom Caucus Wednesday, Ryan shrugged off questions about whether he had won the group’s endorsement. “We had a nice meeting, a good chat,” Ryan said. Asked if he got a commitment, he said, “we just had an exchange of ideas” and a conversation about “how to make Congress work better.”

Members of the Freedom Caucus said they planned to meet again Wednesday night to talk about Ryan’s bid.

“We’re not done yet,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. “Everything’s still being discussed.”

Ryan announced Tuesday night that he will run for the top leadership job if he gets the support of all GOP factions. The Wisconsin Republican gave his colleagues until Friday to decide whether they can support him. Ryan, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and the 2012 Republican nominee for vice president, had repeatedly said he did not want the job but was pressed to run by Republicans who see him as the best candidate to unite the GOP conference.

“We as a conference should unify now,” Ryan told reporters Tuesday night after meeting with his Republican colleagues. “What I told members is if you can agree to these requests and if I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve, and if I am not unifying, that is fine as well — I will be happy to stay where I am.”

The Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservative members, has been the most nettlesome. The group helped force Boehner into retirement by threatening to call a no-confidence vote on his speakership. Boehner plans to leave Congress at the end of next week, assuming that House members have elected a new speaker.

The influential group also convinced Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to withdraw his bid to become speaker when it became clear he could not win their support. The Freedom Caucus has already endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., to be the next speaker.

The Caucus is seeking changes to House rules that will allow them to offer more amendments, get more conservative bills on the floor and restore the independence of committee chairmen. Those changes would diminish the speaker’s power. “The next speaker must follow House rules and commit to an open process for debating and amending legislation,” the Freedom Caucus said in a recent Twitter post. “Let the House work its will.”

Before the meeting, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a member of the group, sounded skeptical that Ryan could win the group’s support. For the Freedom Caucus to endorse, 80 percent of the group’s 40 members have to agree, Mulvaney said, adding that is a “very difficult” bar to meet.

Mulvaney said one of his questions for Ryan will be whether he really wants to serve as speaker. “If you listen to Paul, what you hear is ‘I don’t want the job’,” Mulvaney said.

Ryan said Tuesday he is willing to consider rule changes to give all members a greater voice in the House. But he also said he wants to ensure that “we do not experience constant leadership challenges and crises.”

Boehner said Wednesday that Republicans already know Ryan well. “He works hard; he’s very bright.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/10/21/boehner-predicts-ryan-get-support-hes-seeking-become-speaker/74323092/

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Should President Obama and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Apologize For A Failed Foreign Policy Leading To Genocide and Democide in Iraq, Syria, and Libya? — Yes, but They Never Take Responsibility For Their Failures But Blame It On Others — No Wonder Carson and American People Oppose A Muslim President — ‘How Do You Spell Genocide? O-B-A-M-A’ — Videos

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Story 1: Should President Obama and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Apologize For A Failed Foreign Policy Leading To Genocide and Democide in Iraq, Syria, and Libya? — Yes, but They Never Take Responsibility For Their Failures But Blame It On Others — No Wonder Carson and American People Oppose A Muslim President —  ‘How Do You Spell Genocide? O-B-A-M-A’ — Videos

United States Constitution

Article VI

All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi

U.S. Bill of Rights

Amendment I (1): Freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-constitution-amendments/bill-of-rights/

Sharia Law

Shariah law

Sharia law is the law of Islam. The Sharia (also spelled Shariah or Shari’a) law is cast from the actions and words of Muhammad, which are called “Sunnah,” and the Quran, which he authored.

The Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of the Sharia law, called “figh,” by imams is given some leeway.

As a legal system, the Sharia law covers a very wide range of topics. While other legal codes deal primarily with public behavior, Sharia law covers public behavior, private behavior and private beliefs. Of all legal systems in the world today, Islam’s Sharia law is the most intrusive and strict, especially against women.

According to the Sharia law:

•  Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
•  Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
•  Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.
•  Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
•  A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
•  A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
•  A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
•  A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
•  Girls’ clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad‘s words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
•  A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
•  A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
•  A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
•  Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
•  A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
•  A woman’s testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man’s.
•  A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
•  A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
•  A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
•  Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be Halal.
•  Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
•  The list goes on.

http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/sharia-law.html

HUMAN GENOCIDE DOCUMENTARY. IRAQ AND SYRIA . ISIS, USA, UN ::: 2ND AUGUST 2014

Christians in Iraq are heeding an ultimatum by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to convert to Islam, get out or be killed.

Reports from the Middle East say that large numbers of Christians have fled the northern city of Mosul — now under control of the ISIL — after a message warning them to get out by Saturday was broadcast by loudspeakers on the city’s mosques.

An ISIL document reviewed by AFP said that there would be “nothing for them but the sword” if Christians didn’t adhere to the deadline.

The ISIL announcement also said that Christians could stay and pay a tax, often known as a “jizya,” though the exact amount was unspecified. A jizya is a historical policy of allowing non-Muslims to keep their own religion and their property if they pay a certain amount to Islamic rulers.

In centuries past, there have been examples of Christians paying the tax and living peacefully with Muslims. Recently however, it has often been exploited as a form of extortion against non-Muslims.

Many Christian families fleeing Mosul didn’t seem to put much trust in the promise of peace.

The aim of this documentary is to raise awareness.
WE ARE URGING ALL: PEOPLE TO SPEAK UP AND DO SOMETHING!!!

help world’s

TO DONATE FOR OUR CHRISTIANS PLEASE VISIT:
http://theacero.org/donate/

Fox’s Oliver North: ‘How Do You Spell Genocide? O-B-A-M-A’

Priests from Iraq and Syria: what’s happening in the Middle East is genocide

What Is Sharia Law?

How Is Sharia Law Dangerous for Western Society?

484. Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?

485. Was Muhammad A Prophet Of Peace?

493. What Is Sharia Law?

Enforcing Sharia in Raqqa: The Islamic State (Part 3)

Shocking documentary about Islam – The world’s most dangerous cult! ISIS ISLAMIC STATE

ISIS – “Islamic” Extremism? | Full Documentary – HD

Is Sharia Law Coming to America?

Sharia Law In America‽

David woods story of sharia law in America!

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Shariamerica: Islam, Obama, and the Establishment Clause

US caught working to impose Islamic Sharia Law

Irving, Texas says “take a hike” to foreign (i.e. Sharia) laws

Ann Coulter on Muslims

Ben Carson Does Not Believe a Muslim Should Be President Meet The Press

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said today he would not support a Muslim as president on meet the press The retired neurosurgeon also said Islam, as a religion, was inconsistent with the Constitution. Carson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he believed a president’s faith should matter “depending on what that faith is.” “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said. “If it’s [a president’s faith] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter.” Carson, who has been near the top of several presidential polls, said he would consider voting for a Muslim in Congress “[depending] on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.” ABC News has reached out to Carson’s campaign for comment.
Ben Carson Does ‘Not Advocate’ A Muslim As President Sun, Sep 20 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson tells Chuck Todd that the faith of a presidential candidate should matter to voters “if it is inconsistent with the values … of America.”

GOP candidate Carson: Muslim shouldn’t be elected president

Cruz says no religious test for the presidency

The Alex Jones Show (VIDEO Commercial Free) Sunday September 20 2015: Sharia vs. Constitution

Muslim-American group calls on Ben Carson to drop out

Important: 260 Million Unarmed Civilians Killed – Democide = Death By Government

Sharia Law and the U.S. Constitution

[Update I:  I have streamlined the following post to be easily readable to the average layman, but informative enough for a lawyer or law professor to learn a bit more on the similarities and differences between Sharia and U.S. Law]

Is Sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution?

The simple answer is of course “no”.

But lets take a look at some aspects of Sharia Law and where it may or may not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.  (For disclosure I am not a lawyer nor a legal expert in Sharia or U.S. Law.)

First, what is Sharia?

Wikipedia states Sharia refers to the sacred law of Islam.  All Muslims believe Sharia is God’s law, but they have differences between themselves as to exactly what it entails.  Which will be difficult to discern what to apply when, but we’ll labor along for the sake of discussion.

In Western countries, where Muslim immigration is more recent, Muslim minorities have introduced Sharia family law, for use in their own disputes. Attempts to impose Sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare (Second Sudanese Civil War).

The recent incidents at the Arab International Festival have reinforced the poor image of Sharia inside the United States and its incompatibility with American culture and law.

The following is a truncated version with a couple of modifications (eliminating repetitious ibids and links) of multiple Wikipedia entries [with my comments]:

Legal and Court Proceedings:

Wikipedia states that Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences with other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law.

1. Sharia courts do not generally employ lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves.

2. Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system.

3. There is no pre-trial discovery process, no cross-examination of witnesses, and no penalty of perjury (on the assumption that no witness would thus endanger his soul) Unlike common law, judges’ verdicts do not set binding precedents under the principle of stare decisis and unlike civil law, Sharia does not utilize formally codified statutes (these were first introduced only in the late 19th century during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, cf. mecelle).

4. Instead of precedents and codes, Sharia relies on medieval jurist’s manuals and collections of non-binding legal opinions, or fatwas, issued by religious scholars (ulama, particularly a mufti); these can be made binding for a particular case at the discretion of a judge.

5. Sharia courts’ rules of evidence also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony and excluding written and documentary evidence (including forensic and circumstantial evidence), on the basis that it could be tampered with or forged.

6. A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of a witness are the only evidence admissible in a Sharia court, written evidence is only admissible with the attestations of multiple, witnesses deemed reliable by the judge, i.e. notaries.

7. Testimony must be from at least two witnesses, and preferably free Muslim male witnesses, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character; testimony to establish the crime of adultery, or zina must be from four direct witnesses.

8. Forensic evidence (i.e. fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and othercircumstantial evidence is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.

9. Testimony from women is given only half the weight of men [in most sources outside of Wikipedia Sharia states that a woman’s testimony only carries the weight of 1/4th of a man’s], and testimony from non-Muslims may be excluded altogether (if against a Muslim).

10. In lieu of written evidence, oaths are accorded much greater weight; rather than being used simply to guarantee the truth of ensuing testimony, they are themselves used as evidence.

11. Plaintiffs lacking other evidence to support their claims may demand that defendants take an oath swearing their innocence, refusal thereof can result in a verdict for the plaintiff.

12. Sharia courts, with their tradition of pro se representation, simple rules of evidence, and absence of appeals courts, prosecutors, cross examination, complex documentary evidence and discovery proceedings, juries and voir dire proceedings, circumstantial evidence, forensics, case law, standardized codes, exclusionary rules, and most of the other infrastructure of civil and common law court systems, have as a result, comparatively informal and streamlined proceedings. [that’s one way of putting it]

13. This can provide significant increases in speed and efficiency (at the cost of the safeguards provided in secular legal systems), and can be an advantage in jurisdictions where the general court system is slow or corrupt, and where few litigants can afford lawyers. (end Wikipedia)

This is not a concise review of the difference nor similarities between U.S. Law and Sharia.  It is only meant to educate us on what Sharia law is in comparison to our legal system.

http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/06/25/sharia-law-and-the-u-s-constitution/

Sharia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Islamic law” redirects here. For Islamic jurisprudence, see Fiqh.

 

Sharia applies in full, covering personal status issues as well as criminal proceedings

 

Sharia applies in personal status issues (such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody)

 

Regional variations in the application of Sharia

 

Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation where Sharia plays no role in the judicial system

Sharia or sharia law (Arabic: شريعة‎ (IPA: [ʃaˈriːʕa]), is the Islamic legal system[1] derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The term sharia comes from the Arabic language term sharīʿah, which means a body of moral and religious law derived from religious prophecy, as opposed to human legislation.[2][3][4]

Sharia deals with many topics, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Adherence to sharia has served as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim faith historically.[5] In its strictest and most historically coherent definition, sharia is considered in Islam as the infallible law of God.[6]

There are two primary sources of sharia: the Quran, and the Hadiths (opinions and life example of Muhammad).[7] For topics and issues not directly addressed in these primary sources, sharia is derived. The derivation differs between the various sects of Islam (Sunni and Shia), and various jurisprudence schools such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali andJafari.[8][9] The sharia in these schools is derived hierarchically using one or more of the following guidelines: Ijma(usually the consensus of Muhammad’s companions), Qiyas (analogy derived from the primary sources), Istihsan(ruling that serves the interest of Islam in the discretion of Islamic jurists) and Urf (customs).[8][10]

Sharia is a significant source of legislation in various Muslim countries. Some apply all or a majority of the sharia code, and these include Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen andMauritania. In these countries, sharia prescribed punishments such as beheading, flogging and stoning continue to be practiced judicially or extra-judicially.[11][12] The introduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements globally, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy,[13]violence,[14] and even warfare.[15] Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia, Africa and Europe recognize parts of sharia and accept it as the law on divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population.[16] In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.[17]

The concept of crime, judicial process, justice and punishment embodied in sharia is different from that of secular law.[18] The differences between sharia and secular laws have led to an ongoing controversy as to whether sharia is compatible with secular forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women’s rights.[19][20][21]

Etymology and origins[edit]

Scholars describe the word sharia (/ʃɑːˈriːɑː/, also shari’a, šarīʿah) as an archaic Arabic word denoting “pathway to be followed” (analogous to the Hebrew termHalakhah [“The Way to Go”]),[22] or “path to the water hole”. The latter definition comes from the fact that the path to water is the whole way of life in an arid desert environment.[23]

The etymology of sharia as a “path” or “way” comes from the Quranic verse[Quran 45:18]: “Then we put thee on the (right) Way of religion so follow thou that (Way), and follow not the desires of those who know not.”[22] Malik Ghulam Farid in his Dictionary of the Holy Quran, believes the “Way” in 45:18 (quoted above) derives from shara’a (as prf. 3rd. p.m. sing.), meaning “He ordained”. Other forms also appear: shara’u[Quran 45:13] as (prf. 3rd. p.m. plu.), “they decreed (a law)”[Quran 42:21]; and shir’atun (n.) meaning “spiritual law”[Quran 5:48].[24]

The Arabic word sharīʿa has origins in the concept of ‘religious law’; the word is commonly used by Arabic-speaking peoples of the Middle East and designates a prophetic religion in its totality. Thus, sharīʿat Mūsā means religious law of Moses (Judaism), sharīʿat al-Masīḥ means religious law of Christianity, sharīʿat al-Madjūs means religious law of Zoroastrianism.[3]

The Arabic expression شريعة الله (God’s Law) is a common translation for תורת אלוהים (‘God’s Law’ in Hebrew) and νόμος τοῦ θεοῦ (‘God’s Law’ in Greek in the New Testament [Rom. 7: 22]).[25] In contemporary Islamic literature, sharia refers to divine law of Islam as revealed by prophet Muhammad, as well as in his function as model and exemplar of the law.[3]

Sharia in the Islamic world is also known as Qānūn-e Islāmī (قانون اسلامی).[citation needed]

History

In Islam, the origin of sharia is the Qu’ran, and traditions gathered from the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (born ca. 570 CE in Mecca).[26]

Sharia underwent fundamental development, beginning with the reigns of caliphs Abu Bakr (632–34) and Umar (634–44) for Sunni Muslims, and Imam Ali for Shia Muslims, during which time many questions were brought to the attention of Muhammad’s closest comrades for consultation.[27] During the reign of Muawiya b. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, ca. 662 CE, Islam undertook an urban transformation, raising questions not originally covered by Islamic law.[27] Since then, changes in Islamic society have played an ongoing role in developing sharia, which branches out into fiqh and Qanun respectively.

The formative period of fiqh stretches back to the time of the early Muslim communities. In this period, jurists were more concerned with pragmatic issues of authority and teaching than with theory.[28] Progress in theory was started by 8th and 9th century Islamic scholars Abu Hanifa, Malik bin Anas, Al-Shafi’i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others.[8][29] Al-Shafi‘i is credited with deriving the theory of valid norms for sharia (uṣūl al-fiqh), arguing for a traditionalist, literal interpretation of Quran, Hadiths and methodology for law as revealed therein, to formulate sharia.[30][31]

A number of legal concepts and institutions were developed by Islamic jurists during the classical period of Islam, known as the Islamic Golden Age, dated from the 7th to 13th centuries. These shaped different versions of sharia in different schools of Islamic jurisprudence, called fiqhs.[32][33][34]

The Umayyads initiated the office of appointing qadis, or Islamic judges. The jurisdiction of the qadi extended only to Muslims, while non-Muslim populations retained their own legal institutions.[35] Under the Umayyads Islamic scholars were “sidelined” from administration of justice and attempts to systematically uphold and develope Islamic law would wait for Abbasid rule.[36] The qadis were usually pious specialists in Islam. As these grew in number, they began to theorize and systemize Islamic jurisprudence.[37] The Abbasid made the institution of qadi independent from the government, but this separation wasn’t always respected.[38]

Both the Umayyad caliph Umar II and the Abbasids had agreed that the caliph could not legislate contrary to the Quran or the sunnah. Imam Shafi’i declared: “atradition from the Prophet must be accepted as soon as it become known…If there has been an action on the part of a caliph, and a tradition from the Prophet to the contrary becomes known later, that action must be discarded in favor of the tradition from the Prophet.” Thus, under the Abbasids the main features of sharia were definitively established and sharia was recognized as the law of behavior for Muslims.[39]

In modern times, the Muslim community have divided points of view: secularists believe that the law of the state should be based on secular principles, not on Islamic legal doctrines; traditionalists believe that the law of the state should be based on the traditional legal schools;[40] reformers believe that new Islamic legal theories can produce modernized Islamic law[41] and lead to acceptable opinions in areas such as women’s rights.[42] This division persists until the present day (Brown 1996, Hallaq 2001, Ramadan 2005, Aslan 2006, Safi 2003, Nenezich 2006).

