The Quest for Islam-Based Affirmative Action

Lloyd Billingsley,

Why the new Congress should give a new Obama-proposed racial classification the boot.

“Court Commissioner Shama Mesiwala sees her new job as a way to represent her Muslim faith,” ran the February 21 headline in the Sacramento Bee. Presiding judge Kevin Culhane called the new Commissioner “highly accomplished,” and did not exaggerate.

Shama Mesiwala graduated magna cum laude in three years from UC San Diego and completed law school at UC Davis at 23. She then spent 13 years as a judicial attorney in the Third District Court of Appeal. As Court Commissioner, Mesiwala will command the same powers and duties as a trial court judge, but when selected for the post she did not emphasize her academic achievements or judicial experience. 

“I’m really proud I can represent my faith in this way,” she explained. 

As some locals pointed out, if a Baptist had been appointed Court Commissioner and used the job to “represent my faith,” that would have raised protests from the church-state squads. Nothing of the kind took place and Mesiwala supporter Karima Bennoune, a UC Davis law professor, saw the appointment as “an important sign of hope and a reminder of the importance of cultural diversity.” Mesiwala had also been concerned with “social justice for everyone” and her appointment was “a reminder of the very positive things we need right now.”

Readers could be forgiven for seeing a reference to President Trump, and the appointment of more Muslims in government as an appropriate response to his executive order on travel. According to UC Davis law alum Fatima Alloo, who has litigated with the ACLU on immigrant cases, there was more to it. 

The majority of court commissioners, she wrote in an online comment on the Bee story, “are most likely to belong to Christianity than any other religion.” Shama Mesiwala “managed to break through and receive her position despite belonging to a faith that is often misunderstood, slandered and discriminated against in our society, Islam.” 

The implication is that Muslims are an accredited victim group, therefore they should be given preference for positions such as court commissioner. In Mesiwala’s case, no other candidates were announced.

California’s anti-preference law forbids preference on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender in state employment, education and contracting. It makes no mention of religion, and the demand that Muslims be given preference for jobs would come as no surprise in California. 

Since voters approved the anti-preference California Civil Rights Initiative in 1996, state officials have done everything in their power to avoid it. Governor Jerry Brown has always opposed the anti-preference law, but he supports a sanctuary state and maintains a double standard on refugees.

The Vietnamese Communists, more repressive than their Soviet sponsors, drove many to flee, including Janet Nguyen, born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1976. She became a California state senator but Democrats smacked her down for criticizing Tom Hayden, who supported the Communists. Governor Brown was strangely silent after the smackdown, with good reason. 

As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee noted, Brown opposed the influx of Vietnamese refugees and “even tried to block refugee flights into Travis Air Force Base.” On the other hand, Brown and the state Democrats now back the mass admission of Syrian refugees, whose plight, unlike that of the Vietnamese, is not due to the failure of U.S. policy. Even so, Assembly Bill 343 would give all refugees in-state tuition at public colleges and other goodies, including $5 million for translators, counselors and support staff, everything but free hors d’oeuvres.

Brown’s policy was to work with the 44th president to bring in more refugees, most of them Muslims. According to his narrator, the President Formerly Known as Barry Soetoro (PFKBS) attended a “predominantly Muslim school” in Indonesia, proclaimed that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” and refused to link Islam with any act of terrorism. Before the November election that president slid his side more assistance, with little notice in the old-line establishment media. 

In late September, the White House office of Management and Budget proposed a new racial classification: MENA, standing for Middle East and North Africans and covering the vast area from Morocco to Iran. In the best politically correct style, many national, ethnic and racial identities disappear within the group category, like drops of water in a pond. MENA is essentially the rebadging of Muslims and as with other categories the basis for handing out government benefits and further dividing the nation into oppressed and oppressor classes. 

The president was counting on his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, to get MENA approved by Congress in 2018 so it could be deployed in the 2020 Census. The new Congress should give MENA the boot, dump the entire classification system, and abolish race and ethnic preferences in government employment. 

California voters did that way back in 1996. State leaders should follow the law and not extend preference to anyone on the basis of their religion, even if they seek to use a judicial position to “represent my faith.”