post focused on the myths surrounding Sharia. If there is no one pushing the Sharia
to replace American civil law, why do we have so many states banning the Sharia
Muslims get criticized for following the Sharia. Once again, following the Sharia
is a private matter for American Muslims and does not affect anyone else, just
like following of Halakhah is a private matter for the Jews and should not
affect the non-Jews.
following the Sharia for American Muslims and Halakhah for American Jews is
very American thing to do.
constitution allows people to follow and practice their religion as it relates
to culture and faith so long as they do not directly conflict the American
You may not
be aware but there are Halakhah courts that are already functioning within the
legal system of America, such as Beth Din of America.
Din regularly arbitrates a wide range of disputes among parties, ranging in
value from small claims to litigation involving several million dollars. These
cases include: commercial (such as employer-employee, landlord-tenant, real
property, business interference, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty,
investor mismanagement, defective merchandise and unfair competition disputes),
communal (such as rabbinic contract disputes and other congregational issues)
and familial (such as family business, inheritance and matrimonial) disputes.
seek to resolve their disputes within these Halakhaic courts but if the dispute
is not settled there, one of the parties can then go to the American civil
court and the decision by the Halakhaic court becomes non binding. (Beth Din of
America actually requires the litigants to enter a legally binding agreement).
refers to corporal punishments under Islamic laws for violating the
hudud(boundaries) as set by God and according to the teachings of the Qur’an.
These include punishments for adultery, false accusation for zina (illicit sex)
and theft among other offenses. In many cases, these are very similar to the
teachings of the Old Testament, and in some cases, perhaps less severe. Even
though they are still carried out in some Muslim countries, these are
controversial among the Muslims.
punishments were rare in pre-modern Islam because the evidentiary standards
were often impossibly high, for example the need for producing 4 eyewitnesses
for fornication. And false accusations against women are to be punished
severely as well. e.g
who accuse chaste women and do not bring four witnesses – flog them with eighty
stripes and do not accept their witness thereafter (for ever). Indeed they
themselves are impure. The Qur’an 24:4
again, no one in America is pushing for even the non-corporal punishments and
application of Sharia.
So who is
indeed behind all the hysteria when it comes to ‘Sharia’s threat’ to America?
and what are their objectives?
movement is part of a larger Islamophobia network made up of a number of
conservative ‘non profit’ foundations, think tanks, grassroots organizations,
religious leaders, and conservative media and social media outlets and
by Prof. John Esposito of Georgetown University, this network is heavily
documented by organizations such as the Centre for American Progress and
islamophobianetwork.com, this fear was deliberately stoked between 2001 and
2012 by eight donors who contributed more than $57 million to promote fear of
Islam, Muslims, and Sharia, claiming that they were working to overthrow the US
Constitution and legal system and install a radical Islamic caliphate that will
punish and subordinate all non-Muslims. In 2016, the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Centre for Race and Gender at the
University of California, Berkeley, examined support for radical organizations.
Their report, “Confronting Fear,” based on tax filings, showed that between
2008 and 2013, a US-based Islamophobia Network of some 33 groups received
$205,838,077 in total revenue.
report named 33 organizations whose primary purpose is to propagate
Islamophobia (the “inner core”) and 41 whose primary focus is not attacking
Islam directly but which nonetheless contribute to and support Islamophobic
ideology (the “outer core”).
details, you may want to read the papers referenced above.
Behind The Anti- Sharia Laws?
It does not
help when the president of the country himself stokes fear of Muslims and Sharia.
The headlines during the elections in 2016 on Breitbart read:
Trump Calls for Sharia Law Ban
addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we
must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes toward our country or its
principles ? or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.”
been protests to call for Sharia ban, as shown in the picture here. (The irony
is that reading the accusations on the sign, you might think this was an
anti-Trump protest or rally against the Republican right wing!).
the major organizations behind anti Sharia laws is American Freedom Law Centre.
mongering is an organized effort, as reported by Southern Poverty Law centre.
One of the
most successful far-right conspiracies to achieve mainstream viability, the
mass hysteria surrounding a so-called threat of “Sharia law” in the United
States is largely the work of anti-Muslim groups such as the American Freedom
Law Centre and ACT for America (ACT), an SPLC-designated hate group. In June,
so-called “anti-Sharia” rallies organized by ACT were held across the country
and attracted white nationalists, armed right-wing militias and even neo-Nazis.
Yerushalmi, the father of the anti-Sharia movement, serves as co-founder of the
American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) and General Counsel of the Center for
Security Policy. AFLC has pushed its initiative, American Laws for American
Courts (ALAC, principally authored by Yerushalmi.
bills are rarely explicitly labelled as such. Most legislators include the
phrase ‘foreign law,’ and present bills as the solution to a larger influence
of all foreign countries and religions. However, APPA explicitly says this
legislation was created, “to protect American citizens’ constitutional rights
against the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal
doctrines, especially Islamic Sharia Law.”
further goes on to quote many of Yerushalami’s anti-Islam and Islamophobic
statements and writings.
seeks our destruction … There are of course those conservatives who recognize
that Islam is not a “religion” in the Western tradition but rather a license to
murder by the wretched of the world. But, they are frightened by a ‘religious
war’ against the Muslim Umma. Of course, it is only a religious war because
Islam deems it a religious duty to destroy the West.”
the War Against Terror Rational?” Intellectual Conservative, August 4, 2006
aren’t the only group with whom he has a bone to pick. Yerushalmi also rails
against liberal Jews and the “progressive elites” he says they influence. He
has described black people as “the most murderous of peoples” and reportedly
once called for undocumented immigrants to be placed in “special criminal
camps,” detained for three years, and then deported.
“There is a
reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to
vote. You might not agree or like the idea but this country’s founders,
otherwise held in the highest esteem for their understanding of human nature
and its affect [sic] on political society, certainly took it seriously.
Network Group Has Described These Efforts As Follows:
Most of the
laws follow a template furnished by an organization called American Laws for
American Courts (ALAC), led by David Yerushalmi, a well-known Islamophobe. A
report by the Center for American Progress describes Yerushalmi’s effort as
follows: “Yerushalmi…authored the model anti-Sharia bill, which would make
adherence to Sharia ‘a felony punishable by 20 years in prison.’ This template
for anti-Sharia legislation was used in state legislatures across the country
with the intent of stigmatizing Muslims and creating hysteria about the
nonexistent threat of Sharia law.”
are based on the unfounded claim that American Muslims are seeking to replace
the Constitution with Sharia law; the legislation prohibits courts from using
“foreign law.” The original template for these laws in fact specified not
“foreign” law in general but “Sharia law”; the wording was revised when an
Oklahoma law using the latter term was ruled unconstitutional; but, as
proponents have made clear, the target of such laws remains “Sharia.”
Bar Association has also denounced anti-Sharia law bills. In response to an
uptick in anti-“Sharia law” bills introduced in 2010 and 2011, the ABA
published a formal letter of dissent:
American Bar Association opposes federal or state laws that impose blanket
prohibitions on consideration or use by courts or arbitral tribunals of the
entire body of law or doctrine of a particular religion. … American courts will
not apply Sharia or other rules (real or perceived) that are contrary to our
public policy, including, for instance, rules that are incompatible with our
notions of gender equality.”
Source: The Patheos