There has been a growing religious revival in Islam, beginning in the eighteenth century and continuing today. This movement has expressed itself in various forms ranging from wars to efforts towards improving education.[43][44]

Definitions and disagreements

Sharia, in its strictest definition, is a divine law, as expressed in the Quran and Muhammad’s example (often called the sunnah). As such, it is related to but different from fiqh, which is emphasized as the human interpretation of the law.[45][46] Many scholars have pointed out that the sharia is not formally a code,[47] nor a well-defined set of rules.[48] The sharia is characterized as a discussion on the duties of Muslims[47] based on both the opinion of the Muslim community and extensive literature.[49] Hunt Janin and Andre Kahlmeyer thus conclude that the sharia is “long, diverse, and complicated.”[48]

From the 9th century onward, the power to interpret and refine law in traditional Islamic societies was in the hands of the scholars (ulema). This separation of powers served to limit the range of actions available to the ruler, who could not easily decree or reinterpret law independently and expect the continued support of the community.[50] Through succeeding centuries and empires, the balance between the ulema and the rulers shifted and reformed, but the balance of power was never decisively changed.[51] Over the course of many centuries, imperial, political and technological change, including the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, ushered in an era of European world hegemony that gradually included the domination of many of the lands which had previously been ruled by Islamic empires.[52][53] At the end of the Second World War, the European powers found themselves too weakened to maintain their empires as before.[54] The wide variety of forms of government, systems of law, attitudes toward modernity and interpretations of sharia are a result of the ensuing drives for independence and modernity in the Muslim world.[55][56]

According to Jan Michiel Otto, Professor of Law and Governance in Developing Countries at Leiden University, “Anthropological research shows that people in local communities often do not distinguish clearly whether and to what extent their norms and practices are based on local tradition, tribal custom, or religion. Those who adhere to a confrontational view of sharia tend to ascribe many undesirable practices to sharia and religion overlooking custom and culture, even if high-ranking religious authorities have stated the opposite.” Otto’s analysis appears in a paper commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[57]

Sources of sharia law

Main article: Sources of sharia

There are two sources of sharia (understood as the divine law): the Quran and the Sunnah. The Quran is viewed as the unalterable word of God. It is considered in Islam to be an infallible part of sharia. The Quran covers a host of topics including God, personal laws for Muslim men and Muslim women, laws on community life, laws on expected interaction of Muslims with non-Muslims, apostates and ex-Muslims, laws on finance, morals, eschatology, and others.[58][59] The Sunnah is the life and example of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Sunnah’s importance as a source of sharia, is confirmed by several verses of the Quran (e.g.[Quran 33:21]).[60] The Sunnah is primarily contained in the hadith or reports of Muhammad’s sayings, his actions, his tacit approval of actions and his demeanor. While there is only one Quran, there are many compilations of hadith, with the most authentic ones forming during the sahih period (850 to 915 CE). The six acclaimed Sunni collections were compiled by (in order of decreasing importance) Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah. The collections by al-Bukhari and Muslim, regarded the most authentic, contain about 7,000 and 12,000 hadiths respectively (although the majority of entries are repetitions). The hadiths have been evaluated on authenticity, usually by determining the reliability of the narrators that transmitted them.[61] For Shias, the Sunnah include life and sayings of The Twelve Imams.[62]

Quran versus Hadith

Muslims who reject the Hadith as a source of law, sometimes referred to as Quranists,[63][64] suggest that only laws derived exclusively from the Quran are valid.[65]They state that the hadiths in modern use are not explicitly mentioned in the Quran as a source of Islamic theology and practice, they were not recorded in written form until more than two centuries after the death of the prophet Muhammed.[63] They also state that the authenticity of the hadiths remains a question.[66][67]

The vast majority of Muslims, however, consider hadiths, which describe the words, conduct and example set by Muhammad during his life, as a source of law and religious authority second only to the Qur’an.[68] Similarly, most Islamic scholars believe both Quran and sahih hadiths to be a valid source of sharia, with Quranic verse 33.21, among others,[69][70] as justification for this belief.[64]

Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

For vast majority of Muslims, sharia has historically been, and continues to be derived from both the Quran and the Hadiths.[64][68][70] The Sahih Hadiths of Sunni Muslims contain isnad, or a chain of guarantors reaching back to a companion of Muhammad who directly observed the words, conduct and example he set – thus providing the theological ground to consider the hadith to be a sound basis for sharia.[64][70] For Sunni Muslims, the musannaf in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim is most trusted and relied upon as source for Sunni Sharia.[71] Shia Muslims, however, do not consider the chain of transmitters of Sunni hadiths as reliable, given these transmitters belonged to Sunni side in Sunni-Shia civil wars that followed after Muhammad’s death.[72] Shia rely on their own chain of reliable guarantors, trusting compilations such as Kitab al-Kafi and Tahdhib al-Ahkam instead, and later hadiths (usually called akhbār by Shi’i).[73][74] The Shia version of hadiths contain the words, conduct and example set by Muhammad and Imams, which they consider as sinless, infallible and an essential source of sharia for Shi’ite Muslims.[72][75]However, in substance, the Shi’ite hadiths resemble the Sunni hadiths, with one difference – the Shia hadiths additionally include words and actions of its Imams (al-hadith al-walawi), the biological descendants of Muhammad, and these too are considered an important source for sharia by Shi’ites.[73][76]

Disagreements on Quran

Main article: Naskh (tafsir)
Authenticity and writing of Quran

Some scholars such as John Wansbrough have challenged the authenticity of the Quran and whether it was written in the time of Muhammad.[77] In contrast, Estelle Whelan has refuted Wansbrough presenting evidence such as the inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock.[78][79] John Burton states that medieval era Islamic texts claiming Quran was compiled after the death of the Prophet were forged to preserve the status-quo.[80] The final version of the Quran, states Burton, was compiled while the Prophet was still alive.[81] Most scholars accept that the Quran as is used for Sharia, was compiled into the final current form during the caliphate of Uthman.[82][83]

Abrogation and textual inconsistencies

From the founding of Islam, the Muslim community has also debated the authenticity of compiled verses and the consistency within the Quran.[84][85] The inconsistencies in deriving sharia from the Quran, were recognized and formally complicated by verses 2.106 and 16.101 of the Quran, which are known as the “verses of abrogation (Naskh)”,[86]

When We substitute one revelation for another, – and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),– they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.

The principle of abrogation has been historically accepted and applied by Islamic jurists on both the Quran and the Sunnah.[84][86] Sharia is thus determined through a chronological study of the primary sources, where older revelations are considered invalid and overruled by later revelations.[86][87] While an overwhelming majority of historical and modern Islamic scholars have accepted the principle of abrogation for the Quran and the Sunnah, some modern scholars disagree that the principle of abrogation necessarily applies to the Quran.[88]

Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh)

Main article: Fiqh

Fiqh (school of Islamic jurisprudence) represents the process of deducing and applying sharia principles, as well as the collective body of specific laws deduced from sharia using the fiqh methodology.[8] While Quran and Hadith sources are regarded as infallible, the fiqh standards may change in different contexts. Fiqh covers all aspects of law, including religious, civil, political, constitutional and procedural law.[89] Fiqh deploys the following to create Islamic laws:[8]

  1. Injunctions, revealed principles and interpretations of the Quran (Used by all schools and sects of Islam)
  2. Interpretation of the Sunnah (Muhammad’s practices, opinions and traditions) and principles therein, after establishing the degree of reliability of hadith’s chain of reporters (Used by all schools and sects of Islam)

If the above two sources do not provide guidance for an issue, then different fiqhs deploy the following in a hierarchical way:[8]

  1. Ijma, collective reasoning and consensus amongst authoritative Muslims of a particular generation, and its interpretation by Islamic scholars. This fiqh principle for sharia is derived from Quranic verse 4:59.[90] Typically, the recorded consensus of Sahabah (Muhammad’s companions) is considered authoritative and most trusted. If this is unavailable, then the recorded individual reasoning (Ijtihad) of Muhammad companions is sought. In Islam’s history, some Muslim scholars have argued that Ijtihad allows individual reasoning of both the earliest generations of Muslims and later generation Muslims, while others have argued that Ijtihad allows individual reasoning of only the earliest generations of Muslims. (Used by all schools of Islam, Jafari fiqh accepts only Ijtihad of Shia Imams)[8][91]
  2. Qiyas, analogy is deployed if Ijma or historic collective reasoning on the issue is not available. Qiyas represents analogical deduction, the support for using it in fiqh is based on Quranic verse 2:59, and this methodology was started by Abu Hanifa.[92] This principle is considered weak by Hanbali fiqh, and it usually avoids Qiyas for sharia. (Used by all Sunni schools of Islam, but rejected by Shia Jafari)[8][10]
  3. Istihsan, which is the principle of serving the interest of Islam and public as determined by Islamic jurists. This method is deployed if Ijtihad and Qiyas fail to provide guidance. It was started by Hanafi fiqh as a form of Ijtihad (individual reasoning). Maliki fiqh called it Masalih Al-Mursalah, or departure from strict adherence to the Texts for public welfare. The Hanbali fiqh called it Istislah and rejected it, as did Shafi’i fiqh. (Used by Hanafi, Maliki, but rejected by Shafii, Hanbali and Shia Jafari fiqhs)[8][10][30]
  4. Istihab and Urf which mean continuity of pre-Islamic customs and customary law. This is considered as the weakest principle, accepted by just two fiqhs, and even in them recognized only when the custom does not violate or contradict any Quran, Hadiths or other fiqh source. (Used by Hanafi, Maliki, but rejected by Shafii, Hanbali and Shia Jafari fiqhs)[8][10]
Schools of law
Main article: Madhhab

Map of the Muslim world with the main schools of Islamic law (madhhab)

A Madhhab is a Muslim school of law that follows a fiqh (school of religious jurisprudence). In the first 150 years of Islam, there were many madhhab. Several of the Sahābah, or contemporary “companions” of Muhammad, are credited with founding their own. In the Sunni sect of Islam, the Islamic jurisprudence schools of Medina (Al-Hijaz, now in Saudi Arabia) created the Maliki madhhab, while those in Kufa (now in Iraq) created the Hanafimadhhab.[93] Abu al-Shafi’i, who started as a student of Maliki school of Islamic law, and later was influenced by Hanafi school of Islamic law, disagreed with some of the discretion these schools gave to jurists, and founded the more conservative Shafi’i madhhab, which spread from jurisprudence schools in Baghdad (Iraq) and Cairo (Egypt).[94] Ahmad ibn Hanbal, a student of al-Shafi’i, went further in his criticism of Maliki and Hanafi fiqhs, criticizing the abuse and corruption of sharia from jurist discretion and consensus of later generation Muslims, and he founded the more strict, traditionalist Hanbali school of Islamic law.[95] Other schools such as the Jaririwere established later, which eventually died out.

Sunni sect of Islam has four major surviving schools of sharia: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali; one minor school is named Ẓāhirī. Shii sect of Islam has three: Ja’fari(major), Zaydi and Ismaili.[96][97][98] There are other minority fiqhs as well, such as the Ibadi school of Khawarij sect, and those of Sufi and Ahmadi sects.[89][99] All Sunni and Shia schools of sharia rely first on the Quran and the sayings/practices of Muhammad in the Sunnah. Their differences lie in the procedure each uses to create Islam-compliant laws when those two sources do not provide guidance on a topic.[100] The Salafi movement creates sharia based on the Quran, Sunnah and the actions and sayings of the first three generations of Muslims.[101]

Hanafi-based sharia spread with the patronage and military expansions led by Turkic Sultans and Ottoman Empire in West Asia, Southeast Europe, Central Asia and South Asia.[102][103] It is currently the largest madhhab of Sunni Muslims.[104] Maliki-based sharia is predominantly found in West Africa, North Africa and parts of Arabia.[104] Shafii-based sharia spread with patronage and military expansions led by maritime Sultans, and is mostly found in coastal regions of East Africa, Arabia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and islands in the Indian ocean.[105] The Hanbali-based sharia prevails in the smallest Sunni madhhab, predominantly found in the Arabian peninsula.[104] The Shia Jafari-based sharia is mostly found in Persian region and parts of West Asia and South Asia.

Categories of law

Along with interpretation, each fiqh classifies its interpretation of sharia into one of the following five categories: fard (obligatory), mustahabb (recommended),mubah (neutral), makruh (discouraged), and haraam (forbidden). A Muslim is expected to adhere to that tenet of sharia accordingly.[106]

  • Actions in the fard category are those mandatory on all Muslims. They include the five daily prayers, fasting, articles of faith, obligatory giving of zakat (charity, tax) to zakat collectors,[107][108] and the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.[106]
  • The mustahabb category includes proper behaviour in matters such as marriage, funeral rites and family life. As such, it covers many of the same areas as civil law in the West. Sharia courts attempt to reconcile parties to disputes in this area using the recommended behaviour as their guide. A person whose behaviour is not mustahabb can be ruled against by the judge.[109]
  • Mubah category of behaviour is neither discouraged nor recommended, neither forbidden nor required; it is permissible.[106]
  • Makruh behaviour, while it is not sinful of itself, is considered undesirable among Muslims. It may also make a Muslim liable to criminal penalties under certain circumstances.[109]
  • Haraam behaviour is explicitly forbidden. It is both sinful and criminal. It includes all actions expressly forbidden in the Quran. Certain Muslim dietary and clothing restrictions also fall into this category.[106]

The recommended, neutral and discouraged categories are drawn largely from accounts of the life of Muhammad. To say a behaviour is sunnah is to say it is recommended as an example of the life and sayings of Muhammad. These categories form the basis for proper behaviour in matters such as courtesy and manners, interpersonal relations, generosity, personal habits and hygiene.[106]

Areas of Islamic law

Main article: Topics of sharia law

The areas of Islamic law include:

Other classifications

Shari’ah law has been grouped in different ways, such as:[110][111] Family relations, Crime and punishment, Inheritance and disposal of property, The economic system, External and other relations.

Reliance of the Traveller“, an English translation of a fourteenth-century CE reference on the Shafi’i school of fiqh written by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, organizes sharia law into the following topics: Purification, prayer, funeral prayer, taxes, fasting, pilgrimage, trade, inheritance, marriage, divorce and justice.

In some areas, there are substantial differences in the law between different schools of fiqh, countries, cultures and schools of thought.

