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Texas GOP Rep. Pushes Anti-Sharia Bill

14 April 2011 General 10 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Leo Berman

Texas is now joining over 15 states that have introduced bills to guard against the non-existent threat of Islamic Sharia law. In proposing legislation to ban state courts from considering foreign religious or cultural laws like Sharia, Texas state Rep. Leo Berman (R) — the bill sponsor — said, “We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas.”

Berman insisted one U.S. city offered unquestionable proof of this supposed threat:Dearborn, MI. Dearborn is home to one of the largest Muslim populations and the largest mosque in North America. Therefore, according to Berman, Sharia law necessarily is being implemented there. “It’s being done in Dearborn, Mich., because of a large population of Middle Easterners,” Berman said, “and the judges in Dearborn are using and allowing to be used Sharia law.” He mentioned the city six times throughout his testimony. However, when pushed for details, the only actual evidence Berman could offer was, “I heard it on a radio station”:

Rep. Berman himself acknowledged knowing nothing about Dearborn.

I heard it on a radio station here on my way in to the Capitol one day,” Berman said Monday in an interview. “I don’t know Dearborn, Michigan but I heard it (Sharia is accepted law here) on the radio. Isn’t that true?

No, says Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly (D), who must repeatedly debunk Islamophobic theories about the city. “These people know nothing of Dearborn and they just seek toprovoke and enflame their base for political gain,” he said. But such cultural ignorance doesn’t stop “Dearborn-Sharia theorists” from citing the city as proof of a Muslim threat. Likely GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich cited the arrest of four Christian missionaries during a Dearborn Arab festival as an example of “radical Islamism” to argue against the Islamic Center in New York City. Perpetual candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) said Dearborn faces “militant terrorist situation” and is ruled by Sharia law.

But even Berman, who is no stranger to outlandish extremism, must realize “I heard it on a radio station” fails as evidence for anything. Unless, of course, he’s planning an anti-Martian bill in response to War of the Worlds.

Original post: Texas GOP Rep. Pushes Anti-Sharia Bill


  1. Will this never stop? What we ought to be worrying about is the extremists who purport to speak for all Christians in seeking to erase this country’s foundational principle of Separation of Church and State. They spread this sharia nonsense but at the same time push to make this country a religion-sponsored (oops … a THEIR religion-sponsored) state.

  2. Hey Berman- I heard you were a d-bag. Since I “heard” that it must be true! Really? This is just pathetic and sad.

  3. margaret, i agree all religious zealots are dangerous. and i think these laws are not needed because hopefully the constitution will stand up against sharia. but you do know sharia calls for whipping people and cutting off peoples’ hands? muhammad set down a barbaric code of laws and that muslims beleive him to be god’s last prophet and the bringer of truth? have you read any of the koran? much like the torah and bible it is pretty scarry.

  4. Mike, that’s actually not sharia. Sharia was a way of life craeated hundreds of years after muhammed’s death. It says that one has the right to the protection of family, rights, religion, and property.

  5. mike eats dick, my bad i thought sharia was god’s law handed down by god thru his prophet in the koran, as reveled by the angel gabriel? that’s what is said in the koran is “gospel” and not open to interpretation, i.e. inheritance laws, laws against pre-maritial sex, laws against lending money and demanding interest and such? are you sure you are not confusing islamic jurisprudence (a part of sharia) with the “unalterable” laws of god or what the muslims consider “divine writ”. where am i going wrong? sorry (i’m drunk) i can’t find the link on “defend the prophet” were the guy says that some things in sharia are not open for discussion, such as inheritance laws, intoxicants, homosexuallity (that should be of interest to you) etc. etc. but please correct this wiki site with your vast knowledge


    Sharia is more than simply “law” in the prescriptive sense. It is also a methodology through which a jurist engages the religious texts to ascertain divine will. As a jurist-made law, the outcome of this process of ascertaining divine will is called fiqh (positive law), which is the moral and legal anchor of a Muslim’s total existence. Sharia governs every aspect of an observant Muslim’s life. The sharia juristic inquiry begins with the Quran and the Sunna. The Quran is the Muslim Holy Scripture — like the New Testament for Christians or the Old Testament for the Jews. The Sunna is essentially the prophetic example embodied in the sayings and conduct of the Prophet Mohammed.

    [24.1] (This is) a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and in which We have revealed clear communications that you may be mindful.
    [24.2] (As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.

    Book 017, Number 4175:
    ‘A’isha reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) cut off the hand of a thief for a quarter of a dinar rid upwards.

