The Bogus Threat from Shariah Law

We've come a long way in religious tolerance. Or maybe not.

In the 19th century, Catholicism was regarded by many people in this country as thoroughly incompatible with Americanism. They saw it as a hostile foreign element that would subvert democracy. Today, a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court are Catholic, and they are taken to be as American as Mountain Dew.

We've come a long way in religious tolerance. Or maybe not. The belief that Catholics are irredeemably alien and disloyal has given way to the fear that Muslims pose a mortal threat to our way of life.

That distrust is behind a push in state legislatures to forbid courts from applying Islamic Shariah law in any case. Arizona, Tennessee, Louisiana and Oklahoma have passed these bans, though the Oklahoma law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

In May, Kansas enacted its version, which doesn't mention Shariah but prohibits state courts from basing decisions on any foreign laws or other legal codes. The point, however, is not in doubt. One supporter said the bill, which passed 122-0 in the House of Representatives, was needed because "they stone women to death in countries that have Shariah law."

Does that mean we need anti-Shariah laws to keep women from being stoned to death with the cheerful blessing of American courts? Amazingly, no. It seems that our laws and Constitution take precedence on American soil no matter what the rules are in Iran.

The chief sponsor, Republican Rep. Peggy Mast, explained, "I want to make sure people understand there's sometimes a conflict between other laws and the Constitution, and we need to assert our Constitution is still the law of the land." That's like asserting that the sun is hot: It will be true regardless.

The change will have about as much effect in Kansas as a ban on indoor co-ed field hockey. It turns out no one has been able to find a case where a Kansas court has actually employed Islamic strictures to reach a verdict.

If, for instance, a Muslim man marries a Muslim woman and then tries to divorce her by saying "I divorce you" three times, in accordance with Shariah, he will find he's wasted his breath. State marriage law will govern in Kansas just as it has in other states when it conflicts with the dictates of Islam.

The problem with banning any consideration of Islamic law is that it interferes with the religious rights of Americans. If two Jewish merchants have a contract that calls for arbitration of disputes in a rabbinical court, state courts will generally enforce any judgment.

If a Muslim-owned company wants to lend or borrow money in accordance with the Islamic ban on interest, its choice should likewise be respected. If a Muslim wants to allocate his estate according to Islamic rules, what's it to you? Outlawing such accommodation for Islam would illegally discriminate against one religion.

That problem is what led a federal appeals court to overturn the Oklahoma ban, overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2010 as an amendment to the state constitution. The measure was a drone missile targeted specifically at Islam, in brazen defiance of the First Amendment.

In Kansas, by contrast, the lawmakers were so careful to avoid that pitfall that they largely defanged the measure. A decision resting on the application of foreign or other legal codes would be invalid only if the verdict violates "the fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Kansas constitutions" -- something courts generally are not allowed to do anyway.

University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock, who generally disapproves of anti-Shariah measures, says the Kansas law "is so narrowed and watered-down it doesn't look to me like a very big deal." It's not impossible that it would prevent a court ruling, he says, but "it would be unusual."

Even so, the laws are based on fears that are unwarranted, if not fraudulent. Muslims, who make up a tiny percentage of the population, are not about to seize control of American law. The same conservatives who accuse judges of trying to stamp out expressions of Christian faith now imagine they are eager to do the bidding of ayatollahs.

Of course, it's always possible that people practicing a religion with many dark associations will bide their time, infiltrate our institutions and someday put us under the control of secretive foreign clerics. Those Catholics may be sneakier than you think.

Steve Chapman blogs daily at newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/steve_chapman.

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  • Whiterun Guard||

    I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I absolutely LOVE Peggy Mast's legislation, solely for the reason that it does nothing, and thus takes time away from any legislation that does anything else.