Disagreement on the objectives of Islamic law

Main article: Maqasid

A number of scholars have advanced “objectives” (مقاصد maqaṣid al-Shariah also “goals” or “purposes”) they believe the Sharia is intended to achieve. Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali argued that they were the preservation of Islamic religion, and in the temporal world the protection of life, progeny, intellect and wealth of Muslims.[112][113]Yazid et al summarize sharia’s objective to be recognize the limitations of reason, and complement the role of reason with revelation.[114] They state that objective of sharia in Islamic finance is to provide rules and regulations from the Quran and Sunnah.[114]

Jan Otto writes that moderate Muslims and puritan Muslims differ in their interpretation of the objectives of sharia.[115] The moderate Muslims consider sharia to be a flexible code of law, where technicalities of its wording cannot subvert sharia’s objectives to “help Muslims in their quest for submission, humility, gratitude before God, and a quest for Godliness”.[115] In contrast, according to Otto, puritan Muslims believe that sharia is a strict, complete and exact set of rules that one must submit to, by strict compliance, because it is only “through meticulous obedience, Muslims will avoid punishment of God in after-life and will enter heaven” which is the ultimate objective, and it does not matter if some sharia “law is harsh or that its application results in social suffering, this perception is considered delusional”.[115]

Application

Application by country

Use of Sharia by country:

  Sharia plays no role in the judicial system
  Sharia applies to Muslim’s personal law
  Sharia applies in full, including criminal law
  Regional variations in the application of sharia

Most Muslim-majority countries incorporate sharia at some level in their legal framework, with many calling it the highest law or the source of law of the land in their constitution.[116][117] Most use sharia for personal law (marriage, divorce, domestic violence, child support, family law, inheritance and such matters).[118][119] Elements of sharia are present, to varying extents, in the criminal justice system of many Muslim-majority countries.[12]Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan andMauritania apply the code predominantly or entirely.[12][120]

Most Muslim-majority countries with sharia-prescribed hudud punishments in their legal code, do not prescribe it routinely and use other punishments instead.[116][121] The harshest sharia penalties such as stoning, beheadingand the death penalty are enforced with varying levels of consistency.[122]

Since 1970s, most Muslim-majority countries have faced vociferous demands from their religious groups and political parties for immediate adoption of sharia as the sole, or at least primary legal framework.[123] Some moderates and liberal scholars within these Muslim countries have argued for limited expansion of sharia.[124]

With the growing muslim immigrant communities in Europe, there have been reports in some media of “no-go zones” being established where sharia law reigns supreme.[125][126] However, there is no evidence of the existence of “no-go zones”, and these allegations are sourced from anti-immigrant groups falsely equating low-income neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by immigrants as “no-go zones.”[127][128]

Enforcement

Main articles: Islamic religious police and Hisbah

Sharia is enforced in Islamic nations in a number of ways, including mutaween and hisbah.[citation needed]

The mutaween (Arabic: المطوعين، مطوعيةmuṭawwiʿīn, muṭawwiʿiyyah)[129] are the government-authorized or government-recognized religious police (or clericalpolice) of Saudi Arabia. Elsewhere, enforcement of Islamic values in accordance with sharia is the responsibility of Polisi Perda Syariah Islam in Aceh province ofIndonesia,[130] Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Gaza Strip) in parts of Palestine, and Basiji Force in Iran.[131]

Official from the Department ofPropagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, beating a woman inAfghanistan for violating local interpretation of sharia.[132][133]

Hisbah (Arabic: حسبةḥisb(ah), or hisba) is a historic Islamic doctrine which means “accountability”.[134] Hisbah doctrine holds that it is a religious obligation of every Muslim that he or she report to the ruler (Sultan, government authorities) any wrong behavior of a neighbor or relative that violates sharia or insults Islam. The doctrine states that it is the divinely sanctioned duty of the ruler to intervene when such charges are made, and coercively “command right and forbid wrong” in order to keep everything in order according to sharia.[135][136][137] Some Salafist suggest that enforcement of sharia under the Hisbah doctrine is the sacred duty of all Muslims, not just rulers.[135] The doctrine of Hisbah in Islam has traditionally allowed any Muslim to accuse another Muslim, ex-Muslim or non-Muslim for beliefs or behavior that may harm Islamic society. This principle has been used in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and others to bring blasphemy charges against apostates.[138]For example, in Egypt, sharia was enforced on the Muslim scholar Nasr Abu Zayd, through the doctrine of Hasbah, when he committed apostasy.[139][140] Similarly, in Nigeria, after twelve northern Muslim-majority states such as Kano adopted sharia-based penal code between 1999 and 2000, hisbah became the allowed method of sharia enforcement, where all Muslim citizens could police compliance of moral order based on sharia.[141] In Aceh province of Indonesia, Islamic vigilante activists have invoked Hasbah doctrine to enforce sharia on fellow Muslims as well as demanding non-Muslims to respect sharia.[142]Hisbah has been used in many Muslim majority countries, from Morocco to Egypt and in West Asia to enforce sharia restrictions on blasphemy and criticism of Islam over internet and social media.[143][144][145]

Legal and court proceedings

Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences from other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law. Sharia courts traditionally do not rely on lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves. Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system. There is no pre-trial discoveryprocess, and no cross-examination of witnesses. Unlike common law, judges’ verdicts do not set binding precedents[146][147] under the principle of stare decisis,[148]and unlike civil law, sharia is left to the interpretation in each case and has no formally codified universal statutes.[149]

The rules of evidence in sharia courts also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony.[150] Witnesses, in a sharia court system, must be faithful, that is Muslim.[151] Male Muslim witnesses are deemed more reliable than female Muslim witnesses, and non-Muslim witnesses considered unreliable and receive no priority in a sharia court.[152][153] In civil cases, a Muslim woman witness is considered half the worth and reliability than a Muslim man witness.[154][155] In criminal cases, women witnesses are unacceptable in stricter, traditional interpretations of sharia, such as those found in Hanbali madhhab.[151]

Criminal cases

A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of Muslim witnesses are the main evidence admissible, in sharia courts, for hudud crimes, that is the religious crimes of adultery, fornication, rape, accusing someone of illicit sex but failing to prove it, apostasy, drinking intoxicants and theft.[156][157][158] Testimony must be from at least two free Muslim male witnesses, or one Muslim male and two Muslim females, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character. Testimony to establish the crime of adultery, fornication or rape must be from four Muslim male witnesses, with some fiqhs allowing substitution of up to three male with six female witnesses; however, at least one must be a Muslim male.[159] Forensic evidence (i.e., fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and othercircumstantial evidence is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.[160][161]

Muslim jurists have debated whether and when coerced confession and coerced witnesses are acceptable. The majority opinion of jurists in the Hanafi madhhab, for example, ruled that torture to get evidence is acceptable and such evidence is valid, but a 17th-century text by Hanafi jurist Muhammad Shaykhzade argued that coerced confession should be invalid; Shaykhzade acknowledged that beating to get confession has been authorized in fatwas by many Islamic jurists.[162]

Civil cases

Quran recommends written contracts in the case of debt-related transactions, and oral contracts for commercial and other civil contracts.[155][163] Marriage is solemnized as a written financial contract, in the presence of two Muslim male witnesses, and it includes a brideprice (Mahr) payable from a Muslim man to a Muslim woman. The brideprice is considered by a sharia court as a form of debt. Written contracts are paramount, in sharia courts, in the matters of dispute that are debt-related, which includes marriage contracts.[164] Written contracts in debt-related cases, when notarized by a judge, is deemed more reliable.[165]

In commercial and civil contracts, such as those relating to exchange of merchandise, agreement to supply or purchase goods or property, and others, oral contracts and the testimony of Muslim witnesses triumph over written contracts. Sharia system has held that written commercial contracts may be forged.[165][166]Timur Kuran states that the treatment of written evidence in religious courts in Islamic regions created an incentive for opaque transactions, and the avoidance of written contracts in economic relations. This led to a continuation of a “largely oral contracting culture” in Muslim nations and communities.[166][167]

In lieu of written evidence, oaths are accorded much greater weight; rather than being used simply to guarantee the truth of ensuing testimony, they are themselves used as evidence. Plaintiffs lacking other evidence to support their claims may demand that defendants take an oath swearing their innocence, refusal thereof can result in a verdict for the plaintiff.[168] Taking an oath for Muslims can be a grave act; one study of courts in Morocco found that lying litigants would often “maintain their testimony ‘right up to the moment of oath-taking and then to stop, refuse the oath, and surrender the case.”[169] Accordingly, defendants are not routinely required to swear before testifying, which would risk casually profaning the Quran should the defendant commit perjury;[169] instead oaths are a solemn procedure performed as a final part of the evidence process.

Sentencing
Main article: Diyya

Sharia courts treat women and men as unequal, with Muslim woman’s life and blood-money compensation sentence (Diyya) as half as that of a Muslim man’s life.[170][171] Sharia also treats Muslims and non-Muslims as unequal in the sentencing process.[172] Human Rights Watch and United States’ Religious Freedom Report note that in sharia courts of Saudi Arabia, “The calculation of accidental death or injury compensation is discriminatory. In the event a court renders a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who is a Jewish or Christian male, the plaintiff is only entitled to receive 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive; all other non-Muslims [Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Atheists] are only entitled to receive one-sixteenth of the amount a male Muslim would receive”.[173][174][175]

Saudi Arabia follows Hanbali sharia, whose historic jurisprudence texts considered a Christian or Jew life as half the worth of a Muslim. Jurists of other schools of law in Islam have ruled differently. For example, Shafi’i sharia considers a Christian or Jew life as a third the worth of a Muslim, and Maliki‘s sharia considers it worth half.[172] The legal schools of Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i Sunni Islam as well as those of twelver Shia Islam have considered the life of polytheists and atheists as one-fifteenth the value of a Muslim during sentencing.[172]

Support

Anti-democracy, pro-Sharia public demonstration in 2014 in Maldives.

A 2013 survey based on interviews of 38,000 Muslims, randomly selected from urban and rural parts in 39 countries using area probability designs, by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that support for making sharia the official law of the land is very high in many Muslim-majority countries: Afghanistan (99%), Iraq (91%), Niger (86%), Malaysia (86%), Pakistan (84%), Morocco (83%), Bangladesh (82%), Egypt (74%), Indonesia (72%), Jordan (71%), Uganda (66%), Ethiopia (65%), Mali (63%), Ghana (58%), and Tunisia (56%).[176] In Muslim regions of Southern-Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the support is less then 50%: Kosovo (20%), Albania (12%), Russia (42%), Kyrgyzstan (35%), Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%), Azerbaijan (8%).[176]

In Muslim-majority countries and among Muslims who say sharia should be the law of the land, a percentage between 74% (Egypt) and 19% (Kazakhstan) want sharia law to apply to non-Muslims as well.[177]

A 2008 YouGov poll in the United Kingdom found 40% of Muslim students interviewed wanted sharia in British law.[178]

Since the 1970s, the Islamist movements have become prominent; their goals are the establishment of Islamic states and sharia not just within their own borders; their means are political in nature. The Islamist power base is the millions of poor, particularly urban poor moving into the cities from the countryside. They are not international in nature (one exception being the Muslim Brotherhood). Their rhetoric opposes western culture and western power.[179] Political groups wishing to return to more traditional Islamic values are the source of threat to Turkey’s secular government.[179] These movements can be considered neo-Sharism.[180]

Extremism

Fundamentalists, wishing to return to basic Islamic religious values and law, have in some instances imposed harsh sharia punishments for crimes, curtailed civil rights and violated human rights. Extremists have used the Quran and their own particular version of sharia to justify acts of war and terror against Muslim as well as non-Muslim individuals and governments, using alternate, conflicting interpretations of sharia and their notions of jihad.[181][182]

The sharia basis of arguments of those advocating terrorism, however, remain controversial. Some scholars state that Islamic law prohibits the killing of civilian non-combatants; in contrast, others interpret Islamic law differently, concluding that all means are legitimate to reach their aims, including targeting Muslim non-combatants and the mass killing of non-Muslim civilians, in order to universalize Islam.[181] Islam, in these interpretations, “does not make target differences between militaries and civilians but between Muslims and unbelievers. Therefore it is legitimated (sic) to spill civilians’ blood”.[181] Other scholars of Islam, interpret sharia differently, stating, according to Engeland-Nourai, “attacking innocent people is not courageous; it is stupid and will be punished on the Day of Judgment […]. It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom; it is courageous to defend one and not to attack”.[181][183]

Criticism

A protester opposing the Park51project, carries an anti-sharia sign.

Compatibility with democracy

Further information: Islamic ethics, Islam and democracy, Shura and Ijma

Ali Khan states that “constitutional orders founded on the principles of sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall”.[184][185]Other scholars say sharia is not compatible with democracy, particularly where the country’s constitution demands separation of religion and the democratic state.[186][187]

Courts in non-Muslim majority nations have generally ruled against the implementation of sharia, both in jurisprudence and within a community context, based on sharia’s religious background. In Muslim nations, sharia has wide support with some exceptions.[188] For example, in 1998 the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned and dissolved Turkey’s Refah Party on the grounds that “Democracy is the antithesis of Sharia”, the latter of which Refah sought to introduce.[189][190]

On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy”.[191][192][193] Refah’s sharia-based notion of a “plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion” was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would “do away with the State’s role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms” and “infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy”.[194]

Human rights

Several major, predominantly Muslim countries have criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries. Iran declared in the UN assembly that UDHR was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition”, which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.[195] Islamic scholars and Islamist political parties consider ‘universal human rights’ arguments as imposition of a non-Muslim culture on Muslim people, a disrespect of customary cultural practices and of Islam.[196][197] In 1990, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a group representing all Muslim majority nations, met in Cairo to respond to the UDHR, then adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.[198][199]

Ann Elizabeth Mayer points to notable absences from the Cairo Declaration: provisions for democratic principles, protection for religious freedom, freedom of association and freedom of the press, as well as equality in rights and equal protection under the law. Article 24 of the Cairo declaration states that “all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic shari’a“.[200]

In 2009, the journal Free Inquiry summarized the criticism of the Cairo Declaration in an editorial: “We are deeply concerned with the changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by a coalition of Islamic states within the United Nations that wishes to prohibit any criticism of religion and would thus protect Islam’s limited view of human rights. In view of the conditions inside the Islamic Republic of Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Syria, Bangdalesh, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we should expect that at the top of their human rights agenda would be to rectify the legal inequality of women, the suppression of political dissent, the curtailment of free expression, the persecution of ethnic minorities and religious dissenters — in short, protecting their citizens from egregious human rights violations. Instead, they are worrying about protecting Islam.”[201]

H. Patrick Glenn states that sharia is structured around the concept of mutual obligations of a collective, and it considers individual human rights as potentially disruptive and unnecessary to its revealed code of mutual obligations. In giving priority to this religious collective rather than individual liberty, the Islamic law justifies the formal inequality of individuals (women, non-Islamic people).[202] Bassam Tibi states that sharia framework and human rights are incompatible.[203] Abdel al-Hakeem Carney, in contrast, states that sharia is misunderstood from a failure to distinguish sharia from siyasah (politics).[204]

Freedom of speech

Blasphemy in Islam is any form of cursing, questioning or annoying God, Muhammad or anything considered sacred in Islam.[205][206][207] The sharia of various Islamic schools of jurisprudence specify different punishment for blasphemy against Islam, by Muslims and non-Muslims, ranging from imprisonment, fines, flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading.[205][208][209] In some cases, sharia allows non-Muslims to escape death by converting and becoming a devout follower of Islam.[210]

Blasphemy, as interpreted under sharia, is controversial. Muslim nations have petitioned the United Nations to limit “freedom of speech” because “unrestricted and disrespectful opinion against Islam creates hatred”.[211] Other nations, in contrast, consider blasphemy laws as violation of “freedom of speech”,[212] stating that freedom of expression is essential to empowering both Muslims and non-Muslims, and point to the abuse of blasphemy laws, where hundreds, often members of religious minorities, are being lynched, killed and incarcerated in Muslim nations, on flimsy accusations of insulting Islam.[213][214]

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

According to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[215] every human has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change their religion or belief. Sharia has been criticized for not recognizing this human right. According to scholars[19][216][217] of Islamic law, the applicable rules for religious conversion under sharia are as follows:

  • If a person converts to Islam, or is born and raised as a Muslim, then he or she will have full rights of citizenship in an Islamic state.[218]
  • Leaving Islam is a sin and a religious crime. Once any man or woman is officially classified as Muslim, because of birth or religious conversion, he or she will be subject to the death penalty if he or she becomes an apostate, that is, abandons his or her faith in Islam in order to become an atheist, agnostic or to convert to another religion. Before executing the death penalty, sharia demands that the individual be offered one chance to return to Islam.[218]
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is not a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), he or she can live in an Islamic state by accepting to be a dhimmi, or under a special permission called aman. As a dhimmi or under aman, he or she will suffer certain limitations of rights as a subject of an Islamic state, and will not enjoy complete legal equality with Muslims.[218]
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), sharia demands that he or she should be offered the choice to convert to Islam and become a Muslim; if he or she rejects the offer, he or she may become a dhimmi. failure to pay the tax may lead the non-muslim to either be enslaved, killed or ransomed if captured.[218]

According to sharia theory, conversion of disbelievers and non-Muslims to Islam is encouraged as a religious duty for all Muslims, and leaving Islam (apostasy), expressing contempt for Islam (blasphemy), and religious conversion of Muslims is prohibited.[219][220] Not all Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation of sharia theory. In practice, as of 2011, 20 Islamic nations had laws declaring apostasy from Islam as illegal and a criminal offense. Such laws are incompatible with the UDHR’s requirement of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.[221][222][223][224] In another 2013 report based on international survey of religious attitudes, more than 50% of Muslim population in 6 out of 49 Islamic countries supported death penalty for any Muslim who leaves Islam (apostasy).[225][226] However it is also shown that the majority of Muslims in the 43 nations surveyed did not agree with this interpretation of sharia.

