Americans have a lot of guns. So of course, America also has a lot of gunfire deaths. And then to solve that problem in turn, some people want to restrict, or even ban guns from the hands of ordinary Americans. To understand why that is a very bad idea, we need to look back in time, to explain why guns are part of America.
America is a nation that aspires to freedom. What that means is that America recognizes that people have natural Rights. Natural Rights is a concept that was embedded into our founding as a nation. On July 4, 1776, our founders in Congress signed “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” That document clarified that people:
“are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“Unalienable” means that these Rights are natural, not “alien.” We are born with them. These natural Rights are not granted to us by the benevolence of governments. Instead, God, the “Creator,” endows each of us with them at the time that we each become a living human.
There are other such natural Rights. But these are the three big ones. We have the right to live; to live freely; and to try to find our own ways to live happily, as best we can.
Obviously, governments can and do restrict such Rights from some of us at times. There are also many tyrannical foreign forces and criminal thugs who will try to subvert our Rights, by war, invasion, piracy, robbery, extortion, and more. So to collectively defend our Rights, we consent to be ruled fairly under law. As the Declaration went on to explain this “self-evident” truth,
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Americans on the Left might seem reasonable to ask, “So, why cannot gun control simply be one of these laws by consent, to protect our natural Right to life from people who might shoot us?” Being governed always brings tradeoffs. But a good government avoids potential grave risks that might most hinder our Rights.
So what are those most grave risks? The Declaration asserted that when a government becomes despotic toward the people,
“it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
So in the view of the founders, it was clear that the biggest risk Americans face is from a government that would turn despotic. The people must always remain capable of guarding their own natural Rights, against despotism.
The Right to Life implies a right to self-defense. People must be able to defend themselves against bears, wolves, and robbers. But more importantly, the founders were focused on defense from a much higher threat—that of a despotic government.
The fact of that higher threat becomes quite clear, by simply reading the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, written a decade after the Declaration of Independence:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
But beyond that simple reading, we actually have detailed analysis of what the founders had in mind about it. In 1787-88, three of the founders wrote a series of essays, under the pseudonym Publius. These were published in New York newspapers, to gather public support for the new Constitution that they had drafted. Each essay explained the reasoning behind articles in that Constitution. The collection of essays came to be known as The Federalist Papers.
Two of those papers specifically explained the reasons for the Second Amendment.
First, in Federalist Paper No. 29, Alexander Hamilton explained the intent of the Second Amendment, as defensive against any violent federal infringement upon the liberties and other rights of Americans:
“If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.“
Hamilton clearly understood that the key thing that protects the liberties of the people from the armed federal government is the fact that many of us people hold many guns. If Americans are disciplined, trained, and organized, we stand as the “best possible security against” a federal force of despotism.
In Federalist Paper No. 46, James Madison went on to explain how an overwhelming force of the people bearing arms ensures their liberty:
“The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.”
Madison then made the precise point that being armed is an advantage “which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.” And, “in the several kingdoms of Europe…, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
When my motherland of Iran went through its revolution in 1979, the government there was also afraid to trust the people with arms. And so without guns in the hands of our people, the hostile Islamic Movement seized the guns of the state. Then they killed their rivals and opponents and imposed Islamic Law.
In America, if we the people do not guard our right to our defensive arms, that despotism can also seize power here. Our founders knew it very clearly over two centuries ago. Our best security for our natural liberties will always be for us Americans to remain a large body of people who keep and bear arms.
Aynaz Anni Cyrus, National Director of American Truth Project. Anni was sold for $50 as a child bride in Iran. Rebelling against a life of sex slavery, she escaped to America. Now an American citizen, she is a leading spokeswoman against the evils of Islam.
Have We Forgotten What Happened On 9/11?
Sharia in the U.S. Judicial System?
The U.S. Senate’s recent confirmation of Zahid Quraishi as America’s first Muslim federal judge to a lifetime position on the District Court of New Jersey raises some concerning questions.
First and foremost, there is the question of his faith. Does it matter if Zahid Quraishi is a Muslim? The Left would, of course, maintain that raising the Muslim identity of Quraishi is racist, bigoted and “Islamophobic.” But those who understand the reality of Sharia – and the fact that Islam is not a race — understand that this matter is more complicated than what might first meet the eye.
It may very well matter if Quraishi is not just a Muslim “by name” – or just a “secular Muslim” by birth heritage. Indeed, if, as an adult adherent to Islam, he devoutly recites the Shahada — “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” – then Quraishi’s Muslimness could matter very much. That’s because it could indicate whether or not Quraishi would ever uphold aspects of Sharia – Islamic law – in his legal rulings.
