Here’s a clip to file away for future reference: in his fast-talking, low-fact interview with Jon Stewart last night, David Barton was cornered into giving his blessing to majority-Muslim communities in the United States implementing Sharia law:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – David Barton Extended Interview Pt. 3|
Stewart: Do you feel like the majority in a locality should be able to determine…
Barton: Yes, yes, and here in New York City, there’s schools that are 100 percent Hasidic Jewish, and I think they should be allowed to have Hasidic Jewish practices there because all 100 percent kids are…
Stewart: So you would allow, like, let’s say Dearborn, Michigan was majority Muslim…
Barton: And it is.
Stewart: Are you all right with Sharia law and the whole business…
Barton: Sure, sure.
Stewart: Well, that’s consistent.
Barton: But for somebody from the outside to come in and say “I don’t like this, you can’t do it” that’s what I have trouble with.
This might come as a surprise to the right-wingers who are on high Sharia-alert. Barton in the past has been less than sympathetic to Muslim Americans even practicing their religion in the United States, much less imposing Muslim theocracies. For instance, when Rep. Keith Ellison became the first Muslim member of Congress, Barton objected to Ellison being sworn into office using Thomas Jefferson’s Koran, implying that Ellison’s expression of faith was somehow un-American:
Keith Ellison may be the one to break this pattern and start something new with Islam, but in the meantime, he should not be surprised that there is widespread concern over his decision to publicly flaunt American tradition and values and replace them with Islamic ones.
Barton, in his work rewriting American history for Texas’s school board, also made sure to cast as bad a light as possible on Muslims. Washington Monthly reported:
On the global front, Barton and company want textbooks to play up clashes with Islamic cultures, particularly where Muslims were the aggressors, and to paint them as part of an ongoing battle between the West and Muslim extremists. Barton argues, for instance, that the Barbary wars, a string of skirmishes over piracy that pitted America against Ottoman vassal states in the 1800s, were the “original war against Islamic Terrorism.”
Barton unsurprisingly objected to the planned Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan last summer, saying, ”When they’re claiming it’s a freedom of religion issue, and that’s all they’re talking about, that’s great proof that’s not the issue.”
Then there was the time he claimed that an appeals court decision allowing California schools to teach children about different religions, was in fact authorizing a “three-week indoctrination to the Islamic faith.”
Which all makes it seem somewhat suspect that Barton would suddenly embrace the idea of Sharia law being implemented in any American communities.
But even if he’s serious, there’s no need to worry about Barton’s new embrace of Sharia taking hold. Dearborn, Michigan, for one, has already made it very clear that it has absolutely no inclination to run its government with anything but the United States’ secular legal code.