Some scholars claim sharia allows religious freedom because a Shari’a verse teaches, “there is no compulsion in religion.”[227] Other scholars claim sharia recognizes only one proper religion, considers apostasy as sin punishable with death, and members of other religions as kafir (infidel);[228] or hold that Shari’a demands that all apostates and kafir must be put to death, enslaved or be ransomed.[229][230][231][232] Yet other scholars suggest that Shari’a has become a product of human interpretation and inevitably leads to disagreements about the “precise contents of the Shari’a.” In the end, then, what is being applied is not sharia, but what a particular group of clerics and government decide is sharia. It is these differing interpretations of Shari’a that explain why many Islamic countries have laws that restrict and criminalize apostasy, proselytism and their citizens’ freedom of conscience and religion.[233][234]

LGBT rights

Main article: LGBT in Islam

Homosexual intercourse is illegal under sharia law, though the prescribed penalties differ from one school of jurisprudence to another. For example, only a few Muslim-majority countries impose the death penalty for acts perceived as sodomy and homosexual activities: Iran,[235] Saudi Arabia,[236] and Somalia.[237] In other Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and the Indonesian province of Aceh,[238] same-sex sexual acts are illegal,[239] and LGBT people regularly face violence and discrimination.[240]

Women

Domestic violence

Many scholars[20][241] claim Shari’a law encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife.[242] Other scholars claim wife beating, for nashizah, is not consistent with modern perspectives of the Quran.[243]

One of the verses of the Quran relating to permissibility of domestic violence is Surah 4:34.[244][245] In deference to Surah 4:34, many nations with Shari’a law have refused to consider or prosecute cases of domestic abuse.[246][247][248][249] Shari’a has been criticized for ignoring women’s rights in domestic abuse cases.[250][251][252][253] Musawah, CEDAW, KAFA and other organizations have proposed ways to modify Shari’a-inspired laws to improve women’s rights in Islamic nations, including women’s rights in domestic abuse cases.[254][255][256][257]

Personal status laws and child marriag

Shari’a is the basis for personal status laws in most Islamic majority nations. These personal status laws determine rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce and child custody. A 2011 UNICEF report concludes that Shari’a law provisions are discriminatory against women from a human rights perspective. In legal proceedings under Shari’a law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s before a court.[154]

Except for Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain which allow child marriages, the civil code in Islamic majority countries do not allow child marriage of girls. However, with Shari’a personal status laws, Shari’a courts in all these nations have the power to override the civil code. The religious courts permit girls less than 18 years old to marry. As of 2011, child marriages are common in a few Middle Eastern countries, accounting for 1 in 6 all marriages in Egypt and 1 in 3 marriages in Yemen.UNICEF and other studies state that the top five nations in the world with highest observed child marriage rates — Niger (75%), Chad (72%), Mali (71%), Bangladesh (64%), Guinea (63%) — are Islamic-majority countries where the personal laws for Muslims are sharia-based.[258][259]

Rape is considered a crime in all countries, but Shari’a courts in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia in some cases allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim, while in other cases the victim who complains is often prosecuted with the crime of Zina (adultery).[154][260][261]

Women’s right to property and consent

Sharia grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Quran.[262] A woman’s inheritance is unequal and less than a man’s, and dependent on many factors.[Quran 4:12][263] For instance, a daughter’s inheritance is usually half that of her brother’s.[Quran 4:11][263]

Until the 20th century, Islamic law granted Muslim women certain legal rights, such as the right to own property received as Mahr (brideprice) at her marriage, that Western legal systems did not grant to women.[264][265] However, Islamic law does not grant non-Muslim women the same legal rights as the few it did grant Muslim women. Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and women slave, between free women and slave women, between Believers and non-Believers, as well as their unequal rights.[266][267] Sharia authorized the institution of slavery, using the words abd (slave) and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum (“that which your right hand owns”) to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war.[266][268] Under Islamic law, Muslim men could have sexual relations with female captives and slaves without her consent.[269][270]

Slave women under sharia did not have a right to own property, right to free movement or right to consent.[271][272] Sharia, in Islam’s history, provided religious foundation for enslaving non-Muslim women (and men), as well as encouraged slave’s manumission. However, manumission required that the non-Muslim slave first convert to Islam.[273][274] Non-Muslim slave women who bore children to their Muslim masters became legally free upon her master’s death, and her children were presumed to be Muslims as their father, in Africa,[273] and elsewhere.[275]

Starting with the 20th century, Western legal systems evolved to expand women’s rights, but women’s rights under Islamic law have remained tied to Quran, hadiths and their faithful interpretation as sharia by Islamic jurists.[270][276]

Parallels with Western legal systems

Elements of Islamic law have influenced western legal systems. As example, the influence of Islamic influence on the development of an international law of the sea” can be discerned alongside that of the Roman influence.[277]

Makdisi states Islamic law also influenced the legal scholastic system of the West.[278] The study of legal text and degrees have parallels between Islamic studies of sharia and the Western system of legal studies. For example, the status of faqih (meaning “master of law“), mufti (meaning “professor of legal opinions“) andmudarris (meaning “teacher”), which were later translated into Latin as magister, professor and doctor respectively.[278]

There are differences between Islamic and Western legal systems. For example, sharia classically recognizes only natural persons, and never developed the concept of a legal person, or corporation, i.e., a legal entity that limits the liabilities of its managers, shareholders, and employees; exists beyond the lifetimes of its founders; and that can own assets, sign contracts, and appear in court through representatives.[279] Interest prohibitions also imposed secondary costs by discouraging record keeping, and delaying the introduction of modern accounting.[280] Such factors, according to Timur Kuran, have played a significant role in retarding economic development in the Middle East.[281]

See also

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

Ben Carson says no Muslim should ever become US president

  • 2016 hopeful: ‘I would not advocate we put a Muslim in charge of this nation’
  • Retired neurosurgeon says Islam is not consistent with US constitution

The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has said no Muslim should be president of the United States of America.

In an interview with NBC for broadcast on Sunday morning, the retired neurosurgeon said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Carson’s discussion with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd centered around controversy that arose this week when Donald Trump – the real-estate mogul keeping Carson in second place in the polls – failed to correct an audience member at a New Hampshire campaign rally who said President Obama was a Muslim.

The audience member also appeared to advocate the forcible removal of Muslims from the US.

On Saturday, in a series of tweets on the subject, Trump defended himself and said: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!”
Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim
Read more
He also addressed the issue in an appearance before an evangelical audience in Iowa, at which he brandished a Bible and said: “You see, I’m better than you thought.”

In such circles, Trump has lost some support to Carson.

In his NBC interview, Carson was asked: “So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?”

“No,” he said, “I don’t, I do not.”

Article VI of the US constitution states: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

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The first amendment to the constitution begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Carson, a Christian, is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church. In October, he will publish a new book, written with his wife Candy Carson and entitled A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties.

In publicity material issued by Penguin Random House, Carson is quoted as saying: “I believe that making a difference starts with understanding our amazing founding document, the US constitution.

“And as someone who has performed brain surgery thousands of times, I can assure you that the constitution isn’t brain surgery.

He adds that he and his wife wrote the book to “help defend” the constitution “from those who misinterpret and undermine it”.

Carson did have a constituency to speak to, however. In a recent poll, 38% of voters said they would not vote for a Muslim president.
Quiet rise of Ben Carson is shaking up Republican presidential race
Read more
The Ohio governor, John Kasich, who is polling an average of 2.5%, enough for 10th place out of 16, was also asked by NBC if he “would ever have a problem with a Muslim becoming president”.

Kasich, one of the more moderate candidates in the GOP field, also had to field a question about whether he was a Republican at all. He did not say he would have a problem with a Muslim president, but nor did he dismiss the question.

“You know, I mean, that’s such a hypothetical question,” Kasich said. “The answer is, at the end of the day, you’ve got to go through the rigours, and people will look at everything.

“But, for me, the most important thing about being president is you have leadership skills, you know what you’re doing, and you can help fix this country and raise this country. Those are the qualifications that matter to me.”

Carson was also asked if he would consider voting for a Muslim candidate for Congress.

He said: “Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says, you know.”

Two members of Congress, both Democrats, are Muslim: Keith Ellison of Minnesota was elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 and André Carson of Indiana followed in 2008.

Every American should be disturbed … national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry
Representative Keith Ellison
This week, Ellison carried a clock around Congress to show support for Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy who was arrested at his school in Irving, Texas, over suspicions a homemade clock was in fact a bomb.

On Sunday Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, released a statement in answer to Carson’s comments.

“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” he said.

“It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.”

 

Ahmed Mohamed is tired, excited to meet Obama – and wants his clock back
Read more
According to the Pew Research Center, the 114th Congress contains 491 Christians, of which 306 are Protestant, split between 13 sects though without any declared Anabaptists, Quakers or Pietists.

Another 164 members of Congress are Catholic, while 16 are Mormon and five Orthodox Christian. As well as the two Muslims there are 28 Jewish and two Buddhist members of Congress; there is one Hindu member, one Unitarian Universalist and one “unaffiliated”.

Nine members of Congress either told the Pew researchers they didn’t know what religion they were, or refused to answer the question.

On Meet the Press, Carson continued: “And, you know, if there’s somebody who’s of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them.”

Asked if he believed President Obama was both born in the US – another issue raised at the Trump rally on Thursday and not rebutted by the candidate – and a Christian, Carson said: “I believe that he is. I have no reason to doubt what he says.”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/20/ben-carson-no-muslim-us-president-trump-obama

Carson says he does not agree with a Muslim being elected president

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested Sunday that a Muslim should not be president, extending the new and unexpected religion debate on the 2016 campaign trail.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson, a Christian and retired neurosurgeon, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Carson, a top-tier 2016 candidate and popular among the GOP’s evangelical wing, made the statement after fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump was addressed by a man during a rally Thursday in New Hampshire who said President Obama is a Muslim.

“We have a problem in this country,” the unidentified man said. “It’s called Muslim. … You know our current president is one.”

Obama says he is a Christian. But Trump has declined to address the issue, saying he is not “morally obligated” to set straight the record.

Carson also described the Islamic faith as inconsistent with the Constitution. However, he did not specify in what way Islam ran counter to constitutional principles.

Carson said he believes Obama is a Christian and has “no reason to doubt what he says.”

He also said he would consider voting for a Muslim running for Congress, depending on “who that Muslim is and what their policies are.”

Carson also made a distinction when it came to electing Muslims to Congress, calling it a “different story” from the presidency that “depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says.”

Congress has two Muslim members, Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana.

“If there’s somebody who’s of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them,” Carson said.

Trump on Sunday told ABC’s “This Week” that he doesn’t talk about other people’s faith and that Obama is “very capable of defending himself.”

He also said the politically correct statement is that Muslims are not a problem in the United States but the reality is that “some” associated with terrorism pose a worldwide threat.

“We can say … everything’s wonderful,” Trump said. “But certainly it is a problem. … if I want to say no, not at all, people would laugh at me.”

Fellow GOP contender and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told ABC about the Muslim debate: “This has nothing to do with the future of our country. These issues have been discussed ad nauseam over the last few years. It’s a big waste of time. Barack Obama will not be president in a year and a half. It’s time to start talking about the future of America and the people that are at home.”

Carson’s comments drew strong criticism from the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“To me this really means he is not qualified to be president of the United States,” said the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper. “You cannot hold these kinds of views and at the same time say you will represent all Americans, of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Hooper said the Constitution expressly forbids religious tests for those seeking public office and called for the repudiation of “these un-American comments.”

In a separate appearance on NBC, fellow 2016 GOP candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was asked whether he would have a problem with a Muslim in the White House.

“The answer is, at the end of the day, you’ve got to go through the rigors, and people will look at everything. But, for me, the most important thing about being president is you have leadership skills, you know what you’re doing and you can help fix this country and raise this country. Those are the qualifications that matter to me.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who taped Sunday an episode of Iowa Press, an Iowa Public Television program, was asked if he agreed with Carson’s statements on Muslims being president. “The Constitution specifies that there shall be no religious test for public office, and I am a constitutionalist,” Cruz said.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, “It’s hard to understand what’s so difficult about supporting an American citizen’s right to run for president.

“But unsurprisingly, this left Republicans scratching their heads. Of course a Muslim, or any other American citizen, can run for president, end of story.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/09/21/carson-suggests-muslim-should-not-be-elected-president/

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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Story 1: Should President Obama and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Apologize For A Failed Foreign Policy Leading To Genocide and Democide in Iraq, Syria, and Libya? — Yes, but They Never Take Responsibility For Their Failures But Blame It On Others — No Wonder Carson and American People Oppose A Muslim President —  ‘How Do You Spell Genocide? O-B-A-M-A’ — Videos

United States Constitution

Article VI

All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi

U.S. Bill of Rights

Amendment I (1): Freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-constitution-amendments/bill-of-rights/

Sharia Law

Shariah law

Sharia law is the law of Islam. The Sharia (also spelled Shariah or Shari’a) law is cast from the actions and words of Muhammad, which are called “Sunnah,” and the Quran, which he authored.

The Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of the Sharia law, called “figh,” by imams is given some leeway.

As a legal system, the Sharia law covers a very wide range of topics. While other legal codes deal primarily with public behavior, Sharia law covers public behavior, private behavior and private beliefs. Of all legal systems in the world today, Islam’s Sharia law is the most intrusive and strict, especially against women.

According to the Sharia law:

•  Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
•  Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
•  Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.
•  Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.
•  A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
•  A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
•  A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
•  A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
•  Girls’ clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad‘s words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
•  A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
•  A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
•  A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
•  Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
•  A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
•  A woman’s testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man’s.
•  A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
•  A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
•  A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
•  Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be Halal.
•  Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
•  The list goes on.

http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/sharia-law.html

HUMAN GENOCIDE DOCUMENTARY. IRAQ AND SYRIA . ISIS, USA, UN ::: 2ND AUGUST 2014

Christians in Iraq are heeding an ultimatum by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to convert to Islam, get out or be killed.

Reports from the Middle East say that large numbers of Christians have fled the northern city of Mosul — now under control of the ISIL — after a message warning them to get out by Saturday was broadcast by loudspeakers on the city’s mosques.

An ISIL document reviewed by AFP said that there would be “nothing for them but the sword” if Christians didn’t adhere to the deadline.

The ISIL announcement also said that Christians could stay and pay a tax, often known as a “jizya,” though the exact amount was unspecified. A jizya is a historical policy of allowing non-Muslims to keep their own religion and their property if they pay a certain amount to Islamic rulers.

In centuries past, there have been examples of Christians paying the tax and living peacefully with Muslims. Recently however, it has often been exploited as a form of extortion against non-Muslims.

Many Christian families fleeing Mosul didn’t seem to put much trust in the promise of peace.

The aim of this documentary is to raise awareness.
WE ARE URGING ALL: PEOPLE TO SPEAK UP AND DO SOMETHING!!!

help world’s

TO DONATE FOR OUR CHRISTIANS PLEASE VISIT:
http://theacero.org/donate/

Fox’s Oliver North: ‘How Do You Spell Genocide? O-B-A-M-A’

Priests from Iraq and Syria: what’s happening in the Middle East is genocide

What Is Sharia Law?

How Is Sharia Law Dangerous for Western Society?

484. Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?

485. Was Muhammad A Prophet Of Peace?

493. What Is Sharia Law?

Enforcing Sharia in Raqqa: The Islamic State (Part 3)

Shocking documentary about Islam – The world’s most dangerous cult! ISIS ISLAMIC STATE

ISIS – “Islamic” Extremism? | Full Documentary – HD

Is Sharia Law Coming to America?

Sharia Law In America‽

David woods story of sharia law in America!

\

Shariamerica: Islam, Obama, and the Establishment Clause

US caught working to impose Islamic Sharia Law

Irving, Texas says “take a hike” to foreign (i.e. Sharia) laws

Ann Coulter on Muslims

Ben Carson Does Not Believe a Muslim Should Be President Meet The Press

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said today he would not support a Muslim as president on meet the press The retired neurosurgeon also said Islam, as a religion, was inconsistent with the Constitution. Carson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he believed a president’s faith should matter “depending on what that faith is.” “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said. “If it’s [a president’s faith] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter.” Carson, who has been near the top of several presidential polls, said he would consider voting for a Muslim in Congress “[depending] on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.” ABC News has reached out to Carson’s campaign for comment.
Ben Carson Does ‘Not Advocate’ A Muslim As President Sun, Sep 20 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson tells Chuck Todd that the faith of a presidential candidate should matter to voters “if it is inconsistent with the values … of America.”

