A brief word about these anti-sharia protests happening tomorrow across 28 cities in the U.S.. In short, these protests are totally bogus. The facts show that so-called infiltration of sharia in the American legal system is a non-existent problem or threat.
To date, there is not a single Muslim organization calling for sharia to trump the U.S. Constitution. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the U.S.’s primary Muslim civil rights organization, regularly denounces the accusation that Muslim Americans are trying to topple the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law. In 2011, CAIR leader Cyrus McGoldrick, while sitting in front of the New York Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, stated that, “The Constitution is the law of the land and CAIR likes it that way. Our organization expends enormous legal and advocacy energy defending its principles.” Similarly, Corey Saylor, the National Legislative Director of CAIR, wrote in a 2011 blog post:
The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. Individuals may enter into agreements based on their faith. Such practices are reasonably common. However, any such agreement must comply with U.S. law. So if I choose to finance my house with a sharia-compliant company, the resulting contract must be within the boundaries of standing law.
McGoldrick and Saylor follow the U.S. Constitution. No religious code can replace American law. Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states, “This Constitution…shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby. …” Additionally, the First Amendment prohibits Congress from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion. …” Also, as Saylor notes, “America has an already established tradition of allowing people of faith to make agreements and resolve disputes within the parameters of their religion, as long as any resulting contract complies with U.S. law. Catholic Canon law and Jewish Halacha are the most frequently cited examples in the context of the debate surrounding Islamic practices.”
Most of the people involved in the anti-sharia protests probably have no idea how to even accurately define sharia. Sharia, which means “path” in Arabic, guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial obligations, and financial transactions. It is not this all-encompassing legal system that the bigots say it is. And let us not get it twisted. Sharia – like Islam – is not a monolith. Sharia is interpreted differently by Muslim jurists around the world. Sharia is also not static. In fact, it is dynamic. Sharia is able to adjust to time, place, and national legal systems.
Again, the fact of the matter is that there is no sharia takeover of the U.S. Experts and scholars have said this over and over again. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), too, has supported this claim in 2012, stating, “[there] is simply no documentation or unconstitutional application of foreign law in our judicial system.”
So let us be honest – this anti-sharia movement is intended to create a political wedge to ferment fear of Muslims. It is built on rumors and conspiracy theories. Nothing more. These bigots are creating a problem out of nothing simply because they hate Muslims. How sad. How pathetic.