World Religions Final Sharia law in the united States

Posted on December 13, 2013 by

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Introduction

 

At first when I was trying to decide on a topic I wanted to do something about Islamophobia. Then I thought well that’s too broad. I started doing some more research and came upon this problem of Sharia Law in the U.S courts. Recently some of the big topics in our media have been with radical Muslims, terrorism, Islamophobia and the war on terrorism. I feel like these topics I just mentioned have opened the doors on a new topic that is soon to be of huge discussion amongst our government and is currently being debated heavily throughout the United States. The issue is about Sharia Law. The goal of my final project is to analyze the ongoing problems with Sharia Law being mixed into the courts of the United States. I will begin by giving you a brief introduction into what Sharia is, and then I will show you both sides of the argument and also analyze the sources for both. Then the grand finale will be my opinion on Sharia law in the United States courts.

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Sharia Law

 

From the free dictionary website the definition of Sharia Law is, “the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed; “sharia is only applicable to Muslims”; “under Islamic law there is no separation of church and state.” In my own words Sharia Law is a set of laws that Muslims follow, these laws are from the Koran and the prophet Muhammad. These laws aren’t laws per say though, there isn’t a Sharia Law police roaming around the world trying to catch Muslims that break Sharia law. Sharia Law can also be thought of as guidelines as to how to live your life and to help you in certain situations. Sharia Law has guidelines for how to deal with divorce, sexual intercourse, your diet, prayer etc. A big problem with Sharia Law is that people interpret it in different ways. There is stuff in the Koran that’s says, “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.” Some Muslims interpret this literally and say they can beat their wife. Many Muslims do not follow this literally, many Muslims are very peaceful.

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Supporters of Sharia Law in U.S Courts

 

So like I mentioned earlier there is a big controversy as to whether or not the United States courts should be mixed with Sharia Law to deal with disputes among Muslims. For example Muslims may have a different way of dealing with divorce because Sharia Law considers how to deal with divorce differently then our courts, so should the courts use Sharia Law to settle these disputes? I will now analyze the case for the supporters of Sharia Law being mixed into the courts.

            From what I have read and what media sources like fox news fail to understand is that the Muslims who follow Sharia Law literally and actually do oppress women, slice off people’s hands for stealing, stoning women are extremists. The common Muslim American who is a citizen of this country just like you and I wants Sharia Law in the U.S Courts for reasons such as divorce, wills and private contracts that they worked out earlier. Muslim Americans do not want our government to start slicing citizen’s hands off for stealing a soda from the local gas station. The reasons why some Muslim Americans want Sharia law is that there are wills and arbitration clauses that can be based on Jewish and Christian beliefs, so why can’t they be based off of Islamic views. They also want more Muslim jurors in court cases dealing with Sharia Law. Muslim Americans do not want to impose Sharia Law on any Americans; they just want a way to deal with their private contracts. In a quote from Abed Awad who is an attorney at the firm Awad and Khouri he says, “ Sharia is just as harmless as bible verses calling for stoning of adulterers.” Abed also states “The true story of Sharia in U.S courts is not one of imminent takeover but rather another part of globalization. Marriages, divorces, corporations and commercial transactions are global meaning U.S courts must regularly apply foreign law.”

            The most important quote to me that I found to support Sharia law in the U.S is from the Universal Muslim Association of America who said, “The purpose of Sharia is to promote a personal code of ethical conduct and doesn’t have anything to do with taking over the government or the courts.” I think this is the view that the typical Muslim American wants non-Muslim Americans to realize. They just want a way to deal with their private affairs as long as it doesn’t conflict with the United States constitution. To show how some American media sources show the extremist view of Sharia and not the typical Muslims Americans view of Sharia here is a fox news video spreading the fear of Sharia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppTo-TTtJQo

Opposition to Sharia in U.S Courts

 

            Like all great conflicts there are two sides of the story.  Recently seven states including North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arizona Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee have passed a foreign laws bills meaning that the U.S constitution trumps and foreign law in their courts. According to the Huffing Post what this means is no Sharia or Islamic laws in the courts.