    On the other hand, being glib about the Sharia law stuff is a bit dangerous. No other religion has ever taken over like that because no other religion has ever tried. Knowing America, I have a funny feeling we'll kowtow for fear of offending anyone all the way past the point where it's too late. Now I'll be long dead so I don't care too much, but if you're into that whole 'long game' deal, you might want to take a closer look at some world trends.

    If we're lucky, the Chinese will save us, since, much like Mike Muir, they don't mind offending someone when they need to be offended.

  • JeremyR||

    Erm, did you see that story the other day in Egypt? At a protest for women's right (mostly not to be sexually assaulted and molested), a bunch of men attacked the women protesters...I don't think any were gang raped (like that reporter from CBS during the original protests) but they were groped and what not.

    I'm no fan of Catholicism, but when was the last time they did something like that? Even in the 19th Century that had outgrown most their bad behavior.

    A better comparison than 19th century Catholics would be the Catholics of the Inquisition era. Pretty nasty stuff. And whether you want to admit it or not, it is coming here. I see burkhas on women pretty often and I live in St. Louis for crying out loud, not exactly the most exotic place in the country.

    Turkey is another example - it used to be a Western orientated country. Now they're putting a guy on trial for tweeting things about Mohammad . But hey, no Shariah there, and if so, it's nothing to worry about

  • Ted S.||

    Catholics just grope young boys.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    You know who else groped young boys...

  • Mo' $parky||

    Jerry Sandusky?

  • ||

    Michael Jackson?

  • Ben the Duck||

    Batman?

  • Nancy Lebovitz||

    Actually, there've been accusations from women, too-- it just doesn't get as much publicity, and it's possible sexual abuse of boys was more common.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    .I don't think any were gang raped (like that reporter from CBS during the original protests) but they were groped and what not.

    I'll have 30 or so swarthy men shove their fingers up your asshole and we'll see what terminology you use to describe your experience.

  • ||

    If I were a devout Muslim, I'd describe it as the righteous wrath of the faithful.

  • Jesse James Dean||

    the Ottoman Empire was western-oriented?

  • ||

    Ani echad.

  • ||

    Or perhaps not. Gotta learn to type faster.

  • Matrix||

    you are one?

    Well, I hope so. I would hate to think you were two...

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well according to Jewish thought, only "Adonai echad". We humans are a composite being made up of ruach, nefesh, and neshma.

    Jus' sayin'

  • ||

    Sorry, close as I could come to "First!" Hebrew School was 50 years ago...

  • ||

    And I should mention that every year at the Seder, when the line "Rasha, ma hu omer?" was spoken, everybody looked at me.

  • Pi Guy||

    Hmmm... Presumably, Okies would be cool if Judeo-Christian Law were the rule of the land. Like say, Levitcus 10:24

    And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.

    Stoning's pretty much the punishment for everything from adultery to talking back to your father to goring an ox.

    Yeah. Them there brown-skinned, towel heads are some seriously nasty people.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I'll be Goddamned if I'll blaspheme then.

  • Pi Guy||

    LOL

  • ||

    They're all equally fucktarded.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Uh huh. Let's compare the space of time that's elapsed the last time someone was stoned in America vis-a-vis Iran.

  • Major Johnson||

    The punishments of Shariah law are generally right from the old testament, and most of the laws we've had pertaining to homosexuality are based purely on the old testament, as is DOMA.

    While I'm not quivering in my boots at the thought of our courts ruling by shariah law I'm certainly not looking to the constitution to protect us. Where the heck do you find anyone who actually uses the constitution? Sure, the D's and R's will pull it out as a weapon against the other side when they're in the minority or as a campaign prop during an election, but the constitution is as useful in America today as the buggy whip, no one really believes in its truths anymore because that would require personal responsibility and that's not at all in vogue these days.

  • Tim||

    I expect that out around 2030 or so, there'll be all sorts of diverse and heretical muslim groups springing up just like has happened to every other religion that comes here.

    Muslim bikers, muslim atheists, gay muslims, etc.

  • ||

    Yep. Change from without. The dogma is ravaged from the outside by good shit, like the forces of liberty, and is steadily discarded.

