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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sharron Angle on Dearborn

Sharron Angle, a Republican candidate who is trying to unseat Harry Reid in Nevada, was recorded at a town hall meeting answering a question from a guy concerned about creeping Sharia law in the U.S. The left has latched onto her quote as proof that she's an anti-Muslim bigot and a crackpot.

I thought I would get to the bottom of it, so I downloaded and listened to the audio recording (available here) of the event. The remarks of interest start at about 43:00, "My question is very controversial..."

Here is what she said, if I am understanding the audio clearly:

OK, we're talking about a militant... um... terrorist situation. It... I believe it isn't a wide spead thing, but...
it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it. Um, uh, my thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn Michigan and Frankfurt Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law, not sharia law, and I don't know how that happens [noisy] in the United States. It seems to me that there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to take even hold in any, um, municipality or government situation in our United States.

Um, as far as the mosque at ground zero, I made my own statement when that was first brought up, I'm a personal property rights defender...

Now, the non-charitable way to read this is that she is agreeing with the questioner that Dearborn is under sharia law. However, she is clearly fumbling around at first, with lots of stuttering and "ums". I think what she may have meant to say is that Sharia is not really an issue ("isn't a wide spread thing", "Dearborn... under constitutional law, not sharia law") but that she is against it ("fundamentally wrong with allowing"). She then goes on to talk at length about the mosque at ground zero, more smoothly, which is probably the question she was prepared for.

An experienced pol would have skipped the stuttering, said "I'm not aware of the situation in Dearborn, but in general, I'm not for allowing sharia law..."

As an occasional visitor to Dearborn, I can attest that there is significant cultural friction between the Muslim population and the other, mostly Christian ethnic groups, but they don't have anything like Sharia yet.

Between Angles stumbling and the poor audio quality, I am not sure you can use this to show she's unhinged. At worst I think it shows someone fumbling for an answer and botching the delivery.

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