            From the research I have done it seems that more conservatives are on the side that fears Sharia dominating our court system. “It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States.” Nevada GOP senate candidate said this in an interview in a CBS news article. Meanwhile another Republican Party chairman had this to say in the same article, “The Muslims coming in here will keep growing in numbers and override our system of law and impose Sharia law.”

            Heather Nauert of Fox news says that, “Sharia law is now changing everything.” The context for this statement was because of an article she covered about a YMCA pool in St. Paul, MN that closes down the entire pool area for an hour, male locker rooms, bringing in female life guards just for Muslim women to be able to take swim classes. The reason for this is that Muslim women who follow Sharia Law cannot show off their bodies, hair or anything. Another big case that is a main argument for anti-sharia supporters is the court case S.D vs. M.J.R. This case involved a Muslim woman who wanted a restraining order on her husband saying her repeatedly beat her and sexually abused her. The Husband then said under my religious beliefs I am allowed to have sex with my wife whenever I want. The judge ended up denying the woman’s request. Later the decision was overturned in Appellate court. This is the fear for many people is that court decisions like this will continue to happen and favor Sharia Law in extreme cases such as this one.

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Sources

This was a difficult topic to research because most of the sites I found were pretty biased towards one side. The anti-Sharia articles and videos were very biased and showed the depicted Sharia Law from the extremist view. They only showed Sharia as favoring spousal abuse, cutting off hands, killing adulterers etc. It was interesting because when searching for pro Sharia articles it was definitely more difficult than finding a video opposing Sharia. The pro Sharia articles I felt did a better job of explaining what typical Muslim Americans want for Sharia Law in the Courts and it does not involve any of the extremist views. I was able to find a couple videos and articles that told both sides of the story such as the Huffington Post article. It was very nice to hear both sides in the same article; to me it gives the article more credibility. It was also interesting to me that when I tried to find images of Sharia Law all that popped up were gory images of some of the extremist punishments. That does not represent the Muslim American views of Sharia.

 

My Opinion/Conclusion

 

            Going into this project I was probably more on the side of anti Sharia in our courts. My reasons were that this country set up a constitution that has been upheld since the start and I don’t want foreign influences corrupting it. I also want to keep religion out of our government as much as possible because in my opinion religion in government only cause tension and problems. After doing all the research I support the use of Sharia law in cases of private matters such as divorce, wills and private contracts. I think it is a pretty big example of Islamophobia if we do not allow Sharia Law to decide these small cases that do not violate our constitution. If these cases violate the constitution then I’m not a fan of Sharia Law deciding it. Our constitution should always trump foreign law and specifically in this case Sharia. Sharia law will never dominate the U.S, because of our strong constitution. This was a lot of fun researching this topic because it is so big in our world today. I am also glad that the research I did helped me to come to an informed opinion on the matter of Sharia Law in our courts. I hope this project was informative to you.

 

Sources

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppTo-TTtJQo- Fox News Video
  • Hafiz, Yasmine. “Sharia Law In The USA 101: A Guide To What It Is And Why States Want To Ban It.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 July 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
  • Montopoli, Brian. “Fears of Sharia Law in America Grow Among Conservatives.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 13 Oct. 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
  • Wilstein, Matt. “Fox & Friends Finds Proof That ‘Sharia Law Is Changing Everything’ in America.” Mediaite EmFox Friendsem Finds Proof That Sharia Law Is Changing Everything in America Comments. Media IT, 2 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u0jLoGtbH8- RT Report(Video)
  • Awad, Abed. “The True Story of Sharia in American Courts | The Nation.” The True Story of Sharia in American Courts | The Nation. The Nation, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
  • “Sharia Law.” The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013
  • Hussein, Rahat. “Jon Stewart Takes on Sharia Fear Mongering by Fox News.” Washington Times Communities. N.p., 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013(UMMA Quote)
  • “TheReligionofPeace – Islam: Can a Husband Beat His Wife?” TheReligionofPeace – Islam: Can a Husband Beat His Wife? N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
  • Google Images.” Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.(Picture)
  • “‘Micro-States’ Ruled By Sharia Law: ‘No-Go’ Zones Being Established For Non-Muslims In European Cities « Pat Dollard.” Pat Dollard RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013(Picture)
  • Sharia Law.” – Conservapedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.(Picture)

 

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