  • niobiumstudio||

    That'll happen, then there will be a "fundamental Muslim" resurgence that is purely American (just like Fundamental Christians today). And it won't mean terrorists - it'll mean whiny assholes trying to force their religion down your throat through legislation and culture wars.

  • Drake||

    There are Sharia Courts in other countries, including the UK. There aren't Christian courts in any civilized country I know of.

  • Dr. Thaddeus Tingleberry||

    We live in a jurisprudential world where "equal protection under the laws" hasn't been a bar to federal discrimination based on race and gender, and where "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech" led to a law which allowed for the selective prosecution and jailing of filmmakers {Citizens United}.

    Meanwhile, Catholics are as American as apple pie because, to distill the matter to its essence, they tend not to actually believe what 'Catholics believe' - not because the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam would lead to a better world if taken literally - or even seriously.

    While it might be bad form to single out Islam, notwithstanding the fact that it enjoys more fundamentalists at the moment than the other faiths - we allow the casual intermingling of "faith" and law at our peril.

    This isn't to say sharia law is a serious threat to the Republic - but don't be surprised when courts have to spend time and money reaffirming those *democratic principles* that we are supposed to believe in, but given our tendency to pass laws in defiance of the Constitution... we probably don't actually believe in ourselves anymore.

    p.s. God, by the way, is fairly laid back about everything but really hates redheads.

  • Matrix||

    well, gingers don't have souls

  • ||

    "In the 19th century, Catholicism was regarded by many people in this country as thoroughly incompatible with Americanism."

    That statement lacks the specificity required to make such a determination, because Catholicism as it is practiced in all of its flavors does not necessarily reflect the actual prescriptions of Biblical text, or the dictats of Catholicism's arbiters.

    Anybody who practices Christianity as the faith it is in the Bible cannot be a proponent of republicanism or equality in justice, for example, and therefore of actual Americanism.

    A genuine belief in, and abidance of, Americanism -- that is, concepts like constitutional republicanism and the supremacy of man's individual rights -- requires either a witting or unwitting abandonment (to varying levels) of the religious dogma in favor of those principles.

    "They saw it as a hostile foreign element that would subvert democracy. Today, a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court are Catholic, and they are taken to be as American as Mountain Dew."

    To be fair, there is not a single justice on the Supreme Court that can be construed to be consistently American (in the sense you're using the term) in anything. Not one.

  • Dr. Thaddeus Tingleberry||

    - Which sacred text prescribes how to be American, then?

    You may wish to change your non de plume to 'No True Scotsman'.

  • ||

    By 'American', I meant a genuine belief in all those great freedom- and justice-affirming principles we all love, which was the definition used in the article ("Americanism").

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    - Which sacred text prescribes how to be American, then?


    Cato's Letters, duh!

  • ||

    Nice.

  • ||

    "Anybody who practices Christianity as the faith it is in the Bible cannot be a proponent of republicanism or equality in justice."

    Why?

  • ||

    "We've come a long way in religious tolerance. Or maybe not. The belief that Catholics are irredeemably alien and disloyal has given way to the fear that Muslims pose a mortal threat to our way of life."

    1) Religious tolerance does not, and must never, entail permitting religious doctrine to compromise the absolute primacy of the supreme, secular constitution we have and the republicanism which it demands. Your right to practice your religion does not extend to political action in office, for you cannot justifiably impose the mandates of your faith upon anybody else.

    Communists have no place whatsoever in political office in this country. Nazis have no place whatsoever in political office in this country. By standards of ideology, and were our country's population more informed, country-club Republicans and Democrats would also have no place whatsoever in political office in this country. Islamists (not Muslims) have no place whatsoever in political office in this country, and Muslims putting the words of their holy texts into law are a threat to our way of life. Muslims building mosques aren’t.

  • ||

    How about anybody who wants to enforce their personal views on others has no place doing so. Why categorize people and single out different groups?

