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Mother Jones: Anti-Sharia Bill Sponsors Are Kind of Clueless

23 April 2011 Mother Jones 19 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

On Wednesday, members of the North Carolina House debated HB 640, a bill to ban the use of Islamic Sharia law in state courts. This is nothing new: Since the beginning of 2009, two dozen states have considered such proposals, stemming from concerns that unless serious action is taken, American citizens will be forced to adhere to a draconian interpretation of Sharia. That’s the argument, at least, but through each of these bills, there’s been one nagging flaw—no one can explain, when pressed, why such legislation is necessary.

At this point, the drill is getting kind of familiar. How familiar? Well, here’s Laura Leslie, of Raleigh’s WRAL:

Rep. Verla Insko asked [State Rep. George] Cleveland twice for an example of a case that would show a need for the bill. “I do not have any specific examples off the top of my head,” Cleveland finally replied.

Hey, that sounds similar to the scene on Tuesday when the Missouri House voted on a bill to ban Islamic law from state courts:

[State Rep. Jamilah] Nasheed called on [State Rep. Paul] Curtman to provide a list of cases in which international law had been used in American courts but Curtman was unable to provide an example of such a case.

Missouri in March:

“I don’t have the specifics with me right now but if you go to—the web address kind of escapes my mind right now. Any Google search on international law used in the state courts in the U.S. is going to turn up some cases for you.”

Alabama last month:

[State Sen. Gerald] Allen could not readily define Shariah in an interview Thursday. “I don’t have my file in front of me,” he said.

Georgia in February:

[State Rep. Mike Jacobs] acknowledged that he was not aware of any instances in Georgia where a plaintiff or defendant asked the court to apply Sharia law but believes it has happened elsewhere.

Alaska in March:

In a hearing before the House State Affairs Committee, [State Rep. Carl] Gatto’s chief of staff, Karen Sawyer, said Sharia is an example of the type of transnational law that has appeared in family law, divorce and child custody cases nationally, though she knows of [no] instances of it appearing in Alaska courts.

South Carolina on Wednesday:

None of the senators nor Kevin A. Hall, a Columbia attorney who testified in support of the bill, were aware of any examples in South Carolina where courts upheld sharia law over the U.S. Constitution.

South Dakota in February:

[I]n testimony this week, proponents of a Sharia ban could not produce a single South Dakota case in which Islamic law had been a problem.”

Oklahoma last November:

Mr. Boughton acknowledged that he did not know of an instance in which Shariah law had been invoked by the courts.

Ok, I’ll stop. But maybe you’ve noticed a trend? America’s got some issues. If you’re looking for a way to doing something about them, you’re probably better off praying for rain.

Original post: Mother Jones: Anti-Sharia Bill Sponsors Are Kind of Clueless


  1. Will they be going after the Halacha and Talmudic Law that conservative Jews live by next??

  2. How about outlawing Kosher?

  3. A central and basic feature of the American legal system is the freedom of parties to pick or define the law that governs their transactions.

    These “anti-Sharia” laws are anti-liberty.

  4. Shame on you, Mother Jones. I am happy that the judges couldn’t readily come up with examples. It simply shows that our court system isn’t yet in such deep s**t as are EU courts. It also shows that the judges are as ignorant as you are: why don’t YOU define sharia law for us? It is up to each American non-muslum individual to research what it is because moslems won’t tell the truth about it – knowing well that it defies free speech, democracy, and equality.

    Late Benazir Bhutto, peace be upon her, clearly stated that sharia is flexible and regional, influenced by local customs and then upheld as law in different islamic communities accross different regions to maintain their identities. I leave it up to you to judge whether it is smart or not to PREVENT what has not happened yet. Will you be the one searching and examining to which muslims in America this applies and to which not?

  5. [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.

    [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.
    [24.3] The fornicator shall not marry any but a fornicatress or idolatress, and (as for) the fornicatress, none shall marry her but a fornicator or an idolater; and it is forbidden to the believers.
    [24.4] And those who accuse free women then do not bring four witnesses, flog them, (giving) eighty stripes, and do not admit any evidence from them ever; and these it is that are the transgressors,

  6. To Mike: Glad you could quote from Quran, and yes that is the punishment precribed in the Quran for certain offenses as well as dictates of inheritance. But has anybody proposed that it should me made law in the US or in the EU? Doubt it. Besides, if that’s how I desire to make my will re inheitance, don’t I have that right? It’s better than some eccentrics who have left their fortune to a pet!

  7. Let he who is not illogical in the defense of his position cast the first barb. All religions have toxic elements. To defend the religion that is the most toxic of all by quoting the toxic elements that have been mostly eliminated in another religion is not only duplicitous and illogical, it is dangerous. Do you buffoons actually believe there is immoral (sic) equivalence between the Qu’ran burning of Terry Jones and the beheading of Daniel Pearl or the stoning of Soroya? And as far as misplaced concern over Sharia, consider that over a billion people in the world, although they might not now practice Sharia, are sympathetic toward Sharia. Then give another thought about democracy, and that these people might someday be making decisions about Sharia law. Also consider, if you are gay, that you would be executed under Sharia law. The ignorance of those opposing Sharia law about Sharia law does not make Sharia law any less toxic – – nor does it make Sharia less of a danger to personal freedoms wherever it rears its ugly head. Is it worse to place an unnecessary law on the books against Sharia, or to act after Sharia has become an insoluble problem, such as in the Islamic quarters that have become de facto self-governing is some European countries?

