Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is the Anti-Shar'ia Hysteria Just A Smokescreen for Islamophobia?

Is the Anti-Shar'ia Hysteria Just A Smokescreen for Islamophobia?

Recently, the political Right has been working overtime to convince the American public (again) that Islam presents a mortal threat to the constitutional integrity of the Republic. Political pundits, radio shock-jocks, professional Muslim bashers,
and an assorted menagerie of others are now trumpeting the line that Muslims in the United States are "threatening" the nation by way of some misguided, and nefarious, attempt to impose Islamic law on the 97% of the country that is not Muslim.

Most recently, Sharron Angle, the Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Nevada, gave specificity to the "threat" by claiming that two American municipalities-Dearborn, Michigan and Frankfort, Texas-were in danger of coming under the control of Islamic law. But the only trouble with these accusations is that they are utterly, and scandalously, untrue.

Non-Muslims should be aware that Sharia is simply a legal code, binding on Muslims, that governs the conduct of individuals as well as the broader community, The sources of Sharia and the Holy Qur'an ( which Muslims believe is the word of God as transmitted to Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Jibril), and the Hadith, or Prophetic example of Muhammad as transmitted by the Companions of the Prophet and reliable and trusted scholars who came after them). The Sharia is intended to regulate the norms and conduct of Muslims in the areas of marriage and divorce, family life, the rights and duties of men and women, inheritance laws, busness transactions, and other things that normalize conduct in religious communities.

Shar'ia is not intended to replace, supplant, or superimpose itself on the United States Constitution, or any local or state statutes that citizens or residents of the United States are bound to honor. Muslim-bashers are aware of this, as they are no doubt aware that there is no serious attempt by any reputable Muslim organizations to contemplate any foolish attempt to force Islamic law on people who are not Muslim.

The current Mayor of Dearborn, Jack O'Reilly, said as much when he responded to Ms. Angle's claim by saying that she "doesn't know what she's talking about" when she claims that Dearborn is Shar'ia bound. Moreover, national Muslim organizations, including MAS, have all declared that they seek to advance Islam in America totally within the boundaries of the law of the society.

Although Ms, Angle and other opponents of the Muslim American community are unwilling to let facts get in the way of their hostile opinions, the reality is simply that Muslims in the United States are neither capable of, or willing to, impose religious law on a secular society. Shar'ia is not a threat to anyone, and the continued use of that false argument only serves to potentially undermine the legitimate rights and religious liberties of law-abiding American Muslims who have no subversive designs on the law of the land.

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