Asia Bibi is sentenced to death. Her crime? Touching a communal water bowl.
This doesn't make any sense, of course. Perhaps the situation becomes clearer if we learn that the woman is a Christian. No? OK, then. The "crime" occurred in a Pakistani rural village. Her accusers are Muslim. And even though she is not Muslim herself, she is subject to Islamic-inspired law.
Now it becomes clear. In any civilized country on Earth, not only would the woman be set free; the government would ensure that the police, lawyers and judge involved in the case were stripped of their titles and probably locked up themselves for violating this woman's rights. And let's be clear - it is not too much to categorize any country in the 21st century that governs itself by a 7th century medieval tribal code as uncivilized. We would not stand for this in our own land. We must not let such awful injustice pass without condemnation out of a misplaced soft bigotry of low expectations.
Increasingly, this sort of systematic injustice threatens to undermine our own court systems. In Oklahoma, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to block a new state constitutional amendment - that had just been approved by 70 percent of the vote - which prevents courts from deciding cases using Islamic law. As other commentators have pointed out, the Hamas-linked CAIR organization may have done those of us attached to secular law a favor by showing their hand. If the average American was unaware of the goals of Islamists (and this is already less and less common), these sorts of interventions make it easy to distinguish their jihadist aims.
In every country where sharia law is in place, respect for human rights and civil liberties is virtually (or completely) nonexistent. We must continue to resist the relentless drive of jihadists to overturn our own systems of justice. And where sharia conflicts with the universal aim of the protection of life and human rights abroad - as in the case of Asia Bibi - we must not be silent.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist.