Islamic Law at Belmont U
by Daniel Pipes
Translations of this item:
Who would have thought that Belmont University of Nashville, Tennessee, would apply the Islamic law to its staff? But just that happened earlier this month.
Bill Hobbs, a Republican political advisor, blogger, and news writer for Belmont, which bills itself as "the largest Christian university in Tennessee," was upset in February 2006 about the cowardice of the American media in not publishing the Danish cartoons. So he drew a primitive cartoon of his own and posted it on his personal site. It sat in obscurity until April 5, when a Democratic political operative, Mike Kopp, wrote about it, calling it
Hobbs responded within a few hours on Kopp's website, writing (spelling mistakes uncorrected):
On April 13, John Spragens of Nashville Scene picked up on this story in an article titled "One local blogger's crude cartoon, posing as principle, betrays little more than tackiness." He included a miniature version of the page in question (see illustration). As his headline implies, Spragens (who, another blog notes, is leaving the Nashville Scene to work for a Democrat, U.S. Representative Jim Cooper) came down heavily on Hobbs:
On the other side, Roger Abramson, Spragens' predecessor at Nashville Scene, defended Hobbs early on April 14.
Nonetheless, the damage had been done. Hobbs announced in the late morning at NashvilleFiles.com, "I am resigning from Belmont University in an amicable and mutual parting of the ways, effective Monday[, April 17]."
A week later, the university has let calls from the press asking for more information go unreturned and has made no statement about Hobbs' resignation. Its silence attracted notice in the blogosphere (for example, from Hugh Hewitt) but still not a word was forthcoming.
Although it was an article in the Nashville Scene that prompted the resignation, that publication's editor, Liz Garrigan, came down hard on Belmont:
"Pretty tacky" is putting it mildly; Belmont's actions have real consequences. Like the Danish corporation Arla Foods denouncing the cartoons or the Swedish foreign minister forcing the cartoons off a website, this firing in Tennessee amounts to a capitulation to Islamic law. Each surrender means the Shari‘a will move inexorably forward.
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