  • ||

    2) Any Muslim who truly believes in the Constitution of the United States, the ideals exhibited in the Declaration of Independence, and/or the immorality of coercion, just to give a few examples, is not a Muslim, because he must have either partitioned his mind to accommodate irreconcilably different ideologies, or he is actually practicing a modified, less abhorrent variation of Islam.

    “That distrust is behind a push in state legislatures to forbid courts from applying Islamic Shariah law in any case.”

    Rightly so.

    “Does that mean we need anti-Shariah laws to keep women from being stoned to death with the cheerful blessing of American courts? Amazingly, no. It seems that our laws and Constitution take precedence on American soil no matter what the rules are in Iran.”

    No, they don’t. Our laws and Constitution take precedence over “what the rules are in Iran” because no place in the United States has yet elected people willing to codify the depravities of Islam into law. Many places, however, have elected progressives, quasi-fascists, socialists, environmental proto-terrorists, among other shitstains, and they’ve proposed and enacted their various and colorfully depraved convictions into near-infinite volumes of laws that actively subvert Constitutional doctrine and every conceivable element of Americanism.

  • ||

    "I want to make sure people understand there's sometimes a conflict between other laws and the Constitution, and we need to assert our Constitution is still the law of the land." That's like asserting that the sun is hot: It will be true regardless.”

    So passing a Constitution-affirming law shouldn’t be an issue at all. Glad we agree.

    “The problem with banning any consideration of Islamic law is that it interferes with the religious rights of Americans. If two Jewish merchants have a contract that calls for arbitration of disputes in a rabbinical court, state courts will generally enforce any judgment.”

    And if whatever it is that’s being disputed is not counter to individual rights as defined by any morally defensible system, like the one structured by the Constitution of the United States, let them at it. Comparing what two Jewish merchants would be arguing over and what would be at stake in such a case to the sort of things Sharia courts would be arbitrating and ruling on, and the types of punishments they’d be handing down, is disingenuous.

  • ||

    “A decision resting on the application of foreign or other legal codes would be invalid only if the verdict violates "the fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Kansas constitutions" -- something courts generally are not allowed to do anyway.”

    Yeah, and that’s how it should be. Again, it’s just a law affirming what courts are supposedly doing anyway, right? So what’s the issue?

    “Even so, the laws are based on fears that are unwarranted, if not fraudulent. Muslims, who make up a tiny percentage of the population, are not about to seize control of American law.”

    Which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Sharia is a litany of impermissible barbarities that can’t be allowed in American courts. Period. Morality should not be waiting for existential threats to make clear its supremacy.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Res Publica Americana's opposition to Sharia law stems from the fact that when he was a newborn, the Devil inserted his index finger into his anus, thus making him a passive homosexual.

  • ||

    You just made my day. I don't know whether you're a big fan of being given links to pictures of hot chicks as a reward, so I'll just give you an Internet instead. Here, have it. *Hands over Internet*.

  • perlhaqr||

    That's easily the weirdest thing I've seen all month.

  • robc||

    South Carolina Republicans voted for 2 catholics and a mormon over a baptist.

  • Drake||

    And elected a (formerly) Sikh woman Governor.

  • ||

    Neo-Confederate flyover country!111111111111eleventy

    /Tony

  • fearsomepirate||

    Religion is not a genetic attribute. Nikki Haley isn't Sikh. Or would later-in-life atheists prefer to be identified as (formerly) Christian?

  • ||

    It doesn't matter what they like to be identified as. If you're a dude and you have SRS, you can be called formerly male whether you like it or not. If you turn atheist after being Christian, you're formerly Christian, whether you like it or not. Did Nikki Haley ever actually practice the religion though?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Does anyone but me find it suspicious that Sharia sounds like a combination of Maria and Shriver?