GOP candidate Carson: Muslim shouldn’t be elected president

Cruz says no religious test for the presidency

The Alex Jones Show (VIDEO Commercial Free) Sunday September 20 2015: Sharia vs. Constitution

Muslim-American group calls on Ben Carson to drop out

Important: 260 Million Unarmed Civilians Killed – Democide = Death By Government

Sharia Law and the U.S. Constitution

[Update I:  I have streamlined the following post to be easily readable to the average layman, but informative enough for a lawyer or law professor to learn a bit more on the similarities and differences between Sharia and U.S. Law]

Is Sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution?

The simple answer is of course “no”.

But lets take a look at some aspects of Sharia Law and where it may or may not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.  (For disclosure I am not a lawyer nor a legal expert in Sharia or U.S. Law.)

First, what is Sharia?

Wikipedia states Sharia refers to the sacred law of Islam.  All Muslims believe Sharia is God’s law, but they have differences between themselves as to exactly what it entails.  Which will be difficult to discern what to apply when, but we’ll labor along for the sake of discussion.

In Western countries, where Muslim immigration is more recent, Muslim minorities have introduced Sharia family law, for use in their own disputes. Attempts to impose Sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare (Second Sudanese Civil War).

The recent incidents at the Arab International Festival have reinforced the poor image of Sharia inside the United States and its incompatibility with American culture and law.

The following is a truncated version with a couple of modifications (eliminating repetitious ibids and links) of multiple Wikipedia entries [with my comments]:

Legal and Court Proceedings:

Wikipedia states that Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences with other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law.

1. Sharia courts do not generally employ lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves.

2. Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system.

3. There is no pre-trial discovery process, no cross-examination of witnesses, and no penalty of perjury (on the assumption that no witness would thus endanger his soul) Unlike common law, judges’ verdicts do not set binding precedents under the principle of stare decisis and unlike civil law, Sharia does not utilize formally codified statutes (these were first introduced only in the late 19th century during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, cf. mecelle).

4. Instead of precedents and codes, Sharia relies on medieval jurist’s manuals and collections of non-binding legal opinions, or fatwas, issued by religious scholars (ulama, particularly a mufti); these can be made binding for a particular case at the discretion of a judge.

5. Sharia courts’ rules of evidence also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony and excluding written and documentary evidence (including forensic and circumstantial evidence), on the basis that it could be tampered with or forged.

6. A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of a witness are the only evidence admissible in a Sharia court, written evidence is only admissible with the attestations of multiple, witnesses deemed reliable by the judge, i.e. notaries.

7. Testimony must be from at least two witnesses, and preferably free Muslim male witnesses, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character; testimony to establish the crime of adultery, or zina must be from four direct witnesses.

8. Forensic evidence (i.e. fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and othercircumstantial evidence is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.

9. Testimony from women is given only half the weight of men [in most sources outside of Wikipedia Sharia states that a woman’s testimony only carries the weight of 1/4th of a man’s], and testimony from non-Muslims may be excluded altogether (if against a Muslim).

10. In lieu of written evidence, oaths are accorded much greater weight; rather than being used simply to guarantee the truth of ensuing testimony, they are themselves used as evidence.

11. Plaintiffs lacking other evidence to support their claims may demand that defendants take an oath swearing their innocence, refusal thereof can result in a verdict for the plaintiff.

12. Sharia courts, with their tradition of pro se representation, simple rules of evidence, and absence of appeals courts, prosecutors, cross examination, complex documentary evidence and discovery proceedings, juries and voir dire proceedings, circumstantial evidence, forensics, case law, standardized codes, exclusionary rules, and most of the other infrastructure of civil and common law court systems, have as a result, comparatively informal and streamlined proceedings. [that’s one way of putting it]

13. This can provide significant increases in speed and efficiency (at the cost of the safeguards provided in secular legal systems), and can be an advantage in jurisdictions where the general court system is slow or corrupt, and where few litigants can afford lawyers. (end Wikipedia)

This is not a concise review of the difference nor similarities between U.S. Law and Sharia.  It is only meant to educate us on what Sharia law is in comparison to our legal system.

http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/06/25/sharia-law-and-the-u-s-constitution/

Sharia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Islamic law” redirects here. For Islamic jurisprudence, see Fiqh.

 

Sharia applies in full, covering personal status issues as well as criminal proceedings

 

Sharia applies in personal status issues (such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody)

 

Regional variations in the application of Sharia

 

Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation where Sharia plays no role in the judicial system

Sharia or sharia law (Arabic: شريعة‎ (IPA: [ʃaˈriːʕa]), is the Islamic legal system[1] derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The term sharia comes from the Arabic language term sharīʿah, which means a body of moral and religious law derived from religious prophecy, as opposed to human legislation.[2][3][4]

Sharia deals with many topics, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Adherence to sharia has served as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim faith historically.[5] In its strictest and most historically coherent definition, sharia is considered in Islam as the infallible law of God.[6]

There are two primary sources of sharia: the Quran, and the Hadiths (opinions and life example of Muhammad).[7] For topics and issues not directly addressed in these primary sources, sharia is derived. The derivation differs between the various sects of Islam (Sunni and Shia), and various jurisprudence schools such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali andJafari.[8][9] The sharia in these schools is derived hierarchically using one or more of the following guidelines: Ijma(usually the consensus of Muhammad’s companions), Qiyas (analogy derived from the primary sources), Istihsan(ruling that serves the interest of Islam in the discretion of Islamic jurists) and Urf (customs).[8][10]

Sharia is a significant source of legislation in various Muslim countries. Some apply all or a majority of the sharia code, and these include Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen andMauritania. In these countries, sharia prescribed punishments such as beheading, flogging and stoning continue to be practiced judicially or extra-judicially.[11][12] The introduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements globally, including in Western countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy,[13]violence,[14] and even warfare.[15] Most countries do not recognize sharia; however, some countries in Asia, Africa and Europe recognize parts of sharia and accept it as the law on divorce, inheritance and other personal affairs of their Islamic population.[16] In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes, and this limited adoption of sharia is controversial.[17]

The concept of crime, judicial process, justice and punishment embodied in sharia is different from that of secular law.[18] The differences between sharia and secular laws have led to an ongoing controversy as to whether sharia is compatible with secular forms of government, human rights, freedom of thought, and women’s rights.[19][20][21]

Etymology and origins[edit]

Scholars describe the word sharia (/ʃɑːˈriːɑː/, also shari’a, šarīʿah) as an archaic Arabic word denoting “pathway to be followed” (analogous to the Hebrew termHalakhah [“The Way to Go”]),[22] or “path to the water hole”. The latter definition comes from the fact that the path to water is the whole way of life in an arid desert environment.[23]

The etymology of sharia as a “path” or “way” comes from the Quranic verse[Quran 45:18]: “Then we put thee on the (right) Way of religion so follow thou that (Way), and follow not the desires of those who know not.”[22] Malik Ghulam Farid in his Dictionary of the Holy Quran, believes the “Way” in 45:18 (quoted above) derives from shara’a (as prf. 3rd. p.m. sing.), meaning “He ordained”. Other forms also appear: shara’u[Quran 45:13] as (prf. 3rd. p.m. plu.), “they decreed (a law)”[Quran 42:21]; and shir’atun (n.) meaning “spiritual law”[Quran 5:48].[24]

The Arabic word sharīʿa has origins in the concept of ‘religious law’; the word is commonly used by Arabic-speaking peoples of the Middle East and designates a prophetic religion in its totality. Thus, sharīʿat Mūsā means religious law of Moses (Judaism), sharīʿat al-Masīḥ means religious law of Christianity, sharīʿat al-Madjūs means religious law of Zoroastrianism.[3]

The Arabic expression شريعة الله (God’s Law) is a common translation for תורת אלוהים (‘God’s Law’ in Hebrew) and νόμος τοῦ θεοῦ (‘God’s Law’ in Greek in the New Testament [Rom. 7: 22]).[25] In contemporary Islamic literature, sharia refers to divine law of Islam as revealed by prophet Muhammad, as well as in his function as model and exemplar of the law.[3]

Sharia in the Islamic world is also known as Qānūn-e Islāmī (قانون اسلامی).[citation needed]

History

In Islam, the origin of sharia is the Qu’ran, and traditions gathered from the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (born ca. 570 CE in Mecca).[26]

Sharia underwent fundamental development, beginning with the reigns of caliphs Abu Bakr (632–34) and Umar (634–44) for Sunni Muslims, and Imam Ali for Shia Muslims, during which time many questions were brought to the attention of Muhammad’s closest comrades for consultation.[27] During the reign of Muawiya b. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, ca. 662 CE, Islam undertook an urban transformation, raising questions not originally covered by Islamic law.[27] Since then, changes in Islamic society have played an ongoing role in developing sharia, which branches out into fiqh and Qanun respectively.

The formative period of fiqh stretches back to the time of the early Muslim communities. In this period, jurists were more concerned with pragmatic issues of authority and teaching than with theory.[28] Progress in theory was started by 8th and 9th century Islamic scholars Abu Hanifa, Malik bin Anas, Al-Shafi’i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others.[8][29] Al-Shafi‘i is credited with deriving the theory of valid norms for sharia (uṣūl al-fiqh), arguing for a traditionalist, literal interpretation of Quran, Hadiths and methodology for law as revealed therein, to formulate sharia.[30][31]

A number of legal concepts and institutions were developed by Islamic jurists during the classical period of Islam, known as the Islamic Golden Age, dated from the 7th to 13th centuries. These shaped different versions of sharia in different schools of Islamic jurisprudence, called fiqhs.[32][33][34]

The Umayyads initiated the office of appointing qadis, or Islamic judges. The jurisdiction of the qadi extended only to Muslims, while non-Muslim populations retained their own legal institutions.[35] Under the Umayyads Islamic scholars were “sidelined” from administration of justice and attempts to systematically uphold and develope Islamic law would wait for Abbasid rule.[36] The qadis were usually pious specialists in Islam. As these grew in number, they began to theorize and systemize Islamic jurisprudence.[37] The Abbasid made the institution of qadi independent from the government, but this separation wasn’t always respected.[38]

Both the Umayyad caliph Umar II and the Abbasids had agreed that the caliph could not legislate contrary to the Quran or the sunnah. Imam Shafi’i declared: “atradition from the Prophet must be accepted as soon as it become known…If there has been an action on the part of a caliph, and a tradition from the Prophet to the contrary becomes known later, that action must be discarded in favor of the tradition from the Prophet.” Thus, under the Abbasids the main features of sharia were definitively established and sharia was recognized as the law of behavior for Muslims.[39]

In modern times, the Muslim community have divided points of view: secularists believe that the law of the state should be based on secular principles, not on Islamic legal doctrines; traditionalists believe that the law of the state should be based on the traditional legal schools;[40] reformers believe that new Islamic legal theories can produce modernized Islamic law[41] and lead to acceptable opinions in areas such as women’s rights.[42] This division persists until the present day (Brown 1996, Hallaq 2001, Ramadan 2005, Aslan 2006, Safi 2003, Nenezich 2006).

There has been a growing religious revival in Islam, beginning in the eighteenth century and continuing today. This movement has expressed itself in various forms ranging from wars to efforts towards improving education.[43][44]

Definitions and disagreements

Sharia, in its strictest definition, is a divine law, as expressed in the Quran and Muhammad’s example (often called the sunnah). As such, it is related to but different from fiqh, which is emphasized as the human interpretation of the law.[45][46] Many scholars have pointed out that the sharia is not formally a code,[47] nor a well-defined set of rules.[48] The sharia is characterized as a discussion on the duties of Muslims[47] based on both the opinion of the Muslim community and extensive literature.[49] Hunt Janin and Andre Kahlmeyer thus conclude that the sharia is “long, diverse, and complicated.”[48]

From the 9th century onward, the power to interpret and refine law in traditional Islamic societies was in the hands of the scholars (ulema). This separation of powers served to limit the range of actions available to the ruler, who could not easily decree or reinterpret law independently and expect the continued support of the community.[50] Through succeeding centuries and empires, the balance between the ulema and the rulers shifted and reformed, but the balance of power was never decisively changed.[51] Over the course of many centuries, imperial, political and technological change, including the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, ushered in an era of European world hegemony that gradually included the domination of many of the lands which had previously been ruled by Islamic empires.[52][53] At the end of the Second World War, the European powers found themselves too weakened to maintain their empires as before.[54] The wide variety of forms of government, systems of law, attitudes toward modernity and interpretations of sharia are a result of the ensuing drives for independence and modernity in the Muslim world.[55][56]

According to Jan Michiel Otto, Professor of Law and Governance in Developing Countries at Leiden University, “Anthropological research shows that people in local communities often do not distinguish clearly whether and to what extent their norms and practices are based on local tradition, tribal custom, or religion. Those who adhere to a confrontational view of sharia tend to ascribe many undesirable practices to sharia and religion overlooking custom and culture, even if high-ranking religious authorities have stated the opposite.” Otto’s analysis appears in a paper commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[57]

Sources of sharia law

Main article: Sources of sharia

There are two sources of sharia (understood as the divine law): the Quran and the Sunnah. The Quran is viewed as the unalterable word of God. It is considered in Islam to be an infallible part of sharia. The Quran covers a host of topics including God, personal laws for Muslim men and Muslim women, laws on community life, laws on expected interaction of Muslims with non-Muslims, apostates and ex-Muslims, laws on finance, morals, eschatology, and others.[58][59] The Sunnah is the life and example of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Sunnah’s importance as a source of sharia, is confirmed by several verses of the Quran (e.g.[Quran 33:21]).[60] The Sunnah is primarily contained in the hadith or reports of Muhammad’s sayings, his actions, his tacit approval of actions and his demeanor. While there is only one Quran, there are many compilations of hadith, with the most authentic ones forming during the sahih period (850 to 915 CE). The six acclaimed Sunni collections were compiled by (in order of decreasing importance) Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah. The collections by al-Bukhari and Muslim, regarded the most authentic, contain about 7,000 and 12,000 hadiths respectively (although the majority of entries are repetitions). The hadiths have been evaluated on authenticity, usually by determining the reliability of the narrators that transmitted them.[61] For Shias, the Sunnah include life and sayings of The Twelve Imams.[62]

Quran versus Hadith

Muslims who reject the Hadith as a source of law, sometimes referred to as Quranists,[63][64] suggest that only laws derived exclusively from the Quran are valid.[65]They state that the hadiths in modern use are not explicitly mentioned in the Quran as a source of Islamic theology and practice, they were not recorded in written form until more than two centuries after the death of the prophet Muhammed.[63] They also state that the authenticity of the hadiths remains a question.[66][67]

The vast majority of Muslims, however, consider hadiths, which describe the words, conduct and example set by Muhammad during his life, as a source of law and religious authority second only to the Qur’an.[68] Similarly, most Islamic scholars believe both Quran and sahih hadiths to be a valid source of sharia, with Quranic verse 33.21, among others,[69][70] as justification for this belief.[64]

Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

For vast majority of Muslims, sharia has historically been, and continues to be derived from both the Quran and the Hadiths.[64][68][70] The Sahih Hadiths of Sunni Muslims contain isnad, or a chain of guarantors reaching back to a companion of Muhammad who directly observed the words, conduct and example he set – thus providing the theological ground to consider the hadith to be a sound basis for sharia.[64][70] For Sunni Muslims, the musannaf in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim is most trusted and relied upon as source for Sunni Sharia.[71] Shia Muslims, however, do not consider the chain of transmitters of Sunni hadiths as reliable, given these transmitters belonged to Sunni side in Sunni-Shia civil wars that followed after Muhammad’s death.[72] Shia rely on their own chain of reliable guarantors, trusting compilations such as Kitab al-Kafi and Tahdhib al-Ahkam instead, and later hadiths (usually called akhbār by Shi’i).[73][74] The Shia version of hadiths contain the words, conduct and example set by Muhammad and Imams, which they consider as sinless, infallible and an essential source of sharia for Shi’ite Muslims.[72][75]However, in substance, the Shi’ite hadiths resemble the Sunni hadiths, with one difference – the Shia hadiths additionally include words and actions of its Imams (al-hadith al-walawi), the biological descendants of Muhammad, and these too are considered an important source for sharia by Shi’ites.[73][76]

Disagreements on Quran

Main article: Naskh (tafsir)
Authenticity and writing of Quran

Some scholars such as John Wansbrough have challenged the authenticity of the Quran and whether it was written in the time of Muhammad.[77] In contrast, Estelle Whelan has refuted Wansbrough presenting evidence such as the inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock.[78][79] John Burton states that medieval era Islamic texts claiming Quran was compiled after the death of the Prophet were forged to preserve the status-quo.[80] The final version of the Quran, states Burton, was compiled while the Prophet was still alive.[81] Most scholars accept that the Quran as is used for Sharia, was compiled into the final current form during the caliphate of Uthman.[82][83]

Abrogation and textual inconsistencies

From the founding of Islam, the Muslim community has also debated the authenticity of compiled verses and the consistency within the Quran.[84][85] The inconsistencies in deriving sharia from the Quran, were recognized and formally complicated by verses 2.106 and 16.101 of the Quran, which are known as the “verses of abrogation (Naskh)”,[86]

When We substitute one revelation for another, – and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),– they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.

