Few fireworks erupted as the Senate opened up floor debate over Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan this week. Conventional wisdom remains that President Barack Obama’s second nomination to the high court will be confirmed with little trouble.
Despite the appearance of a fait accompli, numerous conservative groups have provided a wide range of reasons to oppose the Kagan nomination. Among the oft listed concerns are: her lack of experience, her perceived hostility to the military and free speech, her abortion and gay rights records, and her apparent reverence for foreign law. All these points have acted to obscure what some argue is one of her primary disqualifications — her sympathetic view of Sharia, or Islamic law.
Kagan’s detractors point to her time as the dean of Harvard Law School as the primary demonstration of her approval of Sharia. Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, wrote in an article on The National Review’s website that as Harvard Law School dean, Kagan “became the champion of sharia.”
Included in Kagan’s offensives as dean, according to McCarthy, was condoning the acceptance of $20 million from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal — who blamed the attacks of 9/11 on American foreign policy — to fund programs on Islam. She also spearheaded the “Islamic Finance Project,” a program aimed at mainstreaming Sharia-compliant finance in America. And, as some point out, she awarded the Harvard Medal of Freedom to the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, who critics say is a promoter of Sharia.
Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, told The Daily Caller that Kagan would help advance Sharia law in America out of ignorance. “[Kagan] would knowingly and wittingly abet the advance of Sharia, but she wouldn’t do it understanding anything about Sharia. She would do it out of her ignorance.”
Spencer attributes Kagan’s fondness for Sharia to naïveté and liberalism. “There is a general tendency on the part of political liberals in the United States today to take a benign view of Islam and Islamic law,” he said. “They are generally uninformed and share a hatred of the West and Western civilization.”
According to Spencer, Kagan will be a willing accomplice in the ongoing stealth jihad — or the institution of Sharia into non-Muslim societies via non-violent means, such as the courts and mainstreaming Islamic customs — currently underway against the West. “The goal of the jihad is to assert the primacy of Islamic law over non-Muslim society and over Muslim societies where it is not fully enforced, and that can take place either through violent or non-violent means and the goal is the same,” he said.
Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, expressed concerns over Kagan’s seeming sympathy toward Sharia law in a recent Washington Times column. He wrote that, if confirmed, Kagan has an obligation to recuse herself from any case involving Islamic law. “One headed that way involves a federal lawsuit brought by David Yerushalmi and the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of an Iraq war veteran who thinks the constitutional separation of church and state is violated by U.S. government ownership of the world’s largest purveyor of Shariah-compliant financial products (the very thing Ms. Kagan’s Islamic Finance Project promotes at Harvard): AIG.”
Spencer says that he doubts the question of Kagan’s support for Sharia will come up in this week’s Senate debate. “In general American lawmakers have been entirely remiss on this issue. They have been uninformed and content in their ignorance. In some ways they have been bamboozled by the successful efforts by Islamic supremacist groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to portray any opposition to Sharia as hatred and bigotry and intolerance,” he said. “Of course no politician wants to be portrayed as that. It is the kiss of death.”
E-mail Caroline May and follow her on Twitter
SENATE OPENS DEBATE ON KAGAN