    4.11] Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females; then if they are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased has left, and if there is one, she shall have the half; and as for his parents, each of them shall have the sixth of what he has left if he has a child, but if he has no child and (only) his two parents inherit him, then his mother shall have the third; but if he has brothers, then his mother shall have the sixth after (the payment of) a bequest he may have bequeathed or a debt; your parents and your children, you know not which of them is the nearer to you in usefulness; this is an ordinance from Allah: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.

  7. […] come at a time of threats and attacks on the local Islamic center, and during a time of national awareness and global sensitivity of the topic. According to Dr. Stephen Prothero, a sense of religious […]

  8. […] You know why? Because they don’t know. Like the Texas lawmaker who recently proposed a law to prevent Sharia Law from being imposed on Texas; it’s just something they heard on the radio. […]

  9. The confusion here is simple: people hear stories of Sharia law being slowly introduced into legal systems of other nations and they are concerned it could happen in the US. Does it happen elsewhere? Of course. There are cases where it happens a little and cases where it happens a lot. Could it happen here? That all depends on your opinion.

    The reason people are not able to talk intelligently about this topic, is because certain individuals hear the word “Islam” and start yelling “Islamophobe!” and all conversation stops. Even the domain of the website is designed to squelch public discussion. Nevertheless, I will press on.

    What is fact though, is if Sharia law ever were to replace the current legal system in the US, OR be used as an equal and alternative system, many people would be surprised at the judicial decisions issued forth. Now, many readers will stop at my last sentence and yell, “it’s preposterous to think that Sharia could ever replace the US legal system! so shut up!” If that is you, please move on the next post; this is not for you.

    However, there are others, who like the current legal system (if they have to select between US law and Sharia) and want to work to actively defend it from any force that would minimize it. Now this gets into other topics, like alternative legal systems. For example, if two Jews have a dispute, can they legally go to Rabbi who presides over a Jewish Courthouse in the US and have their case decided, INSTEAD of going to a US court? What if an Evangelical Christian has a dispute against another Christian…can she take the other to a Christian Pastor to decide the case in a Christian Courtroom? Can two Muslims decide their case in a Sharia courthouse?

    So the point of all this discussion comes down to this (for rationally-minded individuals): is it better for the US to have the legal US court system, and then have other alternative systems for people to use when they want to (what we have currently) OR is it better for the US legal system to allow some cases to be decided by the US code and others to be decided by a religious code (depending on what the plaintiff and defendant subscribe to)?

    Case in point in this: A Muslim man and Muslim wife end up in court since the wife agreed reluctantly to press charges against her husband for the sake of her children. See, apparently the husband beats her and the teenage daughter and they have had to go to the hospital on many occasions. The wife always claimed that they have had an accident since she does not want to tell the truth. The hospital eventually figured out what was going on and arranged for a public attorney to talk the wife the last time she and her daughter were released from the hospital. After an hour, she was convinced that her daughter’s life was in danger and agreed to meet with the attorney again. At the next meeting the attorney tells her that they have to go to court and she will need to move out of her home until the court date (for safety) and the court will provide her protection, etc. So now the husband is angry and his honor is at stake. He gets an attorney who has an idea that could guarantee that his client (the husband and defendant) is found not-guilty. He decides to ask the judge in the US courtroom to allow the case to be decided instead by Sharia law. He knows that Sharia allows for a husband to legally beat his wife.

    Now, fast forward to the court date. What will happen if the judge defers to Sharia law (rather than US legal code), since all the parties are Muslims? I’ll tell you what will happen, the attorneys will get paid and everyone will go home and back to normal life.

    Is that okay? What would you want if you were the daughter? What would you want if you were the wife?

  10. Berman is right IMHO – I don’t give a damn if you believe I have islamophobia or not; I have the right to my opinion – it’s information you take, leave or stick where-ever you want but Berman is right. I’m a third generation Chez in America and have no bone in old American specific issues like racism but I do have one where some ‘herd managment program’ like sharia is wanting to displace another herd managment program democracy, which has somehow usurped a constitutional republic… – I have respect for almost all religions including Islam – I respect their asceticism, not the abject distructive form, the kill kill kill form, but the form that provides its moorings and traditions. Islam is a strange thing to me – I’m trying to see what is not brutle about them and it’s hard, really hard to find anything ‘nice’ about them, they have no sweet side I can see – it’s very brutle, that’s the only word I can come up with as best as I can… that’s so very sad. Keep your damn sharia herd managment system out of the US – this one sux bad enough without your crazy imam crap.

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