The principle of abrogation has been historically accepted and applied by Islamic jurists on both the Quran and the Sunnah.[84][86] Sharia is thus determined through a chronological study of the primary sources, where older revelations are considered invalid and overruled by later revelations.[86][87] While an overwhelming majority of historical and modern Islamic scholars have accepted the principle of abrogation for the Quran and the Sunnah, some modern scholars disagree that the principle of abrogation necessarily applies to the Quran.[88]

Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh)

Main article: Fiqh

Fiqh (school of Islamic jurisprudence) represents the process of deducing and applying sharia principles, as well as the collective body of specific laws deduced from sharia using the fiqh methodology.[8] While Quran and Hadith sources are regarded as infallible, the fiqh standards may change in different contexts. Fiqh covers all aspects of law, including religious, civil, political, constitutional and procedural law.[89] Fiqh deploys the following to create Islamic laws:[8]

  1. Injunctions, revealed principles and interpretations of the Quran (Used by all schools and sects of Islam)
  2. Interpretation of the Sunnah (Muhammad’s practices, opinions and traditions) and principles therein, after establishing the degree of reliability of hadith’s chain of reporters (Used by all schools and sects of Islam)

If the above two sources do not provide guidance for an issue, then different fiqhs deploy the following in a hierarchical way:[8]

  1. Ijma, collective reasoning and consensus amongst authoritative Muslims of a particular generation, and its interpretation by Islamic scholars. This fiqh principle for sharia is derived from Quranic verse 4:59.[90] Typically, the recorded consensus of Sahabah (Muhammad’s companions) is considered authoritative and most trusted. If this is unavailable, then the recorded individual reasoning (Ijtihad) of Muhammad companions is sought. In Islam’s history, some Muslim scholars have argued that Ijtihad allows individual reasoning of both the earliest generations of Muslims and later generation Muslims, while others have argued that Ijtihad allows individual reasoning of only the earliest generations of Muslims. (Used by all schools of Islam, Jafari fiqh accepts only Ijtihad of Shia Imams)[8][91]
  2. Qiyas, analogy is deployed if Ijma or historic collective reasoning on the issue is not available. Qiyas represents analogical deduction, the support for using it in fiqh is based on Quranic verse 2:59, and this methodology was started by Abu Hanifa.[92] This principle is considered weak by Hanbali fiqh, and it usually avoids Qiyas for sharia. (Used by all Sunni schools of Islam, but rejected by Shia Jafari)[8][10]
  3. Istihsan, which is the principle of serving the interest of Islam and public as determined by Islamic jurists. This method is deployed if Ijtihad and Qiyas fail to provide guidance. It was started by Hanafi fiqh as a form of Ijtihad (individual reasoning). Maliki fiqh called it Masalih Al-Mursalah, or departure from strict adherence to the Texts for public welfare. The Hanbali fiqh called it Istislah and rejected it, as did Shafi’i fiqh. (Used by Hanafi, Maliki, but rejected by Shafii, Hanbali and Shia Jafari fiqhs)[8][10][30]
  4. Istihab and Urf which mean continuity of pre-Islamic customs and customary law. This is considered as the weakest principle, accepted by just two fiqhs, and even in them recognized only when the custom does not violate or contradict any Quran, Hadiths or other fiqh source. (Used by Hanafi, Maliki, but rejected by Shafii, Hanbali and Shia Jafari fiqhs)[8][10]
Schools of law
Main article: Madhhab

Map of the Muslim world with the main schools of Islamic law (madhhab)

A Madhhab is a Muslim school of law that follows a fiqh (school of religious jurisprudence). In the first 150 years of Islam, there were many madhhab. Several of the Sahābah, or contemporary “companions” of Muhammad, are credited with founding their own. In the Sunni sect of Islam, the Islamic jurisprudence schools of Medina (Al-Hijaz, now in Saudi Arabia) created the Maliki madhhab, while those in Kufa (now in Iraq) created the Hanafimadhhab.[93] Abu al-Shafi’i, who started as a student of Maliki school of Islamic law, and later was influenced by Hanafi school of Islamic law, disagreed with some of the discretion these schools gave to jurists, and founded the more conservative Shafi’i madhhab, which spread from jurisprudence schools in Baghdad (Iraq) and Cairo (Egypt).[94] Ahmad ibn Hanbal, a student of al-Shafi’i, went further in his criticism of Maliki and Hanafi fiqhs, criticizing the abuse and corruption of sharia from jurist discretion and consensus of later generation Muslims, and he founded the more strict, traditionalist Hanbali school of Islamic law.[95] Other schools such as the Jaririwere established later, which eventually died out.

Sunni sect of Islam has four major surviving schools of sharia: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali; one minor school is named Ẓāhirī. Shii sect of Islam has three: Ja’fari(major), Zaydi and Ismaili.[96][97][98] There are other minority fiqhs as well, such as the Ibadi school of Khawarij sect, and those of Sufi and Ahmadi sects.[89][99] All Sunni and Shia schools of sharia rely first on the Quran and the sayings/practices of Muhammad in the Sunnah. Their differences lie in the procedure each uses to create Islam-compliant laws when those two sources do not provide guidance on a topic.[100] The Salafi movement creates sharia based on the Quran, Sunnah and the actions and sayings of the first three generations of Muslims.[101]

Hanafi-based sharia spread with the patronage and military expansions led by Turkic Sultans and Ottoman Empire in West Asia, Southeast Europe, Central Asia and South Asia.[102][103] It is currently the largest madhhab of Sunni Muslims.[104] Maliki-based sharia is predominantly found in West Africa, North Africa and parts of Arabia.[104] Shafii-based sharia spread with patronage and military expansions led by maritime Sultans, and is mostly found in coastal regions of East Africa, Arabia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and islands in the Indian ocean.[105] The Hanbali-based sharia prevails in the smallest Sunni madhhab, predominantly found in the Arabian peninsula.[104] The Shia Jafari-based sharia is mostly found in Persian region and parts of West Asia and South Asia.

Categories of law

Along with interpretation, each fiqh classifies its interpretation of sharia into one of the following five categories: fard (obligatory), mustahabb (recommended),mubah (neutral), makruh (discouraged), and haraam (forbidden). A Muslim is expected to adhere to that tenet of sharia accordingly.[106]

  • Actions in the fard category are those mandatory on all Muslims. They include the five daily prayers, fasting, articles of faith, obligatory giving of zakat (charity, tax) to zakat collectors,[107][108] and the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.[106]
  • The mustahabb category includes proper behaviour in matters such as marriage, funeral rites and family life. As such, it covers many of the same areas as civil law in the West. Sharia courts attempt to reconcile parties to disputes in this area using the recommended behaviour as their guide. A person whose behaviour is not mustahabb can be ruled against by the judge.[109]
  • Mubah category of behaviour is neither discouraged nor recommended, neither forbidden nor required; it is permissible.[106]
  • Makruh behaviour, while it is not sinful of itself, is considered undesirable among Muslims. It may also make a Muslim liable to criminal penalties under certain circumstances.[109]
  • Haraam behaviour is explicitly forbidden. It is both sinful and criminal. It includes all actions expressly forbidden in the Quran. Certain Muslim dietary and clothing restrictions also fall into this category.[106]

The recommended, neutral and discouraged categories are drawn largely from accounts of the life of Muhammad. To say a behaviour is sunnah is to say it is recommended as an example of the life and sayings of Muhammad. These categories form the basis for proper behaviour in matters such as courtesy and manners, interpersonal relations, generosity, personal habits and hygiene.[106]

Areas of Islamic law

Main article: Topics of sharia law

The areas of Islamic law include:

Other classifications

Shari’ah law has been grouped in different ways, such as:[110][111] Family relations, Crime and punishment, Inheritance and disposal of property, The economic system, External and other relations.

Reliance of the Traveller“, an English translation of a fourteenth-century CE reference on the Shafi’i school of fiqh written by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, organizes sharia law into the following topics: Purification, prayer, funeral prayer, taxes, fasting, pilgrimage, trade, inheritance, marriage, divorce and justice.

In some areas, there are substantial differences in the law between different schools of fiqh, countries, cultures and schools of thought.

Disagreement on the objectives of Islamic law

Main article: Maqasid

A number of scholars have advanced “objectives” (مقاصد maqaṣid al-Shariah also “goals” or “purposes”) they believe the Sharia is intended to achieve. Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali argued that they were the preservation of Islamic religion, and in the temporal world the protection of life, progeny, intellect and wealth of Muslims.[112][113]Yazid et al summarize sharia’s objective to be recognize the limitations of reason, and complement the role of reason with revelation.[114] They state that objective of sharia in Islamic finance is to provide rules and regulations from the Quran and Sunnah.[114]

Jan Otto writes that moderate Muslims and puritan Muslims differ in their interpretation of the objectives of sharia.[115] The moderate Muslims consider sharia to be a flexible code of law, where technicalities of its wording cannot subvert sharia’s objectives to “help Muslims in their quest for submission, humility, gratitude before God, and a quest for Godliness”.[115] In contrast, according to Otto, puritan Muslims believe that sharia is a strict, complete and exact set of rules that one must submit to, by strict compliance, because it is only “through meticulous obedience, Muslims will avoid punishment of God in after-life and will enter heaven” which is the ultimate objective, and it does not matter if some sharia “law is harsh or that its application results in social suffering, this perception is considered delusional”.[115]

Application

Application by country

Use of Sharia by country:

  Sharia plays no role in the judicial system
  Sharia applies to Muslim’s personal law
  Sharia applies in full, including criminal law
  Regional variations in the application of sharia

Most Muslim-majority countries incorporate sharia at some level in their legal framework, with many calling it the highest law or the source of law of the land in their constitution.[116][117] Most use sharia for personal law (marriage, divorce, domestic violence, child support, family law, inheritance and such matters).[118][119] Elements of sharia are present, to varying extents, in the criminal justice system of many Muslim-majority countries.[12]Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan andMauritania apply the code predominantly or entirely.[12][120]

Most Muslim-majority countries with sharia-prescribed hudud punishments in their legal code, do not prescribe it routinely and use other punishments instead.[116][121] The harshest sharia penalties such as stoning, beheadingand the death penalty are enforced with varying levels of consistency.[122]

Since 1970s, most Muslim-majority countries have faced vociferous demands from their religious groups and political parties for immediate adoption of sharia as the sole, or at least primary legal framework.[123] Some moderates and liberal scholars within these Muslim countries have argued for limited expansion of sharia.[124]

With the growing muslim immigrant communities in Europe, there have been reports in some media of “no-go zones” being established where sharia law reigns supreme.[125][126] However, there is no evidence of the existence of “no-go zones”, and these allegations are sourced from anti-immigrant groups falsely equating low-income neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by immigrants as “no-go zones.”[127][128]

Enforcement

Main articles: Islamic religious police and Hisbah

Sharia is enforced in Islamic nations in a number of ways, including mutaween and hisbah.[citation needed]

The mutaween (Arabic: المطوعين، مطوعيةmuṭawwiʿīn, muṭawwiʿiyyah)[129] are the government-authorized or government-recognized religious police (or clericalpolice) of Saudi Arabia. Elsewhere, enforcement of Islamic values in accordance with sharia is the responsibility of Polisi Perda Syariah Islam in Aceh province ofIndonesia,[130] Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Gaza Strip) in parts of Palestine, and Basiji Force in Iran.[131]

Official from the Department ofPropagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, beating a woman inAfghanistan for violating local interpretation of sharia.[132][133]

Hisbah (Arabic: حسبةḥisb(ah), or hisba) is a historic Islamic doctrine which means “accountability”.[134] Hisbah doctrine holds that it is a religious obligation of every Muslim that he or she report to the ruler (Sultan, government authorities) any wrong behavior of a neighbor or relative that violates sharia or insults Islam. The doctrine states that it is the divinely sanctioned duty of the ruler to intervene when such charges are made, and coercively “command right and forbid wrong” in order to keep everything in order according to sharia.[135][136][137] Some Salafist suggest that enforcement of sharia under the Hisbah doctrine is the sacred duty of all Muslims, not just rulers.[135] The doctrine of Hisbah in Islam has traditionally allowed any Muslim to accuse another Muslim, ex-Muslim or non-Muslim for beliefs or behavior that may harm Islamic society. This principle has been used in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and others to bring blasphemy charges against apostates.[138]For example, in Egypt, sharia was enforced on the Muslim scholar Nasr Abu Zayd, through the doctrine of Hasbah, when he committed apostasy.[139][140] Similarly, in Nigeria, after twelve northern Muslim-majority states such as Kano adopted sharia-based penal code between 1999 and 2000, hisbah became the allowed method of sharia enforcement, where all Muslim citizens could police compliance of moral order based on sharia.[141] In Aceh province of Indonesia, Islamic vigilante activists have invoked Hasbah doctrine to enforce sharia on fellow Muslims as well as demanding non-Muslims to respect sharia.[142]Hisbah has been used in many Muslim majority countries, from Morocco to Egypt and in West Asia to enforce sharia restrictions on blasphemy and criticism of Islam over internet and social media.[143][144][145]

Legal and court proceedings

Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences from other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law. Sharia courts traditionally do not rely on lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves. Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system. There is no pre-trial discoveryprocess, and no cross-examination of witnesses. Unlike common law, judges’ verdicts do not set binding precedents[146][147] under the principle of stare decisis,[148]and unlike civil law, sharia is left to the interpretation in each case and has no formally codified universal statutes.[149]

The rules of evidence in sharia courts also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony.[150] Witnesses, in a sharia court system, must be faithful, that is Muslim.[151] Male Muslim witnesses are deemed more reliable than female Muslim witnesses, and non-Muslim witnesses considered unreliable and receive no priority in a sharia court.[152][153] In civil cases, a Muslim woman witness is considered half the worth and reliability than a Muslim man witness.[154][155] In criminal cases, women witnesses are unacceptable in stricter, traditional interpretations of sharia, such as those found in Hanbali madhhab.[151]

Criminal cases

A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of Muslim witnesses are the main evidence admissible, in sharia courts, for hudud crimes, that is the religious crimes of adultery, fornication, rape, accusing someone of illicit sex but failing to prove it, apostasy, drinking intoxicants and theft.[156][157][158] Testimony must be from at least two free Muslim male witnesses, or one Muslim male and two Muslim females, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character. Testimony to establish the crime of adultery, fornication or rape must be from four Muslim male witnesses, with some fiqhs allowing substitution of up to three male with six female witnesses; however, at least one must be a Muslim male.[159] Forensic evidence (i.e., fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and othercircumstantial evidence is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.[160][161]

Muslim jurists have debated whether and when coerced confession and coerced witnesses are acceptable. The majority opinion of jurists in the Hanafi madhhab, for example, ruled that torture to get evidence is acceptable and such evidence is valid, but a 17th-century text by Hanafi jurist Muhammad Shaykhzade argued that coerced confession should be invalid; Shaykhzade acknowledged that beating to get confession has been authorized in fatwas by many Islamic jurists.[162]

Civil cases

Quran recommends written contracts in the case of debt-related transactions, and oral contracts for commercial and other civil contracts.[155][163] Marriage is solemnized as a written financial contract, in the presence of two Muslim male witnesses, and it includes a brideprice (Mahr) payable from a Muslim man to a Muslim woman. The brideprice is considered by a sharia court as a form of debt. Written contracts are paramount, in sharia courts, in the matters of dispute that are debt-related, which includes marriage contracts.[164] Written contracts in debt-related cases, when notarized by a judge, is deemed more reliable.[165]

In commercial and civil contracts, such as those relating to exchange of merchandise, agreement to supply or purchase goods or property, and others, oral contracts and the testimony of Muslim witnesses triumph over written contracts. Sharia system has held that written commercial contracts may be forged.[165][166]Timur Kuran states that the treatment of written evidence in religious courts in Islamic regions created an incentive for opaque transactions, and the avoidance of written contracts in economic relations. This led to a continuation of a “largely oral contracting culture” in Muslim nations and communities.[166][167]

In lieu of written evidence, oaths are accorded much greater weight; rather than being used simply to guarantee the truth of ensuing testimony, they are themselves used as evidence. Plaintiffs lacking other evidence to support their claims may demand that defendants take an oath swearing their innocence, refusal thereof can result in a verdict for the plaintiff.[168] Taking an oath for Muslims can be a grave act; one study of courts in Morocco found that lying litigants would often “maintain their testimony ‘right up to the moment of oath-taking and then to stop, refuse the oath, and surrender the case.”[169] Accordingly, defendants are not routinely required to swear before testifying, which would risk casually profaning the Quran should the defendant commit perjury;[169] instead oaths are a solemn procedure performed as a final part of the evidence process.

