Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) brought the debate over Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan substantially closer to the gutter by invoking the dread specter of ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW.
“New information has come to light,” Sessions ominously intoned, “suggesting that Ms. Kagan may even have been less morally principled in her approach than has been portrayed.”
SESSIONS: Around the same time that Dean Kagan was campaigning to exclude military recruiters, citing what she saw as the evils of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Harvard University accepted $20 million from a member of the Saudi royal family to establish a center for Islamic studies and Sharia law. The Obama State Department report concerning Saudi Arabia and the Sharia law concept noted “under Sharia as interpreted by Saudi Arabia’s sexual activity between two persons of the same gender, is punishable by death or flogging.” She was perfectly willing to obstruct the military, which has liberated countless Muslims from the hate and tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban but it seems she was willing to sit on the sidelines as Harvard created a center funded and dedicated to foreign leaders presiding over a legal system that would violate what would appear to be her positions. She fought the ability of our own soldiers to access campus resources but not those who spread the oppressive tenets of Shari’a-type law.
Watch it (portion begins at 5:36):
Mediaite’s Frances Martel explains what a ridiculous apples-to-armchairs comparison this is:
In actuality, the Center for Islamic Studies, unlike the military, was not meant to be an extracurricular, optional activity but, rather, a mini-school with its own set of professors who would teach on Islamic culture and society. The “Sharia Law” part of that center seems to have been made explicit only to Sessions, as well, as the original report from the time that the Saudi prince donated the money describes the allocation of funds as being explicitly “to launch a University-wide Islamic studies program and to endow four senior professorships, according to a press release. [...]
Also, as a separate school, Kagan did not have any jurisdiction over it the way she would have over an extracurricular activity (like ROTC) existing on her campus — protesting the Center for Islamic Studies wouldn’t be much different for a Dean of Harvard Law School to do than, say, protesting the Kennedy School of Government’s existence.
The idea that learning about Islamic faith and culture is, in and of itself, a form of indoctrination into extremism is a common trope on the goofball right. Unsurprisingly, World Net Daily is already touting the Sessions speech, likely soon to be followed by Commentary, the Weekly Standard, National Review, and Frank Gaffney claiming that Elena Kagan “may still be a Muslim.”
Honestly, I’m really not sure what’s more troubling here, the idea that the study of Islam necessarily connotes/inculcates support for Islamic extremism, or that Sessions thinks the conservative base is ignorant and bigoted enough to believe this. Or that he may be right.