As a survivor of Sharia law, I can tell you: Sharia matters — and in the most horrendous and painful of ways.
It is vital to understand that in Islam, Allah’s Law is supreme for Muslims, above all other laws and legal systems. And that poses a problem for America when Islam resides on its territory, because Sharia is completely incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and the foundations of a free society.
Quraishi’s relationship to Islam, therefore, matters a great deal — seeing that his new position entails significant power and influence in America.
So let’s dig a little bit deeper on Quraishi.
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) surprisingly did not come out and cheer Quraishi’s appointment — as one might have expected them to do. Instead, the Muslim “civil rights” organization appeared to be quite furious about him. Zahra Billoo, head of CAIR’s San Francisco branch, issued a statement affirming that she “would much rather have a white Christian judge with progressive values… It’s not enough that he is Muslim. In fact, it’s insulting.”
It appears that the problem for Billoo and CAIR is that Quraishi is not a Muslim from an apparent “list” of “20 to 50 Muslims who have been in the fight” for “social justice.” One unnamed Muslim politician who complained to Slate magazine about Quraishi’s appointment echoed the same theme: “We don’t know what his stances are on civil rights because you can’t find one article or anything that he’s written publicly about the Muslim struggle in the last 20 years post-9/11.”
For those concerned about Quraishi’s potential ties to Sharia, this negative disposition from the “Sharia camp” toward the Muslim judge might appear to be good news. But is it?
CAIR’s concern about Quraishi’s supposed lack of support for “progressive values” appears to be a good sign in light of CAIR’s own record of opposing counterterror measures and slandering opponents of jihad and Sharia tyranny. However, CAIR’s disposition toward Quraishi tells us little, if anything, about the key issue at stake: does the judge hold Islamic values or not?
The narrative takes another peculiar twist when we examine what transpired during Quraishi’s questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee: When asked by Committee Chair, Democrat Senator Dick Durbin: “What do you know about Sharia law?” Quraishi answered that he knew “nothing about Sharia.“
Quraishi knows “nothing” about Islam or Islamic Law?
Christine Douglass-Williams has commented on Quraishi’s dubious answer:
“Virtually everyone knows something about the Sharia. In his position, Quraishi is likely to know a lot, and was probably fibbing, and not in an intelligent way, either. It isn’t possible that a man of his standing, who ‘has served as a military prosecutor and Army captain in Iraq, as an assistant U.S. Attorney who has tried cases of public corruption, organized crime and financial fraud, and as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer’, would know ‘NOTHING’ about Sharia.”
What makes the matter even more peculiar is that when one pulls up Quraishi’s questionnaire answers for the Senate Judiciary Committee, one finds that he is mentioned as a “Muslim” many times in his “Honors and Awards” list. So Quraishi is praised, rewarded and held in acclaim by the Muslim community for his achievements in light of his Muslimness, but he personally doesn’t know anything about Islamic law at all?
Could it be that Quraishi might actually not be the incidental Muslim he postures as being? Could it be that he has been recognized and awarded by important prominent Muslim organizations because they gauged that, among other things, he actually is somewhat of an adherent Muslim after all?
Is it possible that CAIR might really not be as upset as it is claiming to be about Quraishi’s appointment? Or maybe it is upset, but not for the reasons it has given? Could it also be that certain players involved in this narrative are engaging in some form of taqiyya – the command in Islam for Muslims to deceive non-Muslims?
Would it also be out of bounds to ask: even if Quraishi is not an adherent Muslim, is it legitimate to be concerned that he one day could become one?
It is vital to stress at this point that Islam is not just a “religion” the way that Christianity and Judaism are religions. Islam is much more than a “faith.” For example, like Judaism, Islam has a legal system — but Islamic Law extends far beyond any Judaic (or even secular) legal system. Sharia embodies all the commands of Allah and all the examples of Muhammad-as divine law that must be implemented in all areas of life.
Qur’an 33:21 is just one verse of many that confirms that Muhammad is “an excellent pattern” for Muslims to follow. It would do well for people to keep in mind that the “excellent” examples that Mohammed set for his followers included the following: marrying a six-year-old girl, A’ishah, and having sex with her when she was nine (Sahih al-Bukhari 5134); encouraging rape of female captives (Qur’an 4:24); stating that women are stupid (Qur’an 2:282) and that hell is comprised of mostly women (Bukhari 29); commanding men to beat their wives (Qur’an 4:34); and being merciless to a woman who had been beaten so brutally that her bruise was green (Bukhari 5825).