Sentencing
Main article: Diyya

Sharia courts treat women and men as unequal, with Muslim woman’s life and blood-money compensation sentence (Diyya) as half as that of a Muslim man’s life.[170][171] Sharia also treats Muslims and non-Muslims as unequal in the sentencing process.[172] Human Rights Watch and United States’ Religious Freedom Report note that in sharia courts of Saudi Arabia, “The calculation of accidental death or injury compensation is discriminatory. In the event a court renders a judgment in favor of a plaintiff who is a Jewish or Christian male, the plaintiff is only entitled to receive 50 percent of the compensation a Muslim male would receive; all other non-Muslims [Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Atheists] are only entitled to receive one-sixteenth of the amount a male Muslim would receive”.[173][174][175]

Saudi Arabia follows Hanbali sharia, whose historic jurisprudence texts considered a Christian or Jew life as half the worth of a Muslim. Jurists of other schools of law in Islam have ruled differently. For example, Shafi’i sharia considers a Christian or Jew life as a third the worth of a Muslim, and Maliki‘s sharia considers it worth half.[172] The legal schools of Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi’i Sunni Islam as well as those of twelver Shia Islam have considered the life of polytheists and atheists as one-fifteenth the value of a Muslim during sentencing.[172]

Support

Anti-democracy, pro-Sharia public demonstration in 2014 in Maldives.

A 2013 survey based on interviews of 38,000 Muslims, randomly selected from urban and rural parts in 39 countries using area probability designs, by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that support for making sharia the official law of the land is very high in many Muslim-majority countries: Afghanistan (99%), Iraq (91%), Niger (86%), Malaysia (86%), Pakistan (84%), Morocco (83%), Bangladesh (82%), Egypt (74%), Indonesia (72%), Jordan (71%), Uganda (66%), Ethiopia (65%), Mali (63%), Ghana (58%), and Tunisia (56%).[176] In Muslim regions of Southern-Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the support is less then 50%: Kosovo (20%), Albania (12%), Russia (42%), Kyrgyzstan (35%), Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%), Azerbaijan (8%).[176]

In Muslim-majority countries and among Muslims who say sharia should be the law of the land, a percentage between 74% (Egypt) and 19% (Kazakhstan) want sharia law to apply to non-Muslims as well.[177]

A 2008 YouGov poll in the United Kingdom found 40% of Muslim students interviewed wanted sharia in British law.[178]

Since the 1970s, the Islamist movements have become prominent; their goals are the establishment of Islamic states and sharia not just within their own borders; their means are political in nature. The Islamist power base is the millions of poor, particularly urban poor moving into the cities from the countryside. They are not international in nature (one exception being the Muslim Brotherhood). Their rhetoric opposes western culture and western power.[179] Political groups wishing to return to more traditional Islamic values are the source of threat to Turkey’s secular government.[179] These movements can be considered neo-Sharism.[180]

Extremism

Fundamentalists, wishing to return to basic Islamic religious values and law, have in some instances imposed harsh sharia punishments for crimes, curtailed civil rights and violated human rights. Extremists have used the Quran and their own particular version of sharia to justify acts of war and terror against Muslim as well as non-Muslim individuals and governments, using alternate, conflicting interpretations of sharia and their notions of jihad.[181][182]

The sharia basis of arguments of those advocating terrorism, however, remain controversial. Some scholars state that Islamic law prohibits the killing of civilian non-combatants; in contrast, others interpret Islamic law differently, concluding that all means are legitimate to reach their aims, including targeting Muslim non-combatants and the mass killing of non-Muslim civilians, in order to universalize Islam.[181] Islam, in these interpretations, “does not make target differences between militaries and civilians but between Muslims and unbelievers. Therefore it is legitimated (sic) to spill civilians’ blood”.[181] Other scholars of Islam, interpret sharia differently, stating, according to Engeland-Nourai, “attacking innocent people is not courageous; it is stupid and will be punished on the Day of Judgment […]. It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom; it is courageous to defend one and not to attack”.[181][183]

Criticism

A protester opposing the Park51project, carries an anti-sharia sign.

Compatibility with democracy

Further information: Islamic ethics, Islam and democracy, Shura and Ijma

Ali Khan states that “constitutional orders founded on the principles of sharia are fully compatible with democracy, provided that religious minorities are protected and the incumbent Islamic leadership remains committed to the right to recall”.[184][185]Other scholars say sharia is not compatible with democracy, particularly where the country’s constitution demands separation of religion and the democratic state.[186][187]

Courts in non-Muslim majority nations have generally ruled against the implementation of sharia, both in jurisprudence and within a community context, based on sharia’s religious background. In Muslim nations, sharia has wide support with some exceptions.[188] For example, in 1998 the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned and dissolved Turkey’s Refah Party on the grounds that “Democracy is the antithesis of Sharia”, the latter of which Refah sought to introduce.[189][190]

On appeal by Refah the European Court of Human Rights determined that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy”.[191][192][193] Refah’s sharia-based notion of a “plurality of legal systems, grounded on religion” was ruled to contravene the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was determined that it would “do away with the State’s role as the guarantor of individual rights and freedoms” and “infringe the principle of non-discrimination between individuals as regards their enjoyment of public freedoms, which is one of the fundamental principles of democracy”.[194]

Human rights

Several major, predominantly Muslim countries have criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries. Iran declared in the UN assembly that UDHR was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition”, which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.[195] Islamic scholars and Islamist political parties consider ‘universal human rights’ arguments as imposition of a non-Muslim culture on Muslim people, a disrespect of customary cultural practices and of Islam.[196][197] In 1990, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a group representing all Muslim majority nations, met in Cairo to respond to the UDHR, then adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.[198][199]

Ann Elizabeth Mayer points to notable absences from the Cairo Declaration: provisions for democratic principles, protection for religious freedom, freedom of association and freedom of the press, as well as equality in rights and equal protection under the law. Article 24 of the Cairo declaration states that “all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic shari’a“.[200]

In 2009, the journal Free Inquiry summarized the criticism of the Cairo Declaration in an editorial: “We are deeply concerned with the changes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by a coalition of Islamic states within the United Nations that wishes to prohibit any criticism of religion and would thus protect Islam’s limited view of human rights. In view of the conditions inside the Islamic Republic of Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Syria, Bangdalesh, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we should expect that at the top of their human rights agenda would be to rectify the legal inequality of women, the suppression of political dissent, the curtailment of free expression, the persecution of ethnic minorities and religious dissenters — in short, protecting their citizens from egregious human rights violations. Instead, they are worrying about protecting Islam.”[201]

H. Patrick Glenn states that sharia is structured around the concept of mutual obligations of a collective, and it considers individual human rights as potentially disruptive and unnecessary to its revealed code of mutual obligations. In giving priority to this religious collective rather than individual liberty, the Islamic law justifies the formal inequality of individuals (women, non-Islamic people).[202] Bassam Tibi states that sharia framework and human rights are incompatible.[203] Abdel al-Hakeem Carney, in contrast, states that sharia is misunderstood from a failure to distinguish sharia from siyasah (politics).[204]

Freedom of speech

Blasphemy in Islam is any form of cursing, questioning or annoying God, Muhammad or anything considered sacred in Islam.[205][206][207] The sharia of various Islamic schools of jurisprudence specify different punishment for blasphemy against Islam, by Muslims and non-Muslims, ranging from imprisonment, fines, flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading.[205][208][209] In some cases, sharia allows non-Muslims to escape death by converting and becoming a devout follower of Islam.[210]

Blasphemy, as interpreted under sharia, is controversial. Muslim nations have petitioned the United Nations to limit “freedom of speech” because “unrestricted and disrespectful opinion against Islam creates hatred”.[211] Other nations, in contrast, consider blasphemy laws as violation of “freedom of speech”,[212] stating that freedom of expression is essential to empowering both Muslims and non-Muslims, and point to the abuse of blasphemy laws, where hundreds, often members of religious minorities, are being lynched, killed and incarcerated in Muslim nations, on flimsy accusations of insulting Islam.[213][214]

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

According to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[215] every human has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change their religion or belief. Sharia has been criticized for not recognizing this human right. According to scholars[19][216][217] of Islamic law, the applicable rules for religious conversion under sharia are as follows:

  • If a person converts to Islam, or is born and raised as a Muslim, then he or she will have full rights of citizenship in an Islamic state.[218]
  • Leaving Islam is a sin and a religious crime. Once any man or woman is officially classified as Muslim, because of birth or religious conversion, he or she will be subject to the death penalty if he or she becomes an apostate, that is, abandons his or her faith in Islam in order to become an atheist, agnostic or to convert to another religion. Before executing the death penalty, sharia demands that the individual be offered one chance to return to Islam.[218]
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is not a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), he or she can live in an Islamic state by accepting to be a dhimmi, or under a special permission called aman. As a dhimmi or under aman, he or she will suffer certain limitations of rights as a subject of an Islamic state, and will not enjoy complete legal equality with Muslims.[218]
  • If a person has never been a Muslim, and is a kafir (infidel, unbeliever), sharia demands that he or she should be offered the choice to convert to Islam and become a Muslim; if he or she rejects the offer, he or she may become a dhimmi. failure to pay the tax may lead the non-muslim to either be enslaved, killed or ransomed if captured.[218]

According to sharia theory, conversion of disbelievers and non-Muslims to Islam is encouraged as a religious duty for all Muslims, and leaving Islam (apostasy), expressing contempt for Islam (blasphemy), and religious conversion of Muslims is prohibited.[219][220] Not all Islamic scholars agree with this interpretation of sharia theory. In practice, as of 2011, 20 Islamic nations had laws declaring apostasy from Islam as illegal and a criminal offense. Such laws are incompatible with the UDHR’s requirement of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.[221][222][223][224] In another 2013 report based on international survey of religious attitudes, more than 50% of Muslim population in 6 out of 49 Islamic countries supported death penalty for any Muslim who leaves Islam (apostasy).[225][226] However it is also shown that the majority of Muslims in the 43 nations surveyed did not agree with this interpretation of sharia.

Some scholars claim sharia allows religious freedom because a Shari’a verse teaches, “there is no compulsion in religion.”[227] Other scholars claim sharia recognizes only one proper religion, considers apostasy as sin punishable with death, and members of other religions as kafir (infidel);[228] or hold that Shari’a demands that all apostates and kafir must be put to death, enslaved or be ransomed.[229][230][231][232] Yet other scholars suggest that Shari’a has become a product of human interpretation and inevitably leads to disagreements about the “precise contents of the Shari’a.” In the end, then, what is being applied is not sharia, but what a particular group of clerics and government decide is sharia. It is these differing interpretations of Shari’a that explain why many Islamic countries have laws that restrict and criminalize apostasy, proselytism and their citizens’ freedom of conscience and religion.[233][234]

LGBT rights

Main article: LGBT in Islam

Homosexual intercourse is illegal under sharia law, though the prescribed penalties differ from one school of jurisprudence to another. For example, only a few Muslim-majority countries impose the death penalty for acts perceived as sodomy and homosexual activities: Iran,[235] Saudi Arabia,[236] and Somalia.[237] In other Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and the Indonesian province of Aceh,[238] same-sex sexual acts are illegal,[239] and LGBT people regularly face violence and discrimination.[240]

Women

Domestic violence

Many scholars[20][241] claim Shari’a law encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz (disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct) in his wife.[242] Other scholars claim wife beating, for nashizah, is not consistent with modern perspectives of the Quran.[243]

One of the verses of the Quran relating to permissibility of domestic violence is Surah 4:34.[244][245] In deference to Surah 4:34, many nations with Shari’a law have refused to consider or prosecute cases of domestic abuse.[246][247][248][249] Shari’a has been criticized for ignoring women’s rights in domestic abuse cases.[250][251][252][253] Musawah, CEDAW, KAFA and other organizations have proposed ways to modify Shari’a-inspired laws to improve women’s rights in Islamic nations, including women’s rights in domestic abuse cases.[254][255][256][257]

Personal status laws and child marriag

Shari’a is the basis for personal status laws in most Islamic majority nations. These personal status laws determine rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce and child custody. A 2011 UNICEF report concludes that Shari’a law provisions are discriminatory against women from a human rights perspective. In legal proceedings under Shari’a law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s before a court.[154]

Except for Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain which allow child marriages, the civil code in Islamic majority countries do not allow child marriage of girls. However, with Shari’a personal status laws, Shari’a courts in all these nations have the power to override the civil code. The religious courts permit girls less than 18 years old to marry. As of 2011, child marriages are common in a few Middle Eastern countries, accounting for 1 in 6 all marriages in Egypt and 1 in 3 marriages in Yemen.UNICEF and other studies state that the top five nations in the world with highest observed child marriage rates — Niger (75%), Chad (72%), Mali (71%), Bangladesh (64%), Guinea (63%) — are Islamic-majority countries where the personal laws for Muslims are sharia-based.[258][259]

Rape is considered a crime in all countries, but Shari’a courts in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia in some cases allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim, while in other cases the victim who complains is often prosecuted with the crime of Zina (adultery).[154][260][261]

Women’s right to property and consent

Sharia grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Quran.[262] A woman’s inheritance is unequal and less than a man’s, and dependent on many factors.[Quran 4:12][263] For instance, a daughter’s inheritance is usually half that of her brother’s.[Quran 4:11][263]

Until the 20th century, Islamic law granted Muslim women certain legal rights, such as the right to own property received as Mahr (brideprice) at her marriage, that Western legal systems did not grant to women.[264][265] However, Islamic law does not grant non-Muslim women the same legal rights as the few it did grant Muslim women. Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and women slave, between free women and slave women, between Believers and non-Believers, as well as their unequal rights.[266][267] Sharia authorized the institution of slavery, using the words abd (slave) and the phrase ma malakat aymanukum (“that which your right hand owns”) to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war.[266][268] Under Islamic law, Muslim men could have sexual relations with female captives and slaves without her consent.[269][270]

Slave women under sharia did not have a right to own property, right to free movement or right to consent.[271][272] Sharia, in Islam’s history, provided religious foundation for enslaving non-Muslim women (and men), as well as encouraged slave’s manumission. However, manumission required that the non-Muslim slave first convert to Islam.[273][274] Non-Muslim slave women who bore children to their Muslim masters became legally free upon her master’s death, and her children were presumed to be Muslims as their father, in Africa,[273] and elsewhere.[275]

Starting with the 20th century, Western legal systems evolved to expand women’s rights, but women’s rights under Islamic law have remained tied to Quran, hadiths and their faithful interpretation as sharia by Islamic jurists.[270][276]

Parallels with Western legal systems

Elements of Islamic law have influenced western legal systems. As example, the influence of Islamic influence on the development of an international law of the sea” can be discerned alongside that of the Roman influence.[277]

Makdisi states Islamic law also influenced the legal scholastic system of the West.[278] The study of legal text and degrees have parallels between Islamic studies of sharia and the Western system of legal studies. For example, the status of faqih (meaning “master of law“), mufti (meaning “professor of legal opinions“) andmudarris (meaning “teacher”), which were later translated into Latin as magister, professor and doctor respectively.[278]

There are differences between Islamic and Western legal systems. For example, sharia classically recognizes only natural persons, and never developed the concept of a legal person, or corporation, i.e., a legal entity that limits the liabilities of its managers, shareholders, and employees; exists beyond the lifetimes of its founders; and that can own assets, sign contracts, and appear in court through representatives.[279] Interest prohibitions also imposed secondary costs by discouraging record keeping, and delaying the introduction of modern accounting.[280] Such factors, according to Timur Kuran, have played a significant role in retarding economic development in the Middle East.[281]

See also

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

Ben Carson says no Muslim should ever become US president

  • 2016 hopeful: ‘I would not advocate we put a Muslim in charge of this nation’
  • Retired neurosurgeon says Islam is not consistent with US constitution

The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has said no Muslim should be president of the United States of America.

