In America, the most important law of the land is the United States Constitution, and although it does not contain myriad ordinances or particular laws, it is the basis for Federal laws and sets boundaries for states and localities in dealing with all manner of regulations and rules. The Federal and state laws in America were derived from “common sense” laws originated in the England and has developed into a system of civil laws that incorporate constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, and the common law. All laws though, whether state or Federal are subordinate to and may never contradict the Constitution. So it is ultimately curious that in several state legislatures there are laws enacted and being proposed to ban Sharia Law from being observed in America.
Sharia Law is at the most basic level a religious law similar to the Ten Commandments, and it is used to refer to the Islamic way of life, but is restricted to applying only to Muslims; all other religions are supposed to be exempt from provisions of the law. Within Sharia Law are harsh penalties for drinking alcohol and all matters of sexual relations outside of marriage. The penalties for breaking laws like unlawful intercourse, theft, and drinking alcohol are stoning to death or severe flogging that the Christian bible’s Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) mandates. In fact, Daniel Webster (R-FL), the Republican who unseated Florida Congressman Alan Grayson advocated biblical stoning for the same crimes as Sharia Law.
The push to ban Sharia Law has its origin in 2010’s objections and outrage against plans to build an Islamic Center near ground zero. The anti-Muslim hysteria that began during the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections helped fuel the “ban Sharia Law legislation” in states like Oklahoma, where state legislators passed a measure making it illegal for judges to rely on Islamic laws in deciding cases. The law is unnecessary and ridiculous because the Constitution forbids the establishment of religion in connection with the government, and the good news is that the ban on Sharia Law is also a ban on bible law; most notably the Ten Commandments. Regardless how absurd a legal statute banning Sharia Law in America is, banning the bible’s ridiculous Ten Commandments is welcomed news and a slap in the face of Christians striving to transform America into a theocracy.
The ban on Sharia Law is wide ranging and part of a concerted effort by ultra-right-wing Christian groups who are attempting to eradicate Islam from America in a modern day Crusade. The motivation of groups like ACT! For America, Alliance Defense Fund, Family Security Matters and other Christian-right groups who see Muslims as “our enemies,” is to mobilize Christians against Muslim Americans. Fair and balanced pundits like Glenn Beck at Fox News and his defender David Horowitz have made outrageous accusations against Muslims in America to stoke hatred and suspicion although their assertions are nothing more than fear-mongering.
The fear of Muslim terrorists prompted some Republicans in state legislatures to claim that America has become too accommodating to Muslims and motivated idiots like Frank Gaffney to accuse General David Petraeus of “submitting to Sharia Law.” Petraeus strongly condemned the burning of a Quran by extremist Christian preacher Terry Jones that caused outrage in the Muslim world and led to the death of at least 20 people in Afghanistan.
The anti-Muslim movement itself is unconstitutional and informs the depth of misunderstanding of law in America. The Constitution guarantees every American the freedom of religious expression regardless if it is Christianity, Islam, or Wiccan, and prohibiting any religious practice violates one of the Founding Fathers’ base beliefs that government cannot establish a national religion or prohibit the practice of a religion. Despite the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, a Florida-based group, Act! for America, formed by Brigitte Gabriel, a radical Islamophobic freak, has led a push for grassroots training for local activists to learn how to mobilize against Muslims to stop an “Islamic demographic conquest” of America.
The Christian-inspired crusade against Islam is another front in the war to establish a theocracy in America. There is no Islamic plan in the works for American-Muslims to take over America and regardless the hate-filled rhetoric and fear-mongering from Christian-right groups and Fox News, the ploy is just more divisive Republican tactics. There is little doubt that the Act! For America’s leader, Brigitte Gabriel, hate-monger David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and other Islamophobic maniacs truly hate Muslim-Americans, but there is more to them and their tactics than meets the eye. As the Christian Reconstructionist movement and Dominionists see the number of Americans leaving the Christian faith, they are desperate to engender hatred of Muslims in order to bolster their ranks in the Crusade against Islam. Using the ridiculous notion that the Constitution and American law are being supplanted by Sharia Law is despicable and the type of tactic Americans have come to expect from ultra-conservatives.
The Constitution protects all Americans from any group imposing their religious beliefs on the government or the people, and if there is any takeover by religious fanatics, it is the Christian fundamentalists who are guilty. It is worth remembering that the only religious extremists maneuvering to install religion-based law is Christian fundamentalists with their bible’s Ten Commandments as the law of the land; not Islamic Sharia Law. It is a reminder that those screaming the loudest about a particular misdeed are usually the ones guilty. In the 1990s, John Ensign and Newt Gingrich complained the loudest about former President Clinton’s sexual indiscretions and they were guilty of the same, if not worse sexual misconduct. Republicans and Christian evangelical leaders persecuted the gay community, and yet they were involved in homosexual activities themselves.
The Islamophobes pushing bans on Sharia Law are guilty of attempting to drive America toward a theocracy by infiltrating the government and the military, and legislating the bible into law. The good news is that no law, statute, or imagined religious ordinance can be placed on the books because in America, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Constitution also expressly forbids the establishment of a state religion as well as protecting the practice thereof, whether it is Islam or Christianity. Banning Sharia Law is just another distraction and waste of taxpayer money, but it is also the beginning of a Crusade that can only end in disaster for the country. The only religious fundamentalists who pose a clear and present danger to America are the Christian-inspired Dominionists. If given the opportunity, they will make the Ten Commandments the law of the land and punish disobedience with stoning to death or severe flogging. Americans can be eternally grateful the Constitution is still in place to protect us from religious fanatics who read the bible; not the Quran.