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Sharia Law Comes To the United States

shariaPeople said it would never happen.  There is no need to make an effort to ban Sharia law because it will never be in the United States.  That’s what they said.  Legislative efforts to ban Sharia law were always protested by groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other groups sympathetic to Muslims.  Oklahoma is one of at least sixteen states that have introduced legislation to ban Sharia law.  Two years ago, Oklahoma passed House Bill 1060 which prohibits the application of foreign laws when doing so would violate the Oklahoma or U.S. Constitution.  The bill did not mention Sharia law or any foreign law specifically, yet CAIR decried its passage, saying that the bill attacks the religious principles of Islam.  Opponents of this bill and similar bills in other states said Sharia law would never come here and that there is no reason to pass such legislation.

Those people were wrong.

CBN – A group of Muslims in northern Texas has created what may be the first official Sharia law system in the United States.

The new Sharia tribunal in Irving, Texas, is trying to assure Americans they’re not planning to follow the type of Sharia law practiced in Muslim countries.

In some Muslim countries, severe punishments are common, women have very few rights, and blasphemy against Mohammed can result in a death sentence.

But Tribunal Judge Imam Moujahed Bakhach is denying that will happen in America.

“The misconception about what they see through the media is that Sharia means cut the head, chop the heads, cut the hands and we are not in that,” he said. “We are not here to invade the White House or invade Austin.”

But Robert Spencer of JihadWatch writes: “There is no school of Islamic jurisprudence among either Sunnis or Shi’tes that does not mandate stoning for adultery, amputation of the hand for theft, and the subjugation of women.”

Imam Bakhach and three other Muslim judges are planning to bypass the traditional legal system of Texas to handle civil cases on their own.

They plan to start by administering their own rulings for cases like divorce and business disputes.

While Bakhach said the tribunal would follow Texas law, he also made a statement later that contradicted that.

BreitbartBreitbart Texas asked what happens when there is a conflict between Sharia law and Texas law. El-badawi said most of the time, the laws are in agreement. When pushed further he admitted that, “we follow Sharia law.” However, he explained, “If the parties are not satisfied with the tribunal’s decision, they do not have to accept it and they can take the matter to Texas civil courts.” He did not say what the social ramifications of rejecting the “judge’s” decision would be.

One of the judges restated to Breitbart Texas several times that participation in the tribunal is voluntary, but he would not discuss what would happen to someone who did not follow their rulings.

Bakhach tried to make it clear that the tribunal’s ‘cases’ would be limited to civil matters and they would not be ruling on criminal matters.  The website for the tribunal draws a distinction between Islamic civil law and criminal law.

Stoning adulterers, cutting of the hands, polyandry and the like (all can be traced in the relevant literature and can be explained in their Islamic legal mentality and rational context in fairness and justice), are mainly a part of Islamic Criminal Law.  In fact criminal law within Islam only makes up a fraction of the Shari’ah.  It is unscholarly and unfair to generalize that type of understanding, that is Criminal Law, to compromise the whole of Islamic law if we stick to speaking in technical terms.

To some, I’m sure this sounds completely benign and innocent.  After all, Jewish communities in the United States have rabbinical tribunals and the Catholic church has the Archdiocesan Tribunal to handle marriage annulments.  Should an Islamic tribunal that administers rulings in divorce cases and business disputes really be something about which to be concerned?

The answer to that question lies across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe.  To get a clear picture of what might be coming to the United States all we need do is look at other countries where Islamic communities have set up Sharia tribunals.  What are those tribunals doing?

There are approximately 85 known Sharia tribunals operating across Great Britain.  They mostly handle civil matters but there have been newspaper reports of tribunals handling criminal matters in some Muslim communities.  Members of the British legal community told the UK’s Channel 4 that “they are concerned that there is no effective regulatory framework to keep track of them or ensure that standards are enforced.”

While investigating Sharia tribunals Channel 4 found that it was “immediately obvious that sharia discriminates against women and non-Muslims when it comes to the rules of inheritance.”  The U.K.’s Law Society had issued guidelines for solicitors on compiling “Sharia compliant” wills, but withdrew them after complaints that they were encouraging discrimination against women and non-Muslims.

If there is any question about women getting fair treatment from Sharia tribunals, that was answered by Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, who told The Independent that men who rape their wives should not be prosecuted because “sex is part of marriage” and married women who allege rape are lying.

According to Truth Uncensored and other reports, there are many “Sharia zones” in Great Britain and other countries throughout Europe that are under total control of Muslims and function under Sharia law.  Honor killings, domestic violence and sexual abuse of children are just some of the crimes believed to be unreported in these areas.

While these zones and the crimes that come with them may not yet have gained a foothold in the United States, the discrimination practiced by Sharia tribunals is cause for concern, according to Dr. Frank Gaffney, who leads the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.  He said, “I think what we will see is a coercion of Muslims to participate in this program.”  He called Sharia a “brutally repressive – very hostile to women, hostile to homosexuals, hostile to Jews, hostile to Christians – kind of totalitarian system.”

In Muslim communities, when Muslims face coercion to participate in the tribunal there is the huge potential for them to lose their rights to equal protection and due process.  This tribunal in Irving may say they will only be handling civil matters, but for how long?  Will they conduct their cases in the same manner as the U.K. tribunals, practicing discrimination against women?

One report I read said that Islamic leaders from other states have been calling the tribunal judges in Irving to find out how they started the tribunal.  No doubt, they want to have tribunals in their own communities.  And will those tribunals also state openly that Sharia law would be followed when it is in conflict with state law?

Even without the Sharia zones and the unreported violent crimes that seem to come with them, it appears that Islamic tribunals in the United States have the great potential to ignore the equal protection and due process rights that the state court systems would ensure.  The tribunal in Irving has already stated they will choose Sharia law when it is in conflict with Texas state law.  This has not gone unnoticed by Beth Van Duyne, Mayor of Irving, who made the following statement to Glenn Beck:

“Sharia Law Court was NOT approved or enacted by the City of Irving. Recently, there have been rumors suggesting that the City of Irving has somehow condoned, approved or enacted the implementation of a Sharia Law Court in our City. Let me be clear, neither the City of Irving, our elected officials or city staff have anything to do with the decision of the mosque that has been identified as starting a Sharia Court.

As Mayor of the City of Irving, I took an oath to uphold the laws of the State of Texas and the Constitution of the United States. I respect the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment and believe that protecting fundamental constitutional rights and ensuring that individual rights are not violated or denied is essential.

Currently, Texas Supreme Court precedent does not allow the application of foreign law that violates public policy, statutory, or federal laws. However, now that this issue has emerged in our community, I am working with our State Representatives on legislation to clarify and strengthen existing prohibitions on the application of foreign law in violation of constitutional or statutory rights.

American citizens need to remember that their rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and I believe no one should subjugate themselves to anything less. While I am working to better understand how this “court” will function and whom will be subject to its decisions, please know if it is determined that there are violations of basic rights occurring, I will not stand idle and will fight with every fiber of my being against this action. Our nation cannot be so overly sensitive in defending other cultures that we stop protecting our own. The American Constitution and our guaranteed rights reigns supreme in our nation and may that ever be the case.”

If only our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. shared the attitude about protecting our own culture.  Perhaps if some of the women who have leadership positions in our government had to subject themselves to the rulings of a Sharia tribunal that might begin to change some of the lackadaisical attitudes about Sharia law coming to the United States.  

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