In an interview with NBC for broadcast on Sunday morning, the retired neurosurgeon said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Carson’s discussion with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd centered around controversy that arose this week when Donald Trump – the real-estate mogul keeping Carson in second place in the polls – failed to correct an audience member at a New Hampshire campaign rally who said President Obama was a Muslim.

The audience member also appeared to advocate the forcible removal of Muslims from the US.

On Saturday, in a series of tweets on the subject, Trump defended himself and said: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!”
Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim
Read more
He also addressed the issue in an appearance before an evangelical audience in Iowa, at which he brandished a Bible and said: “You see, I’m better than you thought.”

In such circles, Trump has lost some support to Carson.

In his NBC interview, Carson was asked: “So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?”

“No,” he said, “I don’t, I do not.”

Article VI of the US constitution states: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

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The first amendment to the constitution begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Carson, a Christian, is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church. In October, he will publish a new book, written with his wife Candy Carson and entitled A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties.

In publicity material issued by Penguin Random House, Carson is quoted as saying: “I believe that making a difference starts with understanding our amazing founding document, the US constitution.

“And as someone who has performed brain surgery thousands of times, I can assure you that the constitution isn’t brain surgery.

He adds that he and his wife wrote the book to “help defend” the constitution “from those who misinterpret and undermine it”.

Carson did have a constituency to speak to, however. In a recent poll, 38% of voters said they would not vote for a Muslim president.
Quiet rise of Ben Carson is shaking up Republican presidential race
Read more
The Ohio governor, John Kasich, who is polling an average of 2.5%, enough for 10th place out of 16, was also asked by NBC if he “would ever have a problem with a Muslim becoming president”.

Kasich, one of the more moderate candidates in the GOP field, also had to field a question about whether he was a Republican at all. He did not say he would have a problem with a Muslim president, but nor did he dismiss the question.

“You know, I mean, that’s such a hypothetical question,” Kasich said. “The answer is, at the end of the day, you’ve got to go through the rigours, and people will look at everything.

“But, for me, the most important thing about being president is you have leadership skills, you know what you’re doing, and you can help fix this country and raise this country. Those are the qualifications that matter to me.”

Carson was also asked if he would consider voting for a Muslim candidate for Congress.

He said: “Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says, you know.”

Two members of Congress, both Democrats, are Muslim: Keith Ellison of Minnesota was elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 and André Carson of Indiana followed in 2008.

Every American should be disturbed … national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry
Representative Keith Ellison
This week, Ellison carried a clock around Congress to show support for Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy who was arrested at his school in Irving, Texas, over suspicions a homemade clock was in fact a bomb.

On Sunday Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, released a statement in answer to Carson’s comments.

“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” he said.

“It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.”

 

Ahmed Mohamed is tired, excited to meet Obama – and wants his clock back
Read more
According to the Pew Research Center, the 114th Congress contains 491 Christians, of which 306 are Protestant, split between 13 sects though without any declared Anabaptists, Quakers or Pietists.

Another 164 members of Congress are Catholic, while 16 are Mormon and five Orthodox Christian. As well as the two Muslims there are 28 Jewish and two Buddhist members of Congress; there is one Hindu member, one Unitarian Universalist and one “unaffiliated”.

Nine members of Congress either told the Pew researchers they didn’t know what religion they were, or refused to answer the question.

On Meet the Press, Carson continued: “And, you know, if there’s somebody who’s of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them.”

Asked if he believed President Obama was both born in the US – another issue raised at the Trump rally on Thursday and not rebutted by the candidate – and a Christian, Carson said: “I believe that he is. I have no reason to doubt what he says.”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/20/ben-carson-no-muslim-us-president-trump-obama

Carson says he does not agree with a Muslim being elected president

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested Sunday that a Muslim should not be president, extending the new and unexpected religion debate on the 2016 campaign trail.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson, a Christian and retired neurosurgeon, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Carson, a top-tier 2016 candidate and popular among the GOP’s evangelical wing, made the statement after fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump was addressed by a man during a rally Thursday in New Hampshire who said President Obama is a Muslim.

“We have a problem in this country,” the unidentified man said. “It’s called Muslim. … You know our current president is one.”

Obama says he is a Christian. But Trump has declined to address the issue, saying he is not “morally obligated” to set straight the record.

Carson also described the Islamic faith as inconsistent with the Constitution. However, he did not specify in what way Islam ran counter to constitutional principles.

Carson said he believes Obama is a Christian and has “no reason to doubt what he says.”

He also said he would consider voting for a Muslim running for Congress, depending on “who that Muslim is and what their policies are.”

Carson also made a distinction when it came to electing Muslims to Congress, calling it a “different story” from the presidency that “depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says.”

Congress has two Muslim members, Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana.

“If there’s somebody who’s of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them,” Carson said.

Trump on Sunday told ABC’s “This Week” that he doesn’t talk about other people’s faith and that Obama is “very capable of defending himself.”

He also said the politically correct statement is that Muslims are not a problem in the United States but the reality is that “some” associated with terrorism pose a worldwide threat.

“We can say … everything’s wonderful,” Trump said. “But certainly it is a problem. … if I want to say no, not at all, people would laugh at me.”

Fellow GOP contender and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told ABC about the Muslim debate: “This has nothing to do with the future of our country. These issues have been discussed ad nauseam over the last few years. It’s a big waste of time. Barack Obama will not be president in a year and a half. It’s time to start talking about the future of America and the people that are at home.”

Carson’s comments drew strong criticism from the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“To me this really means he is not qualified to be president of the United States,” said the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper. “You cannot hold these kinds of views and at the same time say you will represent all Americans, of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Hooper said the Constitution expressly forbids religious tests for those seeking public office and called for the repudiation of “these un-American comments.”

In a separate appearance on NBC, fellow 2016 GOP candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was asked whether he would have a problem with a Muslim in the White House.

“The answer is, at the end of the day, you’ve got to go through the rigors, and people will look at everything. But, for me, the most important thing about being president is you have leadership skills, you know what you’re doing and you can help fix this country and raise this country. Those are the qualifications that matter to me.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who taped Sunday an episode of Iowa Press, an Iowa Public Television program, was asked if he agreed with Carson’s statements on Muslims being president. “The Constitution specifies that there shall be no religious test for public office, and I am a constitutionalist,” Cruz said.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, “It’s hard to understand what’s so difficult about supporting an American citizen’s right to run for president.

“But unsurprisingly, this left Republicans scratching their heads. Of course a Muslim, or any other American citizen, can run for president, end of story.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/09/21/carson-suggests-muslim-should-not-be-elected-president/

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Ann Coulter — Adios, America — Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 — Demon — Videos

Posted on September 21, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Love, media, Money, Non-Fiction, Political Correctness, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religious, Speech, Strategy, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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• Ann Coulter • Adios, America • Hannity • 6/1/15 •

Ben Shapiro interviews Ann Coulter; Adios America; 7/13/2015; C-Span

Ann Coulter Goes Off on Immigration w Glenn Beck Problems in U S A Traced Directly to Immigration

Ann Coulter about her Candidate for president

Ann Coulter talks immigration, Trump’s 2016 bid

Ann Coulter DISSECTS immigration reform for Megyn Kelly — and it rhymes!

Ann Coulter: I hope Donald Trump is serious

Ann Coulter Thinks Donald Trump Is GOP’s Best Bet, Maher Panel Erupts

Ann Coulter Introduces Donald Trump at Iowa Speech, 2016 Presidential Campaign Rally 8/25

DEMONIC: Ann Coulter Reloaded (FULL INTERVIEW)

Ann Coulter Talks About New Book “Demonic” and the Weiner Scandal

Demon Ann Coulter: Discusses Her Book Demonic

Ann Coulter on “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3” @ Hancock Park Patriots & USC College Republicans

Ann Coulter on Muslims

A Special Evening with Ann Coulter — 7/16/15

Please join us for a special lecture with Ann Coulter for her brand new book, “¡Adios, America!” (Publish Date: June 1, 2015). This event is in conjunction with KRLA 870AM The Answer. Introduction by Reagan Foundation Executive Director John Heubusch.

In “Adios, America,” Ann Coulter touches the third rail in American politics, attacking the immigration issue head-on and flying in the face of La Raza, the Democrats, a media determined to cover up immigrants’ crimes, churches that get paid by the government for their “charity,” and greedy Republican businessmen and campaign consultants—all of whom are profiting handsomely from mass immigration that’s tearing the country apart. Applying her trademark biting humor to the disaster that is U.S. immigration policy, Coulter proves that immigration is the most important issue facing America today.

Ann Coulter is the author of ten “New York Times” bestsellers. She is the legal correspondent for “Human Events” and writes a popular syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate. She is also a frequent guest on many TV shows, including Hannity, Piers Morgan, Red Eye and more. In 2001, Ms. Coulter was named one of the top 100 Public Intellectuals by federal judge Richard Posner.

Ann Coulter: Books, Education, Political Views, Religion, Youth, Biography (2011)

Ann Coulter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter smiling, with a blue wallpaper behind her.

Born Ann Hart Coulter
December 8, 1961 (age 53)
New York City, New York, United States
Nationality American
Alma mater Cornell University (B.A.)
University of Michigan Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Author, columnist, political commentator
Political party Republican[1]
Religion Presbyterian[2][3]
Website anncoulter.com

Ann Hart Coulter (/ˈkltər/; born December 8, 1961) is an American conservative social and political commentator, writer, syndicated columnist, and lawyer. She frequently appears on television, radio, and as a speaker at public and private events.

Coulter rose to prominence in the 1990s as an outspoken critic of the Clinton administration. Her first book concerned the Bill Clinton impeachment, and sprang from her experience writing legal briefs for Paula Jones‘s attorneys, as well as columns she wrote about the cases.[4][5] Coulter has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot”, and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do”,[6] drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right.[7]

Coulter’s syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate began appearing in newspapers, and was featured on major conservative websites.

Early life

Ann Hart Coulter was born on December 8, 1961 in New York City, to John Vincent Coulter (1926-2008), an FBI agent who was a native of Albany, New York, and Nell Husbands Coulter (née Martin; died 2009), a native of Paducah, Kentucky.[8][9] The family later moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where Coulter and her two older brothers, James and John, were raised.[10] She graduated from New Canaan High School in 1980. Coulter’s age was disputed in 2002 while she was arguing that she was not yet 40, yetWashington Post columnist Lloyd Grove cited that she provided a birthdate of December 8, 1961, when registering to vote in New Canaan, Connecticut prior to the 1980 Presidential election. Meanwhile, a driver’s license issued several years later allegedly listed her birthdate as December 8, 1963. Coulter will not confirm either date, citing privacy concerns.[11]

While attending Cornell University, Coulter helped found The Cornell Review,[12][13] and was a member of the Delta Gamma national sorority.[14] She graduated cum laude from Cornell in 1984 with a B.A. in history, and received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1988, where she was an editor of the Michigan Law Review.[15] At Michigan, Coulter was president of the local chapter of the Federalist Society and was trained at the National Journalism Center.[16]

Career

After law school, Coulter served as a law clerk, in Kansas City, for Pasco Bowman II of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.[17] After a short time working in New York City in private practice, where she specialized in corporate law, Coulter left to work for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee after the Republican Party took control of Congress in 1994. She handled crime and immigration issues for Senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan and helped craft legislation designed to expedite thedeportation of aliens convicted of felonies.[18] She later became a litigator with the Center for Individual Rights.[19]

In 2000, Coulter considered running for Congress in Connecticut on the Libertarian Party ticket[20] to serve as a spoiler in order to throw the seat to the Democratic candidate and see that Republican Congressman Christopher Shays failed to gain re-election, as a punishment for Shays’ vote against Clinton’s impeachment. The leadership of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut, after meeting with Coulter, declined to endorse her. As a result, her self-described “total sham, media-intensive, third-party Jesse Ventura campaign” did not take place.[21][22] Shays subsequently won the election, and held the seat until 2008.[23]

Coulter’s career is highlighted by the publication of ten books, as well as the weekly syndicated newspaper column that she publishes. She is particularly known for her polemical style,[24] and describes herself as someone who likes to “stir up the pot. I don’t pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do”.[25] She has been compared to Clare Boothe Luce, one of her idols, for her satirical style.[26] She also makes numerous public appearances, speaking on television and radio talk shows, as well as on collegecampuses, receiving both praise and protest. Coulter typically spends 6–12 weeks of the year on speaking engagement tours, and more when she has a book coming out.[27] In 2010, she made an estimated $500,000 on the speaking circuit, giving speeches on topics of modern conservatism, gay marriage, and what she perceives to be the hypocrisy of modern American liberalism.[28] During one appearance at the University of Arizona, a pie was thrown at her.[29][30][31] Coulter has, on occasion, in defense of her ideas, responded with insulting remarks toward hecklers and protestors who attend her speeches.[32][33]

Books

Coulter is the author of ten books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list, with a combined 3 million copies sold as of May 2009.[34]

Coulter’s first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, was published by Regnery Publishing in 1998 and made the New York Times Bestseller list.[4] It details Coulter’s case for the impeachment ofPresident Bill Clinton.

Her second book, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, published by Crown Forum in 2002, reached the number one spot on The New York Times non-fiction best seller list.[35] In Slander, Coulter argues that PresidentGeorge W. Bush was given unfair negative media coverage. The factual accuracy of Slander was called into question by then-comedian and author, and now Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken; he also accused her of citing passages out of context.[36] Others investigated these charges, and also raised questions about the book’s accuracy and presentation of facts.[37][38][39] Coulter responded to criticisms in a column called “Answering My Critics”.[40]

In her third book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, also published by Crown Forum, she reexamines the 60-year history of the Cold War — including the career of Senator Joseph McCarthy, theWhittaker ChambersAlger Hiss affair, and Ronald Reagan’s challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall“—and argues that liberals were wrong in their Cold War political analyses and policy decisions, and that McCarthy was correct about Soviet agents working for the U.S. government.[41] She also argues that the correct identification of Annie Lee Moss, among others, as communists was misreported by the liberal media.[42] Treason was published in 2003, and spent 13 weeks on the Best Seller list.[43]

Crown Forum published a collection of Coulter’s columns in 2004 as her fourth book, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter.[44]

Coulter’s fifth book, published by Crown Forum in 2006, is Godless: The Church of Liberalism.[45] In it, she argues, first, that American liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, and second, that it bears all the attributes of a religion itself.[46] Godless debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list.[47] Some passages in the book match portions of others’ writings published at an earlier time (including newspaper articles and aPlanned Parenthood document), leading John Barrie of ithenticate to assert that Coulter had engaged in “textbook plagiarism”.[48]

Coulter’s next books If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans (Crown Forum), published in October 2007, and Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America (Crown Forum), published on January 6, 2009, both also achieved best-seller status.[49][50][51]

On June 7, 2011, Crown Forum published her eighth book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America. Coulter said she based this book heavily on the work of French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon, who wrote on mass psychology, and in it she argues that liberals have mob-like characteristics.[52]

Her next book, published September 25, 2012, is Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama. It argues that liberals, and Democrats in particular, have taken undue credit for racial civil rights in America.[53]

Coulter’s tenth book, Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 — Especially a Republican, was released October 14, 2013. It is her second collection of columns and her first published by Regnery since her first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors.[54]

Columns

In the late 1990s, Coulter’s weekly (biweekly from 1999–2000) syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate began appearing. Her column is featured on six conservative websites: Human Events Online, WorldNetDaily, Townhall.com, VDARE, FrontPageMag,Jewish World Review and her own web site. Her syndicator says, “Ann’s client newspapers stick with her because she has a loyal fan base of conservative readers who look forward to reading her columns in their local newspapers”.[55]

In 1999 Coulter worked as a regular columnist for George magazine.[21][56] Coulter also wrote exclusive weekly columns between 1998 and 2003 and with occasional columns thereafter for the conservative magazine Human Events. In her columns for the magazine, she discusses judicial rulings, Constitutional issues, and legal matters affecting Congress and the executive branch.[57]

In 2001 as a contributing editor and syndicated columnist for National Review Online (NRO), Coulter was asked by editors to make changes to a piece written after the September 11 attacks. On the national television show Politically Incorrect, Coulter accused NROof censorship and said that she was paid $5 per article. NRO dropped her column and terminated her editorship. Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of NRO, said, “We did not ‘fire’ Ann for what she wrote… we ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty [concerning the editing disagreement].”[58]

Coulter contracted with USA Today to cover the 2004 Democratic National Convention. She wrote one article that began, “Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston…” and referred to some unspecified female attendees as “corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons”. The newspaper declined to print the article citing an editing di