  • Brian from Texas||

    These so-called anti-Sharia bills we've been seeing are totally unnecessary for the simple reason that it is ALREADY ILLEGAL under the Constitution for U.S. Courts to apply Sharia, or any other religious law.

  • Drake||

    And we all know that the Sates, Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court would never tolerate a violation of the Constitution.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    +1

  • NotSure||

    That picture of pro shariah protestors is from Britain not America.

    Many European countries do not have a constitution the same as America, so for example in France they could pass a law banning a Burka and, depending on demographic trends, could one day pass a law banning the miniskirt, both are clearly absurd laws.

  • fearsomepirate||

    But Catholicism WAS incompatible with Americanism in the 19th century. Read what any pope during that era said about the proper relationship of a government to the Vatican, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the duty of any Catholic in a non-Catholic government to do what he can in order to bring into submission to the pope. 19th-century Catholicism was a very, very political religion that made very, very specific political claims, and was headed by a European regent who had his own armies and states.

    What happened between Gregory XVI and the election of John F Kennedy was that Catholicism itself changed. At Vatican II, the Catholic Church reversed centuries of teaching on religious freedom, monarchy, the political role of the pope, and what Americans consider to be basic civil liberties (like the right to vote and freedom of speech). Of course, Catholics have been insisting the Church didn't *really* change a thing, and people who don't study much church history have assumed that's the case. However, any history of Catholic-American relations that ignores the changes the Catholic Church itself went through is an uninformative, one-sided story.

  • fearsomepirate||

    Note, I am entirely aware V2 was after JFK's election. But the theological and political climate of the Church had been changing rapidly since 30 years before.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There was a lot of American Catholic influence in Vatican II, reflecting the American Catholic experience in dealing effectively with U.S. pluralism. This experience predated VII, it was of course contentious, etc.

    But even the 19th century Popes agreed that in countries like America (and the UK, another Protestant state) the proper stance for Catholics was to work within the system.

    Also, as it happened, American Catholics took up certain causes, like opposing eugenics, which today are considered nonsectarian "American" positions.

  • منتدى العراق||

    Catholics just grope young boys.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The torch has been passed - as in that too-perfect story of an abusive priest who got a job with the TSA.

  • zamoracarl711||

    like Albert implied I am dazzled that some people can make $5031 in a few weeks on the internet. have you seen this link makecash16Com

  • ||

    I am dazzled that you made it past the squirrels, yet I get bumped for quotation marks.

  • Scarlett Jade||

    I'm a hispanic muslim convert from Catholicism I stand up for my religion because it was the first religion to give women rights,despite what you may HEAR! Men who stone women ARE NOT MUSLIM, b/C the Lord,Creator of the Universe and Creator of all prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Enoch, Muhammad (peace be upon them all) did not EVER say to do that in the Qur'an. Cultural "machismo" in men and personal flaws are to blame, not Islam. I am not oppressed as some women and or men might think, I am FREE! I have never been more happy in my life and found true PEACE , what I've been looking for MY WHOLE LIFE once I accepted Islam. I am not told to stay at home locked up, I am a highly educated woman, martial artist in Ninjutsu, and treated like a real princess. Muslim men are truly Kings because they are taught by the laws of God to lower their gaze, so they won't look at any other female thats not their wife or close family like mom, sister. How great is that! We are forbidden to lie, cheat, steal, charge interest, harm women and children and trees (nature) during fighting/war and we must immediately stop fighting an enemy once he gives up trying to fight with us. All Islam really means is "submission to the will of God". I pray and live for my Lord to obey His laws on the Earth. So please people, read the Qur'an and find out what we really believe in.check out my website: Kunoichiprincess.weebly.com (THANKS FOR READING EVERYONE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL BLESSED DAY!!!!)

  • Ben the Duck||

    I am not oppressed as some women and or men might think

    "Click. Whirrrrrrrrr. BEEP."

  • Ragnar||

    I think you forgot the /sarc.

