Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here Come the Clowns

With Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly (including a quorum proof majority in the Senate), the state Republicans and Governor Mitch Daniels are likely going to have a very successful final two years. Of course, with that success, some of the crazies come out.

State representative Bruce Border (R-Jasonville) plans to introduce legislation stating that the state of Indiana does not recognize Sharia. Sharia is the sacred law of Islam. In several theocratic Islamic countries, a form of Sharia also dictates civil laws as well as religious laws.

Outside of those theocratic countries, Sharia as a form of civil law isn't widespread. From what I've gathered, there's some civil court set up in the United Kingdom in areas that have a large Muslim population. But people who go to that court do so voluntarily, so what's the big deal?

The big deal is that there's a good chunk of powerful Republicans who are stroking imaginary fears of the paranoid, and just so happen to be using the religion of Islam to fear monger. However, the Republicans know that they can't flat out outlaw Islam, so they craft these pieces of legislation to show their paranoid base "Hey, we did something!"

So what can the Republicans do?

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Lawrence/Fishers) can refuse to assign it to a committee, and his counterpart in the Senate can make sure that similar legislation isn't also introduced. The General Assembly has a lot on it's plate, including crafting a 2011 budget with declining revenues and reforming education. They don't need to waste time on pandering. Save that for the campaign trail.

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