With some of these matters in mind, the question surfaces: would or could an American Muslim federal judge consider such material as a basis for his rulings? According to Islamic law, a Muslim judge must do so. Sharia mandates that no true Muslim is obligated to obey the laws of a non-Muslim country. Qur’an 33:1 commands to “not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites.” Qur’an 4:60 says that those who “refer legislation” to the non-Muslims are led “far astray.” And Qur’an 9:3 says that “Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger.” According to Islamic tradition, the revelation of that last verse allowed Muhammad to break the Treaty of al-Hudaibiyah.
Let us be clear: an American judge who follows Muhammad’s example can take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and not really mean it. In fact, Muhammad instructs such a judge exactly what to do in this situation: “if I take an oath and later find something else better than that, then I do what is better and expiate my oath.” (Bukhari 5518)
The supremacy of Islamic Law over all other laws still applies today. The Islamic website International Shariah Movement is run by certified Islamic scholars. Its post “Obey the Law of the Land?” cites Qur’an 33:1.
Under Sharia, if a woman is raped, a Muslim judge must disregard any forensic or non-witness evidence, because Qur’an 24:13 requires “four male witnesses” for a rape conviction.
A beaten woman may also easily be denied divorce, because Qur’an 4:34 commands that “Men are in charge of women,” and so may “strike them.”
That is exactly what a Muslim judge in an Iranian Islamic court told me personally when I was a 15-year-old child bride, desperate for a divorce to escape the beatings. In fact, a beaten woman who leaves Islam must be hunted down and murdered, according to Islamic law, because Muhammad said, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Bukhari 6922)
With all these realities in mind, it is clear that if we cannot at least ask Judge Zahid Quraishi some questions regarding his adherence, or non-adherence, to Islamic law, or even understand that the issue of Quraishi’s Muslimness is an important one to address, then America is in deep trouble.
As an individual who suffered under Sharia, and was able to escape its monstrous clutches, I strongly encourage my fellow Americans to ask the right questions in this vital – and troubling – narrative about America’s new federal judge.
Iran Elects Mass Murderer as Next President
The ‘election’ for president is over in Iran. The grand ayatollah handpicked Ebrahim Raisi who was then ‘elected’. He’s not just a hardline jihadist, but he’s a mass murderer and a big-time one. And more importantly, he’s very proud of his background.
He’s accused by the world of having personally supervised the trials and executions of somewhere between 5,000 and 40,000 Iranians in the 1980s. He has personally been sanctioned by most of the world, including the United States, who cannot even legally talk to him.
Meanwhile, Raisi calls himself a defender of human rights when asked about the mass executions. The guy is a world-class war criminal. He ran the death panel that sentenced and executed tens of thousands of political prisoners at the end of the 1980s. He is now the leader of the world’s most notorious state sponsor of terrorism.
The first thing we have to know about Ebrahim Raisi is that these charges of mass murder as far as the Iranian mullahs are concerned, are not a problem but rather they are a bonus. It’s not that they picked him in spite of his terrible record. They picked him because of his terrible record.
Domestically, the ayatollah is sending a message to the Iranian people who remain discontented in large part with the Islamic regime. The message is simply put, “ you are not going to be able to dissent. There will be no ability to protest. Anybody who expresses any kind of public disagreement, it’s very clear what kind of treatment they’re going to get with Ebrahim Raisi as the President of Iran.”
Keep in mind, Raisi was not elected. He was selected. He was selected by the supreme leader of Iran, who is the real power in the country, and he is going to execute the policies of the supreme leader. The supreme leader’s disposition toward his own people and toward the world is revealed by the person he selects to be the President of Iran.
By picking Raisi, Ayatollah Khamenei is not only showing that he’s going to crack down harshly on dissent within Iran, but he’s showing that he understands that with Biden’s handlers running the United States, that the United States is weak, is not going to stand up to him and this is his time to step up Iran’s support for terrorism worldwide, supporting Hamas, supporting Hezbollah, supporting Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The Iranian regime has also in the past supported al-Qaida and the Taliban, and other jihadi groups as well as and this is much less known. It’s clear that Iran understands that leftism is corrosive to Western civilization, and they want to destroy Western civilization. Therefore Iran will support both the leftists and the Islamists around the world who are anti-America and anti-Israel.
From now on, we can expect to see increased belligerence on the part of Iran. And Raisi’s ascension to the presidency means that Iran is going to be strutting around and sponsoring terrorism around the world and cracking down on its own people within the country.
By Barry Nussbaum, Son of Auschwitz survivors, Founder American Truth Project, Foreign and Domestic Policy Commentator