  • Scarlett Jade||

    I didnt forget anything. Im loud clear and truthful. I say it like it is, buddy. Listen, alot of people like to believe that women under Islamic law are oppressed and I totally disagree. I already explained my accomplishments but there are so so many marvelous accomplished and highly educated muslim women who if asked, would agree with me on this issue. If you knew who I was and what I used to do, and where I came from, you'd be happy the streets were SAFER with me being a muslim now. Tell ya that much. Blessed day to all.

  • Azathoth!!||

    You are a convert, living, most likely, in a Western nation. You have never seen Islam unleashed.

  • Ben the Duck||

  • ||

    Then you all seriously need to get those "non-muslim" rulers in those "non-muslim" countries under control. They're giving you a terrible black eye. (so to speak)

    /sarc

  • ||

    And if muslim men are "taught to lower their gaze", why do you have to wrap yourselves in bedsheets to hide your form?

    But good trolling. I give it a B.

  • Flemur||

    Islam is disgusting.

  • Scarlett Jade||

    If submission to the will of The Creator of the Universe is disgusting, then you are surely amongst the lost ones but I will pray for you so that one day you may have some understanding. Please do check out THE DEEN SHOW . COM

  • Nyarlathotep||

    It's the "submission" part that's disgusting. I submit to nobody; certainly not to a fictitious tribal desert deity.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "If submission to the will of The Creator of the Universe is disgusting "

    It is when said Creator is a sociopathic asshole who only lives in the minds of the devout.

  • Scarlett Jade||

    You know, if lets say you had a child. And someone was to go up to that child and say Im going to rob you of all your ways of thinking and teach you everything I want you to know. Your opinions or beliefs dont matter anymore. Would you want your children around that type of thing? No right? The people who are spoon-feeding the youth and adults alike with their mind programming is the Media, the television, all those shows you see on tv, all the subliminal messages, its all there and everyone is buying into those false flag operations to trick your mind into hating one type of race or religion for their benefit. I know you hold hate in your heart, but I implore you to please take the time to go pick up a Qur'an or go to Qur'an.com and sit there and read. Please just READ. If I can ask anything of you , it would be this. Atleast so that you can understand muslims and let go of that unreal hatred your heart holds, that is a disease for your soul. Fill yourself with knowledge and truth, you and everyone of you DESERVES IT.

  • Scarlett Jade||

    I apologize, its actually Quran.com (not qur'an for the website...Thanks)

  • Scarlett Jade||

    I apologize, its actually Quran.com (not qur'an for the website...Thanks)

  • Nyarlathotep||

    Nein, danke. I don't do superstition. Besides, if I really wanted a religion I'd just invent my own. Y'know, like Mohammed did.

  • Jesse James Dean||

    zing!

  • ||

    MALE GAZE!!!!!!!

  • Killazontherun||

    Did a devil slip a finger up your pussy when you were born and turn you into a whore? You weren't born a Shi'te so we can assume that to be the case, right?

  • GILMORE||

    mmm. I only read all the words in ALL CAPS, and this made absolutely no sense to me.

    ("HERE ARE NOT MUSLIM EVER FREE PEACE MY WHOLE LIFE"... sounds like, 'islam has enslaved my life with violence since birth'. Perhaps this is code language?)

    I myself prefer the Nation of Gods and Earths, #7s, poor righteous teachers, etc. My islam is all about respecting beautiful queens being my baby's momma and respecting their gods, and wearing a bag on they's head while I make a lotta scrill up in that rap game.

  • Jvanleuvan||

    I CAN NOT believe some of the comments to this woman's post. I, for one, am GLAD that you have a strong relationship with God and your prophets.

    This is the BACKBONE of Americanism. We can all be different but we can all RESPECT each other.

    There is a difference between a religion's practitioners and the religion itself. There are good and bad, violent and peaceful practitioners of ALL religions.

    Remember Hitler was raised Catholic, and maintained himself a Christian his whole life.

  • TWylite||

    I would like for our legislators to vote on more pressing issues, like deciding whether or not the sun really is hot.

