Judge Martin, Sharia, and Islamic Kadi “Justice”

Judge Mark Martin—now infamous for presiding over the “Zombie Muhammadcase—was incorrectly identified by me as a self-professed Muslim, based upon a faulty audio recording of the court proceedings (see blogs here and here by Andrew C. McCarthy for the audio sleuthing, and clarification).

Nevertheless, the salient points remain Martin’s alarming deference to Islam’s Sharia-based understanding of blasphemy—a non-existent “crime” in American constitutional law—and his concurrent warped misinterpretation of the First Amendment, which led him to behave as a de facto, albeit non-Muslim, kadi.

Moreover, before ever again belching forth uninformed, pious platitudes about Islam in his court room, I suggest Judge Martin read and ponder this sobering account written by Col. Felix A. Mathews, July 20, 1879. Mathews was an American consul to Morocco, serving in Tangier, from 1869-1893. What follows are extracts from Mathews’ unsparing analysis of the Sharia—Islam’s religio-political quintessence—and the consequences of its administration as “law,” based upon his intimate firsthand experience, after an entire decade in residence.

There is no code of laws in the Empire of Morocco, but instead of a civil they have a religious code. The practice of jurisprudence is reduced to the application of certain principles to be found in the Koran, and is the practical knowledge of the precedents established in the various jurisdictions. There are kadis and governors in the cities and countries for the administration of justice and notaries or talbes to certify deeds, and all which relates to the security of property. The laws of the Koran admit no evidence but from those professing the Mohammedan religion. [Parenthetical note: One could argue Judge Martin, assuming the role of de facto Kadi, did nearly the same in rejecting the video evidence of the atheist plaintiff!]

The kadis or judges are appointed by the Sultan, with a salary barely enough for subsistence…Pillage, extortion, corruption and injustice are universal, so with the almost unpaid kadis or judges, the longest purse invariably prevails. Justice is not administered; it is sold. Even the police are unpaid or receive only a slender allowance, which is supplemented by what they can extract from those who come within their clutches. The judgments of the governors are always arbitrary, and generally consist in distributing the bastinado with equal liberality to the guilty and innocent, committing them to some days’ imprisonment, whence they are released by money. The rich, therefore, rarely suffer any great punishment, though they should have been concerned in criminal affairs.

To this wretched system of administration the chronic state of disorder which always exists is in greater part to be attributed.

Three quarters of a century later, Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954), who also served as the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, made these more expansive, complementary observations in his foreword to a treatise on Islamic law:

In any broad sense, Islamic Law offers the American lawyer a study in dramatic contrasts. Even casual acquaintance and superficial knowledge—all that most of us at bench or bar will be able to acquire—reveal that its striking features relative to our law are not likenesses but inconsistencies, not similarities but contrarieties. In its source, its scope and its sanctions, the law [i.e., Islamic Law, Sharia] of the Middle East is the antithesis of Western Law…Islamic law, on the contrary, finds its chief source in the will of Allah as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It contemplates one community of the faithful, though they may be of various tribes and in widely separated locations. Religion, not nationalism or geography, is the proper cohesive force. The state itself is subordinate to the Qur’an, which leaves little room for additional legislation, none for criticism or dissent. This world is viewed as but the vestibule to another and a better one for the faithful, and the Qur’an lays down rules of behavior towards others and toward society to assure a safe transition. It is not possible to separate political or juristic theories from the teachings of the Prophet, which establish rules of conduct concerning religious, domestic, social, and political life. This results in a law of duties, rather than rights…

Judge Martin’s demonstrated inability to grasp, or appreciate these stark differences between the totalitarian, basic human rights-abrogating Sharia, and US constitutional law, renders him unfit for the bench


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