  8. rjwalker, you’re right you can write up any sort of civil contract that you what. the problem comes up when there is no contract and then one party what’s to impose their religious law. so should a minor female be able to agree to abide by sharia in probate. if her new guardian is a muslim should it be allowed for him or her to divide the estate as the koran commands? what do you think margier?

  9. sorry the first word of my last sentence should be “want” not what.

    richard as i said after your post, of course you can leave all your money to your male heirs if you want, or your dog. how do you think the scenerio i laid out above should work out. do you not believe the koran to be “divine writ”? if so, would you not be compelled as a “good muslim” to follow “god’s law”.

    as for people saying it should be implemented in us or the eu. links to follow.

  10. hey richard, i also meant to say i never thought i would see the day that 6 american jurors would make the 1st amendment null and void.

    some recent news out of the uk

    have you never heard of amjen choundry (that maybe misspelled) how about the british guy with hooks for hands. there is this one guy you may of heard of, he wants the return of the caliphate, and to paut the whole world under sharia, what’s his name again usama bin laden?

    how about the islamic thinkers society?

  11. To MargieR and rjwalker. If there is a “Render unto Caesar” situation, let the legal system decide. Keeping kosher is not quite as objectionable as murdering gays, fornicators or apostates, and grandma throwing a conniption about a daughter marrying outside of her faith is not quite as objectionable as an honor killing.

    In the case of a woman choosing to wear a burka or headscarf, often it’s not really a choice. Is brainwashing a suppression of freedom? As flawed as the western justice system is, I would rather trust it than the Islamic justice system.

  12. Pre-emption is action taken to prevent other action beforehand, especially if the other action is undesireable. We didn’t wait for a bank robbery to occur before passing laws against bank holdups, bank holdups being undesireable.
    Someone wrote “A central and basic feature of the American legal system is the freedom of parties to pick or define the law that governs their transactions.” One may operate under laws already defined by the American legal system. Self-defined laws are not recognized.
    The First Amendment has never been interpreted to give people the freedom to do whatever they want just as long as they do it in the name of religion. In the late 19th century, Congress outlawed the Mormon practice of polygamy, and when the Mormons appealed the law, the Supreme Court upheld the ban. If a religion’s aim is to impose a system of laws that will end freedom of religion and freedom of speech, it would disqualify itself from protection by the First Amendment.

  13. hadn’t seen that poll, thanks for the link vo.

  14. […] guise of Arabic language skills? via Missoula teacher seeks to dispel Muslim myths | Jones: Anti-Sharia Bill Sponsors Are Kind of CluelessWell, yes. They are indeed ‘kind of clueless’, but that can be changed. Clueless is not […]

  15. Let me guess Mother Jones is getting funding from some Saudi/islamist and hence the propaganda piece in Support of Sharia.

    Just few points:-

    1) Sharia Law equate the life of a non-muslim as 1/6th of a Moslem – racist at its core.
    2) justifies the rape of infidel women of you pay a fee for her use – Misogyny.
    3) Not to mention the Dhimmis(non Moslems) need to pay taxes(Jaziya) and wear a patch. Sound just like the Nazi era. – Persecution
    4) I forgot not to mention Slavery is justified. The biggest slave owners have been Moslems who over a 1200 year period resulted in 145 Million Africans being enslaved with 2/3 rd being women. Racism
    5) Sorry I forgot about hand chopping for theft etc – Barbarism
    6) The all black body covering mandated for women called Burkah. – Sexist

    I will stop now. Shame on progressive magazine like Mother Jones to come in support of such ideology which is anti to everything progressivism stands for.

  16. Mike, those are frightening stories you posted from England, and stories like that may be motivating some people in the United States to prevent Sharia from being introduced in the United States. What I see, however, is some thugs using Mafia tactics to scare people into complying with the way they believe. I would hope that the people in England, who have more cameras than about anyone else in the world monitoring people will pick these people out and turn them into the police. I guess the problem in England is that people are not allowed to own handguns to defend themselves. That is one thing I like about the United States, most of us have lots of guns and it is doubtful that those tactics will work here. One hears about robberies in cities but in our small towns such as where I live, they are very rare, simply because no one wants to get shot. I do admit, however, if men ever threatened a member of my family to comply with their beliefs or else I would very quickly become a “whatever phobe”, my tolerance would thin, and my neck would redden quite a bit.

  17. Ok, I looked at the Islamic Thinkers Society: Fear of these people is a good thing. I hope that group stays small.

  18. […] Mother Jones: Anti-Sharia Bill Sponsors Are Kind of Clueless […]

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