  • Nancy Lebovitz||

    Also, in ritual matters, it makes sense that the religious law should be used if a relevant case comes to court. For example, if someone says they're selling halal meat, sharia law is needed to establish whether that claim fraudulent.

  • HobbesTheTiger||

    Catholics did build a lot of those institutions. See Tom Woods' "How the Catholic Church Build Western Civilization."

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    I think the reason for these "forbidding sharia" laws is based on the fact that we look around the world, see Islamic nutjobs doing horrid things to people under such law and - most importantly - see few or no "moderate" muslims able or willing to stand up and say "NO, this is not Muslim and you will stop". Coupled with the fact that there are a number of these nutjobs in the US right now, putting on a happy face and hoping, in time, to bring that crap here.

    One also only need look at Egypt. They got rid of a dictator seeking more human rights, then, inexplicably, gave a majority of congressional seats to a party that wants Sharia Law. With that trend, Egypt is on track to soon look like Iran.

    Catholicism was once pretty damn harsh, but has since moderated. Islam has yet to moderate and, given its unchallenged enchrenchment in governments around the world, it may never moderate.

  • Ernie||

    We have only to look at Great Britain's courts to see the influence Shariah Law can have when it's allowed to take hold.

  • ChrisO||

    The basic problem is that Islam is both a religion and a governmental system. It does not contain the underlying "render unto Caesar" detachment that Christianity does. While it is obviously true that the medieval church saw itself as both a religious and governmental force, the underlying doctrinal "separation of church and state" in the Bible and the early church made it possible for the modern western secular state to arise.

    Islam, practiced studiously, does not permit such a distinction. If the USA ever has a large enough Muslim population for this to matter, our secular state will be threatened.

    Anti-Sharia legislation is a bit ridiculous in our present circumstances. I just hope it never gets to the point where it stops being ridiculous.

  • ||

    Chapman: I normally like the pieces you do here. But you left the reservation on this one.

    It's right in the job description, dude: Sharia Law.

    Freedom of religion /= freedom to create your own laws based on that religion.

  • JT||

    In the 19th century, Catholicism was regarded by many people in this country as thoroughly incompatible with Americanism.

    Some would argue that it was incompatible with Americanism before Vatican II.

  • JT||

    Telling Muslims that they cannot practice Sharia comes down to whether or not the government can force someone to eat pork and drink alcohol.

  • TheAtomicOption||

    There's a lot more to Sharia than that. As with other religion based legal systems, such as the ones the Hassidic Jews enforce in some American communities, the problem isn't the laws that they impose on themselves, but the laws the seek to impose on others.

  • ||

    Except that's got absolutely nothing to do with anything under discussion in the article or the comment section. Telling Muslims they cannot have their religious law weighed in court on equal footing with secular law != "telling Muslims they cannot practice Sharia". I guess you come from the "The government won't pay for my birth control, so therefore I have no access to birth control" school of thought.

  • Ron||

    I think it is important for states to re-assert the constitution as the supreme law since we've already had some politicians and others suggest that we look to other countries laws for guidance since America is so stupid and backward thinking

  • TheAtomicOption||

    The danger of Shariah is that they try to implement it in the US legal code through legislation the way many municipalities in Europe are seeing.

    It is clear that the acts in this article do nothing though.

  • ||

    Perhaps the concern is that the phrase:

    "This case will proceed under Ecclesiastical Islamic Law." (in a case that was already arbitrated by an Islamic arbitrator and in which one party wished for the case to proceed under secular law)

    Will give way to sharia arbitration courts ruling on broader civil and criminal issues, such as domestic violence, as is the case in the UK.

    That's not an irrational or unrealistic issue with which to be concerned. If the phrase:

    "This case will proceed under the Canon Law of the Catholic Church."

