COMMENTARY: The clear anti-Muslim bias behind anti-Shariah laws

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Anti-Shariah demonstrators rally against a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

Anti-Shariah demonstrators rally against a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

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NEW YORK (RNS) It's hard to believe that supporters of bans on foreign law are genuinely concerned about the purported ills of foreign law when they are so ready to make concessions. Instead, "foreign law" provides a convenient fig leaf for supporters to stir up misconceptions and fear about Muslims.

  • Earold Gunter

    Same people making these laws are also those who would welcome laws driven by the Christian faith. No laws of man should be based on any religious belief as all religious belief poisons the mind of humans.

  • You’re absolutely right about a lot of these guys wanting their own Christian laws imposed on the country. There’s a strong overlap between the dominionism movement and what I call the “Neocrusade” which wants to abolish Islam within the U.S (e.g. see this: Their hypocrisy stinks to the high heaven they claim to revere.

  • auggie

    “All religious belief poisons the mind of humans.” I thought I read something up there about how problematic it is to “demonize the Islamic faith.” Apparently hypocrisy is not limited to those YOU demonize…

  • Re: “Apparently hypocrisy is not limited to those YOU demonize…”

    … except I never said, “All religious belief poisons the mind of humans.” Someone else did. I have nothing to do with that.

    As for believers of various stripes demonizing each other … they seem bound and determined to do so. Who am I to stop them? I get to stand by and observe their escapades. It’s sort of like watching a bunch of kindergartners shouting at each other, “Oh yeah? My dad can beat up your dad any day!”

    Personally, I think they have better things to do with their time and resources … but hey, what can this cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen possibly know about such things?

  • Woops, sorry, you weren’t replying to me. I shouldn’t have accused you of that, it just looked that way on screen. Again, apologies.

    As for the part about the kindergartners all squabbling over whose dad can beat up who else’s dad … that pretty much really is what we’re looking at, here.

  • The real tragedy is that the Christians who want these bans actually agree with Shariah in almost every aspect. If they wanted to serve their own interests, they would be forming ALLIANCES with serious Muslims to bring back laws that conform more closely to traditional beliefs. Most laws in America DID conform closely to traditional beliefs until 1960 or so.

    Agitating for a ban serves nobody’s interest. It splits the religious community and gives Satanic atheist “judges” excellent ammunition to destroy all religions.

  • Larry

    Even worse these ignorant lawmakers seem to be unaware that religious courts have existed in this country for a very long time and:
    1. Do not ever cover criminal laws
    2. Are protected as a right to contract/enter arbitration
    3. Can’t hand down a judgment which is contrary to existing laws and public policy.

    This is what happens when lawmakers are more informed by bigotry than knowledge or even common sense. Some of the stupidest, most ignorant laws, the ones most corrosive to civil liberties are the ones coming from people with a prejudiced agenda.

  • Earold Gunter

    Auggie, I don’t believe in demons, so I certainly didn’t try to demonize anyone. Whatever you might have read “up there” it wasn’t written by me, so it appears you are the only one of us who understands your use of the word hypocrisy.
    I say that all religion poisons the human mind because it requires faith to believe something that has absolutely no evidence. That kind of thinking is irrational, and other than mental illness, religious belief is the only thing that can do that.
    Please tell me, other than mental illness, what would cause a human to believe that a priest can say some words over a glass of wine and plate of crackers and literally turn it into human flesh and blood? Other than mental illness, what would cause a human being to fly an airplane loaded with other humans into a building, killing thousands more humans?
    Only religious belief.
    Religion poisons the mind of humans!

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    There are some that Sharia law is what they fear. But not mentioned here is another aspect of the issue stirred up by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a few years ago.
    At that time she went on a riff about how foreign courts and decisions could and should be used to interpret our Constitution. A lot of people call that virtual treason and has nothing directly to do with opposition to Sharia Law but to do with protecting our constitution from possible harebrained judicial actions. (of which there have been a lot over the centuries).. The Supreme Court of the United States exists to interpret our constitution and laws based on things like legal precedent, etc. The Supreme Court is not supposed to be a conduit for destroying our constitution and creating some sort of international legal system.
    It seems like every time someone wants to protect our laws and culture the media- or others attack those who would protect.

  • Larry

    You are worrying because you have no idea how the system works. Both the anti-sharia and anti “foreign law” positions are based on ignorance and hysteria.

    Our nation’s legal foundation was (and in many respects still is) British Common Law. Treaties are essentially foreign law which the nation ratifies as its own. We are not ever going to allow states to ignore international treaties recognized by Congress.

    In most cases foreign laws do not even come into play because the systems are different. Continental Europe, its former colonies, Japan and South Korea do not use legal precedent as binding authority. We are only really talking about British, Canadian or former Commonwealth Countries legal precedents.
    Even then, it would only be important if there is a legal situation so novel to US law that there is nothing which can be used for precedence to support a position.

    As for Sharia law, we have religious courts in this nation already and a model as to how they need to function. Religious courts are merely glorified arbitration. In arbitration one contract and willingly chooses the laws to be applied to a civil situation. Free enterprise. A way to allow parties to resolve disputes without using a court, in a fashion both are willing to abide by.

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  • Ruthiegirl

    The United States has it’s own set of laws as dictated by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and federal and state laws. In our country, it is against the law to marry a child, to beat or rape a woman, to impose cruel punishment or torture for being gay, committing adultery, stealing, as well as rape.

    These laws are in affect in our country to protect the citizens, and vulnerable groups of people: ie women, children, homosexuals, etc. These laws have nothing to do with Christianity, but to protect the dignity, freedom of speech, and human rights of EVERY American. This includes ALL Muslim Americans. Sharia Law by nature, does not advocate or support or uphold the basic human rights of human beings. This is why the states are taking issue and making it illegal for anyone Muslim or otherwise to bring any type of foreign or Sharia law into the United States Constitution or any other body of laws that protect the rights of US citizens.

    If Muslim Americans want Sharia law they will need to more than likely go back to their home of origin where this is practiced. This is not a racial or prejudiced comment, but we have our citizens to protect, all American citizens including all Muslim Americans who specifically came here for our liberties. Your laws are not our laws and they never will be. We as a nation are a body of laws, not religion, that is why we have separation of Church and State.

  • RWJC

    If you want to begin to understand…