Anti-Sharia Bill is Un-American

In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful

My crusade against singling out the Muslim community continues…Here is my piece on the Interfaith Youth Core “Thought Leaders” blog.

The anti-Sharia bandwagon continues to grow in this country, with more and more states introducing bills to ban “Sharia law,” whatever this means. One Missouri lawmaker, in fact, recently compared Sharia law to polio. In Tennessee, the proposed bill says following Sharia law is punishable by 15 years in jail.

Indeed, the text of the Tennessee bill is quite interesting. It says that Sharia is: “a legal-political-military doctrinal system combined with certain religious beliefs…Sharia requires all its adherents to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic, including the representative government of [Tennessee] with a political system based upon sharia.” What’s more, the bill says that “Sharia in particular includes a war doctrine known as jihad…with sharia formulating and commanding jihad, and jihad being waged for the purpose of imposing and instituting sharia.”

But then later, the “crime” of Sharia that is punishable sounds a lot like sedition or treason:

“Sharia” means the set of rules, precepts, instructions, or edicts which are said to emanate directly or indirectly from the god of Allah or the prophet Mohammed and which include directly or indirectly the encouragement of any person to support the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the United States or Tennessee Constitutions, or the destruction of the national existence of the United States or the sovereignty of this state, and which includes among other methods to achieve these ends, the likely use of imminent violence. Any rule, precept, instruction, or edict arising directly from the extant rulings of any of the authoritative schools of Islamic jurisprudence of Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali Ja’afariya, or Salafi, as those terms are used by sharia adherents, is prima facie sharia without any further evidentiary showing.”

But why have a law calling what is clearly treason “Sharia”? Either this is a total misunderstanding of what Sharia truly is, or it is a
sinister attempt to equate not just Sharia, but Islam and Muslims with something that is seditious, rebellious, and un-American.

All Americans, regardless of faith tradition, must speak out against such laws. These anti-Sharia bills are a solution looking for a
problem. American Muslims are not seeking to supplant the Constitution with the Qur’an. In fact, the Constitution is quite consistent with the Qur’an and Islamic principles. There is no threat to America coming from “Sharia law.” It is as absurd as a bill being introduced to ban the application of Catholic Canon Law or Talmudic law in America.

We all must see through such anti-Sharia efforts: it is all politics, seeking to divide our country along religious lines to gain votes and political dollars. It is detrimental to the country and the national fabric. At a time when the country needs more unity and love, bills such as that in Tennessee are unnecessary and counterproductive. Let us show the politicians behind such efforts that America and her people are better than the bills they are trying to make into law.


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