    Was popping up in prominent court cases and there were precedent in other Western nations of Catholic canon law arbitration being given the full weight of secular law, even in criminal cases, I would hope and expect that someone would clarify the supremacy of American secular law over Catholic canon law as well. Counting on the courts to be self-policing in that regard is foolish, particularly considering some of the constitutionally dubious whoppers that they've churned out in the past.

  • air max||

    Il n'ya vraiment pas de toute intention disposé seul de ces chaussures, et ils sont parmi les plus polyvalents. En outre, il ya une mise en page ou peut-être pour les mélanges de couleurs que les goûts ou intérêts de toute personne. Bien que le choix de coloration la plus populaire est la dynamique classique sur les blancs, vous n'êtes jamais limité par la couleur. De nombreux collectionneurs aller jusqu'à maintenant à avoir une paire qui s'adaptera à peu près tous les chapeaux ou les vêtements de couleur peut-être coordonnés.

  • sablegsd||

    Some of you are terribly ignorant about pislam.

    Read the unholy book from satan, do some research, believe your eyes instead of the taquiya. pislam is not a religion. It's a barbaric form of totalitarian government that is violent, misogynistic, pedophilia practicing, bestiality and necrophilia loving. It is EVIL. You cannot be a koranimal and abide by the Constitution.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    http://barenakedislam.com/

  • Jesse James Dean||

    Have you read the Bible, bro?

  • jacob||

    Well, those parts don't count because they were in the Old Testament.

  • ||

    do some research, believe your eyes instead of the taquiya. pislam is not a religion. It's a barbaric form of totalitarian government that is http://www.lunettesporto.com/l.....c-3_8.html violent, misogynistic, pedophilia practicing, bestiality and necrophilia loving. It is EVIL. You cannot be a koranimal and abide by the Constitution.

  • joy||

    That distrust is behind a push in state legislatures to forbid courts from applying Islamic Shariah law in any case. Arizona, Tennessee, Louisiana and Oklahoma have passed these bans, http://www.riemeninnl.com/riem-diesel-c-11.html though the Oklahoma law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

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    Entre l'apéritif et le dîner traditionnel, la formule rencontre un succès croissant, alors que la fréquentation des restaurants est en baisse constante et que plus de 3 400 entreprises de restauration ont définitivement fermé leurs portes en 2011.

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    The initial few of Nike Air Max, that is certainly regarded globally, have also been efficiently now famous Nike.

  • Jvanleuvan||

    While I think it’s never a BAD idea to re-affirm the supremacy of constitutional law, I think that these laws are unneeded. Constitutional law does (assuming courts, politicians and police forces actual do what they are supposed to do) reign supreme.
    What these laws are, are essentially “reminders” to follow the existing laws; Just a waste of paper. The constitution already dictates, perfectly, how religious laws are followed.
    All Citizens have the RIGHT to civil suit, and cannot be bound to outside arbitration unless they agree to it (or have contractually obligated themselves to it)
    No 3rd party civil arbitration can supersede constitution rights or civil law; (i.e. a religious arbitrator cannot sentence someone to 40 lashings and have it legally enforced)
    The STATE has the sole right and responsibility to enforce civil Laws. A religious arbitrator cannot “sentence” someone to 100 Hail Mary’s for murder and call it done. The State still has its crack at him.

    On the flip side; if two people want to settle their CIVIL disputes by following a religious doctrine, or seek arbitration through an arbitrator (religious or otherwise) or by playing darts; more power to them!
    Remember, we have the right to, but not the OBLIGATION to, bring civil suit.

  • Jvanleuvan||

    As for that case in Florida; it appears that the judge was wrong.
    He was wrong (legally); the nature of the arbitration is irrelevant (secular or religious) the state has laws that regulate the application of outside arbitration; and those are the laws that should be followed in this case.

  • ||

    Dear Christian SoCons,
    You know that whole "separation of church and state" thing you've been working so hard to eliminate. Betcha wish you hadn't been doing that now, huh?
    Sincerely, Audrey the Liberal

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