From Care 2 Causes -- October 8, 2010:
Veterans Against Jihad the Latest Anti-Sharia Group to Emerge
Posted by: Jessica Pieklo
A bubbling theme from the far-reaches of the paranoid right has made its way into mainstream political discourse and, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ranks of our nation's military. The idea is that the United States legal system is threatened by the ever-encroaching menace of Sharia law. Sharron Angle has mentioned it, Oklahoma is considering a constitutional amendment to ban it, and some states use it as a basis of denying the legitimacy of Islam all together.
It doesn't matter that even in Muslim-majority nations strict Islamic legal codes are the exception. The threat of Sharia law has now become a talking point of the right and appears to be inspiring organizations to rise up against this imagined enemy.
Of the latest is the group Veterans Against Jihad (VAJ). Founded last spring by two retired Marine Corps veterans, the goal of VAJ is to "encourage Veterans to more actively respond to challenges threatening our Constitution [and] awaken American Citizens to Islam's Jihadist religious mandate." To that end VAJ is asking all veterans to renew their Oath of Enlistment and reaffirm their loyalty to the Constitution.
But like all groups, VAJ's understanding of constitutional fidelity is selective, as is their opposition to religiously inspired law. The group is not shy that it's mission is to "reclaim America for Christ" and has aligned itself with other far-right groups that have a decidedly intolerant view of religious diversity.
The concern about the increasing presence of Sharia law is quickly joining anti-immigration memes as a popular way to spread nativist fear and ideology. It should come as no surprise then that the mainstream politicians that embrace and even campaign on this rhetoric have been embraced by the far right elements of the tea party movement. Nativism and populism have a long history together in our political culture and this latest groundswell represents just another chapter of fear in response to cultural, economic